In 2005, Hope was driving home from an empowerment course she'd just attended and was thinking about her dream of becoming a mother.
She was used to attending training sessions about personal and professional growth. After earning a master's degree in organizational development, she worked with CEOs of major U.S. corporations on developing smooth transitions through major business changes.
Still, this particular course resonated with her on a more personal level. Two years earlier, she and her husband, Chad, decided to start a family. She suffered a miscarriage. Then, a doctor advised her that thin endometrium lining and uterine scar tissue greatly reduced her chances of ever carrying a child successfully.
She hadn't even turned 30.
As she drove home, Hope thought of the course leader's advice: Make goals for your life, but remain detached enough so that your happiness isn't dependent on the outcomes. Life, after all, rarely unfolds the way we'd planned it would.
Her perspective suddenly shifted. She realized that because she was so committed to having children, it would happen somehow. She released the dreams of conceiving a child naturally and with ease. The heaviness she'd been carrying deep inside evaporated, leaving a sense of optimism that rarely left her again. "I was going to achieve my goal of motherhood and let go of how it would look," Hope says.
She dove into researching every option available to childless couples, from in vitro fertilization to adoption. She embraced the latest breakthroughs in reproductive endocrinology and infertility medicine, as well as the ancient practices of acupuncture and yoga and relaxation techniques such as meditation.
Hope's personal transformation extended to her career as well. After months of visiting fertility specialists, she discovered a serious void in the care of women grappling with infertility. Their hormone levels may be carefully monitored, their follicles regularly scanned, but women's emotions and overall state of mind were largely ignored.
Such disregard for a woman's mental health is not only shortsighted, it can also dramatically reduce her chances of conceiving. In the book Conquering Infertility: Dr. Alice Domar's Mind/Body Guide to Enhancing Fertility and Coping with Infertility, Dr. Domar notes that infertility patients have the same rates of depression as women confronting potentially life-threatening illness.