Remember in elementary school when you had to write an essay about what you wanted to be when you grew up?
I must confess that when I wrote mine, fertility coach was not at the top of the list. Four years ago, I had never even heard of a fertility coach, much less knew what one was or thought that I would want to be one.
So what happened?
I found my seat on the fertility roller coaster.
Like many women, I began my journey of trying to conceive with unfettered optimism. It was February 2012. I was 41 years old. I threw away the birth control pills and even though I knew it was tough to get pregnant with a first baby at my age, I assumed I’d be pregnant in a few months, blissfully on my way to Happily Ever After.
Instead I had a miscarriage, followed by a diagnosis of Diminished Ovarian Reserve and another miscarriage. Then I got the added bonus of a prediction by a reproductive endocrinologist that I had less than a 2% chance of getting pregnant with my own eggs and taking home a baby.
I spent countless days and nights trolling the internet, reading everything I could about my condition. I resisted the temptation to get angry at every pregnant woman I saw, especially if she said, “we weren’t even trying!” It was hard, especially since it seemed like every pregnant woman on the face of the planet had descended upon where I live and work in Washington, DC. While I resisted anger and bitterness, I avoided my friends with children, which was basically all of my friends, because it was too hard to be around them.
I felt like my body was broken. I felt like I was a failure as a woman. I was inconsolable.
While I sought support in the online fertility forums, and met some terrifically awesome women, I still felt horribly alone in my journey.
I wish I’d known that such a thing as a fertility coach existed. Yep, in all my trolling online, I never came across such a thing. How I would have appreciated having a professional support me while I was trying to conceive!
Here are 5 reasons you can benefit from working with a fertility coach:
- A professional can help you make sense of your options. When most people start on the fertility journey, they’re usually not thinking of anything beyond having sex and getting pregnant. It’s not until they’ve been at it a while when they start learning the jargon: BBT, FSH, AMH, HSG, LH, SA, TSH, among others – and about different family-building options: IUI, IVF, ICSI, donor egg, surrogacy, adoption. It can be mind-blowing and overwhelming to try to make sense of all this by yourself. While fertility treatment used to be a one-size-fits-all approach, today it is a highly individualized process, and a fertility coach helps you wade through what’s what and figure out your own path to parenthood.
- A coach assists you in developing your conception plan. Many fertility doctors and nurses have incredibly busy workloads, and are often too busy to really sit down with patients to devise an overall conception plan that goes beyond the treatment protocol. For me, I wanted more than just a treatment plan of drugs and shots. I wanted to look at my infertility condition more holistically, and find holistic, integrative, solutions. Many traditional fertility doctors just aren’t doing this kind of treatment. As a coach, I help you examine other facets of your life, including diet, fitness, spiritual practice, or managing stress. Together we develop your individualized conception plan based on your unique circumstances or health issues, that complements your treatment.
- A coach helps you be proactive about your fertility and your health. Coaching is not just for women experiencing fertility issues. It’s for anybody who wants a proactive approach to getting pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy. In my work I emphasize taking charge of both your fertility and your health and well-being. Whether you’re trying to conceive naturally and want to boost your efforts, or if you’re in medical treatment and want to increase your chances of getting pregnant, working with a coach will benefit you.
- A coach gives you tools to weather the process. This can take many forms, but can include helping you learn about your body and your cycles, taking charge of your health, managing stress, or creating a life that you love apart from trying to conceive. These tools will help you weather the challenges of the fertility journey, help you make decisions about your treatment, and, if your journey is unsuccessful, will help you move on in your life. This is incredibly empowering.
- A coach provides emotional support. Trying to conceive is such an emotional process. When I was trying for my son, I felt empty, alone, vulnerable and scared, on top of already feeling like a failure as a woman. It was difficult and painful to try to imagine how I would go on with my life without having a child. One reason I wish I’d had a coach is to have had someone besides my husband to talk to about how I was feeling, especially another woman. Providing a safe, supportive space for clients to process their feelings about the journey is one of the coach’s primary roles.
Want to learn more about how I can help you? Book a discovery call with me today!