Elise’s Story- Resilience, Faith, & Hope

November 1, 2023

I’m Clarissa
A Certified Fertility Health Coach who works with career oriented women to improve their cycle health and optimize fertility before pregnancy. 
TOp categories
Get the FREE guide with my favorite fertility friendly products 
Gimme that


Hey there friend! Today I’m interviewing another special guest, Elise Smith. I’m thrilled to be bringing you this conversation, because Elise has a very inspiring and unique fertility journey. I won’t give away too many details just yet, but let’s just say that it took her a very long time before conceiving her son. During our discussion we talked about what got her through the challenges, how God supported her on her journey, and the missing piece as to why she wasn’t getting pregnant, which was pretty surprising and not something that is very well known. 

Elise is a Christian business strategist, so she empowers Christian women entrepreneurs to  reach their sales goals by partnering with God and utilizing biblical business strategy. She lives in Utah with her husband of sixteen years and their 3 month old miracle baby boy. 

Listen to the Full Episode Here

Life Before Trying to Conceive

Before the fertility journey, Elise considered herself to be very shy and introverted, but this experience has helped her get out of her shell. Like most women, she figured you get married and have kids, so she never expected it to be a challenge. She had always wanted to be a mom, ever since she was a little girl. 

When it didn’t happen the way she expected it to, it was very shocking to her. As a Christian, she believes that God does everything for a reason, and even though it can be hard to understand, she believes that His timing is perfect. 

So although she was happily married and everything was great, it felt like they were missing a piece of their family, which is what got them started on the journey to conceive. 

Her Personal Fertility Journey

When they got married, they planned to give it 3 years and build a strong foundation for their relationship before bringing kids into the world. About 3 months into their marriage though, she had a false alarm and thought she was pregnant. Turns out she wasn’t after all, but that gave her baby fever from then on, but her husband still wanted to wait. 

About a year into their marriage, her husband felt ready and they officially started trying. They tried for a whole year, but nothing happened. They figured they would have gotten pregnant by then, so it seemed weird and they thought maybe something was off. 

They went to a fertility clinic and started off with Clomid and different medications. They still didn’t know what was wrong. The next step was to ensure her tubes were not blocked, which ended up being a painful process. In fact, she felt that the whole fertility process was not comfortable and that comfort was pretty much thrown out the window once they started down this path.

The Decision to Do IUI and IVF Treatments

Nothing had worked up until that point, so Elise and her husband decided to do IUI, which is intrauterine inception. She had a lot of faith and hope that it would work and figured if something was wrong, then this would fix it. Unfortunately the first one didn’t work. 

They went on to do a second one, then a third, and ultimately tried IUI six times. Usually the clinic recommended only doing three IUI’s, but since they found that she had a tilted uterus, it was suggested they try more than the usual three. By the sixth time, she started to lose hope and began to question the process. 

The clinic suggested IVF as a next step, but Elise has an extreme fear of needles, so it didn’t feel right at the time. To her it kind of felt like forcing conception, and they started to talk through other options. She and her husband decided to take a break and to switch to another doctor. The first one they were with seemed to care more about stats than the actual person. 

During their six month break, they just tried to enjoy life. They traveled a lot and got to do a lot of really fun things together, which she was really grateful for. After finding a new doctor, they did four more IUI’s for a total of 10. 

Up to this point, everything looked great on paper and all of their numbers came back perfect including her husband’s sperm count. They were labeled with unexplained infertility and they were left with no answers. 

How She Almost Gave Up

This all happened over the course of a twelve or thirteen year period, which was really hard. Elise understands that whether you’ve been trying for six months or ten years, this journey can feel really hard. That pain of wanting to have a baby so badly and to fill your aching heart, but then not being able to is so challenging. 

There are so many ups and downs along the way. One second you have faith and really believe it could happen and then the next you’re questioning “is this ever going to happen” or “am I even meant to have kids?” It can be so easy to doubt and give up hope in the process. 

She kept thinking that these doctors should be able to fix her, and remembers praying to God “please just fix me.” She knew of all the scriptures where He’d healed other people and kept thinking “well why not me?” “Why won’t you heal me?”

When the tenth IUI failed she kept having this recurring dream over and over again. In the dream, she was giving birth to a beautiful baby. The baby had her nose and even looked like her husband. Right when the nurse was handing her the baby, she would wake up. Once she realized it was a dream and she’d see that her arms were empty and her heart so badly.  She’d go into the room that was supposed to be the baby’s room, and just sit there and cry. 

Elise didn’t understand why she couldn’t have her heart’s desire. They were set financially, they were good people, they wanted to raise their children as good people, and felt like they’d be perfect parents. She’d ask, “so why isn’t this happening for us”

It was so hard to hold onto her faith, belief, and hope that it would happen. Even her family members and people around them would say to just give up and adopt. She has nothing against adoption and feels it’s amazing, but they just felt like they were meant to bring their own children into this world through her body. 

Once she got the call that their tenth IUI had failed, she went home and cried, and cried, and cried. She fell down to her knees and said “Heavenly Father, I can’t do this anymore. I literally cannot do this. My body can’t do this. My emotions can’t take it anymore. My spirit can’t take it anymore.”

At that moment she told God that she was giving up. But then, as clear as day, she heard a few voices that said “mom, don’t give up on us yet.”

Leaning Into Faith During the Difficult Times

She felt a sense of peace and comfort and determined that she would keep on trying and would do whatever it takes. Not everyone gets those moments where God gives us that vision and gives us that hope so clearly. But, if we look for it, you’ll find moments where God carried us. It’s kind of like the footprints in the sand story. 

One of the best things about the fertility journey is that even though you feel broken, worthless, and not enough, that ends up bringing you closer to your higher power. To support you in a really difficult time. You end up getting to know yourself, becoming the kind of mother you’re meant to be, and even stepping into the success you want for your life. 

With this newfound determination, Elise decided to go back to the doctor and talk about IVF. She went from thinking that there was no way she could do IVF with all the needles, to thinking she could do it with the Lord’s help.

Their entire fertility journey lasted fourteen years and they did IVF for the first time in that final year.

How to Reframe Your Experience

The IVF process turned out to be really hard still. She had 30 injections in 12 days to do the egg retrieval and remembers feeling so scared and shaky the night before. That’s when she decided to ask God “ok, how can we make this fun?”  That next morning she woke up and felt so excited to even just have the opportunity to get the needle stuck in her, so that they can have a baby.  This helped her remember that she can still find joy in the journey. 

Their entire fertility journey was 14 years and they did IVF that final year for the first time.  Even though there were times she wanted to give up, they knew that they were meant to have children. If God had said this isn’t in the cards for you, so go and adopt, they would have done it years ago. 

In her heart she knew that God would give her a step, she would take, and that he would give her the next step, and the next. Having faith is like a staircase that you walk up and you can only see one step at a time. You have to trust that the next step is there for you. 

Living in the Present While Still Hoping for the Future

Because of everything she faced on this journey, she knew she could do hard things, especially with her Savior right there beside her the entire time. It also helped her to not focus on it all the time. This isn’t the advice of “just stop trying and it’ll work.” She hates that piece of advice and it doesn’t work. What does work though is taking your mind off of it, because it’s going to help you love your life in the process and find things that you love to do. 

They love to travel, so every quarter they would go on a vacation. They even went to the Bahamas, Cuba, and Paris, knowing that taking these vacations with kids would be harder. 

She also started to really ramp up her business and found another purpose for herself outside of motherhood. Without this, it can be easy to sit at home weeping all the time about not being able to have kids, but then what type of life are you really living? Try to live life now and find purpose in the things you have now, because that’s only going to help you to become a better mom once you do have kids. 

The Breakthrough Test That Finally Gave Her Answers

Going back to the IVF process, they were able to get seven embryos. They decided to do genetic testing on them, so they could give their child the best possible chance at surviving. She also knew she couldn’t go through a miscarriage, because her heart would not be able to handle it. Elise’s heart goes out to anyone who has experienced that type of loss. 

Out of the seven embryos, one didn’t make it through the genetic testing, one failed the genetic test, and that left them with 3 boys and two girls. They did the first round with a girl embryo, but it failed. This was so hard, because out of all of them it was the perfect embryo. 

To her it felt like there was life in the embryo and considered them all to be their children. Someone explained to her that they are more like capsules for kids and not the actual child. This helped Elise take some of the pressure off of herself, because she was so terrified that she’d lose the other embryos. 

As they determined they’re next steps, they were told she was eligible for a new test, since the first transfer failed. It’s only about two years old, so it hasn’t caught on to the mainstream yet. It’s essentially a uterine biopsy and is called an Endometrial Receptivity Array Test, or ERA for short.  

Although it was quite painful for her, it was totally worth it because they finally got the answer they were looking for. Essentially it takes 144 hours for a woman to release an egg and for it to meet up with the sperm, become an embryo, and implant in the uterus. This ERA test was able to tell that her body was off by 17 hours compared to most women’s bodies. It can also figure out if the acidity level is too high in your uterus. 

Since her body was 17 hours earlier, none of the IUIs or IVF procedures would’ve actually worked. With this newfound knowledge they decided to do the next round of IVF and this time they didn’t pick the embryo. They did the procedure 17 hours sooner than they normally would have, and literally transferred the embryo down to the minute. For example, for all the other times it was like the oven was off when they tried to put the bread in. So now the oven was on, but they didn’t know how long it would stay on, so they put the bread in right away. 

Finding Out She Was Pregnant

She remembers getting the blood work done to see if they were pregnant and waiting for that call. Her and her husband talked a lot about what they would do if this didn’t work and questioned whether or not they would continue trying. 

They didn’t want to sit around the house waiting for the call, so they decided to go see a movie at the theater. They were enjoying themselves when 20 minutes into the move they got a call from the doctor. They stepped into the hallway and they said exactly what she had envisioned every single time—”Congratulations Elise. You’re pregnant!” 

After hearing this news, she immediately dropped to the floor and started bawling with tears of joy. It was an amazing memory and although she loved marrying her husband, that moment was the greatest moment in her entire life. It was such a surreal feeling because it was like she wasn’t pregnant when she walked into the theater, but when she walked out, she was.

Her Motherhood Journey

When Elise looked back on all the times she pleaded with God to just fix her, it turns out she was never broken. She didn’t need healing and it ended up being a timing issue. She knows that her son was meant to come into the world at this exact moment in time. There were times when her journey was really hard, but there were good moments too, and she no longer questions God’s timing. 

Now she gets to hold her little baby boy, and he has the cutest smile, and she’s so enamored with him. When she heard his cry for the first time, it made all of this so worth it. Worth every single needle, every single moment on her knees, every moment praying for help to get through it—it was all worth it. 

After going through birth and now motherhood, she learned that things don’t always turn out the way you expect them to. She had a specific birth plan that ended up going out the window. She prepared through hypnobirthing and knew she’d want an epidural. She knew that birth didn’t have to be a traumatic experience like you see in the movies. Instead, you can create what it is that you want and even co-create it with God if that’s what you want. 

She ended up having a c-section, but it turned out to be exactly what she needed. Thankfully her c-section recovery went well and she didn’t need to take much pain medication. Her husband helped so much with the baby while she was recovering, so that helped her to focus on healing. 

Elise recommends letting go of expectations, whether that’s during the fertility journey or motherhood. She released expectations and ultimately chose to do what was best for her and her family at the time. An example would be choosing not to breastfeed, so that her husband could help with the bottle feeding. 

“You can’t judge each other, and you can’t judge yourself. Just do what’s best for you and your family and let go of all the other expectations.”

She’s enjoying motherhood so much and just having her son in their home and seeing her husband as a father has been amazing. She’s grateful every single day, even in the moments where he’s screaming or crying, which luckily is not too often. 

Even in the challenging moments or when things feel really hard, she would still choose this over and over again. She considers every moment with him to be such an incredible gift. 

”When you want something for so long and you try so hard to get it, you really appreciate it a lot—more than you might have if you were able to get pregnant exactly when you wanted to.”

Although we can try to not put titles on ourselves, or base our identity off of these titles, for Elise, 

being a mom is what she was meant to be. She always knew that’s what she was supposed to be. It may turn out differently for some people, but for her, motherhood is about being able to love someone you created so completely. It’s been so beautiful to see how her son is the perfect mix of her and her husband. Motherhood is having that grateful heart and just knowing that she gets to be his mom is the best thing ever.

Learn More About Elise and Her Work

Elise shares how the fertility journey can be similar to sales goals in your business. When God puts a goal on your heart, He is going to provide a way to help you achieve that goal, but we have to take those steps in order to follow the path He’s leading us on. 

As a Christian Business Strategist, not only does she get to help people fulfill their goals and dreams through their revenue, but then they get to take that money and put it into different charities, maybe even into their own IVF fund, or whatever that might be for them. 

Her work is all about helping clients achieve those goals that God put on their heart, by partnering with God in their business. She takes Fortune 500 company principles that are working and looks at them through the lens of the Bible. This helps you not only grow your organic reach and help the people you were called to serve, but you also gain a closer relationship with God in the process. 

You can connect with Elise on her website and check out her FREE Facebook Community called Faithful Ladypreneurs

I hope this conversation helps you to trust the timing of your journey. Remember, the only way you don’t become a mom is if you give up. Keep going, hold onto that desire in your heart, and trust that it was placed there because it was meant for you. 

If you’re looking for additional support on your fertility journey, be sure to download the Fertility Affirmations Meditation I created just for you. It’s completely FREE and will provide you with a sense of comfort all while helping to reignite your belief in your ability to get pregnant 

Click here to listen in

Add a comment
+ show Comments
- Hide Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Browse By Category






On the Air

The Fertility Friend Podcast

Consider me your new fertility friend! Listen in for your weekly dose of all things fertility and inspiring stories from other women who share their unique fertility journey.  

LIsten in

My Services

I'll help you optimize your cycle health and fertility before pregnancy. If you're looking to get pregnant in the future then it's important to focus on your overall health now, before you even start trying.


Let's Stay in Touch

Looking for more information about conscious conception and how to optimize your fertility? Well you're in luck because that's exactly the kind of emails I'll send to you.

I hate a cluttered inbox and promise to only send thoughtful emails that will educate, inspire, and enlighten. 

Get a FREE fertility affirmation audio meditation when you sign up

join here


Follow along for inspiration and education to help with every step of your fertility journey.