How To Triumph Over Secondary Infertility – #31
Is secondary infertility affecting you? Over 3 million couples in the U.S. alone are faced with the devastating diagnosis of secondary infertility. Wendy Cooper shares how she triumphed over secondary infertility and how you can too! When Wendy and her husband made the decision to have a second child they found it wasn’t happening as easy as the first time around. Wendy went to get evaluated by an IVF doctor and was told that she would not be a good candidate for IVF and not only that but her hormone levels were that of a perimenopausal woman! Donor eggs were recommended as the only option.
Many of us may have taken the specialist at his word assuming our chances of natural conception were improbable but not Wendy. She was not interested in the donor egg option and believed in her heart that her body was simply needing the right kind of nurturing to get it into a state where it could support a new life. A book by Deepak Chopra gave her the encouragement she needed. He wrote that the cells in the body regenerate every 7 years and with that was the impetus to do what she could to help her body regenerate and hence support her body to biologically “age in reverse”. She read everything out there and came across a Naturopath and Fertility Specialist that supported her beliefs, Dr. Iva Keene. Iva spoke about the 4 month maturation period where a cell matures into an egg and how to support the body and therefore the egg during that period as well as the partner’s sperm. Wendy worked with Iva and gave her body the nurturing it wanted and needed. The end result, after 4 months she was pregnant and at 45 gave birth to a gorgeous, vibrantly healthy baby boy. During her pregnancy the doctors told her her labs looked like someone in their 20’s!
About Episode Guest
Wendolyn (Wendy) Cooper is a certified personal trainer and the founder of www.preparedforpregnancy.com. After overcoming fertility issues through nutrition and supplements Cooper went onto have exceptional pregnancies, two home births and healthy babies at age 40 and 45. She believes that we can prepare for pregnancy with the same kind of focus that a person would train for a marathon or plan a wedding and in turn have a much smoother pregnancy and healthier baby.
Cooper has worked in film production and managed operations for several years for an Oscar award winning actor as well as worked on locations, in real estate and for the last ten years as a personal trainer. She has studied nutrition, hormone regulation and strength training for the last 25 years.
Interview with Wendolyn Cooper - Episode Highlights
Selected Links from the Episode
Natural Fertility Prescription
0:17 Charlene Lincoln: Welcome to another episode of The Fertility Hour. Thank you so much for joining us. My name is Charlene Lincoln, I’m the host. You know, I just want to remind you that we work so hard getting you the best guests. We search the globe to bring you information that we feel like will really benefit your health and your fertility. We ask in return that if you can give us support, subscribe, comment, share the episodes that you resonate with on your social media and encourage others to watch them.
I’m pretty excited. I’ve been waiting for this woman. She’s rescheduled with me a few times and I guess she’s just super busy, so I’m so glad that Wendy is here today and I get to really pick her brain and interview her.
Wendy Cooper is a mother of two, an entrepreneur, and she gave birth to her second child — was it at 45 years old.?
Wendy Cooper: Yeah.
1:28 CL: And she’s a client of Dr. Iva Keene, a naturopath that created Natural Fertility Prescription and The Fertility Coach Program; she’s based in Switzerland. She also was my mentor when I was trying to get pregnant and helped me get pregnant at 41, gave birth at 42. So, we both love Iva. But I’ve been hearing so much about Wendy. She recorded this beautiful video on The Natural Fertility Prescription ‘Success Stories’ site of her holding her gorgeous, healthy baby boy and just speaking from the heart. It’s such a touching video so I definitely wanted to find out more about her pregnancy journey. Thank you so much for being here, Wendy. I really appreciate it.
WC: I’m excited.
2:22 CL: So welcome. Gosh, women always say “Who’s your oldest client?” “Can I do this? I’m 42…” “I’m 43”, “I’m 44”, and “I’m 45”. Then Iva always says, “don’t focus on someone else. Everyone has their own journey,” but what I was saying to you in the beginning, we all kind of want to know what’s possible and so we look outside of ourselves which I guess it’s better to look within ourselves to see what our potential is. When we look outside of ourselves, “Can this be done?” “Is there anyone who’s having a natural, healthy pregnancy who is out without the use of any type of assisted reproductive technology?” Because it gives us hope — and hope is so important when we’re dealing with fertility challenges. So tell us about kind of your story. You have two children. So the first child, how old were you?
WC: I was 40 when I had my first child. A personal trainer and loved to study nutrition and help people prepare for a marathon or plan their wedding or what-have-you. I wanted to plan my preconception care and I did that for my daughter. At 40 I did a cleanse and changed my diet and cut back the intense workouts and added in some supplements to support it and I got pregnant and had a great pregnancy and very healthy baby. Then we decided we wanted one more child and I didn’t really think, “Oh, I needed to bother with that. It wouldn’t be an issue.” And I just went through miscarriage after miscarriage after miscarriage. My doctors that I went to were just like, “Oh well, it’s your age. Go see an IVF person.” The IVF people, all they wanted to give me was a donor egg. They said, “You’re too old to have a natural pregnancy.” My bloodwork was not great; it said I was premenopausal and that my egg quality was very poor.
So I started researching and reading and I was listening to a podcast from Deepak Chopra. He was talking about his book ‘Super Genes’ and he was describing how the nutrients build the cell because the cell turns over periodically. I mean, all the cells turn over at a different rate but approximately every two years your entire body cells turn over, and if they’re given high quality nutrients, they can rebuild at a better quality than they are currently. So kind of like this idea of aging backwards that if you give your body good enough nutrition, you can rebuild those cells in a better state than they are currently, just like a smoker who quits smoking that those cells actually become healthier without the smoke. So this idea of like, “Oh, well, if I took care of my body and slept well and gave it the proper nutrients and cut out things like alcohol and refined sugar…” I had a fairly good diet but it wasn’t clean. And by doing that, that the quality would go up and it was phenomenal, what happened with my bloodwork from the time that I had everything checked to after working with Iva and going to that whole process of cleansing and eliminating toxins from my lifestyle, from things like plastic containers and household chemicals and so many things that were contributing to your cell quality and your quality of life. And so then after working with her at the age of 44, I got pregnant and had a home birth and a very healthy baby. He’s never been sick. He’s thriving like crazy. He’s a year old now.
6:12 CL: That’s such a cool story. Because Iva, we just talked about the home birth thing. Honestly, I don’t think any doctor digs the home birth idea.
WC: No, no.
6:23 CL: Yeah, and especially like the geriatric pregnancy. I mean, they are not a fan of that.
WC: Not at all. I had a midwife and an OB and I was very fortunate. Building my team, I found an OB who was supportive of the home birth. She wasn’t in favor of it but she worked with me on it. When I was in labor, she was checking in on me every hour to say, “Are you coming to the hospital?” because she was on call. Like, “No, everything’s good. We’re good.”
6:51 CL: Wow. Okay. So talk to me about, you know, we had a conversation before when you went to the IVF clinic. If the donor egg thing, because I think you told me that you weren’t interested in using a donor egg. So when you were getting evaluated for IVF, how did that feel when they were evaluating you?
WC: I’ve had so many friends who have done it—some successful, some not. All of them have health issues post. I had one friend who she did it twice and she has constant migraines. They can’t figure out how to get rid of them and the only thing she can tie it to is all the IVF therapy that she did. Just I wanted to see what my option was but my husband wasn’t in favor of it. I’m terribly afraid of needles and just that whole idea of having to do a shot every day as part of the protocol when they do the IVF that I just decided, you know, either I’m going to go all in naturally and if it works, great. I already had a beautiful baby girl and if it didn’t, then that wasn’t meant to be.
The IVF thing, going to the doctor, they don’t even consider any kind of natural or alternative option. They just kept handing me brochures to go to different fertility clinics. I asked them to just run some bloodwork because I just wanted to see where levels were with hormones and they wouldn’t even do it. I had to fight them in order to order—I had to bring in two other doctors to actually just order some bloodwork. They’re like, “Well, what are you going to do with it and why do you need this?” And they wouldn’t even order bloodwork.
8:43 CL: Why is that? I don’t understand.
WC: I think they thought I was going to do something crazy with it. I don’t know. That’s what their big question was. It was “So, why do you need this and what are you going to do with it?” That was the big question, is they wanted to know what I was going to do with that information. The IVF clinics or fertility clinics are concerned about their success rates and so they don’t like to do old eggs when they know that they’re going to be more successful with donor eggs. And that makes sense to me. They want to show a success rate. They wouldn’t even do, you know, taking my eggs and doing it because they just didn’t feel that it would be successful.
9:27 CL: Going back to the multiple miscarriages, I’ve known and I’ve treated women who have gone through multiple miscarriages. It can be soul-crushing, kind of how did you—I mean, you have a miscarriage, okay, and then another one, how did you kind of keep going through that process and I guess maintain hope and feel like I still want a child and I’m still willing to do this.
WC: Yeah. Those are hard because you’re pregnant and so that hope is there and you’re like, “Oh, I’ve got the second baby. I’m so excited,” and you’re in that pregnancy state. And then it goes away. That’s of course an emotional thing. So definitely work that through with a therapist. The first miscarriage, I hadn’t really put much effort into that pregnancy. It just happened. So I felt like, well, I just didn’t prepare my body so I need to go and do some preconception care and then that should help with that. But the second time around, I did some. It was kind of a half-hearted effort. I found out after the fact that my adrenals were really drained and that my body was really depleted, seriously depleted, and that was probably contributing to the miscarriage. So then knowing that, I spent a lot of time researching and reading and working with Iva.
There’s a doctor out of New Zealand, Dr. Libby Weaver. She’s written several books but my favorite is the Rushing Woman’s Syndrome and it’s about the cycle of how women power up with caffeine in the morning and then wine at night and they run on this cycle of bringing themselves up and bringing themselves down, and it just completely depletes the adrenals. The other thing that contributes to that is intense exercise, like weightlifting and CrossFit and things like that, that it just fires up the nervous system into that fight or flight mode, and it never comes down. So our body lives in this state of we’re under attack all the time and so then the adrenals are so depleted. So she talks about bringing in things like qi gong, yoga and meditation to bring the nervous system back to calm where the body can say “Oh, I feel safe. It would be okay for me to have a baby in this state. I’m not running from a tiger emotionally.” And so by applying a lot of those techniques, that really helped. And then it became a challenge and it was just like, I want to see if I can do this because it was such a hope and a dream and if I could totally apply myself, I think it could be successful—and it was. So I feel very fortunate and I’m super, super grateful for that.
I lost you.
12:29 CL: Okay. I’m going to catch up with Wendy. My computer just shut down and so we were talking about miscarriages. Can you hear me, Wendy?
WC: Oh, sorry. Yeah, I can hear you.
12:42 CL: Okay, good. Sorry about that. Anyways, you were talking about the multiple miscarriages and you were talking about the first, how it was I guess an unexpected pregnancy and you didn’t feel like your body was prepared and then we were talking about the second miscarriage.
WC: Yeah. The second miscarriage, I found out that my adrenals were just really depleted and my whole body was depleted. I started working with a naturopath as well as an acupuncturist. I just realized I needed to kind of reset. One thing the acupuncturist said to me that really kind of woke me up was, like, she said, “You have to act like you’re already pregnant. You have to go to bed early and eat healthy.” I had three businesses at the time and she’s like, “You’re going to have to get rid of one of these because there’s not room for this baby to come into your life and your body isn’t going to be able to handle it.” I listened to her and I did that. I sold one of my businesses and created a space and started acting like I was pregnant.
It changes your mindset too, which I think is a big part. I think a lot of people go into it like “what if I don’t get pregnant?” or “what if it doesn’t happen?” or “we spent all this money on IVF and I have nothing to show for it.” So it was definitely a change in the mindset of, “Well, what if I do get pregnant and what if I do it this way and I feel healthy and good about it?” And my worst-case scenario of going through that whole protocol was I was going to be healthier. I mean, there was no downside to doing it naturally. That gave me a lot of hope that way because my worst case was I was going to come out feeling better and with more energy.
14:45 CL: You’re working with an acupuncturist and you’re working with a naturopath. How did your path lead to working with Iva?
WC: Well, my naturopath didn’t really know that much about fertility and I was doing a lot of research and I brought her. At that point, Iva wasn’t really coaching. I think she was pregnant with her baby maybe at the time, but she was selling books and I bought the books and she had a list of bloodwork and different results. So I was using that as my guide and my naturopath was helping me with ordering the bloodwork and that sort of thing. So it’s through that process I had the second miscarriage and then by the time I had kind of come out the other side of that, Iva was taking clients again and so then I signed up for coaching with her and then we would just use my naturopath to order tests and things. Since she’s in Switzerland, it was much easier to use a US-based person.
15:41 CL: Did you ever kind of pinpoint with Iva’s help why you were having the repeated miscarriages?
WC: I had a number of imbalances hormonally, so I think that’s what it was. A lot of estrogen dominance, too much cortisol, and by bringing those back into balance and then also by really focusing on my diet, my egg quality went up and basically everything improved from following her guidelines.
16:17 CL: What specifically about the diet did you have to change? I know there is probably a big overhaul, but what were some kind of key things.
WC: A lot more vegetables. I was kind of more in a protein-dominant diet and I brought in a lot more greens and a lot more vegetables. I tend to be with somebody who stays up late, so I had started going to bed a lot earlier. I think that really helped my body have a chance to repair itself at night. I had some dairy. I got really strict about no dairy, no gluten, no caffeine. That was a big one too. Just eliminate it altogether. I went to like the occasional coffee once a week, but then with her I got really serious about it. The other piece that I’m sure played into it is my husband did too. He’s eliminated alcohol, caffeine, all of it too.
17:07 CL: So was he a willing participant?
WC: Very much so.
17:10 CL: Oh, cool.
WC: Yeah. And I think that really made a difference.
17:16 CL: He had his sperm count and quality evaluated?
WC: Yeah. He is actually 9 years younger than I am. He doesn’t have any issues with it. But his diet, I mean he ate a lot of sugar and a lot of processed foods. So by changing that, I think it helped a lot.
17:35 CL: Okay. The thing that I think happens but you didn’t sort of fall into this trap is that you were older and you were trying to get pregnant naturally and then you get evaluated by an IVF clinic who told you that your only option was donor eggs. I think that happens to a lot of women and then women think “I can’t get pregnant naturally. I’ve tried. I’ve had multiple miscarriages. That’s just not happening for me. The only way is through a doctor helping me.” They just feel like that’s the only, only option.
WC: A lot of women believe that. I have friends that that was there belief. No question. I think what gave me hope is I was getting pregnant. I was having miscarriages but I knew my body could conceive. So I knew that if I could finetune things so that my body could carry the baby, then I’d be fine. I’d already had one healthy pregnancy, so I knew it was possible.
18:43 CL: Okay, that’s true. For me, when I got pregnant, I think I was like 40 years old and I got pregnant, I was like, “Oh I got pregnant.” I felt like the luckiest person in the world and I literally told everybody. I know you’re not supposed to but I was so happy, I told everybody at work and just anyone I could. And it never dawned on me because I was older or whatever that I also was at a high risk for miscarriage. Like when I had the miscarriage, it just stunned me into this whole other “oh crap,” like I didn’t even figure that into the whole calculation. Like oh, I can get pregnant, I don’t know if I can sustain a pregnancy. And the doctors that I talked to, they’re just like, “Yeah, that’s probably your story.”
WC: Yeah, they’re not helpful at all.
19:34 CL: They are not. They are not encouraging. Yeah, I know. What’s that saying? I always forget these sayings but ‘beat drummer’ or something. You’re a strong-minded person; you kind of take a lot of the noise away, right?
WC: I’ve been an athlete for all my life and so I knew that if you can focus and keep your eye on the prize and not let all that static, and there certainly was a ton of it. I mean, as you’ve said, the doctors are not encouraging. All my friends were like, “go to the fertility clinic.” And I was just not in that headspace. That wasn’t the route I wanted to go. And you do, you have to kind of eliminate all the noise and just trust that your body can do what it was made to do.
20:36 CL: Yeah. Somehow that power has been taken from us along the way. I interviewed Dr. Christiane Northrup last week and her topic was ‘women are being hexed by the fertility industry.’ Which I thought was so cool because we sort of get lied to and manipulated, and I don’t know if it’s—why can I not talk, but I don’t know if it’s intentionally being like cool to us but somehow, we’re told we’re too old, we’re told all of these different things. And they’re powerful. I mean, we could be like, I’m not listening to that but somehow it gets into our psyche and our subconscious and it can manipulate our actions and how empowered we feel taking that next step. But you’re an athlete, you kept focused on the goal. Did you go through kind of highs and lows with it?
WC: For sure. Everybody does. You go through that. With my first baby, I went to an MD and I was having all these muscle spasms and he just wanted to give me drugs for it. I was like, I don’t want my 10-week-old baby on the inside to have this. I finally found a midwife who figured out it was some tendons and was able to do some massage and completely got rid of the muscular pain. And so, at that point, I knew that I really wanted to go a more natural route with fertility. The other piece of it is if you follow the money, there’s a lot of money in fertility. Those pharmaceutical industries, it’s huge. It’s to their benefit to convince women that’s the only way to do it because that’s a multimillion dollar industry.
22:19 CL: Yeah, billion dollar.
WC: Yeah. There’s some documentaries about how doctors came to be delivering babies initially anyway that they didn’t have enough to do and so they kind of brought that into their offices. There were midwives prior to that and that was who delivered the baby. So women did all that. So then the doctors were trying to basically turn them into a business and started delivering babies, and that whole evolution is crazy how they used to actually knock women out to give birth. I can’t imagine going through labor anesthetized. So when you think about it that way, I knew that that was part of the reason for them telling me this, is they wanted success rates and they make a lot of money. That’s a new car right there when you go through IVF.
23:08 CL: Oh yeah, absolutely. I know my mother-in-law was saying that they would give you gas and so you’d be out during the whole thing and then they give you that, whatever the medication to dry up your milk once you give birth.
WC: Yeah. And again, that was another industry. Nestle was selling formula to everyone—the women in Africa, people who couldn’t afford it. And that was what was taught to everyone is that you use this formula and they will convince the women it was better than what was coming from their bodies.
23:40 CL: Oh sure, yeah. I mean, I was born in the generation of women who didn’t breastfeed their children. Absolutely. So once you got pregnant, how was the pregnancy?
WC: I had a lot of nausea but it went very smoothly. I didn’t have any complications. My bloodwork was perfect and I kept working with Iva a little bit through that and so I had a lot of supplements to support it. That’s something that kind of makes MDs nervous is when you’re adding in a lot of supplements, but I really feel like fish oil and things like that really help pregnancy.
24:26 CL: Absolutely. What was something kind of unique that you felt like—because now that I interview all these people, there’s a lot of people who are like fertility coaches but you were talking to me about something you felt was really unique about Iva and her approach, what you were saying. Because she’s very holistic but she brings that very scientific background.
WC: Yeah. She’s the best of both worlds, if you ask me, because you have that scientific bloodwork. Basically a process of elimination of like, okay, this one looks good, this one’s off so we’ll adjust it. That was just phenomenal to be able to narrow it down to one or two things and then work on those and know that you were actually changing things. I think that was really quite hopeful as I went through the process, was to know that things were improving.
25:23 CL: Absolutely. Do you have friends and people that you come across? I’m sure people are like, “Oh my gosh! We heard about you and you were at this age and you had the healthy baby.” What kind of encouragement do you give women or sort of advice do you give to women who are having issues with fertility and maybe feeling a little bit older?
WC: To take care of themselves. I think the biggest thing is, it’s no small process to go through a preconception protocol. You have to be very committed to it and you have to treat it basically like a job. If you really want it to happen, you have to take it that seriously and it has to become the priority in your life if you want it to happen. You can’t be passive. I mean, of course there’s people who get lucky and it still happens but I think if you’re really focused on making that happen, it has to be the number one priority for 4- to 6-months time period in your life and then during the pregnancy.
26:25 CL: And we always say it’s such a small commitment to make to ensure that your baby has, you know, I mean the genetic material that you’re going to make your baby with is of the highest quality. Right?
WC: Yeah. I was very concerned because of my age having a child with Down Syndrome. So I wanted to take every possible measure I could to give my body the nutrients that could make a healthy baby. The other part of the preconception process that is really interesting is you really get to know your body and the rhythms. I mean, if you’re taking your temperature every day and watching how it all fluctuates, you really get to know your body and you can know in a fertile time period and when you’re not. I think a lot of us get out of tune especially if we’re using birth control pills or something like that where it’s just regulated by a prescription and it’s not by our own innate knowledge of our bodies.
27:21 CL: Were you menstruating regularly after the birth of your daughter?
27:27 CL: Okay. And talk to me about exercise because that is kind of hotly debated. There are some people that go, “Oh, it’s fine to do kind of like high impact aerobics,” while trying to get pregnant even throughout the pregnancy. But what’s your take on that?
WC: Well, I’ve been in the exercise industry for 10 years and I think certain people have a certain level of fitness and that’s okay for them to work out at a higher level because that’s what their body is accustomed to. I think you have to think about what is your priority for your body. Do you want your body working? You can’t make strength gains and build your muscle while you’re pregnant most of the time. So by working out super intensely while you’re pregnant, it’s kind of a conflicting action in that sense. You want blood flow and oxygen and all the good things that exercise brings to your body, but you’re not trying to get stronger and meet any strength goals or run marathons, that kind of a thing. Know when you’re doing that, the baby is coming as secondary because your body has no choice but to participate in the long run or whatever it might be. I think the idea would be to go to kind of that middle ground of where your body is used to exercising. Of course if you don’t exercise at all, you could benefit from moderate exercise, and I think moderation is the key on that one.
29:03 CL: Yeah, because it just feels like maybe driven by like celebrity culture or you’re supposed to just bounce back to your pre-baby weight and they’re sort of like a shaming. They’re like, “Well, look at that model. She did it. She looks better than before. And she worked out through her pregnancy.” So there’s this, I don’t know, kind of this unrealistic expectation of women to keep, I don’t know, to bounce back to a body.
WC: I agree. And again, you kind of have to cut out all that noise and I think doing things like yoga and meditation and qi gong was also an opportunity to kind of tune in to the baby and it was a chance to connect to that baby that was on the inside. And that calming energy and knowing that the nervous system in a calm state is very regenerative and allow that to build the baby in the best possible way, you’d really have to just think about what your priority is. But the celebrity influence is tough. I mean, it’s out there but you don’t know what kind of health they’re in or what kind of health their baby is in. I mean, you get the external picture but you don’t know what’s the internal one.
30:16 CL: I think a strength of yours is really that whole mindset thing that it’s so crucial when dealing with any difficult situation in life because there are so many messages that you get about how things are supposed to be and what makes you think that you could be completely different and be an outlier of everybody else, the average person. And so you really have to, well, I think like you said, you are an athlete so that really changed your mindset in a different way to be very focused. But there’s a lot of us that maybe don’t have that background that it’s kind of like a balloon in the wind. We just get pulled in so many different directions and it can be really soul-crushing, disempowering because you start reading things, you’d go on forums, your doctor says something. Then all of a sudden you’re making decisions based on these really baseless claims and people’s opinions really versus anything to do with you as an individual.
WC: I think one of the things after the second miscarriage, I went online and just poured through everything I could find on a woman who had been successful with having pregnancies after 40. I found tons of this one woman in Italy. And again, it was kind of that belief system and the mindset and caring for the body like that being the priority. That was real consistent. They also all used Chinese medicine or acupuncture of some kind, almost all of them. And then the other big theme was eliminating toxins, like cleaning chemicals and not having your food in plastic, things like that. That was a real consistent thing as well that I saw.
32:04 CL: You know what’s so confusing about fertility issues, is that you talk about the things like plastics and toxins. But everyone can cite a hundred examples of their cousin or their friend who eats garbage and has 5 kids. So people are like, is that really important? Are all those little things really important? Because I know someone who doesn’t know any of that and they are popping out kids left and right, or it feels like it. But everyone’s weaknesses show up differently in their body. I always feel like those little things are little tipping points. Wrapping your food in plastic—is that the reason for the infertility? Maybe not that solely but it tips you in that direction of estrogen dominance or however it ends up creating an imbalance.
WC: I think it’s the cumulative of all the things together. It’s not that one thing. And you’re certainly right. There are people who have no problems getting pregnant. I don’t know why some people have trouble with it and other people don’t. I think it comes down to imbalances in the system and maybe those people are more balanced hormonally. I don’t know but I think it’s all those things accumulating, not just one thing that if you were to never use plastic again that all the fertility issues would go away. I don’t think that’s it. Eating organic food and getting enough sleep and all the pieces together.
33:36 CL: I practice Chinese medicine. I really believe in it and I feel like it’s really beneficial when you’re trying to conceive if you can work with an acupuncturist who’s an herbalist to help you. But I hear of course a lot of people go, “I’m working with an acupuncturist and I’m still not getting pregnant.” What my take on it is acupuncture and Chinese herbs, they’re very, very powerful but they cannot compensate for a poor diet. They cannot compensate for a toxic environment. They can’t compensate for just a lot of lifestyle things. Sometimes they can. I mean, I’ve seen it where it does and I’m like, well, maybe I’m wrong but for most cases, I mean, that’s why I was working with a great fertility acupuncturist. I think he helped me so much but I also worked with Iva too because he just wasn’t addressing all these other aspects that maybe I was kind of having blinders on about in my own health. So if people are frustrated, I don’t think I’m getting those results. You need to just kind of do the whole thing.
WC: You need to be all in. If you’re not getting pregnant, you have to be all in and changing it. You can’t just change one thing and hope. Especially if you’re age 40, to me I had given myself a self-imposed window of at age 45, I’m done. I’m not trying to do this anymore. I’m not going to go until age 47 trying to get pregnant. So that was my own self-imposed deadline. But there’s no time to waste usually. So just doing one thing and hoping that that changes it seems like a half-hearted approach.
35:26 CL: The thing about IVF and I’ve treated a lot of women undergoing IVF and I felt like for me, I mean I didn’t really get pushed to the point where I had to make that decision but I always was scared because I had, like you, you have a lot of friends who went through IVF to get pregnant and I’m sure they’re so grateful. It’s helped so many couples. I’m not going to negate that. It’s a very powerful tool. Especially if you have anatomical abnormalities. That would make it impossible for you to have a pregnancy naturally. But for me, I would treat women who had undergone IVF and they just felt so unwell after it because maybe they had gone through multiple cycles of IVF or while they were going through it, I was really nervous about that for myself and it felt like something. I mean, I’m sure people consider it but I was always nervous about postpartum depression and things like that. I felt like okay, so what if I can get pregnant and I can have this baby and then what if I’m incapable of taking care of this baby at the end of it. I felt completely depleted or whatever the case may be. I felt really nervous about that. I guess being an older mom, I felt like I just really have to be careful of kind of what I do. One thing I really appreciated was after working with Iva, I felt really good after I gave birth. I thought that was like the most wonderful time just hanging out at home with my baby and sleeping, and I felt fine. Because I’ll be transparent. I have a history of depression and I was super nervous about that, and that was not the case. Did you encapsulate your placenta?
WC: I did and I had another book called The First 40 Days and it’s kind of that Asian tradition of the mother stays home for 40 days and gets taken care of and really nutritious food that helps her recover. I have to say it made me feel amazing. Energy and I felt so great. That’s one thing that I also think isn’t really addressed. There’s a doctor out of Australia and I can’t think of his name but he addresses this kind of like post-partum recovery. We don’t really give the mom a lot of support in our culture to recover. How do you bring your body back into balance? It’s completely out of balance because everything is going to the baby. So now that I’m kind of tapering off of breastfeeding with my son, that’s kind of my next project, is how do I come back to this reset so that I’m going through the rest of my life all depleted. Because having a baby takes a lot out of your body.
38:19 CL: Yes, and you lose so much. You lose so much fluid and like in Chinese medicine they call it the yin of the body, I mean, after childbirth there’s so much fluid loss and then the breastfeeding. It’s really depleting. I love that idea in Chinese culture that the woman pretty much stays in bed and the family is surrounding her, but we’re not set up that way.
WC: No. Unfortunately we’re not.
38:46 CL: And you’re given like special broths to build the blood and the yin. I love that. But yeah, I feel like at least I just kind of hung out at home and it was a very relaxing time. But I felt mentally good like I could really enjoy it. I know that they could be really frazzling for some parents and I just felt so grateful that that wasn’t the case. But I think that has to do with the preconception care and then the care—I mean there’s variables but there’s a lot of hormone fluctuations anyway. But I was grateful for that.
WC: The other pieces on that preconception care can support IVF and make IVF more successful too. So either way doing it is super beneficial I think.
39:40 CL: Thanks for bringing that up. That’s sort of my mission for this year, is I want to put out a lot of information. I know Iva already does but I want to help put it out to kind of promote the information she’s putting out, is that you can double the success rates of IVF doing preconception care. You can ensure the healthiest baby possible while maintaining your own health and I think feel fabulous after giving birth so that you could be the best caretaker possible. By doing this preconception care, oh my gosh, hopefully in 5-10 years that will be kind of the norm with IVF, but I don’t think that’s really talked about. It’s sort of like you just rely on the IVF specialist to do their thing with your body.
WC: Yeah. I think women need to be educated that you can take some extra measures prior to conception whether you have fertility issues or not that are going to help you recover and help the baby be healthier. That would kind of be my mission, is I just want to educate people that here, you can take 4 months of your life to prepare for this baby that’s going to then live another 80, 90, 100 years and give them the best building blocks possible. That’s something I really got out of Dr. Chopra’s ‘Super Genes’ book, is it comes down to the building blocks and what you have to work with. And why wouldn’t we want the best possible for our children and for ourselves?
41:15 CL: We do. It’s just that we have never been taught that we could influence that, right? It’s just kind of like it’s a crapshoot, you get what you get as far as genetics and yeah, so of course, that’s why we’re doing this. We really want to get it out there that you can influence the egg and the sperm and that becomes the child. Absolutely. I always tell Iva that. I said during the time when I was introduced to her, I mean the thing that stuck out for me was her putting out research articles saying you can improve egg quality when I was told that you could not.
WC: I was told that too.
42:02 CL: Yeah, we all are. So it was like, okay, well this doctor is putting out information that you can. How’s that? What’s different? What do you do? And as she says, you can’t do anything to improve the quality of the egg that you’re about to ovulate, but go back 4 months when the cell develops into the egg, that’s when you can do a lot. And same with sperm, 76 to 90 days. A new batch of sperm and you can really change the quality of that. I thought, ‘oh my gosh, okay. Well, I like what this woman is talking about.’
WC: Me too.
42:42 CL: And then I follow along.
WC: I saw that in my own blood work. I saw the egg quality numbers go up.
42:49 CL: Wow. So that was proof right there to me.
WC: So that was proof right there to me.
42:54 CL: Wow. Your story is so inspiring. I think you know so much. I’m hoping thousands of women listen to this and they just get inspired by your story.
WC: It can be done. It can totally be done. And thank you so much for talking with me today.
43:15 CL: Thank you so much too. Alright, I’ll contact you in a couple of weeks when this is live. Alright, thank you, Wendy.
WC: Alright. Thanks. Take care.
43:20 CL: Thank you so much.
43:21 CL: Bye-bye!