Hope for Waiting Arms – Infertility Support Group

Thank you to Emily from Hope for Waiting Arms for contributing her knowledge and sharing with us about her fertility journey. I happily refer many of my Fertility Tranquility patients to her support group and they love the support and group of women they meet. – Dr. Whitney

My husband and I live in Minesing, we have been married for 7 years and unexplainably “infertile” for 6 of those years. We tried to conceive for a few years with no success, then my extreme impatience led us to quickly pursue adoption. We felt strongly that if we weren’t able to conceive then we would adopt. Our biggest dream was that we would become parents and it was ok with us if we weren’t biological parents. When we were “tested” after our official year of trying, we were told that everything was fine (right) but we felt strongly that we didn’t want to wait any longer without moving forward with the adoption process. If God allowed us to become pregnant, we could always stop the process. Fast forward 6 years and we have never seen two pink lines on a test. The adoption process wasn’t easy but it made me feel like I was able to move our situation forward by filling out some paper work or making a phone call.

Adoption as an Option

Adoption brought us on a whole other emotional rollercoaster but in the end it was so worth it. We now have two beautiful, miracle adopted children that we were able to bring home from birth. They are now 3.5 yrs and 1.5 yrs. We also have a teenage foster daughter that recently joined our family.  We gave up control of building our family a long time ago and we are grateful to receive the children that God brings to us. We have open adoptions with our children and it has opened our eyes to what a beautiful thing it can be when two families come together through their love for a child. There is a mutual gratitude for the gift that we have both received in different ways. We always prayed that through our difficult situation, we would be a blessing to someone else. We now also get to love on our birth families, who have had a broken road lead them to placing their child for adoption.

Supporting Others

I was inspired to start Hope for Waiting Arms to provide encouragement, resources and support to women who are struggling with infertility and the family-building challenges that follow. I found that all of the specialists that we dealt with to be great in their designation but everywhere we turned seemed to be lacking in emotional support. I started to feel sorry for my husband that he was the only person I had to lean on, and that he had to see me cry SO often.

I hope this community helps to fill that need for support. We need each other when we are going through this. We need to surround ourself with people who get it, people who have been there and have persevered to build families.

Blogging as Healing

I found the blog to be a great way to share the resources, our adoption experience and encouraging articles that I found on our path to parenthood. The blog is great but I still felt that there was a need for a more tangible support. I started to meet people that were also struggling in this area and thought that it would be better if we could all be there for each other and not just pass on my own experience.

Our In person support group “Waiting Arms Community” was started November 2017 and is held in Midhurst once a month. It has grown quickly in the last 6 months. We get together and share our experiences, our ups, our downs and everything we are learning along the way.

Fertility Wellness Retreat

This fall we are hosting our first Fertility Wellness Retreat in Muskoka. We have an amazing weekend planned, full of fertility resources, professionals in the naturopathic and counselling industry, a fertility focused menu, workshops,  coping strategies and guests who are sharing stories of hope. Its going to be incredible and there are a few spots left. If you are interested in coming, click here to visit our website for more information.

We are also launching our newest group this fall, Adoption Play Group which will be a place for adoptive families and anyone interested in adoption to share about the process, openness, raising adopted children and anything else that comes up related to adoption.

I hope that in some way Hope for Waiting Arms can support you on your journey to becoming a parent. I’m so sorry that you are here, but I’m glad you found us.

For more about my story, encouragement for you and info about our meet ups go to our website www.hopeforwaitingarms.com

Emily

IV Therapy for Infertility

There’s this lovely couple I’ve been working with and they swear that IVs helped them get pregnant. They’d been doing so much to help their fertility. Had an unsuccessful round of IVF and were feeling hopeless.

They focused on their diets, did acupuncture and IV nutrient therapy to help rebuilt their health from the inside out.

We are so pleased with their results.

IV Therapy for Infertility

How about adding IV therapy into your preconception regime? The quality of your eggs and sperm determines the quality of your embryo and future baby. IV nutrients help on a cellular level to replenish and rejuvenate.

Check out our site for more info http://rootedinhealth.ca/intravenous-vitamin-therapy

We’d be happy to help and answer any questions you have.

Talk soon,
Whitney

Acupuncture improves your fertility

Acupuncture treatments are one of the biggest reasons women and men struggling to get pregnant come see us at Rooted for our Fertility Tranquility Program. They’ve heard from a friend or read online that acupuncture can help them get pregnant.

It’s true. There are studies to support the use of acupuncture during your fertility journey.

I’ve got patients who’ve only just started trying to conceive and they want to help manage their stress and anxiety during this time. They also want to increase their chances of it happening naturally for them.

I also have couples that come to see me who have started working with a medical fertility clinic. The traditional fertility clinics are great at diagnosing problems and then putting the egg and sperm together and working on timing. What they’re not great at, typically, is egg and sperm quality as well as managing stress, coaching about diet and supplements that will increase their chances of the medical treatments working.

Acupuncture may help in the following ways:

  • relieving stress and anxiety of fertility treatments
  • increasing blood flow to the uterus to help with lining
  • normalizing hormonal function
  • empowering women to know they are doing something. That they are not just waiting for their next period
  • increased success of IVF (invitro-fertilization)

New Hours Available!

We are thrilled to have Dr. Ashley Nelson, ND, join us to expand our acupuncture hours to our patients. She comes to us with a lot of acupuncture experience and a very gentle bedside manner. Click here to book directly with Ashley for acupuncture if you are already a patient of our clinic.

If you aren’t a patient of the clinic yet and would like to know how we can help you with your particular situation, please book a Free Fertility Introduction with Dr. Whitney Young, ND, our natural fertility expert.

How our clinic works

  1. Book your Free Fertility Introduction with Dr. Whitney
  2. Then book your Intake session – either individual or couples with Dr. Whitney
  3. After the intake process you can then start your acupuncture sessions with one of our naturopaths
  4. Please call if you have any questions! 705-792-6717

Wherever you are on your journey to having a baby or another baby, we are here to help.

Dr. Whitney

 

3 Fertility Tracking Tools

We love to work with couples trying to start their family. Whether they are about the start tracking their cycles to start getting ready to try or they’ve been trying for a few years. There are always things we can help them with.

I’ve discovered 3 favourite fertility tracking tools that I love and I share with my patients. Here they are for you.

 

The Fertility App

Ok – everyone has an app for everything. And for each patient I see, they’ve got a new app. Lots of women rely on these to tell them when their fertile days are. However the majority of women have cycles that shift and only 10% of women actually ovulate on day 14 if they have a 28 day cycle. So, that leaves a lot of room for error.

My favourite fertility app is Kindara. It’s a free one that can track your cervical fluids, temperature, your period, your other things like mood, acne, PMS symptoms. It has a chart, a daily view and will do a cycle summary so you can see the length of your cycles over the months and years you may use the app. You can also switch back and forth from tracking to get pregnant or tracking to avoid pregnancy.

 

The Fertility Book

My favourite book has been around a long time and it’s had numerous editions. This is a great starting point for you and also a good life-long resource you may want to share with your daughters one day!

Taking Charge of Your Fertility goes in depth into the fertility signs your body gives you. No one teaches you this stuff!! I think we should go to high schools and let girls know about what’s normal and what’s not.

This book describes exactly how to track with temperature, cervical fluids and cervical position. There are even pictures and many charts to compare your own with.

 

The Fertility Strips

You can spend a lot of money on ovulation predictor kits and their fancy packaging at the pharmacy. We buy these strips online in bulk and sell them at the clinic in packs of 10 for your convenience.

LH strips or ovulation predictor kits are not for everyone. Remember our motto at the clinic is to “Make a Baby Without The Crazy.” So if these little strips are making you crazy…stop. It’s ok. you don’t have to use them. Some couples love them and feel like scientists when they are doing them. Each of you is different and your journeys are all different. Do what feels right, and stop what doesn’t, and try again later if you feel like it.

 

The Fertility Doc

I love helping couples on their fertility journeys and have worked with 100s of them now in our area. I’m like an Olympic Athlete Coach – I’ve coached people who’ve been there before. Those who have won medals and walked the path you want to walk on. I can tell you about the races, the pre-qualifying meets, tests, the mental game needed and how to take care of your body throughout.

If you’d like to see how I can help with your particular situation, book a Free Fertility Introduction Session with me at the clinic.

Talk soon,
Dr. Whitney

Infertility & Alcohol Intake

I’ve had a few questions this week from men and women asking about when it’s ok to  drink while you’re trying to get pregnant. And how much can you drink?

So here’s some facts for us to consider when thinking about guidelines around infertility and drinking alcohol:

Male Infertility & Alcohol 

  • Alcohol is linked with testicular atrophy, decreased libido and decreased sperm count
  • Alcohol decreases semen volume, poor sperm morphology and motility
  • More alcohol in his system means more oxidative damage to his sperm
  • 10 or more drinks a week is associated with 2-5 times more miscarriages

Female Infertility & Alcohol

  • Women who get hangovers are more likely to be infertile than women who don’t
  • The amount that women can drink in a week isn’t clear
  • One drink a week to 5 units a day can have various effects including increasing the time to pregnancy, decreasing probability of conception rate by over 50% and decreasing implantation rate, increasing both the risk of spontaneous abortion and of fetal death and causing anovulation, luteal phase dysfunction and abnormal blastocyst development
  • 10+ drinks a week associated with 2-3 times greater risk of miscarriage
  • Alcohol consumption in the week prior to conception is associated with an increased rate of miscarriage
  • There is no amount of alcohol that’s considered safe during pregnancy

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is characterized by physical defects, brain and central nervous system problems, & social and behavioural issues

Alcohol:

  • Enters your bloodstream and reaches your developing fetus by crossing the placenta
  • Causes higher blood alcohol concentrations in your developing baby than in your body because a fetus metabolizes alcohol slower than an adult does
  • Interferes with the delivery of oxygen and optimal nutrition to your baby’s developing tissues and organs, including the brain

After conception – when does Implantation happen?

Implantation occurs from 6-12 days after ovulation. Some sources say the most likely day is Day 9.

So when can a woman actually “safely” drink while she’s trying?

  1. Theoretically you could drink from start of period to 6 days after ovulation. So that still gives you about 3 weeks a month you could drink
  2. Definitely stick to less than 10 drinks a week. A glass of wine some nights might help to calm nerves and get you “in the mood.
  3. He should stick to less than 10 drinks a week as well.
  4. Ask him to cut back around time of ovulation so his sperm swims straight
  5. If both of you can cut back without impacting your mental health, then that’s good. But remember, our motto is “have a baby without the crazy.” And if you’re on this journey a long time, that’s a long time to go without alcohol if that’s part of your social life. I get it.

Dr. Whitney Young, Naturopathic Doctor – Fertility Doc at Rooted

Book your Free Fertility Assessment with me to discuss your fertility and get your questions answered.

Links:

Mayo Clinic – Fetal Alchohol Syndrome

 

 

 

Infertility – You Hate Moms Like I Hate Dads

Infertility

Ok, hate is a strong word. But that’s how we feel in the moment.

When all you want to do is see a positive pregnancy test and have your own pregnant belly, seeing other women get pregnant so easily infuriates you.

  • Your co-worker keeps talking about her new pregnancy – you hate her
  • Your sister-in-law “accidentally” gets pregnant – you hate her
  • That young woman walks down the street with a big pregnant belly – you hate her

I get it. My anger is different but similar in a lot of ways.

After my husband died suddenly of a heart attack in September 2015 I couldn’t stand to be around dads.

  • The smiling dad in a family photo on Facebook – I hated him
  • The dad pushing his daughter on the swing at the park – I hated him
  • The dad picking his kids up from daycare – I hated him

But did I really hate him? Was his happiness or his existence really about me and my pain? No. I can’t begrudge other dads for simply being dads and being there. It’s just a reminder of what I don’t have, what my girls don’t have and what Steve’s missing.

Is it ok to miss him? Yes. Is it ok for you to be sad for not having your own baby yet? Yes. It’s ok, your feelings are completely normal. But projecting hate onto others can keep us stuck and unhappy.

So here’s what we can do:

  1. Stop

There are 2 ways you can do this Stop Step.

Firstly you can use the thought-stopping technique – literally say stop in your head. To stop the thought from occurring, then skip to the “Reframe” step below.

Second, try stopping the activity. I had to go off of Facebook for awhile because it was upsetting me to see different photos. I hear this a lot from my fertility patients – that all they see on Facebook is that someone else is pregnant or just had their new baby. You can go off of social media completely for awhile or limit your exposure by not going to your News Feed but instead go to Notifications and only look at what you want to look at.

  1. Reframe

Who is it you’re really angry at? What do you really want to happen? Do you want that particular baby? Do I want that guy to be the dad to my kids? No, I don’t. Likely you want your own baby and are angry it’s not happening for you yet.

So just reframing what you’re really mad about and then using a coping strategy to move out of that moment.

  1. Change

Make some sort of action step, change something up.

I was really nervous about having my daughter’s birthday party after Steve died and having the other dads there. One of my friends asked, why didn’t I just have the kids and moms – a no dads birthday party. The thought hadn’t occurred to me.

If there is an event, a situation, that isn’t working for you, can you think of a creative way of changing it?

For example, could you have an honest conversation with your co-worker about how happy you are for her but that it’s too hard for you to talk about her pregnancy all the time?

If this step is hard, try talking to your partner, counsellor, or naturopath about other ways to take action to dial down the hate.

So, do I really hate all those dads?

No, but I acknowledge my feelings then try to move forward. Life is tough but my hatred doesn’t make it any easier. I love the dads in my life and my girls need other men around them.

I hope you can find some sort of peace with what’s happening in your life. If that sounds like a tall order, I get it. But just move step by step, moment to moment. You’ve got this.

Whitney