Ep 116: The Journey of Expanding LGBTQ+ Families with Carey Cook
Fertility Forward Episode 116:
Today, we are excited to welcome Carey Cook to the Fertility Forward podcast. Carey is a holistic fertility coach for LGBTQ+ families who are spiraling into the anxious abyss of expanding their families. With an MA in Counseling Psychology, Carey helps people gain tools to navigate tough decisions, manage big feelings, and avoid common pitfalls. Having gone through her own fertility journey, she became more aware of the unique challenges faced by LGBTQ+ families when growing their families, ultimately inspiring her individual-based coaching program. In our conversation with Carey, we hear about her personal fertility journey and how she and her wife navigated both the clinic and private embryo donation route, the difference between embryo adoption and donation, and her thoughts on the rollercoaster (of emotions, grief, and trauma) that the fertility journey is. Tune in now, to hear about her work as a somatic therapist, and so much more.
Rena: Hi everyone. We are Rena and Dara and welcome to Fertility Forward. We are part of the wellness team at RMA of New York, a fertility clinic affiliated with Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Our Fertility Forward Podcast brings together advice from medical professionals, mental health specialists, wellness experts, and patients because knowledge is power and you are your own best advocate.
Rena: I am so excited to welcome Carey Cook today to the Fertility Forward podcast. Carey Cook is a holistic fertility coach for LGBTQ families who are spiraling into the anxious abyss of expanding their families. Carey helps folks gain more tools to navigate tough decisions, manage big feelings, and avoid the common pitfalls. During her own fertility journey, she became even more aware of the unique challenges families faced when growing their families, which inspired her individual coaching program, LGBTQ Expanding families. Carey has her MA in counseling and has over 13 years of experience as a trauma and attachment therapist, which informs and enriches her coaching practice. Carey just launched a free mini-course for people who are wanting to remove emotional blocks on their fertility journey so they can feel more confident and grounded while growing their families. Thank you so much for coming on today, Carey. I am so excited to have you and to hear about your journey and how it led you to where you are today.
Carey: Yay. Thanks for having me, Rena. I'm so excited to be here.
Rena: So tell us, yeah, I mean, tell us sort of your story and and how you got to where you are professionally. Let’s dive right in.
Carey: Okay. How long do we have? I'm just kidding. Yeah, so I guess trying to, it, you know, it is quite a journey as most or a lot of fertility journeys are. Obviously as a, in a same sex relationship. We started off at a fertility clinic right away. So we did not do, you can do at home insemination. We did not go that route. I was a little older. We knew from the beginning that I was gonna carry, my wife and I, we knew that I was gonna carry, so that was not a hurdle that we had to, that wasn't something we had to figure out. That's a lot of people's story. And we started with IUI at a local clinic with donated sperm and we started that and took about, we did about seven rounds of that, just standard. My understanding at that time was that it just can sometimes take that long and we did switch sperm at one point. We stayed with the same clinic at that point, switched up sperm. I was doing all the things, you know, the supplements in the acupuncture and the, you know, trying all the things and it just didn't, it just didn't work at that point. And so from there, and just stop me if you have any questions. From, at that point we went on because I didn't have insurance that covered fertility treatments, we were doing it all out of pocket. So that was definitely something to factor in. We didn't think we were gonna get to do IVF and then my mother actually gifted us one try. We were gonna try one round of IVF. Go, Mom! Yeah, so good. So nice. And so, because it, we were just, once we learned about the process, it was gonna be easy enough to try reciprocal IVF or CO-IVF, I think I've heard you on your podcast, call it CO-IVF. So we tried to get my wife's eggs and that did not, it didn't work. We didn't even get to the point of putting the eggs in and we just did it. We got like seven and then by the time it kind of came to that five days or whatever, there wasn't anything left or there was one that they said, this really, we don't even really call this viable technically we could put it in. So at that point, that was a big game changer. And this was over the course of probably about a year, two, so you know, to say it in one sentence, but it was, you know, it was about a year at that point. And we went, at that point, basically we had said that that was gonna be it. And, but of course, like a lot of fertility journeys, we were like that, that's not it. That can't be it. And it was really what put me in touch with a lot of my own wanting of a baby at that point. And my wife started to look at egg donation and we just started to look at other options cause I was 38 or, maybe I was 37 when we started. 38 I think by the, at this point. Maybe she was 39, almost 40. And so we knew we were getting older. And so we looked at just taking timelines and money into fact, you know, we, we looked at egg donation and it was through the process of looking at egg donation that we learned about embryo donation. We had never heard of that. They might have shared that with us, but we had never really heard of it. And basically we got onto this website on, or this, this place on Facebook where they were just talking about it and people, I guess were donating embryos at that point. And that was where we learned a lot about it. And we thought, well, let's just ask some questions and let's just kind of see what it's about. So we put ourselves out there and asked, you know, just kind of asked some questions, really not even sure if that was what we wanted. We knew so little about it, and it was so different than what we had originally planned. And we had a few people reach out and it, it wasn't feeling like they, they had a, you know, cause a lot of people who do embryo donation, they have like, they really want you to live in a certain area. They want, you know, their, the families to be very involved with one another. And it was just, it was just very different than what we, than what we had envisioned. And so somewhere along that journey, a, a gay male couple reached out to us and just started kind of talking and it, it felt more right. It felt right. It felt aligned that they were in another country. They had conceived in this country, but they were in another country. I think that actually made it feel a little safer. And we basically received their embryos. It's, it's illegal to pay money, so it's not that they can, like, they don't sell us their embryos, you can't do that. It's, it's considered a transfer of property, which is kind of weird. But they had their embryos at a, at a storage facility here in the United States. And we, you know, through a series of, you know, interactions basically decided that we were going to take those embryos. Oh, did you have a question?
Rena: Oh, I was just gonna say, I guess for our listeners, maybe can you sort of define embryo donation and is there a difference between embryo donation and embryo adoption?
Carey: Yeah. that's a good, that's a good question. It's interesting because at that point, I think the Facebook group was called ‘Embryo Donation’, but a lot of people were referring it to embryo adoption. And I was kind of wrapping my brain around that because as a therapist, I worked with adopted kids for a long time and I was like, hmm, is this the same thing? Well, this is interesting. And I kind you know, so I had to really grapple with the psychological implications of it, the regulation of it, what it was all about. And it seems like, from what I can tell, I mean, this one layman's person, exper, you know, experience from what I can tell, the movement has sort of moved towards embryo donation versus embryo adoption. So that there is a distinction because it's not necessarily the same as adoption. These kids don't have, there's not an attachment wound. It's like they were never unwanted. It's that they came from a couple whose family happened to get excess embryos. Their doctor just chose the one that they were gonna get. And there was, there were these other embryos. It's not like they were not wanted. And so it's more so that that family's family is finished and complete and they wanna give these other embryos a chance at life.
Rena: Okay. And and you're saying, you know, sort of, is it, the couple chooses you, so it's a match between both parties and is this then an open relationship where they have, you know, sort of a right or, or not to the, the child or…???
Carey: Yeah, there's so many ways to do it. And the, and the really unique thing, and I don't think that this will last very long and it's semi, it's semi uncontroversial. It's pretty unregulated, and they're, and I am not necessarily for unregulated embryo donation. I think that there probably, you know, should be regulations, what that looks like. I'm not sure. And I'm glad I don't have to make those decisions. Our, there's a lot of different ways. A lot of people go through clinics. There's actually, like, places that will give embryos and it's similar to sperm donation where you can know that family when the child turns 18. There's also anonymous embryo donation, I think. But that's becoming less and less. I think more and more people are starting to figure out that it's, it's the anonymous isn't really working for the conceived children. And so this one, because private embryo donation is still a, is still a thing, this literally was just one couple. They had embryos and there was a legal exchange where they, and they did have some criteria basically, you know, you can, couples, they can, people can choose criteria. Like one criteria that, you know, that we've heard of along the way is that people will actually want you to visit once a year. We didn't really feel comfortable with that as a, as a family, but our criteria was mostly that if we had embryos leftover after we would, we were finished, they wanted them donated to another gay couple. That was just a part of what their wishes were as a gay couple. They wanted to give gay couples an opportunity, not that we, you know, anybody's against straight couples definitely struggle with fertility as well. But they wanted that and they wanted to have yearly updates. They just kinda wanted to know what was happening and they have contact at any point. We felt comfortable, but they really put that in our hands, which we appreciated.
Rena: Okay, so it sounds like it's really a negotiation between both parties about sort of the provisions of the exchange.
Carey: It can be, it's, it can be, unless you go through a clinic, then it gets a lot more, like our clinic was actually on a six month waiting list, which is one of the reasons why we even considered looking around privately.
Rena: Got it. And then, you know, for so many couples obviously, and just for yourselves as well, you know, cost is such a barrier to care, unfortunately.
Rena: So if you go this route with the embryo donation, is that significantly cheaper than doing donor?
Carey: Significantly cheaper. And that was an interesting thing to find out because nobody, I think nobody as far as, I don't remember anyone really talking about that early on in our experience. And I think people assume that you're gonna want to have that genetic connection with your child. And I guess everyone probably does when they start off. Why? I mean, why wouldn't they? Right? In a lot of ways. But it was interesting how it was crazy cheaper once we did it this way. We, we a little bit for the legal stuff. And then from there it's really just putting in the embryo. And so that is, you're, you're skipping the retrieval part, which is the most expensive part of IVF and you're just putting in the embryo. So we're talking like a, a couple of thousand versus or a few thousand versus, you know, $15, $18, $20,000.
Rena: Yeah. And that's huge, which can make such a difference to people and be the differential between, you know, being able to move forward with trying to conceive and not
Carey: Absolutely. Absolutely. And it, and, and by that point, you know, we had gone through such a journey. It, it was, you know, we had to wrap our brain a little bit around the differences and that it was not gonna be genetically connected to either of us. But it wasn't as difficult of a process than I had maybe, than if you had asked me five years ago if I thought that would be hard. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. It was, it somehow just all felt very right and very okay. And the nice thing, the other thing about I about embryo donation that's interesting is when you're getting them from a couple, let's say a regular, you know, a straight couple that they're growing their family through IVF. They aren't gonna necessarily go through the testing because they are just having their baby, right? So a lot of these embryos are not tested at all. And that's where I think the regulation question gets interesting. Because our embryos came from a gay male couple who used surrogacy, they had to do the, both the maternal donor and the sperm donor, had to do a lot of testing. So we felt really good about that. They, they had, they had all the FDA testing for their embryos, so we felt really good about what we were receiving.
Rena: I guess I, you know, I would imagine the, the nuance may be your clinic, right? And certain clinics, you know, they will, they can say yes, they have the right to say yes or no to accepting embryos from outside. So you'd wanna make sure you, you work with reputable so that your clinic then accepts the transfer
Carey: And ask that question because you're absolutely right. Our clinic, in fact, in fact our clinic, we were the very first outside embryo ever used. Now they have a pro, they have a whole protocol and they use outside embryos within their clinic, but they didn't. We had just, yeah, yeah. We had worked with them so long.
Rena: Wow. That that's super cool.
Carey: It was super cool and it was really cool that they considered it because they basically were like, we don't do that. We have our own embryo donation program here. And we just said, look, we found these, we work, we've worked with you. We've been trying this for, at this point, at that point, it had been almost a year and a half by the time…I know it was a year and a half when I actually conceived. I can't remember where we were in that timeline, but yeah, so we just were like, you know, we really hope you consider this. And they did.
Rena: Wow. Good for you. For, you know, advocating for yourself.
Carey: Yeah. I mean you have to, you really have to. I mean, I tell my clients all the time, I mean that's one of the reasons, you know, obviously this whole journey did inspire my coaching program. And I think that, you know, for anyone, you know, straight, gay, whatever on a fertility journey, who has to go into the, you know, the clinics and the reproductive care, it could be super overwhelming and there is a lot of self-advocacy needed. It can be just a hodgepodge of, and for gay people, you know, often they're starting there at the very beginning and they've, they're just trying to, you know, just trying to start their family and they don't know what a lot of this stuff means. And it can be so overwhelming.
Rena: Absolutely. I love that you touched upon advocacy. You know, that's something that we talk a lot about on the podcast. It, it's so important and, you know, it can feel so daunting and overwhelming, but advocating for yourself asking questions is super important. I love that you use that in your work. And I wanna dive more into your work and, and what you do, but first let's maybe finish up your journey so we can know what happened.
Carey: Absolutely. Yeah. So from there it was, things started to just flow a little easier at that point, which was really cool. We got the embryos, it was so exciting. It was right around the holidays and we had our first try and we put an embryo in and, you know, that embryo did not take. It was interesting though. We didn't even, I just remember somehow feeling like, well, the next one, like, it just somehow it, I knew that everything was gonna be okay at that point. Or I had at least a little, and maybe it was because we had several embryos stocked away. But, and then the next time we, we got a little bold and we put two in, our embryo was one of the embryos wasn't. So this our, the, the clinic that froze and did these embryos that we received, they were frozen in pairs, which I don't know, I hear that most clinics aren't doing that these days, which is smart. It's like, don't freeze embryos in pairs. Don't do that. Freeze them single, singletons! And so, cause we've never had a choice, we always have to thaw out two at a time. So it gets really interesting. But that time we put in two and thankfully we would've rolled with whatever. One took and that, that is now our two year old little boy that we have.
Rena: So, oh my gosh, what a journey.
Carey: Yeah. Yeah. It really, it really, every time I share this story, I just am like, you know, it seemed, you know, when I, it gets more and more succinct as I talk about it and share with friends and people, but it was so long and so up and down and the mini-course I just launched was about jumping off that roller coaster because we're on it, you know, we're on this just, you get excited, you're about to do something, you're about to take a try. You're taking your medicine and then it's gonna happen. Oh and then there's the waiting and it's nervous and you don't know, and then it didn't work. And then you're gonna, but you're gonna try again and it's gonna keep going. And it's just this like up and down and
Rena: Oh my God, hearing you say it like that. I'm thinking in my mind like this, why has no one done a monologue about that? But that's exactly, I mean, what it is and how you're saying it, you know, kind of with the inflection in your voice. That's, you know, absolutely what it is.
Carey: That’s genius, Rena. The fertility monologues!
Rena: Yes. That's, oh my God, that needs to be pitched. That we're gonna side project side
Carey: Side project
Rena: I, that sounds, I mean, yeah, it's up and the down and the taking back and the this and that. It's just so much. It's much. And I think I wanna go back too, to touch upon you know, you brought up that for you, the, it it was not sort of the wrapping your mind around, okay, it's not gonna be my biology, you know, I have to sort of let go of that, but you did, which so many people, you know, that is something that's, that's very difficult. But you did sort of touch upon, you know, your journey didn't happen how you planned. Right. And so you then you had to pivot and you, I always say, you know, you have to swim with the current. So, so much about this journey, you know, I think whether it's either, you know, you have to use a donor and you didn't anticipate that, or maybe you end up using embryo donation and that wasn't something that ever crossed your mind so much is about reframing and reevaluating this picture you had in your mind of how you're going to get to where you wanna be. I think that that's, I mean, I'm sure with you as well, it's something I work on all the time with clients because that there's so much loss there and there's so much anxiety and uncertainty and feeling out of control. And so helping people mourn those losses cause they are. And it's super important to recognize those and mourn them.
Carey: Absolutely. And that, that is the interesting piece with the grief and the loss. I think when people are talking about, oh, did you freeze, oh no, your, when you're talking about fertility loss, I think people think miscarriage and absolutely that is, you know, I've three of those under, under my belt and that is definitely a part of pregnancy loss. But therefore for once you get into a fertility clinic as a gay person trying to, you know, have a baby, there can be losses just in the, I didn't get to have my baby in the way that I was raised thinking babies came. I did, you know, there's loss around having to us having to use a donor, maybe not getting the donor you thought wanting to do reciprocal and then realizing it's 20 grand, oh nevermind, that's not gonna happen. You know, like all these, there can be so many different forms of loss along the way I think that are Yes. So real. So real.
Rena: Yeah. And does that for you come up in your work as a trauma therapist? You talk about sort of the small T and big T trauma with people?
Carey: Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, that was one of the, when I started to be kind of, when I saw the lack of support for LGBTQ on a fertility journey, and I started to seriously realize that I needed to open up something as a part of my practice, I ended up really using the coaching modality so I could go across state lines really truthfully, so I could see people and reach more of an audience. That was a huge part of that journey, was realizing that as a trauma therapist, as a gre, you know, I've specialzed in grief, trauma, attachment, these are all, these are all the fertility journey. I mean,
Rena: You’re speaking my language here.
Carey: It's everything. Yes. And so I just realized that I had, I had something there and I've worked with it in my practice of course as well. And that, you know, it just, it all just came together and I was like, wow, I need to put something more intentional together. Have a program that is made for people on this journey who are overwhelmed and wanting support and connection.
Rena: Yeah. I love that.
Carey: A group. A group. My group is my next step and that's hopefully gonna be coming out by the end of this year, next year at the latest. But really getting a group together for people and families who are on this journey.
Rena: Oh, I love, like a support group?
Carey: Yeah. Gay. Yeah. Gay, yeah. Program, probably a coaching program for gay families that are on this journey to and want to, to, to do this whole thing together and just have support and learn from each other.
Rena: Oh, I love that. I mean, what a fantastic resource.
Carey: Absolutely. Yeah.
Rena: And I, I think too, you know, a lot of times, you know, people come to me and, you know, you touched upon, it's the, the therapeutic modalities that you often work with with clients, right? So grief, you know, attachment, you know, trauma. And I wish that sometimes I say to people, you know, if, if, you know, I just have a high caseload or whatever, you know, well do you, you you have a regular therapist, you see, right. Okay, well your therapist should be versed in those things, right? Grief, trauma, attachment. Maybe they don't, you know, specialize in all of them, but they should have a general understanding. And so this is absolutely work you can do with them. And I think there's just such a lack of sort of the general public understanding of this. And so sometimes therapists who may not specifically specialize in this, they don't understand what a client's going through. But it is, it's that right? It's just, it's absolutely grief and connection and trauma and, you know, I just wish that society had a better understanding of those things that, you know, couples or individuals, fertility patients are going through.
Carey: Yes, yes. I've been really enjoying listening to your, all your couples’ therapists that you're getting on your podcast recently. It's yeah, it, it, I do. I think that we're getting there. I think we're getting better. People are talking about miscarriage more, they're talking about pregnancy more, postpartum or they are, you know, I think that people are, infertility awareness month, you know, like it's, it, as it gets out there, I think people are realizing that you can lean on your therapist community, your coach community more and more to gain, you know, all the different modalities. Because even a CBT therapist, someone that works with thoughts, you know, our thinking that we have during this rollercoaster, you know, I mean even going into it as a, you know, as a gay person, you know, I'm thinking, you know, do I deserve to have a baby this way? Am I gonna be able to have a baby this way? You know, the fears around what it's gonna be like to have a family that's different than maybe the masses, you know, our thoughts matter. And so those, you know, those the thought therapists, which is a, a little bit different than what I do clinically, but I do a lot of that in my coaching practice, working with people's mindsets and their thinking because that can really make a difference about how our bodies feel physically.
Rena: Yes, absolutely. Yeah. Total mindset shift, paradigm of…
Carey: Oh, yep. I'm a somatic therapist by trade, so that means I work with how trauma and grief manifest in the body. And I mean that…
Rena: Yeah. Tell our listeners some ways that that can manifest physically. I'd love for people to hear that.
Carey: Oh, absolutely. I mean, I think that it can just, the fear alone can manifest. I mean the whole, when we're get on this, you know, as, so I'm just gonna speak as, as a gay person starting out, I did, you know, you know, we're using medicine, we're using estrogen, we're using, you know, and all these things make our body feel physically different. When we're feeling scared, when we're feeling grief about how this is different than we had thought, when we're feeling disconnected from our partner, that is gonna manifest as anxiety, tightness, tension. It can lead to, and it can lead to injury, it can lead to, and it can also just lead to a not feeling good. You know? That's, that's the clinical term - not feeling good. And it's, and so this is really important to stay in touch with the body and its needs. Stay in touch with the self-care. My minicourse a lot about this. What you can actually tangibly do. It's more than just taking a deep breath, you know? But there's a lot of just how can we stay in our bodies and stay connected so that we can be in this process and be present? Doesn't mean you're always gonna feel great. Sometimes you're gonna feel like crap, but if you can stay present with it, it's gonna go a lot smoother and you're gonna feel more connected with the whole reason you're going through the things that you're doing.
Rena: Yes. I love everything that you just said. And I often, you know, touch upon suffering is impermanent. Right? And we have to be realistic going through this. It's stressful. Yes. We can't take that away, but we can work on our mindset. We can stay present. You know, I dunno if you're into Eckhart Toll, you know all about being present.
Carey: Oh yeah. I love him. Yes.
Rena: Yeah, stay present. You know, I love when people are really sort of spiraling. I say, just put your feet on the ground. Put your feet on the ground and sit there and focus on your two feet touching the ground and just be present. You know, focus on your five senses, what you can see, taste, feel, you know, focus on your feet. You are here, you are here now.
Carey: Yep. Orient to where you are. Look around. I'm a big, I'm a big in the brain, so I'm a total brain geek. Look around, orient to where you are. You know, that, that tells your body that you can be there. You know, it reminds you that there's no real danger.
Rena: Fight, flight, freeze. Stay present.
Carey: Absolutely. Absolutely. And it's so, it's so important. I think that that's another real risk of, you know, being in, on a fertility journey where you're, you know, going to clinics, is you're focusing on all this outside stuff. You know, what are the protocols? What medicine, when do I take it? How many shots? When are the shots? What's the timing? And then you might be thinking about supplements, diet, exercise. And those are all great. They have their place. Absolutely. But we have to think about our mental state and, and, and our body state in regards to relaxation and being present. That is going to keep us connected with ourselves and our partners. I think it's real easy to get disconnected. As an LGBTQ on a fertility journey, I think it's real easy to get disconnected from our partners. That's another thing about my coaching program is everybody gets to come in the whole crew. Not just one person, not just the caring parent, but the whole family. I, I think that everybody's a part of that fertility journey.
Rena: Oh Yeah. They should. Totally. I think it's super important and, you know, can feel very isolating for the partner who's not using their body in the process and create total disconnect in the, in the couple dynamic.
Carey: Yeah. Yeah. Definitely.
Rena: Oh, well I could talk to you all day, Carey. I, I feel like I wanna take your course just because I feel like I'd be sitting…I mean I love, you know, we talk a a lot about on the podcast, so many of the guests that come on, you know, one of our favorite things is meeting other, you know, it's usually women who got into this line of work or whatever they're doing because of their own journey. Both Dara, my co-host and I, same thing, got into this cause of our own fertility journeys. Now we have you on - same thing. And it's so powerful, you know, like you can be a victim or a warrior and I always say kind of first I was a victim and then I picked myself up and you know, it sounds like you turned your, your journey, you took what you didn't like and now you are creating something amazing that's gonna help so many people so that they don't have to go through what you went through. And you are using your previous professional expertise to, to really shape this for others, which I think is so, so beautiful and really inspiring.
Carey: Yeah. Thank you. I, I really, and I think what you were doing on the podcast is just amazing too, cuz I think this allows more and more, I was late to the love of podcasts, but it seems like more and more I just send people, there's gotta be a podcast on that if somebody has questions about something and, you know, we're going to podcasts for information and support. And so hearing these fertility stories and the all the different kinds of professionals that you, that you bring on is so helpful. It was, it's, he, it was been helpful for me and helpful for my clients and it's just so great.
Rena: Oh, well thank you for saying that. I just, yeah. It's why, you know, I started it. I just wanted to be a reputable source of information for people.
Carey: Absolutely. In fact, I ordered after my first, I think I listened to that episode. I either listened to it or was reminded of it after my first or second miscarriage and I ordered my own little Jizo, remember?
Rena: You did? I’m Such a fan Girl of Angela.
Carey: Yeah. I ordered my own little jisu for grief and loss and, you know, I was surprised at how easy it was. I just carried it around with me, just like she said,
Rena: Oh, I love, so anyone that's listening, so Carey’s referencing one of the episodes with Angela Ellison. You can, you know, look up on our, our previous episodes. She wrote this amazing piece for the New York Times. Oh gosh. I don't, I cannot quite remember the name of the article, but Jizo is this Japanese God, right?
Carey: Yeah. I think it's like, it's the God that helps the, the souls that weren't able to become babies cross into heaven, I think, or cross into the afterlife or something like that.
Rena: Yes. As we talk, I'm gonna Google it.
Carey: I didn't even read the article. I just saw the podcast and wanted, oh, I think it really speaks to what people want. Like we're looking for something tangible.
Rena: Oh my gosh. Yeah!
Carey: That’s one of the monologues.
Rena: Yes. It's called the Japanese Art of Grieving and Miscarriage. Yes. It's in the New York Times by Angela Elson. She was on the podcast. So you can find the episode in our backlog. Or if you just find the New York Times article to reference what Carey’s talking about. And Yeah. I love, it's, it's a tangible practice for grief, you know, and you can even take that if you haven't had a miscarriage, but maybe you're just grieving, you know, having to do an IUI or having to enter, you know, a fertility journey. It's a great tangible thing to mourn a loss and acknowledge it.
Carey: It's, it is. Yeah. I love that.
Rena: So Angela, I hope you're listening, but yeah.
Carey: Hi Angela!
Rena: Very poignant. So tell us, tell our listeners how they can find you.
Carey: Sure. So you can find me on my website is embodiedpride.com. I don't know if you can have that in show notes. I'm not gonna spell it and then on Instagram as well. So it's embodied.pride.
Rena: Okay. Yeah. Everything will be in show notes and I so encourage our listeners to look you up, search you out, search out your course, coaching, everything you're, you're putting out there cause I think it is fantastic and I'm so happy that you reached out and came on. This has been such a pleasure.
Carey: Yeah, thank you so much for having me.
Rena: So the way we like to end our episodes is with sharing a gratitude so we end on a note of positivity. So something that you're grateful for at this present moment.
Carey: You know, I think what I'm feeling so grateful for right now is the, the web of support that gets to happen. Like just this one that we just said with like you mentioned an, you mentioned Angela, talked about her, and then I get to share her with my client. Somebody hears this and they're sharing it with someone and it's like this web of support that just keeps giving this domino effect. And we don't, it's one of the lovely gratitudes of, like, technology and advances in connection. Like I, you know, we're far, far away. We're all far, far away and we get to keep giving and supporting. And so even though life is hard and the fertility journey is hard, and you know, being gay and feeling isolated on a fertility journey, it's hard and we get to feel more and more connected and just get these bundle of resources through things like these podcasts, my coaching program. I'm just feeling really grateful for that.
Rena: I love that. Beautiful. I would say, yeah, I think I'm just super grateful for people that are just really good and going out there and taking something they went through and trying to create good in the world. You know, I sort of fall back on sometimes hurt people, hurt people, and I try and remember that and I feel really grateful that I've done and continue to do a lot of work on myself to try and just, you know, be a really good person and try and give back and make a difference. And, you know, I really believe in the sort of innate good in people and so just really grateful for that. And, you know, being in a healthcare profession, mental health, you know, just other people that went into a field because they just wanted to help people. And I'm always reminding myself of that, you know, if I'm working with someone who they're having a really bad day and maybe taking it out on me, just having empathy for that because obviously that's not about me. That's about their journey. And, and I was there once and I'm sure I'll be there again because life is filled with ups and downs and so it's always important to sort of remember that.
Carey: Absolutely. I love that.
Rena: Well, thank you so much, Carey. This has been such a pleasure and we're so excited to share you as a resource with everyone. Thank you so much for coming on, sharing your journey and your story and then what you have built from it.
Carey: Thank you for having me, Rena. I really appreciate it.
Dara: Thank you so much for listening today and always remember: practice gratitude, give a little love to someone else and yourself, and remember - you are not alone. Find us on Instagram @fertility_forward and if you're looking for more support, visit us at www.rmany.com and tune in next week for more Fertility Forward.