Our blogger of the month from our list of Top Fertility Blogs is Valerie Landis, who is both a blogger at Eggsperience.com and podcaster with Eggology Club. Valerie's focus is to provide a realistic and modern point of view on the topic of egg freezing. As a birthday gift to herself, she crossed egg freezing of her bucket list, not once - but twice. After going through the procedure, she knew just what kind of information she would want to have known and set off blogging and podcasting about her experiences. We like how passionate Valerie is about fertility preservation and think that the egg freezing testimonials on her site are worth a read for anyone considering the procedure.
FS: Tell us about yourself
VL: My name is Valerie Landis. I am a single woman in my mid-30s on this journey to find love and create a family. Along the journey, I choose to pursue egg freezing to help maximize my biological clock and extend my fertility years. I work in the medical field and enjoy music, good food, and the great company of friends or family. I was raised on the East coast, but after college settled in the midwest to live in Chicago. I am a lover of people and building meaningful relationships or helping others brings me great joy. I work in the fertility, oncology, and women's health industry which has made me feel so fortunate to have the educational knowledge I learn at work. I feel that it is only the right thing to give back that knowledge to others who might benefit from the information.
FS: How did your interest in egg freezing start?
VL: I feel like I've always known about egg freezing because of my day job in medical sales. I have worked in the women's healthcare field for over a decade, but it wasn't until I choose egg freezing for myself that I thought about encouraging others to learn about the technology. After experiencing egg freezing and becoming a patient myself, I was inspired to share my experience with others. I hoped to provide a realistic and modern point of view of why I felt so positively about taking action to freeze my eggs.
FS: Why did you start blogging/podcasting?
VL: I started the educational website Eggsperience.com with the goals of helping others learn more about egg freezing technology, to provide a one-stop shop of information about egg freezing, and to give women a platform to tell their stories of why they made their decisions about family planning or journey to parenthood. I wanted to build a safe, unbiased, transparent place to learn about cryopreservation that I wish I had had before undergoing the procedure.
I started the Eggology Club podcast to reach a larger demographic of people and to allow the content I was already creating, to be consumed in another way. The Eggology Club podcast is an extension of the website in an audio format. Eggology Club is also a community of women or tribe of like-minded individuals who want to bridge the gap between online community and in-person relationships with those who share the same vision of parenthood. It has been awesome watching the community grow and relationships with women in similar areas of the country to meet and spend time together because of our common desire to one day become a parent. Together we are keeping each other accountable and encouraging one another to reach our goals.
FS: What are three words that describe your blog/podcast?
Eggology Club was named that for the podcast to be a way to define and demystify a new set of terminology and language while also encouraging a sense of community and a club for women to be part of and meet other women just like themselves.
FS: What topic do you find yourself covering most often and why?
VL: The topics most often covered include how one feels during the hormone treatments and medications to the emotional aspects of the choice itself. I think that these fears are most common when first exploring the topic of egg freezing. We are concerned and curious about how the hormones will physically make us feel, while similarly thinking about the emotional aspects of what choices lead us to this point to have medical intervention be part of our family planning dynamics. However, I always like to point out to women that choosing to egg freeze is the easy part. Trying to get pregnant is much harder both from an emotional and physical perspective. Also, egg freezing can offer extraordinary benefits to women down the road, including being their own egg donor and not having to deal with emotional components of the biology of having a child.
FS: Who is your target reader/listener?
VL: The key target market for listeners and readers are typically younger women in 20s and 30s. However, the information can apply to women at any childbearing age. Ideally, I want to educate the audience at younger ages (such as 20s) to help them become aware of these choices, decisions, and knowledge to take advantage of these options when they are older (such as 30s) for the maximized results and benefits.
FS: What's unique about your blog/podcast?
VL: The unique thing about both Eggsperience and Eggology Club is that these stories are real, raw, and being shared with the intention to help others. All of the content, stories, and articles are patient-focused. But I am able to uncover and provide insider knowledge that I know of being involved in the space from a work aspect. It is refreshing to have content not coming from the clinic or point of view from a doctor, but still, have the high-quality factors of fact-based knowledge to count on. Plus the stories and journeys of other women help give living proof of someone that might be in the same situation as you. It helps women know that they are not alone and how similar feelings are shared with other women their age.
FS: What was your most popular post ever?
FS: What is the best thing about writing/talking about fertility?
VL: The best thing about writing and talking about fertility choices is it very therapeutical for validating my own reasons for choosing egg freezing. It is also a way to build a community of like-minded women who I can lean on for support when you feel alone in your decisions. Writing and talking about fertility can help others going through the hard decisions allows me to give back and help others. I think we are more powerful together when we talk about these topics openly, because it removes the shame, stigma, or unbalanced perception that we are inadequate for not finding a parenting partner, being married, or having a family. None of those things independently should define us.
FS: What is the worst thing?
VL: The worst aspect of talking about fertility all the time is that I never get a break from the topic. There are times that I wish I could just live my life and be that walking example instead of always concentrating on creating content for others to consume and learn from. I sometimes put my own needs on the back burner because I'd rather give others the hope and drive to complete their dreams. I feel like it is important to validate and inspire women to make empowering choices for themselves. I am willing to give up my own needs to spend time counseling or talking through the painful impact decisions to help women feel confident in their choices when often times I am in need of similar help.
FS: What's the best tip you have to offer someone considering egg freezing?
VL: My best advice and tips for someone considering egg freezing is to take the plunge and figure out how to make it a part of their life. I believe that no one would regret this decision and often times hear of multiple examples of how it has brought peace, clarity, and calmness to their life. It does feel like one is taking control of their life that would otherwise feel out of control. I think we make decisions like these far too hard and complicated. The technology has never been better and now is the time to maximize your fertility potential. My advice is just to do it.
By the way, Eggology Club podcast Season 2 launches Spring 2018.