Today’s success story is about a woman named Elyse. She’s a 34-year-old professional copywriter and co-founder of Fruitful Fertility. Before infertility, she was self-assured and goal-oriented. Because she had led a pretty uneventful life until that point, she was ready and waiting for the other shoe to drop. Sure enough, after a year and a half of trying to conceive, she and her husband found themselves at a fertility clinic — and the reproductive endocrinologist immediately diagnosed her with endometriosis and ovarian cysts. Join us to hear how after initially being against IVF and experiencing a few setbacks, she became pregnant following her first frozen embryo transfer.
What you’ll hear in this episode:
- In her “free time,” Elyse runs Fruitful Fertility, a free fertility mentorship matching program
- How she and her husband met in the DC area, at their first jobs out of college; they became friends first and then dated long-distance
- As a couple, they complement each other with their different personalities that “fill in the gaps” for each other
- As a serious teen babysitter, and later a camp counselor, Elyse always knew she wanted kids in her life
- To prepare their lives for parenthood, they moved to a more affordable city, took jobs that afforded a work/life balance, and bought a house with room enough for kids
- How Elyse “had a feeling” that pregnancy wouldn’t be easy to achieve
- Trying to conceive for a year, then an Ob and Clomid, and then on to the RE
- The first RE appointment, when she was excited and scared, but then received the diagnosis of endometriosis and ovarian cysts
- Tracking cycles, acupuncture, and fertility yoga
- Timed intercourse, then skipped IUI’s and went straight to IVF in June 2016, with zero viable embryos
- Fall 2016: a 2nd IVF, when Elyse tried to relax more and “let go”
- Three normal embryos and an FET in June 2017
- How Elyse lost all hope after the first failed IVF when there were NO answers
- Dealing with unrealistic expectations, not knowing WHY, and learning that life isn’t always fair
- A fond memory of feeling supported by others going through infertility and feeling connected to them in a sisterhood
- How they first got the phone call at home of the positive pregnancy test: feeling “surreal and happy, but cautious and guarded”
- What Elyse did NOT expect to feel: survivor’s guilt at her pregnancy success
- Balancing work and treatments with flexible work schedules and understanding bosses
- How they received financial help from her husband’s parents
- How their initial attitudes about IVF changed throughout their journey
- How their marriage relationship survived, despite having the hard, honest conversations that it took to get on the same page and make a team effort
- How Elyse lost some friendships along the way but felt very supported by her family
- How Fruitful Fertility came about as a service for the vulnerable and misunderstood, matching them privately with someone who has already been where they are
- How infertility changed Elyse: “It’s made me a less entitled person. I know how naïve it is to think that if you want something, you can work for it and get it. I’ve learned to be grateful for what we have; I’m more empathetic, less judgmental, and I try to approach others with grace and kindness.”
- Elyse’s advice to herself back then: “Don’t cling so tightly and try to control everything. Roll with the punches more and relax more and loosen up. Whatever happens, I’m a really lucky person.”
Words of Hope:Surround yourself with people and things that make you feel good. Self-care is something we should be doing all the time. Create safe spaces for yourself where you can ask questions and just vent, without being judged. Click To Tweet
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