The logical "Ph.D. in Biology" and data scientist part of my brain likes facts; it wants to measure and compare things to attempt to understand them. So when I started this company earlier this year, the science behind why this works for people was the most straightforward aspect of the company, especially since I have a daughter to show for it!
I wanted more people to know intracervical insemination (ICI) might be an affordable option for them to try at home. I also wanted to offer people the same scientifically designed kit I made because I couldn't find one on the market that met my rigorous scientific standards.
I knew PherDal worked for me as an alternative to expensive IUI infertility treatments.
I knew why PherDal worked and that a 2018 study backed that up. That study showed that IUI and ICI have no difference in their live birth rate, making ICI an affordable fertility option for people to try.
I knew how PherDal worked. PherDal decreases the distance sperm need to travel. Being sterilized helps avoid three known bacterial species significantly increased in the microbiome of women with unexplained infertility. The syringe avoids any anatomical conditions hindering sperm travel, and that is to name a few!
I knew PherDal would work for others because science showed it could, and I proved my concept when my husband and I conceived my daughter.
I knew all of these facts, which is why I started this company; To get people pregnant. My goal was to help one other person become pregnant. If I did that, this would be a worthwhile adventure no matter the rest of the story.
We quickly met that goal. Then doubled, then tripled, and exponentially met that goal in the short time we've been in business.
I had no idea how seeing that first email message sent to me from someone who used the PherDal kit with the subject "OMG," and a picture of a plus sign on a pregnancy test would make me feel exactly the way I did when it worked for me too. It was one of the most exhilarating and scariest moments of my life.
When I got that first email from a pregnant PherDal momma, I was instantly back to being in my downstairs bathroom on a snowy morning at 9:03 am on Thursday, January 11, 2018. My cycle was supposed to start that day, so I emotionally armored up for a day of disappointment. I didn't want to test but at 8:50 am, I talked myself out of using the expensive pregnancy test and decided to use the cheaper test. I didn't want to waste money on another negative pee stick thrown in the garbage. Plus, I knew I'd take the test out an hour later look at it under every possible light to try and see a line before throwing it back into the garbage. I finally decided to pee on the cheaper test but not watch it for the 2 minutes because that gave me too much anxiety. So at 8:55 am, I took a pregnancy test and left it on the sink.
I wondered around and made coffee getting ready for the day and prepping to console myself that we would have to take out a loan to go through infertility treatments. We wondered if three rounds of intrauterine insemination (IUI) would be enough, but what if it wasn't? I was busy giving myself my monthly pep-talk to try and find hope again, assuming this test would be negative. I also felt guilt about trying to take three months to try something less expensive and less invasive. What if those were my last three eggs. Side note: They weren't, and I now know all of these thoughts are completely normal when you go through infertility.
At 9:01 am, I walked by the bathroom door, all nonchalant to see the negative test, and kept on walking down the hallway with my coffee like no big deal. But the test on the sink looked different. What is that smudge? Is that a cross symbol? Why is there a plus sign? Where are the instructions? I thought that I had peed wrong because it couldn't be positive. I was way too cynical for that. I quickly peed on the expensive test; where was the "not"? It had always said, "Not Pregnant." Now it just said "Pregnant," and it was 9:03, so the 2 minutes were up - why wasn't the "Not" showing? I didn't know what to do! I sank to the bathroom floor and cried and called my husband. He had to pull over because he was driving. I was finally pregnant. Later I think I peed on 10-20 pregnancy tests to reassure myself that it was still valid. I called in sick to work and just laid on the couch all day in shock and thought - what do I do? Should I stand, sit, lay down? How do I grow this baby? There is a kid in me? What can I eat? I don't feel different - should it be kicking? Again I know now- a lot of these are typical emotions, but I thought I was the only one at the time.
Earlier this year, on Mother's day, I wrote that I was hoping there would be a couple of new PherDal babies (PherDal PhrienDs?) in the world by that time next year. Now there will be!
Every email, text, Instagram message, Facebook message, Tiktok message that comes from a customer starts with something like "I can't believe I'm writing you this." I am instantly back to that exact moment in January 2018. I immediately cry with joy for them. I am so grateful to those of you that have let us be part of your journey. You've helped us help others by continuing to make PherDal better and more accessible for everyone. We want everyone to know there is a science-based affordable fertility option they can try at home. We understand how personal this is, and we can't wait to share more success stories with the world!
I spent a lot of time crying during my infertility struggles. Now, I've cried more tears of joy for the people who no longer have infertility because of PherDal.
So... I wasn't prepared for this part. I'm also grateful for this part.
Congratulations and a huge Thank You to our new PherDal mommas!
Love & Baby Dust,