This blog post is in collaboration with CCRM Fertility. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
The fertility journey — different for every woman, for every couple. Long, short, heartbreaking, joyful, painful, trying, triumphant. A winding road of hope and patience. A vision board of maternity clothes, nursery items, and mantras to persevere. A relentless dream. An optimistic reality. At times, immensely overwhelming. At times, anxiety-inducing. An emotional rollercoaster worth every twist and turn.
MY FERTILITY JOURNEY
The quest to achieve pregnancy is exceptionally personal. But if I’ve learned anything in the past couple of years, it’s that the power of sharing is equally worthwhile. For my husband and me, our path to getting pregnant wasn’t a walk in the park. For most of my late-teens and college years, I struggled with body image. I over-exercised and under-ate, in an effort to to honor what I thought was healthy living. But my perspective was clouded by a superficial desire to look a certain way.
Fast-forward to my late-20s. I eventually made peace with my body, started nourishing it with a variety of food, and cut back on strenuous exercise. But deep down, I knew something was wrong. I have always had an irregular cycle — since my teenage years — likely exacerbated by the fact that I wasn’t treating my body with the support, love, and respect it deserved. During an annual pap, I was diagnosed with a common hormone imbalance: PCOS. Polycystic ovary syndrome affects roughly 5 million American women of reproductive age. Complications from PCOS can include infertility, metabolic issues, depression, miscarriage, and more.
HOW WE GOT PREGNANT
Knowing we hoped to get pregnant in the coming years, I immediately took action. I sought guidance from a functional medicine doctor and holistic nutritionist. I started routine acupuncture. I left a draining, uninspiring job to pursue Wellness with Edie. I said goodbye to unnecessary stress (in the form of exercise and work). I started nourishing my body with healthy fats, energizing carbohydrates, and satiating proteins. From food to lifestyle choices, I began healing and repairing my relationship with my body. I tuned into its intuitive needs.
Despite these changes, though, I eventually needed to take medicine in order to get pregnant. Working with my OB/GYN, we decided on Clomid. After just two rounds, we found out we were expecting. The joy, relief, and excitement were palpable.
During those dynamic years, I had to do a lot of inner-work. But looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing. I learned that healing from a hormone imbalance is not linear. Progress, for that matter, isn’t linear. Trial, error, and a lot of patience were my guiding lights. I am so grateful for the support I received during our fertility journey.
Speaking of, CCRM Fertility is a global pioneer in fertility treatment, science, and research. They offer access to a national network of award-winning physicians, a full suite of fertility services, innovative technology, and more. Unlike many other fertility clinics that outsource their specialists and testing needs, CCRM Fertility has a dedicated team of in-house reproductive endocrinologists, embryologists and geneticists in order to deliver consistent, successful results. More than 100,000 babies have been born through fertility treatments at CCRM Fertility. They have 11 IVF centers in North America, offering exceptional convenience and world-class care.
THE F-WORD COLLECTION
Although it’s 2021, fertility still remains a taboo topic. To help normalize the fertility conversation and empower those on their fertility journeys, CCRM Fertility has launched a campaign to encourage everyone to talk about “The F-Word.” To do so, they’re currently offering The F-Word Collection, a shop-for-a-cause, online pop-up shop. It features a diverse collection of curated goods and gift items from women-owned and BIPOC businesses. They are passionate about encouraging open and honest discussions about fertility and supporting individuals on their fertility journeys.
The F-Word Collection will be open until August 31, 2021, including jewelry from Stephanie Gottlieb, period panties from Thinx (my fave!), Infertile Tees, and more. A percentage of proceeds from The F-Word Collection will be pooled and divided equally among the following organizations that support individuals on their fertility journeys: RESOLVE, Family Equality, Fertility for Colored Girls, and Chick Mission. In addition, CCRM Fertility will match The F-Word Collection sales with a donation of up to $40,000.
There is no shame in talking about fertility. Let’s break the stigma together, one shared fertility journey at a time.