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Insights with Reina Pomeroy on IVF, parenthood & growing through trauma

In this month’s latest Insights Series, we’re talking to Reina Pomeroy, who lived through the harrowing experience of losing her home in the Marshall Fire of 2021, all while going through in-vitro fertilization. Reina shares her unique insights on how to build strength and resilience after living through troubling times.

Congrats on your new pregnancy, can you tell us a little bit about your journey to get to where you are today?

I’m a mom to two boys, a wife, and have battled with fertility struggles since our first child. It wasn’t the “plan” to have 5 years between our three kids! In my professional career, I’m a community builder and have built a fertility community for women and people with ovaries and now work on building community for a parenting company.

How did the traumatic experience as a survivor of the Marshal Fire in 2021 impact you and your fertility journey?

We learned that there was a fire in the county next to us, we didn’t think much of it. But it was extremely windy and the weather turned so much that we were worried about our safety. My family and I were home when we heard that the local Costco and Home Depot were on fire. We made the choice to pack up and evacuate, thinking that we’d be back the next day. Unfortunately, we lost our home that night and never got to go home. The very last thing I packed was my cooler of IVF medication.

"The best thing I’ve done for myself in this journey is to find community — people who understand what you’re going through and who you can vent and commiserate with. You’re NOT alone!"

You got pregnant via In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) — when and how did your IVF journey start?

We’ve been to many fertility specialists to try to increase our chances of completing our family (3 was always the number we’d hoped for). And after having had to fight for our 2nd, it felt like the chances were less and less likely. Anybody who has gone through the egg retrieval process and all the appointments and medications, it is exhausting both physically and emotionally.

We retrieved eggs and created embryos within days of evacuating our home, losing literally every material thing we owned, and not knowing what our future held. We put those embryos on ice not knowing if we would ever be able to use them. It felt like I was just going through the motions just because it was too late to stop the train.

What advice do you have for other parents who are rebuilding their lives during pregnancy?

I worried a lot at the beginning about the stress I was holding from rebuilding our home and our lives while being pregnant. I still worry about that, but I just keep telling myself, I am doing the best I can today and that has to be enough. I also try my best to do one thing for me — that might be moving my body, taking an intentional break from work, or meeting up with a friend. That small change has made a big difference in how I feel day-to-day.

Do you have any advice for parents considering IVF?

The biggest thing is that this process is not only financially, but emotionally taxing. IVF comes with gambles at every milestone and you’re just doing your best and hoping for the best. The best thing I’ve done for myself in this journey is to find community — people who understand what you’re going through and who you can vent and commiserate with. You’re NOT alone!

What has been the most rewarding part of this entire process for you?

I think that the most rewarding part was being able to tell our boys that they were getting a sibling. They had a lot of questions and excitement about what this would mean for them. I’m excited to be able to “complete” our family even if it’s not quite the way we had initially imagined!

What is your favorite thing about being a mom?

Tough question! I love that every phase of parenting grows me. I’m a life-long learner and I think that at every phase with each kid, I learn about my triggers, my hopes, and my expectations. They also show me what they’re capable of and surprise me all. the. time. It’s such a surprising and delightful journey!

You refer to yourself as an “eternal optimist.” How has this outlook shaped your parenting style?

I think I’ve always believed that people are doing the best they can. I subscribe to The Good Inside philosophy that people are generally good inside. It doesn’t always happen naturally but I try to remember that my kids are doing the best they can and they are good kids having a tough time! Being able to hold their goodness while witnessing their “bad” behavior is actually to my advantage!

What is your go-to method to get centered during stressful or challenging times?

Anytime I get stressed, I go back to my 3 tools: a 30 minute walk, a good journaling sesh, and meditating using the Calm app. One of these will bring me back to center!

Reina Pomeroy is the founder of Reina + Co. a coaching company helping small business owners succeed in achieving their goals. Stay connected with Reina through her Instagram handle @reinaandcompany.

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