Reversing POF and Getting Pregnant!

Reversing POF and Getting Pregnant!
Michelle Adams of Loving Heart Yoga shares her amazing, inspiring fertility success story with us.

When Michelle was 35, doctors diagnosed her with an assortment of ailments: hypothyroidism, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), interstitial cystitis (painful bladder syndrome), and, told on her birthday, Premature Ovarian Failure (POF). At the time Michelle had two daughters, ages 2 and 5, but, as she put it, “There was something in my heart that told me I wasn’t done having kids.”

A doctor told her that the only way she could have another child is through adoption or surrogacy. “I was told I wouldn’t be able to carry a baby because of my hormones,” she says.

At 35, Michelle had almost no eggs, and her FSH was over 100.

She had to do something! And not only because she wanted another child. Besides the emotional pain of this shocking news, Michelle also suffered serious physical pain and discomfort from her ailments. “I had to have a catheter placed in my urethra two to three times a week so that my urine didn’t burn. It was awful!

Michelle had already believed in a mind-body connection. In her 20’s, she had read Andrew Weil’s book, Spontaneous Healing, and explored the subject further.

“I knew there was a possibility to heal, but I had to tap into it,” she said. In response to her diagnoses, she started studying yoga, Tai Chi, and Chi gong.

“I went deep with the yoga because that’s what resonated with me, and it had the tools for me to heal,” she says. She started yoga therapy training at Loyola Marymount University and became certified to teach yoga to children. She also worked with U.C. Medical Center physicians as part of her training.

“The body is meant to heal and finding the tools and ways to get the mind out of the way is what it’s about,” she said.

At the same time, Michelle became much cleaner with her diet. She had always eaten whole foods, but she began to eat more of it organic. She gave up alcohol and chocolate. She was still eating meat and gluten at the time, though. (She no longer does.)

“Once I stopped all those things, my body got lighter.”

With all her healing work, Michelle was able to get her stress response under control. By age 39, she no longer needed to be treated for interstitial cystitis and in fact had stopped all her medications except those to treat her thyroid condition. She was still on the Prometrium and Estrogen, though, and this gave her a kind of cycle: bleeding each month, but without ovulation. The way it works with your body, she explains, “it’s kind of like being on birth control.”

So, at 39 and a half, when she started feeling tired and her breasts were tender, she laughed at herself for buying a pregnancy test. “I was just doing it for fun; I hadn’t taken a pregnancy test for seven or eight years.”

Imagine her shock when the test showed positive. Her doctor couldn’t believe it and had her come in. “My doctor said this just doesn’t happen. I’m the only one.”

Her daughters were 8 and 10 at the time, and she was pregnant with her son, Mathew. After learning she was pregnant, she went off the Estrogen and Prometrium, and her hormones improved overall.

“The experience was the best blessing I could have asked for,” Michelle says now. Through her work, not only did she achieve lasting peace, but it also gave her a sense of purpose and inspired her life’s work: to share the healing benefits of yoga.

At her fertility yoga practice in Southern California, 90% of the students in her “Heartfully Breathing, Receiving and Conceiving” program are pregnant in the first 12 weeks.

“It’s funny how things happen for a reason,” Michelle says.

Reflecting on why some of us have fertility issues, she adds, “Lessons don’t come to us when we are handed all that we desire. For couples who are dealing with infertility, it is a chance to grow as a person and as a couple.

“...Yoga, in particular, gives students the tools to illicit the relaxation response which ultimately improves their chances for fertility.  But the tools we give them in class, carry them throughout their lives…. It is all about being in an optimal space, both physically, emotionally and spiritually, the majority of the day.”

Michelle also adds, “You can’t get to that place without a super clean diet; you can’t sit still in your body without it.”

After the birth of her son, when her hormones dipped again, she says she had to boost the healthy fats in her diet, get off all sugars, eat organic, have just a few grains. “If I had done more [for this diet] sooner,” she says, “I would have been pregnant sooner.”

What one piece of advice does she have for others struggling with fertility today?

“You never say never because you just don’t know… There is always hope, there is always an option. You do the work—the yoga, diet, and so on—and then you release and let go. You leave it to a higher power. Because ultimately, it’s not up to you.”

Michelle offers a phrase from yoga: “Ishvara-pranidhana,” which means surrender to the divinity within you.

To learn more about her yoga practice and philosophy, visit her website:
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