My husband and I had been trying to conceive halfheartedly for about a year and a half or two (tracking with ovulation strips – but waiting to see that I was ovulating before we would be intimate, and I think we misunderstood how it works …)
We had been living in another country which I found to be super stressful and it was overall an unhappy time for me. We moved back to the states in October 2017, and I was hopeful we would have more success conceiving, hopefully quickly as I was 34 at the time and feeling a bit anxious that I was older. Although we were not opposed to exploring support (testing, fertility boosters, IUI, IVF), I hoped we wouldn’t need to go that route, and I felt we had not done enough to rule out that we could get pregnant naturally.
I started a new job in Dec 2017 and it became incredibly stressful from January 2018 until I resigned in May 2018. I was also working primarily from home and drinking a huge number of cups of coffee per day (maybe 5-8 cups, not realizing that is not a good idea when trying to conceive!).
So in May 2018 I resigned, and we started seeing a Natural Family Planning nurse from our church on May 30, who taught us how to track my cycle using the cervical mucus method (as well as how to gauge when to be intimate, both before and during the high mucus days).
I started taking the highest recommended/safe level of B6, which is shown to increase cervical mucus, and we started trying to be more intentional of being intimate on the days around my high peak days.
I had found a group (on facebook and also her website) through Anna Rapp about how she had miraculously become pregnant through natural methods – and it was through her that I was connected to Rachel.
I applied to be part of Rachel’s initial test group towards the end of July, and I was beyond delighted to learn I had been accepted. The group began right after – a 4-6 week commitment, via email, Facebook, and virtual platform.
In this time, I felt incredibly supported – by both Rachel and her lovely, accepting, calming, understanding energy and words, and also from the other ladies in the group. Everyone was struggling with some amount of infertility, whether just our perceptions or actually diagnosed, and most of us were dealing with various additional pressures from that. Rachel’s group was an opportunity to have a game plan of support – every week we had a class (whether live, which I found to be the most helpful, or recorded and viewed later – still very helpful just not interactive) that focused on the different elements it takes us to conceive. I found these classes, the emails, and the constant (and interactive) Facebook support group, to be an incredible help – it wasn’t just me feeling alone, trying to figure this out (not to minimize my husbands support, but it’s not the same as having a woman going through this who can relate), but it was me within a group of supportive women, with a wonderfully compassionate, supportive, and knowledgeable leader.
In addition to Rachel’s class, and continuing on with our Natural Family Planning sessions, I was also listening to a podcast by an acupuncturist who specializes in fertility (Adrienne Wei’s ‘How to Get Healthy and Get Pregnant’). Between all three of these supports, along with the reading of recommendations from Anna Rapp, I made a number of changes.
At the end of August, about four weeks into Rachel’s program, I found out we successfully conceived earlier that month, and I was so incredibly thankful. I do want to add that those first many weeks of learning you are pregnant can be incredibly anxiety-provoking, because you don’t know if it will last and it’s almost sickening to think of the further heartbreak. Rachel was again a beautiful support, and that was just because of her kindness and compassion.
I am now 29.5 weeks pregnant – and it feels crazy that in a few weeks, life will be changing forever.
I wish you all much success, and I absolutely endorse and thank Rachel as being a fantastic support and friend in this critical time in our lives.