Do you want to sit around and drink cold coffee, or do you want some needles poked into your face?

November 13, 2008

In non-hysteroscopy news, I am headed to an infertility support group today. I’m frankly still a bit surprised.

Over four years ago, after miscarriage #1, I decided to put TTC on hold, because I just couldn’t handle any more heartbreaks for a while. Even so, during some sleepless nights I would still seek out information about infertility online, trying to come up with a plan of attack to use once I could muster the strength. In my research I determined that support groups and acupuncture both significantly improved the success rates of treatments. I decided that once I got back on that horse, I would do one or the other.

I chose acupuncture.

Not only did I choose acupuncture, but I decidedly chose acupuncture over support groups.

I have nothing against support groups. In fact, I attended a support group briefly in college for a non-infertility issue (was there really ever such a thing?). It was amazing. It was a life-changing experience. But it seemed strange to join an infertility support group when I was specifically on a break. “Yeah, still nothing to report this week. I’m still not pregnant. I’m still avoiding the doctor’s phone calls. Oh, I did have to go to the drugstore and buy some more condoms!”

Yeah, so acupuncture made much more sense. I have been receiving regular acupuncture for over four years (initially every 3 weeks or so for a couple of years, and then weekly for the past two years). Even though I was taking a break from TTC, I decided to start acupuncture to get the energy flowing, figuratively and literally. I also thought it could help some other chronic issues like back problems. After a year, I added Chinese herbs to the mix, since some practitioners believe that herbs have more impact on fertility than acupuncture. I am a big fan of both, and I have seen some clear impacts on my cycle and my overall well-being, but obviously I still have nothing to show for the thousands of needles and thousands of dollars.

And so I ended up in the infertility blogosphere, which has been the virtual equivalent of a support group. I have been entirely satisfied. The nature and content of my sleepless nights has entirely chnaged, and there are far fewer. Thank you all.

And then, last week, a support group essentially came to me.

I already know a couple of the members. I wouldn’t have sought one out at this point, but I couldn’t say no to this one. I think it could be really good. I’m curious to compare and contrast the online and IRL experiences.

I’ll let you know how it goes tomorrow. And then the next day, I head to the hospital for surgery. It’s quite a busy week in terms of infertility! Especially considering that I’m not even actively trying to conceive this cycle.


8 Responses to “Do you want to sit around and drink cold coffee, or do you want some needles poked into your face?”

  1. Murgdan Says:

    Yeah, I kind of did the same thing earlier this week…just that my IRL support group for the moment just consists of one person, but it was still great! Can’t wait to hear how yours goes.

  2. Kristin Says:

    Hope the IRL support group lives up to its promise. Good luck with it and your ridiculously long work days.

  3. WiseGuy Says:

    Hmm….I have never had the option of an Infertility support group in real life. Blogosphere revealed me stories of how people were coping, managing, surviving and defeating infertility. Peace to you and all the best for the upcoming surgery.

  4. luna Says:

    I also used acu and herbs for a long time, thinking it was the best thing I could do for myself. I loved the relaxation and it probably helped me in other ways, but ultimately didn’t help me get pregnant again. mostly it got way too expensive and then even stressful.

  5. Cara Says:

    I’ll be interested to hear what kind of experience it was for you. I am working to start a SHARE group in my community and would be the coordinator for the loss support group. It would be nice to know what you liked and disliked from the format.

  6. shinejil Says:

    Good luck tomorrow! Or is that today? Either way, good luck.

    I love acupuncture, but support is crucial, too. I’m all for throwing everything (kitchen sink included) at the issue.

  7. What herbs did your acupuncturist give you? Mine is only using needles right now…. I was wondering if herbs should be requested/added in.

    Good luck with your group… I hope it meets your expectations!

  8. babysmiling Says:

    @GreenEggsNHam: I don’t know the names of the herbs, it’s a custom blend that changes all the time. When I have seen the names, they’re all in Chinese, so I have no idea what they are.

    It’s certainly worth asking your acupuncturist’s opinion about herbs. Not all acupuncturists are trained in herbs, so it may not be a possibility anyway. The major clinical trials have dealt with acupuncture, but more than one acupuncturist has told me that herbs are much more valuable than acupuncture for IF. Whatever happens, good luck!

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