Leah’s Story- Creating a Life by Design

October 18, 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. 
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Hey there friend! Today’s featured guest is very near and dear to my heart, and that is my business coach, mentor, and friend, Leah Gervais. 

Leah Gervais is an online business coach for ambitious entrepreneurs and is a new mom living in New York City with her toddler and her husband. She works part-time while focusing on motherhood the other four days of the week. 

Now this interview is a bit different compared to previous ones I’ve done. Reason being is that Leah, didn’t actually experience any type of fertility challenges, but there are so many tips and wisdom that she shares during our discussion.

We talk about what her life was like when she conceived her son. Everything from her mindset, her physical health, and how she was in such a good place with her business, life, and relationship. These are the things that are so important for fertility that we tend to overlook. I personally feel like this is a big reason why she was able to conceive so easily, and that’s what I want for you too. 

Remember, that Optimal health is fertility health and we have to look at health in a holistic way, including the mind, body, and soul. Leah also goes on to share some valuable insights as she opens up about her birth story, her experience as a new mom, and as an entrepreneur. 

Listen to the Full Episode Here

Her Career Pivot from Law to Entrepreneurship

Ever since she was a little girl, Leah dreamed of living in New York. She’d always felt drawn to the city and it truly felt like it was part of who she was—almost like it was her soul’s home. She held onto that dream and moved there when she turned 18. 

Leah got accepted into NYU with the plans of studying pre-law and eventually becoming a lawyer. Not because she was terribly interested in the law, but more so because of how our society praises people that go through the legal or medical schooling system. It’s seen as  very prestigious, academic and impressive. 

After NYU, she worked as a paralegal at a law firm, studied for the LSAT and applied to law schools. She got accepted and when it came time to decide which law school to attend, she had her first experience in communicating with her intuition. It felt like it came out of nowhere, but in that moment, she just intuitively knew that she was not going to be a lawyer. Ultimately she couldn’t picture it.

Having Certainty About the Vision for Her Life

When Leah looked back at visualizing herself living in New York, it was clear as day to her and she could picture it so clearly.  So when it came to visualizing herself actually going to law school and doing all the boring parts of being a lawyer, she just couldn’t see it. She decided to listen to her intuition and decline her acceptances. 

It felt like a scary decision for her, because now she was essentially starting over from scratch.  This is when she decided to start a blog and was trying to find that “big life” in New York that she had always dreamt of. She didn’t know what her career path would be, if she’d go back to school, or how much money she’d make. At the time, she didn’t have a lot of money, but she just knew she wanted to create something that was her own and connect with people about it. That blog eventually turned into her business, and that business turned into her career. Now she’s been self employed for five years and it’s a dream come true. 

“I was definitely meant to be an entrepreneur.”

Leah says that the choice to become a mom never felt like a decision she had to make. Instead, it was always something she just envisioned would be part of her life. She’s so intentional about other parts of her life, but with this she was more passive about it because it just felt so certain. She knew motherhood would be part of her life, so she never really questioned it. Being very close to her own parents made it feel impossible to imagine a life without having kids and a family. 

When she met her husband, they were on the same page about eventually having kids, but that wasn’t a priority when they got married. They are both entrepreneurs and ex legal fielders, so they were very focused on their work as busy professionals. They never felt rushed to be parents, but also never questioned that raising a family would be part of their future. 

Leah’s dad died unexpectedly when she was 25, and for a moment she felt like she wanted to become a mom sooner, almost as a way to fill that gap in her life. However, she could tell how emotionally charged that decision was and realized that it wasn’t something she was quite ready for. For her, having kids became not a matter of if, but when.

Another part of her life where Leah felt this level of certainty was in marrying her husband. When they were dating, she didn’t think “will I get married” or “will I meet the right person” or “am I doing it right”? She just had this certainty about it and about him.

Trusting Yourself and Your Intuition

As a business coach, she encourages her clients to cultivate that same sense of certainty with their business. Oftentimes we do have at least one or two parts of our life that felt certain or felt obvious that we didn’t have to question. Then with other things, like trying to conceive for example, you may be driving yourself crazy wondering “when will it happen?” “Am I doing this right?” “Is it ever going to happen?” This leads to not trusting that it’s going to happen. Instead, she recommends finding those parts of your life where you had that inner certainty and try to find the breadcrumbs that allowed you to have that level of confidence. Then apply it towards the areas you have doubt about and this can bring you a lot of inner peace.

Leah shares how having a relationship with the universe, God, a higher power, or even your own inner wise woman can help you when you’re feeling unsure, uncertain, or you feel like you have no control. This allows you to kind of pass over some of the things you can’t control and emotionally take it off your plate? Her relationship with God and the universe has helped her along the way throughout her whole life. 

She believes energy is such a powerful force and if you’re feeling out of sorts or frantic about sometime, your energy is chaotic as well and is not a match for the level of sureness that you want to feel. This can even repel what you desire and make it even harder for it to happen. When she feels that way, she tries to look for proof of times when she trusted herself and things happened better than she thought they could.  All of us have a resume of examples where things worked out for us the way they were supposed to. 

If you don’t yet have that level of self trust or that trust in God, take a moment to journal and reflect and think back to all the times things have worked out for you. Acknowledge that and give yourself grace for where you are. It’s easy to think “when will I get pregnant?” or “when will I make the money that I want?” and you don’t know the answer to these questions. 

“But what you can do is cultivate some surrender in that by recognizing all the other times you didn’t have the answer, and things did work out even better than you thought they could.”

Leah goes on to share a mindset exercise that she learned. All you do is create two lists next to each other on the same page. At the top write out what you’re trying to bring into existence, so maybe that’s pregnancy or an income goal.  or a book deal or whatever. Then make a list on the left side with all the things you can do to bring that to fruition. Next, make a list on the right side with all the things the universe or God can do to bring that into fruition for you. 

This helps you to see that you can’t do everything and you can’t control the whole big picture. It will give you permission to stop making yourself wrong for all the things that aren’t going right, that aren’t your responsibility, or that aren’t in your control. Instead, this can help you start to be  proud of the fact that you are doing everything you can, and that is really commendable, even if the results aren’t quite there yet. 

Her blog was not an overnight success and it took two years to really take off. Things started to really take off when she started to understand the power of decision making. Internally you can decide “I will be a mother” and you can end the sentence there. You might not know when or how or how the conception will happen, or even if it will biologically be yours, but, you can have that internal sense of knowing that “I’ve decided this will happen” and even ask God or the universe, “show me how this can happen.”

That’s a lot more powerful than the constant wavering energy of “when will it happen?” “am I doing it right?” or “should I try harder?” Having that firm decision made is a much more powerful stance to move forward in. It’s the same with business, so if you can’t firmly decide that you’re never going to work for someone else again, then don’t even bother with entrepreneurship. Otherwise you’re forever going to taunt yourself every time you have a hard day and will question whether or not to go looking for another nine to five job. This doesn’t get you anywhere unless you decide that it’s an inevitable part of your life. 

The Journey Into Motherhood

Leah feels extremely fortunate to have gotten pregnant so easily, as she has very close friends and family members that have not had that same experience. 

Her conception journey started off with the decision to not be on birth control anymore. She was using the Mirena IUD, a hormonal birth control option, after having painful cramping and back pain while on the Copper IUD.  At this point, she had been married for a few years, and just felt like there’s no reason to be on it.  She knew it’d be fine if she got pregnant, and so she got off of it in January of 2021. 

She and her husband moved to Miami temporarily during the pandemic for about a year. They decided to officially start trying in January of 2022. She figured she would give it a year for her body to regulate and figured once they got settled back in New York they could start tracking. Luckily that wasn’t necessary, as Leah was able to get pregnant within two months. 

In looking back though, she’s learned that there were a few things that likely helped her chances of getting pregnant. More specifically, she gave up alcohol that January and got pregnant in March. To this day she still doesn’t drink, and read that alcohol is not helpful for fertility or for your hormonal health. 

The other thing she did to optimize her hormones was cycle syncing. After reading the book “In The Flow” by Alyssa Viti, she dove into syncing work with her cycle. She would take time off during her period and take sales calls only while ovulating. This changed her approach to nutrition and exercising as well, which looked like eating organic food and not exercising heavily during her period, then doing weights during the follicular phase and ovulation. 

“I’m not available to be stressed. I think life is too short and we all just should have more fun with things.” 

When it comes to stress, Leah is just not a very stressed out person. During that preconception period, she felt particularly relaxed, health focused, and almost euphoric during that time because she felt so good with cutting out the alcohol. Her sobriety played a big role in her mental health. Although she wasn’t a heavy drinker, or even an alcoholic, she was a frequent drinker, meaning she’d have a glass or two of wine with dinner most nights. It was very ingrained in her routine, and she considered herself to be a very unconscious drinker, to where she would drink out of habit rather than actually wanting it. 

Ultimately, alcohol consumption started interfering with her sleep and felt like it was hurting her health. People don’t always want to admit this, because we live in such an alcohol obsessed culture that is a big part of many people’s lives. Cutting out alcohol at the beginning of that year, became the catalyst to her personal development and healing journey. She prioritized her sleep with a new nighttime routine in place of the wine and was in the best shape of her life.

Her Experience with Pregnancy, Birth, and Postpartum


Leah went from being in the best shape of her life and waking up every day on a cloud, feeling like she could conquer the world, to not being able to get out of bed, which was definitely a big contrast. However, the day she found out she was pregnant was one of the best days of her life. Second only to the day that she gave birth. 

She found out she was pregnant on the day she missed her first period. She was cycle syncing and her hormones were like clockwork, so she knew something was different right away. It was a Monday morning, and she woke up to write her to-do list for the week like usual, and added “take a pregnancy test” to the list. She didn’t really think she’d be pregnant as they had just started trying a couple of months back. When she took the test, it was very clear that she was pregnant. They were so happy! 

Since they found out so early, they didn’t want to tell anyone yet. That first month was very hard mentally and also lonely. It was an isolating time because of the pandemic and feeling scared to be around a bunch of people so early on in pregnancy. Plus, she had a lot of exhaustion, fatigue, and totally lost motivation, which felt very hard for her. As someone who has their own business and is always motivated to work and create, she lost a lot of that, which was hard because she finds so much joy from her business. Although the first trimester was quite hard, it did get better after that.

One thing Leah learned from this experience is that when she’s pregnant again, she’s not going to hide it from people for as long as she did. It’s an outdated practice that seems to keep women quiet and alone. If, God forbid, she would have lost the baby early on, she still would have told people about it, as part of her life. The idea of just being able to talk about being pregnant and tell her friends and her mom, would’ve helped her to talk through how it was affecting her and allow her to share what she was thinking and how she was feeling. As a takeaway, remember  to be easy on yourself and cultivate support if that’s what you need.

In hindsight, she wishes she could go back and give her first trimester self a big hug and to tell her to eat the junk food she wanted. She remembers feeling so guilty for eating a bag of candy thinking she was already a bad mother because she wasn’t giving him any nutrients. Everyone tells you how important nutrition is and it just felt like a lot for her, because she was nauseous during that time. It’s almost like her body and mind just needed to just rest and do nothing during that time and she couldn’t come to terms with that and didn’t want to use pregnancy as an excuse. Now looking back, your body knows what it needs, even if it doesn’t add up the way you think it should. Just listen to it. 

Beyond the first trimester, the rest of her pregnancy was magical and Leah still looks back at it as one of the happiest times of her life. All in all, she had a great pregnancy, particularly during the second and third trimester. Perhaps because she started to feel more okay with pampering herself because she was visibly pregnant. So if she needed to cancel a work call, she felt like she could, especially compared to her first trimester where no one knew. But anyway, to answer your question, I had a great second and third trimester. During this time she was very active and they traveled a lot. She and her husband really treated it like it was the last time that it would be  just them, so they really had a wonderful few months.  


During her pregnancy, Leah was also very focused on preparing for birth. She really wanted a natural birth and to do it medication free, even though that’s not what ended up happening. 

She had decided to try hypnobirthing, which is basically a version of putting yourself into a state of hypnosis so that you can surrender more. After studying hypnobirthing for about ten weeks, she went to sleep every night listening to it, and figured she had a pretty good shot at it. Her eyes were opened to the modern approach to birthing where women in our Western society are coached through it in a way that is very unnecessary. Women can actually give birth in a coma when their minds aren’t really thinking at all. This is because we are truly born to do it just like any mammal. 

She knew that if she could get her mind out of this fight or flight mode, then she might be able to do this without medication. She had decided early on not to have an epidural because she wanted the ability to move around without being hooked up to a monitor. Since she has quite severe scoliosis, she didn’t know how that would feel and also wanted to alleviate the risks that can come with an epidural. This felt like the natural way to do it, which really resonated with her. 

Her water broke at 2:30a in the morning at 38 and a half weeks and she was pretty shocked, because she was prepared to go late and didn’t think she’d have an early delivery. Now, looking back, her 38 week checkup was the day before, and the doctor had asked if she had felt any contractions. She hadn’t, but when he put his hand on her belly, he said that she was having a little contraction right then and there. She totally dismissed it though, because she had just felt her belly harden, and literally thought it was just the baby’s feet  kicking up against her. It wasn’t  painful at all.

She called her doula right away though and labored at home for as long as possible. Since her water broke, she couldn’t get in a bath because of the risk of infection, so it felt like she missed the opportunity to just put on headphones and zone out with the hypnobirthing meditations. She felt as though she couldn’t just surrender because they had to go to the hospital. Maybe if she had been at home or in a birthing center from beginning to end, she thinks it could have worked. But because she didn’t get her head in that state of mind early enough on, it felt like she could never quite get there. 

The pain became unbelievable and found it hard to describe it. When she was preparing for birth, she really only wanted to absorb positive birth stories and never thoughts she’d be someone who talks about birthing in a negative way, but it literally felt like she was being ripped apart from the inside. She kept throwing up, and all she could do was go from one shower to the other in their apartment and moved back and forth. Then finally at about 10:00a, she had been laboring for almost 8 hours and told her Doula that she wanted to go to the hospital.  

It happened to be Thanksgiving Day and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was happening right outside of her building when she was in labor, so finding a cab in the middle of the parade was crazy. When they got to the hospital she was already 6cm dilated, which I was happy and proud about. She decided to get the epidural, but doesn’t think it fully worked or maybe didn’t fully distribute through her body. 

In hindsight, she really wished she could have advocated for herself better about that. At the time she didn’t know what it was supposed to feel like, but now she thinks that either they did a bad job with it, or, perhaps because of her scoliosis it just didn’t distribute correctly. Unfortunately she didn’t feel any relief and was able to feel everything going on still. 

She laid there for as long as she could to try to rest and then at about 3:00p in the afternoon, she was 9 or 10cm dilated. She started pushing, and pushed for about 45 minutes, before he came out. Although she is grateful that nothing happened to her or her son, it was still quite traumatic physically. Ultimately, it is a trauma that your body endures and it’s a big deal. But then once he came out, it was the best moment of her entire life and felt like pure magic. 

So although it was hard, she’d still do it again and was very proud of it, because it was definitely the hardest thing she’s ever done. The pain she felt was unbelievable and she thinks she had back labor too, because she remembers her doula trying to apply counterpressure on her back, but that made it worse.  Unfortunately none of the remedies really worked for her at relieving the pain. She felt it all and full on screamed when he came out in a very tribal way. 

Leah remembers crying so much when her son finally came out. She didn’t want to put too much pressure on that moment, because you don’t know how you’re going to feel and you don’t know if you’re going to bond with the baby right away. She was exhausted and in so much pain just wanting it to be over, but when they put him on her chest, she lost it. It’s hard to describe, but that bubble burst, something clicked and it felt like a huge sense of relief. There was just this inner sense of belongingness that came over her and just this sureness about him and about them being together. It felt like they did pregnancy together and now they’re going to do this chapter on the other side together and it just felt very complete. 


According to Leah, the first few weeks of postpartum were a huge wake up call. After spending so much time preparing for birth she realized she spent very little time preparing for postpartum, although that was somewhat intentional. While it is important to share our stories as moms, it’s also important to have boundaries around what you absorb as a mom. Otherwise you can take on other people’s experiences, traumas, judgments or even perspectives that aren’t true for you. 

As a new mom, you’re so vulnerable and it’s easy to think things like “am I doing this right?” “Is this how I should be doing it?” or even “What are other people doing?” In reality, you’re still developing that relationship with your baby as well as your own intuitive sense when it comes to motherhood, which is uniquely yours. That’s why she thinks it’s important to be guarded when it comes to what everyone else is doing and instead hone in on what you’re doing and what feels right for you.

Her plan was to hire a night nurse for the first eight to ten weeks. She knew she was going to try and breastfeed, but also didn’t want to put too much pressure on herself. The night nurse started coming on day five, so for the first three days of her son’s life it was just her, her husband and her mom. Leah’s son did not want to be put down so they did shifts and took turns holding him on their chest all night. She would wake up every three hours to breastfeed him. 

Breastfeeding was something that caught her by surprise. Although it was excruciatingly painful, it still felt good and he latched pretty quickly. As the days went on, and even with the night nurse, she didn’t feel ready to give him formula. Mostly because she didn’t want to disrupt the precious rhythm that they had, as it was the one things they had been doing since he was born. 

Looking back now, she’s not sure that the night nurse was the best use of money, because when he would cry, the nurse would change his diaper, but then would still need to wake Leah up to nurse him, which usually took a long time.  That was the hardest part of those early days, because of the marathon feeding sessions in the middle of the night. 

By about week three, she hit a new phase of exhaustion. She does think it is helpful for new moms to enjoy, or at least try to lean into that sense of adrenaline you get in the first few weeks because you’re so excited. At first they had lots of family there helping and people bringing them food or delivering things. Then three or four weeks in, things settled down and the extra help left, but he still wasn’t sleeping any more than he had been. She remembers being so tired and feeling like there was no relief and no end in sight. 

Ultimately she’s glad that she kept breastfeeding, but admits that it was hard. If she were to do things over again, she would spend the first month breastfeeding on demand, and doing whatever the baby wanted or needed. Basically trying to sleep when they sleep and truly do nothing else but be on their rhythm. Then after the first month, she would get a night nurse again. That way you could try to pump once in the morning and then take one feed off in the middle of the night, which would give you a six hour stretch while the night nurse is with the baby, feeding them a bottle of pumped breast milk at night. That would make it worth it to her.  

Time can feel so relentless sometimes, and it may feel like you have nothing left to give. Now she has a better perspective and now knows they will grow out of this phase eventually. They’re new to the world and they need a little bit of comfort. There was a point though where the lack of sleep was so brutal that it made her depressed. 

It took her to some really dark places when he would not sleep or when there’d be sleep regressions, so they gently sleep trained him. It wasn’t the “cry it out” method, but they did Taking Care of Babies, which is a popular approach among the mom communities she tends to follow. Whether you do choose to sleep train or not, Leah says there’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing what you need to do for your own mental health. Now her son is 18 months old and she is still breastfeeding him, so even though you may hear that if your baby sleeps through the night your supply will dry up, that was not the case with her experience.

Motherhood as an Entrepreneur

Since Leah owns her own business she worked hard to prepare for her maternity leave. One of the hardest parts was having a short maternity leave of nine weeks that was non-paid. Because she owned her own business though, she didn’t have to return to an office and work 50 hours a week. Instead she was intentional about it and her baby was nearby, so she was able to breastfeed the whole time. 

So although her return to work was very gentle, there are fires that no one can put out but you as the business owner, which was hard at times. She found it challenging to mentally switch from thinking all about motherhood and the baby to work and her business. That part can feel hard and you’ve got to be easy on yourself. During the postpartum period you never know how you’re going to feel as every day can be different.

Now she works around 30 hours a week and her business just had another seven figure consecutive twelve months in sales, which she is very proud of—rightfully so! There were a few mindset shifts that served her well in creating this aligned life and business. For example, the first year of her son’s life she was definitely not girl boss of the year. In fact, her income actually dropped, and that’s real. 

Her household relies on her financially, so there are repercussions that come with that income drop. But, she really believes there’s always more money to be made. As women, sometimes we don’t take ownership of the seasons that we’re in. If you don’t have that intentionality behind accepting that motherhood is a priority right now and that it’s okay if the income dips a little, then you’re going to always feel like you’re doing something wrong. Even the reverse can be true because if business is your priority right now, then you feel guilty that you’re not the one with your kids five days a week because you need to have a little bit of childcare help. 

Her advice is to lean into what the most important thing is to you at the time, and believe you can have it all. She does think you can have it all, but it takes discipline and self awareness of knowing where your time is best spent. It means taking ownership of your must haves and releasing the outcome with anything else. 

While she was pregnant, she decided that she was only going to work three days a week and this was something that she worked on while pregnant. She took it slow and was at five days at first, then went down to four, and then down to three. So even though the first six months of her son’s life were hard, because her income was quite a bit lower than it was in years prior, her three day work week was a non negotiable. When you can have that mentality, things have a way of presenting themselves in the form of opportunities to you. Today she still only works three days a week, and they just had another seven figure year, but it took time. 

“You have to be willing to be disappointed in your pursuit for something better. And I think a lot of people are so wildly uncomfortable being disappointed that they don’t even bother pursuing what’s on the other side, or they pursue it, and then when it doesn’t happen quickly, they jump ship because they can’t take the discomfort or the disappointment.”

For Leah, motherhood is just as much about what it does for you as it is about what it does for your kids and what it does for their life. She is so consumed with her love for her son and didn’t expect or even consider the intrinsic joy it can bring back into your life. Motherhood is so nourishing, and in a way, it’s like you get to re-mother yourself in a way. For example, she’s prioritizing spending more time outside with him, limiting screen time, and being out in nature, which all end up benefiting her and her wellbeing too. 

She feels that motherhood can get such a bad rap about being so self sacrificial to where it’s only about your kids and you have to give up your whole identity. Alternatively, as a mom your job is to figure out what you think is most important for your child to succeed and incorporate that into their life. By default, you end up adding those things back into your life as well. 

It’s important for your kid to know that it’s good to spend time outside, it’s good to take care of yourself, it’s good to eat healthy, and it’s good to be kind to people. By simply having those things as new themes in your life, it makes you a more centered person. 

Learn More About Leah and Her Work

As an online business coach for  ambitious entrepreneurs, Leah has helped hundreds of her clients start and scale successful side hustles and businesses, and supports them all the way to their businesses generating six-figures per month. 

You can connect with Leah through her website or on her Instagram. Leah also mentioned a special gift exclusive for our audience. It’s a guide that shows a week in her life and how she balances motherhood and work. It’s usually only reserved for her subscribers, but if you are interested you can send an email to contact@urban20something.com and she’ll send it your way for FREE. 

I hope this conversation was helpful in showing you how living your life in alignment with your soul’s purpose and trusting the path that you’re on, will help you to enhance your fertility, just as it did for Leah without even realizing it. 

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 naturally. 

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