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Today Steph and Dr. Elana recap the interview with Rosanne Austin, a leading mindset coach for women in the midst of infertility. They discuss the importance of mindset when it comes to conceiving, how to slow down instead of speeding up for optimal outcomes, the importance of building a “bump squad,” and how to navigate fertility psychosis–when your entire life revolves around conceiving.
We’d like to say a special thank you to today’s podcast partner: Rasa. Rasa’s coffee alternatives contain no common allergens, no fillers, & no BS. Perk up + chill out at the same time with their organic, adaptogen-packed herbal blends. Use code WHOLEMAMAS for a one-time discount of 20% off your entire purchase at wearerasa.com.
Elana Roumell 0:03
I know my body will do whatever it’s going to do if it was going to be this month or it’s going to be next month or if it’s going to be two years from now. They get to choose and I get to just play in the conversation of Hey, when you’re ready, we’re so excited to meet you.
Stephanie Greunke 0:17
Welcome back to the Whole Mamas Podcast. We’re here to give you tools, resources and evidence based information so you can make the best decisions for yourself and your family. Whether you’re trying to conceive or navigating life with a toddler, or a teenager, we’ve got you covered. I am Stephanie Greunke, registered dietitian and program director for Whole30’s Whole Mamas Club. I’m also the co-creator of Whole Mamas Pregnancy Program, a program that helps women navigate the endless decisions. I’m Stephanie Greunke, registered dietitian and program director for Whole30’s Whole Mamas Club. I’m also the co-creator of Whole Mamas Pregnancy Program, a program that helps moms navigate the endless decisions surrounding their pregnancy.
Elana Roumell 0:54
And I’m Dr. Elena Roumell, Pediatric Naturopathic Doctor and creator Med School for Moms, an online resource where I teach moms how to safely be a doctor mom.
Stephanie Greunke 1:04
Before we begin today’s recap about the infertility coaching episode with Roseanne Austin, I want to introduce you to today’s podcast partner, Rasa, which is a line of adaptive authentic coffee alternatives with sustainable organic herbs that boost your energy without the jitters or crash and build resilience through supporting your HPA access. I first learned about Rasa from my friend Jen who swears by the product. She enjoyed the blend during her pregnancy and early postpartum and it was sold that it was the reason she was feeling so mentally balanced and had an abundant milk supply. I wanted to learn more about this coffee alternative for the moms in my life because many either don’t want to consume caffeine or don’t want to rely on it for energy, and who doesn’t need the adrenal support or more resilience after having a baby. I’ve tried a few coffee alternatives before and I thought they were okay but nothing special. I genuinely love the taste of Rasa, especially the cocao as only five milligrams of caffeine. I mix it with not pas or MCT Oil powder and I really do feel more stable energy throughout the day. I was having a major energy crash around two to 3pm and I find that by drinking a cup of matchatea or a cup of Rasa, I’m able to power through the rest of the day and have enough energy for two active toddler boys without resorting to making a half pot of coffee or grabbing something sweet in the evenings. And the creator of Rasa wanted that for herself too. Lopa came up with the idea for Rasa when her son was four months old. A time when a lot of Mama’s start depending on coffee for energy. She wanted a coffee alternative that tasted great, gave her energy, and other health benefits. Since she couldn’t find one, she created her own which is Rasa. If you want to give Rosa a shot we have a special deal for you simply head to wearerasa.com and use code Whole Mamas WHOLEMAMAS for 20% off. This deal is for new customers only so while you’re there purchase all three blends to try out since you’ll get a special deal.
All right now it’s time for our nurse herself segment. So Elana, what did you do today to nourish yourself?
Elana Roumell 3:15
Alright, so as we’re recording, I’m 36 weeks pregnant. I’m pretty sure this airs a little bit later on in my pregnancy, but I’m in full on nesting mode. Like it is such a real thing that when you’re pregnant, you want to nest I’m like organizing, even the garage, like I want to organize like every room in my house. And it just feels so good. My husband thinks I’m a little crazy, but it doesn’t matter because he kind of got that when I was pregnant with Aviva. But it feels so good to go through things, get things that you just haven’t used, like, just give them to Goodwill, give them to someone who would use it. My rule is like if I haven’t touched that in over a year, I don’t need that. And it’s so nourishing to me, I’m having so much fun. I love all of this. And so, my next room that I’m tackling is the garage, and I’ve scheduled time to do that. So I’m so excited. I’ve already gone through Aviva’s room and the nursery and like all this good stuff. So that’s been really fun for me.
Stephanie Greunke 4:11
You know, it’s interesting to hear you say that, because I feel like you’re always so organized. So the fact that you’re doing this, like, how is any different than a normal day for her?
Elana Roumell 4:19
Oh, you’re so sweet. No, but like, I would never touch the garage. I’d be like, the garage is the garage. We’ve already organized it is what it is. But like I just don’t like knowing that there’s things that I literally have not touched in so long. Like why is it taking up room? So I do I do try to keep on top of it. But there’s like something about when I’m pregnant. I like go into this like mode where like, I just want to buy more like organization tubs or like cubes, or I don’t know, it’s so funny and weird, but it’s cool. I mean, it helps the house. So I’m happy about it.
Stephanie Greunke 4:51
Yeah. And it feels it feels really good. Once you get rid of stuff. I mean, every time we go and we drop off a huge load of things to donate. I’m like, oh, like it just feels like weight off your shoulders.
Elana Roumell 5:01
Totally. And you know how it is with kids. They accumulate stuff because people buy them toys, or they come home with something.
Stephanie Greunke 5:07
Elana Roumell 5:07
So it’s really important to keep on top of especially with the kids. So anyway, what did you do today to nourish yourself or maybe coming up?
Stephanie Greunke 5:15
Yeah, well, tonight, Brian and I are having a date night. I’m super excited about Yeah, my parents are in town, and they’re celebrating his birthday with us. So we sometimes my parents come we actually just get so busy that we don’t schedule a date night, which is so unfortunate because it’s free childcare, and they wanted to hang out with the boys for sure. So we made sure that it happened. It’s a Monday night, so we’re definitely gonna be the only people out to eat most likely, but that will be more intimate. And I can’t wait to have some time with him without the kids around.
Elana Roumell 5:47
Oh, that’s great. What do you guys gonna do just go out to a nice restaurant or something?
Stephanie Greunke 5:51
Yeah, we’re gonna go out for dinner because we really don’t do that we love to eat at home and the only times that we do go out we have to factor into consideration the the cost of having four people eat there and how wild the boys are going to be in the restaurant. And so we usually only go to places like Chipotle or In and Out and so it will be nice to have a fancy sit down dinner.
Elana Roumell 6:12
Oh, I’m so happy. I hope you like get dressed up.
Stephanie Greunke 6:14
Elana Roumell 6:15
Good. Yeah, cuz that’s like the part of it too that’s nourishing is like putting on some makeup and brushing your hair. Putting on a dress so good. Enjoy. That’s so wonderful stuff.
Stephanie Greunke 6:25
Brushing my teeth later.
Elana Roumell 6:27
Very good. Enjoy. I’m so glad your parents are in town and happy birthday to Auto.
Stephanie Greunke 6:32
Yeah, thank you. I can’t believe he’s turning five. It just feels like such a huge milestone.
Elana Roumell 6:36
Oh my god he’s five. Yeah, he’s five. Oh, my God. What a big boy.
Stephanie Greunke 6:43
Yeah, I started this podcast when he was not even one.
Elana Roumell 6:47
That’s super cool.
Stephanie Greunke 6:50
I think I’m like trying to think back. I’m like, did I say this before? I don’t know. When we started the podcast. I felt like it was before he was one but it was a long time ago.
Elana Roumell 6:58
Maybe it was before two. Okay. Anyway, well have to look into it. It’s funny, we lose track of time. It’s all good. Yeah, he was little.
Stephanie Greunke 7:06
All right. Well, let’s talk about the interview. Because I thought this was a really powerful interview. I mean, you’ve you’ve had some really great guests come on the show and share really unique perspectives. And Rosanna is really unique when it comes to the topic of infertility because she has a perspective that’s different from the common conversation about this. She talks about the fact that she personally and the people that she works with, they are often driven to do anything and everything they can to prepare for their baby. But for her, it was after years of struggle and heartache with conventional and alternative medicine, that she realized that the block for her getting pregnant, she believes came from her own thoughts and beliefs and that she needed to learn what was right for her. She needed to listen to what she wanted, and what she should do, versus following all of the rules from books and practitioners. And she also didn’t believe that she he was worth it. So she started working on how she went about her day, her thoughts, the experts that she had on board, and she found herself pregnant within weeks of finding herself again. I thought it was just so powerful. So I’m curious, I know I have heard similar stories from patients is when they said letting go, they were actually able to conceive. So I’m curious from your perspective as a naturopathic doctor, is this what you hear from some of your clients?
Elana Roumell 8:27
Yes, I do. And it’s so funny, because, you know, infertility is not necessarily my expertise. But I see so many pregnant moms and kids. And so I’m always curious, like, what was your path? Was it easy to get pregnant? Was it challenging to get pregnant? You know, so I do, I get kind of curious and their stories, and it’s just amazing that there’s just no pattern. You know, I find some moms who literally will get pregnant the first month of trying, and I hear some moms were like, it took me over a year to get pregnant with trying without any fertility treatment. And then I hear some moms are like, Well, after three months, we decided to go the fertility route, and then we got pregnant or it didn’t work or did. It’s like, it’s almost like not fair. You know, like, we should know what to expect more, because it is such a challenging time. And every 30 days that goes by, you know, we’re all kind of thinking, well, are we pregnant yet? And so I was really intrigued by Roseanne and her approach. And I loved her personality. I mean, she was like the quintessential, like, type A personality of like, how do I just like hunt this, you know, like, how do I get this going, and she was so committed to it. And it didn’t happen for her. And so, you know, I really did think a lot about my own patients and their journeys and such. And it’s true that, yes, a lot of us could get pregnant easily. And then some of us have a more challenging time. And I want to say that it could be as easy as just just let go. If you just let go, you’re going to get pregnant. But for some that does happen. And for some it doesn’t happen. Now for Roseanne, it was so interesting, because she just like, she dove into like every alternative practice that she can get her hands on. And I actually admire her for that. I mean, I’m very similar. I’m so proactive. And like you tell me to do this, I’ll do it. You know, she was like, driving to like a little China Town and drinking like the grossest of concoction, she’s like, if this is going to help, I’m going to do it. But for her, it was really about her thoughts and beliefs. And I do truly believe that our mental state plays such a huge role in our physiology. And I know Steph you agree with this. So I do believe in that. And I do see that in my patients. But I also don’t want to just say for a blanket term that if moms listening and struggling with conceiving that, you know, it has to all be in her head or something, you know, I don’t want to discredit that because I do believe there are a lot of moms who still are working on that part. And it can also be the husband’s part too with limiting thoughts and beliefs, right, it still takes two conceive. So I always like to suggest that these moms are talking to their partners about it, you know, maybe seeing a Therapist, a Counselor. And I just never know people like Roseanne even existed who really focus on this topic of infertility. And I just love her approach to go right to the mental state of it all.
Stephanie Greunke 11:09
No, I completely agree with you on that. And I think that was one thing I found interesting from the conversation is we have podcasts that talks about, you know, hidden things that you may want to look for with genetics and lifestyle and diet and supplement factors when it comes to fertility. But this approach was just really interesting, because I feel like a lot of our listeners are very proactive with their health, and they are doing so many things. And they’re almost beating themselves up because they’re like, well, I can’t possibly do another thing or, you know, they find themselves completely focused in getting pregnant. And I just really think it is an interesting aspect of looking at the mindset, not that it fixes it all, because like you said, there really isn’t a pattern, everybody is so different. And they come into that preconception period was so many different considerations. But just you know, allowing yourself to have that that time does not do something right. And to, you know, the work that you’re doing is really going internal and asking yourself some hard questions and kind of thinking about what you can let go of so that you can receive the pregnancy.
Elana Roumell 12:15
Totally. And in all honesty, whether you’re trying to get pregnant or not. I’m a big believer of just doing that anytime, you know, and checking in with yourself often. And I think that our lives can be so fast paced that we just don’t even have the chance to like sit and really reflect on that.
Stephanie Greunke 12:32
Elana Roumell 12:32
And so I think it’s just a great opportunity that comes up maybe if your body isn’t responding to, you know, natural conception or even isn’t even responding to interventions, it’s like, well, why not just look inside and start questioning these things and taking the time, because no matter what it’s going to benefit you whether you’re going to get pregnant or not. These are all still things just being a human being needs to be doing. And so for Roseanne, that’s actually what got her to like, get pregnant, you know. And I loved how she even said, and she had a miscarriage with that first pregnancy. But she was able to handle it in such grace, simply because she was able to look inward, and then she got pregnant again. You know, I mean, it was just it was so neat to hear her transformation. and Steph we really work with a lot of I know Type A people. I mean, Roseanne is a quintessential Type A just on fire woman, just she was a prosecutor before she decided to even be an Infertility Coach. I mean, she’s written a book, she’s just like, if you look at our picture, she’s got this awesome pink hair. She’s just like, she’s just like on fire. She’s just like she owns who she is. And so these can be people like physicians and lawyers and nurses and teachers. I mean, right? We’ve worked with so many of these moms, she this example of a physician she was working with. And she was told herself, she only had 10% chance of conceiving, without any kind of treatment or intervention. And that position with the story that she shared with us. She said, this position has so much believe that her body would do it. And it would do it without intervention. And she just had this mindset of having such a strong belief that her body will help her in all aspects of her life. And so as she was getting the coaching from Roseanne, it wasn’t even that she just got pregnant, and she did. But it changed who she was as a woman, and who she was as a parent. I just feel like that this work is so important in all aspects. So this one woman who only had the 10% chance of conceiving fully got pregnant, and was better off for it. And simply she used her mindset to like really be the best, you know, mom she could be and also to get her to be pregnant.
Stephanie Greunke 14:43
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Elana Roumell 15:49
I’m just curious for you, Steph, if I’m sure you can identify with this your Type A yourself, but you must have clients and such that do have a hard time slowing down and just looking inward and questioning their mindset and their drive and their motivations. And if you’ve seen that kind of limit some people also trying to conceive or even just being the mom that they want to be?
Stephanie Greunke 16:09
Well, yeah, and I think this you know, this also ties into the first bite we were were discussing when it comes to having to slow down to learn what you really want in life. And I see this you know, it’s really interesting to me to talk about physicians, lawyers, nurses and teachers and people that are extremely gifted and intelligent. Even when it comes to something like food, it’s like I see them jumping programs all the time. You know, one month there, keto, the next month, they’re tracking macros, and next month, they’re doing a Whole30, the next month or doing whatever. And they are they have a hard time with emotional eating. And it’s like a lot of these things like you can know all of the things you can do the research, you can read the books, but unless you’re really figuring out what’s going on deep inside, what is it that you’re struggling with that is causing you to emotionally eat? Why are you feeling the resentment with your partner? Are you really navigating this transition to motherhood? Until you address those things, all the information in the world isn’t going to help you. And so I think it really is interesting to look at how can we work through some of the mental blocks that are there that are preventing us from hitting our goal. Whether that is conceiving, or whether that is getting healthy, or whether that is going to the gym like we want to. We really have to do that inner work. And oftentimes, you could do it through journaling and asking yourself these questions. You know, what is what are my priorities in life? You know, this is an exercise that I have personally done. Okay, what are my top three priorities in life? Okay, and what does that look like? To me? If I have those priorities in order? What does that look like? And kind of listening a couple of things out? Okay, and how can I make that happen? Like, what physically or what, what action steps do I need to take to make those things happen? So if it is something like, well, I want to eat healthy, it’s like, okay, well, what does that look like? To me? Well, that looks like having fish two or three times a week. That makes that looks like having at least a pound of produce a week or a day.hat looks like drinking half my body weight and water. Okay, now, what are the tangible steps that will help me do that? And kind of digging a little bit deeper into having that action plan, understanding what is important, can help you if you are a Type A versus kind of bypassing all that and just going and reading and learning more.
Elana Roumell 18:42
I really like that. And I think a lot of is, I mean, we’re both Type A’s. So we really get this. I think we just like having like structure, and we like having control over things. And we also are really good about like attaining our goal. So if we’re clear about it, we just do it. So oftentimes, it’s like, just tell me what to do. And I’ll do it right, like, no one has to, like, you know, hold our hand through it, like we’ll do it, we’re accountable. And there’s a lot of things in life that we don’t have control over. And conception is one of them. You know, you hope for the best you know, you have sex with your partner. And then you just say, well, body work for me. But you can’t just like go in there and try to like move things around. And you know, you can pray, you can manifest, you can hope, you can do whatever resonates with you. But like that’s something you really have to learn how to surrender to. And I think as Type A people may have a more challenging time with that idea. They’re like a, so I’m pretty much like leaving this in somebody else’s hands. And so
Stephanie Greunke 19:41
I have to wait.
Elana Roumell 19:42
Yeah, like, I have to just wait and find out. And I think Roseanne just has such a gift and being able to communicate with these women because she simply has been there. And not only has she been there, she is like such an extreme, I think version of it. And she’s seen what type of transform comes from being able to surrender, that she literally gave up her entire career. I mean, this is like a, this is a very successful woman, you know, who’s like, no, I need other women to get this. I get the chills, you know, I find those people to just be so inspiring. So anyway, I think that’s just such a neat approach.
Stephanie Greunke 20:19
And that conversation to around the fact that this is going to impact your entire life. Like if you can learn the skills of like being patient and trusting the process and doing the inner work that is going to help you when you’re struggling when you are pregnant. And you’re having to make all these hard choices and you’re having to wait for a lab results and genetic testing of your child, or you’re having to wait till baby decides to come out if babies early or late, or you’re having to trust the NICU nurses, or you’re having to navigate all the challenges that come in the postpartum period. I think the sooner that we can learn how to really take a step back and slow down and to kind of alleviate some of our Type A tendencies, the better.
Elana Roumell 21:05
Great couldn’t agree with you more? Absolutely.
Stephanie Greunke 21:08
Yeah. And with that, you know, we have so much information right now, I think we have the internet, which gives us access to a ton of blogs. And we have a ton of podcasts. And we have research articles. And we have all these influencers and experts telling us what we should do. And oftentimes it’s information overload. And we may not agree with everything that we read, because each practitioner has a different perspective. So I really love that she mentioned the importance of taking the information from experts that resonate with you, and leaving the rest and curating your team based on people and opinions that feel good to you. And she has a talked about finding your bump squad, which I thought was really cute. But, you know, this is something I see my clients navigating and I hear from people in our Whole Mamas community. It’s like just how do we weed through through all of that information? And I know you as a doctor to and you know myself as a dietitian, there’s just new information coming out all the day. So how do you personally weed through that?
Elana Roumell 22:10
Yeah, this is a really great question. And I think it can really actually debilitate us at times where we just like don’t want to do anything, because we’re just so yeah, like you said, like, paralyzed by it Like paralysis by analysis, right, that cool term. It’s so true. And I’ve been there many times. You know, I think for me, these days, I really go with my gut with like, what am I most curious about? It helps direct me to just focus on that because at the end of the day, I can’t know it all. I can’t stay up with every single article, I can’t stay up with every single new bit of research. I mean, it’s it’s literally impossible. I mean, personally for as a doctor, this is why I niched in pediatrics and pregnancy because at least I feel like I can just focus on those articles. Whereas now I’m no longer focusing on just general medicine. That was like way too broad me. So that’s kind of how I navigated it as far as my career goes, is, now I just get to like, really focus on these populations. But even within the populations, it’s still an enormous amount of material. So when I’m like approach with all this material, I really just go to Well, I can only do so much. So what are the things that are most pressing and most pertinent to what I’m interested in. And also to obviously what my patients are interested in. I find myself just more available to that. I find myself when I forced myself to read something or to do something that I’m just not that interested in, it doesn’t actually even process that well, you know, doesn’t actually land for me. Now, in regards to someone like Roseanne, who literally was bombarded with different recommendations, which from her bump squad, which I agree is so cute, you know, she really had to figure out well, like, I can do it all or I could do one step at a time. But she even really acknowledged that when she was doing too much, it was just too much for her. I mean, you can only take so many supplements. You can only drink so many Chinese medicine concoctions. You can only have so many acupuncture needles in at once. Right? The body can only handle so much. And so it is important to get expert advice. I mean, it’s still an important aspect, but you can’t just trust that this one doctor has all of the answers. And you also can trust that all therapies, at all times, all at once is the right thing. You really have to pace yourself. And I think it’s this is another reason why it’s important for us to slow down, and really go internal, look inside and say, Well, what would be the first phase to this? Like, what’s the best first approach? What resonates with you? Try it out, give it some time. And if that’s not the thing that works for you, the great news is, there’s always going to be another option. There are so many options in this world of fertility. And so I just think that it’s an important thing for us just being human to be able to really prioritize our time. And that’s what I do with my patients even just as a doctor. I say, Here my treatment plan, I have a lot of ideas, there’s a lot of things we can do. But this is what we’re going to start with. And these are some of my future ideas. This is what I want to start with. Let’s revisit in four weeks, and then we can kind of go from there. Other than that, it’s just too much, too fast, too soon. And it just sets you up to actually fail and want to be like, paralyzed by it. And so I think it was a really important point that she brought up. And I’m glad you brought it up again. And then our recap. All right, just moving a little bit on to another point that she brought up during the interview is that we talked a lot about how preparing for baby can emphasize the masculine part of us, and I love talking about masculine and feminine stuff. And Roseanne mentioned that she was trying to get pregnant like a man. I mean, she said that word for word, I was trying to get pregnant like a man She was trying to do everything. And she was like, nothing’s gonna stop me. I want to fix this, I won’t slow down. She was like, like hunting something, you know, she was so focused on that. So having both masculine and feminine energy can be helpful, of course, I mean, we both kind of go back and forth. But I’m just kind of curious, in your experience Steph, did you find yourself in a more masculine energy when you were trying to get your cycle back? Because I know that was also really important for you. And I just wonder if that also kind of postponed your cycle coming back?
Stephanie Greunke 26:18
Yeah, I think I was tending towards a more masculine energy with wanting to fix things, and wanting to take the supplements, and wanting to go to all these different providers to get their information and to figure it out and kind of put the puzzle pieces together on my own. And I did a lot more, then I slowed down. You know, I was thinking about, you know, having this baby. And after listening to her episode, I was like, man, like, it would have been really great for me to learn how to slow my body down more than just go to an acupuncture session, once a week. Like I was like, trying to read, and research, and fix so much more than I was trying to relax, and rejuvenate, and recover. And I definitely got my period back. But it took me a lot longer than I think it would have if I would have gone to a therapist and kind of talked about what was going on in my head and why I was feeling the things that I was, and going gone to a more massage appointments or things like that versus just really buckling down into the research. And I find myself doing that too, as a full time employee and a mom is I’m trying to you I have to switch from that masculine to feminine energy when my kids come home because I still am in work mode. And I have to do things like have this transition time after I’m done with work, like I need to go for a walk or I need to, you know, take a shower after work or I need to make dinner but do so in a playful way versus in like a very focused strategic way. Otherwise, that masculine energy kind of rubs off on my kids. And I like to be more playful and more flowing versus more like, Okay, now we’re going to do this. And now we’re going to do this. And I find that they respond well, when I am in that more playful, feminine energy. I also started working at a co working spot to so I’m able to kind of separate work and home life. So I’m not you know, working and trying to play with my kids in the same room. It’s just that energy is off. And so I think really identifying, you know, I know people don’t always appreciate that masculine and feminine energy talk. But I think it is appropriate to look at how hard you’re driving yourself, and where you’re able to kind of let things flow where they need to flow.
Elana Roumell 28:48
I love that. And I agree with you, I think that whole idea of just surrendering is very feminine in that way, and just letting things flow. Although I will have to say when I talked to my husband about just surrendering and letting things go, he’s actually really good with that. And I was like, hold on just a second, I thought that was like a feminine trait. And I think we can kind of get confused about this. That’s why I mean, we can have a whole episode on this. But I also see when he wants something like he is so focused on it, there’s nothing stopping him. So I think it’s just different ways of being in different contexts. But when it definitely comes to trying to conceive, we just have no control over it. I mean, we really don’t. All we know is that we know when we probably should be having sex, you know, you can at least try to monitor your ovulation, you can obviously try to be in as peak health as possible. And at the end of the day, your body is going to do what your body is going to do. And so I just I do I find that to be a very important topic with trying to just surrender and getting more into your feminine groove and not being so just like, masculine about it, like you were saying, and it was interesting that this can be any part of health. So for you and your cycle, and like really trying to control what your body’s doing. It could be someone with any kind of diagnosis, like, you know, an autoimmune disease or whatever, just trying to force things, we just kind of have to really trust that our body knows what to do, if we could just provide it what it needs. And we could just kind of sit back and really do our best to not create too much stress around it.
Stephanie Greunke 30:19
Yeah, absolutely. How did you feel when you were looking to conceive with your babies? Were you kind of in the more masculine or feminine energy?
Elana Roumell 30:27
You know, it’s a very good question. I would say, I was, I was a little bit of both. Like, I feel like when it got to the point of working at it to conceive, well, no, no, when we were prepping for it, I was like, Okay, I want my ovulation calculator out, I’m going to buy the LH strips, like, like I was really adamant about, like, having everything aligned for me. Whereas I know a lot of women are just like, well, we just stopped birth control. And we just like decided to have sex a lot, you know, and that was it. And I’m like, oh my god. So you didn’t even I count the days or, you know, new when your ovulation or your fertility window was like the like, No, I just, we just had sex a lot. And I’m like, Oh, I couldn’t do that. Like, I was really like meticulous about it. So in that regard Steph , I feel like I was pretty masculine about it, which kind of takes out the fun. But to be honest, we still made it really fun. But after that, ovulation period or the I’m sorry, the fertility window, which is is really the same thing. That’s when I fully went into feminine, and I just would like talk to my body. And I would you know, talk to the baby, because I always feel my baby souls before I even conceive. And I think that’s a very feminine thing. I mean, when I talked to Anthony about it, and he’s like, how do you hear them? Like, what are they doing? Do they talk to you? Like, he thinks it’s like the weirdest thing? And I’m like, Oh, no, I am a very strong connection with my babies. And that, to me is something so special. And I just know, and I say to them, I’m like, I’m just so excited to meet you. Like when the day comes and you’re ready. I’m so looking for forward to it. And I kind of put it in, in their shoes. Like I know, my body will do whatever it’s going to do if it was going to be this month, or it’s going to be next month, or if it’s going to be two years from now. They get to choose and I get to just play in the conversation of, hey, when you’re ready, we’re so excited to meet you. So I hope that that kind of answers your question is that I think I kind of take two approaches is the things I feel like I can control, which is just tracking my ovulation and having my LH strips or counting the days and such I do, which to me is a little bit more masculine. And then once it’s out of my control, I fully embrace the feminine and just start tuning in and surrendering and just making it more of like as playful as I can without being attached at all.
Stephanie Greunke 32:45
No, I think that is a great recap. And I think what we also want to point out here is that it’s not that one side is good or bad, like masculine energy isn’t good or bad, or feminine energy isn’t good or bad. It’s just having a balance so that it does completely take over your life. And this is something that we talked about, or you talked about in the episode with that fertility, psychosis that can happen when that balance is a little bit off. And I think this is a great term to talk about what a lot of couples that are trying to conceive go through. And in this state, you know your hyper focus on fertility you you only see life through the lens of getting pregnant, you live life in two week increments, you really lose yourself in the process. And when you’re in this state, it feels like you can’t get out of it. It feels like your whole life revolves around are we going to get pregnant this month. And then if you don’t, or if the period comes, it just completely wrecks you for a long period of time. And so this is a conversation you had in the podcast. And I definitely think it’s worth I mean, I’m going to listen to the podcast again, because it was so interesting to me. But how do you recommend people move out of this day that fertility psychosis when it’s so hard, especially if you don’t want to? I know when you are just you want baby to come like weeks ago? How do you kind of shift that focus? So it’s your life doesn’t revolve around baby?
Elana Roumell 34:08
Yeah, so it was actually a patient who shared what she did that I just thought was so brilliant that now I share this with some of my other patients and even friends or family that are having a challenging time. And she really brings a lot of humor into it. And so for example, as she was trying for well over a year, every time she got her period, she would have a Bloody Mary. And I loved that she’s like, all right time for a Bloody Mary. It was like it helped her kind of transition from not cycling down to like Poor me and like oh my god, another one. And, and so you have to honor those feelings, because it is still a very challenging time, especially month after month after month. But what I loved about what she did was she goes, Well, it’s my ritual, I have a Bloody Mary, every time I bleed, and we’re celebrating the fact that even my body’s having a period, you know, and I have to keep on reminding myself that my body is working, you know, my body does do what it’s supposed to do. And it’s not pregnant this month. So let’s have a Bloody Mary, Let’s cheers with my friends. And let’s just move on to the next month. And she just took it one month at a time. And like I said, I still want to honor the emotions that can come with it. I just find that something that could be humorous or like fun or joking, or just like this ritual of like, all right, well, at least I know, I’m still enjoying my life day to day, even though I’m so wanting this child that is not born yet. And it’s taking me longer than I can. But how do I still just enjoy my every day during the process. And so I wanted to share that I thought that was such a cool tip that one of my patients shared with me and what she did, and she did get pregnant, you know, and she’s very happy. She has multiple kids now. And she still thinks about those days where she just had a lot of Bloody Marys, you know, now she could have alcohol on them. Or it could be a virgin Bloody Mary, depending on whatever you would like. But I just I thought that was such a brilliant way to kind of get out of that fertility psychosis that could just fully take over your everyday thought. And it just kind of helped break that pattern. So I hope that was like a fun share. You kind of giggled there, but I’m sure other listeners are as well.
Stephanie Greunke 36:17
No, I think it was a really great share. An example that I have is you know, she was talking about the bump squad and one of my clients, she found that she definitely needed to have that bomb squad where she had friends in her life that were going through a similar struggle that they could kind of talk about their stories and cheer each other on and support each other during hard times. And then also part of that bomb squad, having the providers where there is really good energy, and they could get that information and kind of just like tunnel focus with what that practitioner was saying versus trying to like explore everything. But within that bump squad, what they actually also needed was somebody that was not in that phase of life, somebody that wasn’t trying to conceive, that could kind of pull them out out of that tunnel and take them to a movie or take them out for a drink and not talk about anything related to that preconception phase or infertility. Somebody that you know, didn’t have kids that wouldn’t be talking about what little Johnny was doing just somebody that could make them laugh and kind of pull them out of that shell was really, really important. So something to consider too. I mean, having somebody in your life that is that entertainer that can help you see life outside of that fertility psychosis.
Elana Roumell 37:31
I couldn’t agree with that more, I think that’s great. And that’s why it’s important to have a village because we need different people with different characteristics with different experiences. So that when we know this is what we need, we go and we reach out to that kind of friend. And I think that is very important. Because obviously, if something’s not working for you, well, then that just means that you’re not reaching out to the right people or whatnot. So let’s, let’s keep on looking at that bomb squad or that village or that whatever team approach that you have, because it really does help. If you just kind of sit and internalize and isolate yourself, it’s only going to make things worse in my professional opinion.
Stephanie Greunke 38:06
Absolutely. So did you have any final takeaways, anything from the episode that you wanted to highlight?
Elana Roumell 38:12
You know, I just think there were so many great juicy points in this one. And again, I just I’m just going to reiterate. I loved Roseanne personality, because I feel like she can really resonate with so many other women, I mean with her story, but I’m just such a sucker for transformation. In general, I’m really into personal development workshops and personal development books and you know, anything like that. And I find her story and her struggle to have transformed her so significantly, that now when I do have patients or friends or family that struggle with infertility, I just look at it like an opportunity for them to transform and to grow. And I know that this may or may not resonate for some people, but if you may, this is my takeaway from it is that we just all have opportunities to change the ways we are about things. And as hard as this is because I know when a mom really wants a child, how challenging that can be. I find it to be just such a cool opportunity to just dig deep down and and try your best to look at it in different lights or look at it in a way where you’re not as attached, because this will help you in so many other aspects of motherhood once you are that mom. And I do believe people, even with years of infertility issues can still get pregnant. I mean, I’m just such an optimist. This is just who I am in life. But every lesson that you learn through your infertility struggles, and every day that goes by is an opportunity for you to grow and be an even better parent and even, you know, more transformed human being because of some of the lessons. So I’m just such a believer in general of any struggle turns into gifts. And so as long as we can focus on that, then really we’re choosing these type of struggles in life. And you can gain so much from that, I find that to be a real exciting time. But again, I’m a very optimistic person, I get it, I have not struggled with infertility, but I have struggled in many other areas of my life. And when I choose to turn those struggles into gifts, you can use that in any context is actually made me the most successful doctor and mother and human being that I can be. And I’m a very happy person because of that.
Stephanie Greunke 40:28
And I’m sure you know, when Roseanne was going through all that. I mean, she has a really great spirit. So maybe she was thinking like this is going to serve me someday. But when most people are in it, and in something that’s really, really hard, it’s hard to think optimistically and positively. But I think Roseanne could say now without a doubt that what she went through has allowed her to help hundreds, if not thousands, of other couples going through something and that is such a gift that I’m sure she never takes for granted, being able to help these couples. And I think even if you know you’re going through something right now, and you’re dealing with infertility, when you come out the other side, and you have that baby, or if you choose to have that baby somehow, whether that is fostering or adopting or going through IVF, or IUI, or having that baby yourself without treatment, you’re going to be able to give the gift of what you’re going through to another person. I mean, there’s nothing like you know, a mom coming up to you or a mama to be coming up to you and telling you that she is struggling and using Yeah, you know, I struggled to and being able to share that you two had this time period where you didn’t think that you are going to make it to the other side but you did and kind of giving her that love and support and that guidance and mentoring. I mean, there, there’s actually organizations that are out there and I could put it in the show notes that and show notes where you can be a mentor to somebody that is going through infertility if you went through it yourself. And I think just thinking about you know, you don’t have to be a doctor to give this gift to somebody else. You going through what you’re going through right now and to be able to commiserate and to kind of share with other people in your life and then again, once you reach the other side, being able to share is one of the best gifts that you can give. So I love that you talked about transformation. I too am a transformation junkie. And we just want to also be realistic that you can hear this information about us saying like, Oh, it’s all about mindset. But we understand that it is a huge struggle to even make change your mindset when you’re in the thick of it.
Elana Roumell 42:36
So I just want to be really empathetic about it all but a at the end of the day struggle, a struggle. And these are all real things. This is just part of life. And so I just see, I find opportunity in every bit of struggle. And so I’m hoping that, you know, Roseanne was able to really shed some of her gifts and coaching insights and that this recap is really also able to to leave moms feeling more hopeful. And just also just more positive about it. Knowing that there are resources like people like Roseanne Austin and I didn’t even know there were infertility coaches until I had, you know, a patient who shared her with me and so I was so excited to be able to share Roseanne with our audience as well.
Stephanie Greunke 43:13
Yeah, I’m so glad you shared her with us as well. And yeah, there’s infertility coaches, there are bereavement coaches if you go through a miscarriage, there’s also abortion doulas that will help you if that’s the decision that you make. So there are so many places of support out there if you are struggling, Elana and I are happy to connect you with somebody that may be able to serve you. And we hope you enjoyed today’s episode as well. We also want to thank our partner Rasa if you want to give a shot we have that special deal for you. If you head over to wearerasa.com and use code Whole Mama’s WHOLEMAMAS for 20% off, the deal is for new customers only. So while you’re there, make sure you purchase all three blends so you get that special deal. And if you enjoyed this episode, please help us out by sharing our podcast with your mama friends and writing a review on iTunes. Let us know what you enjoyed about the episode and help us grow our village. You can visit our website at wholemamasclub.com/podcasts to review show notes, find past episodes, and leave comments and questions for future shows. And please remember that the views and ideas presented on this podcast are for informational purposes only. All information, content, and material presented on this podcast is not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis., and or medical treatment of a qualified physician or health care provider. Consult your provider before starting any diet, supplement regimen, or to determine the appropriateness of the information shared on this podcast, or if you have any questions regarding pediatrics, pregnancy or your prenatal treatment plan. Now go on Have a great day and nourish and nurture yourself and your family.
- Why mindset matters when it comes to conceiving
- Common struggles of people with Type A personalities
- Shifting from a “masculine” to a more “feminine” approach
- Overcoming information overload
- What to do when your life becomes revolved around conceiving
- Rosanne’s website: From Maybe to Baby
- Rosanne’s free book: Am I the Reason I Am Not Getting Pregnant?
- Follow Rosanne on Instagram
- Learn more about Whole Mamas Pregnancy Program
- Sign up for our Weekly Pregnancy Emails
- Take the Free Mini-Course at Dr. Elana’s Med School For Moms
- Schedule an appointment with Dr. Elana
- Follow Steph and Elana on Instagram
- Whole Mamas Podcast Archive
This episode's guest
The Whole Mamas podcast is led by Stephanie Greunke, a registered dietitian, and Dr. Elana Roumell, a naturopathic doctor, both trained in functional medicine and passionate about pregnancy, postpartum, and pediatrics. They invite experts on the show, answer burning questions, highlight key points, and make sure you feel empowered to take action. Find Whole Mamas and the Whole Mamas hosts on Instagram @wholemamasclub, @stephgreunke, @drelanaroumell, and at www.wholemamasclub.com.