I’ve got one of my favorite people in the world on the podcast today, my sister-in-law, Rachel Parcell. I look up to her for so many reasons, but in particular, the resilience and strength she’s found on her journey of growing her family, and the ways she chooses to perceive the trials and obstacles that show up in her life.
The infertility experience could be best described as an emotional rollercoaster, and if you’ve been a listener here for any length of time, you’ll know that I believe there is nothing wrong with the negative half of the human experience. Rachel is incredibly skilled at processing her emotions to move forward with confidence, and I know you’re going to pick up so many gems from her today.
Listen in this week if you need some guidance on bouncing back from your obstacles and choosing thoughts that will help propel you forward in infertility. Rachel is sharing her philosophy on finding peace and resilience in life’s challenges, and why it’s okay to fail and let go of your preconceived plans for your life.
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.
Welcome back to Fearless Infertility. I am so incredibly excited to introduce to you today my sister-in-law, Rachel Parcell. We sat down together in Lake Powell together and there was no other quiet spot so we were just chilling on our in-law’s bed. And it was so much fun to sit down and chat with her.
She's one of my favorite people. I look up to her in so many ways, particularly for her resilience, and her strength, and her way that she views trials and obstacles. And I've learned so much from her about how to properly process your emotions and let yourself be a human. Not judge yourself for it, and then move forward with confidence and strength through trials and challenges. And she's been incredibly successful because of the way she looks at life, I think.
She is a mother of three. She has two businesses and you can find her at rachelparcell.com where she shares her lifestyle blog and her beautiful clothing line. If I ever need an incredible dress or anything to wear, I just go to rachelparcell.com and she always has the most beautiful pieces that she designs.
She is such a tough person. And in today's episode we sit down and talk about her experience in growing her family so far, and what that was like for her. And we talk about the way that she views and processes her challenges in a healthy way and how you can too.
Before we move into today's interview with Rachel, I would love to share with you a review on Apple Podcasts. Each week I give away a pair of my Slice Of Sun pajamas and socks to one reviewer.
I really, really appreciate when you guys review on Apple Podcasts because what it does is allows those people who have absolutely no idea who I am, or about these tools, that are experiencing infertility, it allows them to be able to look up this podcast more easily. And so every week for someone who reviews and rates the podcast, I read some of those and I give away a pair of pajamas and socks to one person to thank you for that.
I sell these on my website because honestly, they're just magical. They are made of bamboo. They're so incredibly soft and comfortable. And I designed them for two reasons. One, so that you could wear them while you're experiencing infertility and feel loved and feel wrapped in this incredible community of women who are also experiencing infertility to remind you that you're not alone. And then also a portion of every single sale goes back to women experiencing infertility as well.
So today's winner is by the username SBoose. Her subject line is truly a blessing. And she says, “After struggling for over a year to navigate my husband and I's infertility journey I found The Slice Of Sun Instagram and podcast. I can honestly say that following this podcast and Jenica has truly changed my outlook on our journey.
Instead of looking forward to the end, Jenica helps me stay focused and inspired so that we can embrace our journey each and every day. These resources and community have truly been a support system that helps me focus on how we are blessed and loving myself and loving our journey, no matter what it entails. Thank you for giving your authentic and heartfelt self to others everyday Jenica.”
Love that review. I love it because it's exactly what I want you to feel when you come here and come to this community and get to experience these incredible tools that I'm able to teach that have helped me so much personally and I know that can help others as well.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your address and your size preference and we will get those PJ's and socks sent out to you. And then for those of you who want to enter to win and also help others come into this incredible community, please go to Apple Podcasts. You can just open up your app on your phone, scroll down to the bottom, and you can rate and review there. And I will choose out new winner every week. Let's get into today's interview with Rachel.
Jenica: Welcome back to another episode of Fearless Infertility. We are sitting in Lake Powell right now; we're sitting on our in-law’s bed. I have with me here Rachel Parcell, my sister-in-law, one of my best friends. I absolutely love her.
And there might be a little background noise of kids running around and splashing and skiing. But here we are and I'm so excited that you're here with us today. Thank you for taking this time with us.
Rachel: Thank you for having me.
Jenica: So Rachel and I share similarities a little bit when it comes to growing our families. And that's why I'm having her on today, because I think she has a really incredible perspective. Rachel is really good at, I think, resilience.
And I think it just comes naturally to you, but I'm sure there's lots of things that you choose to do purposely every single day. Because I feel like you are very good at bouncing back from trials and you're really good at choosing thoughts that help you to propel forward.
And so we'll get into those thoughts in a little bit. But I would love to start out with your story on how you and Drew grew your family.
Rachel: Yeah, so we were married for four years and we had just gotten settled into our new house. We had bought a dog, we had him potty trained. So Drew had graduated, we both had good jobs so we were like, “Okay, it's time to start a family.” It felt like the perfect time.
So we started trying and in my head, I think I just naively thought I'd get pregnant the first month. So I didn't get pregnant the first month, and I was devastated. So we tried again and I didn't get pregnant. And then we tried again and I didn't get pregnant.
So seven months of this, couldn't get pregnant. And my sister had just had some fertility issues. She had a miscarriage and then couldn't get pregnant for over a year after that miscarriage. So her doctor put her on Clomid. So she had like one more dose of Clomid. So she got pregnant and she still had one more round of Clomid pills.
So I was like, “Emily, I don't know what's wrong with me, I can't get pregnant.” And now I look back and I'm like it's normal to try for a year. I'm so impatient, I was freaking out when I really shouldn't have been.
Jenica: Well, I think it's hard though because I don't really feel like we talk about this enough in society, honestly. You just think you go off birth control and it happens.
Rachel: Yeah, and honestly, this was like six years ago so it was before people were really like talking about infertility. I feel like people who struggled with that were really silent about it.
Jenica: Yeah. Yeah, I agree. And I also feel like there's not enough education on it all like. Like, yes, it's very normal for it to take a year, but I didn't know that either. I had no idea.
Rachel: Yeah. So I was stressed and I'm like, “I'm young, what's wrong? What's wrong with me?” So my sister gives me her Clomid. And I take it. And at that point I was kind of done. I felt like I kind of like detached myself. I was so sick of the two week roller coaster that I was just like, “Whatever, it's never going to happen, but I'll take your Clomid.”
So I took her Clomid. And a few weeks later she was like, “Have you taken a test yet?” And I was like, “No, I'm so sick of taking pregnancy tests and getting a negative. I don't even want to take it; I know it's going to be negative.”
Rachel: And she literally made me pee in a red solo cup. And she took the cup and I was like, “I can't even look at it.” So I went into my pantry. And she dipped the pregnancy test into the cup and she was like, “Ah, you're pregnant!” So she's the one that told me.
Jenica: That’s amazing.
Rachel: So I got Isla Rose after eight months of trying and then Clomid.
Rachel: And then anyway, so I had Isla Rose and I think I had just finished nursing. And I hadn't had a period yet so I didn't think that I needed to quite use any type of like birth control. Especially because it had taken me so long to get pregnant with Isla Rose I wasn't really worried about it. So then I surprise got pregnant with my second, Jackson, when I had an eight month old baby. So that was like a shock.
Jenica: Yeah, because you weren't even trying this time. You had been very consistent, you done your best the first time around. And yeah, it's like what?
Rachel: Yeah, I was like, “Wait, I haven't even had a period yet. How did I get pregnant?” And Jackson was like a one hit wonder. I had an eight month old baby and like I swear we did it once that month and I was pregnant.
Jenica: You were exhausted. So let me tell you a little side story too. So I get a call from Rachel and Drew, they're in Italy, was it? Or Europe?
Rachel: Yeah, we were in Italy.
Jenica: Yeah, so I got a call from them. And I don't know if you texted me or called me first or Face Timed me, I can't remember.
Rachel: I think I call you or Face Timed you.
Jenica: Yeah, so this was like in the middle of our infertility issues and Rachel was so kind. I just still remember this; it was so sweet. You called me and you were like, “I feel really bad, but we just found out we're pregnant.” I was like, “What?” I'm like, “Don't feel bad. Are
you kidding me?”
But she was always so sensitive. And even throughout her pregnancy with Jackson, she would call me before everything. She'd be like, “Hey, are you okay if we do like a gender reveal party?” And I'm like, “Of course I'm okay with it.” But you were always so sensitive and kind.
And honestly, for me, and I think a lot of people are different, but for me, one thing I didn't want infertility to take from me was getting to share in the excitement and celebration with other people who were pregnant. And so it made me sad if people held back from me.
So I was always so grateful that you called me and you always involved me. Because I still wanted to be excited for you. I genuinely don't believe that me not getting pregnant should dim anyone else's joy when they're pregnant as well. So I just loved how you were so sensitive, but also let me celebrate with you.
Rachel: Yeah. Well, I think when I got pregnant with Jackson, you were pregnant with the twins.
Rachel: You had just found out you were pregnant.
Jenica: No, I don't think I was pregnant yet.
Rachel: No, you were.
Jenica: Oh, I was?
Rachel: It was Isla Rose that I got pregnant while you were doing IVF. And then you had just found out you were pregnant with the twins.
Jenica: Oh, yes. Yes, that's right.
Rachel: So I was like shocked. I'm like, “I have an eight month old baby and I'm pregnant and I wasn't planning on it, and Jenica just got pregnant.” So I think I called you and I was like, “I don't want to steal your thunder, but I'm pregnant.”
Jenica: Yes, that’s right. Now I remember.
Rachel: And you were like, “Oh my gosh, I'm so excited are kids are going to be such good friends. And now, we've been watching them at Lake Powell, it's so fun.
Jenica: So much fun.
Rachel: They have so much fun together.
Jenica: It really is the best thing ever. And they were actually due within a week of each other. My kids ended up coming two months early, but they were literally due within a week of each other. So fun.
Rachel: Yeah, and I've heard stories where it's like I've been at like a shower or something or I've overheard friends talking. And they're like, “Of course, my sister-in-law had to get pregnant when I was pregnant, and she stole my thunder.” And I'm just like, I don't know, I think it's all in your mindset.
Rachel: Like you were so positive about it and our kids have so much fun together.
Jenica: Yeah, I honestly think it's the best thing ever. And to think about our husbands. So how Rachel and I are family is that our husbands are brothers. And so to think about them having sons the same age, it's honestly like I cannot choose anything more amazing.
But that's right, I totally forgot that I had just barely found out I was pregnant like two weeks before. And then she was like, “I don't want to steal your thunder.” And I was like, “That’s so ridiculous.” But it was so sweet and sensitive. I was just so overjoyed that now Drew and Tyler get to have these sons that are the same age together. And our kids play together, they love each other. And Isla rose is just a little bit older than them, so it's like the four quadruplets. It’s so fun.
Rachel: Yeah, it's so fun.
Jenica: Okay, so you found out that you were pregnant with Bear. Her son's name, her cute little son's nickname is Bear. So we might interchange Jackson and Bear, if you’re confused.
Rachel: Yeah, don’t get confused.
Jenica: Yes. And so she had him September 4th is his birthday, right?
Jenica: Okay, so tell us what happens next.
Rachel: So then I was just, I felt like I had two babies at two different stages. They both had bottles, diapers, naps, but it's just different times.
Jenica: Yeah, chaos.
Rachel: Yeah, it was chaos. That like rocked my world. So I had them and I was kind of in the thick of it for like for years, and then I decided that I we were ready to get pregnant again. So we started trying. And we tried for about, I think, like 10 months. Then I decided to go into a doctor to officially get Clomid because I didn't have my drug dealer sister to give me my Clomid this time.
Jenica: That’s hilarious.
Rachel: Yeah, so I called Jenica. And I was like, “Hey, who's your doctor? Who should I go see? I think I need to get some Clomid, whatever.” So I went in, and Jenica was like, “Okay, go to Dr. Folk.” She kind of gave me the rundown of what I should do.
So I made an appointment. And I think it took like a month to get into him so we kept trying, nothing. So anyway, made an appointment and he just did an ultrasound just to see what was going on. And there were like a bunch of dark circles in my, I think it was my uterus or something.
And he said, “Those dark circles show that like an egg was ever dropped in there.” So he's like, “I can tell from this that you haven't been ovulating for quite a bit of time.”
Jenica: Okay, probably in your ovaries I would imagine.
Rachel: Yeah, okay. Yeah, you know way more about this than I do.
Jenica: I feel like I'm getting refreshed since we’re doing IVF right now. It's easy to forget all this, it’s a lot.
Rachel: So he said, “Okay, I want to put you on this drug called famara. And I was like, “Oh, okay.” Because I was thinking Clomid, but I don't know.
So I tried famara for I think three months. That didn't work. And then we came back in and he's like, “Okay, let's try IUIs.” So I did like a trigger shot. And then I did two IUIs and those didn't work. And I think that was the most devastating part for me.
Because I was thinking like, “I can get pregnant, I've had two. And surely if I'm giving myself a trigger shot and they're doing these ultrasounds to make sure that my follicles are big and ready to go, I’ll for sure get pregnant.
Rachel: And I didn't on either of those. And so I that was just like, “Whoa, okay, there is something wrong. Why isn't this happening?”
Jenica: Yeah. And there was no reason like, it was unexplained right?
Rachel: Yeah. Yeah, just in my head I think I had built up the expectation that that would work and that would be the answer. So when it wasn’t I was like, “Oh no, what else is wrong that this wouldn’t work?”
Jenica: And it was dramatic too. I mean, all that's not easy. I remember being on a trip in Canada with you guys. And was it your base ultrasound that you needed to get done?
Rachel: Oh yeah. Yeah, we had to drive like two hours in Canada to go get our base ultrasound because you have to do it at certain times, or it's not going to work.
Jenica: Right. So I think like you call, typically you'll call on the first day of your cycle. And then that happened to be when we were on a vacation in Canada together. And so we were like rallying like, okay, where is she going to get this done? Our mother-in-law happened to have a cousin that's a doctor, right? That you went to.
Rachel: Yeah. And he got me an order for an ultrasound.
Jenica: Yeah, and they drove and after all that, still nothing.
Rachel: Yeah, nothing. And it's hard because if you miss that one appointment, then you have to just wait the whole month.
Rachel: And at that point I'm like, Jackson's getting older, he's a four, we need to hurry and get this done.
Rachel: So anyway, yeah, those didn't work. And then we were going on another Parcell family trip with lots of parcel family trips. And we were gone for like 14 days.
Rachel: So that would have been my third IUI. And my sister had done IUIs. And she's like, “Honestly, if it doesn't work the first few times, I don't think it's going to work. So just go to IVF.”
So anyway, I called Dr. Folk and I was like, “Okay, I can't do IUI in October, because I'll be gone like literally during the times we’re supposed to be doing it. So I'm just going to take a break this month, and then let's just go to IVF in November.
And he was like, “Okay, great.” He got me on his schedule. We were all ready. He's like, “Okay, the first day of your period, call me, we'll get you in.” I made sure to clear any travel plans for that month so we could just start that whole process. And then I got pregnant.
Jenica: On the trip?
Rachel: On the trip.
Jenica: And this is actually a hilarious side story. I don't know if this is when it actually happened, but I don’t know if you want me to share this, I just think it's so funny.
Jenica: Okay, so me and Tyler were in a hotel room next to them. And we can hear each other. I mean, not very well, but like if you knock on the wall you can hear like the person next door. So we’re like doing the, “Duh, duh, duh, duh, duh.” And the other person would be like, “Duh, duh.” And so I think there was some game or something starting.
So I walked out and I was like, “Oh, we'll just go in their hotel room and watch it with them. And so I knock on their hotel room, and Drew was like, “Um, can you like go away for just a little bit?” You guys, I almost ruined it. I almost ruined their chance of conception.
Rachel: I know, if you would have come in.
Jenica: Yeah. Luckily I walked away.
Rachel: I know.
Jenica: I know my place, I'm like, “Yeah, take your time.”
Rachel: Oh my gosh, it's so funny.
Jenica: It's so funny. So anyway, I mean who knows if that's when it actually happened. But I'm just glad that I didn't interfere.
Rachel: Yes, so funny.
Jenica: It’s so funny. Okay, so how did you find out that you were pregnant?
Rachel: So I was waiting for my period to start because I was waiting to call Dr. Folk.
Rachel: So I was like, anxiously awaiting it. And then I was like, “Okay, I need to get all caught up on Botox before I go in and do IVF.” Because you can't get it while you're pregnant.
Rachel: So I had an appointment scheduled for before I started my IVF. And my injector, she always likes me to take a pregnancy test before I go in just to make sure. So I took a test, just literally only testing so I could go get my Botox. And literally, I peed on the stick and you know how when you're a mom your kids are like in and out of the bathroom?
Jenica: Yeah, it's just chaos all the time basically.
Rachel: Yeah, so Drew in the shower. I had just woke up, my appointment for Botox was that morning. So I took the test. And Bear was in there and he grabbed it from me.
Jenica: Oh my gosh.
Rachel: And when he grabbed it, I thought I saw two lines. And I was like, “Oh my gosh.” And I had to like wrestle him for the stick. And sure enough, two lines.
Jenica: Wow. So you wrestled Bear to grab the stick.
Rachel: Yeah, so I had to wrestle Bear to grab the stick, looked at it, two lines. So I canceled my Botox appointment and all my IVF.
Jenica: Oh my gosh, that’s amazing.
Rachel: And actually, I did forget to say this story.
Rachel: So in July, I think this was my first IUI or the month before I did IUI. I got a new brand of pregnancy test. And I peed on the stick and there were two lines. And I dropped, I was on FaceTime with my mom and my sisters. And Bear was in there. Isla Rose was in there, and Drew is just like right nearby. And I pee on the stick and I see two lines, and I dropped to the floor. I'm like, “Oh my gosh, finally I'm pregnant.”
Rachel: So I send a picture to my mom. And I'm walking out the door to go to church and I get a text from my mom and she says, “You're not pregnant.” And I looked at my phone and I'm like, “Who says that? Like what are you talking about?”
Rachel: I literally just got a positive test, why would she tell me I'm not pregnant? And anyway, she calls me and she's like, “Rachel, you didn't get First Response, you got like Clear Blue or whatever. You need three lines.” I read the test wrong.
Jenica: Oh, that's devastating because two lines was the other one that you'd been using.
Rachel: Yeah. So for like two hours I thought I was pregnant. So I took the test, thought I got the positive test. I showed Drew and even drew was like, “Oh my gosh, I can't believe it, you're pregnant.” And in the shower, I'm like, “Okay, so honey, when would I be due? Do you think it's a boy or a girl? Like full on Drew and I thought I was pregnant for two hours.
And then when I found out that I wasn't, even though I never was, even just thinking I was for two hours it was so devastating to me.
Jenica: That is so sad. I actually remember that because I think you had a dinner at your house that night already scheduled. And I think we had come over and-
Rachel: Oh yeah, we were going to tell everyone that night.
Jenica: Yeah. And you were so sad, I remember that. That is so devastating.
Rachel: I just think whether a woman's trying for a month or three years, it's like this emotional roller coaster.
Jenica: Oh yeah, absolutely. Just up and down.
Jenica: Oh my gosh. Okay. So where does that leave us now? So she has her beautiful three kids. Ford was born a year ago.
Rachel: Yeah, literally.
Jenica: A year ago and three days ago.
Jenica: So where are you at now? Is your family complete? Do you want to try for another baby?
Rachel: So, we want one more.
Rachel: And I mean, yeah, we definitely want one more. And then after that I think we're good.
Rachel: But what's funny is I told Drew, I was like, “Okay, we're going to do IVF and we're going to put a girl in.” And then I got pregnant the month before I was going to do IVF with a boy, naturally.
Jenica: That’s so interesting.
Jenica: That little boy needed to be on this earth. He's so sweet too. Oh my gosh, he's like an angel.
Rachel: He’s like the cutest little thing.
Jenica: Literally, he's the happiest baby I've ever met.
Rachel: I know, he's so cute. So we're going to start trying probably like the beginning of next year.
Rachel: But I'm nervous because I don't know, I'm just like, “What is my body going to do this time?”
Rachel: Because with Isla Rose it worked with Clomid. But then with Ford, it didn't work with Famara, Clomid, or IUIs. But then randomly I just got pregnant on my own.
Rachel: So I'm trying not to be nervous and stressed about it. But I'm just like, “What's going to happen?” And then I have quite a gap between Isla Rose and Bear and Ford. So I want to have this one relatively close so Ford and this baby have each other in school. So I don't know. I'm just curious to see what happens.
But also my older sister went through IVF, and then you went through IVF. So I feel like if I have to do IVF I have my two go-to's so it doesn't seem as scary or daunting. Because I have you guys to ask my all questions. And it worked for you both.
Jenica: Yeah, there is some relief there. I think that's probably one of the hardest things about infertility and just honestly getting pregnant for anyone is that it's so difficult because you literally can't plan. And for someone who is as successful as you when it comes to business, and being an incredible mother that you are, it's hard to literally let go of the control.
Jenica: Because it's like everything else if you work hard and you have your plan, and you're smart, typically you'll be able to build what you want to build. And with this it's like you try your best, and it's like, throw your hands up.
Rachel: Yeah, you have no control over it.
Jenica: Yeah, it's so challenging. So throughout this process, would you say that there was a thought that really helped you to continue to move forward on those days where you were depressed and really just upset about trying to grow your family and it wasn't happening?
Rachel: I mean, I don't know, I think I always went back to like God has a plan for me. And if it doesn't happen, I have two amazing children. But I think it was letting go of the plan that I thought I had for myself and just having faith that it would happen. And if it didn't, it would be okay.
Jenica: Yeah, I love that. I think that's a thought that brings me a lot of peace too, even now. Because I look back on my life and obviously all of us have trials, every single one of us. And I can think of specific instances that I've gone through, or certain trials I've gone through and what I've gained because of those trials and my personality. And in terms of how much strength I have to move forward or help other people with their problems.
And I always like to think as well that He always knows better than I do. And I mean, honestly, if it worked, I'd love to be able to control it all. And if that did work, then I'd be teaching everyone how to do it. But unfortunately, that's just not how life works sometimes.
And so, I love that you shared that thought because it really brings me a lot of peace too in knowing that He always knows better because He created everything.
Rachel: Yeah, exactly. And also, my mom, when I was going through it and I was so mad, there was one month where I was so frustrated. And she was like, “Maybe your baby needs to come at a certain time and this is not the time. Like when he's older, or she, she'll have a certain group of friends she needs or he needs to get him through something. Or he just needs to be here at a certain time. And you're trying to get him here now.” And she's like, “You just have to be patient.”
Jenica: I love that. That's such a comforting thought too. Because honestly, God truly does have, I mean, it's hard for our human brains to wrap our minds around how well he orchestrates everything, but it's so true. I love that thought that, yeah, maybe he needed a certain group of friends in high school. Or maybe he is sent here for a special purpose to help certain people and he can only do it when he was born.
Jenica: I love that thought, that's so comforting. Okay, so another question I wanted to ask you was, you are very successful, I just absolutely love watching you as a mother, you're such a good mother. She always puts her family first. I love watching her in business. I would say one word to describe you really well is resilient. Because I think that you've had a lot of push back.
I think that in any person growing a business from scratch, several businesses, two businesses from scratch, is going to have push back. But I feel like you're really good at bouncing back from that, from those trials and the obstacles that you face. Do you have an answer as to how you got that way?
Rachel: That's a good question. Okay, so I believe in the power of the pivot. So if something's not working, I'm not afraid to like pivot and do something new or different.
And also, I feel like my mom and dad taught my sisters and I that it's okay to fail. I don't know, I would say I've never been afraid to just go for something and try it, even if it doesn't work out. Like before I started my two businesses, I had like five little side businesses that didn't work out. And then finally those two did.
Or like I remember one of my friends saying just last year, they were like, “I wish I would have started an Instagram sooner.” She's such a talented like interior designer. And she's super crafty, she's so talented. And she was like, “I wish I would have shared that sooner, but I feel like I can't do it now.” And I think she was just too afraid to just kind of try and fail. I don't know.
But I don't know, I feel like I don't really think too much about what would happen. I just think I'll try it and if it doesn't work, great move on. I don't really care what other people think or say.
Jenica: I love that about you, I love it so much. I feel like you've been such a good example for me in that. And I love that you don't make failure mean anything about you. Like you don't internalize it, which I think is so helpful.
And I think that a lot of people that are scared of failing so much internalize it. Like, if I fail, that means I'm a failure. Instead of just like, no, I tried something I’m proud of myself that I went out there, and I'm going to pivot. I think that's awesome.
Rachel: Yeah, exactly.
Jenica: I feel like I've really re-framed failure in the last year because I've been trying so many new things. And I'm just like, I mean it is scary, but I love reframing it. And you know what's interesting too? I think you actually shared something on Instagram that she said, it was Sara Blakely, the CEO and founder of Spanx.
And her dad shared, and I think that you shared this on your Instagram, so I saw it. But I think her dad basically at every dinner at night asked her and her brother, what did you fail out this week? And he was so proud of them for failing because it meant they were trying.
And it literally gives me the chills because that's not normal. You know, like everyone, we want to be successful, we want to do well. And I feel like we praise doing that. And I think what we really should be praising is failure, because that means you're pushing yourself and growing and like putting yourself out of your comfort zone. And that's when like all the amazing things are created.
Rachel: Yeah. And if you don't take a risk, you won't have the reward. And not everything you do will work, but you can't be afraid to fail. Like who cares? Just move on. I think a lot of people also think, “What will other people think? What will they say?”
And one thing that my mom told me, she said people are busy with their own lives. They might care for one second, but then they forget about it. And I don't know, you just can't care what other people think.
Jenica: Yeah, I love that. It reminds me of that poem. I can't remember what it's called or any details about it besides the fact that I think it's called like the arena or something like that. It's like basically about the person in the arena- Like who do you want to surround yourself with really? Do you want to surround yourself with the people who are in the sidelines just judging and ridiculing you, and people in the arena?
Because for me, I'm going to choose to care about the people who are in the arena. And that's why I like to surround myself with people like you, for instance, that you're not going to criticize me or ridicule me for trying new things because you're in the arena with me. You know, it's like the people that are not trying and are safely sitting there. I mean, honestly who cares about them, their opinions.
Rachel: Yeah, I think it was Theodore Roosevelt who said that.
Jenica: Yes. Yeah, I love it. It's a good poem. I'll link it in the show notes in case anyone has no idea what I'm talking about. It's a good one. It's a good read.
Rachel: Yeah. I think, yeah, the point of it is, don't let the people who are just sitting down watching you, who cares what they say? It's the people who are trying in the arena, getting up, falling back down, getting up again. Those are the people that you should be worried about their opinion. And usually, they won't say anything because they're right there with you falling down and getting back up again.
Jenica: Exactly. Right. Yeah, we're cheering each other on through the failure.
Jenica: It's amazing. I love it, It's such a good perspective. Okay, so another question I have for you is what would you say are some of the things that you do in your daily routine that really help you to stay in a positive or like productive mindset in your life?
Rachel: So getting up early. So I wake up and I drink a full thing of lemon water. And then I go workout, and then I come home, and then I like dive into my kids. But the days that I'll sleep in, or I won't get up and just get going, I feel like the whole rest of the day I'm just dragging.
Rachel: So I don't know, I love to just like get up and start the day and just kind of just keep going until I have all my stuff done.
Jenica: Yeah, I love that. Okay, So clearly this podcast is called Fearless Infertility. The women who are listening to it typically are experiencing infertility. What would you say to them, if they're in the middle of their infertility experience, maybe even you can frame it looking back at yourself, what would you say to yourself in the beginning of experiencing infertility as words of encouragement? Maybe like what do you wish you would have known that you know now?
Rachel: Well, okay, for me, and like online when I was going through my IUIs, I shared it and people were like, “This is not infertility.” I mean, people were comparing their- I don't know.
Jenica: This is Rachel's life, you guys, she puts herself out there so bravely and boldly. And she has constant criticism, and it just kind of is like just part of the part of the deal. But I love that you continue to move forward through it, but it's so freaking annoying.
Rachel: Yeah, yeah. I like shared, I was like, “Hey, we just did our first IUI.” And people were just like, “There are women that have been trying for five years.” And so I don't even know if I consider, like does it count? Does it? I don't know.
Jenica: I mean, I would say, I don't know. You did IUIs and you tried for over a year.
Jenica: Okay, here's like the official definition of infertility, when you've been trying for a year and you haven't gotten pregnant. That's what the official definition.
Rachel: Okay, great. Okay, so I’ve struggled with it.
Jenica: Yes, she wasn't fertile, you guys. Okay? No, I don't think anyone listening to this podcast is judgy at all. But I love that you brought that up though, because it's not about comparing. Pain is pain, suffering is suffering. I would say that probably one of my biggest pet peeves is when people compare their like suffering. I'm like, Who's winning in this? Why?
Rachel: Yeah. So I distinctly remember, I saw one of my friends from high school at the mall and I had been trying for like seven months to get Isla Rose. And anyway, we were just catching up and I'm a very open person. When I'm struggling, I don't internalize it all and just keep it all in.
Rachel: I'm like an open book and I like to talk to people about it. And I think that it just helps me feel better.
Jenica: I think it's super healthy way to deal with it honestly, because you reach out for the support that you need.
Rachel: Yeah. So anyway, I saw her and we were just catching each other up on our lives. And I was telling her I'd been trying for seven months, and I was really worried about it. And when I was telling her, it was like the first time that I'd like really gotten like super emotional.
Because I feel like I tried to bottle it all up and pretend like I was okay. Even though it was such a letdown every time I saw that negative test. But I was just like, “Nope, it's fine. Brush it off, keep going.” But when I opened up to her and I told her, I started getting emotional. And she rolled her eyes and was like, “You're fine.”
Jenica: Oh my.
Rachel: And I was just like, “Wow, that was so rude.”
Jenica: I’m super glad I opened up about that to you.
Rachel: Yeah, I felt like in that moment, she was like, I don't know.
Jenica: Maybe like invalidating your feelings. That's another thing and it drives me crazy. So Emily and I actually talked about this on our podcast. Emily Jackson is Rachel's sister and I believe it was episode 14 if you want to go and listen to that.
It was such a good episode because she talks about miscarriage and how there's such a stigma on not sharing about it. And she believes, and I believe as well, that we should share about our trials so that we can get the support that we need.
I don't think that God put us on this earth to do it alone. I think he gave us each other and we all have different talents and abilities to help lift each other up. And one thing that I feel like I struggled with a little bit that we talked about on the podcast episode with her was just being okay with just being sad and being okay with having a hard time. And I feel like it's so healthy to just like, let yourself sit in that and be sad for a little while.
Rachel: Yeah, and if someone comes to you and is sad, letting them be sad and sometimes not trying to make it all be better. But just being like, “Yeah, I get it. That's probably really hard but I'll be praying for you.” I don't know, anything. But I don't know, that kind of made me just feel like someone's emotions are their emotions, and just because you think you or someone you know might have it worse than the other person to not just brush them off.
And then when my little sister was trying to get pregnant, she tried for like, four months. And she finally got pregnant on her fourth month. But after her first month she came to me and she was like, “I just feel so let down because I really thought I'd be pregnant.” And then remembering how I felt month after month, I was just like, “Yeah, I know how you feel.” And I didn't try and diminish how she was feeling even though it had just been like a month for her because she was devastated.
Rachel: And then she got pregnant on her fourth month. I'm like, “You're fine.” But I also didn't like diminish how she was feeling because it's a very personal and emotional thing when you come to the realization that you want to have a baby and you want to start this family, and then it doesn't happen. And you don't really know why.
Until I went to see Dr. Folk, I had no idea that I wasn't ovulating. And so you don't know why. And you're wondering like, “What's wrong with me? Why isn't this happening?”
Anyway, all of it is emotional. It's very emotional. But I have found for me, when I talk about it and I have my support system, and I talk to my sisters, and my in-laws, you, my girlfriends, I feel more supported. If I had to do it alone and just internalize all of it and not tell anyone, that would be so, so much harder for me.
Jenica: Yeah, I agree. And this is such a good point too, is just not comparing and being like the safe space for someone to just feel like they can open up and just acknowledge the feelings. Because that's why I just don't get the comparison of situations, because a feeling is a feeling, sadness is sadness.
Jenica: And so I love that, and I think that it's such a healthy thing. And I actually was talking to Emily about this too. I think that you guys have been such a great example for me of feeling your emotions and being sad and processing it. And not trying to shove it aside and be like, “I’m okay, everything's fine.”
I feel like I used to do that, because I thought that feeling sad was bad and feeling happy was good. But instead, I would do things like eat gummy bears when my kids would go to bed and be like, “Oh, I feel good.” And it made me feel great for literally five minutes. And then the feelings were still there and I'm just trying to like shove them aside. So I feel like you guys have been such good examples to me of just like feeling sad and being like it's fine, we're human beings.
And that's another thing, the coaching that I teach as well now is that life is 50:50. And we can see evidence of that everywhere. There's like light and dark. There's happiness and sadness. There's cold and hot. Everything has an opposite. And I think God created that on purpose and so I don't think we're supposed to feel happy all the time.
Rachel: Yeah. Yeah, and so when I was going through my second IUI, you were doing that event with, I can't remember what the organization is called.
Jenica: The Bundled Blessings Infertility?
Rachel: Yes, the Bundled Blessings Infertility event. And I think I had either just found out that my IUI hadn't worked, or I was going through the second one. But my first didn't work so I kind of felt like I was in the thick of this infertility journey. And listening to all those women to share their stories, I just sat and cried through that entire thing.
And it made me not feel as like alone. And honestly, I felt like I was like, “Okay, it's going to be fine. It's going to be okay.” But I love this community of women that you're building. Because I think so many women think like, “I'm broken. There's something wrong with me.”
Jenica: Yeah, 100%.
Rachel: And so many women struggle with this.
Rachel: I think it's amazing that you can go and talk to someone. And even when my first IUI didn't work I called you, I called my sister, and I talked to a few other people. And they were like, “Oh yeah, my first IUI didn't work either.” And then I was like, “Okay. Okay, it's fine.” Where had I not told anyone, I would have been so much more stressed about it.
Jenica: Right. Like, “Oh my gosh, this should have worked and it didn't.”
Jenica: Yeah, just freaking out about it way more. Instead of being like, “Okay, this is normal. I'm normal, there’s nothing wrong with me.”
Rachel: Yeah, I'm not broken. I mean, honestly too I think we forget that we're literally creating a human. And any baby, any pregnancy is a straight up miracle.
Jenica: Yeah, literally.
Rachel: And so yeah, a lot of things have to fall into place for a human to be made inside of you.
Jenica: Yeah, it's unreal.
Rachel: Yeah, I mean, it literally is a miracle.
Rachel: So it's a big thing.
Jenica: Yeah, you're bringing life into the world.
Rachel: Yeah, you're not broken, but it takes a lot to make a human. It’s a lot.
Jenica: Very much so. And also, I love that you bring that up. So if anyone hasn't joined our private Facebook group yet, join. It's called Fertility Family by The Slice Of Sun. And I love that community in there because you can connect with women privately that are also experiencing infertility. So if you want to connect with others, that's a great place to do it. I'll link that in the show notes as well.
Okay, Rachel, I think that that is all that I have. I mean, I could talk with you forever, but I think that that's kind of what we have planned for today. Is there anything else you'd like to say to end? Leave off, or anything else that you'd like to share? Where can where can people find you first of all?
Rachel: So on Instagram, my personal Instagram is Rachparcell. That's where I share all my family life and my fun shopping finds that I find.
Jenica: Yes, so good.
Rachel: And then Rachel Purcell on Instagram, that's my clothing line.
Jenica: It's unbelievable, you guys. Literally whenever I wear your dresses, I get compliments left and right from literally random people. I'll be at Costco and they'll be like, “What does that dress?”
Rachel: Yeah, Jenica is one of my best customers.
Jenica: I really am. I'm so grateful, because if I ever need to look amazing. Rachel has got me covered.
Rachel: Yeah, and you look so good in all the dresses. So yeah, yeah, clothing line, Rachel Purcell.
Jenica: Okay, amazing. All right, and then anything else you want to share before we jump off and go for a swim, go for a ski outside?
Rachel: Go for a ski? No, I think that's it.
Jenica: Okay, great. Well, thank you so much for your time today. And I will link all of Rachel's information in the show notes today so you guys can find her there and we'll see you next time.
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 an awesome show that provides tons of value to you who are experiencing infertility.
Visit thesliceofsun.com/podcast launch 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.