Hi! I’m Anna Rapp, and I’m a fertility and non-toxic living expert. The doctors told me it would be impossible to get pregnant, but I used my graduate training in research methods to fix my hormones and get pregnant naturally for the first time in 2014 and the second time in 2017. I started this blog to share all the latest fertility and non-toxic living research. Now To Make a Mommy also includes posts from fertility doctors, acupuncturists, and other fertility and non-toxic experts.
Anna Rapp’s Story of Overcoming Infertility & Recurrent Miscarriage
After two years of trying to get pregnant, with multiple early miscarriages, endometriosis, an MTHFR mutation, low AMH, low antral follicle count and an FSH reading of 34, I was told that I would never have a baby with my own eggs at an age of 32.
I was frustrated, sad, and on the verge of depression. I embarked on a series of life changing diet, exercise, spiritual, and emotional work that lowered my FSH to 12 (and to 9 the second time around!) and helped me get happy and healthy, and ultimately pregnant naturally- twice! This blog is the story of those life-changing efforts. Read my first blog post here!
I’m a trained and dogged researcher, and I approached infertility the same as I did anything- by spending months combing the internet, reading books, and talking with various healers in order to develop my fertility plan to get pregnant.
I don’t want you to have to do the same. I am writing the blog that I wish existed when I was trying to get pregnant. I very much hope that my story inspires other women to empower themselves and own their fertility journey- and to ultimately get pregnant and become the mommies they are meant to be.
I grew up in North Carolina as the daughter of two academics. I did my undergrad at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where I double majored in Russian Studies and Political Science. I was born and raised a Catholic, and you’ll find many blog posts about how my faith inspired my fertility journey.
I have a Masters in Public Policy & Administration, and a Masters in Business in Administration from Isenberg Business School, both from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In my Public Policy classes I was taught to critically read peer reviewed studies published in academic journals, and not only understand them, but understand the strengths and shortcomings of research design and analysis. I’m so grateful for this training because it set me up with the confidence I needed to carefully analyze published studies.
As I spent time researching scholarly articles while trying to conceive, I was shocked at how many fertility-related studies aren’t shared in the news. I was also shocked at the sheer number of studies whose results are misconstrued when the news covers them.
One of the purposes of this blog is to actually read the research that is thrown around haphazardly, and share the actual findings with you. I have a special interest in the newest and greatest research on optimizing a fertility diet for egg health.
Me NOW! 🙂
I live in Northern Virginia with my husband and our two miracle children. In addition to blogging about fertility, I enjoy cooking healthy homemade meals, spending lots of time in nature, and excessive cuddling. I’ve also become a homeschooling mom to my eldest, which was completely unexpected!
You can read my whole story in my first blog post. You can also sign up for my newsletter and download the list of everything I did to get pregnant by going here!
I’m so glad you found me!
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About To Make a Mommy
I started this blog to share how I got pregnant naturally after the doctors told me I would only have a successful pregnancy with donor eggs. Through significant diet changes and mind-body work, I went from being frustrated, stressed, and near depressed with an FSH reading of 34, to happy, healthy, and pregnant in under three months.
It took reading multiple books, websites, and research studies, working with coaches, hypnotherapists, acupuncturists, and much, much more to come up with the plan that I put into motion in July 2014 that led to my pregnancy in September 2014. After two years of trying to conceiveI finally figured out the secret to energizing my eggs, warming my womb, increasing my overall health and vitality and . . . GET PREGNANT!
Basically, I want to write the blog I wish I’d found while researching how to increase my egg health and get pregnant naturally. There are so many websites and books out there that are just encyclopedias with an overload of information- much of which is out of date, incorrect, or just not practical. You won’t find a blog entry here rhapsodizing the god-like effects of maca for fertility because 1) I didn’t use it, and 2) you can find that information all over the internet. Seriously. Google “maca for fertility” and you’ll be up to your eyeballs in that nonsense. What I do want to share is what worked for me, including, for example, my approach to fertility supplements.
More importantly, I want to challenge my readers to make major life changes. I spent two years following mainstream fertility advice, and it just didn’t work. Things like “minimize caffeine consumption” and “eat lots of vegetables, meat, and high-fat dairy,” were not enough, and I doubt that such general advice will work for anyone with severe issues with egg quality or other “infertility” related diagnoses. I realized that I needed to go “all in” and try my very hardest before deciding to go the donor egg route.
If you have spent years trying to get pregnant, either naturally or with IUI or IVF, and are reaching a point of frustration and doubt, you have come to the right place. But be ready. Recreating the path I took is not for the faint of heart. I dedicated three months to my plan for fertility. That means three full months of strict diet choices such as no caffeine, no coffee of any kind, no alcohol, no sweeteners of any kind, no refined carbohydrates of any kind, and many other requirements that are probably pretty different than your current lifestyle.
If you have experienced many years of trying to conceive and failing, and if my journey speaks to you, consider committing to the To Make a Mommy Plan for three months before trying another cycle of IUI or IVF. That way, you and your eggs can be in tip-top condition for the big event. Additionally, if you have reached the end of your rope with doctors and are ready to give up on IVF and move on to donor eggs or adoption, consider committing yourself to just three months of this plan.
I can’t guarantee it will work. I can’t guarantee it will make you healthy, happy, or pregnant. Your journey is yours and yours alone. Take what I offer, consider it, and make your own plan that meets your needs.
Now, if three months of doing ALL THE THINGS doesn’t work, and you want to move on, eat cupcakes, have a glass a wine, and start the adoption procedures, go for it. If it doesn’t work, but you feel happier and healthier than ever, consider sticking with it a while- maybe your body just needs a little extra time to process some old emotional or physical baggage. If it DOES work, make sure to email me your story and leave it in the comments of this post on success stories!
Basic Tenets of this blog:
- I believe we are our own best healers. We MUST advocate for ourselves and manage our own reproductive journey. No one doctor, therapist, or acupuncturist knows exactly what you need. Surround yourself with wise women and men who can contribute knowledge and tools to your baby journey, but make your own decisions!
- The cycle of egg creation is 90 days. That means that if you can make ALL of these life changes for three months, you’ve got a good shot of getting pregnant. This is important! I never planned to give up caffeine, alcohol, and sweets for the rest of my life! But I was totally willing to give them up for three months. I can do anything for three months!
- I believe in the power of women to create life, and in the power of women to heal themselves. Not like crazy faith-healing, but in the power of women to be their own doctors. No one knows your body better than you do! They key is to listen to it!
- Everything I share will be backed up by either science/evidence or my own personal experience. Anything else is just wasting all of our time and likely exists elsewhere on the web.
- Spending years and years trying to conceive is hard on your sense of well-being and your marriage/partnership. Why not go for the gold and do EVERYTHING you can to maximize your chances of getting pregnant NOW, naturally or during your next IVF cycle? Do you really want to wait through multiple failed cycles or devastating early miscarriages just to decide to buckle down and do the diet years from now? NOW is the time!
- I will never tell you to “just relax.” Ever! This is a relaxation free zone. In the To Make A Mommy fertility plan you are encouraged to feel ALL your little feelers, including anxiety, anger, and grief. In fact, all of those feelings are helpful! They are your energy which should be channeled towards creating a baby.
- I believe in a higher power, and I reference it frequently. I use the words “God” and “Universe” the most often to refer to what I understand as the divine. I believe the divine resides in us, and that all our being is connected and working towards our greater good. I am by heritage and faith Catholic, though not a terribly good one, and I do not judge those who follow different faiths.
- I want to share this information for free. I’m not trying to sell you a course where all the secrets are hidden. If you join my newsletter, I won’t try to up-sell you on a course or expensive membership program (although I certainly will tell you if coach friends of mine are offering FREE things). If you love my blog and want to support it and my family, click here to see How to Support To Make a Mommy!
“Okay!” you say. “But what do I do to get pregnant???”
Well, remember, we don’t just want to get pregnant- we want to get happy and healthy too!
You can also sign up for my newsletter and receive my list of every single thing I did to get pregnant (it turns out it was 79 things!).
The 79 Things!
Want to know how I got happy, healthy, and pregnant in less than 3 months after 2 years of infertility and miscarriages?
You need my list of the 79 diet and lifestyle changes I made that transformed my life and brought my miracle baby to me!
Although some of the photography is by or my husband, all of the pregnancy and newborn pictures were taken by the amazing Bee Me Photography.
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