Can Mindset Help Improve Your Fertility? | Kezia Ashley Okafor

podcast Sep 02, 2022

“You get to the point where you feel like there’s got to be a different way.”

Topics Discussed:

  • How no one talks about the mental pain when you are being treated for infertility.
  • Why strengthening your mindset matters so much.
  • Why you have to deal with your stress now rather than later.
  • How to get to the point where you are okay whether you have a child or not.

Often when we are going through the infertility journey we think that all the stress and worry will go away once we get pregnant or after we have children, but in reality that stress can become more difficult afterwards.

Which is why it is so critical that we deal with our mindset and our stress now. In this episode with Kezia Okafor, we dive into all the elements of the mind that try to play havoc with our infertility journey along with the rest of our life. 

“Fertility is fickle.”

We think that having a child is the answer and solution, and while that is what we strive for, our ultimate goal is to become a better and more whole person.  That’s why it’s so important for us to take heed of how to better ourselves on this journey.

We talk about the ups and downs of navigating the mental space, dealing with friends and family who don’t understand what we are going through, and how to stand up to doctors when you know what they are telling you is wrong.

“Infertility can be a process where you discover yourself.”

Listen here: Can Mindset Help Improve Your Fertility? | Kezia Ashley Okafor

🌺 Download your FREE Guide: Top 3 Steps to Maximise Your Fertility That Your Doctor Isn't Talking About

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Full Transcript: 

Hello beautiful and welcome to finding fertility Happy Friday. Oh welcome back to another episode of the finding fertility podcast. I'm your host Monica Cox from finding We've got Casey up Okafor on the podcast. Today. She is the infertility counsellor over on IG. You know, I have a really good old chat with her. I started recording before we started the episode. And I've just included it in this podcast. So it was a little bit of a long one. But we really just connected she lives over in the UK. So maybe I was having some nostalgia going down memory lane hanging out with British folks. But I really really enjoyed connecting with Kasia and I hope you guys enjoy it as well. So without further ado, let's get to today's episode. I don't particularly know, you know, if there is any more struggles for women of colour during infertility, if there's things that happen that maybe not like on a whole, you know, or greater. I know that during pregnancy and childbirth, that there's a lot of issues with women of colour. And you know that students back to the medical system way back when and all that kind of stuff. I know that but I don't know anything about infertility. And the little research that I did was just you know, how whitewashed IVF clinics and all that they're just when I Google it, it's very white, isn't it? But I don't know if there's any kind of different issues with treatment or not accessing treatment.

The hardest bit, actually, Monica is that with black women, it's in the UK, there's hardly any statistics or research done on it, but they have them you can find some from America. So all the stats really about black women in infertility come from America, which again, I don't know why maybe America more forward thinking I don't know, because what's come out of America basically, is that black women are more likely to suffer from infertility and yet are less likely to seek treatment. And when they do seek treatment, they're less likely to have a successful outcome. There's a little bit of information, but that's about it. And it's quite, I don't really know why. And maybe that's because they're not accessing treatment to get any more information. I don't know, it's a bit of a grey area, I suppose. Because in the

UK, I mean, it's becoming more of an issue. Now we got affected by the postcode lottery. So we were in York, when we were advised to go get IVF. And it just happened at the time to be one of the three places in the UK to not offer fertility treatments. But if we buy a house 30 minutes down the road in Leeds, we would have got free treatment. I don't know in America, if it's a money thing, because or you know, an insurance thing, having a good job to get the insurance to then cover the treatment. So I know I mean, I think it's across the board for all races that if you are of a lower income and don't have that insurance, you don't even think about doing IVF you know, you don't have a mortgage to leverage you don't feel that you have savings. So I don't know, in the UK, what those thoughts are, I was thinking about it this morning. And we went NHS to do our first round of IVF treatment. And it was a horrible experience. But they put probably like 10 different couples in the waiting room. And then we all got corralled into our like individual stalls. And then we were like, drawn into the operation room, you know, to get to a collection. And I remember, there was all walks of life in there, right? You know, so that was like one of my thoughts is like, and then when we kind of wised up in that clinic was not going to help us whatsoever. We sought out a private clinic from this private clinic just happened to be doing like immune testing. It was kind of advanced at that time. I know it's like much more likely that you can go anywhere and get this testing now. But I was thinking to myself, like how white that clinic was like you did see it was actually in a suburb of Sheffield, that was predominantly Indian. No, when you got there it was like a house that got converted to a clinic. It was rock pools really homely and stuff and you did see people of colour in there. But I remember thinking like now like anytime I was in the weight room, there was like white and even though they did take NHS you can do around through NHS it, you know, obviously was a private clinic. So I was like yeah, okay, here we go. Are we once again, drawing the line in the sand of having the money to pay for it yourself? It brings up so many questions throughout everything, even through infertility and some of the articles I was reading is that Black people are less likely to talk about their infertility issues. It's hard to say whether or not you know, that's true in the sense that like, when you go on Instagram, even though they're I guess a lot of them are anonymous account, but everyone's talking about it there. So you feel like people are actually really talking about infertility now, probably the reality is they're not they're just on Instagram talking about it.

Yeah, I mean, in my experience, I remember writing about it in my journal years ago, and taking it to my therapist actually, and saying, We're all the black women, like, I could not be the only one going through this, and really getting quite distressed as like, you know, like, nobody I know, it just felt like nobody I knew was going through it, it felt like my family couldn't really understand it, because no one in my family has really been or anything like that. And I've never grown up with anyone, you know, friends family, talking about, like infertility, it just wasn't a thing. And even now, like, I get friends, and they're like, thing, though, you know? And I'm like, no, yes, the thing. And funnily enough, since I started my account, I've had a few more black women reach out and say, Thank you for talking about this, or phones day. And you know, like, thank you for talking about this, because it's really important, but there's still this kind of lack of, I don't know, I wonder if it's the lack of awareness in the community really, as to and it's definitely a cultural thing, though, that you know, religion plays a part cultural beliefs play a part to that they all those things play a part. And there is a real silence around it. If any, as you get older, you realise that actually, the silence is something quiet. I always think it's something quite sinister. You know, we've all know, someone and Auntie or someone who didn't have children, and everyone kind of goes, Yeah, they were fine with it. And it's like, why are they were they fine with it? Or did they just feel like they couldn't talk about it? Yeah. And a lot of it is that in the black culture will be like, you know, just pray on it. And it'll be fine. But there's no real understanding of actually what what is infertility and how it really impacts a person going through it.

I think there's a lot of similarities, especially if you come from a religious background. And I think people a lot of people get that I know, I did. My I was raised Catholic. My mom's still very Catholic, and it was very much so just pray on it, it will happen. It's in God's hands. And you know, just just like you, I had an I had two aunts go through IVF. And I knew nothing, no three, actually three ants go through IVF only one contacted me during my journey to reach out, you know, and that was one that I was like, probably the least closest with. She lived in Australia. She's my stepdad. And she's the one who reached out during my journey. And I didn't find out about one of my aunts that I was really close with. And I used to travel the country taking care of her down syndrome baby that she went through IVF. And he just happened to come naturally later in life. And still to this day, I have not had a conversation with her. It's very much so that tight lipped, do not talk about it kind of thing. I my other aunt who went through infertility, she she's younger, she's only actually 11 years older than me. And I still like, you know, we've had some really random, I wouldn't even call them conversations like just like two sentences about like, how awful IVF was for her. And then that was it. I mean, she ended up adopting three beautiful children. But yeah, it does really surprise you how if it was anything else, that you can have these hearts of hearts, like if you had cancer, if you had some kind of rare disease or anything like that people would reach out to you more, but because it's surrounded by SEC, that's the only reason I can think right is because it's your gig in your vagina and you whether you're doing it naturally, or doing medical support, it still involves those things, and people just do not want to talk about it.

People do not want to talk about it, and it's baffling. It's really baffling. And I do think it's something about the shame of the female body, isn't it? Actually, when we really think about it, we don't know how our bodies work. And so when they're not working, you know, our moms and our grandmothers and our aunts and they don't want to talk about it because it's like, well, because they didn't know like, I don't know,

my mom had a hysterectomy at 32 years old and she is positive she had endometriosis or severe PCOS and you know, through the 70s and the 80s there was little to nothing known about those conditions and she just got basically pushed aside and told You're crazy. You're a woman, you know, just get on with it. That's normal. And yeah, like now you bring it up like how can your elder As your you know, your mothers, your Aunties talk about those situations with you, when they don't, they don't know anything about their reproductive system. I think it's like coming back to the whole Black Lives Matter movement is our generation, you know, the older millenniums, and then older generations below, it is now being accepted to talk about emotions, talk about mental health talks about sec talk about racism, talk about LGBT and how it is normal that some people are gay, and they don't choose it. You know, our generations are moving the conversations along and making everyone so uncomfortable, you know, even us, right? Even us who want to push the conversations forward, it still it's not like we have a superpower. And we think like, oh, yeah, I can talk about this without feeling uncomfortable, like new listeners, I reached out for you to some of our black community in the infertility world, because I had a look at myself going, Okay, where's my diversity? Why is this podcast predominantly all white women. And it's not, we don't purposely do it, it's like, you just get in that zone. And until someone like smacks you around until some like, big event, like, infertility wakes you up, then you start, you know, reevaluating where you are, who you are, and where you want to go. It's the

fact like you said, our generation, the generations below us are that we're actually open to these conversations. And the fact that that does more than anything else, because if we remain ignorant, nothing can change. And it's the same with infertility, if we, if we don't talk about it, nothing can change, we can't improve it for the women that come after us or in the future generations. So we have to talk about it. Yeah,

100%. And I don't, I don't, I don't think we both mean that, like everyone needs to talk about it now. A small handful of us that want to get on our soapbox and change the world. And but and let those people who do want to be a little bit more quiet with their journey that it is okay, what you're going through this is, unfortunately, a normal thing that's happening to a lot of women and men. And for me, it comes down to diet and lifestyle, you know, we are becoming a sicker population by the day by not having the knowledge of how our food, how our environment, how our mental health affects every aspect of our body, therefore, can have major damaging effects on our fertility, and we don't even think it. Let's get into your story a little bit. Let's dive in and take us back to the start of your journey of

trying to conceive. Yeah, my journey is I always think it's quite unique. So I got married many years ago now 10 years ago, and instantly thought, I'll have a baby neck. And that didn't happen. And that was quite shocking to me. Because at that time, it just so happened that all my friends were getting pregnant and getting pregnant very easily. And I remember being quite distressed about it. And that went on, and I went to see the GP and he kind of said, it's normal it takes to you. And I was like you said that like I didn't know that. Was that weird? You know? And so that was my first kind of intro into well, what is normal? What isn't normal, just so happened? I did naturally fall pregnant a year after I got married, and had a beautiful baby boy, he is now eight. So I was referred to a gynaecologist just before I got pregnant with him. And they all just said, Well, now that you're pregnant, you'll be fine. You'll have as many kids as you want. So I went away had my beautiful baby boy, and for great, everything's gonna be fine. I didn't really think about it again. My son got to about two. And I thought, well, this will be a good age to have another one. And another year goes by and nothing's happening. And I thought, well, maybe that's just me, maybe that that's part of it. 18 months goes by and I'm thinking or This doesn't feel right. And so that took me into a really dark place of fertility treatments NHS, but obviously, because we already had a child, there wasn't much help for us on the NHS, I worked for Clomid, climate didn't work, I think I'd done three cycles of Clomid. And I was terribly depressed going through COVID Because it didn't work. And I kind of got my hopes up really high. And I said to my fertility nurse, like, well, if this doesn't work, what what's my option? And she said, This doesn't work. We can't help you. And you have to go into IVF privately, and I thought, we're gonna go and do IVF and so I just kind of left the treatment altogether. And I went and done lots of different things. Acupuncture God, What didn't I do as a functional medicine? tried all kinds of diet. But outside reflexology i Yeah. And ended up doing a stain an osteopath. I tried all kinds of stuff. Nothing, nothing seemed to work. And just I happened I met a, at the same time, I was also training, I decided to retry and as a counsellor, and art therapists, and that was really amazing. The therapy was just an amazing support for all of that treatment. And I kept saying to my therapists, where's the emotional support, like, I go and sit in the doctors, and it's so sterile. And I feel like I'm just a number in a system. And actually, I'm really in a lot of pain here. And nobody seems to care about that. Like, they just keep saying, Oh, don't worry, we'll get you pregnant. I was like, I'm really in pain, like, and I couldn't quite work it out, really. So I ended up being a coach, a mindset coach, and completely changed my life. So I've not, we've not got our second child yet. I just feel like the mindset work changed my life so much, along with the therapy, that I feel like, infertility doesn't have to be this misery. You don't have to go through it in pain and sadness, and torment. But actually, it can be this process, where you really discover yourself and go through that kind of pain, and come out on the other side and go, Okay, I can deal with that. It's okay. And so that's me, that's where I'm at. And I really decided that I needed to help other women who were feeling the same way and show them that actually, infertility is an is a difficult thing to go through. But it doesn't have to be all the that that mental anguish, that emotional distress can, you know can be separate, you can be separated from that, and still pursue your your family

100%. I think for me, very similar, unexplained infertility. And when you start going down the rabbit hole of doing everything, I mean, I was like you, I did absolutely everything. And I mean, diet started to really shift things for me, because I started seeing improvements in areas I didn't know I needed to be improved, but the mindset came into play, because it is so hard to do the diets, right? Because, as you know, some of them just don't work. They're not the right diet for you. For some people, it takes them a really long time to figure out what is the right diet, what is the right combination of supplements, what is the right kind of support they need physically, like in the sense of, you know, some people thrive on acupuncture, reflexology, or all those. And until you shift your mindset, it's not that you can't get pregnant, it's just gonna be so much harder of a journey. Because a lot of us just keep going, right? We, we don't give up if you have in place, this unbreakable mindset of I'm going to be okay. Whether you have a kid or not a kid, you know, like, I always encourage women to have that ultimate goal at the end, you know, that is very important to focus on and use phrases like when I become a mother, or you know, things like that, but also know that your health, your mental health and your physical health. If you walk away from this journey with that attack, you win. Yeah, no losing. But what do you think with like yourself and the people that you work with? What's the straw that breaks the camel's back that you give into that? Because we're very resistant to that breaking down those walls? Because they're so subconscious, right, like a lot of time. We don't even know we're self sabotaging ourselves. What's your take on that?

I think it gets to a point where you feel like, well, in my experience, he got to the point where I felt like, I can't continue like this. I can't continue to feel so consumed and overwhelmed by it, there's got to be something different. And I kept looking for answers go into different people. And the answer is not quite fit in. So every time there was a test result, or and I was just like, I don't know, it's just not it's just doesn't feel right. So when the mindset work came along, it wasn't initially, I didn't go to find a mindset coach, it just kind of happened. But it made sense. It made more sense than anything else I'd been through. And I think the women find me they realise like, I can't continue like this. Like, I don't like the person I've become I don't like the fact that I'm crying or I'm this emotional wreck. Like I don't I feel so unstable. I feel like You know, I always used that metaphor, like I'm spinning out of control all the time. And I think it's that kind of unsettling. Who am I like, what's happening to me, and it's just like, I need to let that go, I need to find something that will give me more peace. Because it is really disorientating to feel like that every day for years, I think it just gets to a point where you just feel like there has got to be a different way. And then the one thing I always say to women is that if you're feeling this way, now, it doesn't mean it's gonna go away have a positive pregnancy test. 100% It's really important that we don't just think that, you know, once I get pregnant, I'll be fine. Like, the anxiety, that emotional, you know, all that stress, it stays, it stays in the body. And so it's really important to deal with it now, rather than when you're pregnant, or when the you know, when the baby's here, it gets more difficult. So yeah, I think it's really important that we look at that more

100% I mean, the anxiety and the emotional stress that you can put on yourself leading up to a positive pregnancy test, I think quadruples when you see those two peak lines, once you see those two pink lines, your fight or flight mode just goes up because you are now like in protective Mama Bear mode and you want this so bad. And you stress over every little twinge of no movement, not

feeling pain, not feeling movement.

Yeah, it is a mind trip. And I had four pregnancies and yeah, definitely hands down. I would say my first one I was in the best state of mental health I could possibly be because I let go of everything before I did this frozen embryo transfer you and just the circumstances that happened in our life, I got to quit my job. I literally lived in this beach house for nine weeks before we moved on to another base. I had no responsibilities. And I just journaled and meditated and just chilled and I miscarried, I had a miscarriage. So that stuff doesn't guarantee you success. But what it did was when I found out because we didn't find out until we went for the seven week scan is that I was able to take my very first pregnancy in six years and not be crushed, not be devastated. Not just want to give up on everything and move on to a different situation. I mean, don't get me wrong, tears fell. But the mindset that I had, I was like, That's it, I can get pregnant, I'm unstoppable now, right? And we took time to regroup, I gave my body time to regenerate and rest and recover. And eight months later, I was pregnant. And nine months later, I had my first son, but I tell you that second pregnancy, it was a fight to keep that mindset because I just thought I had no one to guide me, you know, I did a lot of this on my own, there wasn't people like us out there. And if there was they were really hard to find, and I never found them. And I didn't have the knowledge because I had high natural killer cells. And even though I changed my diet, I found the right diet. For me, we still used immune suppressing drugs. And you know, they were very much like you need to be on these drugs until 12 weeks because that's, you know, you can miscarry up until then. And I was just so petrified that if I had one wrong bite of food, that that would send my body into this massive cascade and I would lose the pregnancy. So yeah, the the working on yourself, when you are either don't have a child or only have one child and you're dealing with secondary infertility to be able to look at that time and just be grateful for it is invaluable. Because when you do move into motherhood or when you move into pregnancy, and then motherhood, the time that you have for yourself, and especially I feel like I don't know if you feel the same way when you first start working on yourself. It's incredibly hard. And oh, yeah, you just you fail all the time, right? You just like, out of the habits and like it is a continuous thing. And still to this day, I'm sure you find too is that you have to fight for it. You know, the skills doesn't mean you're the Buddha. No, it doesn't work that way.

Yeah. Yeah. That doesn't work that way. No, and I think people underestimate that. I think people underestimate it and think I think that's why when a lot of women say well, I try and think positive. I try and do all the meditation and the journaling. And it's like, yeah, but it takes commitment. And it takes practice. I mean, I remember going to therapy for the first time and just because it was my course I had to go but I sat there was I don't need therapy. Three years later being like, Oh my God, I need therapy.

Do I'm even more

because they we carry around so much. And what I always say is that it's taken you however many years or your life to get to this point, with these habits with this condition thinking with these beliefs. You can't shift it in a night and be and wake up tomorrow and be like, Oh, I'm so then. And I've got it down. Like, like you said, I even me some days, I'm like, What is going on? What are you doing? And then other days, I'm like, Okay, I know what I'm doing today. And it's like that constant, one step forward, two steps back, and it's that constant playing of, okay, I've got it today, I know what I need to do. I know what that is. I know what that feeling is, I know what triggered that. I know what to do there. And it's just, it's constant. And I love that because I think that's part of the process, and it's part of really becoming who you want to be. And it's not for everybody, I totally get that. It's not for everybody. But for those that it is it is this daily practice, probably for the rest of our lives. And, you know, you either commit to that, or you kind of don't, but you know, it's your it's your choice.

Yeah, and it's finding what works for you, you know, like everyone thinks there's this, like, you have to do yoga, you have to go meditate, you have to do this. And, you know, there's so many resources out there now that if you start exploring them and giving them time, you know, it took me a year to get into yoga, like it was boring, like my mind would wander like is suck. And still to this day, I can't do yoga at home, it has to be in a studio where I have accountability. I can't walk out on the class. You know, it takes time. And it's just like, your brain is probably like your most messed up muscle, right? Like, how long does it take you to get abs? Like, how long does it take you to get bones is still you know, that's relatively quick, when you're thinking about rewiring, most of us are talking 20 plus years, and I feel for a lot of us. And I know this was my case, I grew up in a loving family. I didn't think that my childhood was bad. I wasn't abused, I wasn't sexually abused. I had two parents around. So like you, I didn't think there was like, necessarily anything wrong. And when you start going through this journey, and like it's an onion, you peel layer after layer after layer, and it stinks and it sucks and you don't want to, like you're crying that you're like, wow, I have so many subconscious limiting beliefs about myself. And that's why I can't stick to the diet. That's why I can't stick to whatever you want to do exercise, meditation, yoga, anything is, you know, procrastination is a form of self sabotage. Like how many times do we get sucked into social media and I'm, like, go 30 Am I know I have things that I would like to do to better my life. And, you know, with infertility, that's like focusing on your whole body and it is like a second job like infertility. Like you see women all the time, just if you decide to do any medical indivision it's a second job arranging the appointments, the loads, the timing, know all that stuff. And shifting your mindset to believe that these things actually will improve your fertility. Because there is medical research out there. It's proven that meditation works. It's you know, proven that diet has an effect on your body, but we're still maybe going back into the conversation we having earlier about that medical system that is so old fashion, and you're you are a number don't get me wrong. I love the NHS. It's amazing that there is health care for everyone. But if you've been in the Integritas long enough, yeah, that doctor doesn't know your name. You know. So I don't know how many different doctors I saw in I mean, in fairness to them we did move several times throughout the UK but yeah, there's no consistency. You know, there's no someone you really getting to know you just for an example. Even when we went to the private clinic, the first doctor we saw there was kind of like filling in or like something he wasn't a regular doctor there. He looked at our notes, and we went there to do the immune testing, because that was like that in my head that that was our thing. And he was like you're not a candidate for it because you're not having reoccurring miscarriages. I don't think you should do it. You just do it another round of IVF. And we'll go from there did another round of IVF. It failed. I had a beautiful looking embryo this time, but I still had high natural killer cells at the time. And you know, if someone would have actually taken the time and spoke to me and talked about symptoms that aren't related to infertility, like my gut health and my mental health because as you know So you can be have the best perfect diet in the world. But if you're not handling your stress, and your emotional stuff that that messes up your gut that messes up your hormones, that messes up so much thing, your endocrine system that you need for healthy fertility

is still like, it amazes me that the Western medical model doesn't take that into account. And I find that amazing. And I think if they don't take it into account, then most women and couples that go through the system aren't going to take that into account either. No, no, they just not gonna see that how that will? How can the fact that I'm feeling anxious have an effect on my fertility? They're just not going to make that connection? If if our medical system doesn't even make that connection? And it's frustrating for me, because I feel like yes, like, like you said, our hormones, our emotional stress, our mental health, you know, everything's linked, we can't be separated from that our physical body there, and then our mental emotional health. So it doesn't work like that, like everything is entangled in twined. And so there is a knock on effect, and our mind is the most powerful thing. And I think, until I learned about this mindset, I had no idea. I just had this stream of consciousness, but it wasn't a terribly pleasant stream of consciousness. You know, it was I mean, the negative self talk, especially going through infertility, I didn't realise until it was pointed out to me, like, wow, you're pretty tough on myself, the self blame, the self hate was right up there. And so it's like, if you feel that way, I remember just feeling so terrible about my body. And now I think, well, it feels so terribly about your body, how can your body get pregnant? You know, it's just that mind stuff. And the thoughts that we think are, are powerful, we just need to that awareness of that.

Well, your subconscious mind always wants to prove you, right. So you're sat there telling yourself, I can't get pregnant. I mean, that's not necessarily, like awful thing to say about yourself. When you're dealing with infertility. It's kind of the truth, right? But if you're sat there, I can't get pregnant. I can't have kids. Your subconscious mind is like, okay, that's true, then I'm going to, I'm going to help you make that your reality thoughts by, you know, doing the subconscious things that you sabotage, moving forward and improving your fertility. And I think it's hard for a lot of women because it's our natural right, right, we were born to have children. And when, especially when you're dealing with unexplained infertility, it's so much more frustrating, because you're like, Well, I have all the working parts. And you know, that gets so hard to wrap your mind about that what you're doing might be having an effect on your fertility. So even when I went paleo, I was in such poor health before, it was improving my health all around. But my gut health was still so weak, that I had a very high intolerance to other foods. And once I cut those foods out, you know, that's when those missing links came together. And once I started working on my stress, and my mental health, too, because my anxiety levels were like, I think back now, especially in my late teens, or early 20s, I'm like, No, it was in fertile Iowa. Like, I was so anxious and stressed out all the time. And on top of that, partying my butt off, and, you know, eating below average food. Yeah, no shit. I'm like, it all makes sense now. And it's a shame that it took me you know, so long. I mean, you know, I say, I have a nine year infertility journey. I got pregnant naturally with my son, my second son after eight years, but I think women like us who are willing to speak up and go, Look, these things matter. It sucks to have to be the one, you're not going to get pregnant, on, like a night out with your husband, or you're not going to go on holiday and just relax. Because these things your body needs time, it needs time to heal itself. And the deeper your issues are, and depending on your genetics is going to determine how long that is, you know, some people can just change up their mindset and get pregnant, but some people have to go extremely deep, like I had to go and find those root causes. So everyone's so different. And I think that's why it may be such a hard sell for people because they feel like they are going beyond, above and beyond, you know, next to the neighbour who got pregnant, you know, whether it has been looking at her and they're still not getting pregnant they day, month after month, and it's just keeping that belief in yourself, you know, having that ultimate goal, but having those other small All girls around you that are proven every week, right? Like we can't prove pregnancy, we can't prove this stuff is working. And there is always going to be that small percentage of people that it doesn't. They can do anything and everything, even IVF medical help. And the stars for some whatever reason, we just don't. We don't have a crystal ball. We don't know, I always find fertility really fickle. You know, like you can have the crackhead on the street getting pregnant, and then perfect yogi, good EDRs and struggle.

I was thinking that I was thinking if it was that clear cut, some people have poor diets and get pregnant. There's no one way there's no, there's nothing. That's right. And so sometimes I think with who knows why we end up with infertility, who knows. But I do think it is an opportunity to you know, that that person who gets pregnant, quickly, like they will have an adversity in their life, we've all got an adversity and I just kind of think, or maybe infertility was mine. And it was mine to kind of say something here has got to change. You know, like the way you've been eating and thinking, you know, handling your emotional mental health hasn't been right. And it's got to change. I think that can be quite a big thing for some people because they're like, what? Well, like, why, you know, I just wanna have a baby, and I just want to get pregnant. It's my body, like, why do I need to do all of that? And it's like, I don't know. But why not? If not, now, when?

Exactly, have you found that you are a better mother? Because you've changed up your mindset?

Yeah, completely. That was the other thing because I wanted him so badly. It took us a year to conceive Him. When I did have him and my mental health debt. After having him I find it very hard to say to anyone, I'm struggling here, because I knew they would say that you you required that you couldn't get pregnant, and now you're crying because you can't handle it handle being a mother. And so I felt for quite a long time I really struggled. But I struggled in silence with my mental health as a mother. And, and then and lots of other stuff. I wasn't happy in my job and my work, which is why I retrained but the moment that I started doing the therapy, I instantly became a better mother because I had an understanding of what I what I had gone through. I didn't understand why I felt so bad. And why I felt so low and why I felt like I couldn't cope. I thought I was the only one I thought I was doing a terrible job. You know, it's all that stuff that we keep silent. And actually that it was just normal. I was just going through normal things and normal response. And so yeah, with the mindset stuff, and the therapy, completely different person, completely different mother. And now I get it, I get like, oh, okay, it's all about me. You know, I remember my son have intention, and just feeling like the worst person in the world. But he was having a tantrum in the middle of Asda. I couldn't you know, I couldn't settle him down, you know? Whereas now it's like, okay, that Metatron it doesn't bother me, you know? And that's what I'm doing the self work that actually I'm okay. And that's all you know. It's bit like when you said I'm okay, no matter what, whether I've become a mother again or not, it's always knowing that I'm okay. And I can handle what anyone else has got, including my own child I can handle if he's angry about something, I can handle it. If they're upset, I can handle the crying. And I think it has made me a better person.

100%. And for the long term listeners, they know my mission is improving our children's futures. No. So you have epigenetics, which you pass on your genes, you can have a huge impact on your child's health before conception and during pregnancy. And I know that I am a way better mother than I would have been if I would have got pregnant at 27 when I wanted to have kids and doing all the emotional work has been fitted them. Because I have more patience, I have an understanding of what my words mean. You know, like the subconscious mind during childhood is insane. And then that's where most of your limiting beliefs come from. So being really mindful of my words and putting in the necessary diet and lifestyle changes that you need to do for your body. Not saying there's any guarantees, just like fertility. It's a fickle thing genetics, we can't guarantee it but it's like wearing your seatbelt in a car. You do it because of the one in 1 million chance that something is gonna go wrong. It can improve your situation. And were doing this work before you get pregnant. And before you become a mother just improves your your time with your children and can benefit their future. beyond words, super important.

And it is super important. And I think it's important that we focus on that as a utility industry as a whole. It's not just about making a baby, we are making families and those children that come into this world, you know, what environment are they going to grow up in? You know, ideally, every child should work in an emotionally healthy environment. We know that doesn't happen. But why can't we start now, like you said before conception to make sure that we're emotionally healthy, and doing all the our best that we can to be our best so that our children can have emotionally healthy, rich lives. I think that is the aim for me. But we have that impact. And

it just comes back to what we're dealing with around the world. You know, I just don't think it's an American issue. I know it's a big issue in America, but it is having you know, those tough conversations now with ourselves and looking at ourselves of like, okay, what can I improve in my life and my mental emotional life, that's going to have an impact on the rest of the world, because our children are, you know, I'm as as rough as this time is now I'm super hopeful for our children's future, because I think that being naive, and being stuck in this one system of belief is just exploding because our the younger generations are going that make sense anymore. Like that does not add up. And the generations that have come before us didn't have access to the knowledge that we have now, in the medical field in the field that the medical system won't look at. And the internet, you can go and look up. If you see a news report, you can go and do your own research on that and go actually, that is not what happened. And now you can see on social media, people's live account of what's actually going on. Yeah, there's this huge shift going on, not I think it will get uglier before it gets better. But I think people like us who have been through really hard times and have made those really hard decisions, and put in the sacrifice and put in the work to improve ourselves. And we're not perfect, we're never going to be perfect. It's better than what we every generation can do a little bit better, right? And I feel that we're gonna give our kids generation that like massive step up because they're not gonna have to deal with all of our mommy and daddy issues, because that's what's happened before, right?

Yeah, that's what we have to deal with. All parents didn't deal with. So there's been a lot of generational stuff, but it's just come down and a bit like what you said you had to be thought you had a normal, you know, relatively normal, whatever that means. childhood, I was the same that might lead to No, my parents divorced. I still didn't, I felt like, Yeah, I had a pretty decent childhood. But there was still stuff that you have to deal with. You know, no one gets through, or Well, up until this point, no one is, is got through life unscathed. We've all got something. Yeah. And if we don't pay attention to that, we are in danger of just keep passing it on. And I do feel like it's got to stop with us. We've got to be the generation that goes, nope. Let's take a look at this stuff.

Yeah, you're gonna make a lot of people feel super uncomfortable. I mean, I know I have doctors out there that have banned me from their social media accounts, because I speak up against them. You know, I'm like, no, what you're saying is, is not fair. It's not correct. And just because you believe that and you've studied that and you're double board certified, doesn't make you right. Like, and it's unfair to stop that conversation of growth. Yeah. Okay. Let's just take for example, if you are right, you know, having a debate about it just makes your rightness even better. You can explain to people like why you believe you're right. Instead of stopping the conversation and just being like, I feel it's ignorance of like, no, that's not right. I know what I'm talking about. So your opinion, doesn't matter. And it's like, well, that's why our society has gotten to where it's gotten to.

And that's why you, you end up in treatment, and you feel like you're a number because there's not that open dialogue, but ignorance to not look at, to see patients as you know, especially women and women's body like, but I know better because I've studied, but were the experts of us. I'm the expert of me. How can you tell me I'm not in pain? How can you tell me that? I don't feel this way? How can you tell me to just go away and see how you like, but we've got so used to doctors and authorities telling us what it is and what it isn't that we don't even trust our own bodies.

100% I mean, my whole journey, I knew that there was something up and they're just one of those things where we can't find anything was because they didn't know where they didn't, they weren't seeking out anything more. And they were just following what they learnt. And I don't know, like someone said to me the other day, how did you have the strength to do it? How did you have the strength to stand up to them and demand these things? And I was like, I don't know. Maybe it's like my rebel NIST and like authority, I'm kind of like the one that will flip it off. Maybe it was just that because I for sure didn't have the confidence and belief that I was smart enough to know more than a doctor, especially in the beginning. Now I have that confidence of like, they're 100% way smarter than me. They can sit and memorise things and take tests to pass and like, you win that game, that is not me. But you can't knock my knowledge of the immune system of the body is connected of how powerful the mind is, like, I know those things. And not only do I know them, I prove them in my own journey to be correct. Yeah, no. And I know that my journey, no one can carbon, copy it, everyone has to go through their journey. But I feel like my journey is a prime example that if you get that belief in yourself, and you do the necessary things that you need to do, you can achieve what you want to achieve.

Yeah, totally, totally with you. But everyone's journey is their journey. But it does take a lot. It takes a lot of strength to I always say it takes a lot of strength to walk your own path. Yeah, even for me, like when I decided to, we could have done it IVF we could have stayed with you know, the medical system, my own path and kind of go no, that's that's not for me. I don't know why it just wasn't for us. We didn't feel like we had unexplained. And so I was like, well, there's either not given me a good enough reason to go and do IVF. And we could have gone that path. But it did feel quite radical to kind of go, Okay, see you then I'm gonna go and try something different. And even now, it still feels radical to still be on that path.

Though, because there is very few people who are determined to have a baby don't use that path. I mean, I was still using medical assistants because we had frozen embryos when I knew that my body was healing and getting better. So the last frozen embryo transfer we had, I was probably in the tip top health that I've ever been in my life. But for circumstances beyond our control, we couldn't try naturally from having our first son to leading up to that frozen embryo transfer. So I never proved to myself that I can get pregnant naturally, I still use immune suppressing drugs. Because what if it didn't work? And I had a miscarriage? I didn't want that. What if in myself, I didn't have that confidence. And I did end up having another miscarriage. And two months later, I was pregnant naturally. So yeah, you are a rebel to have that strength inside you go? No, this is my path. I'm going to do it because society is not on your side, maybe to be really general, if someone you know, if you had a conversation with many people, they would be like, Well, why don't you just do IVF? That would be their first and yeah, to your journey? Yeah.

And so many people do. So many people kind of go, you know, even when they didn't see me do IVF and you kind of don't know, or it's always given us a oh, you know, did you try IVF? Or? And I'm not it's not the answer. It's not the only answer, you know. And actually, it's far more difficult. I understood that it would be emotionally difficult to do IVF even though I didn't personally go through it. And the women I work with now, I know I understand. And I can completely imagine myself into it. Because when I was faced with the choice, I knew it was going to be an emotionally difficult thing to go through. I knew it wasn't as easy as you just go there and you get pregnant. It is kind of given us this kind of wonder, wonder treatment,

but it's not like that thing. It's not I've talked about this before, like my emotions, like I was subconsciously Taught to Suppress my emotions. So I'm not necessarily a very emotional person. IVF and when I actually really think about it was an emotional trauma, but I never treated it that way. I was always very strong through it and very Matter of fact, through it all, but my heart goes out for women who aren't like that. Because like we said, In the beginning, there is no emotional support through this journey when you're in a clinic, I mean, it might be coming out. Now, I think the IVF clinics are like, you know, taking on to their numbers can improve, if you improve your mental health, reflexology, you know, all those type of things, you know, they're not doing that may be an unfair thing for me to say, I do feel like they want the best for their their patients, and they do want that ultimate goal of being pregnant. But they only want that fine line, right? They don't want people to know that if you give it time. Yeah, it's very likely that you will get pregnant naturally, you know, and in fairness to you know, any woman who's older and doesn't have that time, you know, like, we're not saying don't go use that treatment, what's best for you? But yeah, the emotional side of it is, it's not easy.

No, and I think people need to remember, it's still a business. Yes, the activity industry is a business. And it's, it's more than a billion dollars. And so, they are feeding on the fact that people are getting older, and the fear of ageing, and like you said, in anything, if you give it time, if you give your body that time to heal, if you take your time to heal, wonders can happen. Like, you know, nothing is impossible. But I feel like in our society, and the message we get is you don't have time. And so people don't want to give it time. But we do have to remember that, you know, they're making a lot of money. And, you know, they've only got a 50% success rate, which I kind of feel like any industry, any other industry had a 30% success rate.

Exactly. surgery with a doctor who has a 30% success rate. No, you wouldn't know,

the mind boggles people need it. And they have, you know, a physical reason to need assisted treatment. I think it does wonders. And it's amazing. Yeah, but if you if you do have options for treatment, and you do have the time, and you are willing to take that time to really understand yourself and understand your body, then you're going to do yourself so much more once so much more good in the long run, because you're getting to know who you are. We always want a quick fix in our society that sometimes we have to go the long way.

Yeah, I mean, that's a whole medical system, isn't it? It's a quick flick, even though IVF is a very emotional journey, actually having to change your diet and your lifestyle is way tougher. Because I think it comes back to that time thing where you will know, unless you you know, have like some issues, but you will know within a month if you're pregnant or not with IVF. Yeah, where with diet and lifestyle and mindset, three months, six months, three months, a year, two years. Like there's no timestamp, and no one can tell you that. And if anyone if you ever go see someone in the holistic field and they promise you you'll get pregnant three months, just walk out the door of each because they don't know that. I cannot tell you

that no one can tell you that. You know, there's no guarantee.

But thank you so much for joining us. It was really lovely to talk to you and I love your British accent and make it makes me miss the UK. Can you tell our listeners where they can find you?

So on Instagram and Facebook, you can find me at the infertility counsellor on Twitter. I think it's Casey Okafor. And yeah, you can I'm having my website updated. But at the moment, it's w

Great. We'll put all that information down in the show notes. Thank you once again for joining us and I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day in the UK. Thank you once again for tuning in to another episode of the finding fertility podcast. You can connect with kz a down in the show notes and while you are there please leave us a rating and review and let us know how this podcast is supporting you through your journey. That is it for me today. I hope you have a beautiful weekend and we will see you next week for another episode of the finding fertility podcast

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Anything written or said about health and diet are my opinions, that I have formed over the years, through trial and error, study, reading, listening and observing. What worked for me may not work for you. I am not a doctor, nutritionist or dietician and all medical advice should be gotten from a qualified professional. Product recommendations are based on what I used during my infertility journey or wish I had.


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