Posted on July 1st, 2022by RMANY

Ep: 92 The Ups and Downs of IVF with Same-Sex Couple Rokia and Tina

Fertility Forward 92:

Everyone’s IVF journey is different. Here with us today to discuss the ups and downs of their experience are Rokia and Tina. We discuss why they chose RMA to assist them in creating a family and why they felt it was important that they both felt they were a part of the process. Next, we look at the research that goes into IVF planning and why it can only help you to a certain extent before discussing the dangers of ‘Dr. Google.’ We talk about the most difficult part of the process for them so far, the genetic testing their one viable embryo had to have, the hormones that affected their relationship, and how they have been each other’s support system and are closer as a result. Finally, we discuss the importance of selecting a doctor that is right for you, especially in the virtual world we live in today and we take a look at Rokia and Tina’s future as parents. Tune into Fertility Forward to hear more!

Transcript of podcast episode

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 for medical professionals, mental health specialists, wellness experts, and patients, because knowledge is power and you are your own best advocate.
Rena: So we are super psyched to welcome to fertility for today, Rokia and Tina who are officially discharged patients of RMA coming on to share their story and their journey with us. So thank you so much for coming on.
Tina: Yes! Thank you for having us. We’re very excited to be here.
Dara: We’re very excited to have you.
Rokia: Thank you so much.
Rena: So tell us, tell us about your journey, how you came to RMA, everything - where you started?
Rokia: Oh my goodness. Where did we start?
Tina: We started because a friend was actually going to RMA for fertility purposes and recommended we try them out, but we sought out our doctor ourselves. We found Dr. Sekhon after looking through the various doctors and RMA.
Rokia: Yeah.
Tina: Go ahead.
Rokia: Yeah, I was just gonna say, and what we liked about RMA is, and we talked about this a little bit before, but we liked that there was, like, kind of a summary of all of the doctors. And so for us, it was really cool to kind of get an idea of who we could potentially be dealing with. And for us, it was Dr. Sekhon. And just the summary that she had. I mean, first of all, her name is Lucky. I mean, come on! We were like, let's start there. Right? And then for us, she just seemed to align with the energy that we were looking for, because of course anybody in this situation, it's a very vulnerable time. And so you wanna feel good. And for us, that's what Dr. Lucky was for us. And this was just before we even met her, this was just from the summary from RMA. And so our friend, even though she had suggested RMA didn't necessarily, she hadn't gone to see Dr. Lucky, but for us, that was it. And so we kind of started there and it started with
Tina: A consultation.
Rokia: Online consultation. Yeah. Because it was like,
Tina: It wasn't phone. It was like a virtual consultation.
Rokia: Yeah. And even that, I mean, that for us was great, cuz it was scary cuz it was like, are we really gonna get what we need to get online? I mean, you know, are we gonna feel what we need to feel? And it was great. It felt like we were in the office. It felt like we were right there. I mean, it almost felt like she was looking at us in our eyes kind of thing. You know, like we were connected virtually. I mean, it sounds weird, but we really were. And so that's where we started and it's been a long journey. I mean, it's been a great journey, you know, as a result, but it was a very kind of rollercoaster of a ride for us.
Tina: I think we were also over zealous in thinking that we're gonna get pregnant tomorrow. I don't know why, but we were really, I guess we should have did a little bit more research on how long these things take, especially how we decided to go about our process, the co-IVF, which is, I feel like a little bit longer than if we just went straightforward IVF or if we did IUI, you know?
Rokia: Right.
Dara: So explain exactly what co-IVF is for our listeners who are unfamiliar with that territory.
Rokia: For sure. So for us, we were looking for the route in which we both could feel like we were involved in the process. That was very important to us from the start, you know, as a same sex couple, I think it's, for us, it was just really important that we all felt connected. And so for us co-IVF was the way and what that meant in our situation was that we would use my egg and then Tina would carry. And so that's what it was. And like she said, even through co-IVF, we thought we would start the process. We happened to start in what? January, 2021 I think,
Tina: Wait, what year are we in? Wait, 2022. January 2021. Yeah.
Rokia: And we literally thought by, like, February we'd have like our first try at it.
Tina: Yeah!
Rokia: That was not quite the case. Yeah. But it was great because in that we learned that there are a lot of processes involved, you know, so that we have the best chance possible. And so that's kind of, that's what happened. So, so yes. So
Tina: And also the known donor. That also took longer because if you have sperm from a bank, it comes and it's already been tested, but we had a known donor who was a family member and that was another couple months of testing. And so just kind of further delayed and well, but we still got what we wanted, so I'm not gonna complain.
Rokia: Right. Right. And that was, I mean, it was cool to learn because we literally learned as we went. I feel like no matter how much research you do, you're still going to learn.
Tina: There's always more
Rokia: And so even with friends going through the IVF process, they weren't necessarily going through the co-IVF process. And so even things that they were sharing with us were kind of different. In our situation, for example, like Tina was saying, having a known donor, there's an additional three months that you have to, you know, hold off for, to, you know, go through the process of cleaning the sperm. I dunno if that's too TMI, but you know, to make sure everything is kind of good to go because when you're using a known donor, you know, you kind of have all of that information already kinda set, or if you're using like your partner, then it's kind of assumed that whatever comes with your partner, you're getting it anyway. So that wasn't the situation in our case. So we had to wait an additional three months and you know, it was kind of stressful. Cause again, we kind of thought it was gonna be a little bit faster, but then when we realized why, of course it made sense and you know, we were very comfortable to hold out a little bit longer.
Rena: So what was the hardest part of the process for you?
Tina: Oh, I could say mine. I don't know about hers, but for me actually there's like multiple. So the testing of the embryo was kind of scary - that part for genetic testing to see that everything is normal. Also for me the injections. After a while I was over them and I was just like, how long do I have to do this? Even though she was giving them to me. But I feel like those two things were the hardest parts for me. I don't know if like for you, cuz you also had to give yourself injections, not as long as I did so maybe it wasn't as bad. I don't know.
Rokia: Yeah. For me I'd honestly say the most difficult part was the retrieval process and even, like, kind of the initial, you know, checking to see where you are sort of thing. I did kind of go into it thinking, you know, I've been healthy most of my life, even though I'm at, what do we call it? Advanced stage. You know, I thought that I've been vegetarian like 20 plus years. I've been vegan, like a good part of the last few years. I've been athletic. So I thought, you know, I'm gonna go in and they're gonna pull like 20 eggs and allis gonna be well. And then when we went for our initial check in that wasn't quite the case. I mean, you know, I was where I would be for a 40 year old woman, basically. 39 at the time. But so that was difficult. I mean that was reality kind of hitting me in the face right away that this would possibly be an uphill battle for us. And so, you know, it was kind of like it knocks you down a notch, you know, you kind of start like going in, like I'm gonna manifest all the things and everything's gonna be perfect. And then, you know, the doctor's like, well don't forget your 39. And then, you know, your eggs are not there as much as you thought they would.
Tina: And then quality.
Rokia: And then the quality. Yeah. And even the retrieval, I was also optimistic about the retrieval. I really thought that we'd get at least a solid, maybe 10, you know, and that wasn't the case. We retrieved four.
Tina: Four or five?
Rokia: Four. We retrieved four and then only three survived the night. And then we were only able to fertilize
Tina: No, I think we fertilized 3.
Rokia: We fertilized three and then ultimately only one survived. And so that was kind of devastating for me. I mean, because I'm thinking that I'm gonna give her all of the opportunities that the universe would allow. And I was shaken. You know, I was definitely stunned to find out that ultimately we only had one and then as Tina was saying, like the testing, I mean to only have one and then, and then, you know that one still has to be tested to make sure that it's viable. You know, it was a very hard thing. And even through the testing, it came back inconclusive. So that was another like, wait a minute, what is happening?
Tina: That was a nightmare
Rokia: Yeah.
Tina: Cause then we had to discuss whether or not - So each time they do genetic testing, they thaw out the embryo and so they had to thaw it out again and then that's like compromising it again. And I was just like, we both were, what do we do? You know?
Tina: Yeah. That was a very kind of roller coaster of a time. And it did, it took a lot of prayer. It took a lot of, you know, manifesting with the universe, trying to manifest exactly what it was we wanted. I mean, we had a really great talk with Dr. Sekhon, but ultimately, I mean, you know, she's our doctor, but we had to make that decision. And so it was a tough call. I mean, you don't know what could happen with an indeterminate embryo, but we trusted in the universe and we knew we were here for a reason. And so we moved forward and we were blessed to have a very healthy, successful embryo. So that was, it was definitely a journey. I mean, ultimately we did get what we wanted, but it wasn't the easiest road. I mean, we've been through the ringer to get here for sure.
Dara: And then even the waiting period in between, I could, you know, until you, you find out your results, you know, in terms of your pregnancy, that in itself can be a lot.
Tina: It is. I mean, you don't realize how much something so small and something you haven't met or, you know, really made contact with can mean so much to you and could change your world one way or the other. You know? It was tough. It was definitely a wild ride for sure.
Rokia: I'm laughing. Cause you said something you haven't mentioned.
Tina: Cause we didn't, it was like a, cause we didn't even know the gender at the time. And so it was just like, you know, yeah.
Rena: What would you say to other people going through this? You know, it sounds like, you know, now that you're on the other side, of course you look back and you recognize, wow, that was really hard. You know, it sounds like you relied a lot on spirituality. You found a lot of comfort in faith and manifesting. What would you say to someone else sort of just starting their journey?
Rokia: It's hard because I feel like a lot of people have an idea that they're meant to be mothers and it must happen. And it's hard to say to somebody you need to not necessarily let go of that idea, but I feel like you have to, like, say what's meant for me is what meant for me. And I've kind of gone through this process with that same attitude and I've always been that way. And so what's meant for you is meant for you. And I feel like in terms of the process, I would say have patience. I would say, do your research, talk to your doctor because there's things you can do to improve your egg quality. And that's, I think helped us a little bit.
Rena: Wait, I wanna just interject there because I know now everyone's gonna Google things to improve eqq quality.
Tina: What’s the book?
Rokia: Well, this is not like an RMA approved book, but it's a book called…
Dara: How to start with an egg?
Rokia: Something like that. And that helped. I think it helped us a lot in terms of before we started things of what not to do, what to do to help improve your egg quality. So I would tell anyone, I get, tell friends all the time that want to have children and are about the same age. I'm like, get this book, get this book. That's one of the things I would tell them.
Tina: I would just add to be kind to yourself. I think throughout the beginning of the process, like I said, I found out information that I wasn't expecting and I did kind of beat myself up a lot in that. And looking back, I do wish I was a bit more gentle with myself, a little bit kinder to myself because you know, everything doesn't always work out in the way we expect and that's okay. You know, I know that there can be things that definitely hurt or are traumatic or crucial in the moment, but those are the times that we have to be kind to ourselves. Cause it's so easy to go down that rabbit hole of, you know, things aren't working out for me and nothing's gonna happen. You know, all of those things and looking back, none of those things were helpful. I think having someone or some people that are supportive, maybe some people that have gone through it or are going through it. You know, I did have a couple of friends kind of going through the process or had gone through the process that I was able to kind of confide in and talk me off of that ledge sometimes, especially this one here. You know, when I'm thinking I'm not doing something right or doing something good enough, you know, having community a loving, supportive community is always helpful in a time like this.
Dara: I love that you said the being kind to yourself. Just the notion. And I know Rena and myself, we touch upon that a lot with our patients - the importance of, you know, not being as judgemental to yourself. That we tend to be our own harshest critics and you know, just speaking more kindly to yourself. And then the second point, which I thought was great that you made, which I was gonna ask you about is did you have a good community supporting you? And it sounds like you did, or you do.
Tina: Yeah.
Rokia: I'm only laughing because a lot of this was kept secret for so long. For the most part we were each other's community. I have to say for like, for a large part of the process because we, you don't wanna speak too soon about something and then it, not that that has always been, I always keep quiet about anything that I am in the process of doing that's big because I don't want anyone's energy impacting me. Whether, you know, they say, well, you know, you're kind of up there in age. I don't need that kind of feedback. So I'd rather not say anything. So I feel like we were really each other's cheerleader.
Tina: Definitely. Yeah, for sure. But like I said, I did have a couple of friends that were going through the process and even, even though I wasn't…even though we weren’t specific, I mean, there were times where I was talking them off the ledge and ultimately not realizing I was helping myself kind of in that, kind of finally practicing what I was preaching. And again, you know, further into the process, when it, we were able to share so many people, I, it's so weird. I think IVF, I can only speak for us and you know, the people that I do know, but I feel like IVF is kind of such a hush hush thing in a lot of ways, for a multitude of reasons, just like you were saying, like, you don't want people's energy or feedback on something that is such a, I mean, it's delicate, it's a very sensitive subject. And so I think it’s important that you do know yourself and know what is going to work for you because some people might not want to share with their community right away. And I think if that's okay for you, then I'd say go for it. You know, find your piece in this because everybody I think is going to be different and have their own experience. And so it's just important that you do whatever you feel like is best for your heart, mind and soul.
Rokia: Everybody's different.
Rena: I love that - heart, mind and soul. I always say to patients - body, mind and soul, I like that.
Rokia: Yeah, for sure.
Rena: Did you find it stressful or put, you know, a strain on your relationship at all that for a while you were sort of each other's only source of support?
Rokia: I'm only gonna bring up the hormones. The hormones for me, I literally was in a rollercoaster ride. I was snippy, angry. And like, I feel like when I would get my period, I could feel my irritability come on, but this was completely different. Like I was snappy, I was emotional. I was a complete jerk. And I told her, I was like, I don’t know what’s going on with my body! And she was looking at me like I was nuts!
Dara: Those hormones are real! I, I feel you I've had situations myself going through the fertility process. It's like no joke. And it's different than just, you know, period type of thing. It's it's like next level highs, lows. But the fact that you're aware of it while you're feeling it and expressing it is great.
Rokia: Cause I felt like I was being irrational and I couldn't control myself. And I was like, I know this isn't making any sense, but in my mind it makes sense. But I know it doesn't make sense.
Rena: It's like a total out of body experience. Right? If you like zoom out and look at yourself from above and you're like, this is not normal, but in your body. You can't control it.
Rokia: Right. Yeah. Right.
Tina: But I think it helped to understand kind of what each other was going through. Like she was there with me when I found out how many eggs I retrieved, you know, shortly after how many eggs I was able to retrieve. Or, of course she was with me when we found out that we had one potentially viable embryo at the time. And I think just understanding what's happening helped a lot. I mean, it definitely wasn't easy, but I think we knew what the ultimate goal was and so that made it that much easier for us to kind of stick through it and, and
Rokia: You just have a lot of patience.
Tina: Yeah. But I mean, I feel like we did with each other and, and that's because we knew ultimately we both wanted the same thing. And so we knew it wasn't, you know, although we thought it was gonna be easier when it wasn't easy, we knew, you know, what we wanted and we knew that we needed to get there together. And so despite the hard times, I think we rocked through that pretty, pretty well considering.
Rena: It seems like your dynamic. I mean, you guys are both so smiling and it looks like you have bring a lot of levity and humor and just good vibrations to your relationship.
Tina: That's definitely this one for sure. She gives that light and that helps me a lot. That balances me.
Dara: You’re the cutest!
Tina: Thank you. But I do have the tendency, I mean more so I think to go down the rabbit hole of, of when things aren't working out, I'm like polar opposites. I can be super like, I'm gonna manifest everything I want. It's gonna come tomorrow. But then I can also be like, nothing's working out for me. Everything's horrible. Yeah. And she kind of balances.
Rokia: I'm more like day by day and I'm like, everything's gonna work out, but I'm not hyper focused on anything.
Tina: But she also validates those feelings that I have even when they are deep and dark. And like, she'll allow that for a little bit, but then she’ll pull me out of it and it’s helpful.
Dara: It sounds like you guys understand each other and support each other, which is nice. And it's interesting. I was listening in the beginning. You'd mentioned that you went in feeling somewhat unprepared, which is so nice that now you kind of can see some of the areas that you'd wish you had been somewhat educated on and it's great that you're sharing it with everyone else, but I also see it on the flip side, you could see it on both sides in many ways, how wonderful to go in with hope and good energy and learning along the way kind of how to maneuver. And it sounds like if anything, it's actually connected the two of you that much more so with these challenges and these obstacles.
Tina: Yeah. I feel like, I feel like you can definitely kinda over research, you know, and it's easy to do at a time with Google and it's so easy to like think of something and be like, I don't know, let me Google it, you know, and you're right. I mean, I think if we had done too much, then we, when you have too many expectations and then some of those expectations aren't reached, you know, it's easy to kind of spiral from that.
Rokia: I have to stop myself like with certain things. Cause you know, you find a lot of data online and you find percentages when it comes to your age. And like, I was like, Nope, I'm not doing that. I'm not doing that.
Tina: Yeah. We would catch ourselves
Rokia: It’s OK to stay in the dark little bit about certain things.
Tina: We would catch ourselves for sure. Like we would be like, let's no, actually let's just, let's not yeah. Let's not, let's just ride it out.
Rena: Good. I mean, I'm definitely not a fan of Dr. Google and always encourage patients to stay off the internet as hard as it is, you know, but I think, but that's about anxiety. Right? And trying to understand and control the uncertain and that's just really hard.
Tina: You want the answers and, and of course you want the answers to be what you want them to be. But it's hard not to. I mean, everybody's like Google this, or if you've had people in that experience, you wanna talk to them and be like, well, what was your journey? And I think if anything, I've learned, you know, this 40 something years of life, it's like everybody has their own journey. It is not going to be the same, no matter what, like you could be twins and have completely different journeys. So we did learn that kinda along the way.
Rena: Did you find that, you know, again, we were talking about the two of you being so light and full of laughter and love. Do you feel like during the time of the journey, you know, you described it as a rollercoaster that you lost some of that?
Rokia: I don’t think so. I feel like we go through like a little spell of like bickering and then we like bounce back after we talk it through. I feel like we both have each other's best interests and we both don't want to argue. We both want to understand each other. And so I feel like that helps. So if there's ever a time that we like in this little bicker or funk phase, we always find a way to resolve it because we don't wanna be in that space.
Rena: What are some other learning moments that you think would be important to share with, with anyone starting on this journey? You know, it sounds like for you, you were very surprised also by the use of telehealth and you know, now what, three years into the pandemic, you know, I use telehealth all the time and I totally understand the ability to feel someone's energy through the screen and get that. But it sounds like that was a surprise for you, you know, family building is such an intimate journey and I think, sure, it's totally normal to be a little wary. Like how is meeting someone across the computer? You know, how are they really gonna get me? And I'm trying to create a child here. But you were able to feel that.
Tina: Yeah. I mean, it's amazing. I mean, I feel like the pandemic itself has taught us so many things about connection, but
Rokia: Right. That kind of helped I think, because everything seems to be virtual. You know, so,
Tina: But I also feel like it's about who you are connecting with. Right? Like I, I have meetings at work where sometimes I'm like, this definitely feels like a zoom, you know this definitely feels like a zoom. Whereas, like I said, with Dr. Sekhon, I mean, I was in awe about how it felt like we were in the room and it just goes to show, you know, kind of who you guys have at RMA on your team. And for us, I think that's what helped us finalize our decision to move forward with RMA is I'm thinking, well, gosh, if I could feel like that with a zoom call, what is it gonna feel like when we're actually in the room? And I think that made us more excited to move forward and to be in the room together, cuz I'm just like, okay, we can actually connect because sometimes, you know, when you go to the doctor, like you feel like it's a very, like you're in, you're out, you're in, you're out. I'm telling you the details and then, you know, you kind of go away and that was not our experience at all. I mean, we ended up starting to be excited. Like every time we had an appointment. Like, because we knew we were gonna get the truth, we knew we were gonna get that good bedside manner and still, and everything was still transparent. You know, it didn't feel fake or false or, you know, like I'm just, so you're just another patient. Like we really felt like we were talking to someone who knew what we were going through and who understood that everyone is different and this might be an uphill battle, but I'm here with you. And that for us was I think everything,
Dara: I think that's so great to share with people that it's important to find the right doctor for you, the person that you connect with that hears you out and that you feel comfortable opening up and sharing things with.
Tina: Yeah, for sure. I mean, we had a friend who didn't have the best experience with their fertility doctor and I mean, we were kind of in awe. We were like, what, you know, cause automatically we're, you know, kind of comparing and we're just like, what? How could no, you, go to Dr. Sekhon. She's you know, it was kind of like that sort of thing. But, and so I do think that that's why the telehealth appointment helped us because like we said, like right away, we already knew this was for us and it could've been the opposite. Right? Like if it weren't that also would've helped because then we would've known, okay, this person, you know, we're not aligned and that's okay. Let's move on.
Rena: I think, yeah. You're touching on something super important, which is, it's so important to trust your doctor, trust your team. And that's when it can be easier to not go on doctor Google. And I think, you know, I always work with people on, if you get to a point where you don't trust your doctor and you're, you know, going into the boards on the internet and saying, oh, well this person's physician did this. Why didn't mine do that? You gotta take a step back. You know, your doctor knows you, they know your case and trusting in them and feeling confident in your care is the most important. And if you're not there, then it's time to evaluate, is it something that you need to assess? Maybe you're not with the right person or do you need to look at your own practices and you know, again, really cutting down on that noise and kinda crowdsourcing and maybe work instead on managing anxiety.
Rokia: Absolutely. Yeah.
Dara: I'm so happy that you shared this beautiful journey story with our listeners and I know Rena feels this way, but I can feel your energy through the screen. It's nice. It's so nice to hear, you know, as much as you both went through quite a challenging number of years in an experience that you are still able to find joy and happiness in light throughout it all. And it's great for all of us to hear and to hear, look how far you come, look, what you're creating, which is so beautiful.
Tina: Yes, we are grateful to be here and, and just grateful to even be able to be having this conversation. Because obviously we understand that this is a very kind of tough circumstance for a lot of women in the world. And so, you know, we understand how amazing and what a blessing this is. And so I think for us, we wanted to shout it from the rooftops.
Rokia: We couldn't wait to tell everyone we really couldn't. Well, I probably me more.
Rena: I think RMA posted in the Instagram, a picture that you shared from, was it a pregnancy reveal party or?
Rokia: Yeah, it was supposedly housewarming that we've been in this apartment for like over a year and we're like, oh we’re housewarming everyone's like now? I was like, don’t bring anything we have everything!
Rena: Well, you had the pregnant AF banner in the background, which I loved.
Tina: We also had which nobody got, but we also had shirts. Right? And so mine tacos and it had an arrow pointing to my belly and her said not just tacos with the arrow. People came in and we were like, and they were just like,
Rokia: You like tacos.
Tina: We like tacos too. I’m like, noooo! And finally we point to the sign like, guys - she’s pregnant and they were like oh my god!
Rena: Oh my gosh. That's amazing. I wish you had a video from that!
Tina: I know. We, I do too. I do too. But it was such a, the reactions that we got were just so beautiful. Cause course second I wanted to cause that's especially, that's where we're in two. Right? You wanna like record everything,
Rokia: The jaws fell to the floor a lot of them.
Tina: But it was such a great moment that I actually didn't want to take away. And I’m glad we were because I - one of the best days ever.
Rena: So what does the future hold for Rokia and Tina?
Rokia: She wants to move to the burbs.
Rena: Oh gosh. Already? You guys are outta here.
Tina: Hope. Hopefully we'll see. We'll see. But space is gonna be very important. I'm sure you guys know. And we've dealt with the City. I mean, she's been,
Rokia: I mean, I'm still gonna deal with the city. She, the burbs meaning like Jersey's like, we're not like going that far.
Rena: You’re not living off the land.
Tina: Yeah. But you know, we're just ready. We're ready for, oh my gosh. Day care and first days of school and first steps and all the things to come, we're just excited.
Rokia: I don't even know, like now I get it. When people are like freaking out about being a parent, I am totally freaking out about being a parent about being a good parent, you know, doing the right thing. Not making the mistakes my parents made those kinds of things. And I'm like, I hope I do everything I'm supposed to do.
Dara: The stress never ends. It's so funny how it just changes form, you know, to something else.
Rena: But that's a great point because I think a lot of people, you know, they come to me and they say, well, I thought once I was discharged, you know, my anxiety would go away and instead it's still here. Of course, you know, it just changes.
Tina: It does change for sure. But we're looking forward to it. She's gonna bring this back to me when I say it, but I'm even looking forward to like the sleepless nights of like having to get up. I know, I know. I'm only gonna say that
Rokia: I'm gonna be like, remember what you said, wake up.
Tina: I'm just so grateful to be here that I cannot, for all of the things, you know, the journey, whatever it brings. I'm so looking forward to it and just
Rokia: When diapers explode, I'm going to be like here you go!
Rena: Well she didn’t say diapers she said sleepless nights.
Tina: But all of it, I'm just, I'm so grateful that we can say that we're here and look forward to all the things that come with being a parent. I mean we are over the moon, I think, at this point,
Rena: Well, it is such a pleasure to have you both on, I am really picking up on your good energy and gratitude. It's really so amazing. And I know our listeners, I hope will be really inspired by your story of strength and hope and you know, being so open and honest about it. It really being tough. But now, as you're sort of on the other side, it's now laughter and life and pregnant AF
Tina: That's right. That's right. Yes. And please just, I think from us, we're sending our good love, thoughts and wishes to all of your listeners and everyone going through the process, wherever they may be, even if they're possibly considering or, you know, just thinking about it, sending them all the good energy you possibly can for sure.
Dara: So beautiful! So how we end our sessions are actually on words of gratitude. So it sounds like you both have a lot of things to be grateful for, but what are you grateful for before today?
Tina: I'm grateful for you. And I only say that because I don't think I would want anyone else to raise a baby with, raise a child with. There's no one else in the world that could possibly, I could imagine being on this journey with.
Rokia: I too, am grateful for my wife. I'm also grateful for her family. They have been a beacon of support. Our friends have been a beacon of support. RMA has been a beacon of support. Yeah. I'm grateful for all of those things and, and I'm grateful for whatever else life brings with this beautiful baby.
Dara: So beautiful. Rena, what about you today?
Rena: Let's see. I am of course grateful for you both coming on and sharing your story and super grateful to get a glimpse into your beautiful partnership. You know, one of my favorite parts of my job is seeing partners who go through this and really support each other. I find it so beautiful. And I have so much gratitude that I can be a part of seeing that and getting an inside look. So I think that is what I'm grateful for today. Love and partnership and compassion.
Tina: Thank you so much. Thank you.
Rena: What about you, Dara?
Dara: Lots to be grateful for, but I'm grateful today that I learned so much from recording these podcast sessions and today I'm, you know, learning and reminding myself to be kind to myself. I love that you had said that before. It's something that I know when working with patients, they often forget to speak kindly to themselves, to treat themselves kindly, but doing that myself is also important. And just the idea of bringing good energy to others, when you bring good energy to yourself and you feel good, you know, it really does radiate to everyone else. And it is radiating today. I feel like, and I know that our listeners will feel it too. So thank you so much for being on and wishing you only the best.
Tina: Thank you. Thank you. You thank you. We really appreciate your time today for sure.
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 and tune in next week for more Fertility Forward.

The First Step Towards Your Future

Every journey begins with a first step. Attend a free seminar, speak with
a patient concierge, or schedule a consultation.

Get Started

Stay Connected

Oct 18th - Fertility 101 Seminar. Oct 18th - Fertility 101 Seminar. Learn More