Welcome to the first episode of the Fearless Infertility podcast. I couldn’t be more happy to have you here! This podcast is a space for women struggling with the mental anguish that comes with infertility, and as impossible as it sounds, my goal here is to help you create joy during your infertility experience, like I did in my own life, to share the things that helped me pull myself out of the dark and stop feeling like my best life plans were now swept out from underneath me.
I’m a life coach for women with infertility, and after a harrowing journey filled with rounds of IVF and miscarriages, I’m now a mom of miracle twins. Infertility is always such a surprise because it’s not something we ever plan on, and after suffering in silence for too long, I discovered a way for me to stop seeing infertility as an obstacle getting in the way of my dream life, and I know that this is 100% available and possible for you too.
Listen in this week as I address one of the top questions I get asked about how to live a joyful life with infertility. I’m showing you how your thoughts can have so much impact on your experience and how they affect your feelings in ways you may not be aware of. You can have freedom and control in your infertility experience, and I want you to know that being here means you’re hopeful there’s an answer for you, and that’s all you need.
Hi, friends. Welcome to Fearless Infertility a podcast for women struggling with the mental anguish that comes with infertility. My name is Jenica and after suffering in silence for too long I was able to pull myself out of the dark, take control over my mind, and create joy during my infertility experience. I’m here to help you do the same, sister. Let’s dive into today’s show.
Hello my friends. My name is Jenica Parcell and I’m so glad that you are here. I also feel like you will be pleased to know that you have a committed partner in this podcast relationship. I have previously recorded this first episode and I thought that I was like killing it. You know, I thought I was in the flow, like it was fine, we did great, I shared what I wanted to share with you.
And after some feedback upon turning this episode in I realized that the mic was not plugged in so the sound was horrible. And here I am again, round two. And here I am committed. I’m not mad about it, I just wanted to let you know that I am here for you and I am committed to this relationship that you and I are in at this point.
My name is Jenica Parcell and I am a life coach for women with infertility. And now I'm a mom of miracle twins, a little boy and a girl. And getting them here was incredibly difficult, both mentally and physically. We did three IUIs, we did three rounds of IVF, I had a miscarriage on an airplane in China in between all of that. And I think it’s safe to say that my experience with infertility was a lot of pushing down emotions and pretending that it really wasn’t my life. It was just an obstacle in the way of getting to my actual good life that I had planned and wanted.
And it was really a situation where my best life plans were completely swept out from underneath me. And I can imagine that’s probably how many of you are feeling. And that’s why you’re here, that you are experiencing infertility and you feel stuck. And that’s what I’m here to help you with.
This episode specifically will help you understand your thoughts and how your thoughts effect your feelings in ways that you may not be aware of. And the reason I’m launching with this episode is because the number one question that I got asked after experiencing infertility and once we decided to share was, how were you still able to live a joyful life? You seemed so happy. And I definitely was, after I realized what brought that happiness for me. And I’ll share that with you in this episode.
This podcast, Fearless Infertility will help you be aware of what results you’re causing in your life based on the thoughts that you’re choosing and provide really simple takeaways each week with what you can do right now, today, to feel joyful and improve your life immediately. And I think when we’re aware we have that freedom and control in our infertility experience and that’s really what I want for you and what I know is available to you.
I will also continuously provide you with thoughts and ways to help you feel a joy filled life despite your infertility. And how to choose them, because I know it’s a lot easier said than done and I want you to be able to feel better now. So that’s what you can expect moving forward. And every time I launch an episode, I’ll commit that that’s what you’ll receive here.
So, I am a life coach for women with infertility. This is what I do. I’ve got you. You’re in the right place. And I will help you always continue to understand your mind and how you are in control of creating peace in your infertility experience. And I will teach you the model to be able to simply do that for yourselves.
I have a coaching program that launches later this year to help you understand your mind. So stay tuned for that. And in this episode, I will start here with my infertility experience.
So, I was never the type of human being that only wanted to be a mother when I got older. I knew that it would eventually happen, that that was something that would be a part of my future, but I didn’t only want that. And in fact, honestly, motherhood like really terrified me.
My husband and I got engaged when I was 21. So yes, I was actually still a child myself, I’m fully aware of that. Which may have been part of my problem. But the next day he asked me, you know, “Should we start having kids and trying in a year?” And I was like, “Oh, hold up. No, no, no. Do you even know me?”
So, needless to say about six years later when I actually felt that motherhood instinct, I was actually very relieved. Because I'm like, “Oh.” I knew I wanted it but I also didn’t want to force it. And so since it was there, I’m like, “Whew, that’s my obstacle man, smooth sailing from here. We’re good.”
So I got off my birth control. And a year later we started, you know, timing it all, nothing happened. Tracking ovulation, nothing happened. And I was working at a software company at the time and had good insurance and so we moved on to do infertility treatments at a local clinic. And we ended up doing three IUIs and nothing happened.
And by the way, I’ll talk about like specific treatment options and like what they mean and what they look like in other episodes. But for now, I’ll just use the acronyms, which yes, I totally agree can get confusing. I’ve been in this game for many years and I’m still like, “What does that mean?” So don’t worry, we’ll address that later.
But we did three IUIs and nothing happened. Then we moved on to IVF. We got three embryos the first cycle and we transferred one. I found out that that did not work when I started my period after a Valentine’s party that I had hosted for some friends.
Everyone had left, I was putting everything away. Tyler had just come in from putting some chairs back into the garage. And I was standing there and I kind of started crying. And a song came on the radio that we were listening to, “No one ever said it would be easy, no one ever said it would be so hard going back to the start. And I was like, “Wow, that is such a metaphor for my life.”
And honestly, looking back on it I’m like, “Why was I throwing a Valentine’s day party?” Like I think that you may feel the same way where infertility is such a surprise and something that you didn’t plan on that it’s almost easier to pretend is not there. And it’s something that we see all around us in terms of the next step.
So we go to college, we graduate, we get married, and the next step is having kids when you’re ready. And when that doesn’t happen it’s like, “Okay, well what next? What do I do?” And so at this point it was the first point where I started really getting concerned. But I kind of gathered myself together and I said, “Okay, well we’ll transfer the additional two embryos that we have.” And I found out that that didn’t work and we were scheduled to leave on a plane a couple days later to China.
And it was a chemical pregnancy is what they call it. So I ended up having a miscarriage on an airplane in China. And I hadn’t been prepared for it, I never had known what a miscarriage looks like, what it feels like, what to expect. And so I literally had no idea what was even happening. I just knew that the airplane that we were on wasn’t functioning properly and so the air conditioning wasn’t on. So it was probably about 85 degrees.
I started experiencing extreme pain in my uterus and I just thought it was a regular period at first. And then I went in the bathroom and passed a lot of blood and matter. And honestly, even at the time I didn’t really realize that I was having a miscarriage. I thought it was a regular period. All that I was trying to do was really hold it together and keep it together. And not literally have a panic attack on an airplane because I’m just sweating, both with pain and from the actual heat of the airplane.
And so you can probably relate to this, where you’re at a point sometimes where you’re just exhausted. Like you’re literally just doing everything you can to get to the next step of your day. And just making it through in survival mode. And that’s where I was at that point. And it’s so interesting too because oftentimes when you’re in that survival mode you’re not even really realizing that you’re in it until after because you just have the energy to make it to the next step.
So we actually had a pretty good trip that trip. I didn’t have a panic attack on the airplane, thank goodness. You can read more about that story if you want on my blog. My original blog is asliceofstyle.com and there’s still an infertility section on the top and I documented our whole experience there.
So when we got home, I was very jet lagged and I wrote it all out. And it felt so therapeutic to just write. I hadn’t realized how much that would feel good for me. So I wrote it all out and I sat on it for a few weeks because I was so terrified of, honestly, the biggest thing I was mostly terrified of was having people be offended by something I might say.
And I think that says a lot about me and I've learned a lot about myself. I think I used to be a people pleaser and I was trying to control things that I couldn’t control. And I didn’t want something in my story to offend anybody and so I was just tiptoeing around and not really thinking about what was good for me.
So I finally decided to share it a few weeks later. And I was sweating, my heart was pounding, but the results of me sharing were completely mind blowing. Because at that point I had absolutely no idea how common infertility was. Since then, I've learned one in eight couples experience it, but back in 2015 I didn’t know anybody that was talking about it. I knew a few of my friends who had experienced it, but other than that I didn’t know anyone that was going through it.
So I was completely blown away by the support that people reached out with. I was completely blown away by how common it was. And that’s really kind of what started the fire in me to help other people like myself feel like you’re not alone.
And you’re not alone. And I know that right now you may be feeling that way because there may be a circumstance in your life or you may have these thoughts where you don’t think that anyone wants to hear about your infertility. And you may not have that support system in your life. And so I want this space to be a place for you to remember that there are literally hundreds of thousands of women who are here to help you.
So that summer my husband and I completely took the summer off from trying. We were exhausted emotionally. We were exhausted mentally. And we needed a break. So, what do you do when you need a break from infertility? Why, you buy dirt bikes of course.
My husband and I bought dirt bikes, which is absolutely hysterical to me because if you know me, and you’ll get to know me as we continue to meet up here, I am not a dirt biker. I like adventurous things, but not that adventurous. I mean come on people, that’s like pushing it, right?
So we dirt biked together all summer. I happened to go on a work trip to Canada that summer, and my colleague and I were walking down a street and walked into a little boutique that had a book sitting on the counter. And the front of the book said, “100 Gathered Thoughts for My Beautiful Child.” And in it were beautiful quotes and messages for this author’s child. And I thought, “What a beautiful way to document life.”
And so I got back from that trip and when we decided to start our third round of IVF that fall, I wrote letters to our future children. Well, I didn’t know it was children at the time. I said, “To my beautiful child” as the start to each letter. And I would document everything from our doctor’s appointments to how I was feeling each day.
And honestly you guys, I would highly recommend doing this just for yourselves. I think that there are so many things that I was feeling and needing to process that was so much easier to process and write down when I wasn’t talking to someone. Like it was just me, myself, and my words. And it was a beautiful way for me to process what I was going through in such a more healthy way than pushing down those feelings.
And those feelings are there, and they’re real, and they’re hard, and they’re really big. And I think that finding a way for you to process those, whether that be writing letters to that future child, or writing letters to yourself, or simply just journaling, I think is incredibly helpful.
So I would honestly encourage you to do that based on my experience and how much it truly helped me to be present in the moment and not pushing that aside. Because in reality infertility is my life. It’s not an obstacle that I am walking around until I get to my actual ideal life that I have had planned. It’s my life and whether I like that or not doesn’t matter. I can process it, however, to make my life better.
So those are all documented on asliceofstyle.com still if you ever want to check those out, that’s my original blog. But through that IVF cycle ended up being ups and downs. I mean honestly, it was rough, I’m not going to sugarcoat it. I got hyperstimulation where your abdomen fills with fluid after they retrieve the eggs and it’s so uncomfortable. And you get dehydrated because all the fluid is going to your abdomen.
But the good news, after all of that was that we were able to figure out that I needed some help with my egg quality. So I had switched to a new doctor and he was incredible in trying new things to help us. And we were able to get nine embryos and freeze them until I was able to heal from that hyperstimulation.
But then we were able to transfer two of them. And that is my beautiful son and my beautiful daughter Harris and Goldie, and they are true miracles to me. And honestly, I’m so glad that you are here listening to this podcast because that means you’re not giving up. And that means that yes, you may have a hard day here and there, but it means that you have the hope that there is an answer for you and that’s all you need. That’s all you need sister, you are literally in the right place.
So, the thought that I thought throughout a lot of my infertility experience that I wasn’t even aware of until people started asking me about it later, and this is something that I believe, was everyone has trials because we are humans. And this is part of the human experience. If it wasn’t this trial it would be something else. And the amazing magical thing about thoughts is that they don’t even have to be true.
That’s a little secret I wanted to tell you. As long as it is a thought that is benefiting you and allowing you to be in a place of peace and acceptance in your current circumstances, if that’s what you want that’s all that matters. So for me, that is true for me. I do think that we’re here on this earth because we’re here to experience trials.
But that doesn’t matter if someone else doesn’t believe that that’s true for me. People could come and argue with me all day long and I’d say, “That’s okay.” Like it wouldn't even make me mad if someone didn’t think that that was true. Because for me that was thought that helped me so much and put me in a place of such acceptance and peace that I didn’t get jealous of other people when they got pregnant, that I didn’t feel resentful. And it helped me to be able to live a joyful life during my infertility.
So my takeaway for you today is to find a thought that you can trust will take you back to that place of peace. And again, it has to be believable to you, but it doesn’t matter if it’s believable to anybody else.
Thank you so much for being here. I absolutely love you and I'm really excited to see you here next time on Fearless Infertility.
To celebrate the launch of the show I’m going to be giving away pajama and sock sets from the Slice of Sun, that I have personally designed. They are the most buttery, soft, delightful things you’ll ever put on your body. And I’m going to be giving away five bundles to five lucky listeners who subscribe, rate, and review the show on Apple Podcasts. It doesn’t have to be a five-star review, although I sure hope you love the show. I genuinely want your honest feedback so I can create a show that provides tons of value to you who are experiencing infertility.
Visit thesliceofsun.com/podcastlaunch to learn more about the contest and how to enter. And I’ll be announcing the winners on the show in an upcoming episode.
Thank you for listening to Fearless Infertility. If you want more tools and resources to help you during your infertility experience visit thesliceofsun.com. See you next week.