Today, instead of writing my column, I would like to share a story with you from one of the students at the Master Herbalist Seminar that I attended last June. Here is Michelle Anderson's story. I hope you enjoy it.
For Your Health!
Amy Willis, Your Local Herbalist
My Miracle Baby
by Michelle Anderson, M.H.
Every baby is a miracle, but sometimes a baby’s arrival is an extra special miracle. That is the case with our baby girl. My husband and I desired to have children right away. After seven years we still had empty arms. We sought the help of doctors to no avail. The doctor told me, “I won’t be able to help you unless you take the fertility drugs I want to prescribe.” The trouble was those fertility drugs had side effects I didn’t care to experience, and they raised the chances of a multiple birth. Not only was I dealing with infertility, but I was also born with a heart condition. A multiple birth would be an added risk for many reasons. My cardiologists had cautioned me that pregnancy would be hard on me. They warned me of the complications I could face as well as the increased risk of miscarriage. They were willing to help me get through a pregnancy, but I had to be aware of higher than normal risks.
With all the odds stacked against me, I eventually resigned to the fact that I would never experience the joy of being pregnant. However, even during our darkest trials God is still working out His perfect plan for our lives. In the following years two precious children were added to our family through adoption. My daughter began praying that I would get pregnant. I just laughed, not really believing it would ever happen. We had been down that road and it didn’t work. By now it had been almost 14 years. Around this time I began studying at the School of Natural Healing. A more natural approach to health had always interested me. I also wanted to know of any natural “secrets” to keep my heart healthy. As I studied, I began applying what I was learning. I began taking cayenne and hawthorn daily for my heart health. I began drinking red raspberry leaf tea to help level out my hormones. I learned that milk and red meat could cause a hormonal imbalance, especially in women. I stopped consuming both. My body responded to these simple changes. Within three months, to my utter shock, I was pregnant! My goal with these simple changes had not been pregnancy, but a healthier, balanced state of being. By obtaining a healthy balance I had become pregnant. Now I had to go tell my cardiologist!
Once again I was warned of a high rate of miscarriage, preterm delivery, problematic edema and more. They also said as pregnancy progressed they would need to put me on diuretics for swelling and heart medication to keep my heart function and rhythm under control. The cardiologists felt confident they would be able to help me get to viability, when the baby could survive if born. They were even hopeful I would be able reach 32 or even 35 weeks if everything went well. However, they were very clear that no one with my specific heart condition had ever carried a baby to full term.
Throughout my entire pregnancy I took very good care of myself; eating healthy and continuing the hawthorn and cayenne. I was taking about one teaspoon, three times a day of each of these two herbs. I started drinking dandelion tea daily. Dandelion is a natural diuretic, and unlike prescription diuretics, it does not pull potassium from the body. At 37 weeks pregnant, I went to see my cardiologist. He was amazed! Not only was I was still pregnant, my ankles were not swollen, and I felt good! To add to the wonder, they had not needed to prescribe any medications to help with edema or heart function/rhythm. I never told him about my herbal “helpers”. Since no one with my heart condition had ever carried a baby to full term, the doctors were just waiting for me to go into labor.
On September 18, (three days overdue) Grace Elizabeth was born. As we enjoy our little “Amazing Grace”, I am convinced that God led me to the School of Natural Healing. Through the Master Herbalist program I gained the knowledge I needed to balance and strengthen my body. As a result, I not only got pregnant but carried a baby to full term. It was a thrill to attend the Master Herbalist Seminar and graduate while six months pregnant. I have also learned to never underestimate the prayers of a child!