Motherhood after IVF | What it Means to Me
I was recently featured on my friend Diedre’s blog, Are Those Your Kids. She asked me to write about Mother’s Day and what it meant to me. Here’s that post incase you missed it!
When asked about Mother’s Day and what it meant to me I had a hard time putting my feelings into words. I went through all of the adjectives that I could think of…all of the power words…but nothing came out right. What does motherhood mean to me? It means the moon and the stars. It’s wonderful, beautiful, amazing, and incredible. It means friendship and love and all things exciting. For me, it means fighting battles and winning wars. It means that miracles truly happen if you believe.
It means hope. It means faith. It means love.
Motherhood means everything.
Battles, wars, miracles? How do these things relate to motherhood at all? Let me explain…
There were days that I was so doubtful that I would ever know what motherhood felt like. That’s what infertility will do. Infertility tests hope, faith, and crushes dreams. Infertility kept me from being a mother for a long time.
Just two years ago on Mother’s Day I was so certain that I would be pregnant and finally be a mother for Mother’s Day. It seemed like all the stars aligned, what would be our fifth IUI cycle was going smoothly and all signs pointed to baby. Just two days before Mother’s Day I would take my test.
But no, another negative pregnancy test…another failed IUI cycle. Another piece of my wanna-be-mama heart was broken.
It was at that moment during our infertility journey that I really started questioning if motherhood was in the cards for me. Would I ever know what it felt like to be called, “mommy”? I sure knew about all of the feelings that associated themselves with NOT being a mother. Sadness, emptiness, guilt, devastation and a loss of hope each and every day.
I had a lot of goals in my life, many of them achievable by hard work and dedication. Motherhood was a goal but one of which that was so much more complicated. It didn’t matter how many articles I read, I could stay up all night learning but that still wouldn’t help me get pregnant. It wouldn’t make me a mother.
If I wanted to become a mother, it would cost us. A lot.
I didn’t know it at the time but I was suffering from a pretty significant depression. Infertility is taxing mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially. My body was failing me month after month and as a woman, that is a very hard situation to deal with. Like a car that doesn’t drive, an infertile female body is incapable of serving one of its main purposes, to create and carry a child. With every shot, every ultrasound, and every “I’m sorry, Lenae” from my nurse, it was a constant reminder that I was broken. In those moments, it didn’t matter that I had a wonderful life, a great marriage, and beautiful family of fur babies, I was still longing for more. Something that I couldn’t do; a baby that I couldn’t have, a Mother’s Day that I couldn’t celebrate.
By God’s grace alone I kept pushing forward. I didn’t give up even though my mind told me to frequently. The dream of one day becoming a mother, knowing what motherhood was like, celebrating Mother’s Day, kept my hope alive and I carried on.
We carried on.
On July 27, 2015, we finished off our first round of IVF with a frozen embryo transfer that would eventually bring us our son. I was finally pregnant and in my mind at that moment, I was a mother. A flame was lit and feelings began to grow and develop as each week passed and our tiny baby went from the size of a blueberry to that of a pineapple. I knew I loved him. I hadn’t met him but we already shared a strong bond. This little soul that I had cried and prayed for was finally going to be mine.
On March 21, 2016, at 2:01 p.m. my son was born. Like the Creed I spoke at church on Sunday to profess my faith, my Kreed came into the world proving what Faith can do. At that miraculous moment, I was officially inducted into the motherhood community and the light of my candle grew to that of a torch.
I was a mother.
From that second on I have felt many emotions; joyfulness, graciousness, and unconditional love. Of course, there have been sleepless nights and temper tantrums, but in the scheme of things, my positive feelings outweigh any that could come along with a bad day.
God has been very good to me and I am forever thankful for this wild and crazy journey that has brought me into motherhood. It was long and hard but as I look back I was so very blessed to go through it. I have learned so much about myself during my journey into motherhood. I am a stronger person with stronger faith and a stronger marriage because of it. In the end, He gave me an amazing gift that I get the pleasure of raising into a good person; a good man.
He gave me my chance to be a mother.
I was given a chance to show my son the beauty of the Earth. We get to go to the park and to the zoo and to church. I get to tell my son that he is my miracle; that he is my hopes and dreams. I am blessed to be able to soak in the feelings that come with a sweet baby cuddle, or an open-mouth-kiss-for-no-reason. These simple things that only come from motherhood.
Because I am a mother I have purpose. I have a best friend. I have unconditional love. I have a sweet little person that looks too me for love and strength and guidance. I have a family.
Because I am a mother, I have everything.
For more on our infertility journey, click HERE.
For my labor and delivery story, click HERE.
PHOTOS BY MANDY GIEFER, MLG Phototography