Embracing Otherhood: A Journey with Infertility with Bernie Andrews
This episode of "Choosing Change" delves into the topic of infertility, which may be emotionally challenging for some readers. Our intention is to provide you with advance notice that we will be addressing these sensitive subjects. We want to ensure that you have the option to proceed based on your comfort level and well-being.
Are you struggling with feelings of shame or isolation as you navigate infertility or ponder the path less travelled without children? In this moving episode of the Choosing Change podcast, Bernie Andrews shares her powerful story of healing that will inspire you to embrace self-acceptance and live fully.
For over 16 years, Bernie underwent the emotional rollercoaster of infertility treatments, always believing motherhood was her only option. But at age 38, she had an epiphany - she could choose happiness without the title of "Mum" and find purpose through other means.
In candid detail, Bernie walks us through her journey of questioning everything, writing a cathartic book, and ultimately discovering a sense of peace within herself. She learned that true fulfilment comes from living adventurously in each moment and connecting deeply with others.
Bernie now advocates for redefining societal expectations through community. Her insightful words bring light to the tender struggles many face silently. She proves that even when life doesn't unfold as planned, you can still create meaning.
Treat yourself to this uplifting conversation with Bernie. You'll be inspired to embrace your own unique path with compassion. Sometimes our greatest lessons are in accepting the unexpected - and having the courage to chart a new course leading to joy.
I can’t wait for you to listen to this conversation.
Highlights from this episode:
- It's possible to find fulfilment and live a meaningful life without having children, despite societal expectations. Self-acceptance is more important than labels.
- Infertility and struggles with conception can cause deep feelings of shame, vulnerability and isolation that are difficult to express. Opening up helps reduce stigma.
- Healing happens through processes like writing one's story, finding community, embracing life's adventures, and helping others.
- Motherhood and parenthood can be defined broadly beyond biology. Connecting with others on a similar journey provides inspiration and support.
- Small daily practices like yoga, sharing with close friends, and planning fun experiences can help get through difficult fertility treatments and decisions.
"My greatest life lesson today it has been that I can live a full and meaningful, purposeful life without having had children" - Bernie Andrews
"I just discovered that I was just really content and happy within myself as myself without having to, you know, put a title on who I was." - Bernie Andrews
"It's about that connection, creating that connection, because at the end of the day, we all just want to bind, connect and share, but also have that lightness and fun as well." - Bernie Andrews
"Reach out to people who are going through it as well. Your whole thing is around connection." - Bernie Andrews
"Share with close friends, find a tribe, and have fun things planned to look forward to during IVF cycles." - Bernie Andrews
Do reach out to us to continue this conversation.
Connect with Bernie
Bernadette Andrews of Embrace Otherhood is an author and spokesperson to women who have gone through unsuccessful fertility treatment, release fertility shame and trauma, to create a new meaningful life.
For sixteen years, Bernie had been on and off the baby making train in the hopes of falling pregnant. She has done it all, from IVF and Chinese medicine to naturopathy, all while maintaining her humorous and positive vibe.
Bernie’s mission now is to start a global movement. What is the name for the group of people who wanted children but couldn’t have them? Instead of childless by choice, embracing otherhood is to know you did all you could to have children and now you’re open to all the other possibilities that life has to offer with ‘otherhood’.
In sharing her story, Bernie hopes to help others experiencing infertility know they’re not alone, and that you can live a full, purposeful and rewarding life whether you join the mothers club or not.
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