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The most under-represented group of people in the fertility space are BIPOC and LGBTQ+ couples. In this episode, Carolina dives deep into an amazing conversation with Winter Foddrell on how she cultivated iron will and resiliency while trying to conceive for 4 years and after 2 miscarriages. She discusses what is like to try to conceive, how to choose sperm, and what it is like to deal with specialists as a woman of color. She shares tips on how to navigate this trying to conceive journey with your partner. This episode is a conversation that everyone needs to listen to.

What you’ll learn:
1:40 Who is Winter?
3:13 Winter’s advice for those who just started their fertility journey
05:40 What lessons has Winter learned on her fertility journey she wished someone told her before
13:56 Buying sperm journey
19:17 Biggest struggles Winter went through during her fertility journey
25:50 What did WInter do to cope with all the stress and anxiety she felt

https://youtu.be/U1xKC3RMB8Y

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Professional bio
The Carolina Sotomayor Podcast is brought to you by Carolina Sotomayor and the Fertility Foundation.


Carolina Sotomayor is an Expert Womb Healer who helps women conceive by removing physiological blockages with Reiki. She is the host of the Carolina Sotomayor Podcast, a show that covers everything from fertility to postpartum to motherhood, and the creator of Fertility Foundation Collective, an online membership that helps women heal at their own pace to boost their fertility.


Carolina has served over 500 women from around the world to heal. She is passionate about helping women create their families. As a result, there are over 60 reiki babies in the world.


Fertility Foundation Collective: https://carolinasotomayor.com/membership
Carolina Sotomayor Reiki: https://carolinasotomayor.com/
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Full episode transcript:

Well, I’m gonna take a minute and put on my lipstick.

That was wild. I know. It’s like Satan doesn’t want us to record our episode. Not today, Satan. Not today, right? Oh my goodness. So we’ll be able to clip it together. We’ll make it work. Okay. So let’s continue with radical acceptance. You say that to clients, but , so if a person’s never been to therapy or is the first time they’re hearing their word Yeah.

Or the therapist has never used that word because all therapists are different. What, how does a person approach to gain that in their life? Yeah. I mean, to achieve radical acceptance within themselves. Yeah. I think radical acceptance and, you know, d t therapists will tell you like, radical acceptance isn’t something that you practice that’s like one and done.

It’s like repeated over and over practice. But, um, so like a skillset, like something that you have to like, use as a muscle and gain over practice over and over again. Yeah. Okay. Got it. I think it’s, I think it’s both like ingrained, like instilled within us and also something that we have to cultivate. Um, because really what we’re also talking about is like the ability to be resilient and I think, so it’s like a mindset.

Yes. A mindset and a practice, right? So part of what, um, actually gets in the way of radical acceptance is like what we consider willfulness or, um, resistance, right? When, whenever we notice ourselves like pushing against something or saying no, or like saying that we don’t like it or trying to fight against it, that is what ultimately leads to what’s considered like suffering.

So, you know, life isn’t about suffering. Yes, there’s pain in it and there are painful experiences, but the more we hold onto the painful experiences, the more that we do things to exacerbate the painful experiences that is actually suffering. And so with radical acceptance, I say you have to practice it over and over and over again because you know there is a spiritual component to.

Like I said, like surrendering to what is, and accepting that reality as it is, is different and painful and, and sometimes, or in some ways than, than we thought it was, or that we believed it to be. And that is, you know, ultimately what has to be accepted, accepted as like there, as much as there’s joy and um, beauty and love in the world, there’s also pain.

And that when we try to fight against ordinary pain, that then becomes suffering. So it’s, it’s both like a mindset, a spiritual practice, and you know, a skillset. Because what you’re essentially doing is saying like, what do I need to do to you? except that I’m afraid, um, of a, of an outcome or accept that I’m just afraid, period.

And to actually accept that my reality right now isn’t what I thought or hoped it would be. Okay. And that, for me was really, really big with this journey is like, because you can’t control the outcomes. It’s like, no. Two things that I have always, I always think is finding a partner in fertility. They’re, they’re very parallel.

You can’t control what the other is gonna do. You can’t control what this baby’s gonna do. If they’re gonna stick. Yeah. If they’re, you know, when they’re gonna come or like, and you can’t like, Like someone choose you? Yes. Like , like not at all. No. So it’s like very, I, I always, I was like, man, fertility is like dating.

You literally could do all the things to make yourself ready. Yes. And I did all You have no control over the other person, ? No, my puppy. Not at all. I have, um, a list of questions that since we’re so close, I’m going to, I’m just going to spit ’em out at you and see how for it this goes as my puppies are making ruckus here.

Um, so what is something that you learned on your fertility journey that you wish someone had told you sooner in your, your fertility? Um, . That is a hard question. Let, let me think. That’s what we’re here for. I mean, you are the therapist. I know. therapists, therapists don’t have all the answers. Right. We’re not like people that give advice, but we assume that you do winter.

I know, I know. Um, there’s that trending audio and TikTok that’s like, it, it’s like the pre the concept is that you are, um, you show something that is really lovely like a puppy or something and um, then it, the audio’s like, you better fix my whole life. You little shit. Like . Yeah. Yeah. When I go to a therapist, that’s what we, we expect is You better fix my life.

Yeah. My dog is here and I’m just handing him a dog. Boom. That’s, that’s fine. So, So tell me, give me the tea. Okay. So I think, I mean, kind of going back to this radical acceptance piece, I think, and, and maybe this isn’t something that, you know, someone could have told me, but just something that I had to figure out on my own is just how, how much like control I had to relinquish.

Um, oh, I’m a perfectionist and a control freak. My wife is a perfectionist and a control freak. And so we, we both have careers in which we have a lot of like, control. I’ll say that sounds a little fucked, but either way. Um, input and impact. Input and impact, yes. I like that. So it’s, yeah, it’s really essentially what are you, do you wanna have, you wanna have control over the influence that you can have in impact and service to the world?

Cuz both of you are in service. Yes. And I think. You know, when we first started this, I thought, I think I had this, you know, kind of belief in my head about this fertility journey that it’s gonna be easy because I think, you know, when we had our introductory appointment and I met with Dr. Best, so my Dr.

Best, um, shout out to Dr. Monica Best. I think she’s still here in the Atlanta area, but she’s super sweet, super awesome endocrinologist. Um, and she really does live up to the name. So we had our, our introductory appointment with her and you know, she was like, oh, winter uterus looks great. Like, you should have no problem conceiving, we’re gonna get you pregnant.

And you know, and in my mind I’m like, oh, this is gonna be like super fast. Like everything is gonna be great and gravy. And then we actually didn’t get started until, um, so we had like our introductory appointment. I’ll stay. Early, uh, in the spring of 2019. And then as before we met, yeah, yeah. Before we met.

And then we didn’t have our first, um, appointment for like getting, um, really getting started in the process until like the fall. Um, just because we wanted to take the summer break to like, reconnect and really focus on us before we started this journey. Um, and when the fall hit and we got started, I had so much hope.

I think it was like an unrealistic amount of hope . Um, and I think that would be another thing that I would, you know, advise people or, or think about is that to have like realistic expectations. Um, but we started in the fall and had our first I u I and I really didn’t know what to expect from the process.

Um, And I thought, okay, well you know, we’re gonna have this iui, we’re gonna get pregnant, everything’s gonna be great. We didn’t get pregnant. Spoiler alert, . And I was like, what in the world is going on? And so I think, you know, it was a series of having an iui, not getting pregnant, having an i u iui, not getting pregnant.

And my mind kept going back to, well, winter you have a beautiful uterus, like what’s going on? Like, there should be no reason why you’re not getting pregnant. Um, and so it was like that internalized message that I kept telling myself of like, you know, I have this uterus, right, like this gold standard uterus that should be able to do all of these amazing things, or should be able to do the thing that it was, you know, created to do, so to speak.

And it’s not doing that. Um, , which I think was a big internalized, like shame message for me. But , we kept going and I think part of what got in my way is wanting to have more control over it than I did. So at the time, um, before I got into private practice, I was working for a, um, nonprofit organization here in Atlanta that is also mental health facility.

Um, and had decided that I was going to resign from the physician to actually devote time to do that, um, to devote time to these and go through fertility treatment. But I think the part. Messed with me the most was like, even though I had more control over my schedule and more control over the people that I saw in private practice, it was the having to alert people that, Hey, you know, I’m having these, um, doctors appointments that are gonna kind of be last minute.

Cuz that’s really what being infertility is, is light. And going through these treatments is like, at any given moment, when you know your LH surges and you’re ready to be inseminated, they’re like, you need to be here right then and right there. So that part was really, really hard of like letting go of the control that, um, I had over my schedule and just being like, okay, I have to really surrender myself and my body to this process, otherwise, like I’m just gonna get down the road of, you know, doing the same thing over and over again and.

So thank you so much for sharing us with that. If so, there, there’s a lot to unpack there. I know , I felt like I went down a train of like, wait, this isn’t exactly, no. So basically question, but yeah. You wish to summarize it, you wish that someone had told you like how little control that you would have over this process.

Yes. And how, how much you would need to possibly hold space for yourself to expect bumps and things not to work out the way you thought. Yeah, and I think, you know, part of what I said was also like having realistic expectations, which I think the expecting bumps is part of having realistic expectations, but also I think there’s so much, um, client clearly that goes into conception even for heterosexual couples.

That, you know, you don’t even really think about or you’re not even privy to. So I think one of the meetings that we had with, um, our fertility doctor, she was like, you know, couples really are kind of like shooting in the dark when they’re trying to get pregnant. Like, I think she said it was something like people have like a 30% chance of conceiving on their own.

And I think something about that, when she said said that, put it in just perspective for me because, you know, heterosexual couples have the benefit of having sex multiple times when you know, right when the le is searching, right. When, when ovulation is happening. But for, you know, same sex couples for the LGBTQ community, we don’t necessarily have that privilege.

So it’s almost like a one and done every single month. Well, it is a one and done every Right. So, Mike, he’s being so needy. be a guest, making a guest experience appearance. So basically, so with the options for the fertility options, I feel like you can never be too obvious or too clear. So the, basically the options for the, for people who don’t identify, uh, for like same-sex couples, is, is IUI or I V F essentially?

Well, so I think I U I I V F is an option. There is, um, a treatment known as like Ixi, which is kind of like a low stem version of I V F. Um, I actually had. Someone that I knew do, I can’t remember what the procedure was called, but they basically put the embryo in this device and then inserted the device into her vagina.

And she had to carry it for like a couple of days. And that was to, to provide like the optimal environment for the embryo to flourish before Wow. Implantation. And that is like a relatively new, um, procedure, but also there’s adoption and then there’s, you know, surrogacy, I know, um, a lot of, um, a lot of the gay men friends who have done cracy as well.

Um, which if you think about this, like all of this is really expensive and super, I why is kind of like the least expensive, but when it gets into I v f, when it gets into surrogacy, when it even gets into adoption, we’re talking 20, 25,000 or more. So, Easy. And then there’s, we recently did an episode all about embryos.

So like, uh, also like adopting embryos or getting donated embryos. Um, and all also like going into the regulations per state. That’s so different. So different, yeah. Per state. Like in New York, they treat embryo adoption the same way as if it was, um, a child that was already here. Mm-hmm. , like that’s already been born.

Like they do home inspection and things like that. So you check with your s you know, you have to be also be very specific of like, what are you like and what state, uh, like what your regulations are also is with how, with your fertility journey. Mm-hmm. , how did you go about buying. What was your journey like buying sperm?

I think that this is a very unique conversation. We had, um, you know, our friends Jenny and Maryanne Ortega, so they, they came and they talked about maybe they bought too much sperm and how they would go about it differently. Yeah. So tell us about your, your experience with buying sperm. Oh man. I’ll say initially it was a shit show cuz I think my partner and I really just weren’t sure what we were doing and we were really like, you know, we’re already spending so much money with this process.

We want to spend money for quality sperm, and at the same time we don’t wanna spend a fortune. Right. So, , we, um, ended up actually going with California Cryobank. And one of the things that, um, was offered to us, at least with the first fertility clinic that we went to was sort of like this printout of these donor pools that are, you know, in the United States.

And I think there were some that were even offered in the UK and like, um, um, in Europe, like other parts of Europe. Um, so, you know, one of the things that we had to consider was like genetic testing, and that was also something that was done at our introductory appointment was doing genetic testing for myself, um, and kind of figuring out like my, um, blood type.

Um, and so when we were picking out firm, we had to consider. The genetic components we had to consider my blood type. We also had to consider something, um, known as being like C M V positive or negative, which is like the cytomegalovirus, which I found out was pretty much like if you are, um, I think it’s like if you’re positive for it and you link up with a donor that is negative or, or something like that.

I can’t remember the exact science, but it’s basically like C M V acts, like this asite to your embryo and, you know, that could, that could be it. Right. , did you have someone to help that from, from maybe, um, from that company, help you go through all of this or did you have like a guide through this, like a counselor or a social worker through this or were you No.

Handling the blood work and the matching all of that on your own with like paperwork. So what did that look like? Yeah, so I mean the, um, Genetic testing. We actually had a genetic counselor call us and kind of talk us through, um, all the genetic components that we needed to consider and like what it actually meant for finding a donor.

Um, and there were like two genetic considerations that came up that I was a carrier for. Um, and so the genetic counselor actually went over all of that information with us and kind of made some recommendations from there as far as, um, you know, I’m C M V negative. And so the recommendation was for me to find a donor that was also C M V negative, right?

Um, and that was made to me by endocrinologist. So after the introductory appointment, we kind of had like a follow up appointment and she talked about like, you know, here’s your blood type, here’s, you know, what C M B negative means. You know, these are the genetic considerations that we found. You’re gonna have a genetic counselor reach out to you.

But as far as like picking out the donor, I mean, maybe California cryobank offers a service, but we didn’t use it. We actually just went to the website, um, signed up for a profile and then started like including, you know, the things that we actually really needed to consider. So the genetics, and then C M B and blood type and all of that.

Um, and then we started like filtering down to like, basically what we wanted from our donor. So needs first, and then we prioritized our wants. So what are your wants from the donor? Did, was it like raise or occupation or intelligence? Yeah. What, what, what? For a person who’s never bought sperm, I’m super curious.

Yes. But like, also like, that also was really hard. So like, I bet you this will be very valuable for a listener is so like, what are the criteria that you can actually select in a donor? Yeah, so you can , you can pretty much select anything from a donor. Like I was really surprised at all the things that you consider.

But like, height, weight, height, weight, occupation, weight, weight, right down to like astrological sign. Occupation. Shut up. Yeah, no, it is like, no. Wild. It’s wild. So chose a Taurus. Did you choose a Taurus? Just joking. You don’t wanna, you don’t wanna bowl in a tea shop. That was me. I’m a Taurus. I’m trying to think now.

I feel like the donor that we chose was a Virgo with, I’m like, I’m a Virgo. So, you know. But, um, my partner, my partner is, um, Irish, uh, Scott’s Irish and well, And so it was super important that we found a donor that had that same, um, ethnicity. We also, for me, it was important to find a donor that was creative.

I come from a family of musicians and my papa was a world renowned, um, bluegrass and jazz. Oh, I had no idea. Musician. Yeah. And so I really wanted someone in my mind I was like, oh, it’d be great if, you know, we found a donor that had like this musical talent or, you know, knew how to play an instrument or had some sort of like, creative something.

Um, of course, I think the mental health counselor in me was like, what’s going on with family dynamics? What’s happening with like, their mental and physical health? Which is, you know, also something that you have access to, at least with California cryobank. Um, also like you can do eye color, things like that.

So, You know, it is, that’s a very great description of like all the aspects that you can consider. Yeah. And I love how you, you are very thoughtful and I mean, every part of the journey, I’m, I’m sure for many is thoughtful, but sometimes if people are given too many options, they might shut down and, and they might not be able to be fully stepping into like, um, they may not have the emotional bandwidth perhaps.

Yeah. Like if it’s too much, but you like, were thoughtful of like, this is what I love about my partner, or this is what’s really important to my partner, and this is because like bringing them into the process, like what’s special about them and then things about your, about your dad and eye color. That’s really wonderful.

I think that’s really beautiful. Yeah. So I have a follow up question. Yes. So there is that documentary about 23 and me and how Donor. Donor babies are now. Yes. And when people donated years ago, d n a tests didn’t exist. So when you have a baby and it’s a donor, it’s, it will ultimately be a donor baby. So, um, have you thought about what those conversations will be like or what if they wanna get tested?

Have you thought about like how you would approach those conversations or is that too premature? Yeah, I mean, , I don’t think it’s too premature. I don’t think it’s thought about. I know when we were picking out a donor, we really wanted, um, an open donor, which is, you know, you can choose, um Oh, okay. An open or anonymous donor and open donors.

I think you, once your child turns 18, they’ll have access to like, um, who the sperm donor is. Um, now whether or not they contact them I think is something totally different. But, um, we chose an open donor. We haven’t really discussed, you know, what it would be like for us to have a conversation with our child about like, you know, you came from a sperm, sperm donor and then you have access to all these other things.

Um, we do have friends that conceive, uh, through donor insemination and, um, they have a son. And, um, more recently they’ve been able to find like siblings of his, which has been like really, really sweet, um, to like, see them go through and like kinda see, you know, similarities between their son and um, their son’s.

So, you know, I think that is the conversation that of course is going to vary, you know, Some couple to couple, but that’s a good question. We haven’t really even , we haven’t thought about that. Like there’s so many things, , that we haven’t thought about. I’m like, oh yeah, just me pretending to be a, a journalist over here thinking of all of the, how is this gonna go?

But if anyone is gonna do it in a way that is the most loving, respectful, thoughtful way, it will be you, no doubt. Thank you. I appreciate that. I, I can receive that because I, I like to think there will be a lot of, between myself and my partner who’s an educator, there will be a lot of intentions around this conversation that we have.

So, yeah. So, um, I’m gonna ask you now a more intimate question. Okay. As a same sex couple. How did you decide which person was going to go through the fertility treatment and try to conceive, both of you are trying to conceive, but who, which partner? How did you decide as a couple, um, who wanted to actually carry the baby?

Yeah, we actually had a, a s sitt down conversation about it. Um, my partner is older than me. Um, I think by like four or five years if I’m, if my math is correct, don’t come for her later. . I know it’s okay. You gonna pass? It was a very, it was a very direct question. , it’s fine, but I, but we had a sit down conversation with it and, uh, about it and, um, She had actually expressed that she didn’t really have an interest in being the carrier.

Um, I think I was a little bit more vocal about like wanting to carry, but also, you know, really open to the idea of like, if she wanted to carry then it meant that, you know, she needed to go first. Um, just because of the age difference. Because even when you start this journey, you know, you start hearing things like you only have the amount of eggs that you’re ever going to have in your life, and the older you get, the more your chances of conceiving goes down.

So, you know, it’s, it really makes you feel like you’re kind of up against the clock a little bit. But yeah, we had a conversation, a, around like, like I said, what we wanted from this journey and, and kind of like who. Who carried. And for her it wasn’t a, it wasn’t a matter of like, interest in caring. So I love the emotional intimacy and honesty and transparency in your relationship.

I think that’s really beautiful. Yeah, I mean, one of the things that we’ve implemented, um, out of the, I’ll say the behest or the insistence of my own therapist is that, um, we, every evening when she comes in from work, we share like a really long hug and then we’ll have conversations around like how, you know, our day was and like what happened during our day and things like that.

So, um, we also implemented trying to have like a monthly like finance meeting. That way it was separated from. What’s happening in the like loving part of our relationship and we can actually talk about the business part of our relationship. We have a weekly budget meeting too. Yeah. We do monthly and weekly and it’s important because we have like very aggressive financial goals we’re trying to do.

Yeah. So I think that having, and that’s the only thing. And it’s timed . Yes. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. . Well, and as a therapist, like when you start hearing, you know, every day from, from your clients about like what’s going on in their lives, it can be really overwhelming to have your partner come in and go like, just unleash.

And so for me it was a really great way to like structure me getting separation from client time versus being there for my partner. Even though we, I mean boundaries. Are you talking about boundaries? I’m talking about boundaries. , we actually, so important, they preserve peace everyone. Boundaries doesn’t mean that you did anything bad, it just means that they’re to preserve your peace and that person’s peace and to honor the energy that that boundaries intended for.

Absolutely. Absolutely. Woo. Yes. Boundaries. Yes. Not two things that will piss people off. Talk about mayonnaise and boundaries. People talk about condiments. They get real mad about condiments. Yeah. And boundaries. And here in the south, when you have the mayonnaise conversation, it’s like, are you a dance?

Are you blue plates? Are you hells? And I’m Hellmans all the way. Oh gosh. I’m not a Duke fan. I’m like blue. Or Hellmans. Give me, gimme those two. I think Dukes, oh my gosh. My mom used to eat Miracle Whip. I was like, that’s the devil. Yeah. Devil’s version of mayonnaise. That’s not real. Mace. My grandmother still used Miracle Whip

I know my mother-in-law uses canola oil and I just wanna die. Anyway. What is the biggest struggle you face as a person of color in your fertility journey as a couple? I think it’s really important and then I have more questions follow up to that. Yeah. So I’m, I’m thinking about myself, but I’m also thinking about, um, my friends that are ready to start their fertility journey.

Um, they are a same sex interracial couple as well. Um, they are, um, African American and Pakistani, and one of the things that they have voiced is like the donor pool of, um, Asian, especially South Asian donors, is really, really, really, really small, especially when you’re considering like genetics, especially when you’re, you’re considering, you know, that C m V factor.

Um, so that has been a challenge I’ll say for, um, you know, for them specifically. But also I think one of the things that I have experienced is, and this is just kind of like across the board in the medical field, is like the lack of, um, bipo, endocrinologists and bipo, I’ll say OB GYNs, um, because Oh yeah.

You know, I think it’s especially important, especially for here, for women here in Georgia. Georgia I think is number five in the nation for the. Um, maternal mortality rate for iPOC women, specifically black women. And from my experience, you know, it’s been hard to find, um, ob GYNs and endocrinologists who are iPOC.

Um, there’s something really unique about our experience and when I say our, I mean like black women, black CI women. Um, I’ll include black of course, black trans women as well. Black women overall, there’s something really unique about our medical experiences because, you know, this country has had a history of really taking away our choice around our own bodies and has really had a history of using our bodies for scientific experiments.

And we’re advancing, you know, medicine here in the United States without our consent. So I say there’s something really unique about our experience because ultimately we want to feel seen and we want to feel heard, and we want to feel empowered to make decisions around like our, our medical choices. Um, especially when it comes to our wombs, our wombs are really, really sacred.

But that has been really difficult to like see that there’s so many like white faces, if I’m being blunt, if I’m being honest. Um, just like in endocrinology and in, um, the field of like obstetrics and gynecology, um, I would say that it has been discouraging, but at, at the same time, I think what drives me is like whenever I’m not feeling seen or heard, to really advocate for myself and to really ask for, you know, what I need.

Um, so yeah, I mean, and even though that takes, that’s been interesting, deep courage because in the appointments are fast, they’re quick. You may not really, even if there was like an aggression or microaggression, it may not initially hit you right away. So like, you’re like, wait a minute, what? Yeah. Did that just happen?

So like to come back and like still advocate for yourself is so, so, I, I don’t even say it’s brave, but there, that just means like, like has to come from such a deep place of strength because like, there is so much to like, okay, uh, I’m still gonna step forward. Yeah. Either though that this is like super fast and this person was not kind and was clearly wrong.

Yeah. Um, I don’t even think, I don’t think brave was the right word, so I’m sorry, but I definitely think it has to like to, and I’ll never know what that feels like. Mm-hmm. , I’ll never know what that feels like, but I, I, I just am so thankful for you. Yeah. Because this has to be spoken about, and this has to be no matter what, like.

I’m mixed, so I’m half white, half Hispanic, but I’ll never know. And I look white. I’ll never know what it’s like to my voice completely be dismissed or like people don’t know the stories of how black women that, that I’ve purposely put time into like researching and reading is that like the black women, if they’re like in pain, they’re dismissed because doc modern, like doctors now believe that even the way that black women feel pain is based upon experiments that were done.

Yeah. By the beginning of gynecology, which is totally false. A human, no matter their color feels pain the same way. Absolutely. So like women who might be hemorrhaging, um, you know, like I feel like they’re just totally dismissed and Yeah. Meant to suffer or they’re checked on less. Um, and. Or there is marginal differences in the resources that are available.

I recently interviewed this amazing human, her name is Asia Price, and she’s the co-founder of the Omaha Black Doula Association. Oh. And, um, she was saying that, I was like, what is the biggest struggle here in our county? She goes, some people just don’t have money for an Uber or a taxi to get to the, to the appointment.

Yeah, just to the appointment. So there’s like, but then like, what are they faced when they go there? Or the experience that you’re explaining, like there’s a deep distrust mm-hmm. , maybe it’s not even related to their pregnancy. Maybe it was just before. As a general practitioner, what did they, what did they experience before this influencing maybe their want to go get?

I’m sure everyone wants to do what’s best for their baby, but like, what, what’s their resistance in wanting to go to like the first, um, trimester? She said that a lot of people just skipped the first trimester and their, um, because of mistreatment they’ve had from previous doctor experiences or access to transportation.

Mm-hmm. . Um, and she also mentioned that there’s only just like, I think, uh, for my research, there’s like less than five and not all of, uh, uh, black gynecologists here in the area and here in Omaha, and they’re not all accepting patients, so, yeah. Wow. So, and that’s here, like, and that’s like in a, the largest city in the state of Nebraska.

So like, I w what do you think? Can people say in these appointments that are examples of, like, I always find it, like if you give an example of like what to say, it is so powerful cuz then I don’t have to be creative in what I should say. Like I can just take this and I can apply it. Mm-hmm. . So like I do that in parenting, like I don’t know what to say, so tell me what to say.

But, and then that, that when the situation comes, I already know how I can reply. Yeah. Like I don’t have to figure it out on my own. So like what are some things, if, what are some statements or how can a conversation go if a woman of color needs to advocate for themselves in any doctor’s appointment? Let alone fertility?

Yeah. I mean, because I’m snarky, but I don’t know. Like, also I can’t, it won’t be the. Coming from me as it would be from you as a woman of color advocating for herself. Well, and here’s, here’s the, the, I guess sort of like the thin line is like, you know, as a black woman, we’re already perceived as angry.

Even if we are expressive, like black people, as a people, as a culture, we’re incredibly passionate and that comes through in everything that we we do. Right? Even when we’re like telling a story, there’s gonna be passion associated with it, right? But when it comes to. , you know, advocating for ourselves, we can be labeled as like resistant or we can be labeled as angry or non-compliant.

I’ve heard, I’ve heard non-compliant, especially like in the mental health field. Right? Um, wow. Non-compliant. Non-compliant. I That’s what you use when like, you’re, like in a regulated industry. Yes. When like you use the wrong ink, you don’t use that to describe a person. No. We’re teach telling people to raise non obedient children because we want them to be critical thinkers and then we’re gonna label a woman non-compliant as a human.

Yeah. So that’s, that’s, so it’s, it’s interesting because, you know, I think part of the standard is like even if we were to, you know, advocate for ourselves in a way that was very interpersonally effective, right? If there is a white. Medical provider hearing this, they’re not going to hear the piece that we don’t feel seen or heard.

They’re going to see and hear that this person is angry or this person is resistant. Or like I said, this person is non-compliant. So even with that, I’ll, I would say like, you know, I don’t know that there’s a specific conversation, but Oh, okay. I’m of the mindset of like, you say what you need to say, right?

You, you inform your medical care providers that you don’t feel seen or heard, right? That you feel like your concerns are being dismissed and take your care somewhere else. Right. Because at the, at the end of the day, , even if you’re using insurance, you are still paying these people for a service. With my clients, I tell them if there’s something that.

I’m not doing, or if there’s something that you don’t like, you have the ability to fire me. Right? At the end of the day, you are paying me to be your therapist. If you’re not getting what you need, I’m okay with you going somewhere else. And I think that is, I think that’s the, the, the biggest thing that people in the medical community, especially white medical providers, need to understand when they’re treating black patients.

As like, you have to see, you have to see us as a whole person. And you have to see beyond our color. We’re not asking you to see, you know, clearly you’re gonna see a difference. It’s, it’s hard not to see us as different. And in a lot of ways we are. And at the same time, we’re asking you to see us as a human being, as a person who also has human emotions and human experiences and is capable of feeling pain.

Right. Um, . I think the, the, the biggest piece is like when you feel like you’re not seeing, being seen and heard to keep going until you find someone who’s being, who is able to see you and hear you. And actually that was a big part of my experience in this fertility journey and is like feeling like, you know, I’m not getting pregnant.

I’m being told that everything is okay. That, you know, there’s really nothing wrong. But me feeling like, well, there must be something getting in the way. And I, I think it was actually your encouragement like it’s fertility clinics, because I’m like, I’m not getting, you know, I’m spending all this money not getting the outcome that I’m wanting.

And I’m still being told like, everything is okay, everything’s okay, da da da, da da. Well, at the same time, being directed toward I v. I was like, I need a second opinion. So it wasn’t until I switched fertility clinics and said, this is what my experience was over here. You know, I really need someone who’s going to be thoughtful.

I need someone who’s going to listen to me and to hear me. I also need someone who has great bedside manner because, you know, there’s unfortunately vagina. Yeah. Like this is, oh, not my fucking vagina. You need to be nice. You need to talk to me, basically. Yeah. Like, have some decorum be, you know, be a caring, thoughtful person and show up in that way.

Otherwise the process feels very cold and stale. So that’s, and I, and I actually had to stay, you know, I need someone who’s going to be caring, who’s going to see me, who’s, you know, going to be communicative. Cause I wasn’t receiving that from the other fertility clinic. And they were like, okay. And then they, you know, started doing all these tests and started, um, being really responsive to my emails.

And there was a whole portal where I actually had direct access to my doctors, which wasn’t something that I’d had at the first fertility clinic. So I said all that to say like, I think if you’re not getting your needs met, to voice to the people that you’re not getting your needs met and to take your service somewhere else and to then actually voice to the new people.

Like, this is exactly what I need. If you’re not able to provide it, then I’m going somewhere else. That’s super powerful. I have one last question for you. Yes. And what did you do to cope with all of the stress ups and Downs, Inc. Curve balls of your fertility journey? What has been something that you’ve used to cope with?

I’ll say I . I think the biggest thing that I did was actually allow myself to feel my emotions. that may not be coping. Actually, no. That is coping. It’s that is coping, being able to regulate my emotions. Right? Instead of shutting down. Instead of shutting down. Um, and I think that is so important as, as being, um, allowed the space and actually taking the space to acknowledge how you feel and actually to feel what you’re feeling.

Especially for Bipo folks, when the, when the message to us is like, we’re not allowed to experience anger. We’re not allowed to experience sadness. We’re not allowed to express these things because, you know, we have to have it all together and we have to be there for other people and we have to be strong, right?

So I actually allowed myself to fall apart a lot of times. , um, I, you. What I will acknowledge is that my partner and I do have a lot of privilege, which I recognize that not a lot of people have, especially going through this, um, journey to even actually afford doing this. Um, but we started doing vacations.

Um, one of the things my, my partner and I really liked to travel a lot, so we do a lot of like traveling, even if it is just like short week instance. But one of the things that, um, my friends and I actually implemented, um, during this pandemic kind of last year, um, and talking about it the year before was trying to do a friends vacation.

And these are my friends that are really more like family members to me. That, you know, I’m just super love. So we started planning out like our friends’ cas days and like where we were gonna go and like what we were gonna do. Um, I think actively. Planning things that provide joy in your life is super important.

Um, because it also gives you something to look forward to and it, and it gives you a way to like distract away from the pain that you’re feeling when you know you don’t get that positive pregnancy. Really, a great question I always love to ask people is where do you source your joy from? And a lot of people don’t know how to answer that question.

Yeah. Like most people that I ask, like the most, like only maybe a handful of people that I’ve ever asked that question from too know where they actually source their joy from. Yeah. And I think it’s, yeah, go ahead. I’m sorry. . No, and I always other, if they do answer, um, I say, okay, your job’s not allowed to be a source of joy.

Uh, what your occupation can’t be. Like, my business cannot be a source of joy. Um, it will in a very healthy way. It should be more of like, Ways that you receive love from? Like is it spending quality time, is it going outdoors? And like what, is there an activity? Is there a hobby? Yeah. Because as soon as you start to source things like joy from like your job or how much money you have, then we start to have our identities wrapped up and that, and that leads unhealthy things.

Yes. And that’s pretty much like what we’re trying to lean away from in this. Allowing yourself to feel and expand. Yeah. So I I, if you do source your joy from there, there’s an opportunity for you to look to see like, okay, where do I need to expand into my life to allow different things to come in. Do you need a hobby?

Do you have a hobby? Right, right. My husband’s like, oh, my books, the more I read, the Happier I am. . Yeah. . Yeah. I mean, I, I love to read too. I, I, I actually like, um, I read hard book books or hard back books, but I also really love like audible books. There’s something about like Audible that, yeah. Books to the next level for me.

So I listened to, um, a lot of audible books. I actually don’t read or listen to books that are like reminiscent of real life things. So I don’t read autobiographies unless they’re like funny or comical. I don’t read like historical things or, um, things that are political or things that are a lot about like, um, black suffering.

Um, there’s a lot of literature around like racism and black suffering and things like that, which is so needed. I think people need to read that. And I don’t read those things. I don’t think black people have to read those things because that’s our lived experience and we already know, you know, what’s happening.

But I actually read a lot of, um, smut. I listen to a lot of smut. I like to listen. So I listened to kind of like romance novels that have like this really intense aspect of sex. Um mm-hmm. . Yeah. I, I like those kind of books. I like, I mean they’re, I read 50 Shade of Gray like three times. Yeah. My husband’s reading Dante right now and he like has like these giant books that he’ll order and I’m like, what is that?

I was like, I’ve heard that before. Funny story tangent. And I think that funny stories on podcasts are important Yes. Is that my son gets swimming lessons and. We, he graduated to like the next level. So he was like really excited and yay always is like, I’m gonna miss my teacher, and the teacher’s name is Chris, whatever, and he’s just a wonderful human.

And Allie goes, so who’s my new teacher? And the lady goes, oh, you are with him on Saturday? And he goes, ah, Dante, he’s my guy. And the lady looked at me strange and and I said, um, his name was John. He goes, no, it’s not, it’s Dante and . Ryan comes up and he goes, what’s going on? I was like, we’re, I was like, and then the lady, the lady who’s helping us find the new clash and she go and says, no, like, his name is John and Ali with such conviction goes, his name is Dante.

And, and then Ryan goes, your new teacher’s named Dante. And he go and the lady goes, no, his name is John. And then all he goes, let me tell you, I heard Dante somewhere. And Ryan goes, that’s the book I’m reading. , like, he thought the gentleman’s name was, I don’t know. He was convinced. He was convinced. So funny.

Yeah. Oh my gosh. These books this kid’s gonna grow up with and, uh, my husband’s into like sci-fi and theology and all the things. Yeah. But the classics it too, but I, I think it’s important be, if you’re curious about something, um, it’s a good way to find a new hobby. Yeah. For me, when I was, you know, going through my grief years ago, I was very curious about everything.

Spiritual rocks. Yeah. Crystal pendulums. So I took every like, virtual workshop and in-person workshop, I. and I learned, I learned, I took a class on how to read Oracle cards. You just never know where it’s gonna go. Yeah, here I am in my like second, third career or whatever. So a hobby turned into something else.

So, yeah. Um, so where can people, if they wanna get in touch with you after this episode, where can they find. Yeah, so, um, you can actually email me. I do have social media. Um, mostly my social media is through my private practice, which is Revolution Psychotherapy. Um, my handle for Instagram and Facebook is Revolution ums, like p s y I think.

Um, so you can find me on Instagram and Facebook. Um, email me@winterrevolutionpsychotherapy.com, um, or winter revolution sy.com. Like I don’t even fucking know what it’s winter revolution psy.com. Okay, thank you. Thank you. There you go. You can find me there, . I have everything right here on my screen. So what, what is it?

I, I get it confused all the time cause my website is, you know, kind of different than my email. But yeah, that’s where you can find me. Thank you for taking the time to share your heart and soul with our listeners. And I know the impact you’re gonna have is just so tremendous to so many. Thank you so much for having me here.

It’s been awesome. I, I just love every part of you, so you’re just a light to me and I’m sure to all of our listeners, so, oh, thank you. You’ve been really instrumental in my journey too, so thank you. Thank you. Shut up so much for, I’m so serious. Thank you so much for guiding me through this cuz it’s, you know, this journey is, can be really hard.

I guess we didn’t touch upon our own relationship. , do that part now. Oh, do her at the end and have her clip it forward. the winter. How do we know each other? . Oh man. We, well, how long ago did we meet? Like it was a year ago? More than that. Um, year, months ago. I remember you had to reach out for like. Inquiry for my services.

And that was when I was packing up my mother-in-law’s basement. And it was before they moved, so that was like February of 2021. Yeah. Okay. Yes. So I think I found you, I happened on Instagram, Facebook? No, it’s Facebook. And really because I have like 200 followers there. I have like you were doing seemed like a Facebook Live.

Yeah. You were doing like a Facebook Live where you were doing, um, Oracle, Oracle card reading for Wow. The people that were in attendance. So I was like, you know what, lemme jump on here and see what it was like. And the first card I think that you pulled for me was like spot on. I don’t even remember what it was, but I just remember going like, oh shit.

Like this is spot on . And at that point I had tried so many things. I was like, you know what? I’m going to just try Reiki and see where it goes. Like I had tried. I had literally , I had literally like reached out to this heaven in Ireland that had like, you never told me that. Oh yes. Super intense, like connections and were doing like, they did the spell for me for, uh, conceiving.

And they like sent me this whole like packet of, of crystal, this whole prayer that I had through recite. Yeah, I did that. I had done acupuncture, um, which acupuncture was cool. Um, you’re never gonna feel guilty ever talking about witches ever again. Yeah, no, I’m totally into it. And I had done, I had done so many things, like I had changed my diet.

I had, you know, started exercising more. I literally, Did every single thing in the book that I could try conceive. And then I was like, you know what, like what is one more thing? Right? What? When I, when I tell you I’m ambitious and I get something on my mind, , I set out for it now. Now more thing, right? . And that’s usually I reached out when people find me, it’s cuz they’ve done everything A through Z.

And they’re like, why not Reiki? And I’m like, well, it works. Yeah, we have 69 reiki babies and still counting. Yeah, we’re just waiting for one more to be announced and then it’ll be 70 and then it’ll be 70 and then it’ll be 70. Um, and now you’re in the membership. Now we have a Reiki membership. Yes. So if you’re wanting a community, if you’re wanting Reiki at a bargain prize, this specialize for fertility and wanting access to me, join the Fertility Foundation’s collective.

We would love to have you. So absolutely do it. Do it, do it, do it. It has been i life changing for me. I won’t keep you any longer. So this is the real end. Um, I love you. You’re a huge part of my life and I’m super grateful for you. Oh, I love you too. I’m so grateful for you and like I said, everything that you’ve done for me and helped me through this journey, it’s been really, really special.

I’m super grateful for you. Mm-hmm. . I will, what will happen next is we’ll edit your episode in the next coming weeks cause she is, she has 17 episodes in queue to edit. I know we’re filming all the way. We’re, we will be done filming at the end of. Probably by November 4th we’ll have enough episodes till April.

Wow. I know. I’ve been busy. Yeah. Yeah. I, I quit that job and I was like, peace out fuckers. Yeah. And, and I’ve been busy, so, um, have you ever thought about going on a podcast tour? I ha I have. It’s funny cuz uh, Carrie and I actually started talking about doing a podcast. You know, let me know about Journey. I got hired to design this lady’s podcast from Africa.

Yeah. She, she’s a, she is this white lady from Ohio that moved to Nea N Nebi. Nebi Nebbia Nebbia Nebbia Ne Naia naia. Yes. And, um, she hired me last week and I’m planning her podcast. I joined, I spent thousands of dollars learning, had a podcast, , I had a fucking coach and all these things. Anyway, um, so I’m planning her podcast.

Um, and she hired me. So like I assigned two clients in the first week and a half that I left that other job. So, um, at triple the rate I was being paid before, um, working 20 hours a month. So like literally there is like this group that you can join on Facebook if you want. Let me get the link for you.

Yeah, yeah. I have sourced every single guest unless I’ve found them, like on social media. There was a couple I found on TikTok and I’m like, you’re fucking rad. There’s this amazing lady who is somewhere in the south, uh, she is, she started a company called Trace Tampons. Hmm. And it’s really cool. Let’s see here.

Um, one second. . So basically if you wanna be a guest, you can join that free Facebook group. But it’s run by a lady named Sarah Penner, and she owns a, um, a membership for $14 a month. She holds these virtual mixers and also has these online directories of people who are hosts and people who are wanna be guests.

Oh, wow. And you a profile and they, they connect. But like the quality of guests I’ve gotten in this group is, is like amazing. Like every guest I’ve gotten, except maybe five, have been from this group. Wow. I’m in like several. And this is like a fucking gold mine. Like the r e i that’s on the podcast. Your name is Carolina swe though.

Uh, amazing human. She got, I came from that group. There’s this amazing, um, acupuncturist. Mm-hmm. , California. Acupuncturists actually have to be doctors. Oh, I didn’t know that. That’s really cool. She’s like, don’t go to anyone that like, She’s like, you’re gonna have to edit that part out. Where I was like, oh, I mean, I love acupuncture.

When I go to my chiropractor and they put needles in my face and it pops, she goes, edit that out cuz that’s not safe. Don’t do that ever again. . And she’s like a Chinese, she’s like a Chinese medicine doctor. Mm-hmm. . I talked to this lady called the Period Whisperer from the uk. I get a lot of Aussies and a lot of people from the uk, amazing people.

The period whisperer, she’s going like this, your fluid should be stretchy like this between your fingers. I was like, and what phase of should that be? She goes, we need to talk about vaginal fluids. I was like, let’s talk about vaginal fluids. So many things. This lady in Australia, she was conceiving after cervical cancer.

What did that look like? Mm-hmm. . Yeah. Wow. There’s this lady who is from Israel, um, and she, I have to read her book before the interview. But anyway, she’s, she wrote a book, She left like a very, like toxic marriage. Mm-hmm. . I’m not, she’s Jewish, but I’m not sure, like, which, I know there’s different version or different, um, what’s the proper word?

Um, not degrees, but there’s different, uh, I guess, uh, there’s different churches, but I guess there’s different degrees of the faith or different Yeah. Lineages of the faith, I guess. So she, she wrote a book on like breaking that suffering, suffering and talking about miscarriage and ultimately leading to like how organizations saved her life through leaving through all of that.

Like in organizing your home to set yourself up for healing. Yeah. And how she does, I didn’t see that. Did that through loss. Just amazing humans. And then just people like, I don’t know. I was listening to Asia talk about. how our county is a very deadly place for black women and black babies.

The ultimate advice for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ Persons Struggling to Conceive with Winter Foddrell

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