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7 Women Share Their Experience with Infertility This National Infertility Awareness Week

By: Stephanie Jade Wong

National Infertility Awareness Month

“About 4 million births per year in the U.S., meaning 1 to 2 percent of all U.S. births annually are via [In Vitro Fertilization] IVF,” reports The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

IVF shouldn’t be a taboo topic, because assisted reproductive technology isn’t all that uncommon.

April 21-27 marks National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW), a project of RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association. The goal of the week is to raise awareness about infertility, to encourage grassroots advocacy, and help couples with infertility cope with their disease. 

We were lucky enough to partner with Nathalie Carpenter, who started the blog Fertilust, to share her journey and create a community of support. Through Nathalie, we got a chance to chat with some mothers about their infertility journeys.

Anthea King
 Anthea is wearing our FEARLESS Muscle Tank

Meet Anthea King

I’m a mom of two. I got pregnant with my daughter in three months, but it took me five years of failed IVF, and finally, a donor egg to have the second child I always wanted.

AM: What have you learned on your fertility journey?

AK: I learned to never give up because there is always a solution, even if it’s not what you expected.

AM: What's your wish for other women who are on their own fertility journey?

AK: I wish that women will consider donor eggs as an option and not be scared or ashamed to move forward with it. I hope the stigma of using donor eggs goes away as it has for IVF.

Check out Anthea’s website for live-in childcare here. Follow Anthea on Instagram @antheaking, find her on Facebook here, connect with her on LinkedIn here.

Rebekah Rosler
 Rebekah is wearing our Breathe In Breathe Out Racerback Crop Tank

Meet Rebekah Rosler

I’m a 30-something wife, mom to three babies (a 2-year-old and a set of twins), infertility warrior, community builder, team leader, multitasker, supporter, friend, connector, therapist, and advocate.

I’ve made it my life's mission to help other women lift themselves up. Whether that's being there for those who are struggling with infertility, pregnancy challenges, life as a new mom, or all the spaces in between.

I’ve founded and managed many groups focused on supporting women who are struggling to become pregnant, stay pregnant, and transition through pregnancy into the fourth trimester and the first stage of motherhood.

I use social media as one platform to publicly speak about my experiences and help normalize infertility, breastfeeding, and postpartum challenges while trying to add humor and reality to these topics.

AM: What have you learned on your fertility journey?

RR: Supporting other women going through it is just as important as the personal process.

AM: What's your wish for other women who are on their own fertility journey?

RR: To have a community supporting them, and ultimate success.

Read Rebekah’s personal blog here. Check out her website, Mom Meet Ups, here, and follow Rebekah on Instagram @BexHasBabies, connect with her on LinkedIn here

Jennie Monness
Jennie is wearing our CHANGE Muscle Tee

Meet Jennie Monness

I’m a mom of a beautiful 16-month-old girl who was brought to me through IVF. When she was born I realized it was all meant to be, so that she’d be my daughter.

I’m an early childhood educator, creator of educational resource and blog Mo’ Mommies and co-founder of play space Union Square Play. I support mothers on their journey of motherhood as they build an authentic relationship with their babies from 0-2 years old.

AM: What have you learned on your fertility journey?

JM: To advocate for myself. There are times in life that no one can tell you what to do, and I was surprised by that in the medical arena. I learned to go with my gut and to assert myself more than ever before.

AM: What's your wish for other women who are on their own fertility journey?

JM: To advocate for themselves. To become their own expert and to never give up. Nurture themselves, even if it means taking breaks on your journey. It all leads to a baby, one way or another, that was meant to be your baby.

Follow Jennie on Instagram @momommies, give her a “like” on Facebook here, connect with her on LinkedIn here.  

Stephanie Rapp
 Stephanie Rapp is wearing our CHANGE Muscle Tee

Meet Stephanie Rapp

I'm the co-founder of EMBODY Wellness Company, a holistic wellness and lifestyle company that works one-on-one with clients, corporations, and wellness business consultants. I started EMBODY after working for eight years in finance as a Vice President at Goldman Sachs.

I’m a proud mama to 4-year-old Olivia Hudson, 2.5-year-old Cullen David, and am expecting baby number three in early summer.

I feel so strongly about women supporting women, boosting each other up, and the importance of making meaningful connections with others and the community.

AM: What have you learned on your fertility journey?

SR: Having a baby is a true miracle, and it can come about in a myriad of ways. Each person’s journey is their own, some "easier" than others. But, If motherhood is something you seek, you will have your baby! It may not be in the exact way you planned or on your ideal timeline, but one day, you'll hold your baby and that is most important.

I learned it’s OK to ask for help and to lean on others. As women, we try to do it all, be it all, and figure it all out on our own. There are specialists and services to help you and support you along the way (like EMBODY Wellness!) The weight of the world does not have to rest on your shoulders.

AM: What's your wish for other women who are on their own fertility journey?

SR: Seek help, have hope, remove your expectations, and keep envisioning your dream.

Follow Stephanie on Instagram @embodywellnesscompany, give her a “like” on Facebook here, connect with her on LinkedIn here.

Jane Jolis
 Jane is wearing our FEARLESS Muscle Tank

Meet Jane Jolis

I’m a New York native who was raised in Europe, but now live in Brooklyn with my husband Patrick and new best friend: our four-month-old son, Clint.

I work in software sales but am working on starting my own fertility coaching business, helping guide and advocate for women and families struggling through the big dark hole that is infertility and IVF.

It was the fight of my life to have my son; I feel I owe so much to the support communities I became active in during my journey.

I’m passionate about not letting women become intimidated by doctor visits, tests, and where to turn next.

AM: What have you learned on your fertility journey?

JJ: The need for support and community. It’s difficult to stay positive and optimistic the entire time.

It’s more important to allow yourself some grace, to feel your feelings, and move through it at your own pace. Sometimes you’ll want to talk and research and find answers, but sometimes you’ll want to watch TV in the dark, and both are OK and necessary.

AM: What's your wish for other women who are on their own fertility journey?

JJ: To find support and community, to know they’re not alone, and to get to the other side, whatever that looks like for you.

Follow Jane on Instagram @janejolis, find her on Facebook here, and connect with her on LinkedIn here.

Andrea Syrtash
 Andrea is wearing our Yes You Can Muscle Tee

Meet Andrea Syrtash

I'm an author and on-air personality who helps people better navigate their relationships. This is my passion since I don't think anything in the world is more important than our relationships (with partners, friends, and family).

In 2017 I launched Pregnantish to help people navigate infertility and relationships, since I believe this is an important and under-told story. I started Pregnantish to help support people through the challenge of building your family 'with help.’ I went through 18 fertility treatments, pregnancy losses, surgery, and a lot of heartache on the way to meeting my baby. I know how tough it is, and my biggest goal is to elevate the conversation so people feel less alone.

I'm originally from Toronto, Canada and now live in Brooklyn, NY with my husband and my baby girl, who arrived after about 8 years of trying to have a baby!

AM: What have you learned on your fertility journey?

AS: For so many of us, fertility isn't a linear journey. For some, a baby never comes, even if you try your hardest to make it happen.

I've learned how amazing this community is. If you work hard and put your body and bank account through so much to be a parent, you're going to be a great parent.

AM: What's your wish for other women who are on their own fertility journey?

AS: I wish that they find resolution and peace, whatever that means to them. I want people to stop blaming themselves for what their bodies don't do (in this case, get or stay pregnant).

The CDC defines infertility as a disease. I remind people of this often because if you have blocked tubes, PCOS, endometriosis or other issues, you may need intervention.

Follow Andrea on Instagram at @andreainny and @pregnantish, give Pregnantish a “like” on Facebook here, and connect with Andrea on LinkedIn here.

Nathalie Carpenter
 Nathalie is wearing our Breathe In Breathe Out Racerback Crop Tank

Meet Nathalie Carpenter

I’m a mother, wife, daughter, and sister. I enjoy great food, wine, travel, and yoga. I’m a Type A, recovering workaholic with 18 years of corporate brand marketing experience working on a mission to create more awareness and support for infertility.

After three years of unexplained infertility, two unsuccessful IUIs, two failed IVFs, five doctors later, and a complete shift in head-space, lifestyle, and diet, we had a successful IVF outcome through CCRM.

I started Fertilust prior to my third IVF to share and build a community of support.

AM: What have you learned on your fertility journey?

NC: Every story and circumstance is different. Every feeling is normal. Letting go of being my own worst critic and being authentic about my journey both personally and professionally has been incredibly therapeutic.

AM: What's your wish for other women who are on their own fertility journey?

NC: Know that you are not alone. Resources and community are available to support and shed the shame and other negative emotions.

Follow Fertilust on Instagram @fertilust, give the page a “like” on Facebook, and connect with Nathalie on LinkedIn here.

Moving Forward with Your Infertility Journey

If you’re the process of fertility treatments and feel like you’re on this journey alone, know that you may not be as alone as you feel. It was reported that 33% of American adults either went through or know someone who went through fertility treatments.

We all need our tribe of strong, supportive women to help us through life. Fertilust is just one tool that may help those looking for a community.

If you want to learn more about infertility, read the National Infertility Association’s Infertility 101 guide. You can also check out this calendar of infertility-related events for inspiration.

“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” - Margaret Thatcher

 

Have you experienced your own infertility journey? Tell us about it in the comments below! 

 

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About the Author

Stephanie Jade Wong is a NY-based freelance writer. If her phone isn’t glued to her hand because she’s on social media, she’s at the nearest yoga studio. Stephanie hoards beauty products, loves kittens, and likes stepping away from screens to piece together puzzles.

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