Meghan’s Gianna Experience


How did you first hear of the Gianna Center, and what brought you to it?

I first heard of the Gianna Center some years ago but didn’t really think it was something I would need to seek out.  Prior to getting married, my husband and I knew we wanted to have many children, if possible.  Being Catholic, we both knew that if any problems did arise, we would want to keep in line with Catholic teachings.  We also both knew and agreed that we would never pursue artificial methods like IVF.

For some reason, I assumed we’d be just fine – I was pretty young and I always had what I thought were typical cycles, though they were short and painful.  I had come to believe that debilitating pain every few weeks was completely normal.  During the first year of marriage, my husband and I thought that we would have no problems conceiving and that it would happen relatively quickly.  When it didn’t, we started to look for answers from doctors in our area.

I described to the first doctor how it was taking us longer than expected to conceive and also how I had been experiencing some worrisome sharp pain in my right ovary.  The doctor told me it was probably something I ate, insisting that I most likely couldn’t tell the difference between sensations in that area.  I laughingly replied, “No, I am positive it is not something I ate!”

I was also told by this doctor not to try and figure out when to attempt achieving pregnancy, but to simply have intercourse all the time – to not think about it.  This made me angry since I knew there were windows when you are able and unable to achieve pregnancy.  The second doctor took me more seriously, but merely prescribed Clomid and stated that they would increase the dose until it, hopefully, worked.  I soon stopped this treatment on my own since it seemed to be going nowhere.  At this point, my husband and I decided to get in touch with a FertilityCare Practitioner and learn to chart the Creighton Model.  This led us to start driving three hours to our nearest doctor trained in NaProTechnology.

The contrast between the NaPro and non-NaPro approach could not have been more stark – NaPro trained doctors were the first doctors that treated me like I was intelligent.  They did not gloss over things as if I didn’t need to care about the details, and they did not talk down to me.  I have had to stand up for myself against other doctors who seemed to be bullying me to go along with treatments that they were pushing.  I could trust the NaPro doctors who didn’t make me feel bad or stupid or bullied for wanting to do things a certain way, for following Church teachings.  I was also impressed with how much information they were able to obtain just from reading the observations on my cycle charts!

Eventually, we moved back to NYC where we are a quick subway ride away from the wonderful NaProTechnology care at the Gianna Center.

What was your experience like encountering the unique approach to women’s health and fertility found at the Gianna Center?

Immediately there was a warmth.  I loved it the second I went in, not only because I saw the relic of Saint Gianna on the wall, but because everyone was so kind.  I also was encouraged and uplifted by the beautiful baby pictures on display from patients who have been able to achieve pregnancies after undergoing treatment at the Gianna Center.  I loved Dr. Nolte as soon as I met her – Dr. Nolte went through my huge amount of medical records so thoroughly that she was reminding me of things in my medical history that I had forgotten to tell her.  When I got to the Gianna Center, Dr. Nolte tweaked my medications, and it was in this first cycle of tracking with her that I became pregnant (after almost three years, two surgeries, lots of blood work, ultrasounds, and monitoring)!

From the beginning I felt comfort, safety, and trust.  I could trust that Dr. Nolte was on the same page as me.  I didn’t need to worry if the doctor would recommend something I would be uncomfortable with.

There is no agenda being pushed at the Gianna Center – patients have a strong sense of what is happening and why.  I love that the point of NaProTechnology is to restore our health to the way it should be functioning – to the way our bodies were created to work.  Sometimes I even forgot we were trying to have a baby, because I had begun to focus so intently on restoring my health and healing my overly painful cycles.  By addressing these and other issues in my body, we were eventually able to achieve pregnancy.

How has the work of the Gianna Center affected your life?

For one thing, we were overjoyed to welcome a baby girl this past summer! In the months prior to conceiving, however, the work of the Gianna Center affected the quality of my cycles. The debilitating pain that I had experienced for almost twenty years became minimal and very bearable. Charting and working with NaPro doctors has made me more knowledgeable about my own body and has also been an eye opening experience for my husband, who has tried to come to as many appointments as possible.  In learning how our combined fertility works, it has made our marriage a lot stronger, and made us more informed about our sexuality.  In knowing the intricacies and awesomeness of how our bodies work, we have a newfound respect for them.  With so many details involved in birth – with everything needing to be just right – we are constantly reminded of what a miracle human life is.

And for that profound blessing, we are grateful to the Gianna model and to those like Dr. Nolte who make the model a reality.