Hedi Rappard is an IVF warrior and the founder of JUNE, a female-founded e-commerce company striving to improve the health of menstruators by providing access to simple, safe, and sustainable menstrual care. 

Up until this point in my life, I have never truly felt tested to my core. I was raised in a supportive family, I graduated early from law school, relished in my ability to navigate big law for 5 years, and launched an e-commerce company on the heel of a global pandemic. 

I can’t say the same for my journey on the path to motherhood. I have a loving, supportive husband, but I had never felt more discouraged, alone, or isolated in my life than when we decided to get pregnant. 

We started trying to conceive three years ago. Both excited about starting a family, we couldn’t wait for what this part of our lives had in store for us. At first, it was easy. We heard it could take time so we reminded ourselves to be patient. But after a year without a sign of a baby, I grew anxious.

Every month when I received a negative pregnancy test, it stung a little more. Over time, it started to consume me. It became the one thing I was thinking about all the time. It was particularly hard for me in the age of social media, where pregnancy announcements seem to be about as common as #OOTD and it seemed like everyone but me was able to conceive effortlessly.

What made this journey even more difficult, was my inability to give up control. This wasn’t something I could buckle down and study extra hard for. I couldn’t put in more work like in law school or meeting deadlines in my company. The ability to stay committed and be productive seemed to have little to no effect on the outcome. More than anything, it made things even worse.

Even though I grew more aware of this fact, I did what I do best. I confronted the issue headfirst and put together a game plan. To me, it was a problem that needed to be diagnosed to be resolved. My husband and I sought medical advice and subjected ourselves to a slew of fertility tests. We comforted ourselves in the idea that knowledge was power and that together we could overcome any diagnoses.

When we finally received our diagnosis, we were met with a surprising conclusion. “Unexplained Infertility,” the doctor calmly explained. “Unexplained Infertility?” I thought to myself. Even in my darkest time, I couldn’t get a firm resolution.

I didn’t realize it at the time but this diagnosis was a crucial step to a meaningful change in my life. I had to surrender my control and that opened up the door to one of the most supportive communities I have ever been a part of. A tribe. The Fertility Tribe.

When I felt most alone, most isolated, I turned to the tribe. For the first time on this journey, I felt seen and I felt heard. In my most private, vulnerable moments, I felt validated. And I was reminded that there have been many more women before and after me who will have a unique path to motherhood.

As I began fertility treatments, the tribe became my go-to for all things relatable, authentic, funny, and supportive. When I felt discouraged, I read success stories. When I was swollen and bruised from injections, I followed other IVF warriors on their journey. I always found value in how honest and unfiltered this community was and it gave me the strength to push forward.

Now 3 years later, we are pregnant. It’s our first IVF baby and my husband and I couldn’t be more excited. I still struggle to express my joy in fear of hurting someone that struggles with infertility, but I think giving back by sharing my story is important. 

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A little over a year ago, I founded JUNE. We are a community of menstruators connected through simple, safe, and sustainable menstrual care. As a company, we sell medical-grade silicone menstrual cups and provide a safe space to openly discuss issues related to menstrual and reproductive health.

As the JUNE community grows, I’m reminded that we live in a society that stigmatizes conversations about infertility the same way we’ve been socialized to talk about our periods. Whether I realized it or not, I had fallen victim to the same pattern of behavior. 

I thought of all the times I inconspicuously asked a friend for a tampon and she smuggled it into my pocket as if it were contraband. I thought of how long I waited to tell my best friend that I was struggling to get pregnant. But in time, I learned to trust myself, know my body, speak up, and challenge traditional notions about these difficult conversations. That’s what we continue to strive for at JUNE.

When The Fertility Tribe reached out to me about a possible collaboration, I knew our goals were aligned. Not only had I been a member myself, but both communities give voices to those on their unique path to menstrual and reproductive health.

By working together and amplifying each other’s voices, we can help to destigmatize women’s health and in its path might just make the world a slightly better place for the next generation of women that we are working so hard to conceive. 

If you are interested to know more about JUNE and its mission to provide simple, safe, and sustainable menstrual care click here.