Celmatix Advocate Spotlight: Chiemi Rajamahendran, founder of Miss.Conception Coach

How one woman turned her passion for providing emotional support into a thriving community for women trying to conceive.

While the love and support of friends and family members is crucial when you’re trying to conceive (TTC), there’s a special compassion and understanding that comes from speaking with women who are going through similar experiences. Chiemi Rajamahendran found herself facilitating groups and online programs within the TTC community, which aimed to provide love, support, and guidance to women fighting infertility.

In today’s Advocate Spotlight, we talk with Chiemi about how she turned her passion for providing TTC women with support and guidance into the thriving online community now called Miss.Conception Coach.

 


 

Celmatix: Tell us a little about what led you to found Miss.Conception Coach.

Chiemi: It was really something that came about after my own personal experience  navigating those tough emotions. I witnessed the lack of emotional support for women specifically going through loss and started my own support site at a grass roots level that centered around real-time interaction when women need it most. If someone is having a miscarriage or just learned their fertility treatment was unsuccessful and they are sitting in their car or on their bathroom floor crying, they need to connect with someone immediately… not a week from now. Just having a single outlet like that is so important.

Celmatix: How does your background in psychiatric nursing help you when speaking with women who are experiencing infertility?

Chiemi: A professor once said to me, “You have to meet everyone where they are, not where you think they should be.” That has always stuck with me and is something that I think we need to remind ourselves on a daily basis. You have to meet your emotions where they are today, right now. Let’s sit in the fear, pain, sadness together. No one should feel rushed out of those emotions.

Celmatix: Since you founded Miss.Conception in 2014, have you seen any changes in the way women are talking about infertility?

Chiemi: Yes, absolutely! Women in our community share that they don’t feel alone anymore and that their emotions are validated. Social media has enabled someone who might have felt totally alone to now feel like part of a support system, with a sense that others are always there. There’s nothing I love more than getting feedback from pieces I write and share. When someone tells you the community is what keeps them hopeful and stops them from giving up… there are no words.

Our private Facebook groups are also a wonderful place for this sort of support and sharing. They are made up of women supporting other women going through the same thing and experiencing similar emotions and fears. To be able to just share anytime and know someone you trust and who truly cares about you is there is priceless and life-changing.

I like to keep these groups small in size because I want everyone involved to get to know each other and hear each other’s stories. When groups get too large, that intimacy and feeling of authentic connection can get lost, and when women are sharing such intimate details it’s crucial to maintain that trust.

Sometimes it’s hard to balance wanting to take in new members and keeping it a tight-knit group. It’s not about numbers, it’s about creating a safe, healing, supportive connection. We’ve even created a new group called “Bump To Bottles” for women who have successfully conceived and would like to continue to connect with others they’ve met in the Facebook group.

Celmatix: Your social media platforms look different than other fertility advocates’ in that you usually post deeply personal and inspirational stories. What inspired you to take this approach?

Chiemi: Sometimes people assume that sharing raw, intimate, and personal stories will be upsetting to others, but I see it as the opposite. By sharing these stories, other women are able to read them and say, “been there too.” Inspiration can come from rock bottom experiences and true inspiration comes from witnessing the strength and courage it takes to move forward and through those emotions. Sharing these emotions it validates them for others. By validating them, you help take away someone’s shame.

Celmatix: What goals do you have for women who find your site?

Chiemi: I hope that they feel like they’ve finally found a safe home to share their emotions and that they are reminded that they are doing ‘enough.’ I hope the stories on the site remind them that they need support during this time of their life more than ever, and that this fight they are fighting daily demands respect and empathy from family and friends.

When women are pregnant, people rally around them, and then after they have the baby everyone wants to help and checks in with them. I want this site to give the same level of understanding and support to women with infertility who are fighting desperately to become mothers.

Celmatix: What other social media accounts or sites do you recommend for women who are looking to become part of a community?

Chiemi: For anyone recently diagnosed with infertility, I’d strongly recommend RESOLVE and to ultimately really trust your doctor and build a strong relationship with your team of medical experts. Also advocate for yourself the best you can!


As an extension of Miss.Conception Coach, Chiemi recently launched a line of all natural body care products specifically designed for women who are trying to conceive called Bloom Essentials.

You can learn more about Miss.Conception Coach on their site and join the conversation by following @MissConceptionCoach on Instagram.

To the woman still grieving after her transfer…

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We have words for the loss of a pregnancy, such as miscarriage, blighted ovum, missed miscarriage, chemical pregnancy, stillborn…1,2,3rd trimester terms. Full of imposed technicalities which leaves it feeling clinical. These labels feel cold and detached. Loss is loss. Pain is pain. Grieving the death of a life that was growing inside of you, made from you, at any stage is…there are no words. None.

We don’t have a word for when someone goes through fertility treatment like IVF or IUI and it ‘fails’. The loss of that ‘Emby Baby’ is just as real and painful and devastating. The added stress of these treatment plans, injections, procedures and on top of that, the monetary pressure, is unfathomable. It’s an added level of commitment most can’t even comprehend. The love you have is instant, from the moment your Emby Baby is placed inside of you.

But, how do you grieve when your baby stops growing? What do you do with the pain of your hopes and dreams slipping away? The pain of allowing yourself to be vulnerable again. The pain of promising yourself you wouldn’t get invested so early, but did, because how could you not? You sit in shock and defeat, ready to give up, not because you want to, but because you can’t fathom disappointment on this level – again. Can we as a society even start to understand what that must feel like? The truth is we can’t. Unless you have been there, you just can’t.

So let us honour these couples instead. Let’s honour them during ‘Miscarriage And Infant Loss Awareness Month.’

Where does support and healing come from, to get through this type of loss? Maybe half of the people in your life don’t even know what you have endured. Most won’t truly understand and others, well you don’t want to share such personal feeling with. So you smile through your pain, and pretend you are ok, because what choice do you have?

One day mamma, I want you to know we see your loss. We validate your feelings. You have the right to mourn your baby. It’s not just a ‘failed cycle’. It doesn’t matter if science helped create that growing life. It was your baby and I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m so sorry you had to endure all of that and are left with empty arms.

But you belong in this camp of women who lost their baby. Because being a grieving mother is never about technicalities or comparisons. There is place for all of us here. You have a community that get’s it, where you never have to hide or feel rushed out of your emotions. Let us come together to validate and dignify these deeply personal, life changing experiences. By doing this we can help each other heal. That truly is the reason for and meaning of an awareness month.

 


Getting support and being part of a community that just get’s it, is the single most important thing you can do!

With our Mindful Fertility program, Pre-Conception Diet Makeover and private groups, we help inspire, support and connect sisters daily, from pre-conception to post baby.  We just launched our new all natural, organic fertility body care line called Bloom Essentials! Our community of support is the perfect accompaniment to fertility treatments and procedures you might be going through. Our sisterhood of support and guidance is tailored to those experiencing stress and anxiety related to infertility and related procedures such as IUI/IVF.

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What happens when we are constantly being told not to feel, how we are feeling?

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Is it really so bad to let ourselves feel these hard emotions sometimes. Heck No!

Are we constantly being told not to? Yes!

Does it help to be contradicted emotionally by others and by ourselves? No! (It makes it worse actually.)

So, do you know what happens when we are constantly being told not to feel how we are feeling? We get anxiety and stress. Why? Because our heart is wanting to feel one way, but our mind keeps telling it to feel the opposite. So, they start a tug of war. This makes you feel like something is off. (Anxiety) And this tug of war makes you worry that these emotions are stronger than you. (Stress)

What would it feel like, if when you felt ugly, weak and unworthy, you let yourself look deeper into that. Instead of pushing those feelings away…

What if you listened, instead of denying. What if you realized they are only feelings not the truth? What if we didn’t have to feel these real emotions with such shame?

We would start to actually give ourselves a small pep talk. We would naturally start to listen to our own voice.

Scenario feelings:
Ugh I feel so fat and ugly today.  I’m so tired and useless. My life is going nowhere. Look at everyone moving forward in life and here I am stuck. I’m tired of being strong. Why does it have to be so friggin’ hard?

This is what it truly sounds like, right?

Ok, but maybe you then say to yourself, I know this medication gives me major bloating and causes crazy mood swings. But I also know next week it will taper off. I also haven’t been to the gym this week so I’m going to get back into it because I know I feel so much better when I go twice a week. I’m tired because I haven’t been sleeping well, worried about my upcoming procedure. I know when I am tired I am super grouchy. I’ve been emotionally eating too and shutting down with hubby. Tonight I’ll going to make something healthy and have a good talk about how I’m feeling. I know he loves me and just wants to help… Me being closed off and bitchy to him is not going to help at all. We are in this together. I think I’ll txt him now and let him know. I think I’ll get myself that new pair of pants and that cute top I saw online. I deserve it!

What if someone else had suggested to us ‘you just have to eat healthier, go to the gym and communicate with your spouse.” It would be dam annoying! Why? Because it’s just one more thing someone is telling us to do that we are failing at. BUT when we allow some space to just be…we come into our own truth.

What happens when we allow ourselves some space to feel the hard stuff? We actually realize that what we are feeling is temporary and not necessarily truth. We allow ourselves to dig deeper into the our own truth and move towards solutions we already know. That is healthy and that is so powerful.


Getting support and being part of a community that just get’s it, is the single most important thing you can do!

With our Mindful Fertility program, Pre-Conception Diet Makeover and private groups, we help inspire, support and connect sisters daily, from pre-conception to post baby.  We just launched our new all natural, organic fertility body care line called Bloom Essentials! Our community of support is the perfect accompaniment to fertility treatments and procedures you might be going through. Our sisterhood of support and guidance is tailored to those experiencing stress and anxiety related to infertility and related procedures such as IUI/IVF.

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Maybe no one has told you…

Getting support and being part of a community that just get’s it, is the single most important thing you can do!

With our Mindful Fertility program, Pre-Conception Diet Makeover and private groups, we help inspire, support and connect sisters daily, from pre-conception to post baby.  We just launched our new all natural, organic fertility body care line called Bloom Essentials! Our community of support is the perfect accompaniment to fertility treatments and procedures you might be going through. Our sisterhood of support and guidance is tailored to those experiencing stress and anxiety related to infertility and related procedures such as IUI/IVF.

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What I have learned…

Getting support and being part of a community that just get’s it, is the single most important thing you can do!

With our Mindful Fertility program, Pre-Conception Diet Makeover and private groups, we help inspire, support and connect sisters daily, from pre-conception to post baby.  We just launched our new all natural, organic fertility body care line called Bloom Essentials! Our community of support is the perfect accompaniment to fertility treatments and procedures you might be going through. Our sisterhood of support and guidance is tailored to those experiencing stress and anxiety related to infertility and related procedures such as IUI/IVF.

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The woman trying to become a mother, she’s never needed support more than she does now.

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The woman trying to become a mother, she’s never needed support more than she does now.
When she gets pregnant and has her baby, the support will flood in from everywhere. Engulfing her with love and nurturing her while she navigates her new roles. Friends, sisters, moms, aunts and grandmothers will all reach out to calm her fears, encourage and protect her. They will say well done. Great job, you did it!
But the truth is, this woman trying to become a mother, needs your support now. People will later line up at her door for the chance to hold that newborn, but no one brings her freshly baked lasagna, or lets her rest because she needs it, now.
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Getting support and being part of a community that just get’s it, is the single most important thing you can do!

With our Mindful Fertility program, Pre-Conception Diet Makeover and private groups, we help inspire, support and connect sisters daily, from pre-conception to post baby.  We just launched our new all natural, organic fertility body care line called Bloom Essentials! Our community of support is the perfect accompaniment to fertility treatments and procedures you might be going through. Our sisterhood of support and guidance is tailored to those experiencing stress and anxiety related to infertility and related procedures such as IUI/IVF.

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Dear Family + Friends: I’m not ignoring all your heartfelt advice.

Dear Family + Friends:

You might have noticed, I sometimes try to hide my struggles. The truth is I do that because I don’t want to be a bother. But you might still see it. You might notice when I don’t attend some gatherings, or I seem quiet for a few weeks, or I stop sharing and kinda go off the grid. You see it because you care. And because you care, you often try to help. Or maybe you are quiet too because you don’t know how to help or don’t want to pry. You tell me to not worry so much because I am still young. You tell me to relax. That it will happen if I just keep having faith and to not ever give up hope. You tell me about your friend who just got pregnant after changing her diet and doing acupuncture. You told me about your cousin’s friend who also has PCOS and was cured by a quick procedure. You softly suggest maybe I should look into adoption. You send me articles about infertility. Things that can help, cure and fix…But it hasn’t happened. It’s just not that simple this whole infertility thing.

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I want you to understand what that feels like, because I want you to know I’m not ignoring all your heartfelt advice. I know my emotions can be hard for you to deal with and my struggle isn’t an easy one. For that reason, I feel like I owe you some honest insight. Infertility is just a term, but the emotions encompass it are grief, anger, jealousy, fear, sadness and anxiety to name a few. All of that together feels like an vast ocean. I am just a tiny spec treading water in this ocean. When the waves hit month after month, I struggle to keep my head above water. It’s overwhelming and every single moment feels like I’m one breathe away from drowning. This ocean is so big, so vast and extends further than I can see. Just when I think I am closer to shore I get pushed back. The words “just relax” force me to struggle against myself inside infertility. And the water rises just a little more around me. It should be obvious, but please remember: If I could just relax, I would have done so by now. These emotions are not a choice, or something I can always control or even understand. So please stop telling me not to feel them. Please stop using phrases that imply I should be able to control my infertility and all the emotions that go along with it.

Please do support me by checking once in awhile to let me know you are thinking of me. To just listen to how I am feeling and to reassure me that I am doing everything I can and that you acknowledge the strength and courage it has taken to keep swimming.


Getting support and being part of a community that just get’s it, is the single most important thing you can do!

With our Mindful Fertility program, Pre-Conception Diet Makeover and private groups, we help inspire, support and connect sisters daily, from pre-conception to post baby.  We just launched our new all natural, organic fertility body care line called Bloom Essentials!  Our community of support is the perfect accompaniment to fertility treatments and procedures you might be going through. Our sisterhood of support and guidance is tailored to those experiencing stress and anxiety related to infertility and related procedures such as IUI/IVF.

 

My rock bottom and a pin brought me to you.

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I want to share with you my personal story of the ‘Stork On The Way’ pin. This pin holds such sentimental value to me. It was given to me after my second trimester loss. For anyone who has experienced a loss, you never forget the exact moment you find out your baby is gone.

I am 1 in 4 and my rock bottom is not a particularly unique one, but it is mine and mine alone. It shaped me, changed my journey and  brought me to you today. It inspired me to start Miss.Conception Coach. It was in my rock bottom moment that I vowed no woman should feel alone and lost, while enduring  such pain.

We were at the ultrasound clinic for ‘fun’ having a look at the baby. (In Canada you only get a couple u/s via your Dr for dating the pregnancy and then for testing / measuring, but it’s not standard to have them often.) So we scheduled this one for fun and were so excited to see the baby again. I remember being relaxed because we were in our second tri – honeymoon safe zone stage and my morning sickness was gone, I had more energy etc. We had told everyone and had just recently gone away. We were on cloud 9!
A few min into the u/s I saw the techs face. He wasn’t smiling and quickly became quiet. He wiped off the wand and stood up. In that exact second I knew in my gut something was very wrong. He just said it a quiet voice ‘you should check in with your Dr. The moments, days, weeks that followed moved in light speed, yet in slow motion like I was out of my body. Friends called, came to visit and sent cards. A few weeks later one friend, who had also experienced a recent loss, sent me the pin. It meant so much to me and gave me such comfort. Someone had given the pin to my friend when she was pregnant with baby.

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Our son is our rainbow, and is now almost 8. He was a high risk pregnancy and I was sent to a specialist for the entire pregnancy. Bi monthly ultrasounds, amniocentesis, the whole works. High maintenance from the start. 😉 Then a last minute C-section due to being transverse. We suffered secondary infertility after him and every pregnancy was a similar loss. We finally decided to end our journey in 2015. My Dh said he just couldn’t see me go through that again and I was physically and emotionally done, even if I didn’t want to admit it. My own journey has come full circle, but I do know what it’s like to sit in the waiting room of the RE’s office and look around and wonder ‘what their story is’. To be scared of test results. Waiting for weeks on pins and needles. When 10 viles of blood seems normal after awhile. The dreaded statistics. To be given no answers, to feel like time is being wasted month after month… which turn into years. To make tough decisions. To run out of choices. To feel defeated and crushed. To get your hopes up and then feel like a fool for doing so. For cursing your body for not working properly. Waiting, watching, hoping for – signs, then googling signs. Then starting all over again.

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Are you in your 10 steps back day today?

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So, if you are in your 10 steps back today, I suggest you try the three A’s.
Acknowledge, Action, Avoid:
Acknowledge that yes today the waves are hitting you pretty hard. Try not to ask why. Because most of the time you will try to blame yourself or someone else. Instead just acknowledge that this mood is here today.
Then take Action. Do whatever you have to. Unfollow accounts that trigger you, temporarily block friends who’s feeds upset you and make you feel like a bad person for feeling angry or jealous. Say no to any situation that will triggers emotions that make you spiral.
Then Avoid. Decide you are’t going to let these temporary emotions ruin the rest of your day or week ahead! Instead do anything and everything to distract your mind from heading into the zone of despair. Mind numbing distractions. Start a new Pinterest board for new recipes, vacation, or home projects that seem fun! Start a new Netflix binge show. Head out for dinner and drinks after work with a close girlfriend, that you haven’t seen in awhile. Have a date night with your spouse just cause! Don’t wait for the weekend. Go watch the new movie at the fancy VIP theater you’ve wanted to see. Go look for some new cute outfits, all the Summer sales are on now! Do some online shopping for your abode. New throw pillows or bed sheets. Because really new bed sheets and towels feel life changing. 😀 Treat yourself to some new bath products that make you feel good!  https://bloom-essentials.myshopify.com/!
You don’t have to feel bad for feeling bad. And you don’t have to stay there. You are allowed to protect yourself from triggers, and do whatever you have to, to survive. It’s ok to not welcome those hard emotions in. This is how you fight the hardest on your hardest days, and for that you should be proud. ❤️

No you aren’t entitled…

No, you are not entitled to our medical history or personal details about how my body functions. While it is great to ask questions in the spirit of wanting to understand infertility more, it is not OK when I am treated as if disclosing our medical information is the currency I need in order to gain credibility, validity, or respect from you.

What ‘caused’ your infertility (eye roll) or if it runs in your family? Is it you or your partner that is the ‘issue’. You don’t have to prove what you have tried or haven’t tried. What tests you have done or not done. What you ate or didn’t eat. If your spouse wore tight undies or boxers. How many weeks along you were or how old you are. How you can afford so many treatments.

Boundaries are not negotiable. ❤️

Ok, promise me you will…

Does your sister complain about her morning sickness too often? Your best friend not include you in kids events. Mom offering too much advice? Your coworker announced her third unwanted pregnancy on Facebook. Sometimes we’re so busy trying to protect ourselves from certain people, who sometime trigger us, that we forget that they are still the same peeps who were our childless best friends not too long ago.

Friends and family often want to support you, but they just don’t know how. They are afraid of saying the wrong thing, or not saying the right thing. Don’t wait for them to read your mind. Silence will add to more silence and ultimately isolation.

Sharing how you are feeling is a vulnerable place. But sometimes friends and family can’t support you because you haven’t given them a chance – you never told them or shared how you are truly feeling.

Not every person is the right person to tell, so choose your person and open your heart up. Chances are, really close friends and family will be there for you and can be a great anchor of support if you trust them and let them in a bit.

You can try sending a quick update email to a few close family and friends and share some of your journey thus far. Even explaining why you aren’t always around as much and what you will be dedicating your life to, the next while.

Promise me you will let family and friend support you…❤️

INFERTILITY OUT LOUD Guest Interview

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Chiemi is a wife, a mom of 2, and founder of MissConception Coach. MissConception Coach was born out of the passion and dedication to offer love, support and guidance to women TTC and experiencing infertility issues. She experienced and witnessed firsthand the isolation created by going through treatments and loss and vowed to make this experience a better one for others. She considers it her life passion-to offer online support to women, no matter where they are in their journey, or in the world! Chiemi says: “I want every sister to know she is seen, she is heard and is not alone. I want to make sure every sister can receive support in the comfort of their own home, where they feel safe and the most comfortable. Our sisterhood of support and guidance is tailored to those experiencing stress and anxiety related to Infertility and related procedures such as IUI/IVF.”

Read to learn more about Chiemi and Miss.Conception Coach, and then head to the links to see for yourself how her noble life goal has helped so many!

What inspired you to start Miss.Conception Coach?

After witnessing and experiencing how isolating ttc and experiencing loss can be. I saw such a hole in our support system from the medical side to the ‘after’. I know what I needed wasn’t there and I knew the support that really helped me was from friends, and an inner circle of people who had experienced something similar. I wanted to facilitate that same sort of environment of women supporting other women in a safe, private community.

Your bio on Instagram reads: “We are changing the conversation about #infertility.” As someone trying to get people to talk out loud about infertility, I really connect with this idea. How do you hope to change the conversation?

By encouraging sisters to speak about how they are feeling, even if those feelings are jealousy, anger, fear, shame or sadness. I want to help them understand that it’s ok to feel these things and not to feel guilty! To acknowledge it is totally ok. It’s normal to process these feelings- they don’t make you a bad person. You can own them and know that your rock bottom moments can be inspiring and powerful! They can inspire other women who might feel embarrassed about feeling them too and reassure them that is 100% normal. Sharing these hard feelings only prove the incredible amount of courage and strength inside someone fighting infertility.

Miss.Conception Coach advocates connection and you facilitate private groups for people dealing with infertility. How have you found this to be helpful for people in need? What would you tell someone who is interested in reaching out but might be nervous about doing so?

It’s HUGE! When you ask someone on the other side of infertility what was the #1 thing that helped you survive that time, their answer is always “the support I got from other women experiencing the same thing.” It’s so true! Even if via online, it is the daily, safe, familiar connection of having that group there that really carries us. I made a new group because so many members were now pregnant and wanting to continue that friendship and support! Now we have a whole separate group called Bump To Bottles. It’s been amazing watching the journeys of these women who started together years ago, and now have toddlers! We do also join ‘forces’ with the two groups (‘The Miss.Conception Coach Group’ and ‘Bump To Bottles.’) We recently did a big surprise giveaway which the Bump To Bottles ladies hosted and donated to the Miss.Conception Group ladies! Tons of prizes and so much love and support felt showing support to the sisters still fighting. I tell anyone who I speak to, to please join our group. That there is no pressure and that I know they will get so much comfort in just being a part of that sisterhood.

The Inspire section on your website offers posts about infertility and personal experiences. Has there been one post in particular that you’ve found that people seem to connect with most?

Yes! The post I did last Summer: (Brutally Honest) Status Updates Women With Infertility Want To Post On Social Media But Don’t went viral! It is first hand shares from sisters, speaking the truth about what they go through on a daily basis. For example: ‘Crappy day; after spending 10k and giving myself daily injections, Dr tells me my eggs are duds.’

You hosted the Bloggers Online Fertility Conference in 2015, do you plan to do so again in the future?

I have hosted two and they were such a wonderful experience. I’m not sure there is a third one in store but definitely something, that brings together our community again with a similar platform! I really want to start focusing on local face to face meets ups, groups and get togethers!

Since starting Miss.Conception Coach, what has surprised you most about this community you’ve created?

The resilience of the women in it! And the compassion and about of giving towards other’s even when one is at their rock bottom. Such unconditional love and support towards one another!

You also founded Bloom Fertility Body Care, the first (and only) body care line custom made for women trying to get pregnant. Can you tell me more about this revolutionary product line?

Yes! I saw so many products for pregnancy and post pregnancy/babies etc., but NOTHING for women ttc, when really all natural products are the most important! I decided it was time for something just for ttc sisters. They truly deserve it more than anyone else! It is all natural body care that also has hormone balancing essential oils. I am working on the cream now and it will be launching soon! The feedback so far, from our soft launch, has been amazing and nothing but positive.

Are there any words of advice you could give someone who might be at the beginning of their TTC journey?

That you are doing the best you can. That it’s enough! You aren’t broken and don’t need fixing. To keep sharing how you feel to those around you. To protect yourself and know the triggers that can affect how you feel. That’s it’s not selfish to put yourself first right now. You deserve all the love and support for this journey ahead. To just BE and allow for things to fill you with joy when you are feeling overwhelmed. Not to look for ‘adding more’ but just resting. Often after failed treatment and cycles we automatically go to “what can we do more. what did we not do enough of, and what can we fix.” Throw that away and just let you heart and soul rest. You did enough.

 By Elizabeth Strong, (LMHC, DCC)
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Promise me…

 

 

There is immense pride in this vulnerable, courageous place. To admit we are in pain, yet still fighting. It’s an uncomfortable place to share with others because people want to fix that,  take away that pain. Well, honesty this pain is courage, it’s real and really, its the things that almost do break us, that make us who we are.

I hope you remember to be proud of yourself today. During each step along the way. In the courage to try, the pain, the loss and the vulnerable, scary places. I hope you know that if you ever have to do it all again, these hard, painful parts, you can, because you must and you won’t ever be alone.

That is my promise to you.

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Some days aren’t meant for healing.

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Some days can leave you feeling (irrationally) angry with those around you. It can take everyday interaction with people and turn them into huge triggers. Waiting in line at a store, hanging out with a friend, a Facebok post, a commercial, a coworker. Small daily things get amplified and suddenly the person complaining they are tired becomes incredibly annoying, when a friend posts about her naughty toddler, a pregnant co worker proclaims she is so done with her pregnancy belly, a next door neighbor yells at her toddler, a story on the news about harm to a newborn baby, a good friend gets knocked up by mistake (again). Sure it’s not rational but neither is fighting Infertility every.single.dam.day.of.your.life.

Trying to hold on to who you are, when not obsessing about trying to get pregnant, is one of the hardest battles you will ever fight. Sometimes you wonder who you would be without this daily fight. Would you be the girl who smiles more? One ready for adventure at any moment? Making plans on a whim? Would you be connecting with those around you better? Closer? Not having to keep so much of your world and parts of you private. Hiding how you are truly feeling to most…Would you feel more included? Would you have gone on that trip? Bought that car? House? Would you have a different life??? Yes, perhaps.

Some days aren’t meant for healing.

Or moving forward.

Some days are just meant to be.

Days to just be in whatever mood you are feeling. This allows yourself to be free of the constant spiral. It allows your tomorrow to be a more present one. Where you know that infertility is a battle you have to fight, but where you also know you’ve done, and are doing everything in your power you can to fight it. It lets your soul and heart exist in a present where you are supported with love around you. Where you can share your feelings and feel calmer. Exist in the present where you know you have no control after a certain point. So you will let go to fill that space with comfort however the heck you need to!! Exist in the present where you are nurturing what YOU need and not worrying about how others might feel. A better you, because you took today.

Looking at her, you wouldn’t know she is struggling.

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Looking at her, you wouldn’t know she has feelings of incredible loss.
Looking at her, you wouldn’t know she is paralyzed in fear.
Looking at her, you wouldn’t know she feels lost.
Looking at her, you wouldn’t know she feels anxiety.
Looking at her, you wouldn’t know she feels angry.
Looking at her, you wouldn’t know she is still terrified but fighting.

You wouldn’t ever guess she deals with all of these emotions daily. Behind her smile and ability to ‘just stay positive,’ is a terrified woman with #infertility. Sometimes she feels like she is invisible, with an invisible fight, experiencing invisible pain. Does anyone even notice or validate her struggle? She wants to be taken seriously, but until society acknowledges the #anxiety#depression and #stress of Infertility, it will never be part of a very important conversation. And without more awareness, we can’t ever move forward to break the stigma, and ask for the help and support truly needed.

What does Infertility anxiety, depression and stress look like to you? Would it be a emotional and physical breakdown? Would it be crying, yelling, not being able to get out of bed in the morning? Would it be totally shutting down, refusing to see friends and family? For some people, this is what it can be like, but for most this is not the case. It looks like you have your life together. You even look great, you invest in your health and always go the extra mile for family and friends, you attend social functions, you excel in your job, you travel, you have hobbies…You learn to function at this level month after month, then months turn into years. At what cost to your mind, body and spirit? With not speaking out about the harsh realities of Infertility, is the risk of people thinking it’s not real. And it is. It is crippling some days. It is pain and loss on a level most can’t even imagine. It is starting over and over, until you feel you have hit rock bottom. Then mustering the courage and strength to start over again.

Sister fighting this way, you need to know, you are not invisible. Your struggle is not invisible. Your loss is not invisible. Your pain is not invisible.You are powerful and you are so very loved and valued. Finding a safe place to reach out and share your story, to get support and encouragement is key. Sharing your story and what you are feeling is healing and will help heal someone else. Our community is always here with open arms and listening ears… No one should have to do this alone. You don’t have to feel overwhelmed. There is light through this tunnel!! There is a community of sisters feeling and experiencing the exact same thing and together, we can take this on. One day at a a time. Step by step.

Start by admitting how you are feeling.

Start by taking the first step to reach out.

Start by sharing how you are truly feeling.

Start, knowing you are in a safe place to share and ask for help. ❤️

weneedtostop3

 

 

The thought of being a burden is what keeps you quiet. It keeps you silent, not wanting to rock the boat, or make a fuss.

depression

She had felt blah before. The usual ups and downs from navigating life. She’d experienced hardship, some that had left her forever changed. But depression feels so different. It was certainly not something she had ever felt before. But, she has now. She called it her reverse light bulb moment. When everything she thought she knew for sure, all of a sudden made no sense.

There she sat, surrounded by everything that usually filled her with immense joy that now she just felt numb to. Experiencing depression is like leaving your body, then watching and feeling from the outside. Longing to crawl back in. Hormone induced depression, whether it be from infertility/fertility drugs, pmdd, pcos, pregnancy, postpartum, or menopause is absolutely no joke and we need to start taking it seriously.

It’s not about what you have or don’t have in your life. Feeling depressed isn’t about feeling ‘sad’ about one thing. It’s not about cheering yourself up or being more positive, or grateful. It’s your body/brain chemicals unable to connect and program properly. This can be brought on for many different reasons. Everyone’s reasons are different. Everything starts to feel overwhelming. Something small can trigger a horrible downward spiral. So, you teeter on lashing out or completely shutting down.

You realize there is only one thing worse than feeling ‘sad’ and that’s feeling nothing. Numb is a lonely, isolating emotion. Feeling like you are slipping away from the joys that used to fuel you. When the tiniest of joys were able to comfort you. Your morning coffee, a quiet afternoon moment, sun on your face, a hug from a friend, your pet, a night out, a delicious meal…Now you try to muster up enough energy to make it through your daily tasks. Finding motivation is hard. The feeling of being ‘lazy’ frustrates you, because you are far from it.

The thought of being a burden is what keeps you quiet. It keeps you silent, not wanting to rock the boat, or make a fuss. There are truths, that no matter how many times someone tries to reassure us, that we will never truly believe. No matter how much you think you know about depression and anxiety on paper, it will sneak up on you and slap you in the face. Your mind knows it’s not about weakness. You mind knows it’s not something you deserve. Your mind knows it’s not your fault. Your mind knows these feelings aren’t real. But your heart will question it all. All of it.

You owe so much to so many, so you keep putting one foot in front of the other. Who has time to take care of you, when you are the one who is supposed to takes care of others? Who the hell has time for depression?!

There is a feeling of shame. Of not being able to keep up with ‘life’ when everyone else can and is. You go through the daily motions, keeping your four walls held up. Not functioning is not an option. You don’t have time for the walls to collapse around you. You have dinner to make, a job, emails to reply to, family, friends and a husband, who loves and needs you… you have life. There is shame for possibly not looking grateful for everyone/everything you have.

Empathy you would give lovingly to someone else, you forget to give to yourself. So, the daily fight becomes giving yourself that small grace and permission to just accept your limits and where you are. So you keep climbing.

Accepting how you are feeling is not something that happens overnight. When you experience something like depression you are in complete shock. You are in denial and you are also in waiting…you wait for it to go away, to pass and to be ‘normal’ again. You try different things, hoping it’s just a bad mood. You keep waiting. Then days go by. Days that turn into weeks. Weeks into months. You have moments when you think it might be gone, but then you wake up feeling worse. It’s not a linear experience. It’s a confusing, sideways one and you start to question the why’s all over again. The more you question the more you realize it’s not anything you do or don’t do. Which gives you peace in some ways, yet leaves you feeling lost in another.

Admitting this might be part of your life right now, is also a terrifying. What if you don’t ‘snap’ out of this, what if this is the new you? What if you never feel the small joys you used to? This is where society talks about the getting help aspect of anxiety/depression. Just ask for help, get help, speak up, call the number and get fixed they say. Simple right? But, what you come to realize and learn is, getting help is not a quick fix. It is only a single courageous step, of many steps, in your own journey.

For everyone getting help means something different. The truth is, for most people with depression, they have gotten help and what they need you to know, is they are still fighting. This is their reality, even after getting that help. There’s no secret pill or therapy or way of life that helps everyone. So please give yourself some much deserved grace today, no matter what you might be fighting personally. And don’t believe what those darn brain chemicals try to tell you. We can’t take away difficult times for the people we love, but we can help carry them through their struggle and pain. We can carry them by reassuring them they are enough.That we are not a bother to one another and that it’s ok, to not be ok all the time. There is nothing more human or courageous than that.

Social medias need for 24/7 sharing of happiness, is leaving less and less room for acceptance of reality. Of what each of us experiences on a daily basis. More importantly, it doesn’t allow for acknowledging the daily courage that fight takes. Yes let’s celebrate each others smiles and good times but lets also celebrate the courage it takes to get through the bad ones.

 iseeyou (1)

Most don’t know you are suffering today. (But I do. I see you.)

 

iseeyou (1)

You doubt this process and question your sanity.

You question if you can or even want to try again.

You question your faith.

Your purpose.

I see the exhaustion behind those questions.

I see the anxiety from researching the symptoms, medication, options and weighing the odds and percentages.

I hear your silent grief because you don’t want to be a burden to anyone, or seem negative. So you hold all that inside and navigate alone.

I feel your hope turn to anger in an instant because that’s just how quickly life changes in just two weeks. Then back to hope again…

I know you never dreamed you were strong enough to go through something like Infertility.

That you don’t always feel strong because most days you feel you don’t have a choice.

But you are. You are so strong!

You long for the day when this will all be a distant memory, but you don’t really know if or when that day will come.

I know the uncertainty breaks you sometimes.

I also know, you are so very loved and supported and have everything you need inside you to do this.

There is no failing on this path to motherhood, because it is NOT measured by the time it takes, or how you get there. There is no right or wrong way to become a mother.

So keep going, you’re right on the edge of something magical about to happen!! I see you.

Today, you are not suffering alone.  


Are you looking for some extra support and a wonderful sisterhood of women who just ‘get it’? Join us and enjoy 30 Days Of Mindful Fertility. Complimentary to all members!

p.s. Are you going through fertility treatments or will be soon? We made something just for you!