We’re fortunate to get so many wonderful messages and updates from our Beli community. Recently, someone reached out to share the following: “I am so grateful for your product. I have such peace of mind knowing Beli obviously helped me get pregnant and will also help throughout the pregnancy journey as well to make sure the little one is as healthy as can be.”
We love these stories, and we love knowing that Beli has helped another couple on their journey to parenthood. We reached out to Jamie* to hear more about her story, and we’re so appreciative that she opened up about the highs and lows of her fertility journey and experience. This is why we do what we do!
Jamie is a planner. It’s how she’s been her whole life, and when it came time to start a family, she did what she’s always done — she started planning. “I thought I would be married with kids by the time I was 26, 27,” she says, and you know what they say about the best-laid plans. She tied the knot in late 2020 before she turned 28 and the happy couple was open to kids right away. But the months went by with no luck. “We really actively started trying around September 2021, when just being ‘open’ to the idea wasn’t doing much,” she says.
First, the Research Phase
For years, Jamie had suspected that she might find it challenging to conceive. Call it a hunch — in addition to her self-described “crazy cycles,” a family history of likewise crazy cycles, and what her OB/GYN dubbed a “little bit of PCOS,” Jamie also has a thyroid condition. Maybe that’s what motivated her to do her homework, or maybe it’s a character trait. “Someone might spend five minutes looking into something, and I’m the one spending six hours,” she laughs. Either way, by late October of 2021, she had channeled her clinical research experience — it’s her profession, after all — and was current on all things fertility, from ovulation testing kits to fertility monitoring to prenatal vitamins not just for her, but for her husband too.
“It was probably in November of 2021 that I realized nobody had told me I should have started prenatal vitamins months before we even started trying,” she says. “You don’t really get education on the specifics of women’s health, even though we kind of go through all these biology classes, and you see your OBGYN. The conversation that should help prepare you for when you want to have kids is never really there until you’re suddenly having trouble trying to get pregnant.”
Then, A Deep Dive into Prenatals – And Drugstore Versions Weren’t Cutting It
Once she realized the huge role prenatal vitamins play in the preconception stage, Jamie began researching her options. “The first thing I did was go to the drugstore — this is just me being me — and I was looking at the different brands and seeing what was on the label and trying to compare. I was really surprised at how different they were — none of them were consistent. That was my first clue that there was a big range out there, especially since what’s at the drugstore is usually the bare minimum.” Of course, Jamie was also spending hours online, researching recommendations for specific nutrients and quantities. She took a chance on a popular prenatal. “I mean, it smells amazing and I know people love it because it looks really nice and it feels clean, and the company is transparent about the ingredients,” she says.
But the more she researched, the more concerns she had that it wasn’t really as great as that compelling marketing copy made it seem. “One of their claims is that they don’t put more than what they feel your body absolutely needs. But just because they say I don’t need it doesn’t make it true.” It was particularly true for Jamie, since she doesn’t absorb vitamin D well and needs to take a pretty significant amount just to maintain normal levels. “You also need to take into account the recommendation. Your body is going to absorb whatever it absorbs according to its own composition, but you don’t want the bare minimum because if you aren’t absorbing it, you’ll end up with less than what you need.”
But Where’s the Choline?
There was another red flag. The prenatal had a nominal amount of choline, and the company promoted a separate protein powder containing this key nutrient — something Jamie didn’t want to take. So she went back to researching ingredients, and that’s when she found Beli. It ticked all the boxes, from its vegan formulation — Jamie was born and raised vegetarian — to the list of clean, recommended ingredients and company transparency.
“The biggest thing to me was that there was very little out there for men. When I realized that Beli had both women’s and men’s prenatal vitamins, I was sold. If a company can do that and understand that it takes not just the woman but also the man to successfully conceive, I want to support them and use their products.”
The more she verified the ingredients in Beli’s prenatals, the more excited she became. “As I was looking into it, I could tell it was very wholesome, just by looking at the ingredients, looking at the dosages, looking up the recommendations,” she says. “That was kind of my journey to deciding that Beli was a better fit than the other ones I’d come across. It means a lot when a company just off the bat realizes that it really does take two people to conceive, and it’s not just one person who can be the problem.”
By the time Jamie saw her OBGYN in December of 2021, she was on a mission. Armed with her recent research, she had no problem advocating for herself, requesting an ultrasound, bloodwork, and a semen analysis for her husband. It all looked normal, and her OB advised her just to keep trying. Notably, the OB told Jamie she couldn’t do much for her because she was ovulating, albeit irregularly. “My cycle would be 30 days, 45 days, 55 days, and I just remember thinking, is that how it’s supposed to be?”
That’s when Jamie decided to take things a step further. “In January, that’s when I was like, obviously me advocating for myself is helpful, but I’m not where I want to be. The standard advice is to wait 12 months, but if you don’t have a normal cycle, I don’t see why there’s no extra assistance. There doesn’t have to be intervention, but there could be guidance on what else can be done to help track your cycle better and time things better. Those resources aren’t available through normal healthcare avenues.”
In addition to fertility monitoring kits and his-and-hers prenatals, Jamie and her husband were using LH tests. She had also scheduled a visit with her endocrinologist, an expert she saw for her hypothyroidism. After a little medication adjustment, Jamie began going in for bloodwork every time she ovulated. She started taking a small dose of metformin under the guidance of her endocrinologist and gave herself three months to see how well it was working. “Sure enough, my cycle still wasn’t regular, but I noticed that when I was ovulating, my LH was much higher than any of the other cycles I had tracked before. So I knew something was working, and all I had really changed was adding the Beli vitamins.”
A New Plan
But she still wasn’t pregnant, which meant changing the game plan. “If I wasn’t pregnant by the end of April, the plan was to go to a fertility clinic.” That dovetailed with her most recent visit to the OB. “She had kind of just looked at my bloodwork and the semen analysis, and told us we might want a little help from the clinic,” Jamie remembers. “ It was a total 360 from what I’d heard from her in December.
After the introductions and preliminary appointments, Jamie was waiting for her period to begin so she could go in for the multitude of tests to come. The couple had a trip planned to Cancun, and Jamie woke up one morning just a few days before their flight out — it was day 14 — and decided to take a pregnancy test. The timing is significant — it was one of the ground rules she had laid out for herself. “Just to not drive myself crazy, I never tested until at least day 12,” she says. "And then as I got months and months in, I pushed it out to day 14. I think so much of the mental stress comes from testing before there’s even a high likelihood that you’re going to see something.”
“I was so shocked because I had seen so many negatives by that point. I was convinced — and so was the fertility clinic! — that I’d need ovulation induction assistance because my cycles were so crazy and I have a family history of crazy cycles and all of this stuff.”
Jamie was shocked enough to rummage through the cabinets to find all the pregnancy tests she had. Six tests later, she was coming around to the possibility that she was indeed pregnant and shaking her husband awake to share the news. “I ran over to him and was like, I think my test is positive. Actually, all six are positive. He was in total shock too.
Immediately, she called the fertility clinic, and the staff there was likewise stunned. “I was literally there just seven days prior saying that we did the ultrasound and the bloodwork and they agreed that we should start treatment to give me a better chance at getting pregnant, and here I am, calling them to tell them I’m pregnant. It was a very surreal moment. I was shaking because I couldn’t really believe it was happening.”
During a very conservative trip to Cancun — “we didn’t actually go anywhere because the doctor scared the crap out of me about the Zika virus!” — and a few days after her positive test, Jamie started getting a weird feeling that she was carrying twins. “I know that sounds absurd, because how can you know? But we landed, and we went in at 6 am the next day for an ultrasound. Sure enough, there were two.”
Nauseous and Loving It
These days, at the tail end of her first trimester, Jamie is reveling in it all — maybe minus the morning sickness. “I’m throwing up all types of food, but I haven’t had any issues with Beli, not once. Honestly, I think that minty smell helps.” And while the idea of twins is, well, pretty mind-blowing, it tracks for this planner. “I always used to say I wanted two kids before I turned 30, so I’m just taking this as a blessing. Everything’s been great so far.”
Jamie, thank you so much for sitting down with us to share your story. We love having a part in your journey to twins (ahhh!) and we can’t wait for all the excitement to come. From everyone at Beli, congratulations and enjoy the ride!
*name has been changed to maintain privacy