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How I turned my struggle with infertility into a fulfilling career

Nicole Witt is the owner of The Adoption Consultancy (www.TheAdoptionConsultancy.com), an unbiased resource serving pre-adoptive families by providing them with the education, information and guidance they need to safely adopt a newborn,...

Not to brag, but I had a flourishing career before I had a family. I was in Brand Management and Strategic Marketing for a large consumer packaged goods firm and was extremely successful, but also unhappy, with my job. However, this success was a blessing when I learned I was a carrier of Fragile X Syndrome, a condition that gave me diminished ovarian reserve. I was told by my doctor that I had less than one half of a one percent chance of having a biological child.

Although that would sound close to zero to most people, that didn't stop me! My husband and I insisted on trying IVF and, while I was unhappy at my job, I was so thankful that my career allowed me the financial means to go through the rounds of injections to try to make a baby. When IVF was not successful, as devastated as I was, I still was appreciative that I had the means to use an egg donor to have my two beautiful children.

Throughout my pregnancy I was so worried that something was about to go wrong after the long infertility battle I had gone through. Every little twinge and oddity filled me with fear. The stress and unhappiness of my job didn't help, but I clung onto my position. My fear was, if I miscarried, I would need the salary to pay for the fertility treatments that would be required to try to get pregnant again.

Once I had my daughter, and eventually my son, my job became even harder to go to every day. The dissatisfaction didn't go away and now I had a beautiful family, for whom I had worked so hard, at home. My job seemed meaningless and my family was wholly meaningful. It was impossible for me to justify all the hours away from my kids and the absence of any flexibility simply for a paycheck.

Finally, I took the leap. I started building something that I could find meaning in. I had been through the struggle of infertility, the harsh reality that I was not able to have biological children. While I chose an egg donor as my path to parenthood, I later learned that the misconceptions I had about adoption back then were completely unfounded. I realized that the myths about adoption were preventing so many families from finding their happy ending with children.

So I decided to create The Adoption Consultancy with the goal of changing people's lives. I wanted to help other infertile couples and singles to build their families. Today, I serve as a "wedding planner" for adoption. I guide my clients through the adoption process, navigating them through the confusing maze and helping them avoid the common pitfalls. Our approach is proactive, enabling our clients to adopt healthy newborns within six months on average.

However, even as I watched my business and my kids grow, I realized that infertility really never leaves you. I remembered all the fears and anxiety I had when I was pregnant and even after my children were born. I realized that I approached every step of parenting and my life differently because of my infertility struggle.

More advice on how to pursue your passion >>

Launching my own business as an Adoption Consultant was not enough; I also wanted to help families like mine find a place where their past and present struggles were completely understood. This past year, I created Beyond Infertility (www.BeyondInfertility.com), a community support site and online magazine for those who are expecting and/or parenting after having gone through infertility.

What I do today is so much more rewarding and fulfilling than my previous Brand Management position. At the time, it was hard for me to see how that job was helping anyone, but now I impact so many people’s lives, from helping parents and children find an amazing, loving life together to helping families find the special support they need after their infertility journey. What I do now not only honors my personal struggle, but also gives me the flexibility and lifestyle that I desire as a working mom. But, most importantly, it truly makes a difference for others.

What are you doing to reach your goals this year? Tell us by tweeting #PursueYourPassion and follow us for even more inspiration.

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