Guest Author – Dawn Moore.
I used to feel “really badly” for women who couldn’t conceive. Then I became one of them. I joined a group I didn’t want to be in, like some middle aged horror movie: Can’t see well anymore, can’t wear those clothes anymore, can’t laugh without peeing on yourself, and can’t have babies anymore … There are words you can say that describe the loss, the sorrow, the hurt, the blame, and the grief – but none of them really get close to how it feels for a woman to be not be able to make a baby if she wants one.
I had my first beautiful joy when I was 26 and my second gift from the heavens at 29. Easy pregnancies, easy deliveries – but a horrible marriage. At 31 I was a single mom. That was hard and awful and painful and lasted for years. Then I met Michael. He just sort of appeared one day. He found me, and my soul changed from hopeful and tired to blessed and grateful. He adores my children and they him. It’s been a lovely journey, I have very little to want for now.
Except that maybe we could have a baby? So three years ago …
Off I went: off birth control, off fast food, off toxins, off alcohol, and I did a detox and cleanse. I joined a cow-share and got me raw milk and some raw cream and some grass fed anything. I considered the fact that I was 37 a non- issue; lots of women have babies at this age, I’m not the only one. And most importantly I just figured it would be easy because I’d done it twice already. My great-grandmother had 13 babies – I could have 3.
A year after we started trying I figured I had to up my game. I started tracking ovulation, fertility, temperatures, hcg levels, best times to conceive, best prayers, best foods, and best zodiac signs to conceive in. I did yoga, hot yoga, bike riding, and praying. Ever have to check your pee first thing in the morning? Then if you’re “positive” for ovulation tell your husband that you’ll meet him back here sometime between 10 and midnight, unless of course one of you is tired, stressed, hungry, over-worked, or just drove 35 miles all over town for car pools, drum lessons, and dance rehearsals. No baby.
After two years I suggested my darling husband must have something wrong with him. So he was tested. He’s normal. Fine. Healthy. Plentiful. No baby.
Three years into it I gave up. I had gained 25 more pounds, had lost my desire to even have a child, and considered this game over. It’s easier to decide yourself you aren’t going to try anymore rather than let the universe tell you how it’ll be. I was depressed, angry, filled with sorrow and grief at the loss of a child I would never meet. I justified it all: I’m too old. I said I’d never have another one. I have two amazing kids, I don’t need another one. Michael loves our children and he agreed that he could live his whole life without a baby – he considers his step children his. Yeah – he’s that amazing. He really is. Ok, it’ll just be the four of us. No baby.
6 months ago I really decided to move on. I’m not having any babies and I am going to live, but not well in my current state. The 25 pounds needs to leave. They were not welcome. No grains and no sugars, total detox, hormone rebalance, and stress reducing homeopathic remedies later, I’m down 45 pounds. I’ve been taking my fermented cod liver oil, and my fridge is entirely full of grass fed everything: butter, oil, fat, milk, and sour cream. I’m in food heaven. I’m taking my liver, making my own ‘booch, fermenting my lemons, and grilling my wild caught sock-eye salmon from the Fish Hugger dude at the market. Life is tasty. Life is Nourished. No baby.
A month ago I’m thinking about how things always turn out for the best. I’m in a doctoral program, my kids are moving on to high school and middle school – there will be driving lessons and freshly painted rooms this summer. I may, on my current track, be a normal sized human again. I feel powerful and fabulous. Content. I sit in gratitude. My iPhone beeps at me: Your period is due today.
I waited until it was bedtime before I pulled out my very last pregnancy test. I didn’t wait until morning for the news that I was a dopey hopeful still. I just took it, like I had many, many times and a few hours before my friend my period showed up. OH, always so impatient am I. I have a big box o’tests for both ovulation and pregnancy why not just use it up and get rid of all of them? It’s hard to have a pregnancy test you’ll never use. One last test. Adios pressure! Adios crushing defeat! Adios worry! Adios! Adios! Adios! My heart cannot house you anymore. Wasn’t I just saying how I’m so over this?
I brought the stick with me to bed to make sure I could read it. The word “not” wasn’t showing up before the word “pregnant.” A baby?
So I sit in shock and total bewilderment. Michael on the other hand sits in total victory. He sits in honor and joy and excitement. A baby. Everything can turn on a dime, change in a minute, rock your world, blow your mind … and it did.
This winter we’ll welcome a baby!
I have books to read, liver to eat, midwives to schedule, rooms to add on the house, gardens to tend, and names to pick out. I’m busy. My life just turned on a dime. I still have a doctorate to complete, a house to run, and a career I like. But I’m having a baby too. The opportunity to do it all over again with wisdom and support is no small blessing.
For my mamas who have struggled with fertility, for those of us who are working to try alternative methods of conception, fostering, adoption, or just watching your neighbors’ babes: You are not alone. None of us should have to do this alone. We shouldn’t have to do the hard stuff, the exhausting stuff, the joyous stuff, or the family stuff alone.
Thanks to Dr. Russell Baum for explaining my liver to me, to Sandrine Love for her Nourishing Our Children materials/support/connection, to my farmer Albert for his amazingly high quality sacred foods, to yoga, to my friends, and my children who are going to make room in their hearts and in our tiny home for another one of us. To my husband, Michael, who is the dreamiest of men, husbands, fathers, and humans. It’s hard to make conscious journeys – physical or spiritual without absolute support of your partner. I’m grateful to make my journeys with him.
About Dawn Moore
Dawn is a 40 year old teacher, doctoral candidate, wife, mother, yogurt maker, chicken wrangler, and comedian on a web show called “Tales from the Coyote Salon.” Her work on this planet is primarily that of advocacy for children who don’t fit into the school system. She spends lots of time in her garden, with her little urban flock of chickens, reading, and generally frolicking with her amazingly high spirited kids. She is an excellent cook, is curious about most all things nutrition related, adores her husband, and is always looking for pretty necklaces. She is extraordinarily lucky, blessed, and happy to be wherever she is.
Note from Sandrine: Dawn has been one of our most passionate and consistent community supporters. I am grateful for her presence, which I experience as a cheerleader extraordinaire. She interviewed me for a radio show in 2012. Take a listen!
19 Responses to Pregnant, at last.
What a wonderful story! Congratulations to Dawn! Based on the experience of my friends and family, I firmly believe that taking away the pressure to conceive by letting go of the idea has everything to do with why Dawn conceived in the end. It took 7 years until I, myself, was conceived. After trying everything under the sun, my parents gave up and started looking into adoption and that’s when I came along. I personally know quite a few families in which the oldest child was adopted and shortly after the mother became pregnant.
Love this story! Thank you for sharing. No pressure is a good thing isn’t it. I was really trying so hard not to feel pressured…. Haha…. But is becoming more of who I am these days about all things. Much better place to live.
I didn’t know that about your conception, Riki! I am still learning something new about you all the time! I am so, so blessed that you were conceived and that you are a beloved friend!
I’d like to know more about the hormonal rebalance — can you describe that process or provide a link for how I might do that? I’m not looking to achieve pregnancy, but know my hormones are totally out of whack after coming off of birth control. Many thanks!
I had one on one work with a very good DOM who specializes in allergies. Isn’t that funny? I would have never thought of it- but offered support when his son was in my classroom. Turns out he got me on right path. If you aren’t going to be in NM anytime soon-I would recommend to first not eat any grains or sugars (thats what did the final trick for me …) And then find a homeopath, a naturopath, or a DOM who can serve you the way you need. Mine was a long journey of information discovery and implementation. I know that Sarah Smith at Nourished and Nurtured can help with a homeopath recommendation. I haven’t told her I was sending people over- so tell her I sent you. http://nourishedandnurtured.blogspot.com/
Good luck! And it is hard to fix stuff we don’t even know about… Be kind to yourself on your journey. I’m in year 7.
Congratulations, Dawn! As someone who struggled with infertility for years, I am always so grateful when women share their stories. It is so easy to forget that we are not alone on this journey! I now have two beautiful boys, thanks to the miracle of IVF, which was a REALLY hard path for me to accept, and then endure. And knowing I just can’t go that route again, we are in the process of adopting a little girl! Life has many unexpected twists and turns, but when we are nourishing our bodies, minds and spirits to the best of our abilities, and then remaining open to the possibilities, the journey will be filled with beauty and blessings. Enjoy yours. :)
Thank you Beth! Isn’t it amazing how we can beat ourselves up for a process? There should never be guilt or shame or secrecy attached to our babies (or our age or our bodies). IVF. Adoption. Fostering. Accepting infertility. Not accepting infertility. It should all be our truth…And ok. And not alone. You’re right. I didn’t realize until I announced this what a secret I was keeping… Wow—It was too hard. I’m so grateful for having the opportunity to share and so grateful for your story (and your truth!) and for everyone else who has shared and is going to share here too!
What did she mean by dr explaining her liver? What’s up with the liver?
My imbalance was largely attributed to my liver and gallbladder. I’m not a drinker so I didn’t ever think to worry/focus/seek to understand its function on a deeper level. It was the beginning of my journey into traditional foods and my body’s detox and now it’s healing.
So what did you do take liver?
My DOM worked on my liver. He designed a detox for me. I also see another acupuncturist who works on my liver/gallbladder. I wish I could say that I just took some liver and that helped. I’ve been down a very intense road and I didn’t go into too much detail about all of my herbs and foods because I don’t want anyone to think they can just take some liver and cure infertility. I don’t drink, I have very little coffee, I sprout fenugreek seeds and eat them constantly for my liver. I use coconut oil in everything. I do oil pulling with coconut oil to detox every morning. I have DOM recommended herbs for my gallbladder (and sometimes I remember to take them). I’m just aware of my own body more than ever before. And I’ve always been aware! I’ve always been able to feel what is going on. My mother raised us on whole foods, very little processed stuff, and taught us to listen to our body’s intuition… And yet after 36 years of being alive I was pretty toxic. It’s quite a slap of reality. I go see an acupuncturist to maintain my blood flow and body systems. I eat liver (in small cubes liquified in bone broth and smoothies) and I take dessicated liver. I started all of this work in 2008. And every time I get the opportunity to read up on the liver, I do. Every time someone posts a blog about it, I read it. When I know better I do better and until then I just keep doing what I do. I cannot emphasize enough that my treatment and my routines are just mine. I don’t recommend them to anyone (although I wouldnt say not to do anything I’m doing- its all good). But I do absolutely recommend that everyone find some kind of professional help: a DOM, an acupuncturist, a homeopath, a naturopath… Someone who sees how your whole body is flowing together… And get some guidance from them. I’m not any “one book for the cure” kinda gal, I need all the info, all the books, and take some independent data collection of my own to work things out. I hope that helps your question April.
Congrats Dawn! DO you live in ABQ by chance – i’ve been wanting to pay a visit to the fishhuggers myself… If you’ve ever up in Santa Fe, look me up at Indigo Baby
I do Alania. And I love me some Fishhuggers! They’re so lovely that family. Talk about good fertility eats. I’ll totally look you up!
Inspiring story. My husband and I struggle with infertility too. We tried 2 years to get pregnant with #2 and found out I have PCOS. We now have tried 3 1/2 years for #3, I turn 39 next month time is running out! Oh well I’ll hope and pray a little longer.
You have plenty of time. My acupuncturist is forever telling me he wished more women with fibroids and PCOS would come see him. I wish you all the love and healing you need for another one.
I just wanted to say I loved your story. It gave me chills. As a first time mom and new to this whole nutrition world, I just want to say your blog is truly inspiring. I can’t wait to read more. :)
I am so happy to announce that Dawn gave birth to a son yesterday! See a photo: http://on.fb.me/1jwvrxl