March is Surrogacy Awareness Month! This month exists to thank all the surrogates, egg donors, healthcare providers, attorneys, and surrogate agencies that help build families....
We had the privilege to speak with the vibrant and motivated life coach, Olga Lacroix. As a registered social worker running a private meditation studio, Olga works mostly with women experiencing stress and/or anxiety, as well as women struggling with infertility.
Her goal is to help women to “become their own super hero”.
Olga believes that how we perceive the world defines our experience in it, and strives to guide people to free themselves of harmful perceptions. With a focus on healthy mindsets, these women gain confidence and achieve their goals.
Olga has been married for five years. When she and her husband decided they were ready to start a family, they were filled with hope and excitement for the future. However, this excitement began to fade after she did not get pregnant when expected. After two years of trying to conceive naturally, Olga was still not pregnant. This surprised her, given that she lives an extremely healthy lifestyle, and has never had irregular cycles or periods.
Little did Olga know, she was about to embark on a four and a half year journey to conceive. She and her husband tried everything. They went through genetic and physical testing, visited a Naturopath practitioner, used ovulation kits, and downloaded fertility tracking apps. “There was no real answer”, Olga says while reflecting on her unexplained fertility. She tried an IUI cycle, which was unsuccessful. She expressed that, with the exception of the Naturopath practitioner who taught her a new way of managing her diet, none of these tools were particularly helpful. They were supposed to help her to conceive, yet none of them resulted in a pregnancy. This was a frustrating time for Olga, because she did not understand why she was having trouble conceiving.
Finally, Olga decided to move forward with IVF. After the first attempt at IVF she learned that her body did not respond well to large amounts of hormones. When her first cycle of IVF did not end in a pregnancy, she moved to a new fertility clinic which recommended she tried batching: consecutive IVF rounds. She ended up going through three consecutive rounds of IVF.
“I became best friends with science”
Olga says. She depended on science to guide her to pregnancy.
Out of three frozen embryos, one was healthy. This was nerve racking for Olga. In the end, however, this IVF cycle was successful! Olga is now pregnant and beaming with excitement.
Olga achieved her goal of conceiving, but it was not easy. “Loss is the most recurring feeling in infertility,'' she shared. During this hard time, one huge support system for Olga was the community following her blog and social media. Olga says that documenting and sharing her story has “made all the difference”. While she has experience with motivational speaking, in which she reflects on difficult experiences she has overcome, sharing her infertility story has been different: she hasn’t yet reached the end. The idea of sharing a personal struggle before it had a positive end worried Olga. She didn’t want others to feel sorry for her after reading her posts. But she quickly became aware of the support and respect for those who shared their stories. She wanted to provide support, and learn about these women’s journeys, but didn’t feel sorry for them. She felt respect and admiration for their strength. These feelings motivated her to start posting her story.
Olga describes the act of sharing her journey as the most healing experience.
Not only did she receive an abundant amount of support, love, and compassion, she also enjoyed being able to help other women experiencing similar obstacles. “Education, for me, is key. It’s what I do in my business, it’s what I do everywhere.” Olga explains she is passionate about educating others: “providing information is my number one goal.” She believes the lack of information about infertility is a major problem. Olga strives to always be genuine and honest on social media, in order to show her followers that they are not alone in their fertility journeys.
Wellness and meditation are two core values that had a huge impact on Olga's fertility journey. Her professional practice is mindfulness based, which has helped her to approach her journey with compassion and understanding. The experience reinforced her trust in mindfulness as a way of life. She likes to focus on helpful thinking. She chooses to have helpful and accurate thoughts, as opposed to negative ones that will bring her down. During her experience with fertility obstacles, she strayed away from thoughts such as “I will never conceive”, and instead focused on thoughts that helped move her journey in the right direction.
Olga’s story exemplifies the importance of support, openness, and education.
She emphasizes the idea that no one should have to face infertility alone.
For Olga, sharing her story was a source of strength and empowerment. Women that she knew, and did not know, reached out to Olga to express their support or share that they had gone through something similar. She was amazed at how many women sent her words of encouragement and compassion. This experience has motivated her to develop a group coaching program in which women come together and share their stories with one another. Her healthy mindset and view of the world is inspiring, and something to strive for.
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