My journey began in 2014. Well, it was technically 2013 when the first healthcare professional dismissed my concerns and told me “there is nothing I can do for you- your hormones just have to regulate.” I had made the decision to stop taking the Depo shot, after experiencing several side effects including hypertension (high blood pressure) and weight gain. I’d already worked really hard to lose > 60 pounds, just for it to pile back on while on the shot. I went to the doctor because I was constantly bleeding/spotting and after researching causes, I felt like I was displaying symptom of PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.) He dismissed me.
So, when I got married in 2014, and we wanted to have children, I realized that pregnancy wasn’t “just happening” for me the way that people said that it would. I decided to go and see another provider. She told me to just lose weight. She dismissed my concerns about possibly having a hormonal imbalance that made weight loss difficult. She refused to do an ultrasound to observe my ovaries. She told me my only option was to start birth control again, even after hearing that I had experienced extreme hypertension when on birth control twice before. She told me that the only way I would have kids was with the assistance of birth control.
I wish that I was alone in this experience, but because of racism this is more common in Black women – being dismissed, symptoms and pain ignored, and receiving poor care.
I left her office feeling defeated and like a disappointment as a woman. I lived in a rural area, and it seemed as if I could not find a provider that would listen to me. I had no choice but to begin researching online to find something that could help me. In the meantime, I prayed & started fasting and started believing God for a miracle in healing and for a baby.
Turns out, I was on a journey. I discovered the power of fasting and a plant based diet. I was blown away. I had no idea how much food and products I used on a day-to-day basics impacted my health! I studied success stories of natural healing, herbs, dietary changes, ANYTHING that could help. I went vegetarian and starting seeing results in losing weight- but still no baby.
Thankfully, at this point we relocated to Atlanta and I was able to find a an office that had doctors that were trained in plant based eating and holistic healing. Here is where I found hope again. A doctor that LISTENED TO ME! I found a doctor that was willing to listen to my concerns, run labs, do ultrasounds and see past me being an “overweight black woman.” Someone that wanted to get to the root of the issue, instead of just prescribing something. He recommended that I try going vegan after doing an few diagnostic procedures and giving me an official diagnosis of PCOS, endometriosis and infertility.
I was devastated by this diagnosis, yet hopeful because I now knew what was wrong. I surrounded myself in online support groups because it seemed taboo to talk about these things in the Black community. I continued to learn more and more about holistic healing. I began taking herbs for fertility, I was using castor oil packs and doing my own womb massages to speak life and love back into my womb. I spent time fasting as a raw vegan and doing monthly juice fasts to detox and reset. I watched my body go from overweight, tired, sluggish, filled with anxiety and depression to someone that had hope, life and energy again. I saw how I went from days and days of painful cycles- so bad I could only lay on the floor in the fetal position to being able to hike Kennesaw Mtn while on my cycle pain free! Above all else, I had faith that God was going to perform a miracle in my life.
In October of 2017, my life changed forever! After all those days of believing for a miracle, I got proof! We naturally conceived my miracle baby boy, and on June 4th, 2018 we welcomed him Earthside! I’m so thankful for his life, and I pray daily that our story gives women HOPE that it CAN happen regardless of what doctors have said.
I hope that my story sheds light on a few topics, and encourages you to
a) advocate for your health- find providers that listen, and fire the ones that don’t.
b) look into holistic healing
c) know that even a diagnosis of PCOS or endometriosis or infertility can be defeated!!!
If you are a woman battling any of these things, I would love to connect with you! Sending you love, healing and hope!
About the author– Raye is a Registered Nurse turned SAHM, natural parenting influencer and breastfeeding specialist. You can find her on Instagram @everydaywithraye or in your favorite “crunchy mama” FB groups. She also enjoys creating content for her YouTube Channel: Everyday With Raye, which is where she documents her life as a natural mama and wife; and crafting handmade goods for her online shop. She is currently on a path to becoming a full spectrum holistic doula and IBCLC.