Monthly Archives

March 2018

Babe In My Arms, Babe In My Belly, Babe In My Heart, BFF, Blogs

From WTF Sisters: The Best TTC Advice

March 27, 2018

One thing (well, one of the many) that we love about the What The Fertility (WTF) community is the compassion towards others and willingness to share! Whether that means sharing stories, advice, tips, or just joining in on all the feels when someone is celebrating or needs a pick-me-up!

Last month on our Instagram and Facebook pages, we asked you: “What was the best advice you were given while trying for a baby?” And boy, did you answer! Here’s what some of our TTC sisters had to say:

About marriage while TTCing:

“I’ve learned to take the advice with love, no matter what. But in return, I give them the honesty of my journey. I was depressed. I’ve lost friends. But through it all, I lean into the love of my marriage more and more. That’s saved my soul.” – @bloomingwithcare

“Some of the best advice I got was to remember my husband through the process. Trying for a baby can be all consuming and feel very “mechanical.” Even more so when experiencing infertility! Take time for your partner, check in on their feelings, and remember that you are in this together.” – @laurenjbennett

No success on the actual baby making but just keep talking to your significant other…keep good lines of communication open because chances are they are struggling as much if not more than you are. Keep each other close, don’t let not being able to conceive get in between what brought you together in the first place LOVE. – Alexis

(Image credit: Scary Mommy)

On paying attention to your body:

“Be proactive, get your body checked out to see why infertility may be occurring so you don’t over look or not look at important aspects!” – @sexdoccarli

“Listen to your body. It knows what it’s deficient or nutrient rich in and if I can support you and a growing baby.” – @shreeberry

(Image credit: FertilityTips.com)

Taking the journey in stride:

“Some of the best advice that I received was try not to put so much stress on the process. Take your meds, relax, get a massage, and leave it in God’s hands. Once I really relaxed and put it all in God’s hand it worked. I was on my last cycle of IUI before IVF. Due later this year.” – @mrsnatvirture

“The best is for someone to listen to you and offer no advice.” – Carrie

“Get a support group and block out all the advice and lean on the ones who offer nothing but love- no advice no nothing but being there. And know your partner is in this too- and they might not reach out but they need a person to lean on too.” – Talia

Do you have TTC advice that you would like to pass on to others looking to start a family? Drop them in the comments below! And be on the look out for our next post from the WTF community around ensuring a successful embryo transfer!
Babe In My Heart, Blogs, Uncategorized

Share Your Surrogacy Story!

March 23, 2018

Written by Heather Holden Leddy, guest blogger

I’m a mom and Casting Producer in Los Angeles. I’ve worked on a ton of shows over the last decade which has kept me more than busy! I’ve helped cast everything from Shark Tank to even traveling to Samoa to help with the cast of Survivor a few seasons. It’s been fun and at times not as glamorous as it sounds…but I do get to meet a lot of interesting people and that is what keeps me going. I love hearing people’s stories and it’s always amazing to me how much we all have in common!

My new project has me on an exciting path – I’m working on searching for surrogacy stories with people who used or are planning on using a family member or close friend as a surrogate. This project has become extra special to me because I too have struggled with my own fertility issues. It was a long road for my husband and I and I’m happy to say that at 39, I’m now six months pregnant with our second baby girl!

(Image credit: SimpleSurrogacy.com)

Going through what we’ve been through really gave me a new perspective into the world of trying to get pregnant and made me realize that it’s not that easy for everyone. I have a much greater appreciation for the fertility journey now and know how lucky I am that we were finally able to conceive, not once…but twice.

And now, I’m turn to the What The Fertility community! My hopes are that I can find some inspirational and real stories about the process of gestational surrogacy – from you!

(Image credit: Center for Fertility and Gynecology)

This new docu-series focuses on people that are considering, have undergone, or are currently undergoing the process of gestational surrogacy – from both the prospective of intended mother and the surrogate. A lot of the women I have spoken with have extremely inspirational stories to share about how they have overcome the many obstacles they’ve faced. Family and friendship stories that dispel some of preconceptions of surrogacy are really important and we want to add elements of hope and female empowerment to our storytelling for this project.

So what do you say – will you share your story with us?! Help be the face and voice of hope for so many people who are longing to be parents!

If you have used a family member or close friend as a surrogate and would like to share your inspirational surrogacy journey, please SurrogateStories@gmail.com.

Babe In My Arms, Babe In My Belly, Babe In My Heart, Blogs

I See the Future of IVF and “It’s Finally Positive!”

March 20, 2018

By Tasha Blasi, guest blogger

I did ten rounds of IVF to have my children.  Hudson was round two and Mila was round ten.

When I share this party trick of mine, I can tell if someone has also experienced fertility issues by the next question that they ask me.

For those that have not needed fertility treatments to conceive, they ask, “Wow, how much did that cost you (in dollars)?”

For those that needed fertility treatment to conceive, they ask, “Wow, how much did that cost you (in mental health)?”  

It cost us tens of thousands of dollars.  Maybe $100K? I will never know. I know that we paid out of pocket in full for one round, and then had some insurance covering the other nine rounds, but I am not masochistic, so I carefully avoided adding up the overall total even though I had our IVF bills in one place.   

While the financial toll of IVF came and left quickly for each round (like ripping off a band-aid), the emotional toll of IVF came, never left, and just kept growing and changing (like an infected wound that you never uncovered to look at and just kept hidden under a band-aid).

At first, I was cocky. I was doing IVF in NYC. They had to be the best if they are in NYC, right?  Also, I was young and healthy, and our fertility issues were due to my husband’s low sperm count so we would have no issues creating tons of healthy embryos, right? Plus, I was successful at anything I worked hard at, so IVF will be the same, right?  

Of course, I was wrong about all of those things. Soon, my attitude changed from confident to hopeless.  I was not cocky anymore, I was afraid.

Watching round 6,7, 8, and 9 fail, without even a positive pregnancy test, unraveled me. It didn’t make sense. I had been pregnant before, so my body knew what to do, and I didn’t have any known fertility issues.  

I was confused and felt lost, but I was not ready to give up. For the last round, I made some hard changes. The first was changing doctors for the fourth time. I also worked on environmental and mindset issues that could be getting in the way of my success.  

I am proud of my path and my very pricey children.  I don’t have any regrets in my fertility journey. In fact, my only regret in life is not spending the money to see the original cast of Hamilton. 🙂  

But I don’t want anyone else to make my mistakes and go through what I did for those years.  

For this reason, I left my career and started the FU Project so women can go through their fertility journey so much easier, cheaper, kinder, and quicker than I did. My customized “Method to Motherhood™”  for women is simple and streamlined. I focus on the four elements that need to be solid for IVF success rates to get close to 100% (within two embryo transfers)* vs. the average 35% national success rates for IVF.**

The four elements are Science, Environment, Mindset, and Support.

Today, I work with one woman at a time.  Soon, my “Method to Motherhood™” will be incorporated into the top fertility clinics around the world.  They are already calling, but I am holding off on any partnerships for now.  I need more time to just focus on my program. I am just getting started!

If you would like answers to what is stopping you from getting or staying pregnant, please call me so I can help you.  I offer complimentary strategy sessions so women can learn what might be the missing link in their fertility journey that will finally make them successful.  

I am so grateful and proud to know that soon IVF will focus on more than just the woman’s uterus and ovaries.  And all women will go through a kinder, easier, and quicker IVF journey.

I see the future of IVF and ‘it’s finally positive.”

Tasha Blasi (@tashablasi IG, @thetashablasi FB) is a fertility coach and founder of the Fertilitites Unite Project (FU Project).  She offers complimentary fertility strategy session for some women considering or doing IVF so please take advantage of this opportunity.  You can apply for one at  www.tashablasi.com/connect.  

 

*FU Project’s Method to Motherhood success rates based on 100+ women.
**Source: SART.org

Babe In My Belly, Blogs

Not Letting Endometriosis Win

March 13, 2018

Written by Nicole Brown, guest blogger

Endometriosis is a term that I became familiar with in my teenage years when my mother had a full hysterectomy at the age of 37 due to complications from endometriosis. Throughout high school and college, I was on hormone therapy because of my irregular and very heavy menstrual cycles. But, I experienced none of the other symptoms that my mother suffered with.

In 2012, I married my best friend and we knew eventually after a year or so, we wanted to start a family, so to prepare I stopped taking my birth control pills. After a year of trying, we still were not pregnant but also not very concerned, so we tried for another year. But still, nothing. By year three we decided to track my ovulation via over the counter ovulation prediction kits. To my surprise, I was not ovulating regularly. I talked to my doctor who did not seem concerned at all because “I was young and had plenty of time to have children”.

Seven months later and with a high dose of Clomid, I became pregnant! We were so excited, we told our whole family, took announcement photos, etc. Around 8 weeks pregnant, I began to spot. At my next appointment, I had ultrasound and heard the baby’s heartbeat. My doctor reassured me that everything was fine. But at my 12 week appointment, we received the devastating news that our little baby did not have a heartbeat.

Not long after our miscarriage, I became sick. I was experiencing stomach pains, acid reflux, dizzy spells, sciatica, blood in my stools, and migraines. I spent the next year visiting doctor after doctor, having every possible test done and no one had any answers. I switched OBGYNs in 2016 and it was the best decision I ever made. He performed an exploratory laparoscopy, where he discovered stage 4 endometriosis and two large ovarian cysts. When I woke up, he told me that I was in surgery for 5 hours and it was the worst case of endometriosis that he had ever seen. My ovaries, intestines, stomach, and bowel were glued together by scar tissue. He told me that if we wanted to have children, we needed to strongly consider IVF.

After a year of many late night emotional discussions and breakdowns and one more surgery to remove a large mass and additional scar tissue, my husband and I took the plunge and decided to do IVF. On September 26, 2017, we transferred one frozen embryo and I am happy to say that we are currently 26 weeks pregnant with a baby girl. This pregnancy has not come without complications and I currently have another large cyst on my left ovary but I have a great team of doctors who monitor my progress very carefully.

Infertility is a hard and painful journey. Do not be afraid to get a second or third opinion. Advocate for yourself, trust your gut, and assemble a team of doctors who are knowledgeable about endometriosis. To my endometriosis warriors, DON’T GIVE UP!!!

Babe In My Heart, Blogs

That Moment When

March 6, 2018

Written by Brooke Papp, WTF Contributor

One of your oldest, best friends, someone you respect SO incredibly much for their good doings in life, someone whom you have been through so much with…

Tells you their pregnant when you’re struggling with infertility.

They tell you, and instead of hugging them and showing them ALL OF THE LOVE, you shake, crying [ sobbing ] uncontrollably.

It’s not that I don’t want this for her. I actually think she will be one of the best mommies I know. She has the biggest heart, an infectious smile, extreme intelligence. She’s warm and caring. She’s one of those people that LISTENS to you, instead of waiting for you to finish so they can talk. She remembers everything. We can all learn something from her.

Plus? Her and her husband are supes cute and are going to produce ridiculously adorable offspring.

It’s not and never will be that I don’t want this for her, or any of my friends – it’s that I want it for me, too. To go through this journey WITH them.

I left her with the feeling of guilt. I said to myself ‘I just don’t want to talk to any of my friends anymore’, ‘I never have good news’, I will just seclude myself so I don’t show hurt’.

‘I’ll talk to them when things improve’ when I’m ‘less hormonal’.

I called someone, pretty much the only one who knew what that felt like and she begged me to not go into hermit mode. Day to day, I can’t say that I am strong enough that I don’t want to do that. But I’m trying.

Each time I pull up social media I see a new announcement, a new baby picture. I saw S I X announcements on New Year’s Day. A year to the date we conceived last year. Ouch. It’s like a sting I’ve never felt before.

It’s been almost a year since my miscarriage and almost 10 months of trying for another little babe. We found out in November, that I don’t ovulate. Or at least not regularly, at all. So yes, we did get pregnant. But it’s going to be hard to plan and succeed without help.

I start my first round of clomid soon and I’m S-C-A-R-E-D, y’all. Have you ever read the side effects? Um…maybe you don’t want to talk to me for the next few months. Cause? Crazy lady walkin’.

But, with nerves comes crazy excitement. Time to try something new and the hope for the future is real.

Hope for a healthy babe, hope for not being overly crazy and hope for understanding.

I’ll keep you updated, until then…fingers crossed

What The Fertility

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