CHAPTER EXCERPT FROM Infertility Success, Stories of Help and Hope for Your Journey
I grew up in a single-parent home with an incarcerated father, which brought about its own set of challenges and hardships. I was a typical little girl, playing house, pretending to be a mom, and caring for my life-like babies. I was naturally the nurturing type. I always knew I wanted to be a mom, but I never imagined it would happen at such a young age. Shockingly, I was in junior high when I became pregnant after having sex for the very first time. I was 14 years old.
Figuring out how to raise and financially support another human was scary, daunting, and, honestly, didn’t seem possible. Without any support from my family, there was no way I could do it on my own, so my mom drove me to a clinic in a neighboring state, and I had an abortion. I was 12 weeks pregnant. I have a hole in my heart that only that baby can fill, and the pain, shame, and guilt still haunt me today.
I know my life would have been so different as a teen mom. Around the same time, I got to witness the struggle and sacrifice first-hand when one of my closest friends also became pregnant. She had the support of her family, went through with her pregnancy, and raised her baby. Walking that journey alongside her was a constant reminder of what I had done and the baby I didn’t have.
I graduated high school with honors and headed off to college, where I met my husband. We dated for 5 years before getting married. Shortly after we got married in 2010, I embarked on somewhat of a wellness journey when I started working for a holistic supplement company in the animal health industry. I became inundated with learning about preventative health and natural wellness, for both pets and people.
After waiting a year and a half, we wanted to start a family, I was 29 at the time. So, I stopped taking birth control, ditched the Adderall, cut out soda, and started taking a prenatal vitamin daily.
Sadly, five months into my fertility journey, my dad got diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. I became his primary caregiver and together we made dietary and lifestyle changes to improve our health. We started buying more organic meats and veggies, choosing non-GMO products, eating less packaged food, and cutting down on processed sugar. We were more intentional with taking our supplements every day and were introduced to the world of essential oils and aromatherapy.
Surprisingly, two weeks after my dad finished his last day of treatment, we found out we were pregnant! We were ecstatic and over the moon with excitement! Having just gone through one of the toughest seasons of our entire lives, this news was such a blessing. We quickly made a doctor’s appointment to get confirmation, and the day we heard the heartbeat for the very first time, I experienced a wave of unexplainable joy and gratitude. I thanked Jesus repeatedly for hearing and answering our prayers.
We went out to eat with some family members to celebrate, but our celebration was short-lived. Not long after getting home from the restaurant, I started cramping and passing small blood clots in our bathroom. I had never experienced a miscarriage before, so I was unsure if that’s what was happening. I retrieved the clots from the toilet and we rushed to the hospital. After being admitted, an ultrasound confirmed there was no heartbeat. I was sent home to rest, get comfortable, and wait for my body to stop bleeding, which could take at least a week or more. The thought of having a miscarriage never really crossed my mind. We were completely devastated and with broken hearts, we buried our baby under the old bodark tree, not far from our dog, Bit-Bit, who had passed away earlier that year. It was a sad and difficult time, to say the least. If I’m being really honest, at that moment, I questioned whether I was even worthy of being a mom…
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If you're experiencing recurrent miscarriages, it's important to get to the bottom of what's causing them. Here are three tests you should ask your doctor to run.Read more...
Infertility. It's a topic that's shrouded in myths and misconceptions. And when you're trying to get pregnant, it can be hard to know what information to believe. So today, we're busting 3 common infertility myths.
Myth #1: infertility is rare. WRONG! 1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility. That's a lot of people - and you are not alone. Finding support while you’re going through infertility is a key to helping you cope. If you can’t cope, you can’t continue. If you feel ashamed or embarrassed to talk about it seek out the advice of a mental health counselor who is infertility trauma informed.
Myth #2: infertility is always caused by the woman. While it's true that infertility is diagnosed more often in women, the cause is one third of the time is male factor infertility, with the remaining third being unexplained infertility. It’s important if you're struggling to conceive, to have both partners checked out by a fertility specialist. Testing might be something that you have to advocate for up front, as many doctors focus on fertility as being mostly a woman’s problem.
Myth #3: infertility means you'll never be able to have a baby. This one couldn't be further from the truth! Regardless of your diagnosis and prognosis many women go on to beat the odds by improving their overall health and seeking additional opinions. You can read 20 stories of Infertility Success HERE. If you’re a candidate, modern medicine offers many different treatment options available for couples who want to have a baby. So, if you've been told you're infertile, don't give up hope - there is still a chance for you to have the family of your dreams!
If you're trying to get pregnant, you've probably heard a lot of advice - some of it good and some of it not so much. With so many conflicting messages out there, it can be hard to know what to believe. If you feel lost as to where to start, I put together a checklist to get you started and make sure you’re receiving the care you deserve.
Are you having trouble getting pregnant after 35? You're not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1 in 10 women in the United States have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a baby to term. But don't worry – there are plenty of things you can do to increase your chances of getting pregnant faster. We'll discuss some tips in 3 key areas, Detox, Heal, and Empower- that should help you conceive quicker.
1. Talk to your doctor about your fertility concerns- If you feel brushed off, are not getting the answers you feel you deserve or want a practitioner with a more aggressive approach I STRONLY recommend getting a second opinion. Be empowered to ask questions about what a reasonable next step or next test would be. No doctor is going to care as much about your health and fertility as you and your partner. And that's OKAY. Just ask.
2. Reduce toxins in as many areas as you can. Water, diet and personal care products are all at the top of the list. Reduce the amount of processed food you eat, switch to organic as much as your budget will allow, find green(er) personal care products (soaps, lotions, make-up) and avoid fragrance when possible. These small steps might not seem like they can make a big impact but in some women (like me) it makes a HUGE difference.
3. Take prenatal vitamins to ensure you're getting all the nutrients you need BUT not any prenatal is a good choice. Make sure the prenatal is from whole food sources, contains folate (not folic acid) is NOT a gummy (lead, poor quality) and is dye free.
4. Reduce stress levels as much as possible. Can I just say it? INFERTILITY is STRESSFUL! There's no way around it so let's call out the elephant in the room and get some tools in our toolbox so that we can do a better job at helping ourselves, protecting our relationships and cope better so that we can continue.
5. Consider using natural methods to boost fertility, such as acupuncture or herbs. If you have an irregular cycle, no cycle, want to support your IUI/IVF transfer or want to support your natural fertility acupuncture is for you. There's a ton of research about how acupuncture along side these other treatments increases positive outcomes. Depending on your symptoms the protocol can be between 1-3 times per week. Make sure you find a doctor of acupuncture that specializes in infertility.
If you’re looking to increase your fertility, detoxing and reducing stress are two great places to start. There are many ways to detox, but we recommend starting with a gentle cleanse that focuses on whole foods and plenty of fluids. And don’t forget to reduce stress in your life – this can be done through EFT, AFT, visualization, affirmations, meditation, yoga, grounding or simply taking time for yourself each day. Are you ready to get started? Accelerate Your Fertility Boot Camp can help you optimize your fertility and live with more peace while your doing it.
For some couples, Mother's Day is a time of sadness and stress. This is especially true for couples who are struggling with infertility. If your wife is dealing with infertility, here are a few ways that you can help her feel special on Mother's Day.
First, try to be understanding and sensitive to her feelings. Make space for the two of you to have some uninterrupted conversation time. Don't make assumptions about how she's feeling about the day. Listen and be willing to share how you feel too.
Second, giver her space if she needs it. Don't obligate her to attend a Mother’s Day brunch or any other activities if she's not feeling up to it. If you need to, choose to celebrate with your own mother on another day or from afar. Which leads me too number three…
Third, take care of any tasks or errands or housework that she may need help with. This should include any meals or childcare (if you are experiencing secondary infertility) that she would normally be involved in. Make sure that you are taking care of her too (meals, water etc. if she is having a hard time coping)
If your able and she's up to it, plan a special day for the two of you to experience something new that’s on your bucket list or take that day trip you've been talking about.
If you’ve experienced a miscarriage, together consider gifting her a piece of birthstone jewelry or other keepsake as a remembrance of the child you lost. You can also check out my infertility gift guide HERE.
Finally, express your love and support for her in whatever way you feel comfortable doing. By being supportive and understanding, you can help make Mother's Day a little bit easier for your wife and help her through this challenging time.
I hope that at least one of these tips resonates with you and that you’ll be able to use it in your own life. If not, please share in the comments what has worked for you when trying to support your wife through infertility.
Thank you for being there for her—she will appreciate it more than you know.