Stephanie, public information officer & kickboxing instructor, Columbus, OH
My husband and I are expecting our first child...
If you’ve been struggling to conceive, Jenilyn Gilbert is the woman for you! Jenilyn was recommended by a friend and from the first time I heard her sweet, caring voice I knew she was going to be a part of my journey. I had been trying to get pregnant for more than a year, working with doctors for months with no results and getting extremely frustrated. It’s then I decided to try a fertility coach. I was amazed, relieved and angry (that my doctor hadn’t told me some of these fertility enhancing tips) all at the same time with what I was learning from Jenilyn. She told me about changes I could make with my diet, coffee intake and exercise habits, all things my doctor said were perfectly ok. I truly believe with all of my heart it was the slight lifestyle changes that made the difference; changes never once mentioned at visits with fertility specialists.
My husband and I had what was called ‘unexplained infertility’, but I believe now it was explainable and Jenilyn figured it out for us. Not only was she there to assist with my diet and exercise routines, she was there when things really got tough (Mother’s Day, friends and family announcing pregnancies, the pain of yet another failed month). The journey to motherhood at times is extremely difficult, but having someone so extremely knowledgeable like Jenilyn makes all the difference in the world. My husband and I are expecting our first child. (Now parenting their son after 6 mos of coaching).
Margaret, teacher, Chicago, IL
I met Jenilyn after my second miscarriage…
“You will all be mothers,” Jenilyn told us, a group of battle fatigued infertile woman, “How you get there might not be the way you imagined it, but you will be mothers.” She said it with such certainty and authority. At the time I had been battling infertility for 6 years and I was extremely skeptical, almost angry that she would say something like that. How could be so sure? I guess I was angry because my hopes had been raised many times by multiple infertility “cures” and I was determined not to be bamboozled again by such claims.
I met Jenilyn after my second miscarriage. I had been through a gazillion treatments to get pregnant. If it came up in a Google search as a way to get pregnant, believe me, I tried it. At this point I had gone through 2 rounds of IVF the second ending in another soul breaking miscarriage. I couldn’t get much lower. I found Jenilyn’s business card at the place I was going for acupuncture. I gave her a call, and I truly believe that this was the most significant step on the path towards meeting my son. I joined her fertility meditation support group and for the first time met other women who were going through the same thing I was. That was huge. I had really become isolated as all my friends/family—well basically everyone in the world was pregnant or obsessed with talking about pregnancies and babies. At least it seemed that way.
I went through a 3rd IVF while with this group which unfortunately failed. BUT with the encouragement and wisdom from the group I switched clinics and went through my last insurance covered IVF. This was my last chance to become a mother with IVF because of financial reasons. This put tremendous pressure on me and my anxiety levels were very high. My brother just announced he and his wife were expecting their 2nd child. I hated myself for not being able to be happy for that news. I know I needed more help with coping and asked Jenilyn for private sessions.
Through the private sessions I was able to visualize my anxieties, worries, deepest fears and personalize them and then minimize them. Not by waving them off like they didn’t exist but by acknowledging them and finding their source and, through Jenilyn’s guidance, I was able to manage them. I was able to find strength when I didn’t think I had any left. She taught me strategies that I still use today and pass on to other people. These strategies I learned with Jenilyn have made me a better person–in all my roles–teacher, friend, relative, wife, and now mother.
That 4th and final IVF cycle was successful. I started working with Jenilyn in January and was pregnant 6 months later after 6 years of trying EVERYTHING else. Maybe it’s coincidence but I don’t think it is. Even if I didn’t become pregnant, I know I would still be a mother by now. One of the things I discovered about myself through all of this was that it was motherhood that I so desperately wanted to experience during my time on Earth and that there are so many ways to get there and they are all incredible, miraculous stories. Thank you Jenilyn for helping me get there.
Nadia, at home mom, Brea, CA
… the doc declared there was nothing more to be done.
The fertility journey was a tough road for me. I experienced over two years of fertility doctor visits, expensive meds, and endless frustration with “unexplained infertility”. In the end, the doc declared there was nothing more to be done.
This was when I turned to Jenilyn. What a kind and bright soul she is. She truly understands this crazy journey and guided me out of the dark hole. She introduced me to meditation, positive thinking, visualization, and also lifestyle changes. With Jenilyn at my side, I managed to shed my anger and frustration, then I shifted my focus from getting pregnant to a much larger life goal.
Throughout the journey, Jenilyn provided not only a thoughtful listening ear but also the spiritual balance that I needed. I finally decided to leave my corporate job to pursue my passion as a baker. Instead of stressing about trying to conceive, Jenilyn guided me to let go and focus on conceiving my dream job. Well, apparently it works for both. I got pregnant a few months later, naturally! I am eternally grateful for Jenilyn. To this day, I still remember and implement her advice and guidance. We are now a family of four, and we owe a huge Thank You to Jenilyn.
Karoline, at home mama, baker, writer, & photographer, www.karolineskitchen.com, Lisle, IL
Secondary Infertility is a real thing and it can be devastating…
Most people don’t have any idea that secondary infertility exists. When someone has a baby or a young child, the first thing others ask is, “When are you having another?” If the mother responds that they are struggling to have a second child, the typical response is, “Well, you got pregnant before, why would it be an issue? Maybe you just need to relax.” But, secondary infertility is a real thing, and it can be emotionally devastating. Parents with secondary infertility are stuck in between two worlds: parents who are trying to conceive who, may judge the woman who is already parenting and others who never struggled with infertility and really don’t understand it. People with secondary infertility can’t avoid baby showers or birthday parties, playgrounds, festivals or school drop offs. Pregnancy surrounds them. It can be an extremely isolating, frustrating, and shame-filled time. That was my life for 2 years while we struggled to conceive our second child.
Jenilyn was a beacon of light in an otherwise dark time. She assured me that it was OK to feel how I did. She talked me off the ledge when the anxiety and uncertainty became crippling. Through meditation and breathing exercises, she helped me to go on with my day when all I wanted to do was to stay in bed and cry. She listened, and despite not yet having a child of her own, she never judged my desire to have another or made me feel that my struggle was any less challenging. She explored my options with me and held my hand down the road that led to IVF and our perfect second daughter. Thank you, Jenilyn. I could not have made it through without you.
Stephanie, environmental consultant and nature-based life coach, Barrington, IL
... (less than 10% chance per our doc) and with my own eggs at the age of 44.
It's hard to capture in words the impact that Jenilyn has had in my life. I came to her after four years struggling with secondary infertility and after a stressful and heart-breaking IVF cycle, but the work we did far transcended those topics. She helped me access my Soul's wisdom on so many levels, embrace my spirituality, invigorate my creativity, calm my anxiety, and even build my confidence to make a major career transition. And, yes, I also became pregnant -- against big odds (less than 10% chance per our doc) and with my own eggs at the age of 44. I'm currently in my 39th week and so excited to meet our son very soon! There are many excellent places to obtain support for the technical aspects of infertility, but Jenilyn's support is rare because it nourishes the Soul. I am absolutely certain that we would not have conceived without the important work that Jenilyn and I did together.
Birgit, at home mom, business teacher & consultant, and future coach, Chicago, IL
My husband and I decided to take the adoption road despite the fact that people said it would be another emotional roller coaster.
My husband Andy and I started to try to get pregnant like most couples by trying naturally. Things were not progressing so I went to my doctor who discovered that one of my fallopian tubes was inflamed and I needed surgery to remove it. Since my ob/gyn knew we were trying to conceive he recommended a fertility doctor to try IVF due to the fact that I only had one tube left. At the age of 37 this was not something I wanted to do, BUT our baby dream was so big that I decided to give it a try. First IVF didn’t work, second IVF didn’t work…after the fourth IVF not working, we thought Ok enough medication and hormones. It did not work - so be it!
In the course of my life I accomplished most of my dreams by consistency and hard work. My fertility journey was the exception. I tried so hard and it didn’t work and I felt so helpless...until the day I met Jenilyn. She was teaching a fertility yoga class and I told her my story. I then asked if she knew a counselor because my doctor said I should talk about my IVF experiences and not just swallow my feelings. I did not know at this point that I stood in front of one of the biggest gifts in my life!!! Jenilyn said, “I’m a social worker and I’m a fertility and adoption coach.”
I started to work with Jenilyn that same week. Boy, did I underestimate what I had swallowed and tried to push away. I had repressed all the pain and disappointment of not becoming pregnant; the ongoing bad news with my IVF cycles and my period showing up month after month. I had buried all the memories of what it took to try to get pregnant; all the hormone shots, blood draws and ultrasounds. The endless cycles of hope and loss left me exhausted. To top it off, I had to face constant 'pregnancy announcements', almost on a weekly basis, from friends, celebrities, and even grandmothers sharing about their granddaughter’s good news. It seemed everywhere I went there was another announcement that I didn't expect and I had to pull myself together over and over again. It was such a painful time in my life and yet I had pushed it down deep so I could keep on functioning in the world. But my energy started to really dwindle and I found myself getting more and more frustrated with people as my grief was coming out sideways, usually at the people I was closest to.
During the work with Jenilyn, I went inside and discovered all the different emotional parts of my fertility journey. Feeling by feeling, I was able to courageously face my anger, sadness and hopelessness (just to name a few). Jenilyn taught me the greatest gift of how to understand myself and manage my feelings. She taught me the value of knowing when to say 'No' to friend's baby showers or kid's birthday parties and how to deal with others who didn't feel any empathy for what I was going through.
As time went on I had compassion and love for my emotional reactions. Jenilyn taught me that my next step would be to spread the Love. It started by loving myself. After creating boundaries I was able to safely heal my hurt parts. When I started to feel my self-esteem grow and my grief subsiding I started to move on to loving others. Once these emotions felt heard I was able to let down my boundaries and hang out with my kid’s friends again. I did not understand this lesson at first, but I trusted her guidance and practiced loving my friend’s children and my friends as mothers. I started to understand where she was leading me. It was when I saw the happiness in my friend’s eyes when I babysat for them that I realized how far I had come and how I was able to feel genuine happiness for their lives, not the old pain, jealousy and guilt for feeling jealous that I used to feel. I was able to give because I was coming to them from a returned space of wholeness. I actually felt joy in giving to them and I started to re-frame my experience as a way of nurturing and practicing the mommy role inside of me.
After some initial healing, my husband and I decided to take the adoption road despite the fact that people warned us that this was another emotional roller coaster. We indeed experienced a lot of obstacles, but with my constant work with Jenilyn I took it step by step. Our adoption journey had extreme challenges. I could have never made it without Jenilyn. I would never be that peaceful mom today without her guidance. Her help, compassion, and humor guided me through this hard journey. With her at my side it made it possible for me to grow in many ways and on many levels. I will always be grateful for the day I met Jenilyn. Don't hesitate to work with her. You will experience only one result…you will feel much better with Jenilyn in your life! She gets out your 'finest self' and helps you to become the person you want to be. Feeling comfort in discomfort what an accomplishment!
Jenilyn you are the best...LOVE forever Birgit, Andy and precious little Luca
Michelle, at home mama & blogger at www.watchoutformish.tumblr.com, Marin County, CA
…I came out on the other side, and finally have my little baby girl to show for it...
I wanted to reach out to let you know that I had my baby girl, Eleonora Rose, on February 24. I just came across a nice note that you sent me after I had asked for perspective when one of my best friends told me she was pregnant. I was going through such a hard time and you were such a huge help with your positivity and calming presence. I can’t thank you enough for helping to guide me on my journey through my struggles with infertility. Some days I still can’t believe I came out on the other side, and finally have my little baby girl to show for it. I would do it all again in a heartbeat. Take care!
Patty, commercial banking associate, Wheaton, IL
…she helped me to enjoy my pregnancy rather than fear it.
I met Jenilyn when my husband and I were trying to conceive for the first time. Looking back, I was pretty naïve about my fertility before meeting Jenilyn. I didn’t know what was wrong with me and was just kind of floating from doctor to doctor. Almost immediately after I started working with her things started to come into focus. I started seeing different doctors and Jenilyn helped me regain some of the lightness and sense of humor that I had somehow lost along the way. She literally changed my life in a lasting way, like no one I have met before.
After my first round of IVF I was pregnant with twins – a boy and a girl. I lost my pregnancy at 24 weeks. My daughter did not survive. My son spent 186 days in the NICU. Jenilyn never left my side through any of this. Many of the things she taught me about managing anxiety, self care, finding peace and hope carried me through the darkest hours by my son’s side in the NICU. Part of that was learning that you will find what you need – that whatever happens, it will be okay. What you want sometimes changes, and that’s ok too.
I had always imagined myself with a large family. I wanted to try again. When my son was a little over a year old we made the decision to try IVF again and Jenilyn was the first person I sought out.
On my first try, I was pregnant a second time with, obviously, a whole new point of view. I was scared. I was hopeful. I was cautious. I saw Jenilyn weekly into my third trimester. She helped me get beyond that 24 week mark. But more than that, she helped me to enjoy my pregnancy rather than fear it.
Lori, travel agent and at home mom to her two sons, Frankfort, IL. (For help in booking a Disney vacation email: firstname.lastname@example.org or facebook: www.facebook.com/loririmkuswithkeytotheworld)
After the loss of my twins, I began to suffer from extreme anxiety...
Believing I was finally at the end of my rope, I very timidly signed up for a “Yoga for Fertility” class. My husband and I had some difficulty conceiving. When I finally became pregnant, we were overjoyed to learn we were to be blessed with not just one, but two beautiful babies. We thought the hard part was getting to the positive pregnancy test, but that wasn’t to be. I went into labor prematurely, and lost both our daughter and son, who were too small to survive when they were born. We always knew that we would get through the devastation of such a tremendous loss, because we loved each other. Although we hated when people used phrases like “God’s plan” or “everything happens for a reason,” we did believe there was light at the end of the tunnel. That we would, and could, accept whatever the world had in store for us. But it was not an easy road to get there. We tried to do it on our own. I tried to do it on my own.
After the loss of my twins, I began to suffer from extreme anxiety. I had trouble sleeping, breathing, being. On the one hand, I couldn’t wait to try to get pregnant again, and on the other, I was terrified of what it would be like to be pregnant again. Everyone tells you to “just relax and it will happen.” Advice such as this is what brought me to yoga and to Jenilyn. The first time I attended Jenilyn’s class, her comforting tone and caring manner made me feel at ease in an unfamiliar setting. I reluctantly accepted from her hands a smoldering smudge stick and wiped away everything I brought with me – 98% of me thought this was ridiculous, and the other 2% believed.
I worked with Jenilyn for many months. She was always caring and respectful of my feelings. She created an open environment that allowed me to open my heart and deal with whatever came out. Jenilyn helped me to realize I didn’t have to apologize for my feelings. It was okay to feel sad, angry, frustrated, or disgusted with the process of having a child. So much of my anxiety was lifted, when I accepted it wasn’t my responsibility to comfort others about my circumstances – if someone is uncomfortable with your fertility journey that is not your problem to fix. Jenilyn truly taught me that I didn’t need to just “relax,” I needed to heal my hurt from within before I could consider trying to bring new light into this world. Working with her helped me to watch both what the world was offering me, and what I was offering to the world. Following her practice I became better, kinder, and happier. I stopped feeling sorry for myself –and instead realized that my path was not any better, or worse, than any other woman on their fertility journey.
When I decided to start to try again, I got pregnant easily, but had difficulty maintaining a pregnancy. Each time I became pregnant, anxiety would return - trouble breathing, chest pains and focus on all the what-ifs. But after meeting Jenilyn, I had a tool box – I acknowledged my anxiety, employed Jenilyn’s breathing techniques for relaxation, and quieted my mind. I added acupuncture and meditation to my regimen and continued my yoga practice. Years later, I’m not trying to get pregnant and I still use these means in my day-to-day life in order to stay centered.
I am now the mother of two healthy, joyful little boys, aged 5 and 4. I had good, healthy pregnancies, and I was even able to enjoy being pregnant – those moments without the fear were just pure bliss. I am happy, and I don’t, for a second, think I could have gotten here if I hadn’t signed up for that class and met, then accepted help from someone who wanted nothing more than for me to be content. You succeeded Jenilyn. Namaste.
Sarah, at home mama to her now three children who were adopted, Chicago, IL
Well, you’ll never believe this but…I’m a mom!
Last Wednesday we got a call that an expectant mother had picked us and we picked up our baby girl on Friday! It was love at first sight and we have been in heaven ever since! It all happened so fast that we are still trying to figure everything out but could not feel more blessed.
Thanks for all of your help getting us started. We had just hired a girl to make a website for us so we will be putting that on hold until we are ready for baby #2! Hopefully we will get to use your services in the future!
(Now they have three children through adoption!)
Rainbow babies, guilt and forgiveness…
Wow! Your autumn workshop was so powerful for me and seriously life changing. I really appreciate you guiding me through my past losses and guilt in such a safe place. Struggling with secondary infertility has been so emotionally draining and isolating. You are so great at what you do and I wouldn't have been able to get through the past few years without you as my coach!
After the workshop, I saw the sun peeking out and felt compelled to ditch my grocery cart and walk outside. I gasped out loud when I saw a double rainbow and watched it for a while! When people reference rainbow babies, I always think to myself that I need a double rainbow for what I've been through. It was one of the most beautiful, if not most beautiful thing I have ever seen and the timing was amazing. Then, yesterday at my mom's house, I picked up a copy of her catholic magazine, which I normally don't do, and inside was an article and workshop about forgiving yourself. I was like wow, okay, I really can and need to forgive myself. What a weekend!
Mary, Teacher, Chicago, IL
…the journey to motherhood can be longer and rockier than expected…
Unfortunately for some of us, the journey to motherhood can be longer and rockier than expected. Jenilyn taught me how to find peace, grace, and even gratitude along this journey. I first met Jenilyn when I took her yoga for infertility class. It was so much more than a yoga class! Jenilyn created a supportive environment where we shared our fears, frustrations, and hopes, in addition to sharing a yoga practice. I practiced for over a year with Jenilyn – those classes were a bright spot during a very dark time! After deciding to end our fertility treatments, my husband and I approached Jenilyn about helping us with the adoption journey. Jenilyn educated us on the adoption process, helped us with our profile and outreach, and provided counsel during talks with the expectant mother. Both the fertility and adoption processes can be overwhelming. Having an experienced and compassionate guide like Jenilyn is invaluable! (Sharon has now adopted two children.)
Sharon, CFO, Chicago, IL
We are moving full steam ahead on adoption…
Thank you for all of your help and support and gentleness during this infertility journey. We are moving full steam ahead on adoption. I’ve started working on our dear birthmother letter, identified a lawyer, signed us up for 2 workshops (at the Cradle and Catholic Social Services) as well as been in contact with Lutheran Social Services. We’ve researched our adoption benefits at work, started an adoption folder, and begun copying documents. I also read that book you recommended and have requested several others. As you can tell, I like to plan and organize! Of course, I still have some anxiety that a birth mother will not select us, but try not to dwell on that too much.
Angela, stay at home mom to her two daughters who were adopted, Elmhurst, IL
…after just one attempt at IVF, I got pregnant and delivered one very healthy baby boy
I just have to tell you that every single session that I had with you was so incredibly inspiring and really helped me through the extremely painful journey towards trying to conceive. I was one of the “unexplained infertility” cases, which made the diagnosis for me even more frustrating because there wasn’t anything in particular to “fix.” I know for sure that the meditation, yoga sessions, your outlook, positivity and support for me, during what was an incredibly challenging time, definitely helped me get clarity and strength and ultimately peace during all the fertility challenges. I am so very happy to say that after just one attempt at IVF, I got pregnant and delivered one very healthy baby boy.
Jennifer, attorney, Oak Park, IL
I am pregnant with twins!
My husband and I were going on two years of infertility when I met Jenilyn. There was nothing clinically wrong with me and I was very upset over constant bad news. It was a difficult decision but we decided that IVF was a road that we must travel. At this point in my life I knew I needed assistance coping with the emotional and physical aspects of IVF. I was referred to Jenilyn and going to see her was the best decision I made going into the IVF process.
I decided private sessions were the best avenue for me to really get to the core of my feelings. She profoundly helped me relax and stay positive (something that I really struggled with after so much disappointment). After our sessions I felt a calm that I never felt throughout my two-year struggle. I believe that her work with me helped me receive the best news of my life. I am pregnant with twins! I will forever be grateful to Jenilyn for her support and care during my journey to motherhood. (Boy and girl twins were delivered full term after 2 mos of coaching).
Barbara, teacher, Chicago, IL
I honestly don’t know if I would have Taylor right now if it weren’t for you…
I meant to send you a line after we brought Taylor home because you were really so monumental in all of my decisions at the time. You were such a calming presence during such a difficult time and I am getting teary-eyed even thinking about it now because it was all so hard! It’s funny how you so quickly forget the tough times though – this past year with Taylor has been the happiest ever, and of course has flown by. I hope you keep doing what you are doing forever because you are so good at it. I honestly don’t know if I would have Taylor right now if it weren’t for you – you’ve truly made such an impression in my life – thank you! Xxx
Trisha, at home mama, Chicago, IL
This process can be so overwhelming … it is a miracle to find a coach that truly understands and has the experience…
Thank you for making a difference. Your kindness, extensive knowledge and openness have inspired me in my fertility journey. I greatly appreciate that you don’t have a set agenda or plan as a fertility coach but rather have met my needs as they’ve evolved while honoring my focus on natural conception. The individualized fertility plan (IFP) is a fantastic customization tool that covers so many key areas such as exercise, nutrition, stress management, partner issues and even spiritual balance. It is reassuring to become aware of all the resources and options available to match my specific needs. This process can be so overwhelming and lonely at times and it is a miracle to find a coach that truly understands and has the experience and resourcefulness to guide and provide support.
Debbie, business consultant, Chicago, IL
I can’t believe we finally made it to parenthood…
I want to thank you so much for the last few months. I am so grateful to you. I do believe this is your calling. So, don’t stop… There are a lot of women who you can help.
Months later from Kimberly… I can’t believe we finally made it to parenthood. When I look at my precious little boy, I am so glad I never gave up trying. He is just amazing!! Thank you for all the support you gave me during the difficult times through my journey. You provided me with great mediation techniques that calm my nerves and made me realize all the wonderful things in my life. Fertility yoga was my outlet to deal with my emotions, and develop relationships with women going similar experiences. Jenilyn, you introduced me to yoga and how good it is for me mentally and physically. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I wish you all the best and hope our paths cross again.
Kimberly, Account Representative, Chicago, IL
…Jenilyn’s knowledge, wisdom, compassion, kindness and support helped me during my fertility journey.
I met Jenilyn at the Yoga for Fertility class I was attending. She was the instructor, and her passion and energy made the classes fun and engaging. After a few sessions, I asked her to become my personal fertility coach, which ended up being one of the best decisions I made during my fertility journey. In our sessions together, we did yoga, nutrition, meditation… sometimes we simply talked about the challenges I was facing and how to deal with them in the best possible way. I have no words to express how much Jenilyn’s knowledge, wisdom, compassion, kindness and support helped me during my fertility journey. Namaste.
Carmen, teacher, Chicago, IL
…meeting you … was one of the best/most impactful decisions I made along our journey!!
Thank you so very much Jenilyn!!! We couldn’t imagine not sending you an announcement – meeting you and being a part of your group was one of the best/most impactful decisions I made along our journey!! We just know it had such a tremendous impact on bringing us our baby girl.
Megan, accountant, Chicago, IL
Now you know who I have worked with. Click here to learn more on how I work with clients.
* While all these testimonials and images are 100% accurate some women have requested anonymity. I am often the only person, outside of their immediate family, who knows that they’re trying to conceive or adopt. I’ve changed their identifying information as far as who they are and where they live, but their careers are left unchanged.