When my husband Brad and I first started this whole “Let’s Have a Baby!” project back in September 2014, I didn’t tell many people. I naively thought this would be a short-term secret and we’d reveal our pregnancy in a cute, totally viral-worthy way.

Ha. Ha. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh, so naive.

As this “project” began taking longer and longer, it started seeping into all the other parts of my life. Physically. Financially. Emotionally. I began turning to my friends for emotional support as the fear and anxiety surrounding my infertility started feeling way too heavy for me to carry alone. The support I got from my friends was a mixed bag. While many of them tried to be there for me, it was hard for them to truly empathize with my struggle. They had no idea what to say…

In the summer of 2016, I hit an emotional low after our first cycle of IVF failed. While the cycle yielded two blastocysts, after genetic testing we learned both were abnormal, leaving us no healthy embryos to transfer.

I was heartbroken. No one understood the unique flavor of pain and shame I felt. Well, not no one…I learned that a select group of people did understand: other fertility warriors who had once been where I was, but were now safely on the other side. They were the only ones who could offer me the support, understanding and perspective I so desperately craved.

It was then I had the idea to create Fruitful, a free fertility mentorship program that connects individuals struggling through infertility with a mentor who has been through it firsthand and is now on the other side.

Brad and I got right to work. He’s a web developer and I’m a copywriter, so together we used our skills to make Fruitful Fertility. We proudly launched the site for National Infertility Awareness Week and we could not be more excited about this project and its potential to help others like us.

To sign up to receive a free mentor or to volunteer to become one, please visit www.FruitfulFertility.org. Our mentors have all been through infertility and struggled firsthand, so they understand the emotional, physical and financial turmoil you’re experiencing. It’s a truly special relationship that can provide so much value on the bumpy, emotional road to starting your family.

Or if you just want to follow along, check out our Instagram account @Fruitful_Fertility.

Remember, you are not alone.