Kirsten Carney (she/her)

My fertility health was something that I never gave much thought to. I was of the belief that when I was ready to start a family, things would simply "just happen". After establishing a 10+ year career within the advertising industry, my spouse and I felt like it was the right time to grow our family.

The next 5 years would bring many highs and lows: a series of miscarriages, procedures, specialists, tests, and treatments. It would be an emotional rollercoaster that would alter my life, my marriage, my relationships with family and friends. It would bring so much stress, sadness and anger, often all at one time. It was a journey that, for the most part, I felt very isolated and alone on.

After trying for 2 years to conceive, my partner and I finally became pregnant, only to end up in a missed-miscarriage at 13 weeks, resulting in a D&C. Six months later we found ourselves pregnant again. This pregnancy also ended in a miscarriage that passed naturally at 6.5 weeks.

After this second loss, and based on a gut-feeling and instinct, we chose to pursue fertility treatment. After 6 months of tests, Cycle Monitoring, IUI's, fertility meds, all to no avail, we chose to pursue IVF in conjunction with ICSI and PGS. We were very fortunate and thankful that this round of IVF was able to provide us with our daughter.

About 9 months after the birth of my daughter, my partner and I decided to embark on a new journey, and the timing seemed right as I wanted to stay at home with my daughter for a few years and take a break from the advertising world. I left my job and resigned my partnership in the agency, and we sold our house in Toronto and moved to a small town in Waterloo Region.

When my daughter was 18 months, I conceived naturally. Though unplanned and a total surprise, we were both optimistic and cautious. At our 7 week ultrasound we were informed that the heart rate was extremely low and the baby was measuring behind - it was likely that I would miscarry as the pregnancy was deemed 'not viable'. A subsequent ultrasound a week later confirmed there was no longer a heart beat. I elected to proceed with the miscarriage naturally and 4 days later I miscarried at home, a very raw and traumatic experience. After taking some time to heal physically and mentally, we prepared for a frozen embryo transfer 7 months later, resulting in the birth of our son.

Over the last few years, I've taken time to reflect and re-evaluate on my career, what fulfills me and what I am most passionate about. As a result, I joined a non-profit organization, (www.The16Percent.ca) managing social media and aiding in outreach, focused on providing a safe and inclusive space for people to share their stories of infertility and pregnancy loss. I also made the decision to become a Fertility Doula, studying with Doula Canada. My experience with infertility and pregnancy loss has taught me many things, namely empathy, compassion and strength. It is because of this I am so very humbled and honoured to be able to focus my efforts towards helping others along their fertility journey.

I offer family planning, fertility, and pregnancy loss support. If you have questions or would like to connect further, please send me an email.