We love Stephanie's digital diary where she shares moments of her sweet motherhood, family, and IVF journey.
What do you wish other mamas knew about your experience going through IVF?
IVF was hard and because of my struggles to conceive, I feel like I struggle to belong in the “motherhood” community. It’s hard to know where you “fit” when you become a mom after IVF and even tho I struggled to conceive, it doesn’t mean that my experience of motherhood is any less valid. I struggle with a lot of the same issues as someone else who has conceived naturally. IVF was a taxing and challenging experience, but it helped me become a mom and for that I will be forever thankful.
What is a piece of advice you'd offer to mamas with your same experience?I see you. I know how hard it can be to feel this complex emotion of needing a break, but not wanting to ask for one. It’s okay to love your baby and to be thankful for the blessing of your miracle while also needing a break. Motherhood is hard and just because we’ve struggled to conceive doesn’t mean we have a free pass on a stress free motherhood experience. If anything, I think we experience a heightened amount of stress because of our experience, but you are not alone. Motherhood after infertility is really challenging, but it’s incredibly beautiful and I encourage you to allow yourself to open up and heal from the traumas of your past.
What is a real life mama moment you have had recently?
One recent morning, I was packing lunches and cutting up fruit. Our oldest son, was playing with the volume on our record player and dancing around with his younger brother. He called for me and motioned to dance too, so I did. I feel like it can be so easy to get caught up in the small tasks of feeling “rushed” or “busy” that we miss out on the little moments like that which really end up being some of our favorite memories. My advice- always stop for a dance.
How have you grown as a woman since becoming a mother?
Being a mom has challenged me more than I ever thought it would. Not only am I officially the adult- which means I have to kill the spiders and set up play dates- but I’m also the biggest influence for my little ones. Which means that I want to intentionally make sure that I am modeling for them how to be a kind and loving person. It’s challenged me to set aside my own pride and apologize, settle my own emotions so I can help them with theirs, and learn how to plan for our future.
Share about a mothering moment you feel proud of?
When I had our second son, I started this tradition of reading books with our toddler whenever I needed to feed the baby. Now, our baby is one and our toddler is three and this is still something we do today. It helps us to have a slow time for connection where we can sit together and read some of our favorite books!
What brings you joy in motherhood?
Slowing down to enjoy the small moments like watching an ant crawl on the sidewalk, get my hands dirty from playing in the mud, or running out to dance in the rain because- honestly- why not? My kids help me to slow down and enjoy the amazing details of this life that can often be misunderstood for inconvenience.