Rebecca Green always felt she was meant to be a mother. But at age 32, her body wouldn't cooperate. After six months of trying to conceive, Green visited a doctor near her home in Harrisburg, Penn. The doctor put her on Clomid, a drug meant to induce ovulation, without discussing other options. When the Clomid failed, Green saw a reproductive endocrinologist, who suggested exploratory surgery to rule out endometriosis. "It was at that point," Green says, "where the obsession took hold. I was willing to do anything, pay anything, undergo anything-whatever, just so I could have a baby."
In her quest to conceive, Green underwent two intrauterine inseminations (IUIs) and took drugs to stimulate multiple egg release, but nothing worked. Her doctor, citing dysfunctional hormone levels, diagnosed premature ovarian failure and suggested she look into adoption. "The doctor told me all this on the phone and in the same tone you'd use to order a hamburger," Green says. That was 2004-two years after Green and her husband first started trying to have a baby.
By then, Green felt artificial treatments were merely further damaging her unbalanced system. She decided she wanted to "treat the body from within" and booked herself into three monthly retreats held in Tucson, Ariz., by Randine Lewis, Ph.D., author of The Infertility Cure (Little, Brown and Company, 2004). At the retreats, Green learned to use yoga and the calming Chinese exercise, qigong, to relax and rebalance her body. She started going for acupuncture sessions, cleaned up her diet, and took Chinese herbs. She also vowed to be less obsessed with getting pregnant. Her vow was tested several months later when her brother announced that he and his wife were expecting. "I cannot explain the pain I felt. I couldn't even be happy about being an aunt. All I kept thinking was, 'I better be pregnant by the time she has that baby.'"
A couple of months before her brother's baby was due, Green had a revelation: Maybe the goal wasn't getting pregnant; maybe it was accepting her brother's baby. "The morning my nephew was born and my brother called me to tell me, I started to cry. But this time they were tears of pure joy."
Then during her next cycle-three years after she first tried to conceive and one month after her nephew was born-she saw two lines on the pregnancy test. Green's commitment to enhancing her fertility naturally not only addressed her hormonal imbalances and allowed her to conceive without medical intervention, it also brought her to "that place of letting life come to me instead of forcing it to happen," she says. She credits the Lewis retreats, saying, "They turned everything around." In March 2006, she gave birth to a son, Zachary.
For her husband, Josh, it was a lesson in control. "In today's society, where people seek to have control over every aspect of their lives, this situation completely stopped us in our tracks. We were rendered powerless by the forces of nature. The only thing I could control was my constant and unwavering emotional support that we were in this together-and that somehow we'd find our way toward having a family."