Welcome to the Circle+Bloom Blog

Simply page down for our chronological blog postings, or click on the categories to read what we have to say:

Guest blog post by Karen Kelly of Through the Heart.

1398100912My name is Dr. Karen Kelly and in February 2013, my husband and I lost our daughter at 20 weeks. It was a devastating experience and we quickly learned of the lack of resources available to those who have suffered pregnancy loss.

We believe everyone should have the support and information necessary to deal with this difficult situation. As a result, Through the Heart was born.

Through the Heart is a national 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to educate and support anyone experiencing a pregnancy loss either directly or indirectly. Our organization provides a community and a glimpse of light in your darkest hour. One of the most important things to know following a pregnancy loss of any type is that you are not alone!

Dealing with a loss, and subsequently trying to conceive again, can be very difficult emotionally. Grieve in whatever way makes sense for YOU. Take as much time as you need and do not let others rush you.

Do not feel guilty, ashamed, or that you did something wrong. Don’t be afraid to ask people for specific help or, if you’re not sure what you need, it’s ok to vocalize that too.

Even if you have your spouse, family members, or friends to lean on, it may still be helpful to find another outlet for your emotions as you travel through this journey. Consider putting your thoughts into writing, either privately in a journal or publicly (Through the Heart offers the chance to share your story on our website or chronicle the ongoing process on our blog). You may also want to consider joining TTH’s discussion forum where you can anonymously connect with others who have experienced pregnancy loss. Also, talking with a counselor or therapist may be helpful in sorting through emotions.

Some people are ready to begin trying to conceive very quickly after a loss but for many others, it takes time. There’s no rule that says you have to start again when you’re cleared physically by your doctor – you also need to be mentally and emotionally ready. Some women never really feel ready again but know that if they want a child, they have to try. Understand that whatever you’re feeling is normal and ok, there is no right or wrong answer.

Trying to conceive after a loss can be a very isolating process. It is often a more emotional journey than it was before and it’s easy to have the mindset that because pregnancy happened once, it will naturally happen again. While this is the case for some women, many others struggle to conceive again for a variety of reasons. It’s important to remember that your body can change after a loss, especially during those first few cycles so you may not have the same patterns as before. Even if your cycle occurs like clockwork, it’s a good idea to go back to basics such as charting, taking your temperature, and testing for ovulation. You may be surprised to find “a new normal.”

Additionally, recurrent pregnancy loss is much more common than people are led to believe. Because it’s not talked about much, we don’t often hear the stories and so someone faced with multiple losses can easily feel alone or that there is something wrong with them. Whatever you are going through, whatever your challenges and struggles, remember that someone else has been there. It’s important to find an outlet for your emotions and a source of information and support such as that offered by Through the Heart. Go ahead and ask questions, ask for advice, vent about your frustrations, whatever you need to do to make it through.

Just remember that you are not alone!

Connect with Through the Heart:
Website: www.throughtheheart.org
Twitter: @Through_Heart
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Through-the-Heart/186644458155328
Blog: http://www.throughtheheart.org/wordpress/
Discussion forum: http://throughtheheart1.proboards.com/

headshotDr. Karen J. Kelly is a Texas resident and New Jersey native who loves sports, music, traveling, baking, and her 2 cats, Smokey & Plinko. In March 2013, she co-founded the nonprofit organization Through the Heart with her husband, Sean. Following the loss of their daughter at 20 weeks, the couple recognized the lack of resources available to them as well as a lack of understanding by others on how to react to the situation. It is their hope that through this organization, pregnancy loss can become a topic that is more openly discussed, acknowledged, and understood.

{ 0 comments }

cb_challenge1

The Pay It Forward Fertility Summer starts today! Help us pay fertility forward by joining in the first challenge and we’ll pay it forward to you.

Here’s how it works:

Challenge #1: SHARE

We believe there is great power in sharing in the journey to fertility. We don’t conceive alone or parent alone – or struggle alone – so to keep the circle going this month simply help us share support, advice, and feedback.

Dates: July 3 – 20

How YOU Pay it Forward:

There are three ways you can SHARE:

  1. Share some feedback with us. Take our brief survey (click here) and let us know how we can better support you.
  2. Share a shoulder. Look for our quotes of support on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Simply like, share, comment, pin, or retweet to help pass them on.
  3. Share a kind word. Tell us – and others! – what advice helped get you through. Share some advice on Facebook, Twitter or via Email.

Please be sure to tag anything you share on social – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – with #payfertilityforward so we can track your entry!

How WE Pay it Forward:

We’ll pick three winners and give away three FREE downloads for you AND three FREE downloads to share!

Every person who pays it forward – by filling out a survey, sharing – or commenting on – a support quote or passing along advice – will be automatically entered to win.

That’s not all.

We want to really make our circle grow so we’ve set a collective goal for our Pay it Forward Fertility Summer Challenge.

If we reach 300 total pay it forward actions throughout the course of the campaign, we’ll continue to Pay it Forward and share a special 20% off discount with all our fans and customers.

Ready to begin? Let’s all pass fertility on!

With love + gratitude,
signatureweb



{ 1 comment }

Circle and Bloom began from a very personal place. Having experienced my own struggles with fertility, I set out to help others conceive and in a way, I started a circle. Over time, that circle grew. Our community grew. The web of support grew. And the fertility rates grew. The number of successful births grew. (And grew!) We’ve kept circling – growing – to this day and we don’t plan to stop!

The path to conception – and even throughout parenthood – is not one we travel alone. It’s dotted with kind gestures, small moments of support, and little actions along the way. (From people we know, and also from those we don’t know.) The journey is a shared one, and frequently, one good moment leads to another.

CB_fertilitycircle2We’re calling these connections “The Fertility Circle.” And we want to keep it going strong. We want to honor the part we all play in supporting one another, in encouraging fertility to bloom.

We’ve decided to spend the summer paying fertility forward. Whether you are on the journey to conception, in the middle of pregnancy, or enjoying parenthood, we all have something to share. We’re kick-starting a Pay it Forward Fertility Summer Challenge to pass the good things on and we invite you to join us.

Stay tuned each week to our Facebook page, blog and Twitter account for the Pay it Forward Fertility Summer Challenge and help the fertility circle carry on and on and on…

With love + gratitude,
signatureweb



{ 0 comments }

Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 3.06.17 PMLeafy greens and dark green vegetables are an excellent source of folate (or folic acid), an essential B vitamin that supports healthy pregnancy in a number of ways. During the beginning stages of pregnancy, folate supports fetal brain development by preventing neural tube defects that can cause spina bifida and anencephaly. Folate also contributes to optimizing sperm production, promotes routine ova production, and aids in the creation of healthy red blood cells.

The Centers for Disease Control suggests that women who are trying to conceive consume at least 400mg of the B vitamin daily. Luckily, there are numerous ways to enjoy greens and incorporate other folate-rich foods such as lentils, asparagus, beets, beans, and broccoli into your diet.

Here are six tasty ideas:

  1. Tear pieces of kale, sprinkle them with olive oil and kosher salt, and roast on high for crunchy kale crisps.
  2. Throw a handful of chopped romaine lettuce into the blender with the ingredients for your favorite fruit smoothie.
  3. Sauté cooked lentils with olive oil, shallots and lemon for a filling side dish (or mix in some roasted veggies for a healthy lunch!)
  4. Stir-fry baby bok choy with garlic, soy sauce, ginger, and a drizzle of sesame oil (For a spicy kick, sprinkle in red pepper flakes)
  5. Toss baby spinach and sautéed mushrooms with hot whole wheat pasta or brown rice and pesto for a quick and easy dinner.
  6. Coat asparagus spears with olive oil, salt and pepper, and grill over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Drizzle the cooked asparagus with balsamic vinegar.

For more tips on healthy eating, check out our two part series Best Diets for Fertility – The Top 13 “Super” Foods – Part 1 and Best Diets for Fertility – The Top 13 “Super” Foods – Part 2.

{ 0 comments }

Guest Blog by Rosanne Austin, founder of Maybe to Baby.

Join Rosanne Austin for a special free webinar on July 2 called Paying For Fertility Treatment: Sucker Punch Proof Your Plan. Learn 3 Key Steps for creating a fertility treatment financial plan that can help eliminate freak-outs, sucker punches, and silly spending. Read on for a sneak peek and register here.

It’s no mystery that fertility treatment is often a budget crushing expense. (Goodbye vacations, adieu disposable income!) As if that wasn’t bad enough, it’s an expense that comes at a time when you are likely feeling broken, defeated, and even desperate, after trying for months, or even years for a child of your own.  This insidious, highly combustable combination of a high price tag and soul searing emotion can be a recipe for disaster if you don’t have your wits about you.

When starting on the fertility journey, most of us really haven’t considered in concrete terms exactly what we are willing to spend. Why? Because in some ways it’s like trying to answer the unanswerable. Seriously. “How much are you willing to spend in order to have a baby of your own in your arms?” Whose heart didn’t immediately shout, “a million, billion, trillion dollars!?”

Talking about money, particularly if you and your partner have “differing” philosophies can be as appealing as deep vein thrombosis, but it’s a conversation you need to have pronto!

Here are some considerations to get the ball rolling:

1) How Much Money Do We Really Have?

This question isn’t about what you think you make per year or what your gross salary is. What I’m asking is more bare bones, nitty-gritty than that. I want you to think about how much money, after taxes, basic living expenses, car payments, student loans, credit cards, insurance, and other monthly expenses do you really have? What do you have in savings, investments, or otherwise? Having a clear understanding of your true net worth and your liabilities will put “how much CAN I spend” into perspective real fast.

2) Do We Have a Written Monthly Budget?

You may already have a perfectly organized, down to the penny written monthly budget that would be the envy of any self respecting bean counter–if so, high five! BUT, if you are like my husband and I were when we started on this path, we  scoffed at the idea of a written budget, deludedly thinking that we were so innately organized that the exercise of writing it all down was a waste of our precious time. How wrong we were.

When the roller coaster started rolling, it felt like we were shoveling cash out the window of our car at 70 miles an hour.  Everyone’s hand was out!  This is exactly why having a written monthly budget and knowing precisely where every dollar is going is essential.  When you are dropping loads of cash on fertility treatment, have control of your monthly expenses! Plan where you can save extra cash to stock pile for your fertility treatment war chest.

Don’t have any idea where to begin with starting a written budget?  Google it.

3) Do We Know EXACTLY How Much the Treatment Will Cost?

You must be certain that you know exactly what the treatment plan you have selected is going to cost. The sticker price from the doctor may not include medications and add on services.  For example, if you have elected to do IVF, the cost of the procedure at the clinic may be X dollars, but:

  • What is the cost of the injectables and medications you will need to order from a specialty pharmacy?
  • How much will ICSI or assisted hatching add?
  • How much will it cost to freeze any embryos you may have after the procedure?
  • What about acupuncture or other alternative treatments to supplement efficacy?

There could be a myriad of other considerations, but the bottom line is you must know the bottom line.  No scary surprises to sucker punch your pocketbook!

Keep in mind: this cost could possibly be multiplied several times over, if you need to repeat the procedure.

4) Does Our Insurance Offer Coverage For Any of Our Procedures?

You may actually be one of the lucky few that has health care coverage that will cover fertility procedures.  If so, awesome!  If you are like many of us in states like California, you are likely going to pay out of pocket.  BUT, here is where you need to contact your health plan–they may cover at least some of the prescriptions needed for the treatment, such as pain killers, Clomid, and antibiotics required prior to the procedure.  That may not feel like much, but when you are spending thousands, any little bit helps.  Ask questions!

5) How Much Are We Willing to Spend or Afford?

Again, in theory we’d probably all be willing to spend an infinite amount of money to have a baby, BUT that is neither realistic, nor sensible, so when starting to answer this question, take a deep breath and for heaven’s sake be REAL.

To illustrate the point, let’s say that you make $75K per year and you are looking at doing IVF, which with drugs can cost roughly anywhere from $12,000 to $20,000 (this is just an approximation–plug in your own numbers) depending on the state you live in and the protocol your doctor recommends.  If you have additional specialized procedures like ICSI, assisted hatching, or are using donor eggs, the fees can be even more.  Do you have the money to cover these costs today?  What percentage of your income are you willing to spend?  You may be great with your money and have a healthy nest egg upon which to draw, but how much of that are you willing to spend on treatment? 

Now, I didn’t just ask how much you are willing to spend, but also how much you are willing to afford.  Depending on where you are in your journey, you may not have all of the money you need or the luxury of time to wait to save it.  There are more than a few companies who are in the business of financing fertility treatment and that may or may not be an option for you depending on your comfort level with acquiring debt.  That necessitates the question, am I willing to go into debt to for fertility treatment?  In answering that question, refer back to considerations #1 and #2.  Can you really afford to go into debt?

How much are you willing to spend, when there are absolutely no guarantees you will end up with a baby in your arms?  I suggest that you come up with a reasonable “finish line number” for yourselves–a number where you and your partner agree you will stop, because you could end up spending into oblivion! Don’t make other fantastic options like adoption out of reach because you didn’t have the foresight of an FLN!

6) Will We Have Money For Other Options?

As I touched on in consideration #5, if you don’t set a limit for fertility treatment, it could complicate or delay your foray into other options, if the treatment doesn’t turn out the way you hoped.  Private adoptions can be expensive. Surrogacy can be astronomical.  If you plan ahead and have your wits about you, planning for these options can be a breeze, but not doing so can detrimentally delay a change of course on the road to baby.

7) How Will Our Choices Effect Our Financial Plan When Our Baby Comes?

It makes me sad how many couples don’t think about how their spending on fertility treatment will effect their quality of life when their baby does come.  Using the hypothetical $75K from consideration #5, how will having $150K in fertility treatment debt on top of your mortgage, credit card bills, car payments, and monthly living costs, effect your way of life?  Seriously.  If you are making ends meet, but don’t have a lot of leeway, what are you going to do when you have depleted your savings and have incurred a mountain of debt on top of that? Don’t be short sighted!

Being a good parent starts way before getting that positive pregnancy test.  It starts with being financially healthy, so that you can not only feed your family, but enjoy those precious moments you have longed and prayed for.  Having to take on a second job, or living in constant fear because you have no savings will rob you of that!

Bottom Line:  Ask yourself these questions!  Use common sense. If you need financial counseling, GET IT.  Doing things the From Maybe To Baby way is all about defining your own journey and making choices that are right for you.  Love on your relationship and future family by having a clear financial plan for your journey!

20140129_darling_078Rosanne Austin, creator of frommaybetobaby.com, is a fertility journey mentor who combines lessons learned on her own fertility journey, with Co-Active Coaching principles, and tactical skills honed during her 10 years as a “force of nature” trial attorney, to provide parenthood hopefuls with the tools they need to tame the fertility treatment beast. Featured as a guest and commentator on KCBS and KSRO radio in the San Francisco Bay Area, Rosanne empowers her clients with proven strategies to avoid heartbreaking pitfalls, safeguard their relationships, and prevent financial foolishness, all while creating a path to a luscious life they love. By popular demand, Rosanne will be producing a webinar series starting on July 2, 2014, and will launch a sanity saving, no stone unturned, online fertility journey boot camp. In the few hours when she’s not mentoring, writing, or speaking, Rosanne is a Paris loving, Downton Abbey crazed, food and wine fanatical, woman madly in love with her husband. Rosanne gives back by serving on the executive board for Verity, an organization committed to providing resources to survivors of sexual assault and human trafficking.

{ 0 comments }

I hear from a number of women who are over 40 and wondering if our programs can help them to achieve their dream of having a baby. In fact, we recently received a call on our customer service line from a kind woman who inquired about our pregnancy program. After answering her questions about it she opened up to us to share her incredible story, and I want to share it with you today:

At 47 years of age, and with an 8 year-old who had been conceived through IVF, I decided to try the Circle + Bloom Natural Cycle Program. A few weeks later, I happened to go to my OB for my annual exam. I had been late for my period and told the doctor as such, thinking that maybe I was pre-menopausal. To my delight and amazement, my doctor told me that I was in my early stages of pregnancy. If this could happen for me, I am hopeful for other women in their 40s who wish to become pregnant naturally!

So is it possible for women over 40 to conceive naturally? Heck yeah! Here’s some more wonderful feedback we’ve received from other women who were over 40 and trying to conceive and found that our Circle + Bloom programs helped them on their journey:

Trying to Conceive After Age 40

Please shoot me an email or comment below if you have any experience you want to share with others regarding age and trying to conceive. And as always I look forward to hearing from you with your questions, comments, and stories of hope.

With love+gratitude,
signatureweb



{ 2 comments }

Guest Blog by Julie Chang, founder and host of Fertility Revolution.

podcast banner_horizontal

Have you heard about the new Fertility Revolution? The podcast will feature many respected fertility doctors, complementary fertility practitioners, attorneys, infertility advocates, published authors, health & wellness experts, and more…including yours truly!

About Julie Chang and Fertility Revolution:

Julie-2013Hi, I’m Julie Chang, founder and host of Fertility Revolution. I’m a licensed acupuncturist and natural fertility expert with an acupuncture practice in San Diego. I have 15 years experience in using Chinese Medicine including acupuncture, herbs, supplements, and nutrition to help women and men grow their families. I’m particularly passionate about blending the best of modern medicine with the wisdom of holistic medicines to provide a comprehensive treatment plan for those I’m helping. Under my supervision, hundreds of babies have been born and I hope with Fertility Revolution we can make that millions!

As Benjamin Franklin said so effectively, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. That’s what this is all about for me.

So I created Fertility Revolution, a 5 day a week podcast, hosted by myself, interviewing fertility experts and educators. We share our experience and valuable tips to help you get pregnant. Fertility Revolution hosts respected fertility doctors, complementary fertility practitioners, attorneys, infertility advocates, published authors, health & wellness experts, and more. Join me on a journey with my spotlighted guests, highlighting common stumbling blocks and misconceptions which might make it more difficult for you to conceive. Of course, we provide tips and resources to help you overcome these potential hurdles.

Fertility Revolution is all about inspiring YOU on YOUR fertility journey. We know that by hearing common stumbling blocks, misconceptions, and proactive fertility action tips, you can realize your dream to growing a family and take inspired ACTION!

So if you’re committed to doing whatever you can to have a smooth pregnancy and a healthy baby, join me as we learn from fertility experts all over the world.

{ 0 comments }

Guest Blog by Stephanie Fry, author/blogger of The IVF Journal book.

Anyone who is battling infertility and undergoing IVF treatment knows that there are loads of options when it comes to selecting complementary treatments and therapies. There are diets, exercises, mind body options, acupuncture, acupressure, massage, yoga, herbal remedies and so much more.

With all these options, deciding on a complementary treatment can feel just as overwhelming as struggling with infertility. It can be pretty hard to find your thing.

As you consider complementary treatments consider this advice from The IVF Journal,

“Do What Feels Right. As you go through IVF treatment you are likely to come across loads of different types of tips, advice, and complementary therapy options. As you encounter and consider these things, always remember that while there are plenty of experts out there, there is only one expert on you. Make sure you listen to your heart and your body throughout the entire process. Whether it is a new diet, a new mind-body technique, advice on how much you should exercise, or what vitamins to take, if something you are doing doesn’t feel right, honor that feeling. Know that while it may have worked great for someone else, that doesn’t mean it is right for you.” – The IVF Journal

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 10.21.44 AMThe reason I give this advice is because I spent quite a few years trying to find my thing when it came to supporting my IVF treatment.

To help myself sort things out I decided to look at the world of complementary treatments for IVF as one where I could be adventurous and try new things. I was saddled with the ever present waiting that is a side effect of infertility treatment so this new world also provided me with something positive to focus on while I endured the many waiting periods that go hand in hand with extended IVF treatment.

I developed a little mantra: Explore, research, discover. And armed with that mantra I jumped in and started trying things out.

I started with what I felt would be a no brainer for me: Yoga. I already knew that practicing Yoga had so many amazing benefits for both mind and body and my (limited) experiences with the practice thus far had been really positive. I couldn’t wait to get started and signed up for an awesome local Yoga for Fertility class. After a few weeks I was really bummed to learn that my body was not quite where my mind was when it came to yoga. Surprisingly it just didn’t feel right. So back to the drawing board I went.

(Side note: I know and work with so many wonderful yoga instructors, acupuncture and other practitioners who are doing wonderful things for people going through infertility so please don’t take these anecdotes as a reason not to try yoga or acupuncture or any other practice – the whole point is to find what works for you, not me.)

Next I tried and initially loved acupuncture. There are so many great reasons to do acupuncture – studies abound on its benefits and there are loads of wonderful practitioners and centers that specialize in fertility and IVF related acupuncture. Many of the women I have cycled with swear by it. But, in the end, when I really considered all the elements of extended treatment it just wasn’t a sustainable practice for me.

So I moved on, determined to find my thing.

I tried reiki and massage – good but not exactly what I felt I was looking for. I dabbled in herbal supplements and diet changes, that wasn’t my thing either. And then one day my therapist suggested meditation.

As a fairly hyper (ok, very), Type A, who really doesn’t like sitting still, I was pretty skeptical about meditation. But, I was in experimentation mode so I figured it couldn’t hurt to try.

What do you know, meditating felt pretty good. Unfamiliar, definitely. A bit uncomfortable at first but mostly just, really good. And calming. Wow. I would have never guessed. So I decided to try it on for a while. And much to my surprise, it stuck.

I think finally found my thing.

As I continued with the practice I came to realize that meditation worked for me on so many levels. For one thing, the length and timing of the practice was right up my alley – really flexible. No travel required, no appointments to keep.

More importantly meditation helped me to slow down and relax my mind and my body. This led to me becoming more self-aware and was the catalyst to so much positive change in the way I handled my infertility. Finally, and more simply put, I was less stressed. I felt calmer, more balanced and therefore stronger than I had in so long.

Hooray! I definitely found my thing!

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 10.23.00 AMIf you haven’t tried mediation yet, absolutely give it a try and check out my Mindfulness and Self-Awareness pin-board. If it isn’t your thing, don’t worry. Just keep exploring and your thing will eventually reveal itself.

If you are on the fence about trying complementary therapies consider the following from The IVF Journal, Chapter13: Don’t Go it Alone: Complementary Therapies and A Support Network.

“Complementary therapies are a great form of support for IVF patients and can greatly enhance your experience. They can help you to reduce stress and feel more relaxed and can improve your physical and emotional health as well. They also provide positive ways to pass the time during a cycle, especially during waiting periods. Some popular options include mind and body programs, yoga, meditation and visualization, acupuncture and massage. If you are employing or interested in exploring these or other options, start by asking your clinic and other contacts for information and referrals, or use the organizations and contacts in your support network to search for practitioners in your area. You can also turn to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. This is a United States government resource and a good place to research your options. Their information can be found at http://www.nccam.nih.gov.

No matter what type of practice you are considering, most therapies have different styles, pricing, and practitioners available. To get the most out of any treatment, you should feel comfortable with all aspects of the program, including price, location, schedule, and instructor or technician. It is important to note that complementary therapies can provide great benefits for some, but if a certain practice is not your cup of tea, then you should not feel compelled to use it. If you are doing something that you don’t enjoy, the stress of stress relief can ironically do more harm than good. You should only do what you feel comfortable with, and if that does not include complementary therapies, then you should not feel obligated to pursue them.” – The IVF Journal

SLFStephanie Fry is an advocate, volunteer and respected member of the local and national professional community serving those with infertility. A former marketing executive turned professional infertility patient, her work in infertility advocacy began in 2010 as a Board Member and the Marketing Chair for RESOLVE New England, the largest regional infertility organization in the country. Currently she is the Director of Corporate Partnerships for RESOLVE New England and continues to volunteer as an Infertility Peer Discussion Group leader in Massachusetts, a role she has enjoyed for many years. She created The IVF Journal as a personal coping mechanism based on her own experience with extensive fertility treatments and hopes to educate, empower and comfort women who are building families through IVF and other infertility treatments.

{ 0 comments }

Finding Time to Meditate: Keeping Yourself Healthy

by mroth May 6, 2014

Guest Blog by Ken Myers. Although nutrition is a vital component to keeping yourself healthy, relaxing your body through meditation could be almost as important. The mind can do a great deal for your physical form, and practicing methods of meditation can make an impact in ways you never thought before. What’s more, you don’t [...]

Read the full article →

A Thank You Special Coupon for Your Awesome Participation

by mroth May 1, 2014

Please join me in congratulating Celeste G., the winner of our 30 Days of Fertility campaign! She’ll receive our entire product line of downloads for participating and helping to support all women on the fertility journey. I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to every single one of you who participated. It was an amazing [...]

Read the full article →

How and Why to Build a Support Network during Infertility Treatment

by mroth May 1, 2014

Guest Blog by Stephanie Fry, author of The IVF Journal book. Back in 2009, I was lucky enough to help the folks at Circle + Bloom as they developed their IVF/IUI Mind-Body Program by giving them a patients perspective on an IVF cycle. Since then their product has helped thousands of women and I hope [...]

Read the full article →

You Will NEVER Outrun the Darkness

by mroth April 23, 2014

Guest Blog by Suzanne Hanna, a Licensed Psychotherapist, Holistic Health Practitioner, Spiritual Coach, Writer, and Inspirational Speaker. It can happen in a moment, usually after a life-changing realization or event. Everything goes dark. The air in your body gets sucked from your lungs. A lead ball crashes into your core, leaving you weak. Your throat [...]

Read the full article →

Rebecca Fett’s “It Starts With The Egg”

by mroth April 21, 2014

I’ve found another book to add to my list of recommended reading related to fertility! Rebecca Fett’s It Starts With The Egg is an important read, and one I am happy to see getting such positive feedback. Circle+Bloom is grounded in science. The development of our mind-body programs was done in collaboration with the professional [...]

Read the full article →

Dealing With Pregnancy Hormones

by mroth April 13, 2014

Guest Blog by Cheretta A Clerkley, a strategic marketing health care professional for Hormone Health Network. She has worked for over 10 years in direct patient education focusing on hormone health. Being pregnant affects a lot more than your body. The outward signs of expecting a baby become more apparent over time, but the emotional [...]

Read the full article →

Circle+Bloom Around the World!

by mroth April 7, 2014

Hello! My name is Meagan. Some of you may already know me if you are a Circle+Bloom partner since I help work with our wonderful affiliates and partners. If not–hi! It’s nice to ‘meet’ you I also do some of the blog writing here. I’m going to take advantage of that and use this post [...]

Read the full article →

30 Days of Fertility – Share the Journey with Us

by mroth April 1, 2014

This April, in honor of National Infertility Awareness Week, we’re launching a “30 Days of Fertility” campaign to support all women embarking on the fertility journey and we hope you’ll join us! We’ve always believed in the power of mind + body awareness as it pertains to fertility. Our programs help explore the connection between [...]

Read the full article →

Pump Some Iron Into Your Diet to Help Promote Fertility

by mroth March 25, 2014

I have to apologize right off the bat to those of you who may still have snow on the ground, but spring seems to have sprung in North Carolina and I could not be more happy! Whenever the seasons change I get excited to spend some time in my kitchen. New ingredients that arrive with [...]

Read the full article →

Can Yoga Increase Fertility?

by mroth March 24, 2014

Guest blog by Sandra Mills. Fertility struggles can feel like you’re stuck on a hamster wheel in a cage you did not choose. Couples undergoing fertility treatments suddenly feel like they no longer have control of the most intimate parts of their bodies and their relationship, and it is stressful. That stress adversely affects fertility, [...]

Read the full article →

Three New Medical Findings on PCOS and How they May Impact Your Ability to Conceive

by mroth March 19, 2014

1. In vitro maturation (IVM) With traditional IVF, patients typically inject themselves with hormone medications for eight to 10 days to stimulate the ovaries into producing multiple eggs for fertilization. But hormone injections aren’t always the best choice for PCOS patients because they have an increased risk for ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) – a condition [...]

Read the full article →

Why Become an Egg Donor?

by mroth March 14, 2014

Guest Blog by Natalie on behalf of The London Egg Bank. Becoming an egg donor is an altruistic affair. Many women choose to become egg donors so that they can give the gift of parenthood to those couples who have embarked upon the difficult and emotional journey of trying to conceive. Some women may have [...]

Read the full article →

4 Ways to Restore Your Energy

by mroth March 12, 2014

Yesterday afternoon I found myself becoming really sluggish. In fact, while driving home I got so sleepy that I needed to pull over and rest my eyes a bit. A bit embarrassing to have to admit that! It got me thinking about energy and how we all struggle with maintaining our energy levels throughout the [...]

Read the full article →

3 Books About Infertility Support We Love

by mroth March 4, 2014

We’ve been doing a lot of reading while we wait for warm weather to arrive and wanted to share some recommendations for books that are wonderful resources for dealing with infertility. There are plenty of good ones out there, so be sure to check our ‘books we love‘ page for more recommendations, as well as [...]

Read the full article →

5 Stages to Starting the Month off with a Positive Attitude after a BFN (Big Fat Negative)

by mroth February 28, 2014

How are you doing? Be honest, you can tell me if you’re feeling like crap. I won’t judge! In fact, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to deal with the really crumby emotions that surround that time of the month where you have a BFN (Big Fat Negative). Not an easy time. Thinking [...]

Read the full article →

The I Stands Alone

by mroth February 24, 2014

Guest Blog by Lindsay Agne, founder of Full Circle. There has been alot of talk about VULNERABILITY lately. Brene Brown and her TED talk brought a spot light to that word and it spread like wildfire. SHAME is another biggie. Why is there such a stigma around infertility? IS it that despite the numbers showing [...]

Read the full article →

Fitness – The Key to Conception

by mroth February 17, 2014

Contributed by freelance writer. While some women can conceive without any problems, others are not so lucky. Those in the latter group can attest to the frustration and disappointment associated with trying different procedures to no avail. Not surprisingly, the stress of being unable to conceive often worsens the situation. Female hormone imbalance Doctors have [...]

Read the full article →

Stories to Brighten Your Day

by mroth February 13, 2014

Well another snow storm is suppose to hit Charlotte this week, but that’s not putting a damper on my day. Why? Because of these two wonderful success stories I received recently. I wanted to share them with you because they filled me with hope and joy when I read them. We all need a little [...]

Read the full article →

What Exactly is a Fertility Coach?

by mroth February 6, 2014

Guest blog by Smita Parikh, MD, founder of The Fertility Advisor. Just two years ago, I sat in a corner at my nephew’s first birthday party with a fake smile plastered on my face as kids buzzed by me and a sing along was taking place. What should have been a fun and happy occasion [...]

Read the full article →

3 Exercises to Relieve Back Pain During Pregnancy

by mroth February 4, 2014

Guest Blog by Melissa Hubbard. As your beloved baby bump grows, you’re getting closer and closer to the arrival of your dear little one. As your baby grows, however, so do back aches and pain in the pelvic area, joints and ligaments. No matter what kind of shape you’re in, the excess weight of pregnancy [...]

Read the full article →

Dealing With The Unexpected

by mroth January 31, 2014

Whoa is it cold here! Don’t I live in the south? Certainly doesn’t feel like it…but I suppose comparatively to some parts of the country, it’s downright balmy here. We actually got some a bit of snow in North Carolina, which is on its third day of staying on the ground. So bizarre! Of course, [...]

Read the full article →

“The Big Lie” Book by Tanya Selvaratnam

by mroth January 27, 2014

Guest Blog by Tanya Selvaratnam, author of ‘The Big Lie’. I got the idea for The Big Lie after my third miscarriage at the age of 40 in fall 2011. I wrote the book that I wished I could have read then. In the book, I explore many Big Lies. The Big Lie is that [...]

Read the full article →

Healthy Eating Does More for Infertility than You May Realize

by mroth January 21, 2014

Guest Blog by Nancy Parker. When it comes to command of your body, your diet plays a very important role. The adage, “You are what you eat” is true in every sense of the statement. Everything you put into your body is used in order to be as healthy or as unfit as you want. [...]

Read the full article →

Healing Of The Heart

by mroth January 14, 2014

“All healing is first a healing of the heart.” – Carl Townsend I hope all is well and your new year is off to a great start! Do you have anything you want to share with me? Any questions, concerns, or stories? Please do email me and let me know. This time of year always [...]

Read the full article →

Physical Changes That May Happen During Infertility Treatment

by mroth January 6, 2014

Guest Blog by Sharon on behalf of Hadassah Medical Center, visit them for more information on IVF treatment in Israel and physical changes during pregnancy. When Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel stated that, “We must not see any person as an abstraction. Instead, we must see in every person a universe with its own [...]

Read the full article →

Declutter Your Life, Declutter Your Mind

by mroth January 1, 2014

One of my New Years resolutions is to declutter. If you’re anything like me, your in constant battle with clutter. Seriously, where does all that stuff come from?? If you need help figuring out how to win the clutter battle, I recommend checking out Zen Habit’s 15 Great Decluttering Tips. But here’s something you may [...]

Read the full article →

3 Tips to Get Through Your First IVF Experience

by mroth December 29, 2013

Guest Blog by Michelle Ramone, a write-from-home blogger and mother of three from New England. Relax! You can do this. Millions of women before you have received in-vitro fertilization (IVF) to conceive their children. Sure, there are going to be some things that are new to you and a bit scary. You’ll be getting pregnant [...]

Read the full article →

Perfect for You

by mroth December 23, 2013

Guest Blog by Elizabeth Reed, a freelance writer and a resident blogger at Liveinnanny.org. One thing I have struggled with throughout my life is the idea of being perfect. I always tried to do everything perfectly, be everything to everyone, and just have a perfect life. Unfortunately, many things in my life did not cooperate [...]

Read the full article →

Spread The Love And Earn Money!

by mroth December 16, 2013

I have heard from so many of you about how Circle + Bloom has had a positive impact on your life and how you look forward to listening to our programs. I can not tell you how much these words of encouragement mean to me! I sincerely thank you for this. We at Circle + [...]

Read the full article →

Mini Christmas Trees, Laughter and Saving Our Sanity

by mroth December 13, 2013

What is it about this time of year that brings out the best and the worst in us? For me, the best has been sharing the undeniable sense of Christmas cheer and spirit, decorating the house, getting the tree, moving “Buddy” every night (our Elf on the Shelf), etc. The worst in me is this [...]

Read the full article →

The Tiny Guide to Holiday Sanity

by mroth December 4, 2013

It’s suppose to be the most wonderful time of the year, but let’s not kid ourselves. It can also be the most stressful. Protect your sanity this holiday season with our simple guide! 1. Keep it simple This is the time to be brutally honest with yourself. Is it really feasible (or healthy) for you [...]

Read the full article →

20 Things We Are Grateful For

by mroth November 25, 2013

“Thanksgiving is more than eating, Chuck. Those early Pilgrims were thankful for what had happened to them, and we should be thankful, too. We should just be thankful for being together. I think that’s what they mean by ‘Thanksgiving,’ Charlie Brown.” – Marcie A lot can change in 3 years, but there are always things [...]

Read the full article →

Happy Holidays from Circle+Bloom!

by mroth November 25, 2013

We are thrilled to announce that once again we will be running a 35% discount on all of our doctor recommended mind+body audio CDs and Mp3 programs for the holidays! The programs make great gifts for women who lead or want to lead a healthy life or who are trying to conceive. The discount also [...]

Read the full article →

50 Things We Are Grateful For

by mroth November 20, 2013

In gearing up for the Thanksgiving holiday we wanted to revisit one of our favorite holiday posts from a few years ago, our original 50 Things We Are Grateful For. Next week we’ll share some brand new things we’re thankful for. We thought it would be fun to see the progression of the wonderful things [...]

Read the full article →

Preparing For an Appointment with a Fertility Doctor

by mroth November 11, 2013

Guest Blog by Dr. Bradley Miller, a Reproductive Endocrinologist. Couples who are having difficulty conceiving go through an emotional rollercoaster. Generally, the woman is the one that initiates a conversation with her OB/GYN or primary care doctor stating her concerns. While some couples having been trying to conceive for several months or even years, others [...]

Read the full article →

Can You Help Me Share the Circle+Bloom Love?

by mroth November 5, 2013

It has always been my dream to start my own company. In many ways Circle + Bloom has been my third baby as I have loved it since the beginning when the idea for mind-body visualization programs for fertility came to me like a bolt of lightening. Just like anything that you love, you focus [...]

Read the full article →

7 Resources for Pregnant Women Without Insurance

by mroth October 28, 2013

Guest Blog by Maria Peterson, an early education specialist who writes about advocating for head start schools. The average birth in the U.S. costs $30,000, reports the Washington Post, but you could pay even more if you need a C-section, or if your pregnancy includes complications. If you don’t have insurance, that figure might as [...]

Read the full article →

The 38 Best Methods for Making Exercise a Habit

by mroth October 24, 2013

Uh oh. Halloween is right around the corner, and that means an abundance of Halloween candy. Whether you’re stoking up on candy for trick-or-treaters or tempted by bargain priced candy right after Halloween, there’s going to be lots of chocolaty sugary yummy temptations. I tend to overindulge this time of year, and as a result [...]

Read the full article →

Thank Your Spine for Holding Your Head On!

by mroth October 23, 2013

Guest Blog by Jodie Cope, Licensed Acupuncturist and Health Coach Creating a ritual around body awareness is like a mini vacation for our nervous system. Focusing for even a minute each day on being aware of our bodies can make a huge impact on our health. The correlation between meditation/prayer and health is undeniable. You [...]

Read the full article →

Chinese Herbs and Fertility

by mroth October 14, 2013

Guest Blog by Jennifer Nahon, a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist in Chicago, IL. Chinese herbs have been used for centuries to help boost fertility. I have been an herbalist for many years and have helped many women get pregnant with herbs. The problem I find the most is that women will come in with an [...]

Read the full article →

Wherever You Go, There You Are

by mroth October 8, 2013

Are you as happy as me with the coming of Fall? Even with the crazy holidays peeking around the corner, I am loving my pumpkins, my mums and a cute handmade wooden witch that stands proudly in my front yard (made with love by my hubby). And for whatever reason, all this seasonal change made [...]

Read the full article →

3 Steps to Changing Your Diet Today

by mroth October 4, 2013

We’ve talked a lot about how your diet can have a huge impact on your health and fertility. And while it all sounds well and good, sometimes making a long-term change like improving your diet can seem overwhelming or too hard to maintain. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Even the smallest changes [...]

Read the full article →