Advocating for Myself While TTC (and beyond).

Because while they are medical experts, they are NOT experts of your body.

Because while they are medical experts, they are NOT experts of your body.

It’s interesting to write this today, as I had one hell of a day advocating for myself in my OB’s office yesterday. If you missed my IG story rant, here’s what you need to know:

  • I’ve been with the same OB for over a decade (and genuinely love him).

  • I left him while pregnant because he had just changed partnerships and had lots of new partners I wasn’t comfortable with delivering the twins, should he be unavailable.

  • My endometriosis was found by the OB I saw for my pregnancy, not my regular OB, but I had my file sent over to him so he should have my medical records.

So, the short version is:

I believe pain I’ve felt over the last decade was treated as a symptom for a back injury I sustained in my twenties, but it is actually associated with the endometriosis I have that was diagnosed on 11/1/17. Because of this, and the fact that the pain is regularly increasing, I fear the endo has reached a stage where a laparoscopy is necessary.

The best way I can describe the pain level is:

It’s so bad my mouth waters like I’m going to vomit, and then I feel like I’m going to pass out. Last month I laid on the couch for eight hours without help while the twins entertained themselves. I couldn’t lift them, couldn’t medicate the pain away, and couldn’t find a comfortable position.

Nothing helped.

And though it’s not as long lasting as recovering from a c-section, the pain is more intense and debilitating than anything I felt while giving birth or recovering.

But my OB does not believe it to be a clear enough symptom to diagnose it as endometriosis and gave me three months of birth control yesterday, indicating he thinks I’m merely feeling ovulation pain.

Before I move on, I’m not a doctor, I’m not an expert, and I’m fairly new to endo. I could be wrong, but I don’t think I am. I am the one who is living, breathing, and enduring the pain, not him. Maybe, and only maybe, if he could feel what I’m feeling, he’d know exactly what is going on.

Of course, that’s not an option.

And I’m stuck in this weird place of feeling frustration because I’m not getting the help that I need.

He offered birth control, he offered Lupron, and he offered a new drug on the market.

All drugs. No actual solutions.

Infertility taught me how to advocate for myself and what I think I need. It also taught me that I damn well know my body better than anyone else, and so if I think there’s a problem, I shouldn’t just let a doctor tell me what it is or isn’t, especially when it doesn’t make sense to me.

If you feel you aren’t being understood by your doctor, be persistent. In fact, I think it’s perfectly fine to expect to be seen as often as you’d like to be seen until they actual hear you. I’ve seen my OB this year three times, and at this appointment he made it clear that I didn’t need to be seen after I “tried” my birth control, but could just call him and we could talk on the phone, and while that might be more convenient for him, the squeaky wheel gets the oil, my friends.

And I’m going to squeak my ass off until I get some answers.

So will I call him with the results? No.

I’m making an appointment.

Because I’m serious about this.

In the meantime, I’m also advocating for myself by getting a second opinion and seeing a naturopath to work on my hormones in a more wholistic way. You know, without synthetic hormones.

Sometimes advocating for yourself is openly communicating your disappointment or disagreement with a doctor. Sometimes it’s seeking help from someone else when you don’t think you’re being served well. Other times, it’s looking for different paths to the same outcome.

Ultimately, I cannot function with the pain I’m experiencing and I don’t care who tells me what they think it might be, if you cannot give me a better solution than a pharmaceutical, you’re no longer my people.

So he’ll see my vagina for my annual pap but I think I’ve decided to seek help elsewhere for everything else lady-bits related.

Because we all deserve to be heard, seen, believed, and helped.

This might have frustrated me beyond belief but it has also really opened my eyes.

Just because someone speaks to you like they have your best interest in mind doesn’t mean they actually do, especially when they refuse to believe you.

Don’t let someone’s disapproval or dismissal of your feelings invalidate you.

Remember, babe, your seat is waiting at our first Immersion Experience next month.

Claim your seat HERE and we’ll see you in Arizona!


Our 2020 InfertileAF Summit is launching early bird ticket sales in September!

These $99 tickets are limited in quantity and will only be available to our mailing list subscribers.

Feeling shame for giving up on family building is Perfectionism in disguise

Almost to a fault, once a current plan or goal has been completed, I scheme up the next big thing in my life. I like to know what’s on the horizon, what’s coming next, what I want to tackle.

I’m not a fan of staying stagnant.

Expanding our family was supposed to be one of my greatest accomplishments. After finding stable footing in my career, successfully levering my unique abilities to not only bring home more bacon, but ultimately find myself in the so-called breadwinner role. The next, most logical avenue to me, was children.

So we got to work, navigating, learning, exploring and climbing our way up the mountain of infertility.

Low and behold, the mountain never did have a visible summit for us. I never quite saw up and over the top.

What ended up happening was, much to my initial dismay, instead of up and over, we found our way around the middle and out the other side, essentially in the same place with the same human family members as we started with.

While that may be the cliff notes to a six-year infertility journey that rendered us childless, what most didn’t see was an overwhelming sense of societal guilt I carried after giving up.

As someone who sets goals… lofty goals, nearly impossible goals at times, I do whatever it takes to reach them, conquer them, own them.

Producing biological children? I could not conquer it.

Society was quick to label me as the one who gave up.

And I was quick to label myself as someone whose heart wasn’t in it enough, didn’t want it enough, didn’t desire to be a mom enough, didn’t try hard enough. I figured if I gave myself those labels first, it would shield me from the naysayers.


That’s why those that walk away childless after struggling with infertility don’t come into the light that often.

We are swept under the rug if we allow it, and quite frankly, its simply easier to give into societal expectations, sometimes, than to keep fighting.

Because, to put it frankly, we fought our reproductive system and lost.

How can we possibly fight MORE with outsiders that haven’t walked the same path as us?

Secrecy becomes an ally, when you’re striving for perfection in an arena you can’t control. I believe a lot of families struggling to find success with pregnancy and beyond tend to withdraw from others until there is “good news” to share because then that news is now perfect enough for others. It’s easy to digest with a pretty photo-shoot, staged baby bump, perfectly coifed announcement. Outsiders wait with baited breathe for this sort of reveal, and who are WE to give others anything less than our perfectly-perfect selves?

I spout these words because I walked them.

When I found (temporary) success carrying my son, the very first thing I did was plan how to tell everyone around me. LOOK! SEE? I’M A NORMAL PREGGO JUST LIKE YOU! CAN I BE IN THE CLUB NOW?

Isn’t my announcement so perfect? With all those perfectly placed needles in a big heart around my ultrasound and embryo photos, with perfect lighting and perfectly written, heartfelt words. Do I stack up yet?

Then I miscarried and all my perfectly planned work for my perfectly planned future vanished in an instant.

As the years ticked by and each IVF cycle ramped up and failed, what started as a platform of open-arms, started to dwindle and close up because I had grown weary of fighting. My story wasn’t one I felt proud of because I was failing.

I was ashamed for wanting to give up but I simply had no fight left in me.

At the time, I couldn’t bear the thought of not finding success in something I worked so hard for. Wallowing in shame and depression, it took quite a lot of time to realize this time was purposeful. I was in a valley of my own emotions, and while I didn’t quite know how to get out, I knew I had been out before, so started to trust I would start feeling something, ANYTHING again.

In the future, I would feel better. I just had to make space for this weird, soulless time I had fallen into now.

The excruciating lessons I learned with infertility gave me much needed perspective with life and my own personal expectations of success, failure and perfection. My life with children did not fall in line in the perfectly planned vision I had for it, and it was a hard pill to swallow knowing I had to come up with something ELSE that felt worthy enough to fill that void I longed for.

It has been a long, twisting mental road to get to a point where I don’t feel pressured by outside expectations and societal perfectionism to create a world I thought I needed to fit into.

Instead, I now know I belong all the same.

XO, Tia

Remember, babe, your seat is waiting at our first Immersion Experience next month.

Claim your seat HERE and we’ll see you in Arizona!


Our 2020 InfertileAF Summit is launching early bird ticket sales in September!

These $99 tickets are limited in quantity and will only be available to our mailing list subscribers.

Imperfection is Beautiful.


When my parents first mentioned they’d be getting divorced my over-achieving tendencies surfaced.

I was in third grade then, and I knew learned to cope with my sadness by keeping myself busy and getting all the accolades. I was president of student council in 6th grade, but I was also a crossing guard, a clarinet player, in the choir, and playing softball. Basically, I did whatever it took to outwardly look successful while distracting myself from hard emotions.

That’s what we perfectionists do.

Except we’re also our own worst critics, and when the mighty fall we really do beat ourselves up over it.

I think everyone has their own reason for needing or wanting to be perfect, but mine was pretty simple: it helped me control the amount of heartbreak happening around me. This tendency became an absolute addiction after leaving my abuser. Because if I could be perfect, I’d never be at risk for being hurt by another man again.

Every time I failed I berated myself for it, believing I should have known better or could have done more. Every time something unexpected or uncontrollable happened I told myself I should’ve been three doors down on the issue.

Today, I’m an anticipation expert: sniffing out issues before they arise. It’s part intuition, part memory, part prediction.

But it’s all exhausting.

Because the truth is, I know I’m not perfect.

My second truth is, trying to control everything didn’t stop the hard stuff from happening. Our infertility struggle started long after I learned to be three doors down, and while it pushed me to get testing sooner than I would’ve if I could chill, it definitely didn’t cause or change our outcome (on the surface).

And yet, I sure made a habit of degrading myself for my imperfections.

On last week’s LIVE, Tia looked at me on the screen and said, “How are you?” and all I could muster was, “I’m okay.” I’d been solo parenting for three days, with no help, no break, and no time to get much-needed work done. Working from home and being the primary care giver for my kids means that they have to come first no matter what, and - if I’m honest - sometimes that’s really complicated and hard. I love this company, our mission, and the infertility community, and so having to watch deadlines pass or feeling like I could’ve done more to help out really just makes me feel like I’m failing.

When I love what I do but can’t give it everything I want to give, it’s tough, no matter the reason or how great it is. That’s when I realized:

I expect myself to be the super-mom, the super-infertile-advocate, and the super-wife.

Simply because I don’t like to deal with the hard emotions of being less than everything.

Plus, talking about being a parent in infertility automatically sets you up for judgement. People think you don’t remember how hard it is to be TTC, or they think you no longer care, or you should just shut up and move on. You lose friends, you lose great connections, and then you feel guilty because you want to talk about how hard it can be to parent after infertility, but you don’t want to piss anyone off.

So you become Suzy Homemaker and act happy all of the time. A Stepford wife via circumstance. Because you fear being seen as unappreciative or as totally unaware of the awesomeness that my life is.

That’s why the mindset and belief work I do on a regular basis is so important. Some days and weeks I don’t have to commit to it so constantly, and sometimes - when life feels unmanageable - I have to show up and do the hard work over and over again.

Which is why (in my opinion) a lot of people don’t heal from hard shit. They don’t want to put the effort in over and over. Once? Sure, I can do a hard thing. Twice next year? Oof. That sounds like failure.

If you’re a perfectionist too, I see you. I know there are countless reasons you choose to try to do everything so well, and some might not be the same as mine, but the basis of this disease is pretty simple:

If you’re perfect so is your life. The hurt is gone. Your heart is protected.

I’m afraid to be an imperfect mom because I thought infertility would help me be better than what I feel I am. I’m afraid to be an imperfect mom because sometimes I look across the room at my kids and think, “Is this the moment they look at me and their perception changes? Like, is this THE day they’ll talk about in therapy?”

I’m afraid to be an imperfect mom because it makes me feel unworthy of the gift I received, and brings up a lot of complicated feelings about why I got pregnant on transfer one while others struggle so much longer and harder.

I wish we could all get there, but the truth of it is, we’re all just fucked up people trying to do our best on a daily basis, wishing and hoping things were different, no matter the circumstance we face. We want to be happy but we’re afraid the fall from grace will hurt. And once we hurt we don’t trust ourselves to not re-injure ourselves.

But there is a better way.

It’s hard work, yes, but the beauty of it is that it makes life easier. Once you no longer expect yourself to be and do and say and appear like you’re ALL, you are set free.

Last week I reread The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. In it, she talks about why we are afraid to be anything but perfect and how we can turn that desire into something so much more authentic and beautiful than the worry we constantly carry while trying to be perfect.

I don’t know if this blog is way too stream-of-consciousness or not, but it’s what I needed to dump tonight, to rip open the hurt I’m currently feeling so I can process it and move through it. I want to give myself the grace to figure this out and if I continue hiding it, I’m only hurting myself and doing the exact opposite of what I tell everyone will change their lives: telling their truth.

Thank you for being here with us and for sharing your hearts in our space.

Thank you for trusting us to share ourselves with you in an attempt to make this world a little easier to navigate.

Thank you.

Join us tonight, and every Wednesday night, on Instagram (@infertileAFcommunity). Lindsay and Tia go live and discuss the weekly theme, which Lindsay blogs about on Wednesday and Tia wraps up on Thursday. 6:30 p.m. CST.

18 Days Left to register for the first Immersion Experience this September!


Don’t forget! $99 Early Bird Ticket Sales start soon for the 2020 InfertileAF Chicago Summit!

The summit will run from NOON on Friday April 17th - 5pm CST Saturday, April 18th.

PLUS! We will also have an extremely limited number of add-on VIP tickets for a private dinner with the InfertileAF founders! This is a highly personal meet and greet opportunity. The cost of the VIP ticket includes your dinner and drinks for the evening. Dinner will be the Friday, April 17th, 2020. The price for each VIP ticket is $120.

Those on our Mailing List will be the ONLY people with access to our Early Bird and VIP ticket sales.

Once they’re gone, they’re gone!

InfertileAF: A Revolutionary Summit

It's Time. We are live. We are ready. We are infertileAF and we will NOT be silenced.

What started out as a plan for a girls weekend among fellow Instagram infertility warriors, quickly exploded into this summit when Tia asked this one (over)caffeinated inquiry:

summit beginning.jpg

Since then, the response from YOU has been overwhelming in the absolute best possible way. Lindsay and I have been working on overdrive to get this First Annual Summit established for a community that greatly needs a new voice and direction.

Stay tuned for details regarding Registration, Venue Updates, Pricing, FAQ...and most importantly Swag and Swag Giveaways!

Let's do this ladies!!