The Fertility Warriors
By Robyn Birkin
The Fertility WarriorsJul 19, 2022
Is it a sign from the universe….
Is it a sign from the universe or something else? I know that when I was on my fertility journey, at the start there, there were MANY times when I questioned whether the universe was sending me a sign that I wasn’t meant to be a mother.
Years later, as my entire emotional wellbeing has changed, I know better.
And just the other day I caught myself saying to a friend that I was receiving all of these signs from the universe… before then ‘resetting’ in my mind and asking myself the truer, deeper questions that I needed to ask.
Tune into today’s episode and see (especially right at the end) how to truly know what to do when you think you’re seeing signs all around and also how our brain influences what we see.
And… if you’ve seen, we’re about to close the doors on The Reset program. If you’d like to know more, click here
5 reasons guided meditations may not be working for you
This is for anyone who has tried meditating, but still feels heavy under the weight of trying to conceive, and why meditations might not be working for you.
Over the years I’ve worked with hundreds of women in my programs, previously The Fertility Warrior Intensive but now my program is called The Reset and… it’s been really interesting because so many of the women I’ve worked with are… just like me.
Type A personalities.
I was the type who really and truly struggled with:
Not being able to hard work myself into getting pregnant
Feeling out of control in my life and not knowing what my future would look like
And so many of the women we’ve worked with are exactly the same.
My programs haven’t supported them with education on getting pregnant because honestly, the majority of women, haven’t needed it - being educated hasn’t been the problem - everyone is already (by and large) taking the supplements, eating a healthy diet, knows when they’re ovulating.
And almost everyone has also already tried meditating to feel better.
For some it helps a little, for some it has made them feel more anxious (which has then often led to them feeling like they’re doing it wrong or they’re broken). So spoiler alert - you’re not broken… but meditating might not be right for you, or might not be enough.
Tune into today’s podcast to learn more about:
The 5 reasons guided meditations might not be working for you
What might be a better strategy for women who’ve experienced trauma
The 3 pillars we focus on in my program, The Reset
And don’t forget, if you haven’t already - make sure you jump in to catch my free masterclass on how to cope with negative pregnancy tests here.
INVITE: how to cope with negative pregnancy tests
We’d love to invite you to our free Masterclass
How to cope with negative pregnancy tests (and other setbacks), regardless of whether you’ve been trying to conceive for 6 months or 6 years.
Tickets are free, but limited.
Register and get yours at robynbirkin.com/masterclass
How to reply when they ask when you'll get pregnant
This podcast is jam-packed with practical advice and tips on what to reply when they ask when you’ll get pregnant…. And are actually secretly trying to conceive, but it might be taking longer than you anticipated.
You know… those family functions, milestone birthdays with friends, or even work functions and things shift when they ask you this.
In this podcast I talk about:
- What it felt like for me when I was asked this question
- Some actual phrases you can use (and the direction to think about in advance)
- What you can say to work to let them know you need some flexibility
- One thing you might not have considered that could be super helpful in letting people know gently
Don’t forget to get your free ticket to my upcoming masterclass here, or put your name down on the waitlist for The Reset so you get first dibs (and best rewards) here.
When you feel upset about your friend’s pregnancy
One of the moments etched into my mind from my season of trying to conceive was a friend’s birthday party and it was one of many times that I felt sad.. And just deflated by a friend’s pregnancy.
I was still recovering from hyperstimlation and a medical miscarriage and the last thing on earth that I felt like doing was celebrating… and so while everyone else did, I dragged myself along with a big water bottle…. And while they all dressed up… I just wore a black summer dress.
This was my rock bottom season, and yet there she was, absolutely gorgeous and glowing with her four month pregnant belly.
- In this podcast, I talk more about this story and what it felt like for me
- My take on jealousy
- The reframe that helped me feel better.
When you’re finally pregnant but terrified…
One of the biggest misconceptions that I work through with clients is that as soon as you get pregnant, the anxiety melts away - and I feel really passionate about not promoting that myth…. Because I’ve seen too many times that it keeps us stuck in not seeking help. Instead… what it does… is stop us from developing true emotional coping skills that will support us through pregnancy, birth and beyond.
On today’s podcast I talk about:
- What getting pregnant looks like and what to expect
- How getting help might change once you’re pregnant and what that looks like
- How to take charge of your pregnancy now.
The best way to help your partner through infertility and loss
What is the best way to help your partner through infertility and loss… particularly if you’re also struggling with it all yourself?
Listening to this podcast could be a combination of many different folks! It could be husbands, wives, same sex couples - and within that, differing dynamics of energy.
It hurts, truly to see your partner really struggling with navigating next steps… and just life… while they’re trying to conceive and working through infertility, pregnancy loss and generally disappointment month after month, while often being expected to continue on with their life (with potentially other people not knowing about what they’re going through) as if they aren’t going through the biggest upheaval of their lives.
So what is the number 1 way to support your partner through infertility, pregnancy loss and other factors in TTC that make it incredibly emotionally hard.
On today’s podcast, I talk about:
- The differences between men and women
- The research on the emotional toll and how it affects men and women differently (but also in some circumstances similarly)
- The different coping strategies (and which ones have been proven more successful for men vs women)
- Lastly, the number 1 thing you can do to support your partner through infertility.
7 reasons to develop a strong mindset through infertility
On today’s podcast I talk about 7 really compelling reasons why you might decide to shift your focus to, and invest in cultivating a strong mindset, and some of these are things you may not have thought of before.
When I talk about investment, I’m not just talking about money (although obviously sometimes things cost money! ha!) but I’m also talking about…. Shifting your mental load and focus, prioritising your time and investing in being open to change.
Truly… the way you’re feeling and dealing through infertility, loss and trying to conceive, can have a positive ripple effect throughout your entire life… not just for what is going on for you now.. But in terms of the future you and any future setbacks or challenges you experience in the future.
Tune into today’s podcast and let me know what you think. I’m so humbled that so many of you listen to me every Wednesday. A BIG thank you. Here’s 7 reasons to develop a strong mindset through infertility.
What healing REALLY looks like
But on the call I always open up with a quote or something to ponder. Last week, I shared this quote:
Healing doesn't have to look magical or pretty. Real healing is hard, exhausting and draining. Let yourself go through it. Don't try to paint it as anything other than what it is. Be there for yourself without judgement.
And this really stood out to me because so many people expect that you can start the process of healing, and it's this instant process of feeling like you're walking through a candyland
8 beliefs that are a game changer for mental health
It's a pretty broad spectrum... but once you can start making shifts in your mindset, it starts to filter down through to the decisions you make... and then the experiences that you have of life, how you weather the storms of life and generally the lens through which you view your life. Which flows through to your mental health.
Tune into the podcast and let me know what you think! On the podcast I also mentioned my Instagram - and yep! I share lots of additional trainings and resources over on Instagram, as well as a big Q+A sticker on Wednesday's and on Friday's (to lighten the mood) I share some funny memes I've come across (and almost always - they've got nothing to do with fertility or trying to conceive!). Come and follow me @robynbirkin
The secret to feeling better (and what healing really looks like)
On this podcast I talk about:
•The moment I started healing
•Why sometimes adding things to the to do list is not always helpful in feeling better
•Why exhaustion is one of the hallmarks of not coping
•The easier way to feel better and what the secret to that really is.
•3 pillars I teach.
Links in this podcast:
Join The Reset - my signature program
Watch my free masterclass
Be the squeaky wheel
How to find hope when TTC isn't working
When you are in your lowest moments, it can feel like you've lost hope and the question I'm always asked is 'how can I find hope"
Perhaps you've noticed that hope and optimism is more abundant at certain times in your cycle - so around ovulation, but then it feels in the leadup to your period like it's gone. Or... obviously right after you get your period and you feel like you're crashing down.
On today's podcast I'm talking about:
•Some of the thoughts you may experience when it feels like you're drowning under the weight of it all
•What hope really is (and why you do, always have hope - it's not gone - it's just hiding)
•What you should be looking for instead of hope, and what struggling to find hope really is a symptom of
•What this could be telling you (or not telling you) about what you should do next
How to come to terms with needing a donor on your fertility journey
So every Monday/Tuesday I release a Q+A sticker on my Instagram asking for what you need help with, and I have this question multiple times each week, phrased in many ways.
The question is basically: it is looking like I'll need donor [insert thing here - egg, sperm, embryo] and I just need to get my head around the concept that this is my reality to help me move forward.
So today on the podcast I'm talking about how to come to terms with needing a donor on your fertility journey - and primarily the mindset shifts that you might need to get you to a place of feeling like you can even just consider whether donor conception is the right next step for your family.
Tune in and let me know what you think... and do make sure you're following me on Instagram if you'd like to hear more from others who have questions (and what my answers are) or if you too have a question you'd like to submit.
You can find me on Instagram at @robynbirkin
When life and fertility treatments go to shit
So on today's podcast, I'm chatting through some first steps to help you feel like you can come up for air after it just feels like you're at rock bottom.
It's a combination of some practical steps (especially the last bit), some mindset shifts and some education/guidance around what you can be aware of in your mind and body when you're feeling like that.
If I can share with you one thing though before you listen: it's that... I get it and I've been there, and there's no shame (at all) in getting help or being where you're at.
Sending you so so much love.
If I had multiple failed cycles, this is what I'd do
Well, I have! And one of the things I absolutely love is knowing what others would do.
If you've had multiple cycles it can feel derailing... and it can feel like not wanting (at all) to repeat Groundhog day.
As someone who has now had nearly 1,000 clients navigating infertility, loss and trying to conceive, this is what I'd do if I'd had multiple cycles.
In this podcast episode, I share with you:
•The red flags to look out for (both for yourself and your fertility specialist)
•What to look for in your test results
•What I'd do to take stock and check in with myself on where I'm at (the easy activity)
I hope this episode helps.
While my superpower is in helping you navigate the complex emotions of infertility, loss and trying to conceive, you may also be interested to know that I do have a bundle of resources to help those who are looking for some practical 'get pregnant' next steps - based on the work I've done with so many clients, and the beautiful relationships I also have with other fertility practitioners.
It's called the Get Pregnant Pronto Pack and it's currently only $27. Click here to find out more and whether it might be able to help you.
Should you tell others about your infertility?
Because I know that... when we first start trying to conceive, there's often a picture and scene in our heads of nobody knowing and then having that magical secrecy and a surprise announcement.
But... part of the acceptance of infertility.... Is accepting that our journey to conceive won't necessarily look like everyone else's, and then peace comes from finding magic and beauty in our unique and special path.
In this episode I talk about:
Some of the benefits of telling people about your journey
The way I feel is the most helpful way (for all parties) to announce that you're going through infertility and possibly fertility treatments
What my story of telling people looked like right through to announcing my pregnancy
Hope you find this episode incredibly helpful, and as mentioned in the library, if you'd like my free resource - head to robynbirkin.com/library
Navigating Surrogacy and pivoting on your journey with Jennifer Robertson
Jennifer is a Fertility Coach and now... mum of two who was a Type A 'get shit done' personality whose life was consumed for seven years by trying to conceive. Her journey included IVF, surrogacy, heartbreaking miscarriages and a surprise natural pregnancy. She lives on the Gold Coast in Australia (a fellow Aussie!) with her two little miracles, Luca and Sophie.
Tune in to hear more about Jen's story, and you can learn more here:
Kate's story: 3 ectopic pregnancies to 3 kids (and the aha moments in between)
Kate is the founder of Shee Revival and she is a fertility coach and womb educator - she helps support women to tune into their bodies more authentically and weave education about their cycle into their everyday living, as well as helping them support and promote their fertility, overcome blocks and increase their energy.
She is a qualified yoga teacher with many years of experience as well as a reiki energy healer, womb healer and more. Kate has been a friend for many years and has beautiful energy and outlook as well as lots of qualifications. Kate was also part of the Feel Better Weekend and provided us with both a yoga class and a workshop on how to rewrite your fertility story - and these were two of our most popular sessions.
You can find Kate here:
8 steps to help if you're feeling nervous about fertility treatments
We also asked the audience who shared GREAT feedback about what their experience was like as well as tips for others, but then at the end, I shared 8 things that can help if you're feeling nervous about fertility treatments - whether that's an HSG, a retrieval, injecting yourself - whatever it may be.
And many of these are concepts and strategies that have personally helped me too as I've navigated medical procedures since my fertility journey too.
Press play on this episode to learn more.
And you can follow me on Instagram here.
Infertility: a male's perspective with Russell Davis
Russell shared very openly and honestly what it felt like for him before he and his wife were trying to conceive (believing that they may never conceive), to discovering that there was hope, only to then feel crushed once again when they discovered that they had male factor infertility - and what that felt like for him, as well as how he then started healing his mental health and changing his entire outlook/priority from project baby to project Russell.
There are powerful lessons in this podcast for anyone who is trying to conceive, regardless of what your journey is looking like right now but particularly if you've found yourself navigating male factor infertility.
Russell Davis, Fertility Coach and Cognitive Hypnotherapist, author and speaker, believes too many couples go through fertility treatment unnecessarily and that the success rate of treatment is unnecessarily low because the mind and emotions are not factored in. This is born out of his and his wife's personal 10-year fertility journey and which led to his work helping hundreds of couples all over the world create their family.
Here's where you can find Russell:
Is it time to quit trying to conceive?
Whether it just wasn't meant to be...
Whether the universe was sending me signs that this was not my path
If you're tuning into this episode I wonder whether you too have often wondered whether it's time to quit TTC too.
And on today's podcast (grab a journal and a pen) we explore how to get to the root of what's going on to help you come to an answer about what your next steps might look like, and full disclosure - there may be a few hard truths in there, a few aha moments and a few big reframes to get your head around to help you come to a place of feeling at peace with your decision on whether it's time to quit trying to conceive.
I hope you love this episode.
Everything we weren't told about pelvic health with Kath Baquie
As I share in the podcast I have my own journey with pelvic health - which actually started with Bec, one of my clients who picked it right away when I felt like doctors weren't listening to what was going on with me.
And prior to that I never even knew much about pelvic health or even what a women's specialist pelvic health physio was (hint: very different from the people who strap up sweaty football players).
Kath is both a women's health physio and a pilates teacher and she supports women through prenatal health, pregnancy and post-partum with holistic fitness and wellness.
She chatted with us about:
What a women's health physio really is
What pelvic floor health looks like
Some signs and symptoms that something may be going on for us before we get pregnant
How we can prioritise our pelvic health prior to becoming pregnant
It was a pleasure welcoming Kath to the Podcast. You can find her here:
Katherine Baquie, is a proud mama of 3, perinatal physiotherapist and podcast host. She has over 16 years of professional experience guiding mamas through their pregnancy fitness journeys and postnatal rehab, and she specialises in pelvic floor rehabilitation. With these credentials, it's not hard to see why mamas are flocking to Kath for pre and postnatal fitness help!
Me. Turning 40. My Health and Fitness Journey
My question back to you is... what do you want to know specifically? Ask me on Instagram!
On today's podcast, I'm bringing you up to speed on what's been going on for me and the season of life I'm in currently.
I share my theme for the decade and this year
What my 30s were for me
Some of the big mindset lessons I've learnt over the last 10 years
Why I decided to work with Sasha
What my fitness goals are
I have NO idea whether this is interesting or not, but would love to hear from you if you'd like to know more!
Diet or Stress? Which first?
On today's podcast, I talk about my own journey and my learnings as I have navigated infertility, loss and trying to conceive, and then go on train as a Life Coach and Mind Body Practitioner. I've worked with hundreds of clients to support them and learn from them as they navigate their own journeys.
On this podcast I talk about:
What I used to think was the most important thing you could focus on.
How my clients changed what I thought.
Why focusing on the right area first can give you false results.
How to get everything working together in the right way to make it feel like it's all flowing (instead of feeling like you're rolling sh*t uphill).
The questions to ask yourself when embarking on making dietary changes (and other physical changes) whilst trying to conceive.
Healing Infertility Trauma with Naomi Woolfson of Embrace Fertility
Naomi and I have been friends for quite some time but one of the reasons I was so keen to get her onto the podcast was because as a trauma-trained infertility therapist, she is trained in a technique called EDMR - which we chatted about in depth.
Some of the things we spoke about were:
•What is trauma?
•How can we recognise it?
•What are the repercussions of trauma?
•How can we heal from trauma?
•The work we can do ourselves
•The work we can do with a trauma-informed therapist.
•What are the next steps you can take to investigate this area further?
To access the free guided fertility visualisation to uncover and dissolve any emotional blocks to conception mentioned in this episode go to www.embracefertility.co.uk/future.
Naomi Woolfson, of Embrace Fertility, is a therapist specialising in supporting women through trying to conceive, fertility treatments and then pregnancy and birth following infertility. She and her partner went through almost 4 years of infertility, IUI's, IVF, anxiety, surgery and a miscarriage before they went on to conceive both of their ginger children naturally!
On her podcast, she offers emotional support and shares mind-body techniques to help you feel calm and confident and ultimately find yourself again while waiting for your baby. Search for Embrace Fertility on your favourite podcast player to listen.
Visit www.embracefertility.co.uk for more details about Naomi's products and services and email Naomi to set up a free video call to answer any questions you have about working with her email@example.com.
Follow Naomi on Instagram @embracefertility (www.instagram.com/embracefertility) and Facebook. (www.facebook.com/embracefertility)
Communicating with your Spirit Baby with Vanessa Gillis-Phelps of Queer Fertility
Vanessa and I worked closely together last year as colleagues and she is particularly well-known for her work in supporting LTBGQ+ couples navigating the fertility world, but her secret superpower actually lies in manifestation and communicating with your spirit baby.
Full disclosure - I've been in the 'fertility world' for nearly 10 years now (we started trying to conceive exactly 10 years ago!) but up until this interview, I didn't really know what the term Spirit Baby meant (turns out... I had been communicating with my Spirit Baby during my journey too - I just used different terminology).
On today's podcast, Vanessa shares some of the big myths about manifestation, a more realistic view of how we can include it as part of our fertility toolkit and how it can help us to feel better.
I loved chatting with Vanessa and I know you'll love it too.
You can find her on Instagram here (https://instagram.com/queerfertility.co) or visit her website here (queerfertility.co) and she also has a thriving Facebook Group for LGBTQ+ couples which you can find here (https://www.facebook.com/groups/282800326446182)
Why I don't do 1:1 Fertility Coaching
In addition to having two degrees, I am a certified Holistic Life Coach and Certified Mind Body Practitioner, although I wouldn't necessarily call myself a Fertility Coach - but that's really going to depend on your definition of a fertility coach - as it's a REALLY broad term and industry.
If you're interested in why I take a different approach, today's episode is for you.
Should you quit? The next right step after multiple failed cycles
I remember well how I felt following our miscarriage. It was following our very first IVF cycle, but it was about our 5th fertility treatment all up and wondering whether I needed to just quit. At the time, I truly didn't know whether I had the emotional energy to continue and didn't know if I had the capacity to cope with another failed cycle.
And so I was stuck in this limbo of writing to work out what the next right step for us was.
The next right step turned out to be taking a break (although part of it was because my body needed to heal following our miscarriage too) but in today's podcast, I talk about LOTS of questions you might want to ask yourself as you move forward and how you might unravel some of the emotions and thoughts you may be having about what to do next.
•Some of the things I talked about in this podcast are:
•Why you can never make future decisions based on sunk costs
•Why it's ok to pivot (and why sometimes you should)
•The two things you need to ask yourself and break down in order to troubleshoot and work out your next steps
•What some of the options are if, like me, the reason why you're feeling stuck on what to do next is because of emotional exhaustion
I hope you find this episode helpful and please do reach out and let me know if it (or the podcast generally) has helped you in any way.
5 signs it's time for a second opinion on your infertility and IVF journey
In reality, I've actually shared 7 signs.... With the first one being that if you're considering whether you should get a second opinion.... This podcast may be the sign you've been waiting for to give you permission to do so, and the second one being that your Specialist or Doctor should NOT mind if you seeking a second opinion... and if they do - that's possibly even more of a sign that you SHOULD get one because it means that they may not be open to being wrong and they may be fixed in their ways.
The stakes are high here - emotionally, physically, financially - so you deserve to be able to have the peace of mind (as a customer) that you're on the right track and that everything is being done to help you get pregnant.
Tune into today's episode to hear the other 5 signs it's time for a second opinion on your infertility and IVF journey.
The first three things that helped me feel better
It was 10 years ago exactly that Ross and I started trying to conceive, which feels like a long time ago, but also feels like just yesterday - I still remember all of the real and raw emotions of trying to conceive.
And two years into our journey, after our first IVF cycle, I had a miscarriage. I thought I knew rock bottom prior but after our loss, it was like I now knew the molten lava in the centre of the earth.
I didn't want to share how we were feeling with anyone (I actually didn't feel like I could) and it wasn't so much a feeling of anger (even though I was angry) it was more a feeling of being broken and lost. I don't know if you can relate?
So, what changed, what helped after that moment for me... that's what we're talking about on today's podcast.
So often I have people ask me how to feel better and the answer is... unfortunately, not as simple as one, 5-minute exercise that people can do each day. In all honesty, there were a number of things that I did (but mostly mindset shifts) that helped me to radically shift the way I was feeling and coping on my journey.
But if you had to start somewhere, what would you do?
Here are the first 3 things I did that helped me feel better:
•Had a circuit breakerWe needed to get out and break our routine. I never quite understand the logistics of 'taking a break' because I was so acutely aware of when I was ovulating etc BUT, we got away on a last-minute trip to Lombok... and not a trip where we went out sightseeing or anything. A trip where there was pretty much nothing I could do but sit with my feelings and rest. I was... although I'd have never acknowledged it at the time... so so needed. And it got us away from work (where let's be honest I couldn't concentrate anyway) and everyone's constant questions. It gave me space to feel what I was feeling, and regain some energy.
•GratitudeThis one practice has been the thing that I've done that has had one of the biggest impacts on my life and that of my clients. Each night I began writing in a little journal, 3 things I was grateful for. Not just the big things - but mostly the little things.
As I understand more about our brains now that I'm qualified I know the mechanics of how this works in our brains and for a practice that takes literally less than five minutes per day - the rests can be profound.
•I made the decision to put myself first
I didn't 'do' anything in this regard but it was a massive shift and one that I don't think many women have made - even if they tell themselves that they put themselves first. It was a moment of saying that I was worthy of spending money on myself (especially if it was going to help me FEEL better), I was worthy of my time, and I was worthy of saying no to things that didn't serve me. So so many women will say that they put themselves first, but I'd argue, don't.
I used to feel guilty saying no to people.
I used to feel guilty spending money on myself (things like buying clothes, yes, but on my mindset and things that were more abstract - massively!)
I used to feel guilty taking sick days... when I was actually sick!
And so.... Things shifted for me when I decided that I was worthy.
I'd spend time and money investing in abstract things like my mindset and programs that would help my emotional health (knowing that my husband would think nothing of a night out with the boys, a carton of beer or even a new surfboard - my goodness - I could absolutely spend $297 on a course about creatin...
The #1 thing women TTC neglect
When we launched the platform, it was a very holistic program that incorporated food, sleep, low tox living - and not in a 'this is your to-do list kind of way - more from a 'here are some ideas and inspiration and resources that will help' and all of those resources at this stage still exist in the Reset, and it's also my dream to expand on them BUT... the reason the majority of women TTC have joined the Reset, and the number 1 thing we now offer in the reset... is courses, programs, classes, live coaching, support and community.... For emotional wellness and mental health.
And over the past few months, I've become ever so conscious of the messaging both I've been using but increasingly conscious of the messaging that is within the wider community - the advertising, the events and more.
And... tell me if I'm wrong but.... There's so so much around - get more fertile, solve your infertility, *this* thing is the missing link, do XYZ, add this thing to your to-do list.
Like.... There's always this subline of 'do this thing and it will help you get pregnant'
Disclosure: there is nothing wrong with people and products that help you get pregnant. I have one too, and I think that it's important for us to know that some of the same things that can help us with our mental state of being (e.g. letting go of perfection) are the SAME things that can help us get pregnant.
But... I also feel that on some level, that messaging may also be contributing to this feeling of always needing to be doing more, and perhaps not doing enough.
And the number 1 thing I see women trying to conceive neglect... is themselves.
And there are a few types of people who join the Mind Body Fertility Reset (and all of these reasons are valid and worthy - you can literally join for any reason you like):
The ones who join because they want to leave no stone unturned and if this is going to help their fertility, they want to at least have given it a crack
The ones who are like 'i don't know what I need, but I know that I need something'
And the ones who are like 'you know what? I matter.
I think nothing of spending $150 on supplements, or an acupuncture appointment, or a fertility specialist appointment so if I can afford to spend that on all of this physical stuff. If I can afford (or scrape together) $20,000 for an IVF cycle - I can ABSOLUTELY afford to spend $150 for three months or $600 for an entire year's worth of support, live coaching, lessons etc..... For me. Just for me. Regardless of whether or not this will improve my fertility. Because I matter. My mental health matters. My joy matters. My life matters and I'm worthy of being my own best friend.
So as we begin the year, I want to ask you some questions to journal over to help you set a path, and maybe draw a line in the sand about how you want to move forward on your journey.
•Have you put your life and joy on pause in the pursuit of trying to conceive?
•Do you ever feel guilty for prioritizing or investing time, energy, money in yourself?
•Do you feel like your mental health and wellbeing filter into other areas of your life - such as your relationships, your career, your health goals and even your TTC journey?
•What would life look like if.... From today... from right now... you decided that YOU were your most important asset and that feeling better and looking after yourself was now your No 1 priority?
And so... over the last few weeks, I have been BUSY.
I've been busy chatting with all of the best of the best in the fertility wo...
16 Questions to ask your Fertility Specialist
Well, I've got you covered in this podcast, where I dive into 16 questions to ask your Fertility Specialist, as well as 6 things I want you to know about your Doctor and your experience at the clinic, that will hopefully help you feel calmer throughout.
When we feel really nervous, our brain starts to lose its executive functioning ability - that is... the ability to make rational decisions, problem solve etc - a place you don't want to be in, when you are in an office with a Specialist trying to make really impactful decisions about your life.
I hope you absolutely LOVE this podcast episode.
Here's a summary of the questions below for you to print out with you - but highly encourage you to listen to the episode where I explain everything in detail.
They're human beings too
Just because they wear a white coat, doesn't mean they have all the answers
They likely have a time limit for your appointment
They don't know everything (and all read different research)
Their personal beliefs may impact their recommendations
You can get a second opinion
•Do you offer grants or any financial support packages?
•Where do you sit on complementary therapies (acupuncture, naturopathy)
•Do you have or can you recommend any mental health services?
•Do you have any BMI limits?
•What supplements do you recommend?
•Are you able to please break down the general timeline/path for me?
•What lifestyle interventions do you recommend?
•What do we need to be doing at our end to improve our chances of conception?
•What are your views on diet and exercise?
•What's the game plan?
•Can you please write those names down for me?
•Can you give me a rough % success rate?
•Can you give me a printout of those results?
•How often do you repeat blood tests?
•Where can I find your success rates? (and check their accreditations too)
•Does your clinic work specifically with infertility patients? If not, what %?
Pandemic Stress: How to cope with the stress of the world right now
In the audio of this video, I share 8 tips for coping emotionally with the pandemic and what you can do in this time to support yourself. In it, I mention resources that are only available for members - and we'd love to invite you to become a member with us too.
You can join the Reset here: robynbirkin.com/mindbodyfertilityreset
Inside scoop for 2022
Here are some links and places where you can catch me and receive further support;
[FREE] The Two Week Wait Challenge
Receive a daily email over the two weeks of your cycle with a love note filled with inspiration, support and guidance on how to cope as well as other gifts.
Sign up to the challenge here
The Mind Body Fertility Reset
Join us in the membership for women who are ready to support their mental and emotional wellbeing through trying to conceive and infertility. This is a place to nourish your mind, body and spirit - with a 90 day reset framework, community and a wealth of tools and resources, this is a lifeline through infertility for so many.
Join us at robynbirkin.com/mindbodyfertilityreset
You can also follow me at @robynbirkin on Instagram here.
I can't wait to catch you in the New Year!
Infertility and the holidays: how to cope
A few years ago I recorded a podcast called how to cope through Christmas when you're trying to conceive. I'm older and wiser (and more compassionate now! But I do remember it had some funny moments, and although there may be some recurrent themes and I'm now producing today an updated version, I thought you may still like to circle back and listen to it.
So click here to read/listen to my episode about how to how to survive Christmas when you're trying to conceive.
You may also want to circle back to how to create a special Christmas (despite infertility).
Christmas, Christmas Parties and Thanksgiving can feel like an especially trying time for anyone who is trying to conceive, right?
Together with drinking, family dynamics and the concept of Santa and presents for children, it can understandably be a really tough time when you're navigating infertility.
So first up, if that's you, please give yourself some grace.
Understand that it's ok for it to feel hard, and it's ok for it to feel messy and that you're allowed to feel hurt and upset by the people you love and in your family when and if they say the wrong thing.
In today's episode, I'll share with you some advice, reflection and guidance on how you can navigate the Holiday Season when you're navigating infertility.
Hope you enjoy it.
Meds and Miscarriage - an open conversation with Kristyn and Abby from Fertility. Rescripted
We also talked about privilege and affordability, some stats on medications (including the giant amount of leftover meds), the things that made a big difference when we were each trying to conceive, what this new partnership has meant and how they are now supporting the community (with a sneak peek of what's to come).
Hope you like it!
Check out my previous episode with Kristyn here.
9 strategies to survive baby showers when you have infertility
I'll never forget arriving at a baby shower (and sorry if you've heard this story before) and seeing that I was one of only three women who either weren't pregnant or had kids already.
One was Veronica, an acquaintance who declared that her life was too full for kids - between their travels and their foodie life and her role as a teacher, she just didn't have the capacity for kids. Then there was my other dear friend who I knew wanted kids but just hadn't met the right person yet. And me... who was trying to conceive but nobody knew about it. And at that time we just didn't know that the journey would be so much longer. But that was the start of feeling like an outsider and the start of feeling like I was no longer having much to contribute or receive from the conversation.
Just over a year later, I walked into the supermarket and felt completely ambushed when I saw her.... And then saw her turn around only to discover she was about 8 months pregnant.
I felt like the last person standing and that out of everyone at that baby shower, I was the last man standing.
I attended many more baby showers and first birthday parties (including organising at least one baby shower) while I was working through infertility, and together with my life coach hat - here are 9 things you can do to support yourself at baby showers through infertility.
(And I want to let you know that my advice might be a little different from others in this space!).
You'll also learn things that can help you before the baby shower and during the baby shower and I'll also discuss some things you might want to permit yourself for.
First IVF Cycle: what to expect
Here are some previous posts with tips for those who are about to do IVF:
5 Tips for your next Egg Retrieval
5 tips for IVF Newbies
My OHSS Experience
Is IUI a waste of time? (In this post we dive also into IVF)
100 Affirmations and Mantras for Fertility (including some IVF specific ones)
But what should you expect on your first IVF cycle?
In this podcast I talk about:
•How your first IVF cycle might be different to any IUI's you've done before
•What you should be doing/focusing on at this point?
•What you can do to support your success
•What the timeline might look like (although this can be fairly variable)
•Where you might have some hiccups along the way (and how to overcome them)
Hope you enjoy!
5 ways to feel more positive through infertility
Validation is SO important. It's important that we share with people the difficult emotions of infertility. The trauma, the divorce and PTSD - it's so important that we meet people where they're at.
But I also think it's SO important... that we show the other side. Because then it just stays heavy.
Almost like... I know what it feels like to be stuck in a well.... It's hard.
But also.... Let me help you get out of the well.
Let me help you cope whilst you're in the well
Let me help you find hope and positivity while you're in the well
I think those messages are also important.
And perhaps somewhere along the way, with cancel culture and the rise of the concept of toxic positivity... I wonder whether the message that it's ok to want to feel positive and uplifted.... Has had the volume turned down.
Staying positive all the time is exhausting and not necessarily a healthy strategy, however it's my true belief that it IS possible to feel better through infertility, and more positive and more hopeful - and I've seen it with the hundreds of clients who've engaged in my programs and left testimonials and reviews.
So, if you're feeling like it's all a little heavy and you'd like some strategies - some easy to implement and practical tips on how to feel a little more positive through infertility, this episode is for you.
Are you too old to get pregnant?
On today's podcast, I talk about
•Whether or not you might be too old to have a baby with your own eggs
•How we can be more fertile now than we were in our 20's
•Some of the alternatives and options you have out there
•How to go about making the decision to take the next steps (and what the next steps might be)
•The number 1 thing eggs need (and what is responsible for 80% of its depletion)
Tune in and let me know what you think.
Calming that frantic energy
It was like I'd been rushing and pushing everywhere and creating this sense of dis-ease within my body and mindset.
And this podcast speed was a sort of metaphor for my wider life.
S L O W D O W N
Was the message that had been coming through loud and clear.
Personal development is never once and done. It's an ongoing process of consistently bringing ourselves back on track and practicing daily rituals to help ourselves thrive and every now and again, since that moment, I have needed to bring myself back out of the frantic energy and back into a calmer, and slower frame of being.
In this podcast, I talk about my recent experience and some of the mindset shifts I've had, but also the most important step in welcoming calmer energy - which is first having the awareness of when you're letting your mind race and consciously choosing another path.
Can't wait to hear what you think x
How to exit decision torture
It takes SO much energy to consistently check the checkers and sit in distrust and indecision that I want to share with you my experience of Olivia's birth and how trusting that things would pan out. This was the right decision based on the experience and knowledge at the time and ultimately (I feel) led me to a more positive outcome, alongside the other work that I've done over the years to cultivate a calmer mind.
Leaning into trust and surrender can be a powerful shift on our journeys as we let go of always having to be the expert, and put our faith in our team and humanity - it can help us release the burden of what's happening as we try to conceive too.
I hope you enjoy this short episode.
PCOS Myths and Misconceptions with Solaine Douglas
PCOS is an increasingly common condition and one that we see frequently affecting women trying to conceive.
On the podcast we talk about:
•The two different types of PCOS and what causes them
•How our body breaks down insulin
•How our body responds to stress
•Common roadblocks in the medical profession
•Busting common diet myths regarding PCOS
It was my absolute pleasure to welcome Solaine to the podcast.
Solaine is a nutritionist for women who want to create healthy hormones, guts and metabolisms.
Her world revolves around her business baby, fur baby, great food and my home.
Solaine is passionate about helping women to feel empowered about their health, to understand how to eat and create a lifestyle that makes them feel good. We all deserve that.
She studied a Bachelor of Human Nutrition at Griffith University, Australia and is a member of the Complementary Medicine Association (CMA). Her journey with nutrition began many moons ago, back in 2012 and a passion for spreading the real food message ensued.
You can find Solaine on Instagram here, or look further on her website here.
COVID Vaccine and Fertility, Miscarriage and TTC - your questions answered with Sasha Hakman MD
I applaud you for asking questions and wanting to find out the answers.
So, I asked my good friend, Dr Sasha Hakman, Board Certified Fertility Specialist and incredible explainer and science nerd - to the podcast to answer all of your questions and explain everything COVID Vaccine with us in detail.
We talked about:
What is the general consensus around the COVID Vaccine and fertility/TTC?
Is one vaccine better than another?
How does each of the different vaccines work?
Is there any incentive for Doctors to be able to promote these vaccines?
Where have we gone wrong in disseminating information about this vaccine?
How long should you wait between getting the vaccine and embarking on a new cycle?
Does this affect cycles?
Natural immunity vs vaccine immunity?
Is there enough research and data to make these calls?
Why has the process been so quick in approving these vaccines for use?
... and so many more questions
This is actually the third podcast I've done with Sasha and the other two rank up there in my top 10 all-time podcasts!
Is IUI a waste of time?
Your infertility questions answered
You can also find Sasha below:
Sasha Hakman MD on Instagram
Sasha Hakman's Website (where she has a bunch of Nutrition, Lifestyle AND COVID resources for you to check out)
Infertility coping strategies that don't work (and my beef with R U Ok Day)
•Because I know, that the majority of people with infertility are NOT ok (and half the world is in lockdown.... Chances are, we're not ok)
•It puts the onus on the US to always be reaching out for help (how about everyone around us looks for signs and symptoms that we're not ok, and learns what to do when they notice that?!)
•When we are existing in a state of heightened stress and anxiety - certain areas of our brain shut down, and one of those is the Brocas Area - the area responsible for speech. That's why sometimes talk therapy doesn't work for everyone, and that's why sometimes it is SO hard for us to put into words the emotional toll of infertility and everything we are going through
In today's podcast, I also talk about the way in which men and women cope with infertility (and which of those are, and which aren't actually helpful in decreasing the stress related to infertility).
Listen to the episode below and let me know what you think.
I mentioned the Mind-Body Fertility Reset in this podcast and we'd love to invite you to join us - it's a supportive, healthy and holistic membership program for women navigating infertility and IVF - with support groups, workshops and more than $3,000 of tools, resources and live events.
Click here to learn more.
7 things you can STOP doing today if you want to get pregnant
It's really easy to get caught up in the internet and the to-do lists and the 'shoulds' without fully knowing or buying into the benefits of why you're doing something so that is what we're diving into today on the podcast.
7 things you quit to get pregnant - hopefully there are a few warriors out there who need this permission slip.
Infertility Pep Talk for anyone who needs to hear this.
If you're feeling
Your feelings are completely valid and real.
You are not doing anything wrong and you are enough, right now, as you are.
Enough of a woman
Enough of a contributor to society
Enough of a friend, daughter, partner, colleague
You are beautiful
You are human
You are navigating this journey in the best damn way you know possible.
Yes, you'll have hard days.
Yes, you'll have setbacks.
Yes, the journey will probably take longer than you thought it would.
But that doesn't make you less human.
Having feelings and emotions... make you human.
Having bad days.... Make you human.
Not being perfect... that makes you human.
For some of us, the path to parenthood looks different and that's ok.
For some of us, we discover that having children is no longer part of our story and that's ok too.
You don't need to know what your story will look like just yet, but you do need to be committed to continuing to turn the page.
To continue to put one foot in front of the other.
To believe that you are enough, right now, as you are.
And you were born worthy, you are worthy now, and no matter what the future holds, you'll continue to be worthy.
You are valued and loved by so many people and have so much to give.
And you are worthy of happiness, love and joy.
Not when you reach the next step, whatever that is.
And me, this podcast and this community - we get it, and we're here to support you and walk alongside you every step of the way.
We are here for you.
I hope that you'll listen to this podcast anytime you feel that you need a pickup, some love or a moment to tune into your feelings.
Feel free to reach out to me on Instagram @robynbirkin and let me know if this spoke to you today. And play it again anytime you need.
The two sides to weight and fertility issues
Sophia is a Registered Dietician Nutritionist whose focus is on women who are trying to conceive and navigating infertility and joined us on the podcast to talk about her take on both sides of the argument.
I'd love to know what your experience has been like?
You can find Sophia at ttc.nutritionist or on her website here.
You may also wish to check out an interview I did with Nicola Salmon called Can you get pregnant if you're fat- where we talk about a lot of the stigma and misconceptions surrounding weight and fertility. Click here to listen (or watch).
Join our monthly membership, the Mind Body Fertility Reset here (P.S. There is also another guest interview with Nicola there).
Make sure you're following me on Instagram here
Join our Free Facebook Support and Chat Group here.
Check out my programs and services here.
The tests your Specialist might be missing with Naturopath, Jacqui Lamplugh
I'm a firm supporter of conventional medicine, however I do also believe that at times, there are tests and treatments that are outside their scope and hence why it can be beneficial to also work with someone such as Jacqui.
What do you think?
Reach out to me on Instagram - I'd love to know your thoughts at @robynbirkin
Jacqui Lamplugh is a qualified Naturopath, women's health and fertility expert, mum to two boys and super passionate about educating and empowering women about their hormones.
With over a decade's experience in the industry, Jacqui's worked with Australia's leading fertility experts and Perth's longest-standing natural medicine clinic. She's lectured about herbal and nutritional medicine at a prestigious Perth college, founded her own self-titled business and soon to release her online fertility course, Conceive Naturally.
Holding an Advanced Diploma of Naturopathy, a Bachelor of Health Science (Complementary Medicine) and a Masters Degree in Reproductive Medicine, Jacqui helps couples trying to conceive balance their hormones, boost their diet and lifestyle and improve their chances of conceiving - Naturally
You can find Jacqui at:
Join our monthly membership, the Mind Body Fertility Reset here
Make sure you're following me on Instagram here
Join our Free Facebook Support and Chat Group here.
Check out my programs and services here.