The Family Circle

Episode 10: Ali Prato x InfertileAF

November 07, 2022 Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation Season 1 Episode 11
The Family Circle
Episode 10: Ali Prato x InfertileAF
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

This month Kristin hosts Ali Prato! Ali is a journalist and mom of two, living in North Jersey. She's an infertility warrior and advocate, the founder and host of the Infertile AF podcast, and the co-founder of Fertility Rally, a community that offers 24/7 support, curated content and events for anyone going through infertility and family building through ART!

Ali and Kristin chat about Ali's podcast, InfertileAF, her own journey to parenthood, and the creation of Fertility Rally, a supportive community for those struggling with infertility. Their personal experiences with infertility weave in and out of this episode that feels more like two old friends talking than it does an interview! You won't want to miss it! 

Interested in learning more about Fertility Rally? You can visit the site here: or follow them on Instagram @fertilityrally

You can listen to InfertileAF wherever you listen to podcasts and can follow along on Instagram @infertileafstories

Don't forget to Like, Follow, or Subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts! 

Thank you for listening!

If you'd like to learn more about surrogacy, you can visit our website. If you'd like to chat with one of our team members, please reach out:

We'd love to hear your story and see how we can support you.

Welcome to the Family Circle. This is Christian circles marketing director with you today. On our podcast, we have spoken about community and support. And it is such a large part of what circle is able to offer to their intended parents and their surrogates in their donors. I remember going through my journey to parenthood, which now is many, many years ago, but back then I was not able to find any type of support or community of people that were going through what I was going through or even really talking about it besides talking to my doctor. And then finally circle, I didn't really have anybody to share what I was feeling with. Well, today we have a special guest who basically invented infertility support. I'm happy to sit down today with Ali Prado, who is a journalist. She's a mom of two. She's living in North Jersey, but she is an infertility warrior and an advocate. She's the founder and host of the infertile AF Podcast, which you may have heard and listened to. I hope you did. It's amazing. She's also the co founder of fertility rally, which is a community that offers 24/7 support, curated content and events for anyone going through infertility and family building through art. So Ali, welcome. Hi, Kristin. Thank
you so much for having me. I'm laughing. I don't know if you heard me chuckling when you
said I invented this community this this space. Do you like you're so generous of you to
say that's not true at all, but I'm very passionate about it. So yeah, we can get into all that. But yeah, I
have so much to talk about today. I know. And you and I go way
back. We're like, oh, geez, like when I started the podcast circle was one of my first partners, and you guys have been amazing. So I'm really, really, really happy to be here today. Thank you for having me.
Oh, absolutely. I was gonna say we someone of that circle team members was on one of the early episodes of the podcast. So we have met virtually it's actually the first time that you and I are sitting down and chatting.
I know I can't wait. Let's get into it. All right. So not
everybody might be familiar with your background. So can you just start by telling us a little story, sharing a little bit about your background, how you started out your career, your marriage and that sort of thing?
For sure. So I am from Chicago. I studied journalism in college, and I've always been a writer and a journalist from school newspapers to college stuff. My first job after I graduated, it was the height of magazines like I really want to work in the magazine industry. I was obsessed with magazines. This is like the mid 90s magazines were huge at the time. And my first job out of college was working for Playboy magazine, which was in Chicago where I lived after graduation from college. You know, I was hired as an intern. I was supposed to work there for six months, and ended up working there for 10 years. And I was an editor for the magazine. So I got to write about pop culture and music and celebrities and sex and fashion. You know, all that fun stuff. So I started out there. And then I moved to New York, in you know, the early aughts, which is such a weird word, but what's your weirdly 2000s? Does anyone say that anymore? Okay, early 2000s and worked for a couple of different entertainment magazines kind of bounced around went freelance point being that I've always loved to write profiles and tell stories. That's been my favorite thing like celebrity cover stories. You know, I went through a period of time where I was freelancing, and I did celeb cover stories for everybody from like Harper's Bazaar, to Teen Vogue to Health magazine, I did a whole bunch. So I've always loved sharing people's stories and experiences. And that's what brought me to where I am today. So in the midst of the whole magazine career thing, which was going really well, I did get married to Vince my high school sweetheart, which sounds so dorky. We've been together for like 150 years, basically. And he moved to New York with me it was a playboy transfer. That's why we ended up here. So on the east coast. So we moved here in 2003. And we had gotten married the year before we weren't ready to talk about family building because we were new to New York and we couldn't even ride the subway like we were how could we bring a child into this world? We're like clueless none of our friends in New York that you know, we started making had kids yet. So point being this all factors into my story because we put off having kids till I was like in my mid 30s. But anyway, so I had always been doing journalism, still writing. And then in 2008, we started talking about well, let's have a kid we're getting up there and I always wanted to be a mom. And I had my first daughter ever in 2009 and I was 35 when I had her and it was great on event Pregnancy she was breech and I had placenta previous. So I had a scheduled C section, but nothing too crazy. And thankfully, she was healthy. And I made it out. Okay, and the recovery wasn't too bad. So we were happy family three, we had our dog two at the time. So I guess the four but we didn't start thinking about having our second child until a couple of years later, and said this in so many different times. And apologies if anyone's heard me tell the story before but I knew nothing about fertility. I knew nothing about what happened to women as they got older egg reserve and ovulation and pregnancy and healthy everything when it came to fertility. So I don't know if you're the same way, Kristen. But I like just didn't know anything. So you know, I was seeing people in Hollywood having babies at 40. And people in New York, traditionally, were having children later in life. So it all seemed fine that and they made it easy, right? Like, made it look so easy. Nobody's talking about what's really happening behind the scenes. And I remember, Halle Berry had had a baby. And I think she was 45. And I was like, cool. That's awesome. But I don't know Halle Berry. But I'm guessing she maybe had some assisted reproductive technology at play behind the scenes. But she didn't mention that. And that's okay. She doesn't have to, to write to talk about it or not talking about it. But point being it just wasn't being talked about. So when we tried to, we started to think, well, we love being parents, we want to have another one. That's where and I ran into a lot of problems. And I had four miscarriages in the span of like three years. And it seems that I was not having a problem getting pregnant, I was having a problem staying pregnant. And after the fourth miscarriage, I was fine. Like, ah, something's wrong here. I should probably go see a specialist. So I got a doctor's recommendation from a friend of a friend who had gone through IVF. And again, it was like, oh my god, IVF. That's like what Octo mom does, like, that's what I thought, like, I didn't know anything about it.
It felt really taboo. Right? It ya know, it
was just like, very unknown. I didn't have any friends who had gone through it. I really didn't, or that I knew about actually, a couple of them came out later and was like, Yeah, I did that. And I'm like, Oh, my God, why didn't you ever tell me like, so I got a doctor's recommendation, went in to see this wonderful man, Joshua Klein, who ended up being the doctor that I worked with. And he was like, the problem is age basically for you. You are born with all the eggs you're ever going to have your now that you're in your late 30s your egg quality, your quantity actually is okay. He did like the all the tests and stuff. But he's like, the quality is the problem. You're having these unhealthy pregnancies and your body's actually doing the right thing by getting rid of them, because these are not healthy embryos, and they wouldn't be viable pregnancies. But we need to figure out how to get the right egg with the right sperm. So he was like, You're the perfect candidate for IVF. And again, I was like, okay, cool. Like I thought IVF was guaranteed, and I thought it was just going to work. And you know, I know now looking back, oh my God, how lucky was I that it did work on the first try. Because I know that it's very, very rare. We did all the things we agree that we're going to do one round of IVF, my husband and I, that's a whole nother sub story that our marriage was suffering because it was very, very hard three and a half to four years of infertility and loss. And I was just set on having another kid and I could not not want one. And I remember thinking God, I wish I didn't want this so badly. Because it'd be so much easier. There's the whole secondary infertility thing where people are like, Well, why don't you just be happy with what you have, you already have a kid. And there's a lot of emotions that go into that too. But point being that we decided, okay, we're going to do one round. And if one round, if this round doesn't work, it was also a financial thing, because we couldn't afford it was all out of pocket. We couldn't afford to do another one, frankly. So we did the one round, we got five embryos that we sent off for testing. And I remember the testing was an additional $5,000 out of pocket, but it was, well if we're going to do this, we're going to do it and I want to do it right. So we got our test results a couple of weeks later, four of them were unhealthy. I remember they were all female embryos and there was one male embryo that was healthy, and it was perfect. And that's the embryo that we transferred. And like I said, odds were not great that it was going to work on that first time. But thankfully it did. And I did get pregnant. And it was again, a healthy pregnancy. And I had my son who is now almost seven. So that was a long answer. Christina,
you covered so much in that answer. I think one of the things you mentioned you're like, hey, I had four miscarriages and you kind of were just telling your story as you tell it, but four miscarriages that's a big deal, right? Like it's not right.
It was terrible. I was so depressed and so sad and couldn't figure out why this kind of happening again and again and again. And you know, I know now it's called recurrent pregnancy loss and Dr. Klein had told me it was because they weren't going to be viable pregnancy. So my body was getting rid of them on its phone. That doesn't make it any easier. You see all your friends around you getting pregnant easily, seemingly, like I said, you see, these people in Hollywood be like banging out kids. And late 40s, early 50s, even sometimes, and you're just like, Why me? Why is this happening to me? This is so unfair. And you know, you mentioned at the top of the call, community, I didn't have anybody that I could really turn to that was going through this not one person. You know, I had friends and family, of course, that were sympathetic and empathetic and felt terrible for me, but nobody was going through it. So I was craving and I'm such a community person. I love my SoulCycle community, and I love my fertility rally community, and I love people. So it was really, really hard and isolating for me, even though I was married and had my daughter, and it was just the separate thing that I was going through. And I felt so alone.
Yeah, I mean, unless you can find those people to actually connect with that have experienced something similar to what you're going through. The emotions are just so different. And you say like you can share with your family and friends and husband, but it's just not the same. One thing that in my journey that I wish was more well known was you mentioned egg reserve. I wish at the time someone was like, Hey, I'm a cancer survivor. So I sort of have that a little, my story's a little bit different. So I had that a little earlier on and I kind of wish at the time, it was common talk of like, Hey, you should freeze some of your eggs at this point in time, because you're gonna need those babies later. But that wasn't even a conversation that came up. And you know, you sort of wish stuff like that did come up. But I think for me, I was just in the get me better. Let's just focus on that right now. I really can't focus on anything else. But you're so focused on the moment that it's hard sometimes to take a step back and see the bigger picture. Absolutely. So you've you now have two beautiful children. You're a writer at heart. I am too and I always had wanted to work in magazine. So I just love your story. I'm like, Oh,
I wish there were still as there's obviously still the iconic ones are still around thankfully. But I just remember the time when there was just like so many magazines and they were so some of them are so niche and so interesting. And oh my god, was it a fun time? It was sino
and the stint at Conde Nast Traveler in the city. You know,
I love very short traveler. That's so cool. Yeah. What building Did you work in them? So you were
in like I was in the Conde Nast building Conde
Nast building. Oh, that's so cool. That's fun.
And then I was like, Wow, I'm feel like I'm not making any money. I need to find something else.
Right? Oh, yeah. There was never any money in that industry. There was money to spend, which was fun, because I had a great expense account, especially when I was a Playboy and flying all over and going to these fabulous lunches and dinners, but it was all downhill from there. Yeah.
All right. So you go through IVF. You have success on the first try, which is just amazing. In itself. You have two children. Yeah. So how did you go from where you were? What was that first step you took in sharing your story and talking with others and starting a community? Yeah,
it took me a minute, because I was traumatized by what I had gone through, not to make it sound more dramatic. But anybody that's gone through this knows it's infertility is trauma, on many, many levels, not only the losses that you might have, but the fact that almost like the one thing where you can do all the things you can try your very best. It's almost like studying as hard as you can for a test and you're still getting an F even though it's such a crapshoot. There's no rhyme or reason to it. Sometimes. I know this now, because we've got these 500 fertility rally members all over the world. And we have this huge support group every Wednesday night that Blair and I host and it's wonderful, but everybody's stories are just, I did this test, and I did this test. And I've cut out this and I'm eating that, you know, and I tried XYZ PDQ all the things, and it's still doesn't work sometimes. And it's so frustrating and traumatic. It's it really is trauma. So I want to validate that for anybody listening that, you know, might be going through this, that it's a traumatic situation. And so to answer your question, it took me a while to be able to talk about it. And I started out thinking, Oh, I'm gonna write a book about this, because at the time again, this is still I had my son in 2015. But I was going through this three or four years before that, and there wasn't a lot of stuff out there. There weren't a lot of resources. There were definitely some and I commend all the pioneers that wrote the early books and started the early podcast, but it by no means was there anything like there is now which is good for the people going through it now because there's so much support and resources. So anyway, I was going to write a book. Again, I've told the story Emily times two, I've shopped the book proposal around and publishers were just, it's really entertaining. We love the writing, but it's not going to sell like, thanks. They're like, this is a business these books just traditionally don't sell. So sorry. I just wasn't interested in self publishing at the time. So I pivoted from the book idea. And somebody that I worked with at the time was like, why don't you start a podcast? You love interviewing people? You love talking to people? And you don't need someone to greenlight it for you. You can just do it. And I was like, Oh, yeah. Okay, so that's how
so What year was this? Like in 2019? Yeah, so very early in like
podcasting? Yeah. I mean, at the time, of course, people were like, oh, podcasting is dead. But it's grown, you know, exponentially since then. Even so, it was early ish. There were there were some infertility podcasts out there, there was a handful. And like I said, I commend all the pioneers who came before me, but there wasn't anything that I wanted to see, which was just people telling different stories, super diverse, all sorts of situations, not just about miscarriage, not just about IVF, but about family building. That's what the show has become. So we're almost 200 episodes in there's been one every single week, there's been different guests every week talking about family building through assisted reproductive technology. There's a lot of infertility, as well. But I also want to make sure I include same sex couples and single parents by choice and all the things.
That's amazing 200 episodes. Wow, we can only strive to get there. I'll let you remember the first one.
Well, the first one was me telling my story, because I was like, Okay, I'm going to do this and expect people to get really real and raw, I have talked to talk myself. So that first episode was me. I remember the first handful really well. There's so many now people are like, can you point me to an episode about XY and Z? And I'm like, oh, gosh, okay, I have to really think about that. And then I'll like, read the description. I'm like, Oh, yeah. But it's just funny. I've talked to over 200 episodes are about to come out. But I've have a lot more interviews that are in the can. So just talking to that many people. And you obviously can't remember the details of everybody's story. But each one of them has been incredible.
And do you find it amazing or surprising that that many people that you've interviewed, there's that many different stories, right? Yeah, no two stories are the same.
100% It's so funny, because even the other day, somebody mentioned something, and I was like, I've never heard of that. I didn't even know that was a thing. And I was like, you would think that you know being in meshed in this world. Now. Hardcore for almost four years, I would have heard of everything. But I was like, Oh, I don't know what that is. Yes, there's so many twists and turns and different scenarios. And that's part of the reason why this TTC community gets it's so frustrating because there's so many different issues that people are dealing with and combinations of issues, which makes for a good podcast because people are like, this is never going to end and I'm like I don't see it ending anytime soon. These stories. I've a whole email account of people coming to me with their stories that they're all so different. And they all are very important to me. I always like to say it's not the pain the Olympics, because people are like, Oh, my story's not as dramatic as somebody else's. I don't know if it would make for a good podcast. I'm like, It's not about drama. You know, it's about just your real truth. I'm happy to share anybody's story. It doesn't have to be a total nail biter or like super sad. I think everybody's story is worth sharing.
Right? And it's the worst to them. Right? Because it's their story. Totally. So your podcast and fertile AF, which I love the name, by the way, it makes me giggle. And I think I shared the name of it with somebody at work, one of the men that works on the team, and he's like, I just love this name. I'm like, right? I'm like, It's so perfect, though. So you started in 2019? Did you know anything about starting a podcast? Or you just jump in feet first and see what happens?
I didn't know anything about it. But I did have a friend slash mentor, my friend Kara Oh, well, you know, she's a life coach. And she's got a whole brand. And she was the one who had told me her podcast is called style your mind. And it's, it's wonderful. And she's she was the one who was like, you could do this. And here's all the things and she pointed me in the right direction of here's the microphone you need. And here's the platform you should publish on. And here's a person that can help you with the engineering. So she definitely hooked me up and set me up and gave me the confidence. As long as you're being authentic about this new you're passionate about this. It's going to work and I didn't know if it was going to reach just my mom and like a few other friends.
Your biggest fan. My mom was my biggest fan by the way. Thank
God for her. But I was like, I don't know if anyone's gonna listen to this. I mean, I find it interesting and I find it helpful. And it was it was just coming from a place of I wish I would have had this when I was going through it. So thankfully did kind of take off and now it's coming up on 850,000 global downloads. Awesome. That's pretty cool. Like, I'm really proud of that.
You should be that is pretty amazing.
Thank you. Thank you for supporting me in the early days again, honestly, it's people like you that were like, I'm into it, how can we help? So it's been a lot of word of mouth. It's been a lot of great partnerships. And that's been a huge part of it. So thank you. Yeah. So
when you started out, what did you hope people were going to get out of the podcast? So first of all, you hoped people would listen, right? That's everybody who doesn't podcast, but what were you hoping that people would get out of? What did you just want them to walk away
with? I just wanted them to feel like they weren't alone, I wanted them to know, no matter what you're going through, somebody else has been through something similar. And if not just know, you're not on this island, you know, because that's, that's what I felt I that was the overwhelming feeling was I just felt like the only person in the world that was going through this. And I knew that wasn't true. I just couldn't find the community and the right people. So that's, that's the main takeaway is I just want people to know, you are not alone. And I'm here to listen to you, or share your story if you want and just be there. And I know that a lot of the feedback I've gotten is just thank you. Like, I listened to this on my walk every day. And this woman wrote me the other day, she's like, I'm starting from the beginning. And I was like, Oh, God, you're gonna be so sick of my voice. And by the time you catch up, and but I think it's been a good mix of like, laughter and tears and scary stuff, and learning. And I've had some experts on that have also had ever My thing is that everybody on my show has had some sort of personal fertility journey. So I'll have an expert on but they have had to have gone through something themselves too. So I just want to make it really relatable.
Yeah, I think I have listened to episodes when I'm walking my dog. Because that's when I can finally get some some quiet time to kind of focus on stuff. Like I have been crying, walking my dog around the neighborhood. And I don't know if people think I'm crazy. But the episodes are just so especially for people who have had some kind of personal connection, right? They're just so moving. And some have really happy endings. Some don't have happy endings. Just to hear like, it's just so moving to hear people have confidence to share the story. Because for so long, people weren't sharing their story. So to have gone through it and come out on top that you have that confidence that you want to open up and make yourself vulnerable, like that is just truly amazing,
huh? Yeah, I agree. Just in terms of the people that are sharing, you know, this would be nothing without people coming forward and wanting to share their stories. It's worth pointing out to that, like you said, it doesn't always end with a baby. And I think that's really important to share those stories as well as the there's a lot of different terms for this segment of the community, but like childless, not by choice, or child free, there's people like to call themselves whatever they feel comfortable with. But point being that people who went through this and then pivoted and walked away without a baby at the end. And there's so many incredible people out there who are active in the community and supporting other people that end up in that same situation or choose to be in that same situation. And I think it's important to shed light on that as well.
Absolutely. So you mentioned earlier that you are the co founder of fertility rally. And you're sort of coming off the high of a super amazing rally weekend. Can you just share a little bit about what fertility rally is and how that came to be?
First? Sure. So I met this incredible woman who's now my business partner, Blair Nelson, and she sent me an email in the early days of my podcast, she was going through her own infertility struggles, and she wrote to me and was like, I'd love to be on your show. And I think she was on my eighth episode. And we just hit it off. She was awesome. And we ended up becoming friends after that. And this is when Now Instagram is becoming a big place for people to share their stories. And there's lots more Instagram accounts now, thankfully, but she had an Instagram account at the time, called fab fertility. And we just decided, we started texting, and we're just talking about this community. And she had a podcast at the time, too. And we decided that we wanted to throw an event for the wonderful women and men in this community. And we always from the beginning, we were like, This is the worst club with the best members, because of the people that we've met are so incredible, but nobody wants to be here. It's like terrible to be here in the first place. So we started to formulate a plan to to throw what we were gonna call fertility rally, and it was going to be in Brooklyn, and it was going to be in October of 2020. And we had a venue and we had speakers starting to realize
I know where there's no right
boiler, the world shutdown, so we had to pivot and move to a virtual situation. So it actually became kind of a blessing in disguise in that regard because we started doing these weekly meetups with people that we met on Instagram. Were just friends in the community. They were kind of happy hours, you could drink or not drink. Obviously, people going through treatment might not be drinking. So it wasn't about drinking, it was just about connecting. So we would have these happy hours. And then finally, they were getting bigger and bigger. And we were having like 50 people on these happy hours. And we were like, We shouldn't do something with this. So we took the fertility rally idea. And we're like, we're still want to do events. But let's also form a community. So we started a membership community that we launched in June of 2020. It was like mid band, like, literally, mid pandemic, we spent so many hours on Zoom, putting this together, as did everybody know, right? I mean, seriously, we hired a web developer and all this stuff. We started this community. We launched the membership in June of 2020. And it's just taken off from there. So now, almost two and a half years later, we've got 500 members, and it's global. Most people are in the States and Canada, but we have members in South Africa, New Zealand, Ireland, Australia, you know, it's pretty cool. Some of them join our support group on Wednesday night. And like this woman, Jenny, she's in New Zealand, and it's like, Thursday morning for her. So I'm always like, Jenny from the future, what's going on, like,
literally what is tomorrow, like, totally.
But we still do now we have four support groups a week, we don't host them all. We've hired some really wonderful people to help us out with the groups. We've also expanded from just infertility to pregnancy, after infertility, we have a whole group devoted to that, because a lot of our members have become pregnant over the last couple of years, or had babies and we wanted, they wanted to still be part of the community. But they didn't feel super comfortable necessarily being in the infertility support group. So we segmented off. And now we have a pregnancy after infertility support group Mondays, we have a motherhood after infertility support group on Tuesdays, we have our big flagship support group on Wednesdays. And then we have another one on Sundays, we're actually also going to start a men's group that we're in the early stages, because a lot of our members, spouses are like, what about me, like we want to do our natural plan. And you know, it's, I would love for this to have, you know, I mentioned SoulCycle earlier, I would love for this to become something like that, or like a weightwatchers of infertility, well, if you're in this world, you can find a group and you can join and find something that works for you. And you don't have to stay here for long, you can leave, hopefully you do leave. Nobody wants to be here for too long. But we just want to be the household name of when it comes to infertility support. So we're trying to figure out our business is at the point now where I feel like we've kind of taken it as far as we can with just the two of us. And now we're bringing on more people and possibly fundraising, you know, all that stuff. So it's exciting, and it's tons of work. And it's still we both still have other jobs too. So try to figure out how to balance at all, but we're both so passionate about it. And I just like the people that I've met our friends for life, I can't imagine not being a part of this community. And it makes me feel after the call on Wednesdays, it's there's supposed to be 90 minutes. And they always go like two hours plus, but after every single call, I'm like exhausted, but feel so grateful that these people trust us and that we've created these relationships and these people that are going to be in each other's lives for forever. Because as you know, you you've gone through this, the bond with people that are going through this too. It's instant. And it's hard, and it's deep. And it's pretty cool.
Yeah. What's next for you? I mean, you have you have the podcast, which is not going to go away with fertility rally. So what is that?
Oh, my gosh, I think just figuring it all out. Podcasts will definitely keep going. So thank you, for anybody that's listened to that it's on it's free. Obviously, it's on all the podcast, places anybody wants to find it on Instagram as well in for the live stories if anybody wants to DM me or has questions or need support or wants to share their story. And then what's next is just figuring out next phase for fertility rally. We really want this to be something that everybody everywhere has access to. So we're trying to figure out how to scale and grow it and keep it authentic to what we wanted to do. You know, it's tricky. It's really tricky, but it's awesome. Fertility rally live was the event we just had, which is an all day virtual event with speakers and panels and giveaways and all this stuff. So we do it every October, which we just did. And we have the other one. The next one's coming up in April 2023. Again, it will be an all day virtual event so anybody can join from anywhere. Tickets are free, but we have eight plus hours of talks. And same with the podcasts like we just we tried to make it as diverse as possible and include as many people and as many voices as we can so that people can find something to really too so we're planning April's fertility rally. We love everybody to come. And that's kind of what's going on. And I'm also getting a dog
the most time consuming thing we
know we're rescuing a one year old girl. Yeah, so she's gonna come up she they found her in Texas. I'm in Jersey. They're driving her up with some other dogs that they work with the shelter down there that works with the shelter up here. So yeah, we're adopting her and that's going to be really exciting because our my kids have been clamoring for one. I love dogs. We haven't had one in 10 years. And so that's, that's next to my list.
I have a rescue dog mom as well. You are What do you have? I am we have a little dachshund Chihuahua. He's like 12 pounds. His name is Rocco. And then we have a beagle Dotson, who's about 30 pounds. And that's Oh, you and they've miraculously stayed quiet through this entire time that we're talking Yeah.
You give them like lots of treats or something?
Or they have they have something to keep them occupied. But you mentioned your kids. And I just wanted to touch on that quickly. So your kids are a little bit older now. What have you told them about your story and what you do? How much do they know? And how do you talk about that? Oh,
Kristin, I feel like I never get that question. That's such a good question. So my daughter's 13. And she knows pretty much I mean, she knows that I have a podcast that has the word Gannett, such so she's like, thinks that's weird. Everything I do, it's she thinks is cringy. Because that's how 13 year old girls are. So she knows about it. They hear me doing interviews, and they hear me doing fertility rally. And she knows that I'm trying to help people and support people, my son. He's almost seven and he he doesn't quite know yet that he's an IVF. Baby. We've never had full on conversation about that. But I'm not hiding it. It just kind of hasn't come up. There's so many good children's books out there now about it and how to talk to your kids about it. I feel like that conversation is on the horizon. Like I'll definitely have a sit down with him soon. I think he's old enough now that he can understand it. I mean, whatever people want to tell their kids, of course, I think is wonderful. We just haven't had that chat yet. But he does hear me talking about babies and pregnancy. And he asked me the other day, why are the women always crying? And I was like, because it's so sad. What do you want to have a baby and you can't, he knows that every single day of my life since he was born. I have said to him, I can't I still can't believe you're here. And at first, you know, when he was little, he would just be like, Mom, I'm always here. And recently he's been like, What do you mean by that? So I think he's onto me. So yeah, kids are intuitive. Yeah. And, you know, they're just, they've been great. And I think they see the passion that I have for this, they know that I work a lot. But the good thing about having my own thing is you can balance it out. And I'm not in an office all day. And I can do school drop off and pickup and I feel really lucky to be able to do that kind of stuff and go to all the games and the parents nights and all that fun stuff, too. So it's a really good balance. I feel like I'm at a good place. And I'm just lucky, I feel lucky to be able to do what I'm doing. That's great.
Yeah, I think it's a personal choice on when and how you talk to kids about stuff. We have these conversations often at circle with intended parents and even surrogates who are caring for our intended parents, like they have to have that conversation with their kids. This is not our baby, this one's not coming home like so they have to have them too. And I think there's an age appropriate way to have these conversations. And I think as a parent, you know, your kid best. Nobody knows your kid better than you do. And you know when the right time is to bring it up what that right conversation is, and that could change over time as they get a little older. Or maybe there's different details or you've changed some of the words that you're using. But kids are amazing. I think we've talked to our son about stuff and like he looks at you for a minute and things like that snack. Oh, really? Good talk. Good talk. Right?
What did you say? I'm curious. What was your did you have like a book that you use? Or? Yeah,
so we it was actually during the pandemic, right. We're spending all of this time home together. And he was born via surrogate. And every year quick backstory every year, my husband and I, and both sets of our parents go on a family vacation together. And I make a photo book that commemorates the vacation that year. The year he was born, the photo book was our trip down to Georgia, we all went for his birth. And so he had never seen it. So he I don't want to say he was either five or six at the time. So we're like, hey, we have a book we want to share with you. So it was a book we use, but it was his book and sort of his story. And we went through and I'm pointing out Hey, mom needed some help. This is our friend. Brittany and she carried you in her belly. And we had some questions along the way. And I think there was confusion. And we're like, hey, look, you were so small. And we drove 11 states with you. And mommy almost had a heart attack driving that far with a baby.
Oh my gosh. and of itself,
I know, right? And he kind of just took it in. And he actually did ask for a snack when it was over. But then like, a couple of days later, he had a question or two, and then no joke six months later, you remember you told me that story? And there was another question. So like, I could tell a little bit more information. So it's sort of unfolded pretty organically, just like, hey, let's look at this book together. Oh, yeah. So that's how we did it. I think everybody does it a different way. But that's worked best for
us. Yeah. I love that. I love that. I get the chills when you're talking about the book. That's really cool.
So Ali, I we've taken up so much of your time, I'm so happy, we finally got a chance to sit down. So all the years that we've been working together behind the scenes, this is the first time that we've had an actual, like
long conversation. I know. And I would love to get you on my show, if you want to talk about later. Talk about it later. But I wanna hear more about your journey and the 11 states.
Absolutely. And how the hotel thought we stole a baby. It was just it was great. Oh, my God. But we will save that for a different episode. Yes. Well, this has been Ali Prado. And thank you. Thank you. Thank you for joining us. Is there anything? What's the best way for anybody to reach you if they want to talk to you about either your podcast or if they have questions? Or what's the best way you so
much, first of all, for having me, I really enjoy what you're doing. And I know that you're so passionate about this work, too. So thank you. If people want to reach me, the podcast is called infertile AF. It's on Instagram. And for life stories, you can DM me, you can email me at infertile F stories at Gmail if you want to share your story. And then fertility rally, we have a website, which is fertility We have new members joining the first week of every month. So we open our membership and onward people every month. And it's been wonderful if you want to check it out. Or if you want to check out a support group, see if it's your jam, before committing, feel free to contact us at fertility rally on Instagram and we're happy to have you if you have any questions about any of it. You can just reach out to me but the main thing is just all these things exist because we want people to know they're not alone. They've got people that can help them answer questions and hold their hand no matter what they're going through. So thank you to anybody that's checked either of those things out and hopefully they'll will continue to be around and and be there for people.
That's great. Thank you so much.
Thank you

Hello & Welcome - Kristin Marsoli
Introducing Ali Prato
Who is Ali and How Did She Start InfertileAF and Fertility Rally
Family Building & Secondary Infertility
Miscarriages & Loss
Egg Reserve and Egg Health
The First Steps in Sharing Ali's Story
InfertileAF - How Many Episodes?
Starting a Podcast - Founding InfertileAF
What Did Ali Hope People Would Get Out of the Podcast?
How Did Fertility Rally Come to Be?
What is Next for Ali?
Ali Sharing About Infertility with Kids
Kristin's Story - Talking to Her Son About Surrogacy
Thank you!