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Mar 19, 2024 | Podcast

I’M PREGNANT! The Twists & Turns of My Journey, Part 2 of 2

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Disclaimer: This episode could be hard for some listeners to hear, especially if you’ve been struggling with conceiving. I’ll share that we are pregnant, and we have been blessed to have NOT had any miscarriages.

On this week’s episode of the Prosperous Empath®, I’m continuing to authentically share the behind-the-scenes of my pregnancy journey and the lessons I’ve learned along the way. Be sure to listen to last week’s episode if you haven’t already! In the beginning, the process was incredibly challenging for me because I went into it attached to a certain timeline in my mind – getting pregnant immediately – and it just didn’t happen that way for us. Instead, I had to stop trying to control the journey, trust the process, and discover ways of getting support that I hadn’t considered before. From seeing alternative healthcare providers and sharing my struggles more openly with family and friends to considering IVF and getting a medical procedure that finally helped us conceive naturally, I’m sharing all the details in today’s episode. If you’ve been struggling trying to conceive or know someone who is, I hope that my experience helps you feel less alone on your journey and more empowered to trust your instincts.

 

Topics discussed:

  • The idea that how you show up or get blocked in one area of your life (for example, business) can be applied to other areas of your life (in this case, conception)
  • Letting go of unfulfilled pregnancy expectations and surrendering to the process and my intuition instead of holding onto a rigid timeline
  • How openly sharing my struggles and getting support, encouragement, and blessings from others created an energetic shift for me
  • Working with an acupuncturist + a chiropractor and getting a medical procedure (HCG) to increase our chances of conceiving naturally
  • How my habits have (and have not) shifted during pregnancy, from morning routine to cold plunging

 

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Click here for a raw, unedited transcript of this episode

 

Catherine A. Wood 00:00
Hello, hello, welcome back to the prosperous Empath I am so excited to be back in your inboxes this morning sharing the second half of my pregnancy journey with my husband. And if you haven’t already tuned in to last week’s episode, I would highly encourage you to press pause and go back and listen to that episode. First, because spoiler alert, were pregnant. And it has been a long and winding journey to get to this place. And it’s been filled with just a whole lot of new awarenesses, and lessons learned and wisdom that I really wanted to share with you because it felt so relevant to what we talked about here on the podcast. And I think sometimes we can forget that, you know, how we show up in one area of life and how we get blocked in one area of life, are the same practices and the same new habits to incorporate in other areas of life, right, we don’t operate in silos. So this is certainly a much more personal episode where I really go behind the scenes and share some of the more personal details of my own pregnancy journey. And in this episode, I’m going to even get a little more graphic, because there are some things that I just wish that I had known and that no one told me. And I’ve heard this from so many other people. So I really wanted to just be a truth teller and share just transparently how this journey has unfolded for me. And hopefully, you will glean some new wisdom for yourself, or perhaps share this episode with someone you know who is struggling on their own pregnancy journey, because I think that those people that I had in my court that I could rely on for wisdom and being truth tellers, to me literally made all the difference. So if you’ll recall, last week, I shared a lot about the first, gosh, the first nine months of trying to conceive our baby and how hard it was for me and how much of an emotional roller coaster it was for someone who is as driven and ambitious as I am as for someone who’s just really practiced at declaring a goal for themselves, and then figuring out who they need to be and what they need to do in order to fulfill on that goal. And that was just not the case with this pregnancy journey. Right? Like I’m already learning lessons from our baby. I love that. And in the beginning, it was really hard because I was so attached to getting pregnant. And I was so clear on what I wanted. And I just had a timeline, in my mind, I thought it was going to happen for us immediately. And it just didn’t. And it was really hard to just trying to stop control the journey and trust the process. But when I did when I stopped trying to do things in the way that I often default to, and realized that there was an opportunity to do approach this differently. That’s when my experience started to change. And really, that started when I stopped doing it alone. And I started leaning into support at an entirely new level. So some of my saving grace throughout the entire journey from day one was that I was really authentic and honest with the people in my life about how it was going for me and how hard it was I shared pretty openly with my family, with my mom with my mother in law with my husband, of course. As well as with my friends. But at this point, you know, I realized that I needed to I needed to just be even more raw and authentic around how I was actually feeling and I’ve supported so many clients through their own pregnancy journeys and being mompreneurs and I was really starting to see the ways in which I was doing some of the things that I coach my own clients around like guarding my heart and protect During the ones I love from some of the real rawness of how devastating this was for me, and so I just leaned into that, and I started sharing even more honestly around how I was actually doing and how, how hard this felt, for me how much of a failure at times I felt for not being able to not being able to get pregnant, as someone who is so healthy and values their health so deeply. And I just, you know, it was really hard to give up this idea that I was attached to that this was going to come easily from my husband and I actually have a lot of clients in the healthcare field. And I’ve worked with so many moms over the years, including my coaching partner, Laura, that I really felt so blessed to start being able to just trust them with a little bit more of my own experience and my own emotional interior, and, and also get some support, whether it was acknowledgement or referrals or reminders that I’ve got this and that I’m exactly where I need to be it made so much of a difference for me. And I also just kind of appreciate just the reminder that I don’t always have to. Haley, I just want to delete that last line. It was such a personal reminder to me that I had practiced so many years in not suffering silently and alone in business and really relying on my peers, my colleagues, my mentors and my community for support. And this pregnancy journey was a reminder to me that I get to do the same thing in every other area of life besides business. That in reality, the same practices that changed my experience that make me feel more supported and less alone in business, and naturally create different results are the same practices and habits that I need to apply in other areas of life. And in this example, this included in my pregnancy, this was a huge learning. And it also started to make me feel so much less isolated, so much less alone, and to just feel so much more supported and held by those who I knew that were rooting for me and were so excited for me to get pregnant. Another thing that I started to do differently was that I took matters into my own hands and I decided to begin pursuing a more holistic line of care and support. Now as someone who advocates so strongly with my clients to pursue holistic success, it struck me as almost funny that I hadn’t previously considered how helpful it might be for me to apply that same line of thinking to my pregnancy journey. So what this looked like for me is that I started looking into working with alternative holistic care providers. I wish I had done this so much sooner friends. So if you are trying to conceive, I hope you tune in, and especially if you’re in the Boston area, like please reach out to these, these providers that I’m going to name drop here in a moment. So the first thing I did was that I started looking for a local chiropractor. I had seen a chiropractor for years and years when I lived in DC to support me with lower back support for my scoliosis, which I developed all the way back in middle school. And when I came to Boston, I just didn’t have that same network of referrals. So I asked for some recommendations. And actually, one of my family members sees a chiropractor in a town very close to us and my mom also newer and strongly recommended her and she was is I am still seeing her. Oh mazing so I started seeing Dr. Deborah Ramsey at alignment chiropractor chiropractor Dix center back last summer. So I think it was in like last August of 23 that I started seeing her and we, when we started working together, she asked me to have some initial x rays done so that she could really ascertain the curvature of my spine. And something that she said to me that has stuck with me throughout all these months of our working together is that she said, Kat, we are going to turn the energy back on to all the parts of your body. And friends, it was one of the most reassuring things that anyone has said to me throughout this entire journey, because it it just made so much sense. And truly like Dr. Ramsey is one of the most empathic healthcare practitioners I’ve ever met. She just embodies empathy. And every time I go visit her, I just feel like I am in the most gentle and like hands of excellence. I would highly recommend it if you live on the North Shore. To reach out to Dr. Ramsey. She’s based in Gloucester, Massachusetts. She also works with a wide range of animals. She’s supported horses, dogs, she also told me a couple stories of some of her patients even bringing in their parakeets to see if she can help them with their pain management. She’s just truly beautiful. I’m actually opening. I’m hoping to have her on the podcast soon, so stay tuned for that. Secondly, I put out a request for referrals for an acupuncturist who specializes in fertility. One of my prior clients in the mastermind, who’s also a health care practitioner, I remember her sharing with me on her own pregnancy journey, just how much of a difference seeing an acupuncturist had made for her and so I reached out to her to get the name of her acupuncturist. But what I noticed is the the commute just wasn’t worth it. So I followed my own intuition, I did a bit of an online search. And I followed this nudge to choose a local practitioner based in Manchester by the Sea, which is also on the north on the North Shore. I started seeing Kate Ziegler at Tidewater acupuncture last summer as well. And I’ve also been seeing her regularly ever since. And Kate is amazing. And I’m so grateful that I followed my intuitive nudge. It turns out that Kate is from the DC area. She’s previously lived in Boston and I just so appreciated her candid, professional and empathic approach. She’s super knowledgeable about Eastern medicine and are just really appreciate how much she openly shares the knowledge and benefits of any specific acupressure acupressure points and their significance, she clearly walks her own talk. And I think for those of us who identify as empaths, it is so important for us to work with empathic practitioners, it just makes all the difference. This was such a learning for me along this pregnancy journey, I think that I had always valued working with empathic professionals before, but when it comes to your own body, and it when it comes to something that is so intimate and so personal as pregnancy, it just takes it to another level on how important it is to work with values aligned professionals. This was a a real game changer for me because having this holistic support, supported my emotional health. So much I just felt so held and I felt like I was really exploring all the different avenues from traditional Western medicine to some more of the more holistic and natural approaches which are, you know, truly aligned with my own values and my own lifestyle. Another big way that I allowed myself to get support, which was a huge edge for me was last fall actually, it was the end of October, my co coach Laura and I hosted our first ever in person unbounded mastermind retreat in Cape Cod, which is on the eastern coast of Massachusetts now. This is the first retreat I have hosted in person in many years since I closed the doors of my transformational retreat business. So I was just a little I’m a little nervous to be honest to run a retreat. Again, it is a deeply intimate, a deeply transformative experience. And it’s also a lot of work and requires a lot of energy output. But I was super committed to hosting this retreat, because some of these members in our mastermind have known one another for five and six years and have never met one another. And so I really wanted to facilitate just some of the in person magic that comes from people getting to connect and support one another in person. Now, I am such a believer that as leaders, we need to actually lead the way. So if we’re wanting to create a vulnerable and intimate space, like we actually get to start by modeling that. So during the retreat, and I think I shared a little bit about this in our recap on our unbounded mastermind retreat. So we’ll drop the link to that episode. In the show notes in case you’re interested in learning more about our retreat, or in case you’re interested in facilitating retreats. But the way we organize the retreat was super loose, and we offered an undivided time for everyone to get supported around around their business and personal life and wherever they were wanting more meaningful attention, and really kind of the master mind of the group. And for me, I participated by going first. And the area where I was really struggling and clearly have been for most of last year was in the area of my pregnancy, but business was great I, I I’ve been loving living in Massachusetts, my relationships were flourishing. And this was like, the one area of life where I just felt so stuck. And so I really just shared my experience and how hard it was for someone else, as ambitious as me to feel so at a loss for what to do, and it was so permission giving to be witnessed by this group of peers who I’ve coached to, I know their journeys intimately and to just share with them a little bit more of mine, it was very just felt so human connecting at that level. And I got some amazing support and reflections and one of the one of the reflections from one of my peers that made just a lasting difference for me is that one of my very dear clients and friends Haley, I’m going to just start that line again. And I got supported by one of our mastermind errs that I didn’t know was going to have a lasting impact. But it truly has been something that I have held on to ever since sharing that moment with her at the retreat. And this is someone that is a big part of my coaching journey a dear friend, a long term client, Martha Garza. Martha pulled me aside after my circle, and she shared with me that she had had a vision of my baby and that Martha Haley, I don’t want to record that again. I don’t think I want to reveal her name. I got supported by one of our mastermind errs after my circle and I didn’t know it was going to have such a lasting impact on me. But it’s actually been something that I have held on to and cherished since that moment, and it has made such a lasting difference for me. 

I got supported by one member at the mastermind after my circle that I didn’t know, at the time, it was going to have such a lasting impact on me. But it has been a conversation that I have held with me ever since. And one of our unbounded members who is a long term client and a dear friend, she came up to me after my circle, and she said, cat, I had a vision of you with a healthy baby in your belly. And, of course, like immediately teared up hearing her say that. And then she asked, if, if we could pray together for my healthy, my healthy baby and pregnancy and, and we did, we prayed together. And I think that I already knew that I was going to conceive naturally, and that I was going to get pregnant and that I just had to trust the timeline and surrender my attachment to how and when and what it looked like. But hearing her say it was such an energetic opening, for me to trust a level of my own intuitive knowing that I already felt and was probably somewhat scared to rely on. Now, that conversation was an energetic, like, a fundamental energetic shift for me, it allowed me to lean into the process with so much more trust and faith and grace. And it was it was really a breakthrough for me and just surrendering my own control and, and allowing kind of this surrendered journey to lead the way which, you know, you hear so many pregnant women talk about that, that moment when they gave up control and they just surrendered to, to the universe or Gods timeline. And that was that moment for me. So coming back to the medical front, I had reached all of our really initial testing, and there was one final test that I could have done before we started to pursue IVF. Now, I just want to offer a little bit of a disclaimer, this is a bit graphic. This is pretty personal to share on a podcast. But this was a huge turning point for me in my pregnancy journey. So I really feel the need to share in detail what it entailed. And feel free to tune this out if you’re not interested in hearing about some like graphic details of medical procedures. So at the end of November, I had a procedure done that is called an H C G. It stands for and I don’t know if I can pronounce this correctly, but it stands for his stero self Pingala scruffy and it’s an x ray procedure that’s used to view the inside of the uterus and the fallopian tubes, and it’s often used to check whether the fallopian tubes are partly or fully blocked. But the way they do it is not painful for all women I found out but it was incredibly painful for me. What they do is they insert a tube into your cervix, and then they insert dye through the tube. And once they’ve inserted the dye through the tubes, they take an x ray to see if the dye flows naturally to either or both of your fallopian tubes. Now, I have a super high pain tolerance. So I didn’t think this was going to be painful for me and other one of my friends had told me that she didn’t feel thing it wasn’t painful for her at all. It was excruciatingly painful for me. Now I I just focused on my breathing and I didn’t scream or make any noise but in hindsight, this is probably one of my greatest Regrets of the pregnancy journey to date is that I went to that procedure alone thinking that I could handle it because my friend had had a positive experience with hers because I had an have a high pain tolerance because my husband was traveling and They didn’t want to inconvenience him or the doctors by needing to reschedule at the last minute. And that is a huge regret of mine. Because had I known now what I knew, had I known then what I knew now, I never would have put myself through that much pain alone, I would have rescheduled to whenever I needed to reschedule in order to be able to be supported by my husband. So something that I have also just been advised by friends after the fact is that you’ve never know what feelings what pain, what old memories, some of these appointments and testing is going to bring up for you. And so go with people you love, don’t go in alone. This is that was a huge lesson learned. Now, I will say that what got me through this appointment was the reassurance that a successful test that shows that both of your fallopian tubes are open, and there’s nothing wrong. Medically, it actually statistically increases the chance of you conceiving naturally over the next three months. Now I had this procedure done on November 16. So I knew that that meant that for my next three ovulation cycles, that that would statistically increase our chances of conceiving in one of those three cycles. Now, what shocked me about that fact, is that not everyone knows this information. And I am kind of blown away by this. One of my clients and friends in the mastermind has gone through several rounds of IVF. She is extremely knowledgeable about fertility options and support. She’s she’s not a medical practitioner, and she could be with the depth of knowledge that she has. And no one ever told her about this procedure. And no one ever told her about the potential side effects of it. And I’m blown away by that. How can there be these procedures which are covered by insurance, which are provided by in network providers, and they aren’t offered to women who are considering fertility support as perhaps a place to start, they’re just kind of, you know, led down the IVF route, and I was infuriated by this information. So I really want and want you all to know about the that this is a thing and that that there are these positive natural side effects of this procedure. Now, I will say that this test was really the last option for us to conceive naturally, because IVF was the immediate next step for us. Now, like I said, we have this procedure done, I have this procedure done on November 16. And we were planning to begin pursuing IVF at the beginning of January, this past January. As soon as we were able to change our health insurance because our prior plan offered zero coverage for IVF, we would have been paying 100% out of pocket and the estimate that we had been given was $18,000 for one round of IVF. Now, fortunately, we did not have to go this route. We conceived the very next month, naturally and we found out we were pregnant on January 2 Right after the New Year. I don’t remember who it was, but I do remember someone in these months leading up to the holiday season. Just like predicted to me you know you never know. You might just be pregnant and that might just be the best Christmas gift yes yet. And I can safely say that it was our due date is this coming September and we are just overjoyed and being in all the emotion that that entails. But I’m feeling so well and healthy. I feel really blessed to say that I have a lot of members in my family and friends circle who have had some really challenging pregnancies and that has not been the case for me. I’ve been feeling healthy and well and I can eat exercise. I will say my energy has been lower than usual. But I’ve been I’ve been feeling great. A lot of people have been asking me about my cold dipping and if I’m still pursuing it And I am my midwife said that what’s good for the baby is what’s good for me and that she has no concerns about me continuing to dip in the ocean throughout the winter, which was honestly music for my ears because I feel so nourished by my, my dips in the ocean, I will say. And I think I shared this when I was recording the episode around habits with my cold water dips, I was doing them every single day. Now, I have pulled back a little on that, up until this point, if I haven’t taken a cold dip in the ocean, I have taken a cold shower a lot of my cold dipping friends tell me that that is completely kosher. If you don’t have access to the ocean, you can take a cold shower. So that being said, as of today, when I’m recording this episode, I’ve been either plunging or taking a cold shower for the past 132 days. And I’m probably going to let that daily commitment go. Just because I’ve been being a little bit more gentle with myself during this pregnancy and really trusting my body to lead the way. One of the side effects of my pregnancy is that I have had some insomnia, which is entirely new. For me, I’m such a sound sleeper. But the consequence of that is that I’m not waking up as early. So I’m not having my typical multiple our morning routine. It’s looking a little different these days. And I’m, for the most part, letting my body lead. And that feels really great and really nourishing that I’m able to do that I’m so grateful for all the work that I’ve done in designing my schedule and designing my business in a way that supports the lifestyle and the schedule that I want to lead. If you haven’t already tuned in to my episode from a couple of weeks ago, where I really talk about architecting your ideal schedule, I totally recommend that episode because it has made such a huge difference for me already in this pregnancy and really just being able to redesign my schedule to support my needs during this pregnancy, which I feel very privileged to be able to do. And I’m also grateful for all the mindset work that I’ve put in over the years that has supported me in having so much agency over my schedule, and how I spend my time and how I take time for the business and take time for myself and all the people in my life that I love and care for. So if this, these episodes have been helpful if you’ve learned something new, if you feel inspired in some way, if you want to share them with someone who you know has been struggling like, I would love to hear from you. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the episode, if you have any questions or if you want any resources that I can provide, like, please reach out to me over on Instagram or LinkedIn. I can’t provide coaching, of course. But if I can provide any resources like I would happily share as much as I’m able to, because there’s so much that I just feel compelled to share because I didn’t have the information or it was such a struggle to find answers to some of these questions that just lingered and lingered in my mind and heart. I really appreciate you being here and celebrating this journey with me. I’ve been sharing individually with friends and family for weeks now if I’m being honest, but my husband and I had aligned that we would share publicly after we were out of that, just that initial 12 week timeframe. So I’m sure there will be more episodes to come on the pregnancy journey and what I continue to learn and how entrepreneurship overlaps with mom partnership and everything in between. Thank you so much for tuning in and we will see you next week.

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