Hey ya’ll! Michele here – I am so excited to be welcoming a little moon child (my first!!) to the Quarter Moon squad in June 2020!
My Conception Journey & The Woman-Owned Brands That Supported Me
As a handful of you may already know, my conception journey wasn’t entirely rainbows and butterflies. I am fortunate that it was a shorter process than some folks who bravely walk that path for years upon years, often filled with heartbreak and some never getting the result they hope for – but, it was one of the most brutally challenging times in my life, and I feel inclined to share about the woman-owned businesses that helped me along the way and made the journey a little easier.
My first month off of birth control – I didn’t ovulate. I didn’t even really recognize that that could be an option – partially because I was naive but also partially because society had me believing that I could fall pregnant at any given moment if a penis looked at me the wrong way. Turns out, it’s a bit more complicated than that, and the first step is that your body has to actually release an egg to be fertilized or you’re shit out of luck from the get-go, even if you do everything else right. Mind blown (but also not, because…. duh).
Upon the realization that my ovaries failed their one and only job, an admittedly hard pill to swallow, my anxiety kicked in and my anxious googling began. Would I EVER ovulate?! Is this a lost cause?! Who knows. Down the rabbit hole of holistic remedies, rituals, and literally everything you can imagine about how to get your body to ovulate – including one suggestion of slathering your body in castor oil, wrapping yourself in plastic wrap and covering it with heat packs…. oh yeah, Dr. Google is WILD.
Speaking of pills to swallow, this is when I stumbled upon Pink Stork. I reached out and told them what was up (they have TOP NOTCH customer service like you wouldn’t believe – seriously!) and within a few days I had everything I needed in hand, including the Total Fertility supplement, Fertility sweets, and Fertility tea. I used the sweets and the tea here and there, but really made it a point to make the supplement a part of my daily routine. This was especially tough because I wasn’t someone who took pills often, especially not the big mamas. So, through a lot of gag-reflex-fails, I eventually successfully taught myself the art of adult pill taking.
Over the next few weeks, I really focused my energy on self care, including buying myself a massage package from Sarapeutic Massage & Wellness in Doylestown, PA. I explained to Sara that I was trying to get in tune with my body and get the baby train in motion. She was an angel and really helped me release a lot of pent up stress I was carrying around.
Well folks, a month went by, many a pill gagged on, and I was completely shocked to discover I was pregnant. Just like that, from not even ovulating one month, to pregnant the next. Needless to say, I felt like some sort of hero who cracked the code (I’m certainly not, let’s clarify that once and for all), and my husband and I were so excited to start our new adventure as a family of 3.
Only a few short weeks later, our biggest fears were realized – everything we were so excited for was gone, and I was left feeling a sense of defeat that I didn’t have the words to explain. I felt betrayed to my core, by my own body. Trapped in a shell of my own betrayal – literally. I never in my life felt so out of tune with myself. It was a long, quiet, physically and mentally violent experience that I would never wish upon anyone.
It took roughly 20 days from the time the end was confirmed, until the process was completely finished. Practically a month of living in a weird, cloudy purgatory. Coming out on the other side, I tried to muster the strength to feel hopeful, but lacked the confidence to really believe in my own hope. The healthcare professionals I dealt with throughout the process were so accustomed to this series of events, that it really hardened them to being able to support me in the way in which I needed. I had one doctor who fortunately was kind enough to let me come in to be seen (that’s correct – I had to beg to be seen because they didn’t even want to have me come in to be examined throughout this process), and she was willing to let me get some bloodwork done to rule out a few of the underlying hormonal issues that could’ve led to the loss. Insurance later billed me for this visit, as it was deemed “unnecessary” in their eyes. Thanks for that, America.
With the lack of support from my healthcare providers overall, I knew that if I kept on this path, it would be up to me to do the research and figure out what I needed. Months continued to pass, and back to Dr. Google I went. My anxiety lends itself to obsessive behavior, especially behaviors that make me feel more in control of my situation, such as research. When I tell you I read EVERYTHING, I mean….. I read everyyyyythingggg. Some people insisted the key to fertility is to eat a pineapple core after you ovulate, and wear big fuzzy socks until the egg has implanted in your uterus (couldn’t even make this stuff up if I tried, folks).
Through all of this research, I learned a lot about hormones like progesterone, that could potentially be the culprit in spontaneous early losses, or lack of ability to conceive – both of which I was experiencing/had experienced at this point. I quickly realized that although my progesterone had been checked during the blood draw following my miscarriage, it wasn’t checked post-ovulation, which is the time when it actually matters! I called my doctor’s office and requested to be retested, and was met with the response – “just wait a few more months and if you’re really concerned, you can opt to see a specialist.” Essentially…. “stop calling us, crazy lady.”
I cried. I cried A LOT. That solution wasn’t going to fly – not only do I financially not have the means to see a specialist, but it was something as simple as administering a quick blood draw at the right time in my cycle… IT WAS SIMPLE. I felt completely disregarded. After wallowing in my own self pity, eating a full bag of cool ranch Doritos, and digging around online, I discovered a way to take matters into my own hands – Proov. Proov is an at-home progesterone test, created by a female scientist who also struggled in her fertility journey, which empowers you to be able to get the results you need without your doctor. I reached out to Proov and was met with a ton of very personalized support. Compassion, suggestions, resources – it was truly so powerful to be told I’m NOT crazy, and that they wanted to support me through the process.
With Proov, I was able to see that my progesterone wasn’t rising after ovulation in the way I needed it to, and make some lifestyle adjustments to try to naturally produce more progesterone on my own (since obviously my health care providers weren’t too interested in being involved). I figured at the very least, having this recordable data could be useful to me in the future should I ever have the means or need to see a specialist, and that in itself was comforting. I continued on with life, trying to focus as much energy as I could on self care and just generally getting back to feeling like myself mentally/physically.
I never realized how much a body could instantly change upon becoming pregnant, and how hard it would be to heal mentally and physically afterwards, even if the pregnancy is short lived. One of the things that brought me comfort was a company I stumbled upon called Fertility Moxie. They make a seasonal subscription box for those who are on a fertility journey, that features non-toxic products to support them. It was nice to just feel like I wasn’t alone, and to get to treat myself to some self care items in the process. Finding community in the struggle really was a crucial aspect of the process for me, as was therapy.
Fertility Moxie also makes some really lovely smelling essential oil roll-ons to support fertility wellness, which I stocked up on to gift to some of my friends who were in the same boat as me. It felt like a really thoughtful gift to give to show that you care and you see that person and what they’re going through.
Another thing I did during this time that was really comforting to me, was I had a tarot reading with Kat Kelly (Readings by Katerina). What really inspired me to book this reading was an incident that happened in late July – one of my best friends, Cheyenne, made me this beautiful little sculpture of a pregnant woman that sits on a shelf next to my bed. One day I was home alone, and I got out of the shower to find that it had been tossed across the room in a way that science could not explain. In my true paranoid fashion, I needed someone to confirm or deny if my house was haunted and if I should pack up all of my things and leave the country pronto….. you know, reasonable solutions.
Kat does her readings virtually, meaning she does the reading on her own when she’s in the right head space, photographs all of the cards for you, and writes out a super detailed breakdown of the cards meanings, her intuitions, and answers all of the questions you could possibly have. It was so nice to have it all written out so that I could read it at my own pace, and save it for a time when I had some peace and quiet to fully process it.
I can now say with certainty that Kat KNOWS WHAT’S UP, because not only did she predict I would get pregnant, but everything in my reading showed up in 2’s, and I got pregnant exactly 2 months later. I just celebrated 20 weeks of pregnancy on 02/02/2020. 2’s, EVERYWHERE (except for in my uterus, only ONE in there, LOL).Photo captured by The Hursts & co.
So anyway, to wrap up a really longgggg blog post – I am finally feeling good, and getting so excited for this new chapter, and I felt like this was the perfect time to share about the woman-owned brands that helped me! It was no easy feat getting here, but in the grand scheme of things, I was so so so fortunate to have the means, support, and flexibility to be able to take care of myself in the way I needed to over this past year – that I will never take for granted. I know this is no easy path to walk, mentally or physically, and I send so much love to the folks who are fighting the good fight. I hope that those who need it can find some support and comfort from the woman-owned businesses that were able to help me along this journey!
so much love,
Sending a special thanks to…….