Hi, my name is Elaine, and I’m a fertility wellness coach specializing in IVF care. My journey as an IVF Care Coach started long before going through fertility treatment myself. I remember being nineteen and hearing my favorite professor share how she felt like a failure as a woman because her eggs were bad. At that time I couldn’t comprehend how her identity and value were tied to fertility.
At thirty-eight, I came to understand for myself how she felt. I found myself in a relationship with a man who was twenty-eight. With ten years between us, we struggled to figure out options to ensure we could have a family in the future. When that relationship ended, my unwavering desire to build a family led to a late night search on google. That search steered me to the option of freezing my eggs.
Although most fertility clinic websites and media seem to glamorize egg freezing and IVF, I found that going through the process was surprisingly stressful and anxiety ridden. However, as I found myself facing different challenges, my 20 year history and knowledge as a teacher and movement instructor became beneficial. To help me through these challenges, I created simple tools that I gleaned from my background in yoga, dance, tai chi, qigong, stress management, and public education.
During that time, I distinctly remember sitting in the clinic waiting room talking to a mother who was waiting for her daughter. She was going through her second round of egg freezing because her first attempt was unsuccessful. Her mom shared with me how alone and ashamed her daughter felt still being single and watching her younger sister and friends having kids. Additionally, she felt a deep pressure taking on an enormous financial burden as she had decided to spend her downpayment on her future house in exchange for just a possibility of having children in the near future. It was at that moment when I realized how much help and support we all need to be able to cope with the unique stress that comes with fertility treatment. Even current research has shown that the stress levels of women with infertility are equivalent to women with cancer.
In 2015, a year after I had frozen my eggs, as I was picking up one of my friends from her own egg freezing (with the same doctor), Dr. Diaz and I struck up a conversation. We both recognized the necessity for patients to have support in managing the emotional, mental, and physical stress and obstacles of infertility and treatment. At that point, a partnership was born which has forever changed my life.
As a fertility wellness coach, I’ve had the unique journey of working alongside a medical team and patients, all the while being a patient myself. In fact, when the day came that I finally sought IVF, I remember feeling dizzy as I jumped back and forth between the operating room (coaching women through their procedures), ran back to the clinic room with my husband to do an ultrasound, and then sat down with the doctor to refine our clinic’s wellness program. Although I felt like a hot mess that first day, it gave me incredible insight into the intricacies and layers of what we call fertility treatment.
Like many others, my journey to parenthood was a long and challenging one. There were failures, loss, and then the eventual miracle of my twin girls at age 45. I truly believe it took a village to create my daughters, and it’s been my honor to be a part of that village for so many other families.
Throughout treatment, my medical team would often joke “Who’s going to hold your hand?” “I’ll hold it,” I’d answer. But truth be told, that reassuring hand that lifted me time and time again were the mind/body practices I’ve been so blessed to have had passed down to me. They helped me find calm, resilience, compassion, gratitude, and faith in the midst of uncertainty. Most importantly, I’ve been so privileged to be able to share these tools to help hundreds of other women through their journeys, and I am so excited to be your partner and help make your journey more peaceful and resilient!
I look forward to holding your hand in this crazy rollercoaster of a ride.