Real Talk About Grief and Resilience
Rebecca Soffer’s life changed overnight in 2006 when her mom died in a car accident, and her dad died of a heart attack on a business trip just a few years later. She never expected to be living without her parents in our early 30s navigating jobs, relationships and life.
From this isolating and heartbreaking experience, Rebecca launched a platform that she desperately craved - Modern Loss - a community for real talk around grief and grieving. She knew that she wasn't alone in wanting an approach to grief that wasn't full of platitudes and toxic positivity or Band Aid solutions, but one that honored not only how people mourned and remembered loved ones, but that allowed them to process these life defining moments in whatever way made sense for them.
Rebecca has authored two books on grief, including her newest, The Modern Loss Handbook: An Interactive Guide to Moving Through Grief and Building Your Resilience.
On this episode, Andrea and Rebecca talk about the messy reality of grief, how people can better support those grieving and why building resilience can be helpful and empowering during our most challenging times.
This episode on Grief and Resilience, is presented by pregnantish - the first and only media site that helps people navigate the complexities of infertility and modern family building and tell their stories. For more, follow us on social @pregnantish (@pregnantishmag on Twitter) or find us online at pregnantish.com
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What this Donor Conceived Adult Wants Others to Know about Donor Conception28:54Emma Groenbaek grew up not only with the awareness about the fact that she was conceived via sperm donation, but pride connected to it. In fact, as a child, her bedtime book was the story of how she was created with the help of science and donor conception. So, perhaps it's no surprise that when social media came around, Emma, now 27 years old, started blogging, educating and posting about her donor conceived experience. Though she’s grateful to the sperm donor and her parents for pursuing this step to give her life, she's well aware that people who find out that they were donor conceived later, or whose parents kept this a secret, have a much different relationship than she does to this part of their identities.As Emma says, “The truth hurts less than secrets.” In this interview, Emma shares more on why her parents were open about how they got pregnant via sperm donation, even though they were advised not to share this with her, why she has no desire to meet her genetic father, and what she wants others to know about donor conception. This episode is presented by Cryos International, “The World’s Largest Sperm and Egg Bank,” where Emma works as a Donor Child Consultant. Every day, Cryos International helps people around the world make their dream of having a child come true. For more visit cryosinternational.com
Why This Couple Wants to Raise Awareness of Trans Fertility31:18When Benjamin Carmichael and Becca met doing advocacy work for Planned Parenthood in New England in 2018, they never imagined that months later, they'd match on Tinder, get engaged to marry exactly three years to the day, and set out to have children together. But both have always known that they wanted to become parents. For any couple, this chapter of trying to have a baby can be exciting and overwhelming; but for Benjamin and Becca, it's heightened by the fact that Benjamin is a trans man who has had to come off testosterone and inject multiple hormones in order to retrieve eggs for the possibility of having a baby. Even though Benjamin and Becca are hardly the first couple in the LGBTQ+ community to undergo fertility treatments, it's still largely misunderstood by some health care providers and networks and insurance carriers. In fact, much of Becca's work now has been to explore the experience of trans people in healthcare settings. And in addition to personally navigating Modern Family building, both seek to create positive change for others in the LGBTQ+ community who face discrimination or disparities here. As a member of the Transgender Educational Network, and a longtime advocate for LGBTQ visibility and rights, it's perhaps no surprise that Benjamin has used his social media platform to shine a light on fertility from his point of view. And this is ultimately what this episode is about. “Why This Couple Wants to Raise Awareness of Trans Fertility” is in honor of Pregnantish Pride, where we share fertility stories in the LGBTQ community and show the many diverse ways families today are created. For more, visit pregnantish.com/lgbt
Happiness Hacks & Getting Pregnant at 49: A Conversation with Bestselling Author, Karen Salmansohn27:25For over 25 years, Karen Salmansohn has been a multi bestselling author with approximately 2 million books sold globally. Her first book, “How To Be Happy Dammit” gained a slew of public fans including Madonna, Tony Robbins and Deepak Chopra and Karen has since added coaching, speaking and consultation to her body of work. In this episode on happiness, which also explores how Karen became a mom at 50 years old, listeners are invited and instructed on how to best challenge negative messages and self-limiting beliefs …even during some of life’s most challenging moments. This episode is presented by pregnantish, who is expanding the success of the 2019 “Why I Left My Fertility Clinic” study to look at the fertility treatment patient experience today, with the main goal of bridging the gap between patients and their providers, and creating a better experience for all involved. Visit pregnantish.com/insights for more.
Infertility Looks Like: 29 Year Old Model Tess Annique and Her Husband, NHL Star Sheldon Souray37:38When model and wellness influencer Tess Annique met retired NHL hockey star, Sheldon Souray in treatment for addiction in January 2017, she never imagined the two would later fall in love and marry. The two were good friends and shared life's most vulnerable moments as they tried to get sober. But months later, when they reconnected through a text message, Tess admitted she knew something had changed between them. After that, Tess and Sheldon fell in love, had a fairytale wedding and were excited to start a family together. What she never imagined was that in her 20s, she'd struggle to conceive with her husband, and how miscarriage, IVF and infertility would be one of the most sobering experiences Tess and Sheldon would share together. This episode, in honor of Resolve's National Infertility Awareness Week 2023, is about love in the face of challenges, why others should never judge a book by its healthy cover, and what Tess and Sheldon dream of as they look towards their future.
Infertility Looks Like: Paralympic US Swim Star Mallory Weggemann and Her Husband Jay Synder58:02Just three months after Mallory Weggemann was rendered paralyzed after treatment for her back pain, she re-entered her happy place - the pool - and tried to regain not only her sense of strength, but her sense of self.Through this incredible challenge, Mallory learned about resilience, vulnerability, hope and persistence – qualities that not only helped her excel as a Paralympic Champion on the US swim team, but strengths that also helped her push forward during her struggle to conceive with her husband, Jay.While Mallory initially wondered about her ability to get pregnant and have children when she found out about her paralysis, and while others seeing her in a wheelchair may assume the infertility is on ‘her side’, the couple faced hurdles due to Jay’s Male Factor Infertility – something that is a reality for many men and couples, and a diagnosis too often left out of the storytelling of infertility.Now Jay and Mallory are new parents and believe this tough chapter of navigating infertility, a MicroTESSE surgery to try to extract Jay’s sperm, and the experience of doing fertility treatments together ultimately brought them even closer.This episode on finding hope in the face of challenges, how to love your body when you feel it's failing you and why vulnerability is a sign of strength, also features Scott Brown and Lauren Isley from California Cryobank™ who share insight and advice for those facing male factor infertility and may need sperm donation to build their families.Today’s episode, in honor of National Infertility Awareness Week 2023, is presented by California Cryobank™, which carefully selects the highest quality sperm donors to give clients the best possible opportunity for a safe and successful pregnancy. For more, visit cryobank.com
Infertility Looks Like: CNN Reporter Chloe Melas & Fitness Influencer Brian Mazza51:13When CNN Entertainment Reporter and New York Times best-selling author Chloe Melas married her husband, Fitness Influencer Brian Mazza, she expected them to start their family when they were ready, just as their friends had. After all, she was healthy and in her 20s and she didn't know anyone who had openly struggled with infertility. But when she was diagnosed with Low Ovarian Reserve at 29 and told that her husband had Male Factor Infertility, she knew that if she wanted to become a mother, she needed to pursue IVF and this led to feelings of confusion, anger and depression. Now, as an outspoken advocate, and using her platform to spread infertility awareness, Chloe is passionate about sharing her story so others don't feel as helpless as she once felt and so more are educated about the fact that being young or having sex doesn't guarantee a pregnancy.This episode is about balancing life and love while struggling with grief, what she has learned about resilience both through her experience and her grandfather's experience as a POW, and what she hopes and advocates for when she looks toward the future of assisted reproductive technology.Today's show is presented by Generation Next Fertility in New York City, whose mission is to provide individualized patient centric quality care and innovative technologies to help patients become parents. Tune in to this episode to hear how Dr. Janelle Luk helps patients navigate tough diagnoses like Diminished Ovarian Reserve and Male Factor Infertility. For more, visit generationnextfertility.com
Actor Camille Guaty Used Donor Eggs to Have Her Son…and Wants to Talk About it39:03Actor Camille Guaty is known for her many roles on TV and in films including Gotta Kick it Up, Prison Break and Scorpion. But what people watching her may not know is that behind the scenes, she struggled for many years to get and stay pregnant.Since getting pregnant via egg donor IVF in 2019, Camille has been public about her experience and why she not only doesn't hold shame for using an egg donor, but feels a source of pride connected to it. In this episode, Camille shares the moment she realized she may need to move on to third party reproduction, what she wants others to know about it, and why she's used her public platform to share her experience and her infertility journey so widely.Today's episode is presented by Donor Egg Bank USA, a leader in frozen donor egg. Two of their many financial plans include a guarantee that you’ll bring home a baby or receive a 100% refund. To learn more, visit donoreggbankusa.com.
Why Samantha Busch + NASCAR Driver Kyle Busch Went the Distance to Have Another Baby Via Surrogacy40:53NASCAR fans may know Samantha Busch as the wife of stock car racing driver Kyle Busch; but in more recent years, more have learned that in addition to being a wife, a mom, and a lifestyle blogger, Samantha is also an infertility advocate through her non-profit, “The Bundle of Joy Fund” and her book, “Fighting infertility, Finding my Inner Warrior Through Trying to Conceive, IVF and Miscarriage.”As anyone in the infertility community knows, there is rarely a straight line to parenthood. In Samantha’s case, trying to become a mom again after she and Kyle had their son Brexton, was a chapter full of heartache, set backs, confusion and unexpected beauty after they found their surrogate match.On this episode, Andrea and Samantha discuss how she navigated tough decisions during her most recent miscarriage, why nobody should ever say “just” get a surrogate, her advice on how to navigate the surrogacy process, and why, despite finding resolution and completing her family, she’s still committed to advocating for people struggling to conceive. This episode is sponsored by Donor Concierge, a leading fertility service helping intended parents navigate the challenging process of finding an egg donor, sperm donor or surrogate. For more, visit donorconcierge.com
Why I'm Undergoing IVF at 50 Years Old: An Interview with News Reporter, Darla Miles34:49Emmy winning reporter Darla Miles never imagined that she'd be the center of a story involving infertility, repeated miscarriages and trying to conceive at 50 years old, especially as she has reported on extraordinary stories throughout her career.In her 30s, Darla met her husband and was thrilled to get pregnant at 36 just before their wedding; but that pregnancy ended and kicked off a decade+ long challenge to conceive and other challenges, including the sudden loss of Darla's husband, who was also her best friend.With a history of miscarriage, an autoimmune disease and now being considered of “advanced age”, some people think Darla's goal of having a baby is unrealistic. But, Darla is determined to exhaust her options as it's in her heart to become a mom.This episode is about resilience in the face of adversity, why we need more education about our fertility, and how far some of us will go to fulfill our most important goal of parenthood.This episode is presented by Donor Egg Bank USA, a leader in frozen donor egg. Two of their many financial plans include a guarantee that you’ll bring home a baby or receive a 100% refund. To learn more, visit donoreggbankusa.com