Deadlines and Reminders for the Immersion Experience and 2020 Summit

Switching things up today to make sure you are in the know regarding two important dates in the next week!

First up? Immersion Experience ticket sales close this weekend. We are treating 11 women, (including ourselves!) to a luxury vacation and mental wellness retreat in less than one month and we COULD NOT BE MORE PUMPED ABOUT IT.

Although our original intention was to cram a couple dozen women into this fabulous resort and make this retreat larger than life, we quickly realized the intimacy (and SPACE!) available to the women attending trumps a larger group any day of the week.

This first Experience is shaping up to prove QUALITY over QUANTITY matters most, and we plan to over-deliver per usual.

Ready to dive in? There is still time to register if you have been on the fence and this post speaks to you, we have plenty of beds! I don’t know of any of other rental property that sleeps 21, do you? This new construction property was presented to us by the husband and wife team that own Stay With Style Scottsdale and we jumped at the opportunity to upgrade our rental with their latest endeavor.

A little background info about the rental company:

Welcome to StayWithStyleScottsdale (SWSS)! We are a Husband & Wife team with the most stylish and spacious luxury vacation rentals in Scottsdale. We OWN and personally manage 9 properties all located in Scottsdale so you will be working with the decision-makers and not 3rd party management companies.

Offering 9 unique vacation homes—you’ll find inspired architecture, distinct floor plans, comfortable decor, luxurious amenities, and so much more. 6 of the 9 properties are walking distance from our home and the other 3 are a 10-minute drive from us. Because of this, we stay on top of managing and maintaining them and if needed, can literally be at any of them within a few minutes. Between our 9 properties, we have over 500 5 star reviews and we really take pride in making sure all of our guests’ stays in Scottsdale are fantastic!

We have partnered with the leading provider in luxury concierge and lifestyle management services to bring you and your family authentically local experiences tailored to meet your specific needs and interests.  Some of the services they provide are Transportation, Catering and In-Home Chefs, On-Demand Grocery Delivery, In-Home Massage, In-Home Yoga Classes, Babysitting, Additional Children/Baby Supplies.  HomeDroid tablets are provided at each of our properties and can be used to easily contact our concierge service.

This is our first time staying in Scottsdale, Arizona and we have no doubt we will be impressed with the property and the location!

Again, you have three days to join us and be sure to use code IE100 to take $100 off the price tag for the all-inclusive weekend!

Next up? Early Bird Ticket Sales for the 2020 InfertileAF Summit will go on sale NEXT FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 6TH. These tickets are $99 and are VERY limited in quantity and will be available to mailing list subscribers FIRST.

Early Bird tickets are REDUCED from the General Admission pricing of $149 and grant you access to the 1.5 day Summit.

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Full Summit information will be released in the coming months, but here’s a quick run-down of the Event:

  • The 2020 Summit runs from NOON Friday, April 17 through 5pm, April 18th, 2020

  • The Summit will be held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL

  • The Convention center is MINUTES away from O’Hare Airport

  • Early Bird and General Admission Tickets are inclusive of access to the full summit, a swag bag, all speakers, vendor booths, workshops and breakthrough sessions

  • The price of the ticket DOES NOT include concessions, parking, hotel reservations or access to the VIP Dinner.

  • The Summit will offer 30 Vendor Booth sponsored opportunities with upgraded opportunities for workshops and speaking sessions

  • Friends and family of those in the Infertility community are encouraged to attend for support!

  • There will be a Mother’s Room on site for pumping, etc

  • And so much more!

Share Your Story - Meet Anne!

Welcome to the Share Your Story series on InfertileAF, where we feature women and men willing to boldly share their personal insight into their diagnosis or their journey alongside Infertility.


Want to share your story? You can complete your interview HERE!

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Anne Brock

Instagram Handle:

@livinginthemidst

Age Range: 36-40

Location:

Indianapolis, IN

Give us your quick bio:

I live a good, full life with my husband and two dogs. I write, run, practice yoga, have a small quilting business and work full time. We have 7 nieces and nephews that help make our Plan B a little easier.

What is your personal experience with Infertility?
My husband and I got married May 2015 - just a few months before my 36th birthday. We gave ourselves a year before trying to conceive, but it wasn't happening. Due to my age, the doctors didn't wait the full year of TTC to start investigating. Late October 2016 I was told my AMH numbers were so low that if we wanted to try IVF, egg retrieval was not possible and I'd need an egg donor (eventually diagnosed with premature ovarian failure). However, we had made the decision in advance that we weren't going to seek medical intervention to get pregnant. For some reason, a reason I still don't fully understand, I knew that I needed to trust my body to know what was best for me. We have not sought any medical interventions for my infertility.


At your lowest point, how did Infertility impact you?

I was very sad. I struggled to get out of bed. I cried a lot. I didn't want to see people, especially anyone with children. Family was the only exception to that rule. I was grieving the loss of dreams and hopes that I expected for my life.


What was the turning point in your mindset? What helped you find happiness outside of Infertility?

Because we were clear on our boundaries for intervention from the outset, I knew I'd likely never become pregnant. Right away I had two choices to make -- be bitter and angry or work through the pain to find the beauty in the ashes. I'm grateful I chose the second option. It's not easy. I still avoid baby showers and unfollow people who post a lot of baby pictures. I allow myself to feel what I need to feel without letting it take over my whole life. Rather than avoiding the pain, I do my best to go through it. Although, I know it will never completely go away.


How have you created a fulfilled and content life with Infertility?

My first dog, Denali, has been in my life since she was 9 weeks old -- she recently turned 11 years old! She's my baby. Last summer we got a new puppy, Steve, who recently turned 1. He brings a lot of joy and antics to our home! I was adamant about getting a young puppy because I wanted something to care for and raise. It went by quickly! Having dogs doesn't make the pain of infertility go away, but it does ease the pain a bit.

I also work hard at being a good aunt. I build relationships with each of our 7 nieces and nephews in ways that work best for them. I look forward to being their confidant and biggest supporter as they grow older and need other adults in their lives.

Finally, I'm sharing my story of infertility through my blog, Instagram, and one day a book, to help other women in similar circumstances know they aren't alone. I felt alone for so long -- I don't want others to have to face that, so I'm trying to do my part for them.


What actions did you take to help you heal?

Just a few months before my diagnosis I started my blog while I was on sabbatical from my job as a full-time youth minister. I wanted to use my blog as a way to process what I was experiencing on my sabbatical and tie in my creative side -- quilting, photography, journaling, etc. After my diagnosis, I slowly started writing about my loss, grief, and work toward healing.

I saw a therapist weekly and a spiritual director monthly. I talked with friends and family. I leaned on my husband. I went for lots of walks with our dog. I journaled and blogged. I sat quietly in nature. I took time to just "be" in God's presence.

I am also a runner, so I use my half marathon trainings as a way to remind me that my body is strong and capable, despite my premature ovarian failure.


What would you tell other people facing an Infertility diagnosis? (in lieu of the phrase "never give up")

Don't go this journey alone. Reach out, connect with other women who have faced a similar diagnosis. And, it's okay to stop trying. You can life a good, full life in the midst of your infertility.


How do you views align with the InfertileAF Mission?

100% agree. Everyone's journey is different. We need to lift each other up, not compare and contrast. We need to support each other during challenging times and moments of celebration. Infertility is not something to be ashamed of -- we need to be more open about this so that other women might feel empowered to own their infertility story openly too.


How has Infertility shaped your future self?

I'm on a journey to write a book. I had no intentions of being an author prior to this new life, so that's exciting!


What goals do you have for your future?

I'm dreaming of an online community specifically for infertile women who have chosen not to seek medical intervention, or who have stopped treatments, and are seeking to live a good, full life in the midst of that. There are message boards galore for those trying to conceive, but I think we need more spaces for those of us who have decided to move forward without a child.

Personally, I want to travel with my husband more. When the nieces and nephews are older, I'd love to travel with them as well.


~Thank you, Anne, for sharing you amazing words with our audience. 

If you would like to be bold and share your perspective, be sure to submit your story HERE!

PS - Want to take your story a step further? Apply to be a SPEAKER at our 2020 Summit HERE!


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!

I'm going to the Immersion Experience because I still hold onto Infertility trauma

When we said we know how unique and strong this tribe of Infertility warriors is, we whole-heartedly meant it. When you find like-minded people who share the same passion as you, that’s where you feel seen and valued.

We have received anonymous, raw feedback about why attendees are taking the plunge into the Immersion Experience, and, quite frankly, their words have moved us to tears.

September cannot get here fast enough!!

There is so much good work to be done. We are ALL IN on these women because they are braveAF. They give us life and continue to remind us we are better together.

Take a moment to read, please. This is GOOD STUFF (and who knows? You may see YOURSELF in their words):

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What was your initial reaction when we announced the details of the Immersion Experience?

Tell me more! It sounded amazing. After the experience of the Summit I knew I needed more. I’m weird and anti social so this sounded like a safe place. I feel like a lot of healing and growth will come out this.

What was your biggest hesitation with committing? How did you work to overcome this initial fear?

Cost and the fear of being open and vulnerable. Then I realized the cost was nothing compared to what I would get out of it. Plus I feel like being open and vulnerable is what I need.

Where are you in your Infertility journey?

We had success with our 14th cycle. I’m now a mom to beautiful boy/girl twins via unknown donor eggs. We are finished with our journey and our family is complete.

Where do you feel most stuck in your life these days?

The trauma of IF and what having children has triggered in my own life. I used to feel guilty saying that.

What part of the weekend are you most excited about?

Seeing my IF sisters, learning how to move forward and except that I’m fucking strong. Experiencing all the amazing things that are part of the immersion Experience and Sedona. Oh and dranks and pool time!!!

What are you hoping to get out of this weekend?

Meeting more of my tribe. Walking away feeling empowered and the 3 month help afterwards.

If you could say something to another woman on the fence about joining, what words of encouragement would you give them?

No matter where you are in this journey you are not alone, and I’m here for you


Feeling stuck with life during or after Infertility? We get you, honey. Let's work it out together. 

Consider facing your fears head on surrounded by healing scenery and a tribe of like-minded women at the Immersion Experience in Arizona 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!

Learning to Advocate for Yourself During Your Infertility Journey

My initial gyno experience was a complete nightmare. As we stumbled through back-to-back Clomid cycles without any sort of monitoring, my doctors were always quick to pass the baton as to whose responsibility it was to monitor me as I shoveled the Devil’s pills down my throat, eager to do anything to make a baby.

There was never an explanation about temperature monitoring, never a mention about progesterone, timing, testing….simply “take these pills on these days” and off I went.

Shockingly, all three cycles were a bust.

When I went in for my follow-up consultation with one of the doctors to find out what went awry and what we could do moving forward, she shrilled, “You didn’t follow the instructions (there were none) Don’t you want to get pregnant as quickly as possible?!”

With that, I learned a valuable lesson.

You MUST find your voice and be your own advocate if you want to be taken seriously.

It also doesn’t hurt to have SOME sort of working knowledge about the medical shit-show you’re heading into so you’re not completely blind-sided by professionals that are supposed to be giving you guidance about your body.

I switched gyno’s and started doing A LOT of research. Turns out, there were a few more steps that were supposed to occur with these relatively simple Clomid cycles. Regardless, I was already sitting in an RE’s chair as they walked us through IUI and genetic testing.

Side note - if I ever take another Clomid pill it will be FAR too soon. Those things truly are made in Hell.

Then, as our first IUI was cancelled before take-off, our genetic results coming back as matching carriers for MCAD, and we were fast-tracked to IVF, I realized this wasn’t going to be a passive effort at baby-making.

This was becoming serious business with a seriously high price tag. If we were planning to shell out tens of thousands of dollars, I felt obligated to prepare as much as I could. To me, this meant I needed to toughen up a bit and find my voice.

If you find yourself struggling to make sense of your diagnosis, your treatment, your mental health, insurance, bills, ANYTHING….here are a few guidelines that helped me through those sticky situations.

  1. Ask Questions - at the initial IVF consultation, when we learned about shots, when I showed up for monitoring appointments, when I was incoherent after egg retrievals, and any time a concern popped into my head - you better believe I was rattling off as many questions as I felt necessary. You don’t know what you don’t know until you ask. What works for one person and one doctor and one protocol may not work for you so you better find out all you can.

  2. Put it in Writing - If you’re anything like me, you can’t remember what you ate for breakfast, so I always find it best to e-mail the responsible party and copy MYSELF on the email, then file it away for a rainy day. Literally writing out your questions to bring with you to any meeting with your doctor is crucial as well. This will help keep tabs on #3.

  3. Demand Responses - You are the paying patient. The person shelling out thousands upon thousands of dollars to be poked and prodded and shuffled around like cattle. The very least the Receptionist, Nurses, Techs and your RE can do is respond in a courteous and timely manner. If not? Be sure to call again. Re-forward the email. Show up at their house (j/k…sorta) Whatever makes them fully aware YOU. MEAN. BUSINESS.

  4. Go to the Top of the Food Chain - Have no idea what your insurance coverage is? Need help deciphering the codes on that $5,000 bill? Confused about your balance due? Can’t remember your protocol, shot schedule or follicle count? Besides the obvious of KEEP ALL THE THINGS (filed neatly in a cabinet or on your computer) I go straight to the top of the department. Not sure who that is? It’s likely one of the first people you were put in contact with when establishing your account as a new patient. Clinics tend to have the higher managers reach out first, then afterward you are left with their assistants. This goes back to #3, but if you aren’t getting the right responses from the assistants….go to the top of the food chain and get annoying. Trust me, they’ll listen.

  5. Practice - Not sure you’re ready to ask embarrassing questions about your body to your doctor in his or her presence? Worried your face will flush, your voice will crack or you’ll forget what you planned to say? Look yourself in the mirror and practice saying each questions OUT. LOUD. Then, when you’ve mastered the mirror, practice on your spouse or partner until it becomes second nature. Rinse and repeat with any sticking point along the way.

  6. Find Your Tribe - If there is one major missing component at the clinic, it’s any sort of community with the women and men, nervously avoiding eye-contact as the minutes tick down until their date with Wanda. But online? We feel safe behind our screens. There is an entire community of like-minded individuals walking similar infertility journeys as you. Don’t know where to start? Feel free to check out our Instagram page for sources and inspiration (@infertileAFcommunity) We have found complete strangers empower others with advice, resources and even medication!

So there you have it. Tangible tips for the person on a mission to make a baby with science.

This is the just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using your voice for good during your infertility journey. As always, we are always a quick message away if you need more guidance and support!

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!


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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.