acupuncture fertility

Moment Choices….. Do you know who you are….

So recently I was watching an episode of ‘Greys Anatomy’, Im using one of those Apple TV thingies with an American Account so I get to see about 6 episodes ahead of the Irish releases…. 🙂 I promise Im not going to give away too much of the episode. But I have to say its an episode thats definitely one of my favourites, its episode 17, ‘Do you know’.


It runs through one of ‘Christina Yangs’ decisions in life, and the choices she makes in one day.. The choices, her Career, or to start a family.

At the start I found it quite difficult to get into, it was going way too fast for my brain, it started at a moment in Christina Yangs day with a choice she made, and then we’d be flying through her future life in minutes based on her decision. It was so incredible to see this happen. But when you think about it really, its very much like our own lives, we make a decision about something and then our lives fly by us.

The interesting thing about this is that we all make choices in our lives every day, that impacts our future. For me, there are three major moments that I can think of immediately, where one turn on the road would have me with a completely different life.. Theres ‘Ann’, my life’s love, my work love and the love of my family… Every day, I make choices that can dramatically impact my future in all areas of my life.

When I first started out as an acupuncturist I had no intention of practicing. I only did it out of, well, being bored with my own life. I had experienced a number of months of work stress and illness where my doctors weren’t sure how to help me , this was back in 1998. But I know there was something wrong here. Why can’t you fix it. Their answer was something out of Groundhog day, over and over again, where I couldnt be helped. Im stressed… Im not sleeping……

Out of desperation, I finally went to this old Chinese doctor, grey haired, and of timid build he must have been about 150 years old…. But jumped around like a teenager. It was out of pure exhaustion that I went to this guy. In a dirty, tiny, room on a third floor, where the stairs was squeaky and rotten, where you felt every step would be your last, as the floor rotted from underneath you… There were three beds in a row, with curtain rails between each bed. He didn’t speak a word of english and used a younger Chinese lady to translate into english…


Most of the first session was a blur, except for one question he kept asking me…. I still laugh at it…. He kept asking me about my Limbo… I was like what the hell is my limbo…. Every other session… He’d ask… How you limbo… your limbo… I actually thought it was some sort of dance… I was getting better, I was improving, I was sleeping, getting my energy back… This might actually be working… Then during one of the sessions he pulled out a chinese to english dictionary…. My limbo wasn’t a dance, well it could be I suppose… He was actually asking me about my ‘Libido’ 🙂 I was like, ‘Dude…’ don’t ever ask another guy about his sex life, we don’t even know each other…. My moments choice at that time was to never go back to this guy…. He did nothing wrong, he was just asking me questions that were relevant to his diagnosis…. But I didn’t get it at the time. It was time to find someone new to help me heal.

I was feeling better, getting stronger in body and mind….. So I found another acupuncturist. His name was ‘Greg’ and he was an amazing dude…. I felt so inspired by this guy… One day, while we were chatting, you know ‘Gordon’ you’d be really good at this. Would you ever consider quiting all this stress in your life and doing something like this. I was like, acupuncture, wow, do you really think I could do it… He said to me there and then, if you think you can, you will, if you think you can’t, you won’t…. Its your life…. And thats so important to remember. This is our life…. But most of us don’t know it. We forget. My moments choice, I was going to study acupuncture…. I found a school in Dublin and spent three years studying the amazing art of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine…. This was to be a monumental moment choice, one that would turn my life, up, down and inside out……

Fast forward three years, and Im in a Russian hostel in Latvia… It was December 23rd and I was seriously considering having a mid life crisis that day, just to add to the Christmas spirit. Now I will say to you, being in a russian hostel in the middle of one of the coldest winters in history a few days before Christmas, is not a good idea and not one of my brightest ideas… I was on my own, working at the time for an Irish company, I had asked them for a month off so that I could find myself…. as I was absolutely miserable, stuck in life and actually for the first time in my life, would say on the fine line of my sanity….. Half asleep, on my bunk with a few passed out russians, eastern europeans and other foreign tourists in this €3 a night hostel. trust me when I say this, it was not the ‘Ritz Hotel’ where the stench of drink and sweat would turn the stomach of the hardest of any Scottish highlander, it was just so disgusting. I was in the bottom bunk with a Finish guy on the top bunk, who was flying back home in a few hours. Actually most people would be gone that day, flying home to families and friends. I however would not.

The next 36 hours would be however, my biggest life moment choice…. It would change everything for me… At one of my darkest moments, a decision would be made. On the 25th of December, Christmas day, I was alone, I remember being on my bunk, trying to gather the courage to ring my family, first on my list was my dad. I remember, ringing him, holding every breath, forcing my heart rate to slow down. It had been my first every christmas without my family, I remember thinking to myself, what am I doing here.


I started out overly happy, telling him of this amazing trip I was on and how I hand found this amazing 5 star hotel that I was staying in, just for christmas, and there were a group of us from all over the world going to celebrate an amazing Christmas day. At the time I was convinced I had pulled it off. But of course my dad knew better… he didn’t let on. He just said, you know Gordon, if you need anything, just ask… We said good bye and I turned off the phone and cried, staring at a tin of beans of some sort, and some stale bread that I had bought a few days before. Alone in the hostel except for the staff members that were forced to work that day… Drinking themselves stupid with vodka and Abysint … But out of the ashes of anyones most darkest moments, where the insignificance of normal life can’t blind you into deceiving yourself at how everything is ok. When its not. Comes a choice. A choice to live your life, or not.

While looking in my battered suitcase under my bed for some chocolate i kept for Christmas day, I found a book that a good friend had given me a few months earlier. I remember just throwing it into the case for something to read on the plane.. I had completely forgotten about it. The book was ‘The Infertility Cure’ by Dr Randine Lewis. I remember thinking, if I just read the book, it will pass this day quicker and I can move on from this misery.. Now maybe its the combination of Russian vodka, stale bread and beans…. But wow, wow, wow. It just hit me like a bolt of lightening. I was buzzing with excitement….. At 3am in the morning I finished it, ran upstairs to the 2 ancient internet computers and searched out as much information I could find…. By 5am I’d booked flights from Dublin to Vancover, Canada. She was doing a 4 day course in 3 weeks time………

So for a moment, take a look back at your life, find 3 moments, take a deep breath, and hold, look at those 3 minutes of your life that changed everything. What would they be… And what were the other decisions you could have made… We all have them. And by the way, they don’t need to be wonderful moments actually they shouldn’t be. I truly now believe, that life helps you us much as it can, we just don’t see it, even though we look at our lives and go, Jez, I never have it easy. Things never come to me easily. And you look around at all the other people in your life, where their lives look so much better that yours. Everything comes so easy for them…. Beautiful house, new car, great job, family, kids. When life was tough, was there another option you could have taken, did you see that choice, or were you afraid to make that choice.

Now I’d like to make a suggestion. What moment choices are you making about your fertility, those decisions your making to have a baby. Everyone has a story, a journey, some will have reached their goals and have that beautiful baby in their arms right now while reading this, others half way through, maybe pregnant, maybe on the two week wait, and some will be at the start of your fertility roller coaster, unfortunately, naive to what lies ahead over the next few months, sometimes years. Infertility is a cruel taskmaster.

Every choice you make, will have an effect on you and your ability to have a child. Question everything, don’t be led blind by us experts, take charge of your fertility. Don’t hand it over to us. Our minds are so so powerful. And when it comes to infertility, hope is the first thing to leave you.

I have one last question for you. Do you really truly see yourself being pregnant, can you see your child or do you like most of my patients, where you feel broken. I know its so hard to feel hope, to be optimistic, when your 3, 5, 13 years trying for a baby. When everyone around you has moved on in their lives, having their babies. Their children. No one will ever get it, they will try. But only you can truly understand how you feel. One last thing, if you think you can, you will, if you think you can’t, well, you won’t…. Its your life…. You make the moment choices…

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