top of page
Frances Jones

Fertile Minds: Breaking the Emotional Barriers of Infertility with Frances Jones

Frances Jones is a name that has become synonymous with resilience and strength within the world of infertility. Her groundbreaking book, "Overcoming the Emotional Stigmas of Infertility: Barren But Not Ashamed," has taken the literary scene by storm, offering a voice to those who have long suffered in silence. In this exclusive interview, we have the incredible opportunity to get up close and personal with Jones herself, as she unveils the motivations behind her powerful and empowering book.

"Overcoming the Emotional Stigmas of Infertility: Barren But Not Ashamed" is more than just a book; it is a revelation. Jones fearlessly peels back the layers of the emotional turmoil that often remains hidden behind closed doors, shedding light on a subject that has long been shrouded in secrecy. With a raw and honest perspective, Jones invites readers to join her on a deeply personal journey through the complex emotions and societal stigmas that surround infertility. As a renowned author in the field, her expertise and personal experiences have made her a sought-after advocate for those grappling with the challenges of infertility.

In this intimate interview, Jones opens up about her own struggles with infertility and the profound impact it had on her life. With an unwavering determination to break the silence surrounding the topic, Jones shares her motivations for writing this groundbreaking book. Her passion is palpable as she discusses the need for a shift in attitudes towards infertility, deconstructing the shame and feelings of inadequacy that often accompany it.

But it doesn't end there. Jones delves even deeper, discussing the societal pressures that surround infertility and the impact they have on those struggling to conceive. She offers valuable insights into the changes that need to occur within our culture, where the journey towards parenthood is often seen as a race rather than a personal experience. Jones is not afraid to challenge the status quo, pushing for a more compassionate and understanding society.

Prepare to be moved as Frances Jones exposes the harsh realities of infertility, but also offers hope and support to those who need it most. Her inspiring words and empowering narrative will leave you with a sense of unity and a newfound understanding of the emotional complexities that come with navigating the path to parenthood. "Overcoming the Emotional Stigmas of Infertility: Barren But Not Ashamed" is not just a book; it is a beacon of light amidst the darkness, guiding readers towards a future where infertility is no longer hidden, but instead, openly acknowledged and supported. Get ready to be inspired by the incredible Frances Jones and her extraordinary journey.


1. Can you briefly introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background?

Frances Jones is the founder of Heart Desires Fulfillment Coaching, a best-selling author, transformational coach, and a Women’s Empowerment and Motivational Speaker. Her parents were sharecroppers in a small town in North Mississippi. Raised in poverty, she did not have a plan for her future. Her only goal was to finish high school until an accounting class she took ignited a ray of hope. Frances fell in love with accounting and became the first in her family to graduate from college, earning two master's degrees. She started a career in finance and accounting and enjoyed her work, but one day, she felt something was missing.

Frances believed she was supposed to help people personally but needed to figure out how. She felt a void that remained for many years until she followed her heart's prompting. Frances became a certified professional coach by enrolling in an accredited coach training program. 

Using her life as an example, she has been sharing her experiences globally to help women overcome challenges, connect with their purpose, and have more meaningful lives. Frances hasn’t allowed the challenges she has faced, doubts brought on by others, or a fear of failure to stop her from pursuing her dreams. Instead, a new vision was birthed within her to inspire, motivate, and encourage women to move past doubt, fears, and excuses, to pursue and fulfill their heart’s desires, and to become the best version of themselves.


2. What inspired you to write "Overcoming the Emotional Stigmas of Infertility: Barren But Not Ashamed"?

Overcoming the Emotional Stigmas of Infertility: Barren But Not Ashamed is the story of my more than 20-year journey of never conceiving and how I allowed the negativity of infertility to control my life. I am a private person and never intended to share my story. But, after I became free from the negativity that held me bound, the heartache, disappointment, and self-criticism, I realized that others were stuck and allowing infertility to rob them of their joy, peace, and happiness. With that in mind, I felt compelled to share my story. If I had not, all the heartache, tears, shame, and pain I’d experienced would have been in vain. I openly share my story in hopes of preventing you from making the mistakes I made. 

I also wrote my book to give a glimpse into my life and the negative emotions, stigmas, and physical challenges I experienced with barrenness to bring awareness to people who have never experienced fertility challenges. I request that those in this category consider your words and actions before speaking with the people in your lives, including friends, family, and coworkers struggling with infertility, and have more compassionate and sensitive conversations with them.   


3. What do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I hope that, as a reader, you will realize that although infertility is tough, you have a choice in how it affects your life. I became so consumed with wanting and trying to bear a child that I lost focus on the many beautiful blessings I had in my life. I allowed the negative thoughts that entered my mind and the words I spoke to become my truth. I called myself barren and damaged goods, and in the end, I could never conceive. I want you to know that you can take a different path and have peace, hope, and purpose amid infertility.


4. What are some common misconceptions or stigmas surrounding infertility that you aim to address in your book?

There is a stigma that gives the perception that some races can have children easily. I must admit that there was a time in my younger life that I believed it as well but discovered, in my case, that it wasn’t true. According to studies, Black women are almost twice as likely as Caucasian women to have fertility problems. 

As an African American woman, I came from a very fertile family. My mother conceived ten children, and her sisters conceived multiple times. My three sisters and most of my adult nieces have children. Because of my lineage, I didn’t think I would be infertile, but I could never conceive and couldn't understand why I was the exception. 

Additional misconceptions I address in my book are:

  • If a couple challenged with infertility has children in the home, then they will be happy. 

  • Adoption is the quick fix or solution for infertility.

  • Life will be wonderful once you have children.

  • A step-parent isn’t a real parent.

  • You won’t be happy if you can’t have biological children.

  • You are not a real woman if you can’t have children.

  • Infertility is a cause to be ashamed or embarrassed.

  • A couple who cannot have children is unworthy. 


5. How would you describe the emotional journey of individuals struggling with infertility?

The emotional journey of individuals struggling with infertility can vary based on specific circumstances. For me, infertility led me to accept a mindset of defeat. I embraced a myriad of negative emotions and stigmas that took power over my life. I appeared happy, carefree, strong, and confident on the outside. But in reality, I wore an invisible mask that hid the shame, pain, hurt, self-ridicule, and constant disappointment that wasn’t evident to many people, including my husband.

Growing up, I envisioned bringing five children into the world. However, life had a different plan in store for me. With each pregnancy announcement made by the people in my life, my heart longed for the child that would never be born. This realization shattered my dreams and left me feeling broken and inadequate. The weight of infertility inflicted a profound emotional toll, causing me to question my worth as a woman. In the depths of despair, I often thought of myself as damaged goods. I wondered if, in some way or for some reason, I had done something to cause infertility.

I was the ninth of ten children in my family. My mom was 41 years old when I was born and 44 years old when my youngest sibling was born. Even when I was in my late thirties, because of my mom's age when she gave birth to her last child, I believed I had plenty of time and would still have children. 

Throughout my journey with infertility, I experienced repeated emotional ups and downs. Sometimes, I convinced myself I was pregnant and saw signs of pregnancy that were not there. Because the women in my family were extremely fertile, there was no doubt I would be able to have children. As time passed, disappointment after disappointment, having multiple failed fertility treatments, one negative pregnancy test after another, and the strained relationship with my stepdaughter, my hope of having the family I dreamed of diminished. 

Being barren personally stripped me of my confidence, self-esteem, self-worth, and vitality. It created a stronghold over my life. As much as I resisted, and despite my strong will, it captured me, and I became one of its emotional prisoners. 

Although each person's emotional experience with infertility can be different, I feel many who face fertility challenges encounter emotions similar to those that I had.


6. Could you share some strategies or techniques mentioned in your book that can help individuals cope with the emotional challenges of infertility?

At the end of specific chapters, I provide questions for the reader to consider and ponder. These are techniques that I used and were helpful for me to break free from the negativity in my life. Whenever I encounter challenges, I use these techniques to move past them.

We don't realize that our words and thoughts are creating our existence during moments of anger, disappointment, and frustration. I provide questions that will help the reader recognize and identify their core thoughts and words related to fertility challenges, as well as how their words and thoughts impact their life and those around them. 

My book, Overcoming the Emotional Stigmas of Infertility: Barren But Not Ashamed, also contains an emotional self-awareness assessment that the reader can use the moment they feel a negative shift in their emotions. This assessment can help with challenges related to and unrelated to infertility.

As a reader, the exercises and assessments will allow you to pay attention to your emotions and help you shift and control them better.


7. What role does support from friends, family, or the community play in overcoming the emotional stigmas of infertility?

Friends, family, and the community can play a vital role in helping people overcome the emotional stigmas of infertility. Infertility can be incredibly isolating and emotionally challenging. The understanding and empathy of loved ones and the broader community can make a huge difference. But before the needed support can be provided, education and awareness of what occurs in the lives of individuals challenged with infertility should happen so trusting relationships can be built with those challenged with the disease. 

Infertility can cause isolation, fear of criticism, and judgment. It is essential to have an open mind and create a safe space where people feel comfortable being vulnerable and willing to share their truth about infertility. A primary key is asking the individual or couple how they want to receive support and encouragement.

The emotional journey of infertility is a rollercoaster of feelings, including sadness, frustration, guilt, and even shame. Whenever possible and permissible, loved ones should acknowledge and validate these emotions to help individuals and couples feel understood and accepted.

In addition, family and friends must treat individuals and couples facing infertility with the same love, respect, and inclusion as anyone else. Doing so can reduce the feeling of being different or being treated as an outsider.

The community can provide information and resources for individuals challenged with infertility who are seeking treatment or support. The information and resources might include recommendations for healthcare professionals, support groups, or educational materials to empower infertility patients to make informed decisions.


8. In your opinion, how can society be more supportive and understanding towards individuals facing infertility?

I feel that supporting individuals facing infertility is a matter of exhibiting compassion, empathy, and a commitment to breaking down the stigmas surrounding this deeply personal and often challenging journey. Employers can provide a supportive environment at work by offering fertility benefits and support to their employees struggling with fertility challenges. Flexible work schedules, paid time off for medical appointments, allowing paid time off for employees choosing to adopt, similar to mothers on maternity, and offering insurance coverage for fertility treatments can ease the burden on employees facing infertility and trying to build their families.

I also feel that society must understand that some people struggling with infertility may feel uncomfortable openly discussing their infertility journey. The privacy and boundaries for what a person is comfortable sharing should be respected.


9. Do you have any advice for individuals who are currently dealing with the emotional toll of infertility?

I offer three pieces of advice.

  1. Infertility and the emotional toll associated with it can make you feel powerless. It doesn't have power over you unless you permit it. I often say that infertility is like a thief in the night. If you are not careful, it will rob you of your peace, joy, happiness, essence, and life. You can stop the thief, but you have to be brave. You must know that there is something extraordinary about you. It is not found in whether you can or cannot have children. It is found within yourself. 

  2. In my book, Overcoming the Emotional Stigmas of Infertility: Barren But Not Ashamed, I share that many years ago, my husband gave me advice that has gotten me through some of the toughest moments in my life. That advice was to 'Let Love Rule.' When going through challenges, we tend to let hurt, anger, disappointments, fear, and frustration rule our emotions and decisions, but I've learned that is not the healthiest nor most productive way to live. Letting love rule keeps you in the right mindset and perspective. It is the principle I live by each day. I've learned that everything will be okay when I let love rule.

  3. Focus on the blessings and beautiful things you already have in your life. You may not be able to control your ability to have children or any other challenges you may face, but you can control how you respond to them. Speak words of life into your situation and trust that everything will work out. 

Just like I did, you can overcome the emotional stigmas and heartache of infertility. By learning from my experiences, I hope you will let go of unproductive emotions and reconnect with the strength, courage, peace, and power that dwell within you.


10. Are there any other projects or initiatives related to infertility that you are currently working on or plan to pursue in the future? 

I am currently working on a project that will allow me to share my infertility story on a much larger scale, but it is too early to discuss. 


Frances Jones's brave decision to shed light on the emotional toll of infertility in her book "Overcoming the Emotional Stigmas of Infertility: Barren But Not Ashamed" has sparked a vital conversation in society. In a world where fertility is often glorified and parenthood is expected, Jones fearlessly challenges the stigmas surrounding infertility, giving a voice to those who often suffer in silence.

"Barren But Not Ashamed" is not just a book; it is a beacon of hope and understanding for all those navigating the treacherous waters of infertility. Jones offers invaluable guidance and support, as she shares her own struggles and provides practical strategies for coping with this heart-rending journey. Her unwavering dedication to empowering others to break free from the emotional shackles of infertility is truly inspiring.

By opening up this important dialogue, Jones is championing change and helping to shift society's perception of infertility. Through her book, she is creating a path towards a more empathetic and inclusive society where no one feels ashamed or alone in their battle against infertility.

As her publication continues to inspire dialogue, Frances Jones is igniting a much-needed shift in our collective understanding of infertility. Her work is a testament to her courage and commitment to creating a world where infertility is seen for what it truly is - a deeply personal and challenging experience that requires compassion, support, and understanding.

The Latest:  Joseph Magazine 

bottom of page