Tag Archive | Infertility

Is your job killing your fertility?

How stressed do you get throughout your work day?  Are you guilty of typing away for hours as your eyes cross from staring at the screen.  Do you feel overwhelmed by a sense of doom that you will never get everything done?

That sounds miserable!  I’ll admit I’m sometimes guilty of it, too.  And when I am, I feel it. My back is sore.  I’m cranky.  My joints are stiff.  So that’s when I remind myself that I must take breaks.  A quick breather is often all it takes to gain perspective, feel centered, and stay healthy despite needing to work.  You’ll also return to work all the more productive.

Living in prolonged periods of stress blocks the release of reproductive hormones.  By taking a couple minutes here and there to de-stress during your day increases fertility.

Do it now!  This video is 2 minutes long and will rescue you from a state of stress.

For a free audio guided relaxation download to Manifest Your Baby NOW!, go here.

8 Steps to Emotionally Healing after Miscarriage

The road to pregnancy is often paved with loss.  Miscarriage.  A failed IVF cycle. Only one line on the pee stick. Aunt Flow’s unwelcome arrival.  With each disappointment, your dreams seem to drift farther away.  You feel a sharper sting each timWomanWritingInJournalOutside.jpge you see your sister, friend, or stranger sporting a cute baby bump.

As the overwhelming sense of loss buries you, how do you return to yourself? How do you take pleasure in life as you did before baby-making consumed you?  How do you recover physically and emotionally to prime for a healthy pregnancy?

How do you extract the precious gifts that grief has to offer?

I experienced a miscarriage.  Ironic considering I’m a fertility expert.  It can happen to any woman, at any age.  I just never thought it would happen to me.  In fact, the pregnancy came as a surprise, a somewhat stressful and inconvenient one at that.  I know that must be hard to imagine for those of you willing to cut off a limb in exchange for a positive pregnancy test.

For my boyfriend and me, madly in love but together for only four months at the time, both single parents who know how hard raising a child is when the parents aren’t together, the news felt daunting.  Facing my boyfriend’s upcoming deployment as a U.S. Marine and subsequent absence during the birth and first few months of our child’s life together, we were totally freaked out.  We both dreamed of getting married first then consciously making a child together, choosing to grow our family when ready, something we each missed out on the first the time around.

It took us a few weeks to accept this reality and get on the same page.  It strained our relationship. My boyfriend buried himself in the demands of the military, all but forgetting about the pregnancy.  Feeling alone, I scrambled to figure out how I would manage all this on my own during his deployment. About two months into the pregnancy, we finally surrendered and allowed ourselves to feel excited, to appreciate the promise of the new life we created together.  And then he had to go away for three weeks in preparation for his deployment.

During those three weeks, I dragged our sons to two anti-climactic prenatal appointments during which the midwife couldn’t find the baby’s heartbeat with the doppler. She reassured me it was most likely due to the position of my uterus.  Finally, during a third appointment at twelve weeks pregnant, the ultrasound screen revealed there was no baby.  Just an empty gestational sac around the size of 9 weeks.

Before the appointment, I thought I might feel relieved if the pregnancy wasn’t viable.  A boatload of stress would instantly lift off my shoulders. But instead, I burst into tears as the empty sac stared back at me on the screen. I kept hoping the fuzzy baby image would appear from behind a shadow and the nurse would say, “Oh there it is!  There’s your baby!  The little bugger was just hiding.”

At 14 weeks, my body finally worked up the momentum to expel the phantom pregnancy from my body.  With the physical loss, came more grief which was a sadness that my boyfriend couldn’t truly relate to.  It’s not that he didn’t feel sad, but he couldn’t experience it as I did.  He hadn’t changed his lifestyle habits to nurture a life that never was.  His hormones hadn’t taken him for a life-threatening ride.  His heart hadn’t opened as a mother’s does the minute life takes root in her womb.

And so the wave of grief washed through me, and I had no choice but to ride it.  I turned to the tools in my program and from my training to recover physically and emotionally.  I know I’m now even stronger than before.

Grief, by nature, is a lonely feeling. Loss leaves you feeling like something is missing. Like you are less than you were before.  And there’s just no way around processing grief.  Well there is, but if you avoid the process, grief will bury itself within you and cause emotional and physical disease.  It will keep trying to release itself by sending you messages, maybe in the form of a persistent cough, or skin problems, or depression or anxiety.  Unless you let it wash through you and transform itself, it makes itself at home inside you and stirs up trouble.

You may hold onto the grief out of fear of losing something more, yet it is through the process of letting go that you’re gifted the preciousness grief has to offer.  A deeper sense of peace.  An open compassionate heart.  A greater appreciation for all that you have.  Loving support from others. Ironically these gifts lead to a more fulfilling life. The deepest wounds offer the richest lessons.

You can’t skip the steps of grief.  And the steps are different for everyone.

Grief and loss need soothing, self-care, and patience.  Grief is a washing over, like ocean waves cradling you gently back to solid ground, to your life and the joy it still has to offer.  You can then put one foot ahead of the other, just as you did before, but on a new path never to be the same as before the loss.  Not a better path.  Not a worse path.  Simply a path you follow with a mark left on your heart that will forever influence your spirit.  It changes what you long for and what you cherish.

From loss you gain a deeper sense of love.  Nothing cracks open a heart and releases seeds of compassion quite like grief does.

It is SO important to FEEL grief.  To allow it.  To stop yourself from judging it. To go through the middle of the stormy scary place where it seems that the tears may never end.  But I promise, they will end.  And it actually feels so good to release the sadness. Why do we fear grief?  Why do we judge ourselves as weak or pathetic or tell ourselves we should be over it?

Grief is beautiful.  It hurts but it is the healing process.  The body knows what to do. The tears, the crying, the fatigue are all signs of the body and the spirit taking care of you. It’s the expression of acknowledgement of the preciousness of life.  Expressing that what we hold dear has meaning.

If you allow it to wash over you, taking as long as it needs to cleanse your spirit, you will return from the darkness renewed.

My boyfriend and I grew closer with this experience.  We learned more about each other and ourselves through this process than we would have otherwise, which is a gift I truly treasure.  And I know that my womb is now a more loving, welcoming, and healthy home.  I look forward to the time we choose to invite our future child to take root there.

Sign up here for FREE Instant Access to How to Prime for a Healthy Pregnancy after Miscarriage with 4 Top Fertility Experts, including me, Alisa Vitti, Jill Blakeway, and Joanne Verkuilen.

8 Steps to process loss and prepare for a healthy conception:

1.) Give yourself what you need.

If you need to be alone, be alone.  If you need to talk, reach out to a loving listener.  If you need to cry, cry.  If you need to sit and stare at the wall, stare away.  Honor and trust wherever you’re at and however you feel in each moment.  What you need will change as you go through the process.

2.)  Reach out for support.

Grief often reveals how surrounded you are by the love of others, whether it’s that of your mother or of a complete stranger.  No matter how alone you may feel, you aren’t. If the company and understanding presence of another sounds comforting, reach out. Most caring people are happy to be there for you and offer love.

3.) Nurture yourself.

Eat healthy.  Get plenty of rest.  Stay hydrated.  Go for a walk or exercise in a way you find enjoyable. Get a massage and acupuncture. Offer yourself love. The stronger your body is, the better you will be able to process the grief.  (Oftentimes, grief is heightened by physical exhaustion.)

4.) Express yourself creatively.

Writing in a journal, painting, singing, or any form of creative expression helps you find meaning in your experience and release the energy of grief.

5.) Seek out support.

Get professional support, join a support group, talk or read stories of others who experienced a similar loss. Find solace in knowing you’re not alone in your feelings and that they’re completely natural.

6.) Cry.

Cry and cry and cry as much as you need to and whenever you need to.  It’s part of the healing process.  You’re not weak if you need to cry.  It’s simply the body knowing what it needs.  Considering it a cleansing, like a detox.

7.)  Laugh.

Watch funny movies. Hang out with loved ones that make you laugh.  Laughing releases endorphins that will cheer you up.  Laughing helps you let go of grief in a fun way!

8.) Notice how you feel when you see a pregnant woman or baby.

Catch yourself if you start feeling sad thinking that you’ll never have that.  Remind yourself that you’re healing, and when the time is right, your child will come, too.

Big hug,

Heidi

Must-Make Recipe to Improve Your Egg Supply and AMH levels

Wanna guess in what part of the body eggs are replenished?

Markknochen-1

a.) Ovaries
b.) Bone marrow
c.) Teeth

If you guessed choice ‘a’ or ‘c’ , you’re wrong.  The answer is ‘b’, bone marrow.  Unbelievable, right?  At least that’s true for mice, as recently discovered by much surprised Harvard scientists. “In a series of experiments on sterile female mice, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), a Harvard teaching hospital, were able to restore egg production by transplanting bone marrow from fertile mice.”

On this note, I share an ancient Chinese recipe with you to nourish your bone marrow to replenish your egg supply at the end of this blog.

But first, let me explain why this makes total sense from a Chinese medical perspective…

We are all born with Jing, which is basically your life force essence.  It’s the stuff that gets you through life.  When it’s all burned up, you die.   You inherit your Jing supply from your parents, so some of us are born with more Jing than others.  But you can burn through it more quickly, or replenish it, depending on your lifestyle and dietary habits.  Jing is stored in your kidneys, brain, ova, semen, and guess where else? Your bone marrow!

I love when modern science validates what the ancient Chinese acupuncturists knew all along!

In Chinese medicine, food and herbs are used to supplement your Jing, especially if you’re showing deficient Jing signs like low AMH and/or poor antral follicle count.  And even if you’re not, you’d be smart to keep it that way by eating Jing-nourishing foods.  Because bone marrow is a form of Jing.  Chinese doctors prescribe bone marrow soup to replenish your Jing supply.

Here’s a recipe you can make this weekend to replenish your Jing and boost egg quality.  It’s taken from a wonderful Chinese medicine cookbook written by two of my teachers that I highly recommend.

Bone-Building Stock (Makes 10 to 14 cups) 
(Taken from “Ancient Wisdom Modern Kitchen: Recipes from the East for Health, Healing, and Long Life” by Yuan Wang, Warren Shier, and Mika Ono) 

Once you have made the stock, simply add ingredients you prefer: veggies such as mushrooms, carrots, Chinese cabbage, or kale; and/or meat such as shrimp, chicken, beef, or pork. Season with salt or soy sauce to taste.  You can also make one large batch and freeze the broth to use later.

Ingredients:

2 pounds of cooked or raw beef, lamb, or pork bones (I strongly recommend buying organic, if available. You can often buy just bones at your local market.)
1/2 cup rice wine or white wine (the acid is necessary to draw out the marrow)
16 cups of water
1 medium size carrot (optional) chopped into 1-inch pieces (Can also use broccoli stems, mushrooms, or leeks)
1 medium-size onion chopped into 1-inch pieces

Directions:

1.) Place the bones, wine, water, and vegetables (if using) in a large pot.  If the bones aren’t covered with liquid, add water until they are.
2.) Bring to boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes.  Skim off and discard any froth that rises to the top of the stock.
3.) For beef bones, simmer, covered, for 8 to 10 hours; add more water if needed.  For pork or lamb bones, simmer, covered, for at least 2 1/2 hours.
4.) Remove the bones, vegetables, and ginger from the stock, using a slotted spoon, a strainer, or piece of cheesecloth.
5.) Skim off any excess fat.  Season the stock with salt if desired (or wait to add until you cook with the stock).
6.) If you aren’t using the stock immediately, you can store it in the fridge for a few days or freeze it in small portions for later use.

References:
(“Harvard researchers have found new evidence that female mammals can produce egg cells throughout life”, Harvard University Gazett.2005)

Try my free Positively Fertile Starter Program here.

Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments below.

Yours in fulfilling baby dreams,

Heidi Brockmyre, L.Ac.
Creator of the Positively Fertile

Shocking Harvard Discovery about Fertility and an Egg Quality-Boosting Recipe

Wanna guess in what part of the body eggs are replenished?

a.) Ovaries
b.) Bone marrow
c.) Teeth

Markknochen-1

If you guessed choice ‘a’ or ‘c’ , you’re wrong.  The answer is ‘b’, bone marrow.  Unbelievable, right?  At least that’s true for mice, as recently discovered by much surprised Harvard scientists. “In a series of experiments on sterile female mice, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), a Harvard teaching hospital, were able to restore egg production by transplanting bone marrow from fertile mice.”

On this note, I share an ancient Chinese recipe with you to nourish your bone marrow to replenish your egg supply at the end of this blog.

But first, let me explain why this makes total sense from a Chinese medical perspective…

We are all born with Jing, which is basically your life force essence.  It’s the stuff that gets you through life.  When it’s all burned up, you die.   You inherit your Jing supply from your parents, so some of us are born with more Jing than others.  But you can burn through it more quickly, or replenish it, depending on your lifestyle and dietary habits.  Jing is stored in your kidneys, brain, ova, semen, and guess where else? Your bone marrow!

I love when modern science validates what the ancient Chinese acupuncturists knew all along!

In Chinese medicine, food and herbs are used to supplement your Jing, especially if you’re showing deficient Jing signs like low AMH and/or poor antral follicle count.  And even if you’re not, you’d be smart to keep it that way by eating Jing-nourishing foods.  Because bone marrow is a form of Jing.  Chinese doctors prescribe bone marrow soup to replenish your Jing supply.

Here’s a recipe to replenish your Jing and boost egg quality.  It’s taken from a wonderful Chinese medicine cookbook written by two of my teachers that I highly recommend.

Bone-Building Stock (Makes 10 to 14 cups) 
(Taken from “Ancient Wisdom Modern Kitchen: Recipes from the East for Health, Healing, and Long Life” by Yuan Wang, Warren Shier, and Mika Ono) 

Once you have made the stock, simply add ingredients you prefer: veggies such as mushrooms, carrots, Chinese cabbage, or kale; and/or meat such as shrimp, chicken, beef, or pork. Season with salt or soy sauce to taste.  You can also make one large batch and freeze the broth to use later.

Ingredients:

2 pounds of cooked or raw beef, lamb, or pork bones (I strongly recommend buying organic, if available. You can often buy just bones at your local market.)
1/2 cup rice wine or white wine (the acid is necessary to draw out the marrow)
16 cups of water
1 medium size carrot (optional) chopped into 1-inch pieces (Can also use broccoli stems, mushrooms, or leeks)
1 medium-size onion chopped into 1-inch pieces

Directions:

1.) Place the bones, wine, water, and vegetables (if using) in a large pot.  If the bones aren’t covered with liquid, add water until they are.
2.) Bring to boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes.  Skim off and discard any froth that rises to the top of the stock.
3.) For beef bones, simmer, covered, for 8 to 10 hours; add more water if needed.  For pork or lamb bones, simmer, covered, for at least 2 1/2 hours.
4.) Remove the bones, vegetables, and ginger from the stock, using a slotted spoon, a strainer, or piece of cheesecloth.
5.) Skim off any excess fat.  Season the stock with salt if desired (or wait to add until you cook with the stock).
6.) If you aren’t using the stock immediately, you can store it in the fridge for a few days or freeze it in small portions for later use.

References:
(“Harvard researchers have found new evidence that female mammals can produce egg cells throughout life”, Harvard University Gazett.2005)

Download your free fertility guided relaxation to manifest your baby now here.

Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments below.

Yours in fulfilling baby dreams,

Heidi Brockmyre, L.Ac.
Creator of the Positively Fertile

How the Wisdom of Chinese Medicine and the Power of Positive Thinking Helps Fertility

For a limited time, my free webinar recording is available for listening here.

In this free webinar you will learn:Heidi

  • The most important first step on your fertility  journey…
  • How the mind-connection affects your reproductive health and why it’s crucial to establish a positive mind-body connection…
  • 5 important positive mind-body techniques for making your baby dreams come true…
  • How to apply the wisdom of Chinese medicine at home to get pregnant faster…
  • Why the Positively Fertile Program fertility exercises and meditations are so powerful…

Taught by Heidi Brockmyre, L.Ac.,

Creator of Positively Fertile

Fertility Self-Acupressure Video: Increase blood flow to your uterus in 5 minutes

Learn to give yourself a fertility self-acupressure treatment while sitting in your chair.  You will increase circulation to your uterus and ovaries in just minutes.

Fertility Self-Acupressure Video

Quick Fertility Guided Relaxtion to Cultivate Miracles and Make Dreams Happen

What do you dream of more than anything?  Getting pregnant and growing your family?  Miracles happen everyday.  By growing more aware of daily miracles big and small, you open to limitless possibilities.  Cultivate miracles in your life by listening to this quick meditation.

Download your free fertility guided relaxation to manifest your baby now here.