Ossa Featured Podcaster: Monique Farook, Host of Infertility & Me
Monique Farook is the host of Infertility and Me, a podcast that emphasizes the emotional journey to parenthood through healing. After going through her own four year battle with infertility and having complications with the birth of her son, Monique decided to become a voice for the often silent sufferers of infertility. Her show provides the listener with valuable insight into this world from medical experts to personal journeys.
Read more from Monique Farook below and listen to Infertility & Me here (leave a review, too!):
Infertility and Me
Tell us what your podcast is about in 3 sentences or less!
Infertility And Me is a discussion-style podcast that emphasizes emotionally, mentally, and spiritually healing during the journey to parenthood. The show features guests from all over the world who have experienced infertility, other guests are experts in fertility such as reproductive endocrinologists, and LGBTQ friendly, to name a few.
What’s a quote or piece of advice that you try to live by?
“I come as one, but I stand as 10,000.” – Dr. Maya Angelou
One thing on your bucket list:
A tour of West Africa
“Freedom” by Beyoncé
What was your first job?
Biggest Pet Peeve
When people don’t say thank you or speak when they enter a room.
What inspired you to start your podcast?
My own four year journey to motherhood. I was initially diagnosed in 2012 with right tubal blockage after a due test called ‘HSG’.
A radiologist inserts a liquid dye into a woman’s cervix, it then travels through the uterus, into the Fallopian tubes, and out. Allowing the radiologist to have a clear view of there are issues that can cause infertility. If the dye does not shoot out of the Fallopian tube in the way an egg is released during ovulation, that’s is how blockage is seen on the screen.
After conceiving my son in the summer of 2016 by natural-cycle IVF, giving birth early at 24 weeks 4 days gestation, 129 days in the NICU, and watching him evolve through it all; I knew I wanted to give back and be a voice to silent infertility sufferers.
Tell us more about your work/life outside of your podcast.
Before going through infertility, I worked with my husband in his restaurants. We were a husband wife duo in the take-out restaurant world.
Since conception I have remained home as a stay-at-home- momma. It’s been an absolute blessing to be there for our son at every stage of his life.
What is your show’s USP?
Its emphasis on healing emotionally and spiritually. I believe that healing works best as a group effort. When you’re living life as an infertile woman or man, you feel shame, guilt, embarrassed, and most of all uncertain of the future. You need community, support, and freedom to speak your truth. I provide a safe and healing environment to do so.
What is one of the greatest challenges you have personally faced with your podcast?
I struggled in the beginning with confidence. Doubting that I was good enough, vulnerable enough, and the ability to attract my tribe.
Podcasting is heavily dominated by men which can be intimidating for a new podcaster.
[Editor’s note: Women podcasters, if you’re looking for a supportive community of fellow women in podcasting, consider joining Ossa Collective!]
What was one of your favorite episodes you’ve ever done? Why does it stand out?
The episode is called: “Thank you infertility for making me a fighter.” It’s the journey of a women who suffered through 10 years of infertility and more pregnancy losses than she could count.
All of my episodes are my favorite because their each so unique. This particular discussion was one that got very emotional for my guest and I. After so much suffering and being able to find empowerment because of the journey was so validating for many.
What is one thing you have accomplished with your podcast thus far that you are most proud of?
The consistency of podcasting is not for the faint of heart. I have yet to take a break in the seven months that I’ve been a podcaster, releasing new episodes once a week, with a few bonus episodes as well.
It feels great to stay committed to a passion project and grow at your own pace.
What is one major milestone that you would like to accomplish through your podcast in the next year?
I’d like to create a private community, which I am currently working on. Social media can be a huge comparison-zone, which is terrible for the emotional state of someone that is going through fertility struggles.
Through the private community, my desire is for the show to have a huge impact on the lives of silent sufferers all over the globe, be a face and voice for women of color, bridge the gap between fertile and infertile people, and making conversations about Infertility less taboo. Sharing stories, gaining knowledge from experts, and wisdom to help along the way. Possibly doing live events at some point as well.
What is a trend or development in the podcast industry that you foresee happening in the next few years?
Large businesses increasing their brand awareness through podcasts, which could make it difficult for small podcasters like myself to get noticed.
What is one of the best pieces of podcast-related advice you’ve ever received & why?
It’s a marathon not a race. A lot of people go into podcasting believing that they will become an overnight success. There are so many hats to wear as a podcaster. It’s likely in the beginning that you won’t be monetizing—you will be the producer, editor, writer for SEO-friendly show notes, and promoter. Take your time, enjoy the new connections you’ll make, and don’t forget why you began podcasting.
What is one of the worst pieces of podcast-related advice you have ever received & why?
To be honest, I haven’t experienced this to date. I’ve had really authentic advice from veteran podcasters.
What are some of your favorite women-hosted podcasts (besides your own)?
Reality Bites, The Only One In The Room, and Unlocking Us by Brené Brown.
Can you tell us about a time when you took a huge risk/did something you were scared to do, and it totally paid off?
My podcast lol. I am not a “heart on the sleeve” woman, so sharing my journey has opened up a new level of vulnerability. Connecting with guests old and new, has helped me step out of my introverted ways as well.
Are there any great podcast-related resources you love that you would like to share?
I’ve joined a few podcast related groups on Facebook which was my main source for learning and researching – one being Podcast Movement.
How do you feel you’re making a positive impact and generating change through your podcast?
Encouraging emotional, mental, and spiritual healing is most impactful for listeners through the podcast. Many Black women have reached out to me as well and thanked me for creating a space that they connect with and helping them feel less alone.