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Success Stories - Miscarriage

 

Three miscarriage, natural pregnancy, healthy baby

Dr. Lin -

I really feel you are the reason we get to hold this sweet baby boy. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise with me. You are very good at what you do.

-BR

"Unexplained infertility." After my husband and I went to the top-ranked Colorado infertility specialist...

"Unexplained infertility." After my husband and I went to the top-ranked Colorado infertility specialist, spent over 55,000 out-of-pocket, and were poked and prodded in every-way imaginable, we were told we had unexplained infertility. We were discouraged. While it was a relief to know that there were no obvious complications, I had nothing to help me explain why I had 4 early miscarriages.

Each miscarriage was a heartbreak. With the advancements of pregnancy tests, I was able to determine if I was pregnant almost a week before my period would have started. But then the Oriods did start. Maybe a few days late, but they started. Why? After 18 months of trying, it was this repeated frustration that took us to the infertility specialist. And, as you know, the result was unexplained infertility. The doctor had a possible theory that the early miscarriages were the result of a developmental genetic abnormality of the embryos. The next step, in his opinion, was in-vitro fertilization. The benefit being that he could scan each fertilized egg (even the un-fertilized eggs) to determine if there were any genetic abnormalities, and pick only the "A-list" eggs for implantation. He was so excited about the possibilities with this technology, that he sold it to us hard, so hard we felt like he was selling us a car.

We didn't know what to do. In-vitro was very expensive. Too expensive. Did we have any other options? We took some time off to digest the situation and regain calmness in our lives.

The reassuring thing about infertility is I was not alone. The more I talked to friends about our frustrating situation, the more stories unfolded about friends and family that had undergone similar trials. One recurring story was from friends that had gone through acupuncture before successfully getting pregnant. I was not familiar with Eastern medicine, I certainly didn't like needles, but acupuncture wasn't going to cost me 520,000, so it was worth investigating!

I did a lot of research about acupuncture and infertility on the web. I also looked to find a qualified acupuncturist. Colorado has an automated licensure information system on-line (ALISON) where you can confirm the licensure of individuals and companies. I also looked up some national referral lists. My search led me to Dr. Wenying Lin. Her website (acuforconception.com) is thorough and informative.

I made an appointment. At my first meeting, Dr. Lin provided me with an abundance of information and resources. She recommended the book, The Infertility Cure, by Randine Lewis, Ph.D. Dr. 1-in also listened to my long list of questions and concerns. Then, she did acupuncture, which was not only painless, but calming. Dr. Lin started me on Chinese herbs and greens.

I was excited. The combination of literature I was provided and the steps I was taking really made me feel like I was doing something proactive. I had hope. For the first time in a long while, I was doing something proactive that could help my fertility. I was learning about my body. I was more aware of the energies that circulate within it. I was actively making my body more prepared to receive life and maintain a pregnancy.

 

April 14,2006 - I was born with a bicornuate uterus and a single kidney, a condition known in medical terms as a Mullerian defect.

Testimonial for Dr. Lin

I was born with a bicornuate uterus and a single kidney, a condition known in medical terms as a Mullerian defect. In short, this means my uterus has a heart shape severe enough to potentially cause pre-term delivery, perhaps so pre-term as to leave the fetus unviable (prior to 24 weeks). I did not learn of this defect until I was over 30 years old and wanting to have a baby. At first the doctors said it had nothing to do with the miscarriages I was having between 5 and 8 weeks, but after the total reached five and there was no additional explanation after visits to several noted specialists, I was directed toward adoption or the route of a gestational carrier. However, my husband and I had issue with both of these suggestions. In addition to the religious and moral complications, we did not want "just" to be parents. We had already been called teacher, neighbor, aunt, uncle, and friend. We had had the opportunity to impact many young lives. No, if we were going to take on the life-long task of parenting, it would be that of parenting a biological child, or we would continue to serve faithfully in the many other purposeful roles we had already been blessed with.

After years of temping, charting, and timed intercourse, I decided to get off the merry-go-round. I used birth control for several years until one day, I felt God speaking to me subtlety. "If I am going to give you a miracle, you are preventing it", He said to me through the Christmas story and Elizabeth, the elderly mother of John the Baptist. He said it to me through the women I met who shared their stories of infertility at church and were puzzled to find I had given up at 35. Sometime between 35 and 36, I left the birth control behind and tried to listen to my body without all the charting and temping. I refused to make myself crazy again with charting and temping and timed intercourse. It was His miracle to give.

But I travel a lot for work: 10- 15 days some months and God wasn't planning for another virgin birth. So finally, when the holidays brought an end to my on-the-road madness, the Lord blessed us with our sixth pregnancy. I wasn't counting, I wasn't charting, I wasn't planning and so I was surprised to find myself 5 1/2-6 1/2 weeks pregnant (inaccurate due to a history of long cycles and late ovulation) as we rang in the New Year. I didn't get excited; I was too jaded for that. But I did seek care immediately with the specialist I had most recently seen. There was no heartbeat visible and although they planned a confirmation ultrasound a week later. They also scheduled me for a D&C the next day. There was no worry, no numbness; this was a familiar path I traveled. I prepared my boss and a couple colleagues for my "procedure" and the day I would be out. Then I drove to the confirmation ultrasound appointment, alone, as I knew what to expect. But then, the path took a detour. There would be no D&C the next day because I was 6 1/2 weeks pregnant and with a strong embryonic heartbeat.
Prepared as I was for the worst, I was taken by surprise but still very logical. I had been given another chance. I had seen heartbeats 3 previous times, usually a positive sign of embryonic success, and perhaps this time I was supposed to seek support of a different kind. The Lord had provided increasing support to me as the number of miscarriages rose, but perhaps He was also giving me another chance. Perhaps this was a new path He had set me on.

Teresa was one of the women at church with her own infertility story, though much more raw than the others. She had been trying to have a baby for over 2 years unsuccessfully. The doctors thought it was her hormones, her cycles, her husband's marginal sperm counts. She had been pregnant for the first time in the last 6 months only to lose the pregnancy just after confirming it. She had been seeing Dr. Lin for those 6 months and Dr. Lin was working to restore her uterus and entire body to full health. I listened with interest to reports of her visits. "Maybe", I had said.

I had tried acupuncture for 3 sessions several years before in another city, and had felt nothing. But Teresa had already experienced success getting pregnant for the first time, her more positive mental outlook and even her husband's alleviation of seasonal allergy symptoms had all made her a believer in Dr. Lin. So despite my "logical Western" mind that knew that acupuncture was considered an alternative medicine and not "real" Western medicine and my previous experience, I heeded Teresa's urgency when she said I should call Dr. Lin immediately after I found out I had a viable pregnancy.

At first, the calendar was booked for two weeks for new patients but when Dr. Lin heard of my time-sensitive need, she squeezed me in. And she continued to squeeze me in for a second, third and fourth visit, until I could be worked into the regular appointment schedule. She was a good listener. She was compassionate. She talked just the right amount. She made no promises but told me she would work to make the "Tree of Cathy" as healthy as it could be.

I knew from the first visit that something was different this time. I felt a light tingle at the sites of the needles, even without electrical stimulation. As I lay tensely on the table for the first treatment, I had the realization that I had become unaware of my limbs. I tried to move my leg and found it heavy as lead. Despite all the stress I carried when I first lay on the table, I laughed aloud to find my leg was indeed still there and functioned. I had actually laughed. I arrived at the visit with the weight of just finding I was still pregnant for the 6th time and was indeed not getting a D&C the previous day. I left with a lightness in my step that my husband noticed immediately and the nausea I had brought into the visit was gone. I had a great dinner that night and continued to feel the positive effects for nearly 24 hours after the treatment.

For the next 2 weeks, the reproductive endocrinologist offered only weak encouragement. The gestational sac was oversized and misshapen, a possible early sign of a chromosomal defect. We stifled our building optimism as I continued to pray for my baby's health, to encourage others to pray, and to see Dr. Lin. At 9 1/2 weeks I got a cold. Not a brief sniffly cold, but a flat-on-your-back, whole-roll of-TP-in-6-hours kind of cold. And to make it worse I was half the country away by plane for work and pregnant without any "pregnancy-approved" medicine. I felt so bad I requested a wheelchair at the return airport and my usually fiercely-independent self didn't feel guilty for a second; I felt half-dead. On day 3 of the cold, I was home and went right to Dr. Lin. My nose was then chemically dried-up by Sudafed and the malaise abated by Tylenol, both baby-doctor-approved meds. Dr. Lin inserted some extra needles in my head at this appointment and toward the end of the treatment I had the sensation of a lightly pulsing network on my head . . .but maybe it was the Sudafed, I thought. Again, I rose from the treatment feeling better and went home to relax. My husband arrived home from work and I told him of the treatment. I noticed aloud that, though I was due for more medicine, I didn't feel like I needed it yet. "Why don't you see how long you can go without the meds?" he suggested. As I don't like pills in the first place I accepted his challenge and much to our surprise, I did not need another single pill for the remainder of the cold! Dr. Lin took my faucet of a nose and turned it off. She also allowed me to put my mind at ease knowing I wasn't subjecting my baby to any more chemicals than necessary.

So now, my husband was starting to get interested, too. He had already seen my reduced nausea and improved mood: "placebo-effect" he had said at the time. In addition to that "placebo effect" working for weeks, he had just picked my comparatively limp self up at the airport the night before. He had suffered through a night of my sneezing and blowing as one pill after another wore off. Now, almost like magic, I had relief. He had a lower back that was waking him up in unison with my sneezing and decided to see what acupuncture could do for it.
He saw Dr. Michael. Three visits later, his pain was completely gone and he was sleeping through the night again. I dare say I noticed an improvement in his mood as well, though he'd just say it was probably a "placebo effect." ;) He was convinced enough to refer a co-worker to Dr. Lin's practice.

So now my husband's relief could be added to the fact that my type-A psyche had found relief and my nausea was abated by the skilled insertion of painless needles. I returned again and again, seeing Dr. Lin 3 times a week until week 11. And just reading week eleven should remind you: I had never passed 8 weeks of pregnancy before! Not only was I continuing in the pregnancy but the nausea and jaded mood were relieved and elevated for about 24 hours after each visit. Dr. Lin soon taught me to apply acupressure to myself at home, which seemed to stretch the relief even further.

Then I went on the visit to the high risk OB. The ultrasound showed a confirmation of what we had seen the week before: the gestational sac was no longer large and misshapen. Now it was perfect! We had been praying hard; so had the whole church. I thanked God daily for my continued progress.

At 11 weeks and on Dr. Lin's recommendation I reduced my visits to her to twice a week, at 14 weeks, I saw Dr. Lin once a week, and now at 19 weeks, it has been once a month. I look forward to these visits. Dr. Lin stays abreast of every symptom I report. Sometimes I notice she inserts an extra needle here or there. Mostly it is the same tingly insertion points that leave me for 25 minutes thinking of the strength she is infusing into the "Tree of Cathy". I see shiny deciduous leaves. Strong branches reach to the sun and a broad strong trunk is rooted firmly to the ground. The bark is healthy, growing, expanding, widening to accept the new life that continues to grow within.

-C. S.

 

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