Even though our struggle to start a family was a long time ago (one that started well over ten years ago) it still feels real on so many days. It’s like infertility isn’t just something you “face” or “experience” or “go through.” You don’t finally get pregnant and then POOF! No more scars. Infertility seems to stick with you for a long time, maybe forever. But as horrible as it was (and it was HORRIBLE) I did have some quirky and crazy experiences.
Here is part of that story….
I tried almost everything to get pregnant. And when I say ‘everything,’ I mean everything.
If we were friends, it would not be uncommon to hear me say “I went to a new psychic healer last Sunday.”
And I know. I know.
If we were friends, you’d hear this stuff so often from me, it’s like someone else saying, “I walked upright last weekend” or “I saw the sun this morning.”
But what can I say? It was the norm in my crazy family and I was desperate to become a mother.
My own mother broached the subject of me seeing this one particular healer by prefacing the conversation with these words:
“He’s a little out there…”
If we were friends, you’d know what that meant coming from my mother.
“Oh. MY. GOD,” I said to her. “Does he have three heads and sacrifice small woodland creatures before the healing session begins?”
“Does he speak in tongues and coax snakes from a basket with a pan flute and then make you eat the snakes. WHILE THEY’RE STILL ALIVE??”
“Does he teleport himself into the room and put you in a trance and use a prob and — ”
“—NO. Will you stop this Tarah! For crisssakes let me finish!”
“Well, what then? Your definition of ‘out there’ is scaring me, given what you think is normal,” I said.
I was thinking of the time in junior high school when she dragged me to this not-so-nice part of town to see a healer who supposedly did psychic surgery. Yes, surgery with just his hands. HIS BARE HANDS. No medical instruments of any kind. No anesthesia. And this really isn’t the time to get into it, but let’s just say that although I’m far from convinced this a real thing, I did see the “doctor” produce some slimy bits of gobbley-gook that he claimed came from my Mother’s stomach.
(Wow. How often do you get to say a sentence like that??)
Anyhoo. Moving on.
“Humppff,” my Mom snorted. “No, he doesn’t have three heads or snakes or probes. He just uses these machines he invented and then takes a reading of your energy and heals you with these crystals.”
“Cool. Sign me up. As long as there are no live snakes involved, I’m in.”
Flash forward a week or so and I arrive at this woman’s house in the hills above Redwood City and a very normal-looking man answers the door. He’s so normal, in fact, that I mistake him for the home owner’s husband and it takes me a few minutes to realize that he is, in fact, the healer.
He asks me to take my shoes off at the front door, and offers me some gigantic, pink fuzzy slippers that have been placed by the steps. I have very small feet and so as I clumsily put a pair on, I look like I’m wearing clown shoes and I slip and slid my way down the uncarpeted hallway to the room that has been set up.
The guy, Gary (see! Gary! Even a normal name!) sort of waves his hands in front of me and asks what health issues I have.
“Well,” I start, “I’ve been trying to get pregnant for like FOUR years…”
He interrupts me to say that I have an issue with my fallopian tubes. (And I swear to GOD if I had a nickel for EVERY TIME a psychic healer told me that, I’d be a rich woman.) He says almost the exact same thing another healer told me a couple of months ago, when I was still not pregnant, that although I ovulate regularly, there’s something (I don’t know what…fluid? Scar tissue? Paste?) that creates an obstacle for the egg and by the time it gets anywhere, it’s too late.
So Gary proceeds to tell me that IVF will work (YAY!) but that after his miraculous healing I should probably wait and just try naturally for a few more months (BOO!).
The funniest part was when he waved his hands in front of me, taking a reading of some sort.
Gary: “Okay, blahblah, ooolamamoo, liver, kidney…” he mumbles. He continues, “okay, that looks good. I’m clearing the energy there and healing your organs.”
Me: “Okay, errr…thanks?”
He looks to the side, and keeps waving his hands in a circular motion. He then looks past me, over my left shoulder.
Him: “I need some help with this one guys,” he says to someone or something.
Me: [says nothing, eyes wide open]
He continues: “I don’t care…no. No, you decide. Who wants to help me?” (He’s still staring off into the distance, apparently talking to the someone, or the something, that has joined us in the room.)
Him: “Okay,” he continues. “Oh! All of you want to help? Thanks, that sounds good.”
Then he turned on this little machine that had a crystal on the top and some funky flashing lights. And he held it over my open palms and
I WAS HEALED.
Really? No, not really.
I’m still not pregnant.
Soon after this, I was treated—errr… subjected, to something my Mom billed as a massage but was really three hours of horrific pain and a grilling not unlike the Spanish Inquisition and the Salem Witch Trials all jumbled together in one long, nightmarish afternoon.
This particular healer grilled me about everything. He proceeded to question me about the last few years: why was I so stressed, why didn’t I release the stress? What was I holding on to for such a long time? Why couldn’t I get pregnant and on and on…
“Are you a stuffer?” he asked. My mind shot to the rather large bagel, egg and bacon sandwich I had crammed down my gullet earlier that morning…WAS I stuffer? I asked myself.
“OH! You mean emotionally….No. I am not a stuffer.” I answered.
“Do you take a long time making decisions?”
“No.!” I said very quickly, to help illustrate my point.
“How are your bowel movements?”
“Errrrrrr…do you want like a description or just a general overview? If you, like, picture, say, soft-serve frozen yo–”
” –No. Just the frequency, do you go three or four times a day at least?” he asked.
I was dumbfounded by this question. Do people DO that?! I mean, I have a full time job! I wasn’t quite sure how I’d balance that busy schedule of trying to get pregnant, working AND defecating and as I was trying to formulate what I hoped would be an acceptable answer, he continued on with the pressing of various body parts…like a crazed, question-asking, pressure point-pushing, pain-inducing MEANY.
I very quickly decided that I hated this man.
Finally he got to the whole getting pregnant thing and he was definitely in the ‘just relax and it will happen’ camp. And to me there was nothing more annoying than that. I could put up with the pressing and the screaming and the questions and even the judging, but that was IT.
“Why do you even want to have kids?” he asked me.
“For the tax deduction, obviously…” I responded coolly.
But soon after that appointment?
I was healed!
Nope. Actually, I was just really sore.
And still not pregnant.
In the end, it took five years, too many medical treatments to count, buckets of tears and thousands of dollars, but finally, one day, we were pregnant. And today, when my seven-year-old boy/girl twins are running around like crazy maniacs, screaming bloody murder and secretly taping notes to my back that say “I pooped,” my first thought is always “WHERE IS THE WINE?!” but soon after, my second thought is: “I’m so glad that we moved heaven and earth and finally – FINALLY – we were pregnant and now we have the joy and honor of watching these two little souls walk through the world.”