Trying to Conceive: An Act of Surrender

If you're trying to conceive and you're having difficulties, it can be a bumpy road. If other people know, they might say remarks that can sting your heart worse than a scorpion. If you get your period, you may feel like screaming until your voice gives out. Problems getting pregnant can leave you feeling faulty, or even wonder if a baby's ever going to happen for you. Maybe you thought you'd get pregnant on your first try and are surprised that it's taking so long. You are so not alone!

Baby-making is not a science: A + B = C, penis + uterus = baby...though we are taught that it is. Many times you'll hear after six months you should see a doctor, and after a year, you should be on fertility drugs. Infertility is defined by Wikipedia depending on age and depending on the amount of time you've spent trying. For our purpose, we are talking to any of you who are trying and who hasn't yet conceived. The heart feels many similar feelings, no matter what stage you are currently at, month 6 or month 46.

Life is not so cut and dried, there are lots of choices for you to make. This is an important time to recognize that you are not powerless. Your power comes from the decisions you make, and your acceptance of the situation, in letting go. Because there is an unknown factor involved when you get pregnant, you can choose to do what you are comfortable with and let the universe take care of the rest. Yes sometimes very difficult, but the only other option is to wrestle with the invisible.

Because I'm not the expert on the frustration that you are experiencing, I sought out someone who is. Meet Matt and Brandy, they are a couple who tried for a year and a half before getting pregnant. Some of you may scoff that you've been trying 4 times that amount, and some of you may be frustrated that I spoke with a couple who ended up getting pregnant. I share their story with you so you may share their experience: A couple who felt very alone and unsupported. Knowing others were out there going through these same emotions gave them a greater sense of peace and comfort. And as they pointed out, once they got pregnant, they very quickly went into pregnancy world, even after being so entrenched in infertility world. And I find this deeply encouraging, just as you are now dealing with not knowing, or doubting, you may just as quickly be dealing with morning sickness and preparing for your baby. The one thing constant is change. And so, I share with you Matt and Brandy's honesty with me. You might find you are choosing different things to do, whether you are doing fertility treatments, or keeping it all natural. Maybe you want to try alternative therapies, or not change anything. More than anything to do, I hope from Matt and Brandy that you get a sense of being supported by all the others who have faced this frustration at one time or another. Click here to read their full story, it's an amazing read of our purpose and choosing our journey just as much as it is the frustration of trying to conceive and problems trying to get pregnant. Ashley: In trying to conceive what came up first?

Brandy: We were waiting to get married, and then after we got married we were waiting to…

Matt:…finish grad school. We felt like that would be too busy, and I think there was another excuse for waiting. Like, “oh we don’t want to be living in an apartment.”

Brandy: We did start trying when we were still in the apartment, and it was fun at first. It was like un-chartered territory because we had never, you know you were always trying not to get pregnant. Instead of trying to get pregnant...And then I feel like what happened (in the past) is you’re so scared that you’re going to get pregnant. But then when you start trying you think immediately, well, we’re going to get pregnant (right off). Everybody warns you to be careful. And then when it didn’t happen the first month you’re kinda bummed. But then it’s like, we get to try again! So like for the first, I’d say the first 3-4 months I felt like it was a lot of fun and like that little secret that this is what we’re trying to do.

Ashley: So did you tell people you were trying to conceive? Or did you just go for it?

Brandy: I don’t think we told family or anybody like that. Did I tell you (to Ashley)?

Ashley: I think you did tell me, but I was trying to remember when. I think I remember you telling me you were going to wait until after the wedding, and that was the thing that I remembered.

Brandy: Yeah so, it might have been close friends we told. And then it was one of those things where I felt like it went through: we weren’t getting pregnant. So, I don’t want to tell people because, and this is looking back on it, but in the moment I don’t know that I knew this is what I was feeling. But I felt like a failure.

Ashley: So, for 3-4 months it was fun and then it was starting to worry you.

Brandy: Yeah, probably in month six I think. You know the medical system had these dates, like if it takes you more than this amount of time then you should see somebody. If it takes you more than this much you should go on the drugs. Which is just totally bullshit. And it’s the same thing for when you’re pregnant and people say if you’re pregnant you have a different path. Which is complete bullshit. Because it’s completely arbitrary. You know, I tell, when I meet pregnant women or women who are trying to get pregnant and they say you know “I am 35 or whatever.” I say people age differently. You’re going to find a 35 year old who looks like she’s 25 and you’re going to find a 35 who looks like she’s 45. Her eggs probably age the same as looks. So, you have to think of that. So, I kind of felt like…I started immediately feeling like a failure... I think the other part is that people have this thing where a lot of people want to help you. So if you are somebody who hasn’t been through this and say oh my gosh, I’m having this hard time and I feel like a failure, they just want to help you so they say things like: “I hear if you don’t stress about it, it’ll happen faster.” And things like that that are making you crazy.

Matt: Yes! So many of “old wives tales” of what’s going to help and it’s just about control. Ultimately that’s what we learned through that process. That we were trying to control something that is uncontrollable. And all the pieces like the fertility drugs, or concentrating on being positive, whether it’s different sexual positions…whatever it is that people are telling you on how to make a baby is just controlling. And we just have to let it go.

Brandy: We don’t have control. And the other thing that people don’t realize is that people are putting it in our hands. So people are saying “don’t stress about it” or “try this position” all of a sudden it’s about what we need to be doing to change it. It’s not: it’s out of your hands. You know if somebody had said, which maybe somebody did, but I’m not sure if I could hear them. You know, “it’s not up to you”, so take away all the pressure you have on yourself about if you’re in the right position, about doing every perfect little thing, take all that away and just let go because it will happen. I feel like that’s what someone in this position needs to hear rather than all these other BS things that make them feel like they are just doing something wrong.

Matt: There’s a stigma involved with it too and it’s like people don’t know what to say. They care about you, hopefully, and they tell you something that they think is helpful, but most of the time it’s not. They just try, they want to fix it and it’s not fixable. And that also assumes that something is broken, which is not true either. And that’s, I think the part for me that was difficult for people to understand. You know...it’s a fear. And it takes you to that place, we’re broken, we’re broken! How do we fix this? And you know that’s not the debate! The debate is about timing and it’s about a greater timeline and it’s not, it’s like we’re trying to activate it.

Brandy: It’s not a science and people make it out to be. You know sperm meets egg and then baby. But as we all know, clearly that’s not the case. And people are also not aware of, or willing to admit that we don’t know how birth happens. Yes there is something else why some take and why some don’t. But we don’t directly know why.

Ashley: So, was this a process of: okay, you started out and you thought "we’ll just get pregnant", and then so you’re not getting pregnant what were you first thinking? Oh “we’ll try some alternatives, fertility alternatives” or were you right away “no we want it to happen naturally.” What were you thinking?

Matt: We did have a moment where we were like not going to do fertility, but we were going to get tested.

Brandy: Yes, lets get tested.

Matt: Yeah. Maybe we are broken.

Ashley: So, did you go through with that?

Matt: No. Very close.

Brandy: There were times when we were just not sure about what we wanted to do. And then, bottom line, we kept going back to, it just doesn’t feel right. We even made an appointment for you. Remember we called and made an appointment and then I called and cancelled it because we thought this is not how it’s supposed to be for us, for us to have a baby…it’s not about medicine being involved. And I know, he’s such a healthy guy, I know there’s nothing wrong with him. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with me. You know, I don’t want to be in this position, and it shouldn’t be like this.

Brandy: I think the biggest lesson that I learned out of it was surrender. So it was like, for those of us who like to be in control of their lives, it was an amazing lesson. I went from, it was around month 5-6 I was starting to think there’s a book out there Taking Charge of Your Fertility, and it’s the book for everyone trying to get pregnant goes and gets. And it talks about charting your temperatures and certain things, so I’m thinking, okay, I’ll chart my temperatures and then I’ll get a better handle. It was just, when I look back on it, it was just me totally trying to control the situation. So, I think I did that for about 3 months. And it was to make sure I ovulated, and I knew I was ovulating because I knew about cervical fluid and all these things. So, it was kind of pointless when you’re trying. So, anyway, month 3-4 of doing that, I got so upset, because I realized I can chart every month, but it doesn’t change if I’m pregnant or not! It’s just these statistics. That mean nothing.

Matt: Right.

Brandy: And so I realized I was trying to control this. And that was my first “you need to step back”. So, I was like, I’m not going to think about this, which is the impossible part is when your period is supposed to come. The week before and you’re wondering. “Is it coming, is it not coming?” That’s the hardest part. I could not get it out of my brain. So then after that happened I definitely didn’t want to do any fertility drugs. But then I said, “I can be the healthiest I can be.” That’s a good step, that’s how I can start doing this better. Which was another way of saying control. So here’s my second attempt at control. And I’d already learned I shouldn’t try to control it. But I thought: acupuncture! That’s the most natural thing that’s healthy for you anyway! So I started going to acupuncture and for maybe 2 months I did this. And I was just at one of my sessions one time and I broke down so emotionally and I realized, yet again. “This is just my form of controlling.” No, it’s not fertility drugs, and no it’s not charting. But that’s really when I learned that this should really not be put on me. It’s not about am I healthy enough. I know I’m healthy. I know my minds in a good place. I’m ready and so that’s where I stopped doing the acupuncture because I just don’t want to get my hopes up that this should make this happen. So after the acupuncture is when I felt like I got more of a zen attitude about it. But I also know it’s pretty hard to have a zen attitude for certain parts of the month. For the first half of the month, where I’m ovulating, it was totally great. You know, we’re know we’re not pregnant, so it’s fun again! You know, I wonder if this’ll be the month! Then after I ovulated, then that time is okay, but then the two weeks leading up to the period, the “am I or am I not”.

Ashley: I remember you feeling like you were having every symptom and then being frustrated that you weren’t (pregnant).

Brandy: Yep, every month when I really think about it, to do that, we tried for a year and a half, and to do that for 18 months straight is like to get beat down 18 months in a row. And to be picking ourselves back up and trying to be in a good place. That was what was really, really tough.

Matt: I feel like for me I totally agree with all that, but I think in some weird way, it’s a culture of immediacy. We want everything right now. You think, whatever you think is the appropriate time for it to be there in your life. To have to face that we couldn’t have something we wanted was great. I mean it was terrible at the time, but it was really…we refer to that all the time. We still use that lesson in so many things. Like with some greater goals we are going after.

Brandy: Yeah, we’ll say “do you remember when we were trying to get pregnant.”

Brandy: It’s so easy to say now that we have a baby. I met people who were trying for 6 years and 10 years. So, you know it really was when we got pregnant that within about a month all this stuff about trying to conceive really fell away. And it was such a weird feeling to be so in that mode and get those people who were going through it with me, and then to change modes so quickly. And then the minute we got pregnant to enter the pregnancy world. It’s like a great feeling because you don’t have that burden and that weight anymore. But it also is kind of crazy how all of a sudden you just change like that.

Matt: And feel comfortable about it and feel like that was “oh I’m glad to have gone through it”. It’s only because we went through and achieved it! And it’s almost not fair.

Ashley: So, did you ever talk about adopting or any other options?

Matt: Not really. We probably would have at some point, but I don’t know. I don’t know what we, we tried to stay so far away from you know, what’s the next step. I don’t even think it was denial, but we were so entrenched in our belief that we were okay and that this was going to be the right path for us.

Brandy: You know we didn’t want to do any fertility drugs, but you know I always said, but you know check with me in six months, because I can understand that…

Matt: …you get to a point.

Brandy: That I can just crack... I feel like the hardest stretch was around a year. Six months to a year. That was the hardest part because we were just reaching a year and that’s when the medical profession says if you’re not yet pregnant you should take fertility drugs. Once we got past that and we decided we weren’t going to do it, it was a little bit easier to tell people we weren’t going to do it.

Matt: I think that’s what it is, this whole journey brought out in us and why it makes sense to us. It became about what is our destiny and what is the life we are making for ourselves. Because that is, that’s the philosophy that we derive our being from in our lives. We’ve realized that, so for us it became this very philosophical journey of what is our… and we started with there are multiple roads we could be on, we could take the longer road and stay natural because this is what we want, but there’s probably a million other roads we could take that would get us to a child but maybe not, well, it would take us off on a tangent a little bit, but we’d have a child! But it would be a different being, a whole world of difference. And those were the things we were thinking about ever day! It was so strange.

Brandy: And something else that I found really interesting was I think our friend and she had this thing, she was talking to her mom about it and her mom had, well, it was about 35 years ago that her mom was having babies and she said something like “oh, I can’t believe people are even getting freaked after not being pregnant in a year. When we were trying to get pregnant it could take years, but nobody would think anything of it.” You know back in the times before there were all these tests and this medicine and stuff, that’s just what everybody knew. Sometimes it takes people longer. His grandma had her son and then when she had Matt’s mom it took her 6 years to get pregnant. And she’s like 91 now. So I asked her one time, “how did you feel about that?” and she said oh, it wasn’t tough because we didn’t expect it, it wasn’t about maybe we were sick or something like that. She looked at me like I was nuts! And the lady down the street it took 9 years. And the lady there it took 4 years. The lady over there it took a day. And I don’t think that it was like they were all placing it in the universe’s hands or anything, it was just the way life was.

Matt: Right, it’s the way life was in the culture.

Brandy: That’s how it’s been since the beginning of time. Really, our society has totally effed up so many things that were just natural. Technology has just made things so much tougher than they really need to be.

Brandy: Like being able to have an instant gratification. You know, I think it’s changed a lot how society deals with trying to get pregnant. And I think that’s where a lot of support for women is completely gone. You know people have good intentions, but people who love you want to fix what’s making you upset. And they don’t realize that we need to go through these bigger things.

Matt: To go through pain and sometimes, you know for us it’s what’s worked for us. And you know to each their own. Everyone has to go through birth in a different way. And for us it was a greater metaphor. That’s why we ended up choosing a home birth too, because there’s such a desire in our culture to cover up pain. To just not actually go through any pain, ever. Just don’t go through it and just skip all that and get to the place that you want to get to already. And that was really…you may get hurt and you may fall on your face, but that’s important, at least for us. And that’s what we discovered.

Brandy: And it made it that much more rewarding!

Matt: Exactly.

Brandy: And when we finally did get pregnant we were so stoked! Yeah! And I was so sick! And I felt complete guilt for going “why am I pregnant! I feel like crap!”

Matt: Yeah!

Brandy: I felt so guilty. I had just wanted something for a year and a half, and then I got it and it was like…

Matt: It was so overwhelming.

Brandy: Yeah, I was on the phone with my mom and telling her how sick I was and she’s like, “well your dad said, “well that’s what you wanted.” And I was like, “thanks!”That wasn’t exactly the part I wanted!

Matt: Picking up and talking about grandma, it seemed like a lot of the choices we were making were from a different time. Like we were making choices like people made 60-70-80 years ago, when my grandma was having children and even before that in some ways because she was still plugged into the hospital generation of birthing. We just kept on finding so much wisdom in doing things in this more traditional or old-fashioned way. Whatever you want to call it, natural…

Brandy: I think it’s funny when we’re at family parties and people are talking about birth, that I have more in common with the 90 year old. Those are the people I can really relate to, because anyone in the hospital culture and that whole thing, we have totally different experiences. So, it’s sad to me that in 10 years that culture will be almost gone. Cause those are my peeps! They understand what it was like to feel all that.

Ashley: Besides the 90 year old women, who else helped as far as helping you find your way?

Matt: Each other.

Brandy: Definitely each other. If I had known about mothering.com, I didn’t know about it at the time when I was trying to get pregnant, but they have message boards, or posting boards and I would have been all over it because it’s natural-minded. I was on some boards on like a site called babcenter.com, but it was all very um, just like people who were on fertility drugs and having in-vitro. There was a ton of that so I could sympathize and bond with them over what it’s like to feel like your pregnant and not, but I had there, were it wasn’t exactly what I wanted. And so that’s the reason, I compiled that book together. Because I needed to, I felt like: this is a topic that nobody talks about, rightfully so. I mean you don’t really go up to strangers and say “you know, my cervical fluid is more...you know.” And it’s really, you know admitting to people that you’re going through this is like admitting that maybe there’s something wrong with you. And you know, that feels pretty crappy. So, online felt the most supportive because you are this anonymous face and everyone is just open. And so, that’s why when I made up that questionnaire of 100 questions, I just wanted to know if other people were feeling these crazy things that I am, about everything. Like what do they think about doing the fertility drugs, and what crazy stuff they had done. I just wanted to bond on that kind of level. I would have loved to have had a friend in my life who was going through the same thing, even though I wouldn’t want them to go through it. But I was just like so yearning for somebody to share that with. So, that was at least nice. Getting the questionnaires back and reading them was like Christmas morning. It was just like, I remember laying next to him reading them at night and I would be going, can you believe these people feel the same way…listen to this! I don’t know about you, but for me it made everything, I felt so wonderful to be helping other women because, if you sent me yours, I didn’t want them to think I was some pervert, so if they trusted me then they’d send me their stuff and then what I did was when everyone was done, I sent everyone’s to everyone. So we all got like a big batch. So, it was like, it was a great thing to go through. In terms of like helping other people and bonding all of us and just hearing the stories. That was really uplifting, because there is just not much out there. In terms of all the books that are out there are like “How to Get Pregnant” basically saying you’re the problem.

Matt: You’re wrong.

Brandy: Exactly. There’s nothing as far as when I was trying to get pregnant, maybe there are now, but nothing about how, not a book about telling you how to cope with being in the fertility section. Even when you’d wonder over to that section…it’s just like huh! I don’t want to be doing this.

Ashley: How do you think your experiences differed from each other?

Brandy: I know I felt like he couldn’t understand what it was like what it was for me to be feeling these things. And not that, he was awesome in everything, so awesome and so supportive, so helpful. But it’s like at the end of the day, I’m the one who’s in the body that might be pregnant. So, all the little things…like every time I went to the bathroom in those two weeks after ovulation I was always looking at the toilet paper. Was I spotting? Was there fluid? And so this was every time I was going to the bathroom. So, it would be on my mind 5-6 times a day! So, he wasn’t going through that so I of course felt like the more neurotic one and because I was thinking about it a lot more.

Matt: I think it was a mix; I had the reactions that Brandy had, a lot of the same feelings, but with a heavier weight on your shoulders than mine. I definitely got the “oh my god, what if there’s something wrong with me. What if I have testicular cancer and I don’t know about it? Or what if I have some sort of disease that’s making it impossible. What if I did something to myself in college? What if?” It just brought up these weird fears that were just totally not grounded. That made me feel like, oh man, I’ve done something terrible and there is something wrong with me. There was definitely that, but I would also have to say that the positive side, it was so, and it’s not even just looking back on it, it was so much fun that we had! During that time, we were having so much sex! And it was really, really fun. And especially looking back on it that was like our last glimpse, the last…

Brandy:…the last moments he ever had!

Matt: Well, yes of course. The last just the two of us having fun together.

Matt: Yeah. Before we were parents, before we crossed over that threshold. So, basically I think part of that was really, really great. Just positive too, and sharing what a heavy burden it was to both of us. And because there was a big shift, the first half of the month was a real upper, and then it eventually got reduced where the sadness part would be like a day. There was like a morning…

Brandy:… yeah, when my period would come I would get in the path and I would have a beer. I wouldn’t take a bath after I’d ovulated, which later after I was pregnant I found out, yes you could. But I like my baths really hot so, it was like I’d do that and have a big beer.

Ashley: What I think is so beautiful is you finding out of that, you wrote a book(it's not yet published, but I'll keep you updated). Tell me a little about that.

Brandy: I feel like I’ve told you a lot of the good stuff. But I still feel like there needs to be a book out there that’s for women that just like, one of those books that you read that you go, oh my gosh these people are going through the same thing that I’m going through. To read a book about how to get out of it, I don’t need that. I just wanted to talk with other women, I really wanted to just go to a coffee shop with another woman going through this. I didn’t care who she was, where she was, not anything about her. I wasn’t judging where she was from or what her age was, I just wanted to you know, talk about how this feels. And I feel like that was lacking.

Matt: Interestingly I think, it’s funny how that vanished. Your longing and your desire to have that book out there still exists, but it’s amazing that once pregnancy happened you cannot claim that group.

Brandy: I kind of felt weird because I felt I’d got out of it.

Matt: Right, it’s a very sudden shift, like you’re not even aloud. You shouldn’t even be allowed, like you couldn’t feel it anymore.

Ashley: If a couple was sitting here and they were trying what would you like to share with them?

Brandy: I want the answer to be nothing. But in terms of advice, I want it to be nothing because they are getting it from everywhere. But really…

Matt: I don’t know.

Brandy: Because everyone is so different.

Matt: I’d almost just want to have some zen answer about the journey, I don’t know, because it’s all so cliché and it probably wouldn’t offer anything. It’s like speaking two different languages. I’m not sure there’s anything that we could say to a couple trying. Because that pain and that frustration, we are fortunate enough not to have to live with that anymore, so it’s almost offensive.

Brandy: I feel like our advice would be just listening...Acknowledging what they’re feeling. You know you can suggest books for people to read and everything, there was a book that I read that I thought was really great called oh man, I can’t remember the name (The Infertility Cure), but it was about traditional Chinese medicine and trying to get pregnant. There is a woman who works out of Arizona or New Mexico and she does traditional Chinese medicine for people with “Infertility” and in her book she actually says she hates the word infertility because it makes it sound like you can’t ever get pregnant so she calls it “sub-fertility”. So it’s that kind of take on it, and so I immediately loved her. She talked about it in a really helpful way. That book was helpful and it talked about pressure points you can do and again it’s again controlling and feeling like you are doing something.

Matt: What’s actually positive that I think we could offer is find a couple of other couples who are going through it and share your story to them and communicate with them. If anything it offers comfort that there are a community of people out there that are struggling with this and that it’s not just you and you’re not broken and there are so many variables and so many things. That maybe just hearing other perspectives can offer some sort of comfort or something. Because that was useful, even reading those interviews from your book were the most helpful. And it didn’t offer anything other than oh great, all these other people out there… we’re not alone. And that was nice to know.

Brandy: That’s the other thing with this, what if I never have kids? Nobody wants to go there.

Ashley: So, what did you do with that thought?

Brandy: Drank it away in a hot bath! I don’t know, that’s all tied into feeling broken. And I think that’s the most focused part of feeling broken was will we ever be able to have kids? What if we can’t. I think that was like the ultimate fear. A big nugget of fear.

Matt: And the more you fixated on that, the worse you felt. So, you just kind of distanced yourself from that. That was really at the base of it. Every day you are dealing with that and you just have to I don’t know, be able to get away from that.

Brandy: And I always envisioned us having kids. I think, trying to focus on that. And then there were so many times when I felt like how can we not have kids! We want kids so badly, we’re, we’d be so fun. And so in a sense that’s no good, because it means the universe would look at it like some people are more deserving and some people aren’t and that feels kind of gross. Because there are some people who can’t get pregnant

Matt: …and it’s not that they don’t deserve it. That’s true. But you know I think we also, we believe in this universe and this destiny and psychics and all these things that in some way gave us this ability to deal with this in a different way. In some way to help us with those fear questions, you know we would visit them and they would tell us wonderful little bits of information that would help us feel like, like we saw Amankeda and so many to help us make the decisions in our life. And for us that helps us.

Brandy: You know we saw Tim, you know Tim, and to have him tell you, oh there’s a soul waiting for you or you guys are going to be parents.

Matt: For us that was huge! So then it was easier to let go of that fear. Because we believe that is real, there is something tangible to that. So, I remember for me in times of me feeling really afraid I would always use that as a crutch. I would go, “well, I mean Amankeda is awesome and she’s really great at this and she said XX and she wouldn’t say that if it weren’t true.” So, that was a big crutch. It helped me keep the faith.

Ashley: With things that you experienced when trying, were there a lot of wake up calls, just the physical difference, in trying and not trying?

Brandy: It was funny. I would lay down and maybe in that 6 month -1 year period when it was harder, like I would put my butt up on the pillow for 3 minutes or so. So, yeah because if you have a tilted uterus, or just giving it a little help. What else would we do physically?Trying to conceive one of the things that were funny is we’d be so tired and I’d go. “I’m ovulating, we have to and he’d be like okay”. And for him to ever be at a point where it was ever ahh…it was just like we were doing it so much! And to make yourself be in the mood. For me it was tough, I felt like it was easier because I knew what the end result was, so there was something more sexy about that because we were trying to make a person.

Ashley: What about positions for the sex of the baby?

Brandy: There were some times when I’d feel like, I should be on bottom so it wasn’t leaking as much. Oh but never for gender, but there were plenty of times when I would be not too focused, but I’d be heady the whole time. I’d be cheering on the little guys. You know “go, go, go!” Definitely times like that.

Ashley: As far as alternative therapies, you started the acupuncture but you didn’t stay with it…

Matt: Did you do some chiropractor, or was that just after?

Brandy: I did do some chiropractor. Yep. I started and then I stopped because it was so pricey. But that’s the thing in all of this, I was taking herbs through the acupuncture. I was taking these terrible herbs that you actually make into a tea that was so nasty.

Matt: What about alternative healings? Did you have any from Amankeda? Or energy work?

Brandy: Yeah, I felt like Mary did one one time. Yeah, I don’t remember.

Ashley: I think I remember Amankeda doing one, but maybe that was just a reading.

Brandy: I sort of do too.

Matt: Me too. Like there was a really strong reaction.

Brandy: Yeah, she did. She was cleaning out my fallopian tubes and I think she said some old energy from the pill. I was on that for like 10 years.

Matt: Which was another of our concerns because 10 years is a long time.

Ashley: And y’all stopped the pill just right before you started right?

Brandy: Yeah, like a month.

Matt: I still wonder, and I think we both wonder like how much that may have affected it.

Brandy: Yeah, I wonder if I’ll ever use the pill again. Because I just feel so funny about it now that it tricks your brain into thinking it’s pregnant all the time.

Matt: And after 10 years of that there has to be a residual affect.

Brandy: Yeah, somehow.

Ashley: And so when you were going to alternative therapies, you were still not thinking we’ll go so many more months and then we’ll do a certain therapy.

Matt: Wait didn’t we do some fertility aide. FertilAid. Yeah.

Brandy: Yeah that was something all-natural we did do. That was something else I wanted to say, because when we were trying to have him tested or not, the reason we decided not to is because we didn’t want to spend the money, I think it was about $100, but the thing was if it did come back there was something, how would it change what we were doing?

Matt: We wouldn’t.

Brandy: So, we just felt let’s do the things we would do, like the supplements and I think you quit putting the computer in your lap.

Matt: Yes and I’d wear like shorts more, and I wouldn’t put my cell phone in my pockets. Little things like that. Wasn’t there something like caffeine, like I should drink it or I shouldn’t drink it.

Ashley: Yeah, I think it’s a man can and a woman shouldn’t.

Matt: Right, so I think I was drinking more coffee.

Brandy: Which is hilarious because how many people, how many women who’ve downed coffee are pregnant. And how many people who are super-stressed out. In one of the interviews, in every one of them the stress thing was a trigger for her. And it’s so frustrating: Don’t be stressed. And in trying not to be stressed, you’re stressed.

Ashley: Did you change any eating habits? Or fitness?

Brandy: You didn’t change anything, but the supplements.

Matt: Exactly, because I was already really athletic and eating good. More coffee and herbal supplements. And then I was already a vegetarian at that point and there’s a lot of stuff that you would eat with me.

Brandy: Yeah, I think I stopped drinking um, I wasn’t a big soda drinker, but I think I drank sprite and starting then I stopped drinking any caffeine. And then any time after I ovulated if there were wine or beer, I would never have it. Exercise, I remember there being a point where I was like, you know if I could just go to yoga more often, if I could just make the healthiest home for a baby, then a baby will come. Which was totally pointless. Which in the bigger sense of things, it wasn’t pointless you know, yoga is good for you for everything else. But is it going to make me have a baby, maybe not. So, do I want to put that pressure on myself, probably not. And I know that I would never do any ab work after I ovulated, because I didn’t want to hurt an impending fetus. And that is what was tough too. Because like Matt said, it felt like every month was a roller coaster, because I felt like every month I was a part of a group that I didn’t know if I could be a part of. First part of the month I was a girl trying to conceive. Second part of the month I was, I might be pregnant. So I was constantly feeling I could be in this group, but I couldn’t be in this group. So that part was really tough. And not knowing. And I felt like nobody else around me really understood even though I was thinking about it quite a lot...

Ashley: Your biggest doubt or most prevalent thought in your head, would you say it came down to what if it never happens? Or would you say it’s, what would you say?

Brandy: It wasn’t most often what if we can’t ever, but that’s really what, that’s the core. But I think what I was mostly feeling was I guess, what if I have to use fertility drugs. I think was more, you know, what if we have to go to plan B. Which is like the path that we don’t want to go.

Matt: Yeah.

Brandy: And I don’t think I ever said that. But I think looking back on it that’s where I was scared to go.

Matt: That’s probably true for me too. Although I think “What if it never happens?” definitely, that was definitely real question I was afraid of too. Both of them were probably equal strong to me.

Brandy: I thought, you know if we do fertility drugs it’ll probably happen.

Matt: Yeah, I don’t think we ever really got to the point, you know for the most part we believed that it would happen, at some point. So, we never really lost like total hope, I mean at moments we did, but I think the most consistent question was, “how much will we have to compromise ourselves to make this happen?”

Brandy: Exactly and we were re-evaluating every 6 months it felt like. I remember at a year and a half everybody would ask after a year, are you guys going to take fertility drugs? It’s like everybody knew, even that people that never tried to get pregnant knew about fertility drugs. So, it was after that point I said, “oh no, we’re not into that, but check back with me in six months” I always left the door open. I understood why people did it and I understood those feelings. I wasn’t there yet, but I knew that that could happen.

Ashley: What are you most grateful for from this experience?

Matt: Getting pregnant!

Brandy: I think it was just the lesson about the surrender and control. You know for those of us who are self-motivated and want to go out and do things in our own life. You know, when you’ve done what you can and it’s still isn’t working, it’s being at peace.

Ashley: Well, that’s it. Thank you.

Brandy: Thank you that was cool.

Matt: Yeah, that was good.