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May 2020

Babe In My Arms, Babe In My Belly, Babe In My Heart, Blogs, Uncategorized

To the Momma Hurting this Mother’s Day

May 8, 2020

Written by Ginny Helmer, Guest Blogger

To the momma with empty arms,

As I’m sitting here writing this, I’m almost 36 weeks pregnant with our miracle child. Our precious and oh-so-prayed-for rainbow baby boy.

Yes, rainbow. Yes, miracle.

For almost 2 years, my husband and I suffered through infertility. Our reproductive endocrinologist gave us a less than 5% chance of ever being able to conceive on our own. Therefore, I remember Mothers Day 2018 so very well. It was my first Mother’s Day as a married woman, but also my first Mothers Day longing for a child that had not come. It was really, really hard. I felt so alone.

So, when we finally got our two pink lines almost a year later, we couldn’t stop rejoicing. Therefore, I remember Mothers Day 2019 as my first one as a mom. I was almost 9 weeks along and I was on cloud nine the entire day. I dreamed about what it would be like next Mother’s Day when my baby I was currently carrying would be here in my arms.

But just a few weeks later, even after hearing a strong heartbeat at 8 weeks, our baby died and I subsequently and traumatically miscarried at 12 weeks pregnant. Suddenly, I no longer wanted the flowers I had received as gifts for my first Mothers Day and threw them all away. I no longer felt like a mom at all. I no longer saw myself as someone worth celebrating. I was so broken and so hurt. There is no pain that can ever equal to the pain of losing a child.

Now, even though I know how blessed I am that this Mother’s Day is the greatest one yet for my husband and I, I am hurting.

I hurt for the momma who is missing her baby/babies who never made it earthside. She feels so confused. She is a mom, but her arms remain empty this Mother’s Day.

I hurt for the momma whose embryos didn’t stick, or whose IUI didn’t take. She spent so much money for a shot at achieving her dream. She is broken this Mother’s Day, and maybe questioning if she’ll ever get the chance to truly be a momma.

I hurt for the momma who has been trying to conceive for such a long time. She wants to be a mom so much it hurts her so deeply. She just keeps getting negative results, and no one can tell her why…at least not yet.

I hurt for the momma who just found out someone, or maybe more than just one someone, in her life is expecting. She wants to be happy for them and she puts on a smile and tries her best to do so, but when she gets home she is devastated and the tears won’t stop coming. She wonders, “why can’t it just be my turn?”

I hurt for the momma who has a little kid or two already, but is longing to complete her family. She is so confused on how she should feel. She is so thankful for the little ones she does have, but heartbroken that she’s not been able to conceive again. Maybe she doesn’t think her pain is valid.
I hurt for the momma who just got told her levels didn’t rise.

I hurt for the momma that just got told that there is no longer a heartbeat.
I hurt for the momma who doesn’t even get the choice to really try for who knows how long, due to COVID-19.
I hurt for the momma who woke up to a new cycle starting and is facing great disappointment.
I hurt for the momma who is overcoming her fear of needles and injecting herself with medications day and night to hopefully bring herself closer to a baby.
I hurt for the momma who feels like she is the only one in the world who is going through this.
I hurt for the momma who is suffering harsh side effects from her fertility medications and hoping and praying that they will work.
I hurt for the momma who just got her infertility diagnosis and is so confused on where to even go from here.
I hurt for the momma whose friend or family member made a comment or two that pierced so deep, yet she tries with all of her might to have grace, knowing they just don’t understand.
I hurt for the momma who can’t walk by the baby section without tears filling their eyes.
I hurt for the momma whose adoption fell through.
I hurt for the momma who was just told she has no chance of ever conceiving a child.
I hurt for the momma who is waiting on foster placements.
I hurt for the momma who feels like she’s letting everyone around her down. She wonders why her body is failing her. Did she do something wrong? Is this her fault?

I hurt for the mommas who don’t feel that they are worthy enough to be loved, celebrated, or remembered this Mother’s Day.

So, to the momma with empty arms, I want you to know this:
If you are struggling through infertility or miscarriage this Mother’s Day, know that you are seen. Know that you are important. Know that your worth is not and never will be defined by your ability to have children. Know that you are not alone. Know that you can reach out. Know that you can talk about it. Know that you are brave. Know that you are strong! Know that you have so much courage. Know that your baby’s life matters. Know that you ARE A MOM even though your baby isn’t with you today. Know that you are still just as much a momma even if you don’t feel like one and your arms are empty.

Momma, cry if you need to. Scream. Punch a punching bag. Feel the pain, the hurt, the confusion. Deactivate social media. Vent. Bake. Eat ice cream. Drink wine. Binge Netflix. Watch a movie. Skip the family gathering if you need to. Protect yourself. Love on yourself. Take care of yourself. These things that you feel – they are VALID. It’s okay to cope and heal the way that you need to.

I hope you know how amazing you are and I pray that your time is coming, babe. Until then, keep fighting. Don’t give up. Hold up your head and lean into your support system. One day at a time.

You got this, momma. And know that I am cheering you on!

If you’d like to connect with Ginny, you can find her over on Facebook or Instagram.

Babe In My Arms, Babe In My Belly, Babe In My Heart, Blogs

Be Kind to Yourself

May 6, 2020

Written by Lauren Hudson, Guest Blogger

I was diagnosed with Asherman’s Syndrome (Scarring inside the uterus) at 20 years of age a year after I had my first son. I had retained placenta, become infected and hemorrhaged during a D&C procedure and also when I woke in recovery, resulting in my diagnosis. This was the beginning.

Immediately my dreams of a big family were squashed but never in a million years would I have guessed that this would happen to me. That I would struggle to conceive and carry a baby to term. I didn’t even know anyone who had been through anything similar. At the time, this was something not spoken about in the circles I was a part of.  I thought, I was young, healthy. Surely I’d be fine!

I had a 7 year battle with secondary infertility – 10 surgeries, 5 miscarriages and countless appointments with specialists that were based 2 hours away from where I live. Including 3 trips to Sydney which is interstate for me, for 3 separate surgeries.  I also heartbreakingly lost my daughter half way through the pregnancy when I was 25 years old due to premature labour at the 5 year mark in my fertility fight. When I fell pregnant with her I thought it was all over. I thought I had done it and could do away with everything I’d been through once she was in my arms. But like most things when you’re dealing with infertility, that didn’t eventuate. I left the hospital after the most harrowing few days of my life, with my deflated belly; empty handed, planning a funeral for my daughter.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve seen the change in generations – with women opening up and sharing their stories and with the help of social media just how many women are fighting this same battle. Something that would have helped a much younger me as I felt extremely alone in this and like I couldn’t talk about it, particularly in the early days. I’ve since learnt infertility doesn’t discriminate. 

As my journey went deeper and deeper over the years – so too, did the financial strain on my partner and I. And as my mental health declined, I was also hit with waves of grief.  The miscarriages, the surgeries, my daughter and every single time I’d get another negative pregnancy test. Add in those damn hormones and you have a cocktail of depression and anxiety and a very mentally unhealthy girl, who would constantly be looking for ways to escape her reality (Thank you Netflix and chocolate!) while parenting her school aged son at this point.

I am now on the other side of things with 2 sons – my second son was born at the end of the 7 years and so was a new me. Let me tell you pregnancy and birth after loss is one of the hardest things I’ve been through. There is joy and hope but there is also incredible worry. The guilt was unbearable and also unwarranted, but it crept up on me anyway.

I am exceedingly grateful for the children I have and my heart has never been so full, even though parts of it will never fully recover and live with the children I’ve lost. 

And while that chapter of my life has come to a close – I write this with such compassion and gentleness towards those who are still in the midst of the most heart breaking fight – I am still affected by it. I still have days where my heart hurts and things that have challenged me, like a deep sense of loss on Mother’s day. What would my daughter have been like? How would I have been as a Mother to a Daughter? What about the 5 before her? Who were they? It’s a tough thing to navigate and I’m still finding my footing.

To those wishing to become Mother’s, to the Mother’s with babies in their hearts or in their arms now too – Be kind to yourself, especially on Mother’s Day. Do whatever you need to do to get through the day. There is no right or wrong way to deal with what you’re going through and there is no time limit on grief. There is 1 in 8 of us that are in this battle. That means there is an army of fertility warriors just like you who feel the same. You are not alone, we are in this together.

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