22 episodes

Welcome to the Infertility Sisterhood podcast! If you’re new here, I want you to know what we are all about. The Infertility Sisterhood exists to provide empathy (because you don’t have to walk this road alone), encouragement (because there is hope even in the hard stuff), education (because the decisions you make matter) and empowerment (because you have a purposeful path forward).

We all have our own story, but we’re in this together. There’s no rhyme or reason to this road called infertility. The causes, timelines, and options are as different as we are. But there is one thing we all share, and that’s a deep longing to be a mother.

In upcoming seasons, we will cover topics like emotions, marriage, faith, physical health, mental health, all things clinical and what’s it’s like on the other side. So whether you’re just starting out on your journey or you’ve been on this road longer than you want to admit, I’m glad you’re here. I believe you’ll find something here that encourages you, challenges you and helps you take the next right step.

The Infertility Sisterhood The Infertility Sisterhood

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 5.0 • 24 Ratings

Welcome to the Infertility Sisterhood podcast! If you’re new here, I want you to know what we are all about. The Infertility Sisterhood exists to provide empathy (because you don’t have to walk this road alone), encouragement (because there is hope even in the hard stuff), education (because the decisions you make matter) and empowerment (because you have a purposeful path forward).

We all have our own story, but we’re in this together. There’s no rhyme or reason to this road called infertility. The causes, timelines, and options are as different as we are. But there is one thing we all share, and that’s a deep longing to be a mother.

In upcoming seasons, we will cover topics like emotions, marriage, faith, physical health, mental health, all things clinical and what’s it’s like on the other side. So whether you’re just starting out on your journey or you’ve been on this road longer than you want to admit, I’m glad you’re here. I believe you’ll find something here that encourages you, challenges you and helps you take the next right step.

    Give Grace

    Give Grace

    “Grace is truly amazing isn’t it? A miracle that none of us deserve, but that we are all blessed to receive. It holds so much potential for empathy, healing, and comfort. It calls out to each of us, beckoning us to accept it for ourselves and share it freely with others.

    I hope that my story has helped you see how big a role grace can have in each of our stories. We will all walk through dark times that feel too difficult to bear, we will all mess up and desperately need forgiveness, and we will all do things that leave us feeling ashamed or stupid or small. And those things aren’t a matter of if, but when. Life is hard, but grace is the balm that we all need during those times.

    I wish I could hold your hand through it all. But, luckily, even during the times you might feel most alone, you never are. God is always with us. Even when we turn away from Him, curse His name, or unload our anger at His feet, God will never leave us. His love for us will never fade or falter. His grace will never stop covering us. How lucky are we?

    I want to encourage you to look around your life and see how you can intentionally give grace the way that God does. Grace that truly listens instead of rushing in to talk. Grace that celebrates our differences instead of erasing them. Grace that validates our feelings instead of judging them. Grace that forgives, even when we don’t deserve it. Grace that loves us at our worst. Grace that heals the deep wounds and smooths out our old scars. Grace that helps us find new ways forward together.

    If we could all do that, can you imagine how our world would change for the better? How much more love and understanding there would be? Grace has always been the secret key to connecting deeply with one another, so let’s use it. Unlock your doors and windows and throw them open wide, let God’s grace stream out through you to anyone who needs it and everyone who wants it. When you let grace out, you also open the door for grace to come in. Funny how that works, isn’t it? The more you give, the more you receive, and the more you receive, the more you have to give. So go out there and live a life with abundant grace by giving grace however and whenever you can. I’ll be cheering you on the whole way!”

    - Conclusion of Give Grace

    I want to leave you with 3 truths and 3 tools.

    You are not alone. If you feel alone, join our free online community. https://www.theinfertilitysisterhood.com/

    You can overcome this. If you need help doing that, grab the Overcome Journal. https://www.theovercomejournal.com/

    You can find so much grace, hope and joy in the middle of this storm. If you need to know how, order my book. https://www.megansmalley.com/givegracebook

    Links:

    Ad: https://www.megansmalley.com/givegracebook

    If you love this podcast, I’d really appreciate it if you’d hit the subscribe button and leave me a 5 star review. These simple things help others find us and help support this ministry so we can keep providing free content for you.

    For all the latest information, helpful resources, announcements about new season launch dates and to join our free online community, visit www.theinfertilitysisterhood.com and make sure to follow us on Instagram (@theinfertilitysisterhood / @megansmalley).

    • 9 min
    Keep Choosing Hope

    Keep Choosing Hope

    “I had allowed my desire to become my hope. I think we often confuse the two when, in reality, they are very different. Desire is what a person wants. But a desire’s strength is inconsistent; it rises and falls with human emotion. Biblical hope is the confident trust that God will fulfill His promises. Biblical hope is steeped in grace. The strength of biblical hope rests on the faithfulness of God Himself. Through His grace, we are blessed with miracles whether we deserve them or not. Doesn’t that just give you chills in the best way? None of us are owed a thing by God, but He pours His grace out to us anyway, blessing richly and fully. How lucky are we?

    Still, despite knowing all of that, we continually place our hope in all the wrong things. Even the best of things—doctors, jobs, relationships, our kids, love—aren’t God. And when we place our hope in temporary things that can never completely or indefinitely satisfy, we will always be disappointed.

    The sad part of this story is that I knew better. I knew where my hope should be. I knew that hoping in the wrong places led to heartbreak. But I got lazy. And I got busy. I allowed the busyness of raising my boys, being a coach’s wife, and running a business to be an excuse not to be faithful in my walk with the Lord. My quiet times rarely happened, but I had all the excuses, of course. And when I did spend time with God, those times were filled with so much distraction. Once again, I was living on borrowed faith. I was using the best doctor at the best clinic, and our embryo had a good quality score. Check, check, check. I checked the boxes off in my head and mapped out the plan for how it all would go. My plan. Not His plan. I wanted to have a third baby around the time when the boys would turn three. I liked that age gap. I wanted to deliver in early summer, so Blake would be home more to help me. We made all these decisions around what worked best for us without even asking God what He wanted for our story. We took back the reins and were writing the story of how we wanted it to go. Our hope was not in Jesus. Our misplaced hope was staked firmly in our plan.

    So afterward, then the transfer failed and I wrestled over my numb heart, I began to pray and cry out to God. Why this same heartbreak again? I’ll never forget the moment when I stared at my miracle twins, and I felt this truth so clearly placed on my heart. I couldn’t stop thinking, They were not my plan. Over and over that phrase went through my head. My plan was to have our first baby seven years ago. My plan was not IVF. My plan was to get pregnant the first time we tried. They were not my plan. They were His plan. Every part of my boys’ lives was not my plan. I never wanted twins. I didn’t want to give birth in August as Blake and my mom started back to school. God’s plan was hard. But as I sat there on that couch snuggled up to the cutest miracles I’ve ever seen, none of that hard stuff felt heavy anymore. Why? Because God got me through it all. As I hugged my babies and tears fell down my face, the fog lifted and took the numbness with it.

    In that quiet and sweet, still moment, God reminded me in the most gentle way that these tiny little faces I get to look at every single day were never part of my plan. But they were always part of His plan. If I had to do it all again, I’d choose His plan every time. How had I forgotten this? I beat myself up over this for a while. But no matter how long you’ve been walking with God, you can get distracted and forget the lessons you worked so hard to learn. When you aren’t faithful in the little things, your heart becomes more susceptible to the lies, and you start placing your hope in things that will never satisfy. I cannot place my hope in my plans. I must seek Him, walk with Him, trust Him, and allow Him to direct my path. I have to pla

    • 12 min
    Fight Fear on the Other Side

    Fight Fear on the Other Side

    The other side of infertility is a strange place. And it’s a place that I was not expecting to be so blindsided by fear. It’s something that people do not talk about enough. Whatever your other side looks like (becoming pregnant, adopting a baby, adopting an embryo, etc), there is still doubt and fear and trust issues there. If we don’t deal with the fear now, it will rob you of the joy on the other side. The fear and worry keeps you a place of longing for the next thing and it takes away the joy of today. But then you get to the next thing and it’s not enough. You still feel the worry and fear. Here are some practical tools to fight the fear on the other side:

    Write down the facts.

    Positive test, hcg numbers, test results, etc

    Standing on the facts of today helps prevent you from spiraling down the path of toxic thoughts.

    “I am pregnant today. That’s all I know and no one knows what tomorrow will hold.”

    Scripture. Memorize it.

    God’s Word is a sword, a weapon to fight our battles. There is a reason that Scripture memory is a powerful tool.

    When a thought comes in your head, recognize that it’s fear and not facts.

    When the lies creep in, we have to be able to recognize it and combat it with facts and truth. The more you do this, the better you will get at recognizing the signs of the beginning of the spiral.

    It’s more about who you are becoming through the decision making process.

    In marriage, these weighty decisions can bring you together or tear you about. This process can also bring about some really ugly things in our hearts.

    Unity should be the goal in decision making if you’re married.

    How are we working together? How are we trusting God? How are we surrendering the outcomes? How are we resting in the fact that we knows our heart and is sovereign in all things.

    Plan something fun while you wait on the next thing to make the days go by faster.

    I was not prepared for the fact that there is still so much waiting on the other side. Laughing together and having fun with your spouse has a way of lightening the load we are carrying.

    Encouragement from Chapter 5 called Grace Filled Thoughts:

    “When you are in a period of waiting, it can be so tempting to try to take control of the situation and force a solution. I often thought about the story of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar. Even though God had clearly told Sarah the promises for her future child, she was sick and tired of waiting. So she took matters into her own hands and told Abraham to have a baby with Hagar. As much as I want to judge Sarah for that choice, I can so relate to her desperation. Waiting on God is hard, and she waited a whole lot longer than I did! But taking control isn’t grace. Thinking you can do better than God can isn’t grace. There is so much beautiful grace in the concept of surrender. Surrendering your desires, your heart, and your plans to God is living in grace, trusting that His desires and His plans for you are the ones you really want.” - Give Grace book

    Links:

    Ad: https://www.theovercomejournal.com/

    Ad: https://www.megansmalley.com/givegracebook

    If you love this podcast, I’d really appreciate it if you’d hit the subscribe button and leave me a 5 star review. These simple things help others find us and help support this ministry so we can keep providing free content for you.

    For all the latest information, helpful resources, announcements about new season launch dates and to join our free online community, visit www.theinfertilitysisterhood.com and make sure to follow us on Instagram (@theinfertilitysisterhood / @megansmalley).

    • 12 min
    Make Decisions With Confidence

    Make Decisions With Confidence

    Decision fatigue is real . So much of infertility and the treatment options that are available fall into the grey area of life and of Christianity. The list and depth of the decisions on this road are daunting. I love clarity, but so often we don’t get. Walking this road, especially the road of IVF, challenged me to create a decision making process and put rhythms in place to avoid decision fatigue. I did not create this process or these tips. I’ve learned from others that are a season ahead of me about what it looks like to make hard decisions with confidence, even when the road ahead feels so unclear. I hope these tips help you on your decision making journey.

    Sometimes we won’t get clarity.

    Clarity cannot be our end goal. In the decision making process, it’s often easy to idolize clarity. While I think it’s important to do the work to seek clarity in the decision, we ultimately have to trust that God is sovereign in all things.

    Sometimes there isn’t a right and wrong choice.

    Sometimes both choices are good and it comes down to personal preference. In the hard decisions where there isn’t a clear right answer, I pray hard for open and closed doors.

    God says come to me and I will give you rest, not come to me and I’ll give you all the answers.

    This is one of the really hard things about living on this side of eternity. There are a lot of things in this world that I wrestle with and don’t understand and wish I had more clear direction from God on. This is when trust comes in and walking closely with God.

    It’s more about who you are becoming through the decision making process.

    In marriage, these weighty decisions can bring you together or tear you about. This process can also bring about some really ugly things in our hearts.

    Unity should be the goal in decision making if you’re married.

    How are we working together? How are we trusting God? How are we surrendering the outcomes? How are we resting in the fact that we knows our heart and is sovereign in all things.

    Fear is usually about something deeper.

    My challenge for you is if you are feeling paralyzed by fear, dig into that and allow God to reveal what is going on in your heart.

    Decision Making Tools:

    Seek wise counsel

    Prayer & fasting

    Getting still before God

    Set a decision deadline

    Pros / cons list

    Expert vs consultant roles

    Encouragement from Chapter 4 called The Grace of Your Story:

    “But even in the midst of all of that darkness, there was always a light. Each time another wave hit, I was faced with a decision. Do I believe God is who He says He is? Do I believe His promises are true? And if I say I do, how does that look in my life? Does my life match what I say I believe?

    Doubt crept in. Fear crept in. Shame crept in. I realized I needed a new game plan. I had been assuming life would be easy and good with only a few struggles peppered in. But that is not what God promises in the Bible. We aren’t promised easy or good. In James 1:2, James says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.”Not if, but when. I realized that I would always be mad and frustrated and feel resentful toward God if I kept believing that struggles were going to be rare. I needed to embrace the idea that there would always be struggles. I needed to look at my tory not as a “happily ever after” situation, but as an on going series of battles that, handled with faith, would grow and shape me to be more like Jesus. So that also meant that I needed to reframe the concept of grace in my mind.” - Give Grace book

    Links:

    Making Decisions podcast episode by Audrey & Jeremy Roloff: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/behind-the-scenes/id1441970779?i=1000426052579

    Making Decisions with Liz & Ben Bohannon: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/behind-the-scenes/id1441970779?i=1000452753923

    Ad: http

    • 23 min
    Pause When You Need a Break

    Pause When You Need a Break

    When you are walking this road and your heart is feeling weary from another failed round of treatment, it’s easy to want to avoid the pain and jump right back into another round. This is my classic go to strategy to avoid feeling the things: just fill my life with busyness and it won’t hurt as bad. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t work! I want to share with you all the beautiful things that came from our time of paused treatment.

    Pausing brings healing.

    For us, taking the time to pause gave me the space to process my emotions and face the grief.

    Pausing allows you to be still and hear from God more clearly.

    There is a direct call in Psalm 46:10 to be still. It’s so important to block out the noise, get still, quiet your mind and heart and allow yourself to hear from God.

    Pausing gives you time to find the best clinic.

    It’s so hard to stop treatment to look for another clinic, but sometimes this decision is the best choice.

    Pausing allows you to catch up / get ahead / plan ahead financially.

    Paying for a baby is not how it’s supposed to be, but unfortunately it is the reality for some of us. It helped me feel like I was being proactive while I waited to work on mapping out a financial plan to pay for our next round of treatment.

    Pausing gives your heart a break and a chance to rest.

    Rest is not wasted time.

    Encouragement from Chapter 4 called The Grace of Your Story:

    “We are not in control of most things that happen in our lives. We want health, but we are handed a life-threatening illness. We want financial security, but we can’t find a job in our field. We want marriage, but we find ourselves single. We want to make our flight on time, but an accident delays us. None of those things are what we would have picked, and we can’t control them, but we can control our attitudes about and our responses to our circumstances.

    I learned the hard way that my negative words and attitude were not the way to give myself grace. So now when I’m challenged, I take the time I need to process or grieve the situation, and then I act on the naming rights I’ve been given. I choose to shift my attitude, to lean into what God is teaching me, to open my eyes to the blessings in my life, and to give this circumstance a positive name. And you can too. You can take the label you’ve given yourself or that others have tried to put on you, and you can change it. You can take back your naming rights. Attitude is a choice we must make every single day, sometimes multiple times a day.” - Give Grace book

    Links:

    Ad: https://www.theinfertilitysisterhood.com/beautycounter

    Ad: https://www.theovercomejournal.com/

    If you love this podcast, I’d really appreciate it if you’d hit the subscribe button and leave me a 5 star review. These simple things help others find us and help support this ministry so we can keep providing free content for you.

    For all the latest information, helpful resources, announcements about new season launch dates and to join our free online community, visit www.theinfertilitysisterhood.com and make sure to follow us on Instagram (@theinfertilitysisterhood / @megansmalley).

    • 14 min
    Work Toward Your Financial Goal

    Work Toward Your Financial Goal

    Having babies should be fun and free. If you’re walking this road, it’s likely neither of these things for you. The financial strain that fertility treatment can put on a couple just adds to an already incredibly hard road. In this episode, I introduce you to my friend Adam Parsons. He’s a financial coach over at AP Financial Coaching. Adam and his wife Michelle went through IVF in 2020 at CCRM and just welcomed their precious miracle girl. Over the last year, Adam has become a friend and a trusted resource as we have developed a lot of financial tools to help other couples walking through IVF. We cannot wait to share those tools with you this year.

    If you haven’t listened to episode 14, go listen to that first. Once you’ve mapped out a financial plan, then it’s time to work toward your goal. Here are Adam’s tips:

    Focus on consistency over perfection.

    Do the work on the front end so that sticking to the plan becomes as mindless as possible.

    It’s about the pursuit and who you become through that pursuit.

    You will feel frustrated in this process. Step away when you need to but come back to the table. Progress happens in the coming back.

    Revert back to you why.

    When things get hard and you are forced to make sacrifices, this will help keep you encouraged as you work toward your goal.

    Get others involved.

    Make sure you and your spouse are teammates in this journey.

    Get friends and family involved to keep you encouraged.

    Encouragement:

    “If you have your plan in place, I want to encourage you to just keep going. That consistency and the coming back are so important. It’s really hard. If you are feeling the weight of that and don’t know where to turn, get others involved. You’ve done the hard work to create your plan and now it’s time to just keep going. If you need help, get someone in your corner that can help you see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

    - Adam Parsons

    Links:

    Get coached by Adam: https://www.apfinancialcoaching.com/

    Pursuit podcast episode: https://youtu.be/PdXNl-k5Acw

    Ad: https://www.theinfertilitysisterhood.com/beautycounter

    Ad: https://www.theovercomejournal.com/

    If you love this podcast, I’d really appreciate it if you’d hit the subscribe button and leave me a 5 star review. These simple things help others find us and help support this ministry so we can keep providing free content for you.

    For all the latest information, helpful resources, announcements about new season launch dates and to join our free online community, visit www.theinfertilitysisterhood.com and make sure to follow us on Instagram (@theinfertilitysisterhood / @megansmalley).

    • 23 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
24 Ratings

24 Ratings

mpford ,

Love this series!!!

Recovering from my third miscarriage, wondering what’s next. And I could listen to the intro over and over and over again. Thank you so much for your vulnerability and insight

RRfan09 ,

Such a wonderful resource

Thank you so much for providing this comforting resource, Megan. If you’ve gone through infertility or are currently experiencing it you know exactly how lonely it can be. Megan’s biblical perspective through this podcast and community she has created through the infertility sisterhood is so life giving, encouraging, and has the ability to remind you that you are never truly alone.

S.R.R.H.E ,

Exactly what I’ve needed

Going on year 5 of infertility, more often than not I’ve felt isolated, misunderstood, and alone. I have a wonderful husband, but you never truly “get it” unless you’re a woman who is going through this. I’ve looked for a Christ-centered podcast devoted to the struggles of infertility and came up empty handed. Not anymore, this is the exact podcast I have been praying for. Thank you, Megan Smalley for filling the need in the podcast world, and for helping us be seen and heard.

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