When did you know you first wanted to be a mother?
Andrea: I have to admit, I didn’t know it until I got married just over 10 years ago. My husband’s a teacher and he’s so good with kids and I started to get excited imagining building a family with him. Wanting to be a mom really solidified for me after my sister had my niece, who is now 4.5 years old and who I’m very close with, and after years of trying to become one. We started ‘trying’ a few years into our marriage…
Which aspects of infertility do you believe were the most challenging for you, personally? What were the most challenging parts for your husband?
Andrea: Much of my career is documented through my books and TV appearances. I found it challenging to write about parenting and family and to do these appearances while running back and forth to my doctor and hiding the fact that I wanted to be in this club. It has also been challenging to know that almost everyone I know who wanted to become a mom found their way in these 7 years that I’ve tried. I’m still hopeful, but that’s been tough to wrap my head around! I can’t speak for him; but I know he’s always wanted to be a dad and feels sad it hasn’t happened yet.
What are some of your favorite resources for coping emotionally while trying to conceive? Do you have any tips or resources you could share?
Andrea: I’ve gone through so many chapters of trying to conceive and each ‘season’ has allowed me to access different resources, approaches and people. My most recent way to cope was launching pregnantish I’m the Editor-in-Chief and in touch with our amazing contributors and fantastic editor every week. I get to hear and work on so many inspiring stories and meet incredible people. This has helped me feel less alone in this experience, for sure. Also, we have a section called ‘Motivation’ with great exercises, which I try to practice.
Did you have any “fertility mentors” on your journey – individuals or couples whom you believe helped you in the earlier phases of your fertility treatments?
Andrea: Originally, I worked with a woman named Jennifer who used to be a fertility nurse and is now a coach. She found me through an old TV show I hosted for the Oprah Network in Canada. When she reached out to me to say she was a ‘fan’ and tell me her job, I felt like we were meant to meet and work together! We helped each other through some tough chapters and she was very helpful when I started IVF years ago because I didn’t know how to interpret the information from the doctor and how to process the complex feelings.
Congratulations on your site, pregnantish. When did you decide to launch this important project? How has it affected your own journey?
Andrea: Thank you! Funny thing – it’s pregnantish with a small p (because, you know, not yet pregnant 🙂 This was originally a book proposal that I gave to my agent about 5 years ago. Soon after, I lost a pregnancy and told her I couldn’t write it. Every time I thought I’d write ‘Pregnantish’, the book, I’d have a setback. In 2016, I started to think it was more than a book – it was a site, a destination and I hope a movement to break the taboo of infertility. My biggest goal is to pamper the readers, who I know have felt as alone and confused as I’ve felt. I also want to make it clear that pregnantish isn’t just for heterosexual couples! We feature singles and LGBTQ because these are also people accessing fertility treatments and/or navigating infertility.
Through pregnantish, i’ve learned more about my options and that there are so many paths to parenthood. My partner and I learned I probably can’t carry, but that took years to know! So, I appreciate all the surrogacy articles on the site and people who have shared their unexpected paths…”
Anything else you want to add?
Andrea: When I started pregnantish people would ask if I’ve moved on from the ‘relationship thing’ (because I’ve written books and hosted shows about relationships for years). In fact, pregnantish is a relationship site. I often say that infertility affects relationships in the deepest way: the relationship one has to his or her body, community, friends, family, workplace and more. I hope I can take my background in this area and elevate this conversation.