NEWS 9's Kirsten McIntyre Shares Successful Battle with Infertility
By Kirsten McIntyre, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Doctors say about 15 percent of couples experience infertility. For those couples, the journey to have a child can be expensive, heartbreaking and hopeless at times.
NEWS 9's Kirsten McIntyre has a very special success story, her own:
Every day, I ask people to tell their very personal, sometimes painful, stories. So, when given the opportunity to tell mine, my husband and I said "yes" only in hopes our journey can offer some encouragement to those couples still struggling.
It was the wedding of my dreams; after being single for 40 years, I was marrying my prince charming with an added bonus of Reagan and Harrison who I adore. But, I desperately wanted a baby and knew at my age, we didn't have a lot time. Just a few months after getting married, I went in for a simple blood test and as the results showed, I discovered my follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) was too high. I was told I would likely never get pregnant and a donor egg was my best option. I was devastated.
But, a dear friend suggested I research how to lower my FSH. Through the research I found a Web site called fertilesoul.com. There I discovered women with high FSH had used Eastern medicine to overcome their infertility.
I began to read about the site's founder, Dr. Randine Lewis, and bought her book. I learned Dr. Lewis had gone to medical school but out of her own struggle with infertility tried Chinese medicine. She's now helped thousands of women conceive.
"Basically, if we can get to the root of the imbalance then and rectify it at that level, then the manifestation rectifies itself," Dr. Lewis said.
As the book recommended, I started acupuncture, drinking wheatgrass and taking herbs and supplements on a daily basis. My husband and I were skeptics but I was desperate to try anything, even if it sounded crazy.
"We just tried to remain positive and keep our faith, and we kept going with all of the options we had," Kirsten's husband, Randall Gantz, said.
One of our options was with Dr. Latasha Craig, an Oklahoma City fertility specialist. Dr. Craig is a straight shooter, but also an optimist. She knew the challenge we faced, but believed it was possible.
"I keep being amazed at the body and everything it can do," Dr. Latasha Craig with the Center for Reproductive Health said.
As a teaching physician at OU, Dr. Craig is on the cutting edge of new treatments. Her research includes acupuncture.
"I think acupuncture and alternative medicine has been around for more than 2,000 years, longer than my medicine has," said Dr. Craig. "I don't understand how it works, but I think they know something we don't."
As Dr. Craig continued to work with us, I kept going for treatments with Jim Maher.
Weekly, Jim gave me acupuncture treatments. By checking my tongue and feeling my pulse he determined my Chinese diagnosis was Kidney Yang and Cold Uterus. It sounds odd, but simply put my body temperature was too cold to conceive.
"Basically balance out the levels of the hormones which is what the acupuncture can do," Maher said.
After months of acupuncture, Jim wanted to try something else: a heat lamp to warm me up. Twice a day, I applied heat to my stomach and back.
Eight months after beginning our journey, we got the news. The heartache was over, our prayers had been answered. Since I'm now 41, Dr. Charles Mirabile does ultrasounds every month.
"Everything looks normal," Dr. Mirabile said.
Ultrasound 4D images give us a glimpse of our baby girl and we're already in love with that little face. We're now just 11 weeks away from our family expanding to five. It's been an exciting time for all of us.
"I haven't really been known as the big sister, I'm just the oldest now so it's going to be fun," said soon-to-be big sister Reagan Gantz. "I'm excited."
"That I won't be the littlest anymore," soon-to-be big brother Harrison Gantz said.
Instead, the littlest will now be what we consider our biggest miracle.
Despite efforts by some acupuncturists in Oklahoma to regulate their industry, it's not. So, if you decide to try acupuncture, seek out a nationally board certified acupuncturist.
Other resources available for couples struggling with infertility: