Podcast

My Fertility Story Pt. 2: From Burnout to Belief

July 20, 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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EPISODE #2

Hey there, friend! Thanks so much for being here for part two of my fertility story. If you haven’t already listened to part one, go back and tune into that first episode where I go into more detail  about the beginning of our journey, my cycle health and when we officially started trying. 

Listen to the Full Episode Here

Let’s pick up where we left off last time, which was when I hit rock bottom on my fertility journey. I had reached a point where mentally, emotionally, and even physically I wasn’t being my best self. I knew that I needed to make a change and didn’t like the person I was becoming.

At this point, I wanted to do something different, but more importantly, I wanted to feel differently on my fertility journey. That’s when I decided to take a step back and put a pause on trying to conceive. This was May 2021, and I felt called to take a year to focus on healing. More specifically, to focus on healing my mental, emotional, and physical well being. I still had the desire to get pregnant and that was my main goal, but I also wanted to live my best life and be the best version of myself now, not just when I got pregnant.

Mind

Since I had hit my own personal rock bottom, I knew I wanted to start with healing my mindset, Mainly because my emotions were all over the place. Not to mention all the negative thoughts and limiting beliefs that were running the show and causing me to feel really sad, hopeless, and triggered all the time. 

Listen in for more details, but below are some steps I took to improve my mental and emotional well-being, as well as the courses I took. 

  • Robyn Birkin Fertility Warrior intensive (retired program, but check out what else Robyn is up to here!)
  • Validate my feelings without judgment 
  • Feel the full range of my emotions and feelings 
  • Journaling out my true feelings and thoughts 
  • Spenser Brassard  Fertility Mind Body Mastery
  • Remove guilt about the past and focus on gratitude for the present 
  • Let go of the shame I was feeling 
  • Releasing the need for perfectionism 
  • Stesha Reukauf Holistic fertility method and fertility blueprint activation (no longer works in the fertility space, but is an amazing business, wealth, and energetics mentor. Check out what she’s up to here)
    • P.S. I’m working on getting certified through Stesha to teach energetics and womb healing, so stay tuned for more! I can’t wait to offer this to my clients!!
  • Inner child work
  • Womb healing
  • Addressing past traumas 
  • Address limiting beliefs and fears about birth and being a mom 
  • Michellle Oravitz hypnosis audios, podcast, and course 
  • Breathwork 
  • Meditation 
  • Molly Nichols affirmations 
  • Created a Pinterest board with positive quotes and fertility affirmations 
  • Primemester Protocol w/ Dr. Cleopatra 
  • Restoring my belief in my body and my ability to get pregnant 

All of these practices helped me to calm my nervous system down, reduce the stress I was feeling, and then overcome those negative thoughts and beliefs that were consuming my mind  on a daily basis. I started to feel so much better mentally and emotionally, especially around feeling triggered. 

For the first time in years, I was able to see pregnant women and pregnancy announcements without feeling like I wanted to cry. In fact, I was actually happy for them for once and realized that just because they were pregnant didn’t mean that I wouldn’t get pregnant. I started to see it as a sign that my baby was on the way to me and that it was just a matter of time. 

This newfound confidence really gave me a sense of peace on my journey as well. I just knew in my heart and in my soul that this was meant for me. I not only wanted to be a mom, but I knew I AM going to be a mom, and that I AM a mom already.

Body

Now that my mindset was more under control, the next thing that I wanted to focus on was healing my body. Below are some steps I took to improve my physical health, specifically my cycle and balancing my hormones.

  • Continued working with Parsley Health
  • Stool test identified gut imbalances and inflammation
  • Addressed digestive issues, specifically constipation 
  • Dutch test revealed low progesterone and elevated cortisol levels
  • Heavy metal testing revealed BPA and pesticide exposure
  • Swapped out products for non-toxic and cleaner versions. Check out some of my favorites here
  • Purchased mostly organic foods, avoided artificial dyes, seed oils, and ate out less
  • Purchased a high quality water filter
  • Mold toxicity testing revealed a sensitivity towards mold
  • Genetic testing revealed MTHFR gene mutation and other SNP’s
  • Cellular Health program with Dr. Bill Cole to heal at the cellular level
  • AIP diet for 6 months
  • Infrared sauna blanket during follicular phase only
  • Read the 5th Vital Sign by Lisa Hendrickson Jack and listened to her podcast
  • Started charting my cycle with her workbook using a thermometer and tracking cervical mucus
  • Saw a local Nurse Practitioner for progesterone testing and vaginal ultrasound
  • Found a polyp near the opening of my cervix. Surgery was recommended, but I declined
  • Castor oil packs on my abdomen during my follicular phase
  • Self womb massage with body oil
  • Consultation with Dr. Jill Blakeway from Yinova who prescribed herbal tinctures
  • Acupuncture for 3 months
  • Fertility yoga through Fertile Hope Yoga with Erin McCullough
  • Foam rolling and lymphatic supportive workouts through Aligned Life Studio
  • Working 1:1 with a Fertility Coach, Nora Debora
    • Cycle charting deep dive
    • Identified adrenal imbalances 
    • Pared down supplement regime
  • Stopped taking desiccated thyroid medication
  • Seed cycling to balance hormones 
  • Focused on nourishment and no longer restricting certain foods or depriving myself
  • Improved fertile cervical mucus 
  • Decreased spotting before and after my period
  • Lengthened luteal phase from 9 to 11 days

After implementing these things and seeing the changes in my cycle and in my overall health, I started to feel really empowered. I was able to make decisions about my body from a place of knowledge and confidence. Plus, at 32 years old, I finally understood how my body worked and more importantly, what was working for my unique body specifically. 

So now, here I was feeling good mentally and physically and I knew I was on my way to getting pregnant, but it still wasn’t happening. I figured there was another angle that I hadn’t explored yet, but wasn’t sure what was missing. 

The next time I got my period it weighed on me a bit. Not like it did before, where it felt heavy and devastating, but nonetheless I felt a little sad. I remember thinking out loud “why is this happening to me.” In that moment I swear I heard God’s voice as clear as day saying that he was protecting me from heartbreak and pain. It felt like he knew that I wouldn’t have been able to handle any type of loss or miscarriage and he had spared me from that pain. 

That was a really pivotal moment in my journey, because that’s when I realized that this journey was happening for me instead of it happening to me. This simple shift in perspective helped me to see my fertility journey as a gift. I realized that it could have been a lot worse and actually felt lucky because I didn’t experience loss, miscarriages, or having to try for multiple years. This newfound sense of gratitude helped me to see this as an opportunity for me to pause and be intentional about my life. I asked myself questions like, what do I really want out of life? What type of mother do I want to be? How do I want to spend my time?

Soul

The last piece of my healing journey was to focus on healing my soul. This involved taking some time to reflect on my values and whether or not my life and the way I was living reflected those values.

I  found that I was out of alignment in a lot of different areas, especially with the type of mom I wanted to be. Knowing that I wanted to be a very present mom, to be involved, and to be there for my kids. 

Here are some ways I healed my soul and aligned my life with what I truly desired. 

  • Reflected and got  clear on my values 
  • Identified areas in my life that didn’t support me in living into these values 
  • Got clear on my priorities, which was building my family 
  • Realized I wasn’t fulfilled in my job 
  • Set boundaries and determine what I was no longer available for 
  • Left work on time
  • Said “no” more often 
  • Prioritized time to practice self care 
  • Setting aside time to eat 3 nourishing meals a day away from my desk and work 
  • Living in accordance with the rhythm of my cycle 
  • Intentionally set aside daily time for things that brought me joy
  • Visualize myself being pregnant and holding my baby 
  • Asked for signs to confirm I was on the right path and was open to receiving them 
  • Discovered my passion and purpose in helping women get pregnant naturally 

Conclusion

Now to wrap things up, I likely forgot a few things, but as you can see between part one and part two, I tried almost everything during my fertility journey. 

The only avenue we didn’t explore was ART, or artificial reproductive technology like IVF for example. Growing up using mainly natural remedies, it never felt like IVF would be part of my story and I just didn’t feel like I needed it. Even though my fertility challenges were “unexplained,” I knew my body was healthy, and I just needed to figure out what the root cause was. 

The only time I considered IVF was during my breaking point when Steve and I had talked through all of our options and what we would do in order of preference. First, and most ideally, we would try naturally. If that didn’t work, we would do an at home IUI. If that didn’t work, we would go to the doctor and do an IUI. If that didn’t work, we would try IVF. And if that didn’t work, we would do adoption. 

Luckily we never got to that point and I believe a big part of it was because I was able to restore my belief in my body’s ability to get pregnant. I knew with confidence that my body was designed for this and capable of getting pregnant naturally, so IVF was off the table.

So ultimately, my year of healing was truly the magic formula for me. That was my introduction to conscious conception and the idea of being intentional about becoming a mother and taking that time to pause and reflect on the type of mother I wanted to be. Over the course of the year, I healed my mind, my body, and my soul in preparation for pregnancy and motherhood. 

Spoiler alert, I did end up getting pregnant and went on to give birth to my beautiful baby girl. I’ll be sharing our conception story on a future episode, so stay tuned for that!

I hope this episode was helpful and thank you for listening in, especially if you listened to both part one and part two. It really means so much to me, and hope this was beneficial to learn more about me and my journey.

In summary, the biggest thing I learned is that fertility isn’t purely physical. If it were, then IVF would have a 100% success rate, and it doesn’t. In fact, it’s closer to 50% and even lower in some cases. I believe that a holistic approach to fertility is necessary where you focus on your mind, body, and soul. It takes time, it takes intention, but it’s so worth it and will improve all areas of your life, not just your fertility. This is exactly what I teach my clients. 

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. 

Click here to listen in

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