26 March 2016

Acupuncture



So, let's talk about acupuncture. (And as a warning, this may be a TMI post for those of you squeamish about pregnancy and lady parts)

For the past year or so, I feel like at least half the people I have talked to about fertility have recommended looking into acupuncture. I did my research, and with some mixed opinions, I figured it was worth a shot. Why not?

In Brisbane, there is a specialist fertility and pregnancy acupuncture clinic. The lady that runs it has a Masters degree in women's reproductive health, and works as a midwife, which all sounded pretty fab to me. 


I have to admit, I was skeptical... I have had basically no experience with Chinese medicine so I didn't know what to expect. However, my acupuncturist, Jess, put me right at ease. They start you out by doing a full health questionnaire and then a sit down to discuss everything. 

Without being told, she arrived at the same conclusion I had about the cause of my fertility issues, albeit from an entirely different direction. Given the medical testing Jon and I had previously done, most common issues have been ruled out, but the fact we both have landed on an implantation issue seemed promising. From her mind, this stemmed from a blood flow issue. Luckily for me, that's one of the things acupuncture treats best. 

I set up weekly appointments with her and have now gone for almost two months. In this time here is what I learned:

1) It took me 3 treatments to really feel a difference, but when I did WOW! I felt like a whole new human walking out the third time. 

2) It is amazing how well the acupuncture points correspond to my symptoms. It happens EVERY week. Here's an example:
Acupuncturist: So, tell me about your week...
Me: It's been fine, although I haven't been sleeping well. I keep having these really vivid, emotionally charged dreams that keep me up all night. 
Acupuncturist: Ah... that comes from poor blood flow to the heart. 

Then during treatment, when she puts the needles in, she gets to my wrist points which I yelp at, because that week they are extremely sensitive. My acupuncturist explains that these are the heart points. Naturally I check online to see if this is true, and she's right! Every week these points correspond to my experience. I'm continually baffled by how accurate it is, and keep running online to check and intentionally not telling her my symptoms to test her to see if my body corresponds. It does every time.

3) I've spent a lot of time trying to describe how I feel after these treatments. Granted, I think the feeling has intensified as I've continued weekly appointments (I don't know that I felt like this on my first or second visit so much), but I really think acupuncture is a spiritual experience. 

It's not spiritual the way that scripture study or praying is. Those are a sort of intellectual communion which I think belong in a different category. To me, acupuncture makes me feels like my body and spirit are just really connected... I've felt this a little bit before with yoga, but not anywhere near this intensity. Maybe that will sound cheesy to some of my readers, but that is the best way I can think to describe it. It is really lovely. 


Jon has been really supportive, especially given that the appointments are not exactly cheap. I know this sort of homeopathic treatment is not really his first go to, but I'm glad he's all for me trying it out. He's always notices a real difference between the day before I get acupuncture and the day after. He's even considered going in himself to give it a go.


In addition to the acupuncture, I've also started drinking more water and taking maca root, as suggested by two really lovely people who emailed me with the same infertility "cure". It is suppose to help regulate your hormones and stress levels, and has no known side effects, so we'll have to see how it goes. 

Also, a side note, I've struggled with really uncomfortable pain behind my navel for the past couple of years. I've talked to doctors about it, but the fertility stuff always overshadows our discussions. Surprisingly, the acupuncture treatment has almost entirely eliminated the pain (perhaps also with the help of more fluids and the maca). Still a little ways to go, but the improvement has been massive.

Anyway, I'd definitely recommend it to any of you other mommas-to-be out there or to anyone else really. I don't know if it will help me get a baby, but it has changed my period substantially (which historically, while the timing is regular, is a stop-and-go experience with massive blood clots and monumental pain). Now, the clots are almost completely gone and blood flow is fluid and regular. All in all, totally worth the money.


If you have any questions about acupuncture treatments, or my experience in general, I'm happy to answer your queries! I may now know the answer, but I can give it my best go :)

22 March 2016

RIP Snape



This memory is one of my favorites, so I wanted to give it its very own post. 

When Andrew came into town, we had the obligatory millennial's tourist stop of King's Cross with a sidestop to platform 9 and 3/4. Outside the Harry Potter shop that is located nearby, a memorial to the recently departed Alan Rickman had been erected by fans of his work. 

It was sweet in its own right, but then Jon pointed to the flowers and said, "Look Jess, almost all the flowers are lilies!" 

And then we had this nerdy little swoon moment that only real lovers of Harry Potter could appreciate. There are fewer moments where the Harry Potter universe felt more real and I loved it. 

A belated RIP Alan Rickman. I can't imagine a better Snape (or Colonel Brandon).

20 March 2016

Housekeeping


Ok, so before we go back to our Australia adventures, I need to do a little housekeeping and do one last post from our London adventures. I promised Andrew we'd get the pics up weeks ago, and here I am finally getting it done (yay, me!). 

So, let's get back to the Lake District, where we had our Christmas celebration. You can see little snippets of it in Andrew's video, but we got a little tiny Christmas tree and everything. I bought the boys some of the uglies jumpers I could find and we dined on ebelskivers and hot chocolate, then cozied up to the fire (the boys tried desperately to keep it going... alas, we ended up with more smoke than flame, but it was fun all the same). 



The Lake District is one of the most beautiful parts of the UK. We climbed up the mountain behind our house for the views and to make friends with the mountain sheep. 




Here's our little cottage: Brandrake House. It was perfection. 




On day three of our trip, we took Andrew up to Scotland to try and find castles. Unfortunately, because of the rain we kept running into roads we couldn't cross. After a full day of driving, we ended up having to go back... there were crazy amounts of water, but in the end we found a castle on our drive back to London the next day. 


Back in London, Andrew and I went off on more adventuring. 


We met up with Auntie Claire for lunch one day and then climbed the Great Fire Monument, which had pretty incredible views for a fairly reasonable pricetag. 




All in all a perfect way to savor our few weeks of British life before heading back to Australia. So happy Andrew got to come and celebrate the season with us-- he made it all the more fun :) 

16 March 2016

March



So, its been about a month and a half since my last post, and about that same amount of time since we got back to Australia. Wholly moly!

We live in a new place now, right in Kangaroo Point. The photo above is basically the view from where we live (we are on the ferry which is just a block or two from our flat). It is GORGEOUS. Being back this time has been such a different experience because we so close to the city. It feels like we live right on the shore in Dumbo-- across from a baby Manhattan. Brisbane is seriously one of the coolest cities around. 

I appreciate the love and the messages from people asking where I've been-- also the not so subtle hints that maybe I'm being quiet because I'm finally preggers. No such luck, I'm afraid. But I have been getting acupuncture at a fertility specialised clinic that has been amazing. Fingers crossed...

In other news, we live right down the street from the temple which is beautiful and tiny. I got Jon to sit down and do several hours of family history research. Unfortunately, it wasn't a great experience, so it'll take a bit more work. 

In other news, I got into the program I want for school this autumn. Fingers crossed I get scholarships, otherwise it will be a no-go again. But I think this might just be my year. 

Jon's doing well with work, adding value and loving it. He's been learning a ton, especially as this has been a particularly challenging situation given a disgruntled ex-CEO that is causing some legal upheaval. But, Jon's keeping his head above water! 

All in all, life has been mighty grand. We spend the weekends at the beach (we are both still as pale as we were when we left England) and I have watched about 1000 amazing documentaries. Australia round 2 has definitely been a success so far.