Journey to Motherhood
Jasmine Katatikarn is a fertility warrior who struggled to have a child for six years. After multiple IUIs and her 2nd IVF, she was told that she had a less than 1% chance of having a baby and to stop trying. She joins us live on our Journey to Motherhood Facebook group along with a panel of advocates to discuss the importance of community on Aug 13 at 7:30. In advance, we had the chance to connect with her about her Journey. Using her designer point of view and tools, Jasmine shows you how to find control in your own fertility journey as well.
How would you describe your journey to someone who has never met you?
When I began my journey to becoming a mother, I blindly followed the “perfect” life plan defined by society. I did not question and trusted others’ opinions without seeking other perspectives. Six years later, when I had a baby, I was a completely different person. During the journey, I stopped to get to know myself for the first time, stopped following the “perfect” life plan, and realized that I have full control of my path to “happy.” Let me explain more in detail below.
I started actively trying to have a baby at 30 years old. I “thought,” I had timed it perfectly to go along with my “perfect” life plan: Good career, married, and three kids by 35. I only had to get pregnant 3x by the age of 35, easy. I was so naive.
After a year of TTC, the diagnosis was “unexplained infertility.”
In a blink of an eye, I was 35 years old. Multiple IUIs and 2 failed IVF cycles to date. After my second failed IVF, the doctor told me that I had a less than 1% chance of having a biological child due to poor egg quality (my new diagnosis). She only would recommend having an egg donor or adoption as my next steps.
At this point in my journey, I had been trying to have a baby for five years. Five years of never-ending doctor visits, endless needles, countless meds, multiple IUIs, and IVFs. While the doctor was trying to give me information about donor eggs, adoption, I kept thinking, this is not the perfect life I had imagined, the life that I felt I needed to have “to be happy.” I felt numb.
This meeting was the lowest point in my journey, but what also led to my “aha” moment.
Instead of taking professional advice to stop trying, I went a different route.
Today, I now have two biological kids, both through IVF.
How did I do it?
It was that day I realized I had been approaching my fertility journey very differently than I do obstacles in my everyday work life as an animation artist. I had been blindly trusting others and not stopping to get other perspectives or trust myself.
Using my background as an artist, I applied an artist’s mindset to overcome my roadblocks and design a life that gave me control of my fertility journey and life moving forward.
As a result, I became pregnant within months of being told I had less than a 1% chance.
What moment sticks in your mind most from your journey?
Being told I had “Less than 1% …” of having a child with my eggs after five years of trying. At first, I felt sad that it was the lowest point in my journey that stuck out to me the most, but I realized it was this point that woke me up to my “aha” moment. It was this moment that changed how I approached my fertility journey that resulted in not only getting pregnant with my eggs only months later but still affecting how I approach my life to this day.
Who or what has helped you most on this journey?
What helped me most in my journey is how I learned how to approach it. Using an artist’s mindset, I was able to find control and multiple solutions to the fertility challenges I faced.
Also, I would like to give a special thank you to Angela Le, fertility expert & acupuncturist, who was such a massive part in helping me in my journey. Her fertility expertise, compassion, and perspective helped me be the person and mother I am today.
What would you say to others who find themselves in a journey similar to yours?
Find support and advocate for yourself. These are two things that took me years to do. Don’t feel like you need to do this on your own. Fertility struggles are isolating, painful, and we too often suffer in silence. You don’t have to shout it to the world, but find some kind of support that will help you release your emotions, ask questions, and be your own best advocate.
What has the journey taught you, and what keeps you going?
This journey has taught me to shed the idea of “the perfect life plan.” I came into my journey, envisioning my life how I thought it should be. A successful career, married, and 2.5 kids. I never stopped to think there were other paths. My fertility journey forced me to stop moving blindly through life, learn what makes ME happy, and then realize that there is no one path to achieving it. There are always multiple paths to “happy.”
What keeps me going:
- Helping others get to what took me over five years to discover. By sharing my story and the approach that made such a difference, I can help others going through their struggles.
- My less than 1% family. There are so many moments during the day when I am with my kids, I think, what if I hadn’t changed my approach? I might not be a mom right now. This mission to share what I learned in hopes that it helps someone realize their dreams is what keeps me going and sharing.
Our journeys may be difficult, but we don't have to go at it alone. Having an additional outlet to communicate with others who can relate, share stories and wellness tips can make all the difference on this adventure. Read more stories from the Journey Series below.
If you are looking for support or have questions about your own journey, please join Premama's Journey to Motherhood community, a place where women can talk, lift each other up and learn useful wellness, health, nutrition and self-care tips.