Going through IVF with the Whole World Watching: Lessons from Amy Schumer’s In-Vitro Journey

By on January 16, 2020

I got tagged through my Instagram account last Saturday. Suzanne, one of my former clients responded to Amy Schumer’s call for advice about her IVF treatment:

“Amy-check out @fertileheart as well. My client wrote, “Julia’s work and info was very helpful in my conception at the wonderful age of 43.”

I was grateful to Suzanne for sharing information about my work.  Then as I read through the first few of the 8,195 comments on her post, I couldn’t help but wonder whether the blitz of tips on Gatorade versus lemon water, and Bromelain supplements versus pineapple core would indeed ease Amy’s IVF experience. I also wondered how the level of public exposure at such a tender time—while she is still in the thick of this singularly taxing procedure —might affect treatment outcome.

For me, after the diagnosis of allegedly “irreversible secondary infertility,” (meaning I too, like Amy, already had one child) finding my way out of the chaos of expert and non-expert opinions was the first key step toward conceiving my second child.

Though at the start of my journey I did exactly what Amy is doing. Looked for anyone who’d care to weigh in for advice.

It wasn’t until everyone—the five fertility specialists, seven acupuncturists, my great aunt Sally, our upstairs neighbors and the UPS delivery guy—had given up on me, that I realized I had an opinion about the diagnosis.

It was entirely unprecedented to permit myself to doubt the opinion of top brass experts and just as unprecedented to pursue the thread of hope by taking action.

In the coming months I followed a gradually unfolding healing protocol of radical life-style changes and rigorous self-examination. None of these measures were based on Medline entries, yet each of them made perfect sense to me. I thought, even if I don’t conceive a child, I’ll conceive a healthier, stronger version of myself.

Eight months later I was pregnant and after an uneventful pregnancy gave birth to a brown eyed baby girl in direct contradiction to the medical dogma of the day. Forty elated weeks later, we became a family of four.

The presence of both of my daughters is for me a major miracle. And the pilgrimage sparked by my soaring hormones brought me me to a radical shift in a way I approach my life. After decades of abdicating to outside authorities, for once I dared to follow my own truth. Truth that made no sense to anyone else but me.

Whether it’s infertility or any other life challenge, seeking the counsel of people with relevant training —learning from the stories of others who were up against similar odds —can be eminently useful. But at some point, it’s also essential for us to claim a safe, quiet space for dropping into the wisdom of our own bodies and hearts.

I wish Amy Schumer and the many powerful women in the limelight a space for privacy when they need it and the courage to tell their true stories when they’re ready to share them with the rest of us.

A special note for our Visionary Moms & Dads community: On our last call we talked about deepening our Body Truth practice which is a perfect way to “claim a safe, quiet space for dropping into the wisdom of our own bodies and hearts.”

Julia Indichova is the author of The Fertile Female & Inconceivable (20th Anniversary Edition, Harmony Books 2017.) The Fertile Heart™ Ovum Practice is an original fertility enhancing program that emerged through a decade and a half of counseling. Julia Indichova’s work and story have been featured in Tablet Magazine, Chronogram Magazine, WAMC Listener’s Essay, the Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, Oxygen, Discovery Health, Huffington Post,  Hudson Valley Magazine.  After 9/11 Julia initiated The 9// Bowing Project focused on applying the tools of her fertility program to the peace efforts.

6 Responses to “Going through IVF with the Whole World Watching: Lessons from Amy Schumer’s In-Vitro Journey”

  1. Fertile MamaToBe says:

    I recently work with Imagery “Woman” and Body Truth: “Body child”. I thought my body child was already taken care of, because I did this particular Body Truth exercise many times before… What a mistake! I realized she needs attention again and again. But it feels very nice to be able to attend to her needs. As for Julia´s wise words in the blog, I so much agree. We are trying to conceive for 9 years and at the beginning of the process, I felt ashamed and I did not want to share (the details of) my journey with anyone. Then, after two years or so, I started to attend all possible workshops and events, womens´ circles, yoga classes, craniosacral therapy, herbalist etc. and I thought that sharing everything with everyone marks my “progress” and “openness”. It is true that many times it was very useful and I got a lot of advice. However, after a while, I started to feel as a “walking diagnosis” and I often received many questions and advice I did not ask for/needed. I realized that I so much need “to claim a safe, quiet space” Julia writes about. Now, I am trying to find some middle ground, not to go to either extreme (of being closed or being open all the time to all those interested). And it is (it becomes) MY choice when, if and to want extent I am ready to share with others. It feels very liberating and empowering. Thank you Julia, as always! Thank you all for sharing your ways and wisdoms.

  2. Gravid Sans Doute says:

    Dear Fertile Mamas,

    I have been continuing to work with Out Of the Trap Body Truth and 9 Hearts Fertile Heart imagery. I have been trying to get a more accurate look at how my time is going. Since my daughter has been living with us my husband and I have been spending more time seeing to some of her needs and occasionally counseling. I was going along pretending that this wasn’t taking any time but getting frustrated that it was. So now I feel better at least acknowledging the time it is taking and in some cases placing boundaries.
    When I am at work I tend to be all in my head and I made a little goal to see if I could take at least several times during my work day to take a deep breath and relax at least some part of my body. It is amazing how much of the day went by before I even focused on that for a moment. I want to continue that goad this week.

    Blessings to all.

  3. Gravid Sans Doute says:

    Dear Fertile Mamas,

    Wonderful, Anna, that you are finding All of You All of Me helpful. Hopefully you and your husband can feel more connected.

    I have been working with Out of the Trap Fertile Heart Body Truth and 9 Hearts Fertile Heart imagery. I’ve just really been enjoying it!

    I will be transferring to a different work location, and though I have some trepidation, the new manager was kind when I had a trial day there and I feel more at peace with the transition. .

    Blessings to all.

  4. Anna says:

    Like Suzanne, I often recommend your work to people but wonder if anyone ever gives it a try. I myself saw it as an adjunct for a long time, but now that it’s all I have I fully recognise the value of it. I’ve been working with the videos and “All of Me All of You”. My husband hasn’t had much involvement in any of my appointments, treatments, rejections etc and I’m not sure if he even knows the name of this work, not to mind what’s involved. I realised watching the video that we need to change that. I’ve had a day of entertaining orphans and your video was just what I needed! Thanks!

  5. Gravid Sans Doute says:

    Dear Fertile Mamas,

    So wonderful to hear from you,Purple Parrot, and congratulations on your little girl!

    I have been working with the Body Truth Welcome Home as described in the video series and Mirror of Truth imagery. At work I had been feeling more at ease but now I am being strongly encouraged to change my location – not a further drive. Apparently the new boss would likely be even more challenging. There are many people being asked to make moves now or in the near future. My assignment, should I accept it, is to attempt to bring a more uplifting atmosphere to the other location. That is a very interesting assignment!

    I continue on my journey and I will do my best! Blessings to all.

  6. Purple Parrot says:

    I know from my own experience (15 years including 5 IVF until I fell pregnant at last) that it was going within, or at least learning to hear myself and make good choices, that led to my little girl. So I too do wonder how hard that would be to have an external camera (and thousands of followers) watching your choices in this journey. After doing the Fertileheart practice for some while now (because I love it!) I yesterday bought the Imagery CD, the first one, which is the only one I didn’t have. I’m loving it ❤️ and happy to find yet more connection with this powerful tool of Fertileheart. Thank you Julia, as always, for your work

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