I was diagnosed with fibroids—smooth muscle tumors that form in the uterus—in 2001. From that moment on, I began a 14-year battle to overcome fibroids, the resulting infertility, and a litany of other medical challenges. The road to my healing was a long and grueling one that included:
- 10 surgeries—five of them for fibroids
- 5 in-vitro fertilization cycles
- 1 heart-wrenching miscarriage
- 120+ days combined in the hospital
- A high risk pregnancy that resulted in my unborn baby fighting the fibroids that were siphoning off her blood supply at 21 weeks in utero
- My heart stopping on the delivery table
- And, thankfully, Nia, our miracle baby, being born at 2.5 lbs and 14 inches!
While our family enjoyed a storybook ending, my heart aches for families who are still fighting fibroids and infertility. The Fibroids epidemic affects over 110 million women, 70% of American women at large, and up to 90% of Black women by age 50. Many of these women have their personal and professional lives derailed by infertility, hemorrhaging, life-threatening anemia, debilitating cramps, embarrassing incontinence, and so much more.
As I struggled to find out why these foreign masses kept invading my body, I grew frustrated as gynecologists repeatedly told me that the cause of fibroids is unknown. But in 2015, I was introduced to the work of Aboriginal Medical Association Naturopathic Physicians Dr. Amsu Anpu and Dr. Amun Neb, who unequivocally asserted that Estrogen Dominance is the root cause of reproductive diseases such as Fibroids, Infertility, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Endometriosis and more. Together we co-founded the holistic Hope Beyond Fibroids Elimination Program, which has helped women eliminate up to 50 documented fibroids, infertility after 12 years, and more without surgery through our transformative holistic combination of coaching, nutrition change, herbal supplements and medical Qi Gong.
Every woman battling fibroids and infertility should know that stress stemming from high-pressure working and living, as well as diet and everyday pollutants (including BPA plastics), help drive Estrogen Dominance. The good news is that these issues are solvable, through a lifestyle of healing that reduces stress and incorporates the right kinds of movement and exercises.
I don’t think I would have been able to survive our journey without the flexibility that owning my business provided, which included working from home, and even from the hospital, for months at a time. A regular “9 to 5” would not have been able to accommodate the demands fibroids and infertility made on my body and time.
However, while working at home afforded me great flexibility and convenience, those positives were also a double-edged sword. The lines between healthy work/home life boundaries were easily blurred—making it even harder at times to get away from work-related stress. In response to this reality, I engaged my “Double E Strategy:” Establishing healthy boundaries and Embracing my limits. This includes each of the following and more:
- Making Today Count: On a daily basis, I focus on the three to four things that will have the greatest impact on my overall vision and goals. This requires becoming comfortable with saying no to other people’s last-minute projects, as well as learning how to accept and recognize what is and is not within my control.
- Mindfulness: Pausing several times daily—at least once every two to three hours—for a mindful minute of silence. It also includes prioritizing prayer as part of my daily ritual of releasing my cares/concerns.
- Movement: Incorporating breathing movement Qi Gong exercises into my routine to unblock my meridians.
- Mandatory Fun: Prioritizing people, things and activities that enrich and/or encourage me to be filled with peace and joy.
One of the greatest lessons learned on my journey of healing was that I had to stop being superwoman and start prioritizing my spiritual, emotional and physical health.
In observance of “National Fibroids Awareness” and “National Infertility Awareness” week (April 23 to 29th), we invite you to change your social media profile pictures, share your story and/or support the women in your circle battling these diseases using the hashtags #MyFibroidsStory #MyInfertilityStory #NIAW #NFAW. Collectively, we will proclaim that Fibroids and Infertility matter!
photo credit: Gessie Thompson