This is Infertility is a bi-weekly podcast where we fuse narrative storytelling with experience and science to give you a new perspective on what it’s really like to go through a family building journey. Each episode dives into the emotional, physical, and financial burdens carried by those who experience infertility on their path to parenthood. Be it IVF, IUI, egg freezing, surrogacy, adoption, etc., the path is never the same and it can be long, painful, and lonely. It’s our mission to give those struggling a platform to be heard, a community connection, and an opportunity to raise awareness of the 1 in 8 who, for many reasons, struggle with infertility.

Episode 73: I Still Want to be a Mom

Mother’s Day can be hard for so many – children who have lost mothers, mothers who have lost children, and women in pre-motherhood who are struggling with infertility or a pregnancy loss. These women are dedicated to a child they have not yet met.

This was the case for Shara Hutchinson who, after years of Clomid treatments, surgeries, failed IVF cycles, an ectopic pregnancy and a late-term pregnancy loss, still wanted to be a mom.

In today’s episode, Shara takes us through all she went through in order to make her dreams of motherhood come to fruition. She worked two jobs (while in school), created a side gig to make extra cash, borrowed from friends and family but above all, she had hope that if she continued to try, she would get pregnant.

Shara chronicled her experience in her book, “I Still Want to be a Mom: An Inspirational guide to Help Women Struggling with Infertility” and through a recent TEDx Talk. She became an inspiration to many as they navigate their own paths to parenthood.

Guest:  Shara Hutchinson, Infertility Advocate, Author and Speaker

Host: Dan Bulger, Producer at Progyny

For more information visit Progyny’s Podcast page and Progyny’s Education page for more resources on emotional support and awareness.

Check out Shara’s Tedx Talk and her book, “I Still Want to be a Mom: An Inspirational guide to Help Women Struggling with Infertility”.

Be sure to follow us on Instagram, @ThisisInfertilityPodcast and use the #ThisisInfertility.

Have a question, comment, or want to share your story? Email us at thisisinfertility@progyny.com.

Here are some highlights from this episode:

Twisted Fallopian Tubes and an Expensive Decision
4:07 – 6:54

Shara Hutchinson: I was having some pain on the left side of my stomach and when I went to the gynecologist, she was able to see via ultrasound that something was wrong. I had surgery to remove what we thought was a cyst, only to find out that instead, both my fallopian tubes were folded up and tucked behind my uterus.

Dan Bulger: Shara was put on Clomid in order to increase her chances of conceiving. She was on it for the better part of a year, without experiencing any success.

Shara Hutchinson: We then went to a fertility specialist who checked by HSG and tubes, only to tell me that they were blocked again. He said, Shara, your only way to get pregnant is via IVF. And at that moment, what I heard was, you’re never going to get pregnant because IVF costs about $15,000. At that time, I didn’t have that.

IVF Failed, but Shara had Hope
12:27 – 13:05

Dan Bulger: Shara and her husband were able to raise the money but were left empty-handed after two failed rounds of IVF. They didn’t know how they were going to be able to do IVF again, but she still felt like she had hope.

Putting these stories together, we often marvel at the concept of hope in these circumstances. Hope is complicated. It can be hard to face the idea of hope.

Finding Employer-Sponsored Coverage
17:50 – 21:10

Shara Hutchinson: To get through the hard times, I became part of some support groups. Someone had mentioned that Starbucks covers fertility treatments for part-time workers who average 20 hours a week for 90 days.

So, I interviewed and got a job as a barista! It was a lot of fun, but it was a lot to manage given I worked over 40 hours a week already, was going to school, and then began a second job. But I was going to make it work.

Dan Bulger: After five months of working two jobs, Shara was ready to start her next IVF retrieval cycle in February of 2017.

I Still Want to be a Mom
29:23 – 30:05

Dan Bulger: Shara always wanted to write a book, and now she had her inspiration.

Shara Hutchinson: I knew what I should write about – I should write about my fertility journey! After everything that I went through, I realized the one thing that I kept saying to myself was, “But I still want to be a mom.” I still want to be a mom after the first failed IVF cycle. I still want to be a mom after the second failed transfer from the frozen cycle. I still want to be a mom after the ectopic pregnancy. I still want to be a mom after losing the baby in the second trimester. The fact that after every obstacle that came my way, I still wanted to be a mom. That is what kept me going.

Host

Dan Bulger, Producer at Progyny

Dan has been in the healthcare industry for the last six years as a multimedia content producer. Better known as ‘Video Dan’ he as interviewed numerous doctors, patients and other experts in the world of fertility. He’s also the producer for this podcast, This is Infertility. On a personal note Dan’s parents started fostering kids when he was four years old, and he considers himself a proud older brother to over 100 foster children.

Guests

Shara Hutchinson, Infertility Advocate, Author and Speaker

After enduring a tumultuous journey to pregnancy, Shara published her first book in 2018, entitled “I Still Want to Be a Mom”. She shares the hidden details of her 8-year journey from infertility to motherhood with the hope of inspiring women with similar struggles. Shara is a TEDx speaker and the founder of the I Still Want to Be a Mom Foundation, a faith-based organization, established to strengthen, support, and encourage women diagnosed with infertility. Shara also has a motivational YouTube Channel called Shara’s Motiphors.

Music From This Episode:

Artist: Philipp Weigl
Track: Western Shores
URL: https://freemusicarchive.org/

Artist: Monplaisir
Track: Brotherhood
URL: https://freemusicarchive.org/

Track: alandmine
URL: https://freemusicarchive.org/

Artist: Lee Rosevere
Track: Well Figure it Out Together
URL: https://freemusicarchive.org/

Track: I Wanted to Live
URL: https://freemusicarchive.org/

Track: Decompress
URL: https://freemusicarchive.org/

Artist: Rest You Sleeping Giant
Track: Jazzmasters and Delay Pedals
URL: https://freemusicarchive.org/

Artist: Steve Combs
Track: Symphony No 1 II Truth
URL: https://freemusicarchive.org/

Artist: Swelling
Track: Dawn II
URL: https://freemusicarchive.org/

Artist: Jahzzar
Track: Good Night
URL: https://freemusicarchive.org/