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.

motherhood

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.

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.

  motherhood

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.

labor

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.

motherhood

For more on our infertility journey, click HERE.

For my labor and delivery story, click HERE.

PHOTOS BY MANDY GIEFER, MLG  Phototography


 

  1. Jillian

    May 11, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    Lenae, your story always brings me to tears! I’m so glad I get to go through motherhood with you ?

    1. lenae8998@gmail.com

      May 11, 2017 at 8:45 pm

      You’re too kind my friend!!

  2. Jenny

    May 12, 2017 at 12:56 am

    This is so beautiful ❤ what a wonderful mama you are Lenae! So glad we have gotten to know each other xoxo

  3. Nicole

    May 12, 2017 at 6:35 am

    This is such a wonderful story for your son to read one day! I hope you have the best Mother’s Day!! You deserve it!!

    1. lenae8998@gmail.com

      May 12, 2017 at 3:48 pm

      Omg Nicole THANK YOU! I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day as well!

  4. Diedre Anthony

    May 12, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story!! It resonates with so many.

  5. Kiara

    May 13, 2017 at 7:28 am

    Loved this Lenae! I think in some ways I can truly relate, although I am fertile, my body needs medical intervention to carry a baby. So I know how it feels to worry if your body can do what it’s naturally supposed to do, and the fear that comes along with the possible potential of never getting that Mom title. But here we are, you with Kreed and I with DJ. There’s no way we can’t say we’re blessed sweet friend! Isn’t it amazing to look back and see God all in the midst of your journey (even when it felt like he was nowhere near?) loved reading this and love you! Happiest of Mothers Day mama!

  6. Kristie

    May 13, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    Well this gave me goosebumps and brought tears to my eyes. I’ve loved learning more about your journey to motherhood, it’s incredible how much you went through to get here and I admire your positive outlook on it! Thank you for sharing this with us ?

  7. Kelly

    May 17, 2017 at 1:56 am

    You are AMAZING!! Your faith, strength and beauty are everything I want to be as a mom. <3

  8. Caitlin @RogersPartyof5

    May 18, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    This brought tears to my eyes! I’ve never struggled with infertility, and I literally cannot even imagine how painful it must be. I am a twin mom, so I know many twin moms who have conceived via IVF, and I admire their strength and courage so much. I am so happy that you were finally blessed with a darling boy. Thank you for sharing your story 🙂

  9. Zhade

    May 22, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    Infertility is one of the hardest things I have ever went though. We got pregnant after three years of trying on our first round of IUI. I remember the nurse calling me to tell me I was pregnant and emotionally breaking down. I knew how badly I wanted a baby but I didn’t understand at the time how powerful the word “you are pregnant” would be.
    I love that you have had the courage to put into words your infertility story. It would have been so amazing to read when I was going down that road.

  10. Steph

    May 22, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    Your story is so beautiful lenae. Thank you for being so open about your difficulties so that others would be encouraged through them. You’re amazing and God is so so good!

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