“Dr Pentland quickly became “Spence” such is his easy-to-be-around manner. He clearly has a passion for helping couple’s achieve their goals, and that is, the successful birth of a wee monkey. Or in my case, a not so wee monkey. His optimism and expertise made him an invaluable part of both my IVF and first trimester journeys.”
– Mary-Jo Dionne
There’s a saying “it takes a village to raise a child”. In our case, it took a village to create a child. Well, maybe not a village, but a team of dedicated medical professionals who’s one goal was to help us create our child.
I’ve wanted a child of my own for most of my life. After my first love died too young, I thought through the pros and cons of having a child on my own but decided against it, thinking at the time that I was giving up on my dream. I embraced other people’s children, my nephews, god children and honorary nieces and nephews to fill the void. When I was in my early 40’s I met the man who is now my husband and it was important to both of us to create a family of our own. Following a miscarriage at almost 10 weeks in early July 2003, I got a lot of advice and referrals and ended up with my “village” – my wonderful OB/GYN, a fertility specialist and my acupuncturist. For a year, I followed a regimen that included western and Chinese treatments to improve fertility. In the end I had to face the fact that if I wanted a child I needed to consider donor egg ivf or adoption. Donor egg ivf would give me the opportunity to carry a child and my husband a genetic child of his own so we decided on that route. I set a time limit for myself to get pregnant on my own before proceeding down the donor egg ivf path and in Dec 2004 we started down that path.
One of my big concerns with donor egg ivf was getting around the idea that the child I would carry would not be genetically mine and whether that would make me feel as if the child wasn’t mine. My other concern was for the health and safety of the donor, who was doing this to fulfill my dream so I was desperately worried about the process for her. I was somewhat calmed during our initial meeting with our ivf doctor and his team. They had good success rates for both pregnancy and low rates of complications arising from the process. I also learned that the gestational mother has some bearing on some genetic traits as the “turning on” of the genes are somewhat dictated by the conditions in the womb which is why cloned sheep don’t look alike. A small detail maybe but it was huge for me.
We proceeded with the ivf process and at the beginning of May 2005 I was implanted with 3 embryos. And two weeks later a blood test revealed I was pregnant. An ultrasound at 5 weeks showed 1 beating heart and one unsuccessful implantation which I miscarried at 7 weeks. The rest of my pregnancy was routine and I was induced at 39.5 weeks (pre-eclampsia) and our boy was born 2 days later via c-section.
That was 5 years ago and our boy is our pride and joy and we cannot imagine our lives without him. He looks like a mini version of his father although he wrinkles his nose the same way I do. When he was a baby I used to be taken aback when people told me “oh he looks like you” because I thought it wouldn’t be possible. But as time goes by, the only time I think about our genetic differences is at medical appointments. I may be deluded in thinking that because I carried him, and my mum carried me, that part of her lives on in him. But for the most part, I don’t think about those things. I just think that we are so blessed to have our funny, smart, independent, truck mad, friendly child. And I give thanks to my “village” for playing such a huge role in his birth and to the donor who made it all possible.
I was only 3 days away from embryo transfer (IVF with donor egg) when my doctor discovered that my body was not reacting as he had hoped to the estrogen, therefore, the lining of my uterus was not as thick as it should be for implantation. He suggested I have acupuncture to bring more blood blow to my uterus, hoping to increase the lining. I found Spence on the internet and he knew exactly what to do. With only time for 2 treatments, we hoped for the best.
When my doctor scanned my uterus, he said my lining had improved by 75-100%!
I have suffered from infertility for a long time. I had done an IVF that went really bad. I got 14 eggs, 6 mature that 5 of them arrested the next day. I had just one very bad quality embryo to transfer and of course no pregnancy. When I saw my doctor after this failed IVF he strongly recommended donor egg to me. I was devastated.
Then I met Dr. Pentland at PCRM. I have to say I was really lucky to meet him. He spent enough time to educate me about acupuncture and the research of how it works. I started acupuncture weekly with him and he recommended supplements and CoQ10 as well. Acupuncture helped me so much to be relax and positive. 6 months later I did my second IVF, the result is unbelievable , 24 eggs, 22 mature, 18 fertilized, 6 grade 1 ( considering grading is from 1 to 5 which 1 is the best). I transferred 3 grade one embryos. No matter what outcome, I am the proof for acupuncture helping infertility.
I would suggest acupuncture for IVF, specifically Dr Pentland, to any lady who is going through the hardship of infertility.
Thank you Dr. Pentland for helping me hold onto the belief that I can do it with my own eggs!
2 years after having my first child we started to try for a second baby. Since the first time it happened quickly and easily we assumed it would be the same again. After 7 months of trying (and because I was 39 years old) our doctor suggested we see a specialist at PCRM and start the process to see what was going on. After initial tests and consultation with Dr. Roberts at PCRM we received devastating news. My FSH level was 16 and we had less than a 5% change of becoming pregnant. He suggested a donor egg since our chances (even with hormone treatment and IVF) would not be much better than that 5% success rate.
Even though the emotional and financial stress of going through IVF is huge, we decided we wanted to try.
I saw Dr. Spence Pentland’s brochures in the waiting room at PCRM and had heard from other women going through this same situation that the acupuncture was beneficial. After meeting with Spence and reading articles about the success rates of combining acupuncture with IVF, I decided to start treatments.
I highly recommend Dr. Pentland he is wonderful! Very thoughtful, understanding and kind – he made me feel at ease and right away my stress levels decreased. I went for treatments for a few months prior, during IVF procedure and after and I know it is why the implantation was a success. I only had one egg retrieved, it survived, the embryo multiplied and we became pregnant. We now have another beautiful daughter. I cannot thank Dr. Spence Pentland enough for supporting us through this journey.
I came to Erin as I had experience with miscarriage in the past, and wanted to do everything I could to keep this pregnancy. From herbal remedies to traditional acupuncture treatments, Erin helped calm my worries and educate me on numerous practices. The biggest difference I found from Western medicine was that Erin had time to hear my concerns, and created a treatment plan just for me. She listened and worked with me to overcome every symptom I was experiencing as my pregnancy progressed. Even when I was breech, Erin always found time to squeeze me in for another appointment to help turn the baby – and it worked! In the final few weeks of my pregnancy I felt I could depend on Erin to be around if I needed extra sessions, and to treat me to encourage birth when I was overdue. She provided me with techniques I could use to help with labour pain, and encouraged me when I felt overwhelmed.
The care I received from Erin and her clinic went way above and beyond I would expect a medical professional to do. She helped me relax and stay calm enough to focus on providing a stress-free home for my now healthy baby girl.
-name withheld, Vancouver
Grace has helped us come to a deeper understanding of ourselves through a process where we are integral to each other’s progress. The Imago method has been powerful in helping us grow together as individuals and, more importantly, as a couple.
Before visiting Spence, I felt so alone, frustrated, disappointed and sad every month when my cycle would start yet again. Almost all my friends, family and close co-workers were pregnant / having babies. I was surrounded by all these lucky people who didn’t have any problems conceiving so it was hard to find someone to talk to who really understood the ups and downs of what I was going through. I appreciated friends listening to me, but it wasn’t the same as being able to relate to someone who had experienced the same issues. I was charting my basal temperature daily, taking prenatal vitamins, using ovulation tests… I hoped we would get pregnant soon, but as I kept stressing about it, it did not help. It was like a vicious cycle. I just couldn’t seem to get it out of my mind.
My husband and I tried for a baby for 8 months before getting pregnant and then suffering a miscarriage. We were devastated and it took a long time for me to mentally heal after our loss. After another year passed of unsuccessful trying, my husband read an article in Time magazine so we decided to try acupuncture to help us have a healthy conception.
We met with Spence who is the sweetest person and so caring and knowledgeable in his field. He always made us feel like we weren’t alone in this struggle and gave us encouragement and support throughout the whole process. With his recommendation, we did a cleanse where we ate only certain healthy foods, exercised regularly and made time to relax. We both had acupuncture done and drank some Chinese herbal teas. I always looked forward to my appointments as they were similar to a spa experience with the gentle treatments, dimmed lights, aromatherapy and calming music.
After seeing Spence for 2 months, I got pregnant and we were beyond thrilled. Today we have a beautiful healthy baby boy! I believe that acupuncture and Spence’s skills played a pivotal role in our ability to conceive and would like to thank him for helping create our little miracle.
I want to say thank you with all my heart for the treatment you gave me.
I was suffering from extreme dizziness and unusual fatigue and weakness due to side effect of antibiotics, for about three weeks. Before I came for the treatment that you suggested I was functioning at 50% (which is not good at all). After one hour treatment from you, within half an hour that same evening, I felt different (meaning I was functioning at 95% somewhat normally and able to take care of my grandson and play with him). What you did for me was miraculous, just two treatments and I am at 100%.
I also want to say that every time I have come in for a massage treatment, I have walked out healed. Thank you so much Natalie Woodhouse. I highly recommend your services. You truly have angel hands. May your spirit touch everyone. Thank you.
I wanted to take a moment to send you a message of appreciation for Tuesday’s appointment. Thank you so very much for taking the time to listen to my whirlwind of symptoms and treating me as you did. I actually don’t even no where to begin except to say that within an hour of treatment, my entire mental and physical state had done a complete 180.
My headache had dissolved and I felt such clarity. Walking out of the office and into the sun, I took a deep breath and instantly felt relief, relaxation and calm. No more heavy or congested head from my horrible allergies. My sinuses were also clear as though nothing had ever caused them to close up. My energy level was better than my “normal” days and in fact, when I got home, I spent the next couple of hours cleaning!! This may sound like a stressful task, but for me, it’s very relaxing and therapeutic. I just didn’t have the energy to do so before, but that afternoon I was zipping through my chores and feeling great!
Even today, I am still buzzing. I worked a 13 hour day yesterday and it was amazing! I did take some time here and there to just pause, but overall, I felt wonderful and am continuing to feel that way. I don’t know what magic was released from the affect of the perfectly placed needles, but something had definitely settled my mind and body and brought me to a place of peace and functionality.
I knew that coming in to see you that day was exactly what I needed to feel better. You are truly gifted in what you do. ~ Maria D
I decided to try acupuncture to help relieve the stress of fertility treatment. Having only tried acupuncture in the past to relieve physical pain, I had no idea what to expect but have been amazed at how calming and helpful the process has been. Sean Quigley is caring, understanding and easy to talk to, which I consider to be essential attributes of a practitioner who deals with something as emotionally charged as fertility. Sean always takes the time to thoroughly ‘check in’ with me at the beginning of each session and is always willing to follow up on my questions. I have been receiving treatment from Sean for approximately 6 weeks and have definitely noticed a positive difference in terms of overall stress levels, including a major reduction in stomach cramping that I believe was stress related. While it is too soon to comment on the impact these sessions have had on the fertility treatment itself, my primary reason for visiting Sean was stress reduction so I am a happy customer so far! I am looking forward to continuing to work with Sean throughout the pregnancy journey and would recommend acupuncture to others struggling with fertility.
Sean is an excellent practitioner with a lovely friendly disposition. He always makes you feel lighter with his effortless warmth. I believe he has a true gift for helping to inspire people on a path of holistic wellness in a real and down to earth way. He is very skilled at working with injuries as well, as he helped my partner overcome several long-term sports injuries. I would recommend him to anyone suffering with chronic pain or injury, or those who want to get their health in better balance.
Sean’s lighthearted energy and gentle needling always have me feeling relaxed and receptive for treatment. I find myself smiling during our interactions. He’s very thorough and is always curious about how to support my cycle through acupuncture. He holds space in a way that is comfortable, inviting, and light. I always feel great after my sessions with Sean!