DR. AMANDA SELMSER
Doctor of Functional Medicine
When my husband and I decided we were ready to start our family, I was deep in long work hours at a job I loved, working with women, fertility, and Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture.
Every day I heard dozens of stories of defeat, loss, strength, and triumph. I was asked all the time "if I had kids of my own" "if I wanted children".
Treating women and men with fertility and hormone difficulties is my passion. I studied everything I could about it from both an Eastern and Conventional perspective. I thought about it all the time as my husband and I tried to conceive our first child.
Months passed, and I became more and more stressed out. Firstly due to 60 hour work weeks, which failed to include much time for personal care, and secondly, due to an overactive brain that thought about all of the possibilities, we could be faced with when it came to trying to start a family of our own.
My friends were all having babies, daily announcements it seemed. There was never a conversation started on fertility challenges or losses. Outside of my work life, I was starting to feel very alone. No one asked us our plans, our feelings about them, or if we were okay. It was very obvious to me that these topics were my normal, and my clients' normal, but not the "real-life normal". It pained me daily.
I lost track of how long it actually took us to get pregnant. We would stop trying for months when it became overwhelming. We had made the decision to not seek conventional medical treatment, and I was determined to find my way through it using the medicine I was trained in.
Somewhere along with my defeat, I picked myself up and decided it was time to start giving back to myself. I changed my diet and herbal routine, I created more space for joy and the things that brought me happiness, I started working with energy medicine. My husband and I just naturally pulled the focus back to ourselves, having date nights weekly, that I still look back on so fondly.
We conceived shortly after that. A textbook pregnancy and unplanned home birth with our midwife, as my daughter rushed her way earthside. I was finally a mom.
Amidst the adjustment to life with a newborn and very short maternity leave (by choice), I slowly started to feel, unlike the person I remembered. My daughter slept well, but I was exhausted. My motivation to do the things I loved started to diminish. And then I was hit with a number of very challenging symptoms; anxiety, sadness, irritability, fatigue, insomnia, and exercise exhaustion.
At 14 months postpartum I sought out counseling and quite quickly a blood requisition was drawn up and a hypothyroid condition was diagnosed.
It was again, a small wake-up call. I did the familiar thing, I changed my diet and supplementation plan, I started exercising differently, I took the recommended medication, and I felt like a new me and a better mom.
We conceived our second child quite quickly after that, unfortunately losing her at just 6 weeks. I was devastated. I knew that at my age, miscarriage was common, but the statistics didn't bring me any comfort. I grieved and I healed. And we tried again.
A third pregnancy.
At our 12 week ultrasound, we were told that there was something wrong with the baby. We waited 10 of the hardest days of our lives, to be told that her heart had stopped beating on its own.
That later loss shook my world and broke me into a million pieces and it took a great deal of time to face and pick up those pieces. This time I decided to stop going about my health care needs alone. I hired a Naturopathic Fertility Specialist and asked for extensive testing. I followed her orders like they were my job. She counseled me on my overloaded cortisol levels and helped me better understand my system and way back to health through mind and bodywork.
And I poured myself into my own Functional Medicine studies.
I learned more during that challenging time about myself than I ever thought possible. My personal experiences set in motion a plan for my future clients. I walked my walk, further than I ever had in the past. I surrounded myself with guidance and experts. I let go of the notion that I was broken and alone. I eased up on my schedule and workload. I gave myself patience and time. I looked into issues that had been showing up in my system for years, and every so slowly repaired them. I opened up and talked about my experiences to those that would lend a listening ear.
I empowered myself. For myself, for my 3-year-old daughter, for the sweet girls I didn't get a chance to hold, and for all of the women that choose to trust me with may very well be, the most difficult chapter of their lives.
$Average Cost of IVF in Canada
%Chance of Prenancy Loss
Women I've Helped