A free weekly email
for city moms (and expecting moms!) with kids under 3.

Wanting A Baby.

Cindy Barshop opens up about infertility

Motherhood can feel lonely at times. Especially if you're struggling with heartbreaking issues like miscarriage, PPD, or infertility. It can be incredibly healing—liberating, even—to share these experiences with others going through the same thing. That's the idea behind our new series, Opening Up, sponsored by the Seleni Institute. To help get the conversations going, we'll be talking to notable NYC moms about their experiences, starting this week with Cindy Barshop. The founder of Completely Bare (and former NYC Housewife) went through Hell and back to get pregnant with her almost-4-year-old girls, Jesse and Chloe. Barshop took a break from her busy schedule (and the opening of her cool new Brow Stops) to open up.

StrollerTraffic: You were pretty transparent about your infertility struggles on RHONY. Can you give us a quick summary of what you went through?
Cindy Barshop: I did approximately eight rounds of IVF over the course of two-and-a-half years.

ST: Woah. Was there ever a point during the process when you sincerely considered giving up?
CB: I never wanted to give up, but you slowly start to look at other options—whether donor, surrogate, or adoption. It's definitely a challenge to mentally accept that this is not working and to try and embrace other options. I did not have to go through adoption—the process did finally work for me—but toward the end I had become comfortable with the idea of going to a surrogate or adopting.

ST: What gave you the courage to continue trying over and over?
CB: I truly believe there are some people who are supposed to have children, and that there are little souls are waiting for them. So for me it wasn't about courage, it was meant to be.

ST: Were you open with your friends, family, and colleagues while you were going through this?
CB: You have to be. You are on so much hormonal medicine that you need to tell people why you are acting crazy.

ST: Good point. How important is it for women struggling with infertility to share their feelings and seek out support from friends and family?
CB: The best support comes from other people going through the process. My family and friends were amazing, but it's most helpful when you speak to another woman going through it.

ST: Well, that's exactly why we're running this series—to get people talking about these issues, and sharing their experiences. During the process, how did you feel when friends got pregnant or had babies? How did you manage those emotions?
CB: My best friends were all pregnant or just had babies and I tended to get obsessed with their babies. It is difficult. But it was actually harder to deal with when I was not going through IVF. At least during the IVF process I knew there was hope. It was harder for me when I was younger and wanted to have a baby but was not doing anything about it.

ST: What advice or words of encouragement can you offer to women going through this now?
CB: It’s the hardest journey, but there is nothing better than when your dream comes true. No matter how you receive the little soul, it was always supposed to be with you.
ST: That's so beautiful, Cindy. Thanks for sharing!