Self-love + IVF success: an interview with Cassie Uhl of ZennedOut Jewelry
IVF, crystals, and self-care through infertility
I’m so excited to introduce you to an amazing woman with an amazing story! Cassie Uhl is the lead goddess at ZennedOut jewelry, and I’ve been following her for a couple years and have some of her beautiful jewelry designs (like the moon necklace I’m wearing in almost all my photos!)
Cassie has created an inspiring brand and blog with lots of great tools to help you on your spiritual journey—from meditations, to creating a sacred altar space, to how to use your gemstone jewelry.
Recently, she announced that she was pregnant with twins, but that her fertility journey had been a long one. I reached out and asked if she’d like to share her story with us, as well as her expertise on crystals and gemstones (if that sounds too woo-woo for you, don’t worry–Cassie’s super accessible and I love what she has to say about intention!)
So here’s our conversation about her 4 1/2 year fertility journey, rose quartz, her radical mindset shifts, and how to love yourself through the whole process (keep reading below for a couple of my favorite quotes!):
(Prefer to read? You can check out the transcript here.)
Learn to shift your mindset and Flourish
I love what Cassie says about the importance of mindset and how those shifts allowed her to transform her experience. I totally believe that learning to love and care for yourself are a key part of the fertility journey.
That’s why my Flourish Fertility program includes so much mindset work: you can optimize your physical health and it can definitely make a difference in your odds of conceiving, but it’s not a guarantee.
When we do the mental work along with the physical work, however, we can shift our attitudes about ourselves, our bodies, our worthiness, and even our sense of control. And in shifting some of our core beliefs, we can find new wells of strength and resilience to see us through this journey, wherever it may lead.
Get more details on Flourish here and be sure to get on the waitlist— it’s coming soooo soon!!
A couple of my favorite gems from Cassie:
“I remember… saying this mantra of, ‘I don’t deserve it. I can’t become pregnant,’ was just really, really powerful inside of me. It took therapy and regular meditation and mindfulness to get to a place where I was able to catch that thought, identify it and name it and say, ‘I see you. You’re allowed to be there, but I’m not going to engage with you today.’ “
“Love yourself and take good care of yourself, because I think that that’s where it’s at–because none of the things that I did to try to fix it, or make it work, or make it happen, just didn’t work. It was in that releasing and letting go and trusting and loving myself where I found the peace.“
What’s your biggest take-away from our conversation? Share in the comments below!
Read the transcript
Cassie: Thank you. I’m so happy to be here.
Kate: I’m excited for you to be here. So, today we’re going to talk a little bit about gemstones, jewelry and how those things can help support your fertility, and then we’re also going to talk a little bit about Cassie’s personal journey through fertility as well.
Kate: So, Cassie, why don’t you start by introducing yourself. Tell us a little bit about you, a little bit about Zenned Out.
Cassie: Yeah. I started Zenned Out in 2011, so it started just as an inspirational handmade jewelry line that was started out of our little apartment, my husband’s and my little apartment, and it slowly transitioned to full time and then now we’re in a spacious studio here in Tempe Arizona, and while the business still focuses a lot on handcrafted jewelry, I personally have been focusing a lot on tools and products to make spirituality more accessible to people, because I feel like it can be really overwhelming, so I’ve created products like the Goddess Discovery book and I recently launched in my first Oracle card deck called the Ritual Deck that’s just all about getting into … just giving you the tools you need start your spiritual journey or continue it in a not so scary way, so it makes it a little bit easier to jump in.
Kate: Awesome. You’ve got a great blog too. You’ve got tons of awesome resources on there so, check it out.
Cassie: Yeah, yeah, definitely.
Kate: So, tell us a little bit about how you see how crystals and gemstones and things like that and how they influence our connection to our feminine side and maybe how we can use them to tap into our fertility.
Cassie: Yeah. There are a lot of good gemstones and because I did experience a long fertility journey personally, I can definitely speak to different gemstones to use for that, so for me personally, my favorite gem stone that just … it’s still, I feel so drawn to it is rose quartz because it’s such a strong and such a powerful stone for self love and I feel like the infertility journey, that’s something that gets left out a lot, at least that was for me for part of my journey.
Cassie: I was always trying to do things. I focused a lot in the beginning on using stones to really help the sacral chakra like carnelian, and I was like, “I feel like I just need to chill out and focus on myself and that’s where the rose quartz really came in. Rose quartz is just … it’s a great catchall stone, it helps in so many different ways, but for infertility, especially, it really helped me focus on myself, calm me, and just bring in more of that self care and self love into my routine.
Cassie: I do think of crystals, if you’re new to crystals and you’re like, I don’t really understand how it works, the energy and I just think of them as an intention, a reminder of an intention, so for example, today I wore my sodalite for my throat chakra since I’d knew I’d be chatting with you and it’s just a reminder of, I am speaking my truth today, I’m sharing my truth, so if you don’t necessarily feel something when you hold a gem stone, that’s okay. Maybe that’ll come, maybe it won’t, both are fine but it’s all about setting intentions and having reminders.
Cassie: Rose quartz is great and then another favorite has got to be moonstone. I especially love rainbow moonstone, but any moonstone is really good for connecting with the divine feminine energy, so those are ones that we use a lot in our jewelry and I wear them really regularly so that is another really good one that I’d recommend and we have lots of moonstone in our shop. It’s a favorite.
Kate: Yeah, I love what you said about using crystals as an intention. Maybe some people who aren’t quite into the woo-woo aspects of crystals, I really like that, carrying them or wearing them, just indicates your intention or what you want to bring to your day or whatever. I love that, that’s great.
Cassie: Yeah. Thank you.
Kate: So you recently announced that you are pregnant, congratulations, with twins.
Cassie: Thank you. Yes. We’re very excited.
Kate: Yeah. But, you also shared that it’s been a long journey to get here. Do you want to tell us a little bit about your fertility journey and what you’ve experienced and how you got here?
Cassie: Yeah. It’s crazy to look back on now and I know, I’m sure there are a lot of women listening that are at different phases in it and I just want to say, “You’re so strong.” Sorry, this still tears me up. I’m also super pregnant, so that doesn’t help. Just know that there are a lot of women and there’s a lot of energy out there, and we’re pulling for you. It can happen. Okay.
Cassie: It took us about … here’s all the run down of the list of all the things. It took us about four and a half years, and we went through two doctors, four rounds of IUI and then three rounds of IVF, so quite a bit of medical intervention. Of course, I did, I’m sure, like so many of the women on your blog can relate, but I did all the things … I tried modifying my diet, I did the acupuncture, I did special yoga, I did all the things like we do.
Cassie: I stopped at a certain point, and I was like, “Okay, I’m doing nothing now.” But, it was the final, that third IVF was the right time for us and when our twins decided it was time to join us, so that’s all the outside stuff that happened and then of course, inside there was a huge transformation over those four and a half years and that transformation really happened with a lot of help through therapy and mindfulness, so I did find a therapist that specialized in grief and infertility and she used a process called EMDR, which was really helpful for me.
Cassie: I wouldn’t say that it was any of those tools specifically that made it work, because I don’t know it made it work, but I don’t think it’s something that I did. I think I was just … the timing was right and it was me being in a place of acceptance, of here I am universe, I’m open to what you have to offer me. That’s really where the therapy got me, was it got me to a place of, like I said, being okay with letting go of doing all the things and trying all the things and just being at a place of acceptance and then another big hurdle for me personally was this idea of I don’t deserve it and my body’s not capable of it, which I know a lot of … I’ve heard from other women to, so that one was just … it was so strong in me.
Cassie: I remember just talking to my therapist about it and saying this mantra of, “I don’t deserve it. I can’t become pregnant,” was just really, really powerful inside of me. It took therapy and regular meditation and mindfulness to get to a place where I was able to catch that thought, identify it and name it and say, “I see you. You’re allowed to be there, but I’m not going to engage with you today.” That was the big turning point for me too, just being at peace and not having those negative thought patterns that weren’t helping me, not having them rule my world.
Kate: Yeah, I think that’s so common with so many women, those feelings of not deserving things and just not trusting your body. I think as soon as our bodies don’t do exactly what we want them to do, or they don’t behave the way we think they should, we start to distrust them. Getting pregnant then becomes this process of overcoming your body instead of trusting it, and like you said, surrendering and allowing yourself to accept what happens. I think that’s a beautiful way to put it.
Cassie: Yeah. Thank you.
Kate: Yeah. And what you said about finding a therapist to help you work through some of that mindset stuff, I think that’s so powerful.
Cassie: It was so important to find somebody who had been through it. My therapist, she went through five rounds of IVF for her babies, so to find somebody that could really understand what I was going through because anybody who’s been through it just knows that … unless you’ve been through that journey, it’s really hard to connect with people and nobody really understands what it’s like to be in that position and everybody’s journey is so different too, so having somebody who had been through something similar to mine was just an incredible help.
Kate: For sure. Yeah, I think it’s really isolating too for a lot of women because your friends just got pregnant in five minutes and … nobody really understands those complicated emotions, but also the toll it takes on you, on your body, on your mind, just that constant up and down every month, that expectation and disappointment. And I think that’s really hard for a lot of women to struggle through alone. So yeah, I think finding someone who really gets it and understands is so awesome.
Cassie: Yeah. Yeah.
Kate: So what kind of … We talked about some of the tools that you used to reset your mind set but did you have any sort of daily routines and stuff like that that you did? I know you mentioned meditation and stuff but were there any other sort of daily rituals you had that helped you through that transformation?
Cassie: Yeah, I would say they waxed and waned the different things that I did. Daily meditation, again, yeah, that was very important. It still is for me today, especially during that phase it was. And then I think just in general just getting to a place, like I said, I spent a lot of time doing things with the intent to become pregnant and there was a shift kind of halfway through the process where I was like, I’m going to start doing things for me instead. So just doing little self care things like taking baths regularly, I mean, just anything that you love but that’s something that I love.
Cassie: I remember I … I love alters and I had this new little display box thing and I was gonna make a fertility alter. I was going to make an alter for my unborn babies. And then I was just like, you know what? F that. I’m making one for myself.
Kate: Oh I love it.
Cassie: I remember being so proud of myself and telling my therapist. And I still have that alter and I was just like … It was a huge awakening time for me, so having that alter where it was kind of like my self care space and it was somewhere where it was visible and I could tap into that energy whenever I wanted to. So I would see it every day and it was just a constant reminder of like, what am I doing to take care of myself and not try to control these outside factors that I clearly have no control over?
Cassie: So that was another big one.
Kate: I love that. Yeah, I think, you know, for some of my clients … You know, we talk about different things you can do mindset-wise or food-wise or things like that, but a lot of times the shift happens when they really start to do it for themselves, for their overall health instead of just for having a baby. And I see that shift happen and it’s like … We finally see ourselves as worthy of all this self care and stuff, not just because of a baby but because we’re worthy as women as well.
Kate: I love that. I think that’s really beautiful.
Cassie: Yeah, yeah, it’s really important. And yeah, that shift is, it’s powerful. It makes a big difference ’cause … I mean, it’s so easy to get overwhelmed in all the things. My husband would get really frustrated because he would just see a lot of these things I was buying, like special yoga, and he would just see it as people taking advantage of women that are in this really vulnerable space. I was like, yeah, I don’t need … And not to say that some of those tools don’t have a place. Maybe yoga for infertility will help some people but for me it became this thing of like, I became really angry at these tools because I would keep doing them and keep trying and they weren’t working and I became really resentful. It was when that resentment came in that I was like, you know what, I don’t think this is the right path for me.
Kate: Right. Yeah.
Kate: Yeah. I think there is so much stuff out there and some of it’s helpful, some of it’s not, and I think it’s really overwhelming to sift through all that stuff and figure out like, are these supplements helpful or are they a bunch of crap?
Cassie: Oh my gosh. So many supplements.
Kate: So many supplements.
Kate: Yeah, I think sometimes you just feel like you’re doing all the things but it’s still not making a difference. I think learning to trust yourself and your gut and what you need, like if that’s stopping everything or really listening to your body, to your mind, like, what do I need? Do I need to slow down and stop all this stuff? I think that intuition is valuable and important, especially in that place of overwhelm, which is so easy to get caught up in.
Cassie: Yes, definitely. Yeah.
Kate: For sure. So how would you say you feel now pregnant and approaching birth? Has this sort of transformed your relationship with that body trust? I know you’ve done some mind work around that, but how has that evolved as you’ve moved through your pregnancy?
Cassie: It’s so strange. I mean, I think when I first … I mean, it’s one of those things that I’ll never forget the moment that I found out and I was just … I could believe it ’cause I was at this space where I was like, I’m turning it over, I know this can happen for me, but it might not be what my journey is, but it was still just unreal feeling. And it felt like that for a while, and I would say now that it’s so … My belly’s really big and I’ve got all the things.
Cassie: I think the biggest shift for me has just been this incredible gratitude for my body and for myself. Like I said, for having the strength. I’m gonna get choked up again.
Kate: That’s okay.
Cassie: It’s so hard and … It was so hard to get where we were. So just this gratitude for the strength of my husband for all the support that he gave me. We have family members that helped financially too. So just so much gratitude that like, this kind of community and my ability to look deep within and work on myself. And again, not to say that it was those things that made it happen but just looking back and being like, wow, I can’t believe where I am today. I’m just so grateful that it happened the way that it did even though it was really hard. And just other than that deep gratitude, just so much excitement. We’re just so excited. And to have two. It’s so funny. People are always like … And it’s a girl and a boy, so people are always like, “Oh you’re so lucky.” And I’m always like, “Oh, we paid for it. Don’t worry.” So I feel like … I’m like, we earned our boy, girl twins and we’re just so excited.
Cassie: And the body part of it too. I feel like all the training that I got, all the mental work that I did and the self care and the work that I did leading up to becoming pregnant, has made me trust my body more during the pregnancy. I just don’t have a lot of fear about the birth right now today. Who knows if that might change. But I really do trust my body and I trust that the babies … I trust that things are gonna work out the way that they’re supposed to and that I’m gonna be okay whatever the end results are. So that’s been really nice to feel really kind of open and at peace with all the unknowns that come with having twins.
Kate: Yes. They’re a lot, for sure.
Kate: Cool. So what things do you wish you had known about or done right off the bat when you first started trying?
Cassie: Yeah, I mean, I think one of the hardest things for me was just how physically challenging IUI and IVF is, and I feel like the doctors, they don’t really … at least the two doctors that I worked with, they almost underplayed how physically demanding and how painful some of the procedures can be. And I remember, there were some procedures I actually … I had to put my foot down and just say, “I’m not gonna do that. I won’t do it again,” because … You know, the fun uterine scraping thing. If anybody knows what this is. I had two of those and I was like, “I’m sorry, I’m not doing that anymore.”
Cassie: You know, you just … I think we wanna trust our doctors and I liked our doctor that we ended up with but even he … I liked and respected him but he did not … he was not upfront about how physically painful and difficult parts of the process can be, which I was surprised by. Yeah, that really caught me off guard. And then, of course, the emotional roller coaster. I feel like that … I don’t know. Yeah, it caught me off guard but I also see its value and purpose and I’m grateful for it now.
Cassie: So yeah.
Kate: Yeah, I think it’s true about the physical nature of all these procedures and tests even. I think a lot of times doctors do downplay them. It’s also when people are working in your uterus and stuff, that’s invasive. It’s also emotionally difficult, I think, to go through some of those procedures, too. And I do think that’s something that doctors just pass by a lot. One thing that I really encourage my women to do is to make sure that they feel respected and heard by their doctors, because I think if you don’t feel listened to, it makes it just so much harder. I’m glad that you switched doctors and you were able to sort of advocate for yourself and say, no, I’m not doing that.
Kate: Because I think that’s something that a lot of us as women are scared to do. We just put 100% trust in our doctors and like okay, well, she says that we should do that. But that’s not always the best thing, because we are the ones that who know our bodies and what we need. I always tell my women, don’t be afraid to fire your doctor, and find one that you really trust.
Cassie: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, and that was what our experience was with our first doctor. We did not feel heard. I didn’t feel heard. And we found somebody that really listened to us and I do feel like that ultimately did make a big difference because he worked with us more one-on-one as a couple and didn’t treat us like a cog in a machine. Yeah, it’s definitely worth it to interview and find a doctor that’s a right fit, and yeah, definitely advocating for yourself.
Cassie: And there are things in the beginning. I think I just got so used to it that I was like … there was a point where I was like, you know what? I think I can just be like no, I’m not going to do this. And I wish I would have done that a little bit earlier, just saying like how necessary is this, this particular thing? And some things are, but some things really aren’t.
Cassie: Yeah, yeah, advocating and trusting your intuition and letting your voice be heard. For sure, very important.
Kate: So important. Wear your sodalite to those doctors’ appointments.
Cassie: Yes, definitely, yes.
Kate: What advice would you give women who are currently trying to conceive and sort of in that space of frustration and emotional ups and downs? What would you tell them?
Cassie: The most important thing would be to find somebody to talk to. For me, that was my therapist. I’ve connected with other women who are really good at building a community around them, and if that works for you, that’s great. Or work with somebody like you, Kate. But I just think for me, it was invaluable to have somebody who understood what I was going through, to talk to about what was going on in my mind and body that understood. I don’t think I could have made it with … it’s not a go it alone kind of thing. It’s just not. You got to have a support network. Build that support network first and foremost, and then yeah, daily meditation. Even if you’re not used to it, just try sitting three times a week for five minutes and focusing on your breath.
Cassie: That helped me a lot, become more aware of the thoughts and things that were going on, and then just love yourself. Love yourself and take good care of yourself, because I think that that’s where it’s at, because none of the things that I did to try to fix it or make it work or make it happen, they didn’t work. It was in that releasing and letting go and trusting and loving myself is where I found the peace. It’s not where I found the answers, but it’s where I found the acceptance and the peace.
Kate: And that’s half the battle sometimes, is getting to that place where you have that acceptance.
Cassie: Yeah. Oh, and one other small thing that I wish I did on all of my other transfers. My last transfer, my third transfer, I made everybody in the room be quiet because there’s the doctor in there, the husband. There’s always three or four people in there. And I had my earbuds in and I did a meditation, and it was the most pleasant transfer experience that I had because the other two … the first one, you’re just terrified. You’re like what is going on? And the second one, my uterus wasn’t behaving, and the third one was like I’m just going to do this meditation, and it was so pleasant and over in lickety split, and I was just like, oh, I should have been meditating through all of these procedures. Have a guided meditation for your transfers. Yeah, that was another thing. I just put my foot down. I was like, I’m doing this. If you guys could all be quiet please.
Kate: I love that. I think that’s great!
Kate: Well and then you know if you’re calm, it puts your body in sort of a more calm state to receive and things like that. It makes sense. It helps, for sure.
Kate: Tell us a little bit more about maybe some things that you have in your store that might help us in our fertility journeys and where we can find you and more info.
Cassie: Yeah, you can find us at zennedout.com. You can follow us on Instagram, Zenned Out Jewelry. I love these point crystals. They were my favorites because they’re just like an easy intention kind of setter, an easy reminder, but we do have them in rose quartz. If you’re going through a phase where you’re having a hard time just loving yourself and loving your body and where it’s at, a rose quartz point necklace, definitely recommend.
Cassie: And then we’ve got all the rainbow moonstone things like I said, which is great for just connecting to that really strong feminine energy. And then if you’re looking for ways to just get more in tuned with spirituality, self-care, meditation, definitely the blog. I’ve got lots of free tools on there. My newest print products which is the Goddess Discovery book and the Ritual Deck. Those are both really great products for helping you to just slow down and tune in, even if some of the topics are a little bit scary or unknown, they’re introduced in a very accessible way, so I definitely recommend those.
Kate: Awesome. And we can find all those on your website?
Cassie: Yep. All of them at zennedout.com. Yeah.
Kate: Cool. Well, thank you for chatting today, Cassie. It’s been-
Cassie: Yeah, of course.
Kate: … fun and been an honor. And thank you so much for sharing your story. I think for a lot of women it helps to hear that there are other people out there dealing with the same things and finding success. I think that gives hope. Thank you so much for sharing your story.
Cassie: You’re welcome. Yes. Was happy to share it. I know I was always really happy to hear success stories. I’m happy to share it and glad you asked me.
Kate: Yeah. All right. Well, thanks for tuning in guys. I’ll catch you later. Bye.
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