Meet Stephanie! She is a mama to two littles and shares openly about her infertility journey on instagram. If you need a big sis of #infertility, Steph is your girl! Read on to learn more about her journey to motherhood.
Tell us about your journey to Motherhood.
My journey to motherhood was anything but easy and if I’m being completely honest, that took me by surprise. I had no idea how challenging conception could be and how everything had to fall in place in order for it to happen. I also had no idea that even if everything “looked” good, we would still struggle to conceive. When my husband and I both agreed that we were ready to start building our family, I figured that everything else would fall into place and that I’d be pregnant within a few months. Sadly, that wasn’t the case for us and I didn’t become pregnant until many years later. After a year of trying to conceive on our own, we realized that something may be wrong so we decided to see my OBGYN for further advice. That’s when we heard about infertility for the very first time and what came to follow was a series of tests and decisions to help us to know how to move forward. All in all, we did a total of 5 IUIs and they all failed. We were heartbroken to say the least and we began discussing the option of IVF. We chose to move forward with IVF and I am thankful to say that our first round was very successful. We did a frozen embryo transfer shortly after completing our IVF cycle and that’s when I became pregnant with our first child. This is not the story I would’ve written for myself and this is NOT how I pictured my path to motherhood. However, I am now at a place where I cannot imagine our journey any other way and I wouldn’t want to. Our journey has changed me and refined me to be who I am today, which in turn makes me the best mama for my babies.
What has been the biggest surprise to you about being a mother?
The biggest surprise with motherhood would have to be the mom guilt and challenges that are intertwined within the journey. I was NOT expecting to struggle so much with mom guilt, but I do. As a work from home mom that’s building her own business, I really struggle with having time away from my children. The mom guilt kicks in on a daily basis and it’s hard to maintain a positive or encouraging mindset. I want to be a present and loving parent, but what I’m coming to find is that the best way to be my best self is to have those breaks away from them. You can’t pour into others when you, yourself, have an empty cup.
Every day I’m adapting and learning to this new life in motherhood. Every day I learn something new and every day, I challenge myself to be better than I was the day before. I try to have as much grace for myself as possible because I try to remind myself that just as my kids are learning, so am I.
What would you tell your pre-mom self if you could go back and speak with her?
Your waiting is paying off. It may not seem like it, it may not feel like it. But the work that’s happening in the waiting is paying off. When your waiting is over, it will all make sense and you will be the strongest and best version of yourself to handle the new life that comes after your waiting. Your waiting is not done in vain, but in preparation. For now, enjoy the moments of joy that you have in your current season of life. They’re preparing you for what’s to come. I know you feel stagnant and stationary, but there is a deep work that’s happening within so don’t rush through it and trust the process.
What would you tell someone who is currently experiencing with infertility?
You are not alone. I know that it can sometimes feel like you’re the only person in the world going through this right now, but you’re not alone. I encourage you to find a small group or community of people to help you through this stage of life. Having people to connect with and confide in during this time will be pivotal for your journey.
Always make sure that you trust your clinic. You’re paying them THOUSANDS of dollars and trusting them with the life of your children. Make sure that you like and trust them. If you ever feel like they don’t have your best interest at hand, it’s okay to seek a second opinion or ask more questions. I think it’s also important to say that with so many people sharing their story on social media, it’s important to remember that other people’s protocol is based off of their health history and diagnosis. Trust your clinic and the plan that they establish for you. If you are curious about a medication or step of the process, don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions!
Follow Stephanie's motherhood journey here.