“The fact that people get pregnant is a miracle in and of itself,” said Melissa Trimble.
She and her husband, James, had almost given up. Two years of trying. Two surgeries for endometriosis. Too many tears.
“I think it’s really easy to feel alone and really isolated in all of it," said Melissa.
Which is why they decided to share their journey publicly.
James, lead singer of The Dirty Guvnahs, turned to his music. The pain helped inspire the group’s final song, 'Benediction.'
In addition to fertility treatments, Melissa added acupuncture. Sarah Prater of the the Tennessee Center for Reproductive Acupuncture, says it’s beneficial to anything reproductive, and the process is pretty much what you would expect.
“Basically it is what you think it is. We put needles in patients and help them feel better,” said Prater. “They’re about as thin as a hair, flexible. You really don’t feel anything when they’re inserted.”
Positive results drive Sarah daily.
“There’s nothing better than when a patient tells you that they’re pregnant.”
Sarah says acupuncture provides two major fertility benefits. It reduces stress and improves blood flow.
“The increase of your blood flow is going to get better nutrients to your endometrial lining, your follicles, your eggs and just really set up for a good cycle.”
Sessions take about 20 to 30 minutes and benefits are immediate.
“You’ll notice results right in that first visit. Most people leave feeling relaxed. They sleep really well that night,” says Sarah. “That blood flow effect and stress relief happen immediately."
Acupuncture also regulates hormones over time, and Sarah is pleased with the success rate.
“In the last four to five years I’ve been doing fertility exclusively, I’ve kept track of my IVF statistics. We have about a 60 percent success rate here in the clinic.”
That includes Melissa.
“It was my third cycle with Sarah here when I miraculously got pregnant," said Melissa.
Sarah almost fell to the floor when she discovered a pulse.
“Acupuncturists often use pulses as a diagnostic tool,” said Sarah. “I checked her right before she was getting ready to test for pregnancy and my knees gave out. I felt that pregnancy pulse.”
Melissa has continued acupuncture throughout pregnancy, and says that it has helped her through.
“It definitely helped with some of my sickness in the beginning and just overall anxiety," said Melissa. “The morning sickness, back pain, fatigue, reflux, headaches, swelling,” adds Sarah.
The Trimbles are now due in July, and they have been anxiously preparing.
“We’ve been reading books, singing and we got these headphones that you can put on your belly and play music,” says Melissa. “I would be lying if I said we didn’t play some Dirty Govs, but we did.
And, he or she… seems to really like it.
“It’s a surprise!" said Melissa. "I can’t wait to hear if it’s a boy or a girl. It’s one of those moments I didn’t know if I’d get to experience or not."
Sarah says she would like to see more men at the Tennessee Center for Reproductive Acupuncture. She says acupuncture can help some male factor infertility issues as well.