If you look at our stats summary to the right, you can see that I’ve been in acupuncture treatment for a very long time (well over a year). I used to have ridiculously irregular cycles (19 days to 2 months plus), at least half anovulatory (based on temp charts), and extremely painful periods. The key words here are “used to.” After sticking with acupuncture this long, I now have more or less regular periods (if a bit long, 32-34 days), ovulate most cycles (all but one in the past year), and have only moderately painful periods (instead of the kind of pain where I can’t get out of bed, or think, or take care of our kid, or go to work and if I was out and about when they started, someone might offer to call an ambulance…yes…it really was that bad).
I don’t harbor any illusions that with my history it will be easy to get pregnant. I know that other folks with much better cycles go to the RE right away. But I’m stubborn and based on personal experience, I know that medicine sometimes does more harm than good, even when the intentions are noble. So for this, and perhaps other less justifiable reasons, I wanted to give my body a decent shot without a lot of medical manipulation…hence the hard core acupuncture. Even if I do end up at the RE down the line, I’m confident that this was time/money/energy well spent and my body is in much better shape than it was when I started.
That said, I have some annoyances with my acupuncturist. The primary one being her tendency to drop bombs like “you shouldn’t try this cycle, you’ll have a miscarriage” or “did you ride your bike? You really shouldn’t ride your bike” as I’m walking out the door (imagine this in barely intelligible English coming from the most fierce Chinese woman you can conjure up. She is seriously not to be reckoned with). Now the first one might seem more shocking, but she has finally stopped saying that one, though she did suggest skipping this cycle because I currently have a hideous cough. I eventually got out of her that her real concern is that ovulation might be missed, weak or postponed due to illness, so I should make sure to get a good surge before we try. OK fine. Maybe this cycle is a go. Maybe not. But it is actually the admonition about biking that causes me the most trouble.
Gail, Leigh and I don’t have a car. We live in a city where you don’t really need one, and we love to bike. This is like telling someone else they can’t drive. When I don’t bike, I feel cooped up and impatient. It takes twice as long to get anywhere because I have to take the train. When I’m home with Leigh, we can’t get very far from home, which is manageable because our neighborhood contains plenty of friends, parks and other amusements, but it is annoying, especially because we just got the most awesome kid and cargo bike set-up ever. My acupuncturist insists the problem is with “jostling” while waiting for implantation, which I have to admit sounds like complete BS now that I write it down. She says that women don’t bike in China if they are trying, and I have no idea whether or not to believe her. But as much energy and time and money as we’re putting into this, I know I can buckle down and give up the biking, at least during the TWW (though I think she’d prefer never, something about some point or meridian or something in my leg, I don’t claim to understand). And I have. Mostly. Of everything that has gone on hold or been given up so far for TTC (caffeine, a conference invitation, a speaking invitation, lots of money, time, worry, sleep, hopefully not my sanity), this is the hardest.