My fertility journey began different than most. In a body cast in high school and ended in what many consider to be the scariest outcome, accepting a childfree life. In between, we lost three babies, our surrogate had another unplanned baby of her own, and we had to redefine our own happy ending. Don’t let your own fear, scarcity, shame, and maybe, even judgment keep you from reading my hard and beautiful story. I’ll never see a heartbeat flicker on an ultrasound screen. Never feel a kick flutter from inside. I’ll never hold my own child in my arms. And, I will forever wonder who my three would have been.
Over five years ago, my husband Chad and I ended our IVF journey. We ended it before we got the hoped for, dreamed of, and paid for result of healthy babies in our arms. After tens of thousands of dollars spent and three babies lost, we ended our journey with our gestational surrogate. We had reached what I call our enoughs and everything. The money was gone, our hearts broken, and we had to move on from a dream that was going to take more from us than it ever would give. Let alone if it was ever going to come true in our definition of success.
It wasn’t until after our journey that I found, fought for, created, and received my true motherhood. My calling for speaking the unspoken shame. Advocating for healthier messages in our community, and teaching this work of a brave, authentic life to the world. Whether it has been through my own journey back to happy through self-care and faith. Through writing my books, or speaking of infertility and grief from the TEDx stage. I live every day to honor my three and me.
We are mothers. Mothers on different paths, that will never look the same. And yet, in our grief and loss are so much the same. What I know for sure, is that if we choose to do the work to be more than our pursuit of motherhood we can have the ability to create our happy. No matter what we get in this journey. I am a forever grieving mother and a woman who chooses to do the work to see the gifts in everything. My only hope and prayer is that others will grasp this light filled space for themselves.