GoStork Interview Series: Sharing Her Beautiful Blunder: An IVF Journey with Erin Bulcao @mybeautifulblunder
Rebecca Hochreiter CMO of GoStork
We loved hosting the amazing Erin Bulcao, infertility advocate, mom, and founder of the supportive blog as well as honest and inspiring Instagram community My Beautiful Blunder. Erin was a perfect guest, especially on National Infertility Awareness Week!
Erin’s ten-year journey to becoming a mom of three was complicated, exhausting and emotionally draining. It included a very painful decision, loss, IVF clinic switches (as well as changing doctors within clinics), and – as many couples dealing with infertility can attest to – relationship strains. She’s now sharing her journey in an incredibly transparent way, encouraging and informing others on a similar path. During our very open and informative Instagram Live, Erin generously shared her story and advice on navigating the journey. Here is some of her helpful advice:
If you’re not happy with how things are done at your IVF clinic, advocate for yourself. In Erin’s case, she was not being seen by her own doctor at many of her appointments, so she switched clinics. Seeing her doctor at each visit made her feel more cared for: “it’s your journey, you’re mostly paying for it, and [the doctors] don’t care [if you switch]; they really just want you to get pregnant”. In hindsight she would have asked, in advance, about which and how many appointments each doctor attends.
There’s a lot of “I should have done this’ after a failed cycle – advocating for herself, asking all the questions, going with her gut feeling, checking all the boxes in terms of tests and different eyes looking at her test results helped Erin feel supported.
Having a support system is important. Erin shares it felt awkward for her at first to go through infertility, and felt that there was no one she could talk to about her experience. Eventually, opening up on her blog and Instagram gave her a sense of belonging; the community was amazing and sharing was therapeutic. Before opening up online, having a few close friends who were always ready to listen, helped: “Finding that one person you can talk to, whether it’s a community or a friend, it will really help you along the way. You don’t have to open up, you don’t have to share everything, but just to have an outlet, to hold your hand along the way.”
Keeping the same routine throughout IVF was a form of self-care. Erin shares how she worked out as usual, simply modifying her routine according to what part of the journey she was at. She practiced yoga and even became a yoga instructor during the few months that they took a break from TTC.
Therapy was a great source of support for Erin and her husband – they attended as a couple and alone. Infertility brought up issues that they never talked about together. As Erin says, “I don’t think we could have gone through everything we did, as a couple and individually, without therapy”.
Alternative medicine, such as acupuncture also helps. Aside from helping Erin physically, it also provided emotional support.
Check out our conversation for more helpful advice from Erin!
“Everybody’s journey is different and know that everything you’re doing is all to get you to that place. Know that you’re doing everything you can. You personally wont be messing anything up.”
Erin Bulcao, My Beautiful Blunder
Thank you for sharing your story with us Erin; we love how you’re giving your all to supporting the infertility community!