Quantcast

New Mom Hannah Bronfman Shares Everything You Need To Know About Her IVF Journey

"I hope a story like mine gives people hope in knowing there are possibilities out there."

Exclusive Interviews

Ladies, becoming a mother is a wonderful thing.

While motherhood is something that has been a topic in our lives for as long as we can remember, the journey to motherhood can be a complicated one as many women are met with pregnancy loss or infertility. As a result, conceiving naturally is sometimes not an option for women who desire to start families. That is something that DJ, fitness influencer and founder of HBFIT, Hannah Bronfman knows very well. Although Hannah is now the mother of her first child, a son named Preston Miles Thomas Fallis, it wasn't without struggle.

To show women they aren't alone in their journey, earlier this year, Hannah, alongside her husband, Brendan Fallis, shared with the world their pregnancy journey and how they have overcome multiple obstacles along the way. After experiencing a miscarriage late last year, Hannah decided to look into different fertility options to increase her chances of having a viable pregnancy. She was ultimately able to get pregnant through a process called IVF (in vitro fertilization).

Courtesy of Hannah BronfmanPhoto Credit: Terence Connors

Since, Hannah has made it a mission of hers to show other women that we have options when it comes to creating life inside ourselves. With the reality of miscarriages and infertility diagnoses, Hannah is being honest about her experience with IVF and encouraging other women to learn more about what is available to them when it comes to starting a your own family.

In a recent conversation with xoNecole, Hannah was able to share that while the journey to motherhood can be tough, there is light at the end of whichever path you choose to take.

*This interview was conducted before Hannah gave birth to her son.

xoNecole: You and your husband have been very transparent about your journey to a successful pregnancy. What inspired the both of you to tell the story of your miscarriage and then your subsequent IVF journey?

Hannah Bronfman: For Brendan and I, after we miscarried, we spent 6-7 months trying to get pregnant through different ways. We tried naturally a few times, then we went to the next step called IUI. IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) is when they time your ovulation cycle and have your partner's sperm inserted in your uterus to be fertilized. When that did not take, we both decided that we should try IVF. It honestly was good timing for us as well because we weren't traveling for that month, so we were able to prioritize the process.

For those of us who are unfamiliar with IVF, can you break down what it looked like for you physically?

The IVF process definitely takes time. My IVF process was 11 days total. You have to go into the doctor's office every morning for monitoring and you have to take shots every day. I think it's important to note that everyone is different in how you react to the hormones that you are injecting.

For me, it was super mild. I did feel bloated after the first couple of days, but other than that I felt fine. I am someone who doesn't have crazy mood swings or feeling fatigued around the time I have my period. So since I am pretty even-keeled in general, I didn't have major reactions to the hormones. For others who may be more susceptible to symptoms of PMS, they have a higher chance to have bigger reactions to the hormones when doing IVF.

Pregnancy loss is difficult for any woman and is something that unfortunately a lot of us experience, as someone who is very tapped into their body and wellness, what were some practices that you gravitated towards as a means to heal after loss?

It's crazy how fragmented our society is around reproductive rights and health. Because the pregnancy journey is such a complicated thing. All we are told is that you don't want to get pregnant when you're a teenager, so you get on birth control. Then all these complications happen when you're an adult and you think to yourself I wanted to get pregnant years ago. So when it comes to healing after a miscarriage and dealing with the stress of trying to get pregnant month after month, a few things have helped me.

I have done meditation, acupuncture, and EMDR therapy tapping. The EMDR is when you tap yourself in certain areas while reciting positive narratives. When you do that, the nervous system starts to input the positive affirmations and output the negative ones. I think it's important to feel all of your feelings when grieving. It is so important to release instead of trying to hold it all together. It feels so good to cry and we should lean into that a little more as opposed to acting like we are super humans without emotions. Super-women should lean into embracing their emotions.

Did the process strengthen and/or test your marriage?

I honestly feel so blessed to have a partner who has been by my side every single day. I think everything that we have been through has brought us so much closer. I know it's hard for people who don't have a partner to take on the stress with you and it can be a struggle for relationships. Even for the partners who are really meant to be together and have the strongest of foundations, are tested.

"I think it's important to feel all of your feelings when grieving. It is so important to release instead of trying to hold it all together. It feels so good to cry and we should lean into that a little more as opposed to acting like we are super humans without emotions. Super-women should lean into embracing their emotions."

Courtesy of Hannah Bronfman

Photo Credit: Terence Connors


As a Black woman, why do you think that this type of visibility about IVF is important?

Well I think it's important to normalize IVF for all women, regardless of race or age. Some things I would hear would be, "Oh, you're so young, you'll be fine." But I think we are seeing more fertility complications with millennial women. As a woman of color, I want people to understand that yes, this can be an expensive option, but the one thing that I noticed when I would be in the waiting room was the diversity of women. I think sometimes we talk about these expensive healthcare means for women who are white, but at the end of the day, women of color have access as well. We definitely need to talk about it more, so I hope a story like mine gives people hope in knowing there are possibilities out there.

As a first-time mom during such unprecedented times, what has your self-care routine looked like since the pandemic?

I have been loving bath time while being pregnant. This baby really knows when I am in the water. It is so relaxing and so grounding. Having the moment away from social media and soaking up time just for myself is definitely a priority, while it still can be.

"I think we are seeing more fertility complications with millennial women. As a woman of color, I want people to understand that yes, this can be an expensive option, but the one thing that I noticed when I would be in the waiting room was the diversity of women... We definitely need to talk about it more, so I hope a story like mine gives people hope in knowing there are possibilities out there."

Courtesy of Hannah Bronfman

Photo Credit: Terence Connors

What are some things that you are learning about yourself during pregnancy?

I have learned that I'm a Type A person. I like to have control over a lot of different aspects of my life. I felt that way through the IVF process and I had a plan. But being pregnant during a pandemic has thrown all of that out the window. With that, I have been really embracing going with the flow. For the first time in my life, I am at a place where whatever happens, I am cool with the pivot.

How did you manage to balance your health with your career while pregnant during the pandemic?

Work life has never been crazier. It's all good things, so I feel lucky as a content creator. At the beginning of the year, some brands didn't know what to do or what was going to happen. The attention that black creators got, especially around the BLM movement, I feel we have benefited from that in a healthy and positive way. I actually ended up launching a product, which is a CBD bath bomb. This product is something that is helping people relax, decompress, and release stress. Let me tell you, we are also in an anxiety pandemic and so I know people really benefit from it. I was nervous about launching a product honestly during the pandemic, but the launch of the product couldn't have been more timely.

Courtesy of Hannah Bronfman

What is one main thing about the IVF process that a lot of women should know about?

To be transparent, this doesn't work for everyone. It's important to know that because you could go through it once and have to go through it again. I really do believe that if you put positive energy into what you're doing, you will have a better result than if you put your negativity into it. For example, I was talking to my girlfriend the other day and she is going through her first IVF cycle. When she first started, I told her I was so excited for her and she replied, "Excited is not the word." (Laughs)

I say "excited" because it's one step closer to the outcome that you want. When you think about it, it's two weeks of your life that, yeah kind of sucks, but for the best outcome you could ever imagine. I will admit that at first it was hard for me to accept that IVF was going to be a part of my journey. But once I accepted that this was my path, I gave it my all. It's key to stay positive.

For more of Hannah, follow her on Instagram. If you are interested in learning more about the right questions to ask when choosing your IVF plan, feel free to check out Hannah Bronfman's IG Live chat with Dr. Ghadir.

Featured image courtesy of Hannah Bronfman

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

This article is in partnership with Staples.

As a Black woman slaying in business, you're more than likely focused on the bottom line: Serving your customers and making sure the bag doesn't stop coming in. Well, there's obviously more to running a business than just making boss moves, but as the CEO or founder, you might not have the time, energy, or resources to fill in the blanks.

Keep reading... Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

Megan Thee Stallion is such a breath of fresh air. To me, she represents women that are unapologetic about doing what's best for themselves. In a world where women, *cough* Black women *cough* are so policed--from hair, to behavior, to reactions--she shows up as a superhero, inspiring and representing a young generation of women who are authentically themselves. And not only that, they're women who don't stray from getting what they deserve.

Keep reading... Show less

Most experts would agree that it's best to maintain a safe distance from an ex following a breakup. But with social media being the clickbait that it is, keeping many of us tethered to our devices at any given minute, it's that much harder to resist the temptation to engage in risky business after a breakup (i.e. lurking onto our ex's social profiles). Aside from the infringement of privacy into our ex's day-to-day activities, staying digitally connected can stunt our own process of healing.

Keep reading... Show less

Meagan Good is no stranger to scrutiny over the span of her career. She's faced very public image criticism for a multitude of reasons, from eyebrows, all the way to "that" skin-lightening incident. And when she married her husband, producer, best-selling author and motivational speaker, DeVon Franklin, many people felt she didn't fit the persona of a woman who is married to a devout Christian, being that her image was based on something like a sex symbol.

Keep reading... Show less

I know some people who absolutely hate to grocery shop. Maybe it's because I'm single with no kids (which means that I have less to get) yet I'm on the opposite side of the coin. Because I like to cook often and grocery shopping is how I get a lot of random thinking accomplished (because I'm away from my computer), I really like it. And over the past couple of years, I've become more intentional about getting what my body, as a woman, needs.

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive Interviews

'Insecure' Writer Mike Gauyo Talks His Journey From Med School To The Writers' Room

"Meeting Issa Rae was a story of perseverance, following up, being persistent and all of the characteristics and attributes you need to be a successful writer."

Latest Posts