How I Had a Baby After Doctors Said IVF Was the Only Way

06/16/2016 11:23 am ET
I married when I was 35 going on 36.  Typically, women my age tend to start trying to get pregnant as soon as possible.  They feel their biological clocks ticking, and society’s put it in our heads that we’re running out of time to have a baby.  But my husband and I didn’t rush into it.  It wasn’t until our first wedding anniversary that we started getting serious about trying to conceive.  My long-time gynecologist happened to also be a reproductive endocrinologist, so it seemed natural to stick with a doctor I was already comfortable with (especially for this situation). 
I can’t remember exactly how our whole baby-making journey started, but because my doctor specialized in fertility issues, I went through some standard tests just to see if things were still in good working order, so to speak.  This is what opened our eyes and made us realize that getting pregnant was not going to be as easy as so many people make it seem. 
I found out that I had a few problems that could potentially hurt our chances: first, I had polyps in my uterus.  When I had a hysteroscopy scheduled and my doctor went in to remove them, she discovered endometriosis, mainly over my right ovary.  She did not sound optimistic that we could get pregnant, even after removing the scar tissue.  She recommended Clomid with IUI.
After a few months of having no success, I started to feel discouraged.  My doctor started talking IVF.  I couldn’t believe we were already “too old” to have a child on our own.  We consulted with 2 other renowned fertility specialists in the area and were told pretty much the same thing.  A baby seemed more and more like something that was going to be nothing short of a miracle for us.
I refused to believe medical intervention was the only way we were going to be able to have a baby.  I know it’s not always about age, but I was only 37 at the time, and lots of women these days are having kids at this age, if not older!  I started doing serious research, learning more about my body, and what my body needed – as well as what my husband’s body needed – to have a healthy pregnancy and baby.  I learned a lot more than I ever thought I would.  It truly is a wonder, having a baby.  I can’t remember exactly how, but my search led me to a book that I wound up purchasing from Amazon.  It’s a book I have no problem telling friends about.  “Making Babies” by Dr. Sami David.  In it I learned about vital nutrients my body may be lacking.  It’s amazing what a few tweaks just to your diet alone can do to increase your chances for successfully conceiving and having a baby, naturally!
After a few months of tweaking our diets and using other methods to find our optimal time to conceive, we finally became pregnant.  Unfortunately, our first pregnancy ended in miscarriage.   But, I kept my faith and got pregnant again a few months later, and had our beautiful baby boy days before my 39th birthday.  What a gift, huh?
I want all you mothers-to-be, "older" or not, to become better advocates of your own health.  Medical doctors don't know everything.  Do your own research and consult other specialists if you have to.  In our case, I truly believe it was faith and just a refusal to give up that helped make me a mom at nearly 40 years old.
Now my challenge is meeting and connecting with other “later” moms - and trying to keep up with my bundle-of-energy toddler!
I plan to share my whole infertility story more in depth on my blog.  Thanks for reading!
By Joan Powell, working mom and blogger from Michigan.  Visit
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