Hello, I am Lisa Lafave, the Fertility Coach from Coaching Rocks, LLC. I am certified with the International Coaching Federation, and the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. I was originally trained as a Clinical Psychologist and have expertise in working with children and families. Likewise, I hold an Executive MBA.
I am a single mom by choice and got my dream children after 15 years of trying multiple methods. I started my journey with surrogacy, but quickly shied away from it. Then I began artificial insemination, with the benefit of Clomid to encourage multiple eggs to release. I didn’t stick with this method very long, as I had some fundamental concerns. I had a number of illnesses, and was prescribed multiple medications. I worried about how I would exist, without the support of these medicines, if I were to stop them, while trying to conceive. Moreover, I worried about what impact these medicines would have on a developing fetus in my womb.
Next, I tried domestic adoption. I quickly learned that as a single, older mom, very few pregnant young women would want me to raise their child. These ladies were primarily looking for young couples to raise the babies they were adopting out.
I figured perhaps governments from other countries would be more forgiving. So next, I turned to international adoption, in which I attempted to adopt from Brazil. I had always wanted to travel to Rio andI was told they had babies there that looked like me! So I started my journey. I learned all the ins and outs of International Adoption. I completed all of my paperwork and received permission from both governments to get my children. I was seeking a sibling pair of two under 5 years old. I was simply waiting for the “cejas,” their equivalent of a social worker to pair me with my children. I waited, and I waited. After several years, 4 to 5 years to be exact, my adoption was halted by an argument, about the Haugue Convention, between Brazil and the United States. The governments simply could come to a resolution. Brazil ultimately told the United States that they had successfully adopted children out to other countries and didn’t the USA at all. That left me in the lurch! I felt like I’d been hit in the stomach. I needed to quickly readjust and change my game. To start with a new country, I would have to go back to the beginning and re-do my home study. I wasn’t willing to retrace my steps, with a new country in mind.
In the end, I jumped whole heartedly back into the surrogacy boat. During this phase of my process, I hired a contract lawyer, Jon Pinney, and was being coached through the surrogacy, by Ann Durand. This was crucial. This gave me two people to bounce ideas off of. This definitely helped me to speed through the surrogacy process and get my dream children at lightning speed.
I used Surrogacy Alternatives Inc (SAI) to obtain my surrogate. SAI has been around since about 1998. I worked with both Diana Olmeda, the President and Ann Marie Aversano-Miranda, the VP. I would highly recommend them. They were very professional and extremely involved in every aspect of my process. I was guided by Ann Miranda to choose an excellent surrogate. My surrogate made a great difference in my overall experience. She was informative and kept me involved every few weeks with updates and what not.
My fertility lawyer was Rich Vaugn, of International Fertility Law Group, formally National Fertility Law Center (NFLC). In my case, my babies were mine, five months before their due date, in my surrogates body, signed off by a judge, in a court of law. This put me in a very comfortable position. I really didn’t need to worry about my surrogate was going to run off with my babies. I had the law on my side. Really and truly I never carried any of those fears in my heart. My surrogate was steady and knew she was doing this to help me create my family.
Concerning the medical aspects of the surrogacy arrangement, I chose to work with Dr. David Smottrich from La Jolla IVF. Dr Smotrich was amazing to work with. He was straight forward and informative. His location is key. Not only is San Diego, California a hot bed of surrogacy, but Calfornia is ahead of most of the rest of the country, as regards fertility law. Fortunately for me, SAI, La Jolla , and NFLC were very comfortable working with one another.
I used an anonymous sperm donor (obtained from Xytec) who was 21 and an egg donor who was 19 to create my embryos. In my estimation, I was too old to use my own eggs. The two embryos were transferred to my surrogate, who was 26, at the time of the transfer. I was present during the transfer, and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, because I was actually able to see my babies on the screen. They simply looked like two bright pinholes of light on a gray background. I was so taken aback, that I could actually see my babies, at this very early stage in their development. What a moment! I surprised myself, by completely bursting into tears. Truly amazing! Never miss this moment, if you can help it!
My twin boys were born, at Kaiser Permanente of San Diego, when I was 49 1/2 years old, 13 months after consolidating all my efforts into surrogacy. I was present for the birth as well, which was another peak experience in my life. I cut the cord and damn near felt like I should be smoking a cigar!
When the boys were 5 years old, I donated out the remaining two embryos to a known donor. In the end, unfortunately, no baby resulted from this thaw and transfer process. What I can tell you, is that embryo donation is a completely emotionally distressing process. And such a surprise. The emotions I endured seemed to come out of nowhere! Yet everyone seems to go through this same agonizing process. I only know because I am a member of closed Facebook group for embryo donors.
The CDC explains that in 2006 – 2010, 11.9% of women struggled with infertility. Of this group of 7.4 million women, 29% sought medical intervention to help them pursue their dream of having a baby.
This is merely to show that you are not alone. You may feel alone, but in reality many of the women around you are struggling with the same issues. Roughly 1 in 8 couples have to deal with issues of infertility. Infertility is a roller coaster ride of emotions. Anxiety, depression and irritability can make getting pregnant even more difficult. High levels of cortisol negatively impact fertility. Reducing negative emotions during the time you are trying to conceive is key.
I would like to help you handle any of the obstacles you may have encountered in growing your family. I would like you to have your transformation from single person or couple, to family, faster than mine took. I would like to coach you to see your options and seek out the one most suited to you. Most importantly, I would like to see you can get that dream baby in your arms and be called Mom or Dad sooner, instead of later. I will be there for you every step of the way, in your journey to bring your dream baby home, no matter what method you choose. At Coaching Rocks we don’t merely drop you simply because you decide to go down a new avenue to bring your baby home.
Never Forget the Dream and Leap Into Action!
Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks
The Fertility Coach at Coaching Rocks
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, Ohio
Dream It! Be It!
Don’t you think the woman above looks happy, and proud of her protruding belly, filled with child? Heck, I think so! I think she is delighted with the miracle that is occurring inside her. Have you, or your partner ever had a swollen tummy, with your dream baby inside? For some, the answer will be decidedly so, but it may have been 20 years ago, perhaps even with a different partner. For others, the answer is no, you are still waiting for an experience like this. For others, you or your partner, may never have been pregnant, but you are both parents to a child, born through adoption, or surrogacy. Babies come to us in many forms. For most of us, the journey starts out with us wanting a child made from our own DNA.
How long have you dreamed about having a baby of your own? Is it a new dream which sprang forth from your current relationship? Are you waiting for him to pop the question, so you can settle down, and have a few children together? Are you married, and you’ve already had two, or three quality years together, you already have a beautiful home, and the next thing on the agenda is a pair of kids?
Does your dream have its roots in childhood, when you already felt you knew how to rear little ones? Have you been trying for some time, and just can’t seem to get all the pieces and parts together, in the right format? Are you already getting pregnant, but those embryos just aren’t sticking, so it’s been one early miscarriage, after the next? Have you seen your local fertility doctor? Has this been your journey for several years, and you feel frustrated that you’ve been denied, so many times? Have you been trying with your girlfriend, and it just doesn’t seem like it’s in the cards for her. While you’re thrilled about having a child with her, you don’t want to carry? Just what is your story? There are all kinds of people out there and many different stories about people’s struggles to bring a baby home to be part of their family.
Where ever you are in your journey, know that you can live some variation of your dream, if you are flexible. With a little flexibility, the dream of being a mommy or daddy can be yours!
Has anyone ever suggested to you before, that your attitude, and the story you tell yourself is everything, in the outcome, that will be yours. It’s that old self fulfilling prophecy thing. If you tell it to yourself enough, the same story over and over again, it will become your reality. Did you realize, that if you tell yourself something negative, over and over again, you are actually engaging in self – sabotage? You can buy your own self into losing just what is that you wanted all along, with a simple negative mindset. You can also use the notion of self-fulfilling prophecy, to your own benefit as well.
So for example, if you have a job interview and you always get anxious before job interviews, you might tell yourself that although you are confident you can do the job, you just suck at interviews. Here, you are psyching yourself out, and laying the groundwork for a failed interview. What we think about ourselves has a real affect on, how people respond to us. In true form, if we pound in our heads that we are bad at interviews, the interview will likely go poorly, and we will miss out on another job opportunity. Conversely, if we remind ourselves how competent we are on the job, and try to relax, and enjoy getting to know the interviewer, we stand a good chance of landing a new job.
The same goes with baby making. You need to find a way to feed yourself a constant diet of positive affirmations, so that becomes your reality. So never say, “I’ll always be childless, I’ll never have a baby.” Instead say, “Somehow, someway, I’m not quite sure how, I will have the baby of my dreams. I will be a mother, or a father. Come hell or high water, parenthood will be mine!” You see how this changes things? If you dream it, so you shall be it!
What are some more positive affirmations you might say to yourself to help you along in your fertile journey. Go ahead and get your paper and pencil out and not down 5 or 10 of them. Go ahead and do it. It will be good for you.
Below are a number of possible affirmations that you may say to yourself when times are tough.
1) I will be a Mom (or a Dad). It is my destiny.
2) I’ve been successful at most everything I’ve ever worked at before, and I will be successful at this too.
3) If I try hard enough, I will succeed.
4) I know there is a way I can re – double my efforts. If I work harder, I will have a baby. It’s time to figure out the next step.
5) I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. I thought I could, I thought Icould, I thought I could. ~ The Little Engine that Could
6) If I think outside the box, I know I can solve this problem.
7) If I do some research, maybe I can learn something new, that will make all the difference, and I too can be a Mom (or a Dad.)
8) If I am less rigid, and more flexible, perhaps I can live the dream, I always dreamed. Perhaps I can live, just a slightly different version, from how I originally conceived, my dream.
9) If I discuss this issue with more people, perhaps someone will have a new idea for me, that I can pursue, to live my dream, and bring my child home.
10) With the right effort, I can achieve this dream too.
For those who are constantly between a rock and a hard place, with this baby making thing, it might be time to consider getting some professional help. It could be that seeking out a fertility doctor is enough. For others, not so much. You see, fertility doctors only have so much time to discuss with your feelings about what you are going through. We all know being infertile can feel lonely, even though 10% of women go through it according to the CDC (2018). That means 1 in 10 women have a challenge with it. It’s not exactly an uncommon problem, yet somehow women are not banding together enough to provide each other with support during these challenges.
My recommendation to you is consider hiring a fertility to coach to be at your side. You don’t have to go this alone. You can share this process, with someone, who is
happy to hear every twist, and turn in the journey. Sometimes, amazingly so, your partner doesn’t want to hear it all or carry it all. They can hear some of your angst, but not every piece in it’s minutiae. It can wear on the nerves. Who wants this angst, in the midst of their intimate moments with their partner? It’s supposed to be fun and exciting. It’s supposed to create a connection, and a release. It isn’t supposed to be about timelines, and deadlines, no matter how loudly your biological clock is ticking. It’s suppose to be about romance, and tenderness, and love.
So think again of the favor you would do yourself, and your partner, by hiring a fertility coach to help you process, your process, and help you to figure out your next step in your journey.
In fact, why don’t you contact us at Coaching Rocks and experience the benefits we can provide to you in your fertile journey. You can do this at the home page, where you’ll find our scheduler. Likewise, you could just ask a question at, contact us or simply ask Lisa. We would love to talk to you!
Whatever You Do Next, Never Forget the Dream!
Lisa J Lafave, PhD, eMBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks
The Fertility Coach at Coaching Rocks
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, Ohio