I am sitting here in my kitchen smiling at the fact that I’m 37 weeks pregnant and feeling great. I am thinking back and wondering where to begin… My husband and I always knew we wanted children but the debate was how many?! Not long after we were married we decided to try and what do you know I was pregnant within 2 months only to have a miscarriage at 7 weeks. That was hard at the time but I took comfort in the fact that we didn’t struggle like some of our friends. We spent the next 10 months trying to no avail and the doubts and worries started to kick in. I was now 34 and my husband 36 and the clock was booming.
Roll on to September 2011 and we sought help from Napro Technology. I had day 3 bloods taken which were normal but my day 21 bloods showed my Progesterone to be a little low at 33.9. On our first consultation we were advised that I needed medication “to tidy up my cycle” and erradicate the brown bleeding from my periods. The months of tracking my cycles and monthly bloods began. I was put on a number of medications : Femara on day 3 to help ovulation, Prednisilone (steroid) for adrenal fatigue, Progesterone pessaries (increase Progesterone) nightly for 10 nights after ovulation and LDN – low dose Naltrexone. WOW…. I was a bit taken back as I never really thought I’d that BIG of a problem but i guess the Dr knows best. My husband was advised to get a semen analysis as a routine which he did that November.
Onto December-January 2012 the Femara was dropping my Oestradiol bloods so I was switched to Clomid, whcih incidentally drove me “mad” so I was switched back but my Progesterone had risen to 99 within 1 month of starting the meds. We were told my husband’s analysis showed some of the parameters to be low but nothing was elaborated on and to be honest we didn’t ask much more. He was advised to start taking Vitamin C and Aplha Lipoic Acid daily, stop smoking and repeat the test in 3 months. In the menatime i was sent for follicle tracking scans which were normal but the Dr thought that I needed help with ovulation and prescribed me injections to give myself at ovulation time… This was all getting a little too much, surely I didn’t need them if I was ovulating ok as confirmed on scanning… I had heard about Siobhán Kehoe and decided it was time to pay her a visit and try Siobhan’s treatment.
In April 2012 i met Siobhán who looked at my tongue, gave me a synopsis of my personality traits and described me as part “stuck” and part “heat”. I was entrigued. I started taking the raw chinese herbs and within 2 months saw a great improvement in my periods, cervical mucus, skin and general wellbeing. That June I rang Napro for the results of the semen analysis which was repeated in May. The secretary told me that all of the parameters had improved apart from the Morphology which was still very low….. OH…. What’s that?… What’s low?…. It transpires that my husband’s Morphology was <1% in November 2011 and still <1% in May 2012. She said normal range for Morphology was 4% based on the Kruger method and the WHO parameters. We were both attending Siobhán the next day so we decided to ask her to shine some light on this Morphology. Following an honest discussion the natural option for us was starting to dwindle. We were devastated. My husband started to take the raw herbs but didnt tolerate them well so he switched to the tablet form. Siobhán recommended MACA, Pcynogenol, Green Barley, Spirilina on top of the Vitamin C and Alpha Lipoic Acid for him… It was a lot at the time but he got there!
We returned to Napro to discuss our case and more importantly the Morphology result. I had decided to stop taking the medication as what was the point? I was scanned at the visit and was told i was just about to ovulate with a good amount of cervical mucus seen, great i thought but then he said he was going to up my medication to shorten my cycle as i was normally 31-35 days and i needed to be more 28 days…. what? I have always been 31-35 days… That was it, I had enough, I reallyfelt that i didn’t need the meds and the proof was on the scan, sure i had already conceived before with little hassle and surely the focus should be on the Morphology…
We attended a Consultant in Wexford who advised a repeat semen analysis in the National Maternity Hospital, this still showed the Morphology to be <1%. My husband was referred to a Urologist in Dublin who checked him for a varicocele which he didn’t have but he advised us to seriously consider IVF & ICSI as time was ticking by. The Consultant strongly advised me to continue with Siobhan’s treatment.
Over the summer we both continued to see Siobhán, we both took the herbs and thought we were preparing ourselves to be in the best shape possible for IVF/ICSI. My husband rides horses a lot, he cut back on this considerably and even resorted to putting icepacks on his testicles!!! We had our pre IVF/ICSI consultation in October 2012 with a plan to start in January 2013. We had stopped putting pressure on ourselves to conceive, resigned to letting ICSI take it’s course when out of nowhere I was hit by a wave of nausea one Saturday, then a strong sense of smell and a sore chest that Sunday and by Monday i was pregnant J The disbelief, wonder, shock and happiness came all together. We were so thrilled.
I have to say that i followed my gut instinct regarding the conventional treatment methods for infertility and logically worked out in my own mind what was working and what i was happy to comply with, i took control back in a way. Women are often given medications and it’s assumed we need them when we often don’t, as Siobhán can regulate and grossly improve our cycles through her treatment. Also all of the happiness we are feeling right now and the anticipted joy in the coming weeks is in large part down to the treatment, skill, guidance and kindness of Siobhán. It also gave us great confidence that Siobhan is a Registered Midwife, she always understood our results and that she is also recognised by the Medical profession. We believed and more importantly trusted Siobhán in her treatment and herbs and i guess we never gave up and neither did she. We are eternally grateful.
Update: Our very healthy baby boy was born at term in July 2013.
Siobhan Byrne, Wexford.