Meet Tasha Blasi, a fertility catalyst who founded The FU (Fertilities Unite) Project! Tasha took her own pregnancy experiences and transformed them into connections with women from all over! Her goal—to dramatically reduce the time, energy, money, and stress that it takes for you to get pregnant. To get the full scoop on Tasha and the FU Project, check out our Q&A together below:
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I am a Midwest girl that moved to California with my best friend after college because it seemed like a fun thing to do, and it was! In 2004, I met a boy at my sister’s (Rosa Blasi) wedding. He lived in New York and I moved to the east coast and married him. We have two children, Hudson (7) and Mila (2) and will celebrate our ten year anniversary in May.
What did you do before founding the Fertilities Unit (FU) Project?
After college I was a biology and chemistry teacher. Throughout my life I started small businesses as well. When I met my husband, and had to move to the east coast, I decided to change careers instead of getting re-credentials for teaching in a different state.
My best friend (that I moved to California with) was working at a media company doing advertising sales in California. She set me up with a meeting at the corporate office in New York. Based on my abilities to start small businesses, they hired me to do advertising sales. I succeeded in that career for eleven years.
How did you come up with the idea of the Fertilities Unite Project?
When I turned 40 years old, I think I had a little mid-life crisis. In my most senior position (SVP of Sales and Marketing), I was not satisfied. I knew I was good at advertising sales, but I was not happy. I wanted to find my “true calling,” but had no idea what it was.
I went to a women’s networking seminar (Redefining Success) and met up with the founder afterward, Sarah Walton. She is a business mentor and I decided to work with her to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up.
After the first session it was clear to her what my passion was- helping women go through fertility treatments easier, smarter, and cheaper than I did. I went through IVF ten times at four different clinics, have an immense understanding of the science behind it, and was the go-to girl for anyone having problems getting or staying pregnant.
I would spend hours on the phone with women I didn’t know (friends of friends) that were having issues getting pregnant and loved educating them, sharing my best organizational tips to help things run smoothly, and being there for the disappointments and successes. It was not until my brainstorm with Sarah that I realized I could do this for a living. And the craziest part was that six days after writing up the business plan for the FU Project, the division at my company was shut down and my position was eliminated. It was such a sign that I found my true calling and needed to go for it.
Can you tell our readers a little about the FU Project and what it’s all about?
The FU Project is about educating women on the whole process and the options available to them and taking care of the whole patient. Fertility clinics have limitation and agendas- this is a highly competitive field. So the clinic that the patient picks might not be the best for her needs, but the clinic will never share what they lack. It is very difficult to figure out how good a clinic really is. I can help a woman choose the correct clinic, which is the most important step to fertility treatments.
I also help determine if their strategy is the right one for their needs. For example, I help to decide if the woman should start or skip Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), how many embryos to put back, if the embryos should be genetically tested, diagnostic tests to get before starting IVF, and more.
Then the time is spent helping women get through the mental difficulties of their fertility journey. Anxiety is inevitable but no one tells women going through fertility treatments how bad it will get. So, I prepare my clients and give them a strategy upfront.
And last, the FU Project is all about support. I am the one person who truly knows what a woman is going through. I have also been through every shot, appointment, and disappointment ten times! My clients often tell me that I am the only person they feel comfortable talking to. What I share with my clients is more than empathy, it is a sisterhood.
How did you get the courage to laugh about your hardships with pregnancies and IVF?
I have always found the humor in the insane. In an emergency, or in the midst of chaos, I am quick to respond and correct, and then laugh very hard afterwards.
One quick and abbreviated story, that I have not wrote about yet, is that I had to take my hCG shot one night. This is an intramuscular and it is precisely timed. I had done this shot probably 7-8 times by this time. When I went to insert it, I must have hit a nerve and felt dizzy. So, I took it out and tried again. Again, I felt dizzy. The third time, I just went for it and fell to the ground. My husband was upstairs sleeping, I was blacking out, and needed to get this shot done, but was running out of time. So, half blacked-out, I did an army crawl, with my bare butt hanging out, to the stair and started calling for my husband. I could hardly talk but eventually he heard me and found me, and my bare butt, on the stairs, and we did the shot. Problemed was solved and then I laughed about my “bare-assed army crawl” for a long time.
Were you ever scared to share your personal stories? How did you conquer that fear?
I was never scared to share my stories. Even the really embarrassing ones coming up. But, I am scared of being my authentic self. Being in advertising for so long has made me want to filter my tone a bit. Keep it “advertiser friendly” and appeal to the masses. But I want to share the honest, real, raw feelings when going through fertility treatments.
For example, the name, the FU Project. Yes, it means Fertilities Unite Project, but I also explain that it is an homage to the real “F-U” because that was a theme in my own fertility journey. That tone is not for everyone, but it is for my ideal client because they feel the exact same way. I am realzing that my personality resonnates with some and those are the women that I want to spend my time with. So, it is a win-win when I am my authentic self.
What would you say is a myth of IVF?
So many. Some myths include that it works the first time, it is so much more difficult that IUI, the IVF doctor you pick matters in the success (only the laboratory does), the egg retrieval is a major surgery, the transfer is the easier part. I would start with those myths.
What do you think is one thing most people don’t understand about fertility problems?
I would say most people do not understand how important the laboratory is, they do not understand how mentally challenging this process is, and they do not understand the mind-body connection. When you sign up for my newsletter you get the 5 biggest fertility mistakes that people are making which will also help answer this question.
What is the best piece of advice you received through your IVF journey(s)?
IVF is a laboratory science. Only the embryologists matter, not the doctors.
What is one piece of advice that you would give to women going through IVF or fertility struggles?
Get support before you start. My clients usually call me after failed rounds of IVF or during a round when they are having anxiety attacks. The most effective way for me to help is when I can work with the client before they begin IVF. And even if you do not reach out to me, find someone to be your BFF (best fertility friend).
The criteria is someone who has had many fails but ultimate success and they are done with their journey. If someone succeeded quickly, they do not understand how prolonged infertility can affect you. If they are still in their journey, they need their own support.
What do you hope women gain from the FU Project?
My ultimate goal is that the clinics start approaching the process differently once they see my research on how my support and education can help the woman’s success.
How do you think IVF is empowering?
IVF and egg freezing is the ultimate empowerment tool. Women are taking control of their own destiny and putting in the time, energy, and money to ensure the future that they want when they want it. I think that the women going though IVF are better than those who get pregnant naturally. Yup, I said it.
The reason why someone needs IVF might be because they are a survivor (of a disease), they are the hero of the relationship, the Universe, God, their angels (I believe and work with them all) have selected them for a spiritual lesson, or because they took the time to develop fully before committing to a relationship or bringing another person into the world. These are the women that are going to be the best role models for their children.
And last, you can’t go through prolonged fertility issues without coming out of it stronger, more humble, more compassionate, and so much more grateful for your life. I think we could all use more IVF survivors around.
What is one activity you do often that empowers you?
I acknowledge the good. When things make me happy, I take a second to acknowledge it and say “I appreciate that”.
What is your favorite thing about being a mom?
The chaos! It makes me laugh. For so long I feared that our house would remain too quiet with only one child. I felt lonely in it. Well, my house is now a loud disaster thanks to my two children and our new, large dog, Coco. I am proud of the noise because it means life, health, happiness (most of the time) and my family.
What is a quote you live by everyday?
It is not a quote, but a law. Law of attraction. The more happiness, love, kindness, and hard work I put out, the more happiness, love, kindness, and success comes back to me.
To get educated visit the FU Project for yourself! And remember: support one another always!