Gift and Loss

I became pregnant with my first baby at 37, after 6+ years of marriage. Although we struggled to conceive, my pregnancy was event-free. I went on to have a healthy baby girl just before turning 38.

At 40, I conceived again, after only 2 months of trying. It came as a shock to me, given that it had taken 6+ years to conceive our first. The baby had a strong heartbeat at 8 weeks, and somehow both my husband and I felt sure that it was a boy.

But I started spotting at 11 weeks. At emergency ultrasound, I was told that our little baby no longer had a heartbeat. He (we still think it was a boy…we just sense it) had stopped growing at around 9 weeks 5 days. I passed him two days later.

Doctors at the hospital said that it wasn’t worth thinking about the cause of our loss. But I wanted to understand. So I started reading about Japanese kampo (a discipline that evolved from traditional Chinese herbal medicine) teachings.

I understood that it was most likely my own fault that the baby had to leave us.

And I also understood why I was able to conceive at an advanced age. Especially in the months preceding my 2nd pregnancy at 40, I was living in pure joy, perhaps for the first time in my life. In addition, thanks to having a young daughter, I was choosing to eat only wholesome, healthful foods (maybe with the exception of my daily coffee), taking quality naps, and going to sleep early with her.

Just by sheer luck, everything aligned.

There is so much wisdom in Eastern holistic medicine that can help older women conceive and stay pregnant. They are mostly cost-free lifestyle changes to prepare women’s body for conception. Unfortunately, Western (allopathic) medicine often fails to address many of these.

My purpose here is to share my learning with other women on the same journey.

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