I have told this story to so many people that I've decided the easiest thing to do now is blog about it and send the link to anyone who asks, rather than write it out every time. It comes with a health warning though as I don't wish to peddle snake oil, and I'd hate to give any credence to alternative therapies such as homeopathy, reiki, aromatherapy or any other laying on of hands. As Tim Minchin says in his song about 'alternative medicine', if it worked it would just be called 'medicine'. And it may have just been co-incidence and that our time had come, but the usually rational, sceptical me really believes that osteopathy got me pregnant. There, I've said it. May Hippocrates strike me down (only for me too be revived by some water with a memory of some passing lavender but no memory of all the shit and piss that passed through it).
When we had been trying to conceive for a couple of years, after medical investigations had found no major reason for this and before fertility treatment had commenced, I slipped over on ice and hurt my shoulder. I decided to get it sorted out by an osteopath and rang a practice I had used before for a previous injury. The osteopath I had seen then no longer worked there but another did and I booked in to see him.
On the day of my appointment I had terrible period pains. I got these every month - the crippling distracting awful pain would last for about four hours and a lesser version would hang around all day. It started just before I left the house but determined to get my shoulder sorted I made a hot water bottle, shoved it in the back of my skirt and got the bus. I may have looked ridiculous but bus passengers in their jim-jams are not an unusual sight round here so a hot water bottle barely raises an eyebrow.
The osteopath worked on my shoulder then asked about the hot water bottle. I explained and he said he could fix that too. He did something to my back, higher up than the pain, and the pain disappeared instantly. I was so impressed I asked him about fertility. He felt my back again. Of course you're not conceiving, he said, you're all blocked up and your body won't conceive until it is helped to fix itself, or words to that effect.
My period pain came back a couple of hours later, on one side only. The next week I had another appointment for my shoulder. I told him about the returning period pain and he felt my back, agreed that one side still felt 'blocked', and did something more to my back. I am a sceptic - of course he said one side was blocked, I thought, because I told him the pain had come back on one side, like the guesses of a dodgy psychic.
I had another period. The pain was minimal - about 90% better. If nothing else comes from the treatment, a fixed shoulder and a 90% better period pain is enough I thought. But encouraged by the amazing improvement in the period pain I went back one more time. The osteopath did something else to my back. I think you'll be ok now, he said. He was right - that month I conceived.
It may be coincidence. It may be that at over two years we are just one of those couples whose stats combine with people who conceive first try to bring the national average to about a year. But actually, much as I am loathe to sound new agey, much as I promise I don't own a single crystal and am not interested in the colour of my aura, I really think that osteopathy got me pregnant, or as I no doubt annoyingly like to say to my husband, my osteopath* got me up the duff.
(*You can email me on goodynuffmum at gmail dot com if you want his details)