Are you stressed about going to a doctor visit? Most women who are struggling with conceiving their babies face some type of anxiety around managing their relationships with their medical providers.
In this episode, Carolina and Lakeisha discuss what a good relationship with a doctor looks like, how to manage communication, and what self advocacy looks like through your fertility journey. Lakeisha will explain different strategies she has implemented successfully in her fertility journey to better her communication with her doctors.
If you are wanting to learn how level up your accountability with your doctor and communication, THEN this is the episode for you. You deserve to have a great relationship of being heard and listened to with your doctors, especially when you are conceiving.
What you’ll learn:
1:11 Who Lakeisha is and her fertility story
6:40 Start with 1%
9:00 Why it’s important to know yourself well
14:40 Checking in with yourself is critical
14:50 What priority metric is
20:53 Tips for advocating for yourself through fertility treatments
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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/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carolinasotomayorreiki/
Full episode transcript:
Hi, I’m Carolina, your podcast host and expert wound healer. Over the past five years, I’ve served over 500 women to remove physical blockages in their bodies. We achieve this with Reiki. I believe healing doesn’t have to be done alone, nor should it be. We will hear stories of healing methods to heal with and guest speakers covering taboo topics you won’t hear anywhere else.
Let’s continue this journey of wound healing together.
Hi, I am Carolina, your podcast host and expert womb healer. Today we are talking with Lakeisha Inua and we are gonna be talking about her fertility journey and also learning how to advocate for yourself through fertility treatment. Uh, Lakeisha, thank you for being here and thank you for the honor of sharing your story with us.
And I know it’s gonna impact so many people. Can you give us a little bit of information about you? Let’s dive into your fertility story. Sure. Thank you so much for having me. It’s an honor to be here and to share this space with you. So yeah, I am Lakeisha Enis. I am a wife. I am the mom of three wonderful little girls, one of which who was conceived via i u I.
And so that journey for me started about. 11 years ago now, my daughter’s almost nine. Uh, is nine, almost 10. But about six months or so in, after, you know, trying the old-fashioned way, uh, , I realized that my body was not cooperating the way that it was supposed to be. My cycle was very irregular. It showed up when it won it two and some months, maybe two, three months at a time.
It would not show up. And so I remember going to the doctor and saying, you know, what’s happening? What’s going on? You know, and my original OB G Y n saying, um, we’re not really sure you’re young, it’s gonna be okay. You know, so just go home and keep trying. And then after a year you can go see a fertility specialist.
I’m not really one to take no for an answer. And I’m not really patient either. And so that answer was not good enough for me. I knew something was happening, uh, just because my cycle wasn’t regular. And anyone on this journey knows that you kind of need a regular cycle in order to at least have a fighting chance of, of getting pregnant.
And so I made the appointment to see the fertility specialist and was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome, immediately started treatment. and the first round of medication failed. I couldn’t even get, uh, a follicle. The second round of medication failed. We could not get a follicle. We started the third round of medication, and then they found a polyp in my uterus that they said had to be removed.
Because of how it was shaped and its placement, it would affect implantation. So we canceled that round of me medication. I had my surgery and I remember sitting in the car after getting the news that I needed surgery. I said to my husband, listen, we’re gonna do this, uh, surgery. I’ll do one more round of meds.
If that doesn’t work, I’m gonna need a break. I don’t know if I can handle this emotionally or physically any longer. And so he said, okay, have the surgery start at the next round of me. And we were actually able to get a go follicle and I actually went through up to insemination and my daughter was conceived on that round.
Yes, I love that. And so while it sounds like. Yes, it’s a, so it sounds like, oh, yay, you know, third time’s a charm. There were a lot of big key differences in that third round of medication, not just the fact that, you know, we had the surgery and removed the polyp and all of those things, but in that moment where I realized that I didn’t know how much longer I could continue on this journey, emotionally, I made the decision that I was gonna do everything in my power to give us the best chance of success.
And so for me that meant cleaning up my diet because it was terrible. It meant exercising regularly just to make sure that I was, you know, strong enough to actually carry a baby to term. That meant getting my mental health together, making sure I was sleeping, making sure I was just generally in a good.
State of health, and I think all of those things and being in constant conversation with my doctor about what was going on is what really got us to the result that we had. I think that’s so powerful. A couple of things stand out for me is one is that you have a natural tenacious nature about you. I love that.
I guess I can identify you that very, very much like, well, if I don’t have the answer, well we’re going to do as best as we can to get as closed for it, as close to the target as possible. But the thing is, is there’s a key thing in under all of that, that it’s very simple, that a lot of people. Seem to not necessarily understand is that when I ask, when I’m working with a client or in the membership, so what is your fertility plan look like?
And they kind of come back and you’re like, what do you mean? And I was like, well, you usually have a birth plan. You usually have a fitness plan. What does your fertility plan look like? What are the steps that we’re doing to best optimize our fertility and conception? That could be for natural fertility, whatever.
your empowered, informed choice is for your body, with your doctor and with your partner, spouse, or if you’re doing it alone, whatever your picture looks like. Is that, what are the steps that you need to do medically? What are the steps you need to do emotionally, energetically, mentally, to optimize your health, to make your body as aligned and open and harmonized?
Whatever word you want to do, boosted as much as possible to welcome baby. And I always tell everyone, start with the 1%. What is the one thing you can do today? Mm-hmm. , master that and then move on to the next phase. A successful. Plan would never be all of those all at once. Now there are like the top 1% of top high performers, and that might be you.
But for the average person, maybe it’s like one week we’re doing this and then, okay, so after that feels good. And that doesn’t seem so like lifestyle changes. For them to stick, they have to be done sustainably. So yes, fertility. really just can really be a lot of things. A fertility plan just might be an I V F plan and talking to your doctor and also having therapy visits or acupuncture or whatever that might be.
It might be Chinese medicine and I V F, or it might be late nights with your husband and like what is the sustainability plan to make sure that you’re working on all the things and the key points that are important for your journey at this time. But that goes down to. Being attuned with yourself, like being like checking in with yourself, pausing enough to like listen to yourself and then deciding for you, prioritizing what’s important for you, and I think sometimes not what you should do.
So in this fertility plan, I don’t care what your mom says, , I don’t even care. Anything we should, I don’t necessarily want to consider. I need to know like, what do you know? That you feel like you need to be doing right now, and then what is your BRN provider say that needs to change? Does it mean, like you said, lifestyle, diet, things like that?
Most of my clients will say, yeah, diet or like , you know? Yeah. Diet, diet, diet, diet and lifestyle. But lifestyle is kind of broad. So like movement. Let’s get some movement in there. I had a couple and. They love to salsa dance. Mm-hmm. , and they didn’t drink, but they went and they salsa danced a couple nights a week to lose weight and to get fit.
And that was their exercise they did together. So e everyone is a little bit different, but what is that plan for you? So, and it’s a, it’s an actionable thing that you can actually stick to and feel good about. It’s not, uh, a restrictive thing. It’s meant to be empowering and for you to. Yeah, I have a plan, so it’s meant to be a happy thing.
Absolutely. Absolutely. And I think that, you know, part of that is knowing yourself very well. You know, when I say to people, well, you gotta get to know yourself. They’re like, well, what you mean I’m me, ? I know me. And it’s like, in theory, yes, you know you, but I don’t know that we always take the time to kind of step back and really get to understand how.
Operate how we function, you know, what are tendencies. Body is really trying to tell us you, not so much just your habits, but really what’s going on on the inside too, because your body, I is equipped. It’s wired to tell you when it needs something, when something is missing, when it’s had too much of something.
You know when to go, when to stop, when to pull. , we just don’t always listen. We’ve gotten really good at tuning those things out, right? And I think that when you’re going into something like fertility treatments that can be so involved, you’ve really got to know what you’re starting with. And so I always tell people, get to know yourself.
What is it? What is that thing? And like you said, the couple who love salsa dancing, listen, don’t tell the person who hates the. To go to the gym, that plane is dead on a arrival, right? Find the thing that brings you joy. And so if that’s salsa dancing, for me it was Zumba and kickboxing. Okay? I’m not going to the gym and running on the treadmill for an hour or any of those things.
Um, but I went to Zumba class twice a week and kickboxing once a week. Every single week. It was my happy place. It brought me joy. It was fun. It was stressful leaving. Those are the things. So that’s part of the getting to know you. So when somebody tells you to eat better, okay, well what does that mean for you?
Doesn’t mean you gotta go plant-based necessarily. It doesn’t mean you gotta go keto, gluten free, all of the things, figure out what your body needs, and then do that. Absolutely. So get to know yourself. I always tell my clients to get to know yourself, you need to date yourself a little bit because when you go on dates, you pause, you listen, and you’re usually very present and attentive.
Mm-hmm. . So sometimes it might be that you need to take yourself out on a coffee date, or you need to go and you need to journal, and you need to sit with the intention of listening to yourself. Even when I was trying to conceive. I had a friend that said, if you don’t slow down, you’ll be Godsmack. Mm-hmm.
And I really did. didn’t know at the time what that meant. She goes, either you are going to take a, you’re gonna slow down or God will make you slow down. Mm-hmm. . And when I was trying to conceive, I was also recovering from the loss of my dad. I actually fell off my horse. Mm-hmm. into a ditch. And I was off of work for two months cuz my, I had such a gnarly concussion.
It’s a memory loss. It was during that time I conceived my son. I was working. 12, 14 hours a day. Mm-hmm. , I was, it was an hour each way from my house. My job, I was super married to my job in addition to my, a new being, a new lead, and a lot of my identity was wrapped up in this job. And at that point I had a terrible boss and I was con pulled in a lot of things, but.
The horse went right. I went left into the ditch, but it, if I had not had that timeout where I couldn’t watch tv, I couldn’t be on my phone, I couldn’t drive, and I really just had like a lot of conversations with my husband and also some other things, but like, I, I wouldn’t have taken that time out of like, or I, that was the time I really started to learn to be okay with being alone with myself.
Mm-hmm. . I didn’t realize at that time how much I was codependent on other people. I had been forced during that time to. To learn. It was the start of learning to turn inward and boy was it an awkward experience for myself, , . It was the, the stillness of learning to like pay attention to yourself is not an easy thing.
But I got to know that I wasn’t very good at it at the beginning, but slowly over time, and also I learned that I couldn’t control everything and not everything could come at the rate that I wanted it to. I had to learn. To be patient in the things I couldn’t control. So for me, I always tell that story, especially when I see someone going a millionaires in an hour and I’m like, I was like, just, you know, it doesn’t have to be this, this way, let’s chat a little bit.
Like maybe we can fix a couple of things so you feel more grounded so then we can let the flow happen instead of such masculine, forceful energy. You know, go God’s fury down the highway. But I know for sure that that was an intervention on side of the universe. So you have to slow down. Yeah. And that means like you have to create space.
and honor yourself in some capacity to get to know who you are and who you are. Now, I guarantee you may not be who you are a year ago, I’m sure of it. Uh, this whole pandemic has changed everyone. Yeah. So periodic check-ins is super important. That goes for your priorities and what you want, like where you are like, are my priorities for my marriage and my and my family are very much different now that my five year olds in kindergarten than they were at the beginning of the.
Yeah, so checking in with yourself and having those serious conversations and listening to your body, like you were saying, is so critical. . Yeah, it really is. And you know, it’s something, something that I tell my clients when I’m working with them is to set up a priority matrix. Now I work with people in helping them to de-stress their life, create better work life balance.
So to your point, those people who are moving a thousand miles an hour and trying to figure out, well, why am I exhausted and feeling burnt out because you’re moving a thousand miles an hour. For those people, it can be hard to let go and to let things go. And so what I tell them is, let’s create a priority matrix.
So let’s look at the things that you absolutely must do. You know that no one but you can do. And then look at the things that you don’t necessarily have to do, but they bring you joy. And then what are the things that someone else can do? And it’ll be perfectly fine, but your type A control and personality just won’t allow.
And then what are the things that are so low on a totem pole? They shouldn’t even be on your list anyway, because we all have those things. And I think that even when we are going through this journey trying to conceive so many of us, and you know, thanks to society, have this idea of what that process is supposed to look like.
And we’re holding onto it and we can’t always get it out of our head, and our inability to get it out of our head is blocking us from taking the necessary steps to get to the desire end result. Because what I had to realize was it doesn’t really matter how we get there. Point is just to get there. And when you remarry yourself to this preconceived notion of what this journey is supposed to look like, it allows you to take the necessary steps to sit in that uncomfortable silence sometimes and really get to know yourself and say, okay.
What am I doing that’s holding me back? What am I doing that is now allowing me to move forward? How can I open myself up more to the process? Uh, that is really going to allow you to get to the end result. Now, I spent the first 10 years of my life as an only child, so talking to myself is like a regular occurrence because when you’re an only child, You gotta talk to yourself because you spent a lot of time alone, but I realize that that’s not something that a lot of people are comfortable with.
And so I like that you mentioned journaling, because I think that that is one of the ways for people who struggle with the uncomfortable silence of just trying to get to know yourself. Journaling particularly journaling in a. More of like a brain dump is a great way to kind of unravel what’s happening in your head and then really kind of be able to look at it on paper and then kind of say, okay, these are the things that are kind of taking up space.
And then kind of seeing what do I actually need to take up space and what are some thoughts that I might need to work through so that I can let go. But I think it’s really important, as you mentioned, is that sometimes. It is gonna be a little bit awkward, but I think if we can move past that awkwardness and like I said, unmarried ourselves from these kind of preconceived notions about what this journey is supposed to look like, that’s what’s gonna get us to the other side.
I love that you touch upon journaling. I have had greater success with pen to paper, with connecting my mind with all of my senses to get. Because the idea is that you wanted to exit your body. The whole point is connecting with who you are, but also the whole point is to also release when you type it.
It can be effective, but I have found more success in the actual physical writing of pen to paper, as you said, versus like a digital dump. And it’s because it’s, it’s like a release from when you, as soon as the words are formed on the paper, it’s like a purge. Mm-hmm. from your mind, like you will feel physically lighter and not to worry when you’re doing a brain dump.
Some people have asked me how you said a lot brain dump. Any thought that, or I idea or feeling that may come up for you, you know, in response to a prompt or maybe you’re just emptying your brain. Mm-hmm. and the brain dump, you’re just emptying your brain and there’s no judgment on the paper. There’s no structuring in which it has to come out.
It doesn’t have to make sense, but it’s doesn’t have to be in any order, it just letting it out onto the paper. Yeah. And then if there is some kind of objective from their. you go back at at a separate seating is usually what I recommend. Mm-hmm. you, you just purging in that sitting and then perhaps maybe after a period of waiting a day or whatever, X amount of time, you go back and you’ll review it.
And then if there’s some action to pick out, is there a pattern? Is there action that I need to take from any of these things? Is there’s something I can give to my spouse? Is it something I can give? To my mom? Or is, is it anything that can be, you know, like what you were saying about delegating, so Yeah, but that should not be done in the same sitting No.
As a brain dump. No, because if you try to analyze your brain dump right after you brain dump it. Totally defeats the purpose. You’re only going, you’re only going to reutter your mind. And the point to, like you said, is really just to empty, to just get it out so that it’s not taking up that space. And then, you know, I like to let it sit for several days.
Like I, I don’t even wanna see that for a good while until I feel. I need now I’m looking to connect dots and so now I need to go back and read through and kind of see. But definitely that’s how I did do my social media . I write my scripts on Monday, film on Friday, . Yeah, please do not, please do not try to analyze on the same day, cuz you are definitely defeating your own purpose there.
So let’s dive in. You have five great tips for advocating for yourself through the fertility treatments. Let’s dive in. What’s our first take? So our first tip, and we’ve kind of touched on it a little bit already, is getting to know your own body. So, you know, uh, going a little bit deeper than what we just spoke about is getting to know literally how your body is functioning.
And I think this is so important because when you go to the doctor, the doctor is speaking to you from the point of view of how the average body or how the textbook body is functioning and their reactions, their prescriptions, their treatment plan is based a lot on those facts, how the average body, the textbook body functions.
It doesn’t always take into consideration though the uniqueness of you. You are unique. Each of us is unique, and so how we are going to react to the treatments, what type of treatments we need. It might vary depending on what your body does, but the only way that the doctor can make those adjustments. Is if they have all the information, and the only way they’re gonna have that information is if you are able to provide it to them.
Because there are things beyond what your blood work is gonna tell them and what a physical exam is going to tell them. They need to know that, you know. You get your cycle on day 29, you know, every single month, but four days later things go crazy and now you’ve got heavy bleeding or whatever the case may be, or you know, it only shows up very light at day 35.
It’s there for like two days and then it goes away. Whatever those nuances are, you know, for. It took a long time before I realized that gluten is not my friend, much to my dismay, because I love bread, but it causes a lot of inflammation and things in my body, and so those are things that I need to be able to communicate with my doctor and say, Hey, I’ve got this inflammation thing going on.
Do we need to make adjustments based on this? What is happening? Things like you need to be able to take that information to your doctor, but that means that you have to really be paying attention to what your body does, and so I recommend keeping a sleep journal for at least two weeks of Food Journal and a movement journal for two weeks.
Very non-judgmental, and this is very important because we don’t wanna add extra stress to you. So this is in a very non-judgmental format, but literally just saying, okay, I went to bed at 1130, I woke up at two cuz I had to go to the bathroom and I woke, went back to sleep, and I woke up at six to get my day started.
End of story, not why not saying, oh man, I need to get myself, none of those things just very matter of factly writing these things down and then trying to connect the dots with the other things that are happening, but just again, writing them down. So I noticed on Tuesday that my back was hurting. Not really exactly sure Why.
Didn’t really hurt anything. It came. It went. That was it. Oh, I noticed on Friday that I was having some digestive issues. Not sure it was anything I ate, but you know, it came, it went, it’s fine. Took some antacids, everything went away. What you’ll be able to do at that point, at a later date, again, is to go back and say, well, this is what I ate Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
And then I noticed on Thursday that this is where my issue was lying. And so where is the correlation? And even if you don’t do that for yourself, this is. all information that you can give to your doctor, and when they say, so what’s been going on with you? A lot of us give them a basic answer and say, well, you know, we’ve been trying to get pregnant for X amount of times and nothing is working, and so we’re really not sure what’s happening.
You can go in and say, well, doc, this is what my life has looked like over the last two, three months, weeks, whatever the case may be. These are all the things that I’ve noticed have been happening with me over the course of time. So what do you think? And now they can really make an informed decision, an informed diagnosis or treatment plan because they have as much of the puzzle as they possibly can because they get, what, 15 minutes with you, right?
And. It’s like, you know, you see somebody’s TikTok, you’re getting like eight seconds, 30 seconds of their life. You don’t get like you, and that’s an edited version pretty much. Also, you can edit anything you wanna filter to tell them. You can make sure it looks like perfectly squeaky clean, but really like, You know, anything could be going on.
So I think I’ve never heard it put that way in. Advocating for yourself, we always talk about like your inner voice confidence. What are some of the hard conversations if the doctor is short? Mm-hmm. , but like arming yourself with like actual. Factual evidence of like, this is my current state of my life for an X amount of period.
Mm-hmm. , that’s like probably the most accurate thing I’ve ever heard of. Of like, this is how we’re gonna get success. Cuz maybe somewhere in there you’re eating foods that actually could. Be producing or causing your hormones to be lowered or something like that, or mm-hmm. , or if you’re inflamed, then how, how is that affecting your pelvic region in, or your uterus?
So if you’re inflamed, does, how does that affect your hormones? Right? Like, so that is gold for the people in the. Part this stuff. Start doing your journals. Yes. Replay that. Rewind it and listen to Lakeisha. So when you go to your doctor’s appointments, get to know your body. But go with the information that she’s saying.
Do the journals. That is gold. So that also is like also . That kinda leads into number two too, right? Yeah. Yeah. So, and you know, that’s the other beauty about it. So not only are you going into your doctor’s appointment armed with as much information as you can provide the doctor, but now you have a concrete.
at your life. Because I think what happens sometimes is, is we kind of go through things out of habit. And so we are used to not sleeping well. We are used to the eating on the go or whatever it is that we’re eating or not eating. We are so used to doing those things and operating that way that we don’t always pay attention to it.
And so my second tip is doing your own work. . And so once we’ve kind of charted all of this information out and we’re looking at it and we’re seeing it, and we’re saying, okay, this is the current state of my life. Now you can look at it and say, Hmm, well what can I change? Right? What? What is it that I can adjust within this that is going to make my situation better?
And so for me, when I first started my treatments, I went in and I was just like, okay, I’m just gonna do what the doctor says because they’re the professional and I’m not gonna do anything else, and we’re gonna hope for the best. Sometimes that works for me. It did not, and I truly believe that when things turned the corner for me is when I took the things that I could control into my hands and I controlled them.
And so I said, You know, I know that I need to eat a balanced diet. It doesn’t look like I’m getting enough vegetables in here. How can I do this in a way that’s sustainable for me? Cuz I’m not eating a salad every day. I’m not that person. So what can I do so that I can get more vegetables into my, into my diet?
Well, for me, that looks like having green smoothies for you. That might look like something else. Whatever that is, do that. You know, again, with movement, we know how bad a sedentary lifestyle is for. In general, just for basic health, but I’m not a gym person. I don’t like to run. My husband is a runner. He played soccer for most of his life, and so he is a runner until he’ll be like, oh, I’m gonna go for a run, and he’ll get up and he’ll go run three, four miles.
That is fantastic. I can’t do it. I also don’t like the gym, but what can I do? Well, I love Zumba. I love kickboxing class, so I’m gonna go do those things. And so that is me contributing to my body movement so that I am staying healthy, I am fit. And when I do get pregnant, my body is. physically capable of carrying that baby to turn, because that’s important too, right?
We’re like, oh, we gotta conceive, we gotta conceive, we gotta conceive. Well, once you conceive, we gotta get the baby to the finish line too. I didn’t do that, and the doulas scared the crap out of me. She’s like, well, it’s a marathon. You should be able to like, you’re gonna need to walk like. five miles. You know, while you’re like, you know, if you’re gonna give birth, you should be able to, you know, walk forever and
I don’t know exactly. I just remember her scaring the crap out of me. I’d be like, Dude, I’m like 200 pounds and I lost 40 pounds the pregnancy and I’m getting it back. I’m barely surviving over here. So that’s, that’s exactly so important. You need to be strong enough mm-hmm. to carry the baby full term.
Mm-hmm. , you know, there’s consequences. And I know I live that if you’re not right, so painful if you’re not. Right. . Right. And then, and then you’re laboring, right? So, you know, we hear those stories of people who are like, oh, well I felt a little back pain and I went to the hospital and two hours later out popped this baby and it was great.
I pushed for a long time, , um, with my oldest daughter. I was in labor for 12 hours and I know people who spent, you know, 16, 18 hours in labor. 23. That that’s a long time and ended up in a C-section. Yes. That’s a long time. Yes. So your body has to be physically capable of it. Wasn’t it broke in the process.
See of carrying for that 36, 40 weeks, and then on top of that, birthing that child in whatever manner that child has to come out. And so, right. You, you’ve gotta, you’ve gotta make sure that your body is nine pounds, physic, Ooh, nine pounds, three ounces. Mm-hmm. , that was a tough one. Yes. So, mm-hmm. know your body and there’s still time.
So if you think it’s still too late, consult your doctor. and perhaps mm-hmm. . There’s still like, so if you’re not pregnant, especially if you’re pregnant, you need to talk to your doctor before. Yes. If you’ve never exercised, you must always consult your doctor before you start exercise. Yes. Especially if you’re pregnant.
Yes. If you’re not pregnant. Talk to your fertility specialist, talk to your ob gyn, talk to your regular GP and see general protection and say, okay, I, when I start exercising, you’ll discuss it and have the evaluations. Mm-hmm. Or proper discussions regarding it. But it’s never too late to start. Never, ever.
Even if, even if they take, I ordered a walking pad to go underneath my desk. Cuz I’m, I, all of the women on the ticky talkie are saying all the girlies, all the sissies are saying that they’re getting their 10,000 steps in a day. And I. I need to be on that train , so I, yeah, and I’m getting an Apple watch to help me count my steps, cuz I wanna be in the 10,000 club.
I don’t, and I’m not sure that I actually get 10,000 steps a day, although I have two four-year-olds, so I feel like pretty sure that should count for something. Uh, it counts for a lot. You have two. I’m running after those two. I feel like it should count for something, but yes, please. Move your body.
Always consult with your doctor. But even if it’s something as simple as you go for a 20 minute stroll around the block, once a day, it is a start. So start somewhere. It is never too late. But yes, you gotta do your own work. Please, please, please do your own work. . And number three. Number three, build your support system.
And I cannot stress this one enough, both from personal experience and my own journey, and then being part of the support system for some of the people that I love on their journey. So on my own journey, I have a fantastic family who I love dearly, and we are very close knit, however, None of them had ever been through this before.
And while that is not a prerequisite for your support system, what is. Is people who can hold space for you non-judgmentally and lift you up and help you get to where you need to be. I was not comfortable and you need to feel comfortable with these people. That’s really, really important. Feeling, comfortable sharing with these people.
So for me, I was not comfortable. Sharing with my existing support system about what I was experiencing on my journey. The result of that though, was that I was holding everything in. Quietly dying inside some days, lots of breakdowns in the room by myself because I did not feel like I had the safe outlet to express those feelings.
Now I get to be part of that support for some people that I love dearly, and it brings me great joy to know that I can sit and listen. And let them cry and let them vent and let them talk and just sit and say, okay, so what is it that we need to do today? What is it that you need today? And to get them to their finish line.
I think that’s so important. So if you’re like, well, you know, No one around me can really serve in that capacity. That’s fine. Therapists is a fantastic place to start a coach. There are plenty, is a great place to go. If you need recommendations, your doctor, your general practitioner, your ob, your fertility specialist.
Any of them, I’m sure has a list of support groups and resources for you so that you can build that support system. So even if it doesn’t already exist for you, you can build it and I recommend that you build it as soon as you possibly can. I had actually the best referral from my ob and what I loved about that connection was they actually worked together.
So it wasn’t. Through my postpartum, she was able to report back. They collaborated on my case and it looped in my primary care for doc care doctor effortlessly with my case management so that I could have when I was in my postpartum, so that it was a cohesive effort because my general was prescribing the medications and then I was seeing all three.
It was a good mix. Yeah. And I felt supported. So when I went to see the other, they were already updated. Mm-hmm. . It wasn’t like me having to re-share or rehash like the same sub story or whatever I was already being triggered by. That was very, very nice. I also love. Actually Psychology today.com. You can search easily on there of mental health practitioners or any type of like psychologist or counselor on there.
And also like there just seems to be a lot more specializations than before your support system. It’s really important also to understand. And this is kind of personal for me, is that if you have a family, maybe you don’t live near family or maybe your family is not healthy. So I think in-person, community is just as important as distance or emotional support.
So like a lot of my emotional support is out of the state of Nebraska. I do have some, but if I want community here in Nebraska, it’s on me to build it. So, , I get as much as I put into it. So if I want community, I have to be the one that’s cultivating that and I have to be seeking it out. It has to be on me that I’m building it, either through church or through, you know, maybe mom organizations.
Mm-hmm. , it’s up for me to. Invest the time through multiple points of different areas in the community to build these more in depth and seek these SBR relationships. Because as much as my best friends are in Miami, or you know, my other friend Cricket, she lives in Elena. They can’t come over, you know, at 3:00 AM when I’m like having this total meltdown when my kid was having an ear infection and I felt like I was gonna lose my mind cuz I hadn’t slept in three days.
My best advice is get a therapist before you give birth. Yes, and make sure you have a standing relationship with that. I you’ll never regret having a positive relationship with a therapist that’s only invested with you. If you’re going for marriage counseling. Make sure you have your own therapist that’s not the same therapist as the one that’s counseling you both.
That’s a rule. Absolutely. And three is you need an in friend safe person. This person is gonna be like your ride or die, and that’s gonna be the person at 3:00 AM They’re gonna pick up 2:00 AM they’re gonna pick up and it’s gonna be the one that’s like, okay, she can come and rescue me. And in turn you need to be able to like have that for her or him.
My recipe for success. If you do not have a built in like family unit mm-hmm. , that’s where you should be striving for because I guarantee you there is somebody out there who thinks you’re the bee’s niece. Mm-hmm. . So as much as my best friends, they, they love me and they’ll counsel me and they, they love me to the cows come home, but, They’re thousand miles away,
They can’t do much. They can’t bring me a casserole, you know? Or like when we had Covid, it was a very lonely experience. And so I’m doing everything I can to make sure that we’re building that community, like we’re getting after the pandemic. We kind of stepped away from church for a while, so, and now there’s this whole new church stuff, so, okay.
Clean slate, we’ll start over. But that’s where I am right now, is like if I want community. The honest truth, I looked at myself and I had to hold myself accountable. Well, we kind of don’t have community cuz we kind of withdrawn from the community cuz of the pandemic . So now it’s, if we want friends that are like this, like rich community where we go over and our kids are friends and things like that, I have to put the energy out there.
I have to, you know, be accountable for that. So make sure that you’re also putting yourself out there. That’s very, I. Yes. And for my introverts, because I know there’s someone who’s listening and they’re like, oh, but I’m an introvert. Oh, that’s introvert. True. And I can’t do do that. I’m such an extrovert. I feel you too.
I am you. I am an introvert. And so, you know, for me friends, again, so like I said earlier, I spent the first 10 years of my life as an only child. And I am very much an introvert. Ping is hard for me. And so , I have to be very intentional about creating that community because I will live in silo. And so, and my people do not live close to me either.
And so I have a older and a younger cousin who we were really kind of raised like sisters and, but one is in Atlanta, one is in Texas. I am in Pennsylvania, and so they’re very far. So they’ll pick up the phone at 2:00 AM but like you said, they can’t come over at 2:00 AM And so now I have to say, okay, I need to make friends with people.
And to your point, I’ve gotten back to church and have been trying really hard to make friends. But what I will say to my introverts is, start. If you can make just one friend and doing in a place where you feel the most comfortable. So if there is a place of worship that you go regularly, start there. If there is a community event, if there is a particular exercise class, start there.
I’m not necessarily gonna recommend, you know, trying at your kid’s school. That can be hard for us introverts. So , I’m not gonna recommend that, but you start small. But it is possible even as an introvert to create that community. Uh, I’ve been working on it diligently for the last couple of years and I, I’m really happy to say that I do have a handful of people that I do get to spend some time with and we get to commiserate.
Over being moms and, you know, trying to work and all of those things. Um, and enjoy each other’s company. So, uh, it is possible. That leads us into point number four. Yes. So point number four, and I think this one is, is really important too. Don’t be afraid to get a second opinion and. With that. Don’t be afraid to change doctors.
So even if, even if you’re pregnant too. Even if you’re pregnant, even if, uh, you’re, you know, you’re in treatment and medically what the doctor is telling you is sound information and the treatment plan seems like it is a good treatment plan. Uh, and is it in line with your own research because you did your own.
But you’re not getting the warm and buzzies, and I’m not saying that you have to feel like you and your doctor are BFFs. However you should feel safe. You should feel heard. You should feel cared for. You should feel valued and respected, not just by the doctor but the entire team in the office. So if you are going into the office and you feel like you are not being valued and respected as a person, if you feel like your doctor is talking at you and not to you, if you feel like they are not listening to your concerns or answering your questions.
You have the right to change doctors, and with that, if you feel like something that they’re telling you just doesn’t sound right or it sound, you feel very unsure about the advice that you’re getting, you are not forced to move forward. You do not have to take what they say as. Law, you can go and get another opinion.
You can go and seek the advice of another medical profession, even if it’s just for them to be a sounding board and say, Hey, I was unsure about this. Does this sound right to you? Based off of this available information? And if they had the same information that your doctor had about you and and your situation, and they come up with a completely different plan.
You might even need to get a third opinion , uh, to kind of figure out what works best for you. But either way, if something feels off or you have questions, you can seek a different opinion. You can change doctors, and I think this is really important also, when you are pregnant. because when you’re pregnant, you’re so vulnerable because it’s not just you, it’s this other life that you’re creating.
And so really, again, at any time you should feel value heard and respected, uh, but if you do not feel safe as a pregnant woman, And with your doctor, if you do not feel that that doctor has your best interest and your child’s best interest at heart, please get a new doctor. It is okay. No one is, is going to judge you for it.
And if they do, they not the person for you. But it is okay to get a new doctor. Even midwife, I switched. Midwives. Yes. Doulas. I have, uh, strong opinions. Yeah. Doulas, especially doulas because they are. Coach advocate, support through it all. Mm-hmm. and usually for a longer time period, you know, because you’re usually talking to them more than you are talking with probably your doctor.
So yeah, don’t be afraid to switch. One thing that I hear often is guilt. if there was any guilt tripping or any shaming. Yes. You may not be aware of that initially in the actual moment that it’s occurring. Mm-hmm. , and you may not identify, or initially like, so if emotionally emotional security or emotional safety is a new term for you, but if you feel slightly icky, mm-hmm.
or uncomfortable after a treatment or after a, an appointment. Then that is also a moment for you to reevaluate. Uh, maybe. So you should always have like, these are my top three picks for providers from my area. Mm-hmm. , or just go. A great way to refine another referral is actually those local mom groups on Facebook.
I always say, There’s, there’s usually one really good one in the area.
But those mom groups are a source of you say you have a problem. Say, Hey, I had this bad experience. Don’t le leave the doctor’s. Same out. I’m looking for this type of medical provider that’s gonna provide me this kind of support. I bet you there will be plenty of goodhearted women that will reply or give recommendations of.
In your area. So, no, and to your point, I wanna add to your point, you said if you feel any way icky, if you leave your doctor’s appointment and you in some way feel bad about yourself or your situation, and not so much in a way of, you know, this is stressful and you know, we’re going through a lot because that’s normal through this journey.
But if you feel bad in a way of, as in you did something wrong. or there is something, uh, inherently wrong with you if you leave your doctor’s appointment feeling that way, either while you’re trying to conceive or while you’re pregnant. That should serve as a red flag that you need to get a new medical provider as well, because never at any point should your medical provider make you feel guilt or shame about.
Yourself or about your situation. I don’t care what’s happening. Never should you leave their office feeling guilt or shame about what’s happening or your situation. So that could be another red flag that you need to get a new medical provider. I agree a hundred percent. And that also . That brings me to another point that includes also for anything physical, if that’s about, that also includes them asking you unnecessary.
yes. About your sexual activity, about your weight, about your race, anything like that is a no. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . So make sure that you’re checking in with you. And also, don’t be afraid to make a complaint. The more awareness of like what those kind of comments are, are the better because too long have people been silent about biases in about comments, and I’m a plus sized woman.
I have been treated better by females mm-hmm. than some of the comments that the male ob GYNs have made to me about my weight. But the women providers, they didn’t make anything, but every male O G B Y N I’ve ever had here in Omaha has made a single comment about my weight and it wasn’t even part of the conversation.
So yeah, I definitely be mindful of what. Being said mm-hmm. and how it’s being said. So, and number five. And number five. So write your questions down, uh, and, and, and for two reasons. One, uh, you don’t always get a lot of time in the office with your provider. To ask all of your questions. So writing them down can give you the opportunity to make sure nothing is missed.
So even if it’s something that you can’t go over, uh, while you’re in the office during the appointment, you can say to the doctor, okay, well here are my additional questions. Can you answer these for me? Most offices these days have some type of patient portal or messaging system where they send information back between the provider and, and the patient and things like that, or even just an email, uh, where you know you can get those, still get those questions answered and nothing gets missed.
Uh, two. And this happens a lot if, particularly if you’re not feeling the warm and fuzzies, um, from your doctor or just doctors in general, uh, make you nervous. You might forget things. You might be afraid to ask certain questions. So again, writing them down and handing them to, and you can hand them to your provider at the beginning of an appointment and say, these are the questions that I have.
And then at that point, they can make sure that while they are with you, they can run down. And they can ask the answer those questions without you having to actually voice them and ask them if that is what makes you more comfortable. And three, and this is one that I follow now even with my general practitioner, sometimes I will send them my questions in the patient portal because I want their response back in writing.
Just in case , just in case there is some type of debate later on about the advice that you gave me. I have it in writing. So particularly for those tough, powerful, tougher conversations, those things where you might need to push back a little bit, those things where you’re really questioning what’s happening, those questions, write them down and send them a highly recommend, not in regular email, in your patient portal if this exists.
Send those messages to your doctor. One, it is documented, timestamped. They can’t say you didn’t send it. Two, if they respond to you, their response is in writing. You have that documentation. So if something isn’t right, if something goes wrong, you have all of that information. , and even if you have a good doctor, having it in writing allows you to go back and refer back to it later.
It’s not something that you have to remember, particularly when you’re going through fertility treatments. You were bombarded with a ton of information and it can sometimes be hard to keep track of everything. So having the answers to your questions written down in a place that you can go back and refer to later is, Helpful.
So make sure you write your questions down. And again, I do it now with my general practitioner. When you have kids, and I’m generally the one who takes my kids to the doctors, but before we go, I always say to my husband, you know, Hey, is there anything you know that you had a concern about that you wanted me to ask the doctor about?
Usually I shoot it to him in a text message so he can send it back to me. So then I get to the doctor’s office and I’m like, okay, well by the way, . You know, we had these questions that I wanted to ask you, so nothing gets missed. So less for you to have to remember, and then you have that documentation to go back to later.
Mind blown Right now in the words of my five-year-old ? No, but that is so wise. You know, every doctor that I have, Uh, except for one, I, I was like, trying to think. Yep, yep, yep, yep. All of them, including the dentist has a portal. Mm-hmm. . And just in case anyone doesn’t know, I used to work in pharmaceutical manufacturing, so all of those portals have strict regulation.
Mm-hmm. regarding like, About like your, it’s timestamped. They’re also heavily protected, so it’s not something like that can just be deleted and it’s gone forever. No, those things are backed up triple, like they’re super regulated. The like what can and cannot happen. It’s just not gonna disappear because those are.
They call ’em repository, so it’s just mm-hmm. . It’s more than just a database and a communication portal. There is so much other things that are going on in there, but they’re highly monitored too, so. It’s not gonna just disappear. If you ever think that they, it might go away or something like that, the, it’s highly unlikely.
Yeah. So you can always retrieve it. You can’t go away. Your privacy is protected under federal law. Exactly. The federal government requires it to be held for a certain amount of time, particularly if you’re a active patient. And so there are lots and lots and lots of rules. And to that point, the doctors don’t wanna break those rules because those rules affect how they get paid.
And so if you’re concerned about those things, rest assured that they have to follow those rules because it affects how they get paid. So your information will be there, those timestamps, that retention, all of those things are required. It’s funny you said that. I used to work in pharmaceutical manufacturing as well, and so that the government does not play about those rules, and so you never have to worry.
Yes. Oh, yes, yes. Record retention. Yes. Are you still to be best friends with Iron Mountain? Don’t. Oh my God. Me too. The boxes, the papers, the forms. But yeah, so yeah, you, you don’t have to worry about your information disappearing. You don’t have to worry about, you know, privacy things and, and things of that nature.
It’s not just out there and the open, which is why I recommend the patient portal over general email. If you have a good relationship with your doctor, you feel comfortable with general email, there’s a tendency that their professional email address tends to be encrypted. So, uh, there is some level of protection there as well.
But the reason why those portals exist is to give you that extra layer of protection. So by all means, use them. So let’s recap our episode. So if you are. Either embarking on your fertility journey or you’re in the thick of it, or you’re actively looking at fertility clinics or even going through fertility treatments or pregnant, these tips apply to you and even then some.
So if you’re looking to advocate for yourself, understand that these are just tips, so might fit you. So it may not, but definitely take or does resonate and leave the rest. So tip number one was get to know your body. Tip number two, do your own Word. Tip number three was build a support system. Number four, don’t be afraid to get a second or third opinion.
And five, write down your questions and get the answers in writing if you can. Also one point about asking the questions. Is if you are super shy or maybe you suffer from maybe nervousness, in some cases, having your partner go with you or an advocate on your behalf, if it’s allowed, they can come and help.
You know, either you ask the questions or they can ask the questions or hand it, but having that second person. In the room, they’re going to hear things differently. Mm-hmm. than you did. Mm-hmm. . So they’re gonna pick up on things that are different than you did. Also, if you need a moment at any point during the appointment, just ask for can, can you just please give us a moment?
They can step outside. You’re not gonna hurt anyone’s feelings. And if you do, then again that’s a red flag. Yeah. So like in my case, you know, I did that through my whole pregnancy. I didn’t want. People who were training to be a midwife, to be in my cervical checks. I didn’t want cervical checks like, like I didn’t, how often did I really need to be checked?
Like so, and then I would make, I would ask to go pee and I would literally call my doula while I was in the bathroom. necessarily necessary, cuz I really didn’t know what I was doing. Like how many times do I have to do this? So there’s a lot of things you can do and if you need help, ask, reach out. So how can our listeners get in touch with you, Lakeisha?
So I am on primarily on Instagram. You can also find me on Facebook. You can find my company, well, beauty Lab at Well, beauty Lab on Facebook and Instagram. You can find me on Instagram. It’s L dot nwa. That’s E N T S U. H so you can find me there. If there was something that was said you want some more information on, you need some clarification on, or you just wanna say, Hey, I tried this with my doctor and it worked.
Shoot me a dm. I will be more than happy to hear and respond. Ah, I love that. Thank you so much for your time and thank you for being here and I appreciate you so much. Thank you so much. It was a pleasure. It was an honor to connect and serve you this week. If you are a spiritually curious person wanting to conceive, inhale blockages in your fertility, click the link in the episode description to learn more about the Fertility Foundation collective.
Until next time, my friend know you are love.
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