How to Overcome the Pain of Infertility
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September Burton: Hello everyone. And welcome to this episode of the Colorado Fertility Conference Podcast. I am your host, September Burton, and today I have with me a very special guest. I have Kristen Darcy. Kristen is a women’s emotional wellness coach and integrated holistic energy healer and award-winning author of Love and Infertility: Survival Strategies for Infertility, Marriage and Life, Girlfriend to Girlfriend: a Fertility Companion, and Divorcing with Grace. Kristen’s hard, won wisdom through life and education that has her living her calling of helping other women through trauma, grief, loss, and betrayal, so they can recover and claim their true selves potential. Love and live their happiest life. Challenges such as infertility, high conflict divorce, and the loss of her beloved Mom to cancer has driven Kristen to her own emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual healings and fiercely advocates, guide, support, and coach for clients. With a 20 year private coaching practice in Massachusetts, she holds a bachelor’s degree in education and has had extensive training in emotional and energy health. This includes being trained as a love mentor by the esteemed Dr. Diana Kirschner. In 2000, she served as an expert on the emotional aspects of infertility and testified before the us Senate about the importance of government funding for holistic treatments and fertility research. Wow. She has been featured on the NBC Today show, PBS’s Health Week, Mindbodygreen, Women’s World Magazine and the Boston Globe, fairyGodBoss, Robyn, and is a keynote speaker for conferences across the nation. Oh my gosh, Kristen, that’s quite a bio. I’m stunned right now. Thank you so much for coming on today.
[00:01:43]Kristen Darcy: I’m a little embarrassed every time I hear that, but thank you so much, September. I was so looking forward to our conversation today, I appreciate you.
[00:01:52] September Burton: Yeah, me too. I’ve really been looking forward to this. You’re somebody that I’ve we’ve been connected on LinkedIn for quite some time so I’ve kind of been keeping an eye on you, and I’m really grateful for this opportunity for us to chat and get to know each other and hopefully, help empower and support people who are struggling with infertility right now.
[00:02:08] Kristen Darcy: I’m grateful. Thank you.
[00:02:11]September Burton: will you tell us a little bit about your personal infertility struggle?
[00:02:15] Kristen Darcy: Sure. So I’ve been out of the closet, so far out of the closet, about my fertility journey for years now. Way back when I actually at 22 opened my own preschool learning center. So every day I was surrounded with 51 little beings, you know, that was my Nirvana and, It never dawned on me that when it became time for me to create my family that I would have struggles. And it was life altering, debilitating. I went from this woman who owned her own business, who was the youngest president of our local chamber, who had her own house, who finally came to a point in her life that, wanted what everybody else had to create their family and it just didn’t happen. And I watched myself turn and twist into somebody I didn’t really recognize. And at the time there wasn’t, Googling anything at three o’clock in the morning, way back when, and the only really support I had was Resolve. And, I would dive into that support, but I felt so isolated and so alone and, navigating the rollercoaster of emotions and then, getting that diagnosis of infertility, it was just earth shattering. And then that was followed with surgery and procedures. And, the loss, I lost our first pregnancy for ectopic. And, that was like the dark night of the soul for me. Wow. And so then I got very, I was so angry. And I had a stern conversation with, who I call God or whoever, whoever you relate to as that being, if you believe in the being, and I said, look, it’s not going to go down like this. you’re going to send me a baby and I’ll dedicate myself to helping other women not feel this way. Like why do we have to feel this way? We shouldn’t. And so I wrote Girlfriend to Girlfriend: A Fertility Companion because at that time that’s what I longed for was just somebody who knew, someone who got it without having to go dive deep into the feelings. So that started me speaking with conferences and doing training and becoming a coach and, writing Love Infertility because it really, infertility, a diagnosis of infertility, regardless of it’s first, second, male, female, it affects every part of you, mind, body, soul, spirit, relationships. And I became a mom and I’m still fulfilling that, agreement that I had of helping other women. And I think I’m so grateful for your platform because it’s so important for women to find your tribe. To know that, there is a beginning, a middle and an end to this journey and you’re going to come out the other side and you really need to collect tools and strategies and people to support you along the way in the way that you need.
[00:05:29] September Burton: Yeah, in the way that you need. I love that you just said that collect tools, support, and people along your way, because I think that when you’re going through the deepest, darkest time of your life, which for many people infertility is the deepest, darkest time of their life. I think you have to find that tribe. You have to learn how to reach out. You have to learn how to seek out that support and really build that support system because that’s what you need more than anything else.
[00:05:57] Kristen Darcy: Exactly. And I believe for us women, our muscle that when some of us are faced with trauma or, a life altering situation, our go-to reply is no, I’m fine. I’m going to handle it. It’s okay. And this diagnosis and trauma of loss or miscarriage, or news really breaks you open to a place of vulnerability that you have to learn to be comfortable with it. And, after all these years of my life journey, including infertility, I think I’m still becoming friends with the uncomfortable part of vulnerability. And part of what I hope to help women is really connect with that inner true guidance that wisdom, that whispering that sometimes because everything outside is so loud that we get disconnected from. And, part of my work with my clients is to help, turn up that volume of that, inner knowing.
[00:07:08] September Burton: I can’t even tell you how much I love that. I talked to people about the importance of intuition all the time that I feel like I’m a broken record with women learning to trust their intuition more than anything else, more than all of the outside voices. When I coach people, that’s what I talk to them about is you’ve got to learn to trust your intuition. What is your intuition telling you? I’m a big believer. I don’t give people advice. People ask me, how have you gotten past things? How have you done things? My way of getting past things is not the same way that other people should be getting past things. And so I’m not a believer in giving advice. I just say, get very still and very quiet and go inside and talk to your intuition and learn to trust it. So I really appreciate that you just said that. cause I think that in our culture, in our society, it’s so downplayed and more than just downplayed, it’s almost like we’re crazy because we have intuition. So yeah. Thank you.
[00:08:01]Kristen Darcy: That’s. Thank you too for validating it because a lot of people will say, that’s woo wooey. What do you mean? I steer clear of giving advice, but I do share relevant experiences. And so I was 39 turning 40, and I had my son at 35 and I was having yet another histosopenagram, which for me are very painful and it didn’t go well. And, when I got off the table and went back into the little room to change, I was all by myself. And I remember almost like the ground spinning and almost tumbling over. And I felt like I was going to go down deep, like, how could this be? Like, it’s such a disconnect to what I felt my body was. And I remember stopping myself and saying, just take a deep breath, lean against the wall and feel into this. And I’m like, why would that be in black and white? That I have no tubal functioning when I feel into my body, we’re okay. It’s going to be okay. That’s what I kept hearing. It’s going to be okay. And something came over me like it just snapped. And I went out to where my doctor was and he was like Kristin you’re perimenopausal, you’re going to be 40. You have no tubal function. You got to start an IVF and something came over, September and I looked at him and I said don’t talk to me like that again. Don’t ever speak to me like that, or we’re not going to work together. I said, you know what? I’m going to, I’m going to heal. I’m going to take this moment and I’ll make a commitment to you. I’ll start an IVF on December 31st. But until then I had three months, I’m gonna, I’m gonna be with me. And the last second of me having to start that IVF, I found out I was pregnant with my daughter.
[00:10:06] September Burton: Oh wow.
[00:10:07] Kristen Darcy: And when I went back in to see him and was considered high risk and considered, we better watch her. I was like, how did this happen? You stood there and said I had no tubal functioning. And he goes, they could have been in spasm. And I’m like, that’s not what you said to me in that moment. And he said, I don’t know, Kristin. And he put his finger up to like the heavens, like it was divine. And why I share that raw moment so much is that it it’s in a balanced way of listening to your intuition and taking action. Because I didn’t say screw you I’m not doing an IVF. Ooh, excuse me, my mouth, sorry. And storm out. wait, let me thoughtfully check in and see what feels right. See what I want to do. And there was a balanced compromise in the action. I hear you. I understand what’s in black and white and I’m going to take all appropriate action to get myself ready for an IVF. Because at that moment, emotionally and spiritually, I wasn’t ready. And I knew my body wasn’t. So I think that’s the relevant experience I would love for the listeners to hear that it’s empowering to be able to course correct and check in. To all your inner feedback. We’re receiving feedback every day from ourselves and that’s an important emotional balancing tool in the toolbox.
[00:11:51] September Burton: I had a conversation recently with a woman and I’d like to get your feedback on this. So, we were talking about how with IVF and infertility you’re told do this, you’ve got to do do do .
[00:12:02] And she was saying that’s a very masculine energy, but the feminine energy is to be still and just sit with it and see how it feels to you. and that’s a lot of, it seems like that’s a lot of what you’re talking about is calm down, stop the doing, stop the do . Get yourself ready, of course. But it’s more about for women, at least it’s more about that softness and that presence.
[00:12:27]Kristen Darcy: I agree with what she said and creation is a divine feminine energy, but we all have divine feminine and divine masculine. And it’s the balancing of those two approaches. Don’t get me wrong. I needed corrective surgery. I needed procedures. I needed the help, hormonally. And it wasn’t as if I said no, I’m not going to do that. So yes, there is a masculine approach and then, maybe a feminine approach, but creation, divine creating a child is divine feminine, divine wisdom. And how do you balance tha t divine masculine part? Because to that point of what you said, the story that I shared about being this very driven type A woman, at 22 opening a preschool, being in an old grocery store, converting that to a school, driving, using that masculine energy to drive.
[00:13:32] And then to be confronted with this creation process that was within my body, within my divine feminine. And how do how do you make that, graceful balancing happen?
[00:13:46] September Burton: Is that the vulnerability that you were talking about before ?
[00:13:49] Kristen Darcy: Being vulnerable to coming out of your comfort zone and being open to having it, you can, that was willful right now I’m gonna be pregnant and I’m gonna, but you also have to surrender to, to surrender to the bumps in it. I would never go back and change any part of my journey because I feel like that was such a learning experience about me, about maybe being rigid about maybe being, fearful because there was a lot of fear in me around what if this doesn’t work and what if I don’t become pregnant and feeling of being left behind and feeling being basically not worthy of something that was quote unquote our, our divine birthright. So for me, it kicked up a lot of fear. Did I answer your question?
[00:14:46] September Burton: You did. So another question, and you covered this, but I’m curious if there was like an aha moment or like a, a big light bulb type moment. At what point did you decide–okay, I’ve had this experience. I know what this feels like. I know that there are other people who are going through this who could use some support. And at what point did you say I’m going to be that other person that people can lean on for support now?
[00:15:13] Kristen Darcy: I think it was when the ectopic pregnancy drove me to, I know it is when it drove me to my knees in my bathroom, crying on the bathroom floor and I’m like, nobody else should feel this. What can I do to be of service so that no one else feels this way? And at that time, I think the pendulum has swung to the other side that you can Google anything and get support. it’s like a fire hose of information that can be confusing. So it still might be confusing, but in a different manner when you’re experiencing a diagnosis of infertility. But for me, it was that flash, that moment, that dark night of my soul, that I said, you know what, I’m gonna, I’m going to help other women, not really have to feel this way if I can.
[00:16:04] September Burton: Yeah. I like you just said, no one else should feel this, but what comes to mind when you say that is that there’s, it’s very possible that there’s a woman listening to this podcast right now who’s sitting on the bathroom floor crying. What would you say to her?
[00:16:25]Kristen Darcy: I know sweetheart, it’s awful. And you just have to let whatever needs to flow out of you flow right out right now and feel what you need to feel. And that feeling will maybe stay and maybe lessen or maybe go away. But what I know about women, working with women. Is that there’s some inner force in us that we dry eyes. We get off the floor, maybe first from our knees and pull ourselves up and we put our big girl panties on and we move forward. There’s something so awestriking about watching a woman in her divine resilience. The divine power of divine feminine resilience is just get out of the way. And I know that you feel awful and I want you to, and we’re here for you and when you’re ready, you get up and you call the tribe and we’re going to be with you. This is, this infertility journey is something that you should not go alone with. I thought I was alone, but we’re not alone. I met people in the grocery store by, I could just tell by look in their eyes, there’s so many fellow travelers that are here to support you. And I think the last thing I would say to that woman is I’m truly, sorry. I’m truly sorry.
[00:18:09] September Burton: This is a first for me, nobody has ever gotten me crying as I’m interviewing them before, but I’m actually crying. That’s okay. So let’s talk about, your books Will you tell us more about each of your books and at what point on on a woman’s journey when she want to pick up the different books that you’ve put out?
[00:18:31] Kristen Darcy: Girlfriend to Girlfriend was a book I wrote, which is really like me just putting everything out there. And it’s from my journal. And it does share some tips that I use personally. And then from traveling and speaking for all those years with Girlfriend to Girlfriend, and sharing more of my tools that I used and developed and changed. I wrote Love and Infertility: Survival Strategies for Infertility, Marriage, and Life and that is just Chuck full of strategies. And it’s really written in a way that you can just open up, read a chapter, if it resonates, put that tool in your toolbox. And for me, I felt that was important for other women because what works for me might not work for you. And I come from a place of like pure, no competition. So I know that if maybe I’m not the right person to support you and help you, I will know someone who, Oh, you need to talk to September or you need to call my friend Kate at Resolve or, so I think it was, it’s really empowerment through connections and that’s what Love and Infertility is. The basis of the quiet kind of part of Love and Infertility is really creating that heart, mind, soul connection of self-care and self-love. And I think that the root of pain within infertility is really bringing to light all those parts of you that get triggered by feeling maybe I’m not worthy of this, or you did something wrong in your past that is creating this, or, whatever those feelings are that create a sense of scarcity or lack. And so Love and Infertility speaks to that because that’s what I experienced. Like every dark corner of myself came out that was ready for some light for healing.
[00:20:39]Do you think September Burton: that’s a common thing for people who are going through difficult, extremely challenging times in life in general, that it pulls every dark piece of you out?
[00:20:52]Kristen Darcy: I think in some incidents that maybe there’s a common core wound. In the, the core wounds are abandonment, loss, abuse, or co-dependence in your childhood or in your history. And so when you get to a life crisis, it might be pinging one of those four core wounds. That I think now in the world we’ve come to a time that you don’t really before, dive deep into it and relive it all. Or I think we’re at a point now that just our conscious awareness of that wound and acknowledging it and self-soothing yourself and releasing that into the light, moves us along a little bit faster. A lot of people coil over recoil from self-help or holistic healing or whatever we want to call it because they are, they don’t want to take that dive into it. And who does, when I was going through it, I didn’t want, why would we want to do that when we’re in such excruciating pain? But I think right now in the world with everything that’s happening, it’s such a huge opportunity for healing. And once something is in the light, it has to heal.
[00:22:08] September Burton: I agree. I love Brene Brown talks about how shame can only survive in darkness. And when shame is brought to the light, it basically ceases to exist. And so for me, I think that’s why talking and sharing your story is so important. That’s I love when women share their stories and because I share my story, a lot of women reach out to me and they want to share their story. And, and it, it brings it to the light and the shame can no longer exist once it’s brought to the light.
[00:22:37] Kristen Darcy: That’s beautiful.
[00:22:40] September Burton: So what would you say about moving forward? How can, somebody who’s struggling with infertility? How can they pick themselves up and move forward to in their life and continue living life? Not get consumed by the infertility, but actually, go back out there and start living life again.
[00:22:58]Kristen Darcy: I created a product called Everyday Certainty because it’s this quick little thing that I is my tried and true that I rely on. And I think for me, and I don’t want to take a lot of time talking about it because I know we’re coming up to the end, but really revisit your dreams. Write them down in a journal and allow yourself to be future visioned. And relax about how you’re going to get there. But when you have a moment of, awfulizing, I was the queen of awfulizing, the thoughts, the renumeration, when you have that moment read or call back that vision, that future vision, and have had that as a mental movie. As a pattern interrupt into, the current moment. I’m not trying to take you out of the present moment. I’m just trying to have you have, a vision of what you would like to create then each day set your intention, even if it’s the same intention. An intention could be as simple as every morning when you wake up and put your feet on the floor the first thing that you do is you say out loud, thank you, which is a declaration to the universe of gratitude. Next, follow that up with a daily nurturing item, self care. I’m going to tell you September for the last, since I started infertility, I have a $14.99 coffee frother. And if you heard me talk before it asn’t changed, and every morning at five o’clock I heat up my milk in the microwave for a minute, froth it with my $14.99 coffee frother you can get at target and pour my coffee in there. And I think I’m the queen of Sheba.
[00:24:58] September Burton: I love it.
[00:25:01] Kristen Darcy: And the last thing is. Cultivate gratitude each day. 10 things you’re grateful for. Those are my that’s my process during the day. You’re connect to your dreams, your vision of your dream. You set your intention for the day. I move through today with grace and ease, and I recognize my abundance. I do my self nurturing item, and then I close or concentrate on my gratitude. boom. It’s magical. It really is.
[00:25:36] September Burton: It is magical. I agree. I completely agree. And I love that you said revisit your dreams and stay future visioned because at the end of the day, that’s what resiliency truly is. It’s to stay future visioned. Always keep moving forward. Thank you, Kristen. This was, I’m so moved right now and humbled, and I just am very grateful that you came on today. So thank you for sharing with us.
[00:26:01] Kristen Darcy: Oh my love. Thank you for having me. I so appreciate everything you do. And, a big mwah to everybody and reach out if you need me. Thank you so much.