“Things don't happen TO you, they happen FOR you.”
That statement was my AHA moment and has become my personal mantra since the words poured out of Claudia Chan’s mouth.
As a woman who had been diagnosed with unexplained infertility, here were my stats:
3 years of trying to conceive
2 unsuccessful IVFs
2 major pity party episodes
5 reproductive endocrinologists
A third and successful IVF!
I took a leap of faith and started this blog before I got pregnant because I was horrified that very few people talk about this. I came around to the idea that the stats didn't define who I am and were just part of this path. In fact, according to the CDC, it turned out that I was just one of 7.3 million women who sought fertility services. (Source: Key Statistics from the National Survey of Family Growth data from 2011-2015.)
At times I have felt defeated, helpless, frustrated, shamed, guilty, and the list goes on and on... The negative emotions were just too exhausting to continue to hold onto. I’m not going to lie, it was frustrating as hell at times. Looking back, I know that this was a test which allowed me to hold on by letting go.
Those that know me are aware that I suffer from an eternal optimism and type A tendencies. As a result, the journey had an incredible lesson that there was no amount of hope and planning that could actually create my desired outcome. I learned that although I couldn’t (and still) can't control the future, I could do my part to optimize a successful outcome AND most importantly be happy and at peace with myself. As I look back, I get goose bumps thinking about how my journey has evolved; mostly because it finally dawned on me that I wanted and needed to become a participant rather than a spectator.
I could (re)write the cliché story… Girl (seemingly) frolics through life and (sort of) forgets to have a baby… Until it’s (almost) too late.
The truth is, I don't regret any of it. The highs, the lows, and the moments in between. Without those moments, I know that I would be less equipped to give selflessly and fully to a tiny human. And at 38 I found myself still trying...
I did a little experiment on a subject I mostly know pretty well; myself. I spent hundreds of hours of research on nutrition, supplements, wellness, products to try to optimize the future possibility of having a baby. I started this blog as a leap of faith to put “it out there” knowing that the public would know about my challenges and that it might not be a success story.
I was so taken by the power that health and wellness had on my own body that I received my certification as a nutritional consultant from the Nutrition School to teach myself how to eat for my journey. I now have my certification from the American Association of Drugless Practitioners as well as a Plant Based Nutrition certification from Cornell and am pursuing a masters in Nutrition. I also found that this crazy fertility process produced a silver lining of sorts and an acute awareness of balance, something that I previously had regarded as some sort of mythical unicorn.
This blog became my coming out of the closet of sorts and while I created it to be therapeutic, I hope that it will also build awareness for the very real challenge of fertility. There are at least 7,299,999 other women that can relate to the myriad of emotions on this path. My goal is that this blog will foster a community, and I hope to learn as much from your experiences as I intend to share with you.
You can expect stories of strength and hope, along with words of wisdom from nutrition, wellness and fertility experts. For good measure, you can also count on some great recipes and tips along the way.