Acupuncture for infertility

When I was trying to get pregnant with my first, I turned to acupuncture. I should clarify that I turned to acupuncture in addition to (most importantly) seeing a fertility specialist (a doctor). I also: purchased and wore a fertility bracelet (how can it not be legit if it’s featured on Real Housewives of NJ!?), signed up for a yoga for fertility course, read countless books about infertility, and tried to meditate. In sum, I desperately wanted to get pregnant.

Although stressful at the time, I now have very fond memories of my acupuncturist. She was very close to my (then) home in southern California, close to downtown. She burned herbs during the treatment session so I always left smelling like I had just smoked weed. Once the acupuncture needles were in place, she lay some of the herbs on the acupuncture needles and burned them (or something of the sort). I don’t quite know because my eyes were closed the entire time, as I was trying to both meditate/unwind while also trying not to freak out about the needles.

I got pregnant after one such session. It was a Thursday in February and we had just finished our in-service exam (a test all dermatology residents across the US have to take to prepare for the actual boards). I fit in an acupuncture session before flying up to northern California, where my husband lived. I was pretty sure I was going to ovulate because the ovulation stick had shown a solid smiley face, which is different, apparently, than a blinking smiley face.

I parked my car in the downtown area, where they happen to have a farmer’s market on Thursday evenings. I completed my acupuncture session only to find that my car had been thisclose to getting towed. That would have put a real damper on the conception plans. In any case, to make a long story short: I made it to NorCal and our baby was conceived that night. When I am feeling particularly dramatic, I’ll say to my husband: “I got pregnant thanks to acupuncture” or “I got pregnant thanks to my fertility bracelet”, to which he’ll reply “I’m pretty sure you got pregnant thanks to medicine – aren’t you a doctor?” This is when I’m most proud of him, because I did get pregnant because of medicine, although I’m sure everything else helped a little bit.


We spent the weekend doing #allthingssummer. We played outside almost all day – at the playground, the beach, the pool. We rode bikes, splashed around, ate outdoors. It was hot but so so lovely. It brought back fond memories of summertime in NY. I don’t know what it’s like for those who grew up in California, but if you grew up in NY, you savored the summer.

As a child, I remember hot days kicking a soccer ball around the park behind our home, climbing trees with my friend Michael, and spending days swimming in Kristen’s pool. Now, when I say pool, you may be envisioning a beautiful in-ground pool with a diving board. Kristen’s pool was above-ground and in retrospect not much larger than a hot tub. But at the time it was the bomb! Kristen was the only kid I knew with a pool and it was key for those hot summer days. My parents would also take me to the community pool. I loved it there. I would swim for hours! My lips would turn blue and my teeth would chatter but I would refuse to leave the pool. I fondly recall learning how to dive here and feeling so proud.

A few years later and a little bit older, I remember long days of  running around the neighborhood. I would wake up in the morning and eat bowls and bowls of cereal (Blueberry Morning was a real favorite) while reading. My mom would tell me to focus on one or the other (in retrospect, she was right) but I would keep on downing cereal and taking in the words. Once I had carb-loaded, I’d head out the door.  I’d meet up with friends and we would spend hours running around. We’d ride our bikes, rollerblade, play tennis (and pretty much any other sport one can play outdoors), pop over to each other’s houses, and find creative ways to pass the time. We’d come home hours later tired and dirty.

Hot, sticky NY summers also called for a lot of ice cream and ice pops. For a while I was really into the patriotic, red, white and blue pops. This must have been before I became obsessed with chocolate.

Older still and we’d stop for bagels before spending the day at the beach. The Long Island beaches were always crowded once Memorial Day hit. We’d put on our tanning lotion (these were my pre-derm days; I wish I could take them back now that I see the sun damage on my face) and lay out on the beach for hours. We’d head back home tired and happy. On other days we’d hang out at a friend’s pool or canoe. And there was still ice cream.

So many memories – too many to jot down in one sitting, but I hope to pass these very same memories onto my own children. So looking forward to all that summer 2017 has in store!