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Infertility Triumph: Another Family's Success

Infertility Triumph: Another Family's Success

My book, Conceiving Healthy Babies, just turned 5! I’ve been thinking about how I might celebrate this milestone, until last night it hit me! I’ve never found a good format to share all the beautiful letters and pictures that readers send to me when the book helped them with infertility. Today I was graciously given permission to share one of my favorites. Writing the book was so personal, I felt strongly that everything Carson and I went through was meant to be shared… meant to help others. So many of you have shared in person or by email that you benefited in some way and it has meant everything to us. When you struggle at conceiving, staying pregnant or nursing you can often feel alone and hopeless. We wanted Conceiving Healthy Babies to stand against that feeling.

To celebrate properly we would love to hear from you!

  • Do you have a picture of a baby that we helped you conceive, or breastfeed?
  • How about a story about how your pregnancy or labor was supported?
  • You can add so much to the life of someone else who is struggling by adding your story to ours!

Send us your pictures and infertility stories here in our comments or on our social media sites, tell us how we helped along the way and feel free to share the other resources that came into the picture as well like this mom.

A Personal Story

Dear Dawn,

You and I took a picture together in September at the Pennsylvania Mother Earth News Fair.  I was excited to tell you that I was 10 weeks pregnant after 5 years of recurrent pregnancy loss.  The changes came after a conversation you and I had in 2014 or 2015 where you set me on my journey where my husband and I were able to find help.

I attended your seminar on the thyroid where you mentioned your book Conceiving Healthy Babies and briefly mentioned that you had some issues with conception.  Conception had not been our issue, but I was interested in getting my hands on anything that could help.  I found you at your booth where you asked me questions about my body that astounded me.  You told me to describe my cycle to you, and I told you about the tension in my neck right before my period would start and the way I had a sort of headache that felt like my eyes were being pulled back.  You asked if anyone had ever told me that my uterus was tilted.  I was so impressed – only every doctor who had ever looked at me!  You also asked if I had any brown as part of my period and told me that it wasn’t normal.  I couldn’t believe I was over 30 years old and didn’t know that brown wasn’t a normal part of a period.  (And I can’t think of a woman I’ve talked to since then who knew that either!)

The resources you gave me included Mercier or Arvigo therapy, and yoni steaming.  I found a wonderful Arvigo massage therapist, Valerie Dunlevy, an hour and a half away, and I started seeing her and doing the steaming at home.  At my first Arvigo massage, Valerie was massaging my feet to fill up the hour I had paid for.  The whole time she had told me to let her know if anything was uncomfortable or if she needed to back off on the pressure.  She never needed to – until she tried to touch a spot on my left foot that was so tender I couldn’t even let her touch it.  She told me that it is the pressure point for the uterus – on the foot the same side as my uterus was tilted towards!  After a month of self-care at home, I had her recheck the pressure point at my next massage, and there was no pain.  I was blown away.

I also noticed a difference right away with the sore neck and headache as part of my period, and within a few months, there was no brown at the beginning or end of my period, shortening it by days on either end!

After complaining to Valerie about how hard it is to break into the natural scene of help in West Virginia – naturopaths are not licensed to practice in our state – she sent me a list of email addresses of everyone who had taken the Arvigo training with her to see if any of them could point me in the right direction.  I emailed each of them individually, and one of them was a massage therapist at the Tummy Temple in Seattle, Washington.  Part of the practice at the Tummy Temple included Dr. Lila DiFlorio, who is a naturopath specializing in fertility.  I was so happy when I found out that she existed in this world!  The initial consultation rates were very high, so I had to take some time to decide whether to proceed.  But we had already been to THE fertility clinic in WV, and had seen THE fertility doctor in the state – who basically said there was nothing about my anatomy that he could surgically fix, wished us luck, and sent us on our way.

So we jumped in with Dr. Lila.  I was amazed to find out that digestion means so much more than having regular bowel movements, and that my liver has a full time job without processing all of the sugary junk I threw at it.  I didn’t realize how much sugar I was actually consuming until we did a 15 day fertility detox where we couldn’t have any….eye yi yi.  I loved her balanced approach to taking blood work and prescribing supplements and dietary changes after getting the results.  I believe in biology, but I also believe in herbs and food, so it was easy to buy into the approach.  After a year of working with her where both my husband and I made several changes, we conceived, and I felt very hopeful!

But the baby had implanted in my tube.  After methotrexate failed to clear my tube, I had the tube removed.  It was so far damaged that it wasn’t really considered a loss.

We had a follow up appointment with the doctor who had done the surgery, and I was somehow hopeful that he would have some answers as to how to proceed toward a healthy pregnancy.  He did have answers, but not at all like I was expecting.  He said that because of my age (34 at the time), my remaining tube was likely as degenerated as the tube he removed, so our best bet was to give him $15,000-$20,000 so he could make us a baby in a test tube and do IVF.  I was so angry when we left there.  In 5 years, the best fertility clinic in the state could only offer us surgery and pharmaceuticals.  They actually know nothing about female and fertility health!

I did another detox to get the methotrexate out of my system; we waited a few months, and tried again.  As I sit here typing, I’m feeling our son move inside of me!  I am now 25 weeks pregnant, and everything is going perfectly.  It took until a few weeks after the 19-week anatomy scan until my brain was in a good place, but I am planning to work on a baby registry today with my mom when my parents get in to celebrate Christmas with us.  I could never imagine getting to the place where I could let myself do this!

I just had another conversation with a woman on Sunday who had one miscarriage and was trying to decide how to proceed.  She asked how I found my naturopath, and I always start with, I met a lady named Dawn at the Mother Earth News Fair….

My family and I are so incredibly thankful for the way you and your husband have shared your journey in your book, and with us directly.  You have impacted and changed our lives in a way that no one else we could find was able to help.  Thank you for your generosity in sharing your story.  Please feel free to share as much or as little of our story wherever you feel it fits.

I’ll send you a family picture in April when our son is here!

All the best,


Leah wrote to me again in April to share the news that her baby boy had been born, was a healthy 7 lbs. 14 oz. and 21 inches long. He was nursing well and they were feeling blessed.

She shared the links to all the women mentioned in her original letter with one addition:

"Once this pregnancy was satisfactorily established, Dr. Lilla passed us off to Dr. Molly Jarchow for prenatal Skype care.  It was lovely to be able to have a natural perspective throughout prenatal care since it was the naturopathic care that got us to this point in the first place."

Just Like Us

Like my husband and I, Leah and her husband traveled a LOT of road to get to their successful destination. Her closing to the letter was a wish that I share all of the folks who had helped her along the way so that “all of [their] time and research” could “help keep other couples from wasting time on expensive physicians and treatments that don’t work.”

This letter had become buried in my email for a year or more. I don’t know why… every time I read it it feels like I just won the biggest prize ever offered in any giveaway ever.

Happy Birthday Conceiving Healthy Babies… what will we do together in the next 5 years?

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