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Image / Living / Culture

Meet the woman behind A Courageous Heart – a journal to support women through their fertility journey


by Edaein OConnell
21st Sep 2020
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A Courageous Heart is a unique journal that is helping people make sense of their fertility journeys and putting self-care at the forefront


Fertility journeys are complex stories.

Each is different, with some happier than others. Whether trying naturally or through medical intervention, it’s a testing time for any woman. Emotions come into play and thoughts become entangled, crowding your everyday view. Most of us know what it feels like for your brain to feel muddled – it’s all noise but no music.

Journalling and documenting your thoughts is a powerful way to put notes together. And one woman is helping others to do just that with a daily fertility journal.

A Courageous Heart was created by Cork native Caryn Pick over a year ago. The inspiration for the journal came from Caryn’s own fertility treatment and story. She had been writing notes and thoughts in various places throughout the experience but felt there was no structure and she became lost in it. “I lost a little bit of myself as well because the focus became very much about keeping track of all of this information I was trying to hold.”

 

 

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She then began reading poetry, affirmations, and placing a greater focus on self-care as she was going through the procedures. “I started feeling better in myself,” she says. “I tried to combine the two and at the time I was creating the templates of what would become the Courageous Heart journal. I married two elements. The first was how I could be a little kinder to myself going through such a tender time and two how could I keep track of everything I was experiencing.”

Her goal is to give back to those who are going through treatment or trying to conceive saying, “the journal is a little piece of equipment to try and help you to feel better.”

It’s an emotional time but Caryn believes that by journalling you gain self-awareness and this is empowering. With fertility, everything both the good and bad is out of your control but the journal helps you to claim some back. “You start to go ‘I know myself’ and I know that I am feeling this way and now I have the tools to help me”, Caryn explains. “It’s a journey and it’s not always pleasant but being able to maintain that little bit of control helps you to be better for yourself.”

 

 

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Nudes, pale pinks, and soft greens are colours used in the design and help to create an almost calming quality. Caryn said this was intentional as she wanted the journal to be a calming experience and used as part of a self-care ritual. “It’s not that I don’t like bright colours, but I purposefully chose those tones to set a scene. And I think if you can do that with a product that someone can feel and pick up, you immediately create an atmosphere.”

The journal is completely un-dated without days or months. It also doesn’t make reference to sex, orientation, or whether you are in a couple. Caryn had seen many journals before where both parents were mentioned, even though many women choose to have children on their own. Others assumed it was a heterosexual couple and so she wanted to make it as broad as possible for everyone to use.

 

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“I wanted people to have freedom, and not have anxiety about having to log every single day. I know that I felt anxious myself from reading other journals where I felt obliged to write something. Again, I wanted to give back control to those using it so that they could pick and choose and not feel tied down to another thing they had to do.”

It goes without saying that fertility journeys are complex, complicated, and emotional, but this little journal is lending a helping hand to those courageous hearts.

The A Courageous Heart journal is available to buy on Etsy now.

Images by @agata.kmuk


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