Family

A Lesson in Loss: A Journey to Motherhood

Couplewithpregnancy

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a mom. At five-years-old I dressed up my Barbie dolls, toted around a Cabbage Patch Kid, and cared for a dozen stuffed animals – one of which I still have. I knew that one day after I got married I would have kids of my own, probably around age 25 or so 🙂

I never dreamed that having children would be a challenge. I mean, women have been reproducing for thousands of years, right?! But, the truth is, it’s not always that easy. In fact, 1 in 8 couples will struggle with infertility, and 20% of those cases will have no identifiably known cause.

Pregnant mom with child

So, why am I writing about fertility? This blog started as an avenue to connect with other women and YOU through fitness, food, and fun. But, like my journey, it has evolved. The truth is, my husband and I have also been struggling with fertility. And at 30-years-old I’ve seen my body (and mind) evolve through hormones, injections, an IVF cycle, FET transfer, and a miscarriage.

Losing a baby is a pain I cannot put into words – a pain my husband and I have kept private for the most part. After going through a successful FET transfer we were ecstatic to learn we were expecting. During those seven weeks I felt great, except for the night sweats. But, the daily injections were a constant reminder that we weren’t out of the woods.

I wrote three blog posts in those seven weeks, none of which I was able to publish (perhaps in the future). There were days after we lost the baby that I just sat and cried. I felt angry, sad, frustrated, and just about everything in between. I felt angry that I am unable to get pregnant and just be “normal,” and frustrated that after everything, we would have to start all over. Everyone around me was and is pregnant, and although I am ecstatic for everyone, there is always that feeling of “why me?”

Why can’t I conceive naturally? I have a little bit of Polycystic ovarian syndrome, coupled with Hypothalamic Amenorrhea. To be honest, I had never heard of it until my doctor mentioned it. Shortly after I read this post from Ashley Pitt, a San Francisco-based blogger and fitness professional. My brain is essentially telling my body not to reproduce – that’s a problem!

During my first round of treatment I felt very alone (my husband and family were incredibly supportive). I wanted to continue my routine, social activities, and writing, but everything in my world was changing. Ordering medications, blood draws, and ultrasounds became a way of life. I would and still always remind myself that the end result of course is completely worth it. We cannot wait to be parents.

The reason I am writing about this now is I want you to know that you are NOT alone. NOT alone in your journey, whether that be to motherhood, to training for your first race, to picking up a weight for the first time, or to anything else that involves strength and willpower. And as my husband and I gear up for another cycle, I intend to surround myself with other positive and strong women. A support system is crucial during this process.

FertilityJourney-IVF
My mom and I with my nephew, Aidan

In the months after the miscarriage I did a lot of research on IVF, infertility, pregnancy and exercise, and just about anything after the “pregnant and _____” in google. The first step was accepting that the miscarriage was not my fault, but in fact a chromosomal abnormality. The second step was turning all of my sadness into something positive. That baby was not meant for us, but in fact – the next miracle baby is.

My husband and I are still on our journey to becoming parents, and I know that one day we will be blessed with a beautiful boy or girl. Sprinkles & Sit Ups has become something bigger than workouts and avocado toast (although I love both of those) – it has become an avenue for me to connect with a community of powerful women passionate about active living and being strong. I am powerful in mind and body, and I know that one day, I will be an amazing mother.

IVFJourney-MomandSon

If you are on your journey, I’d love to connect. Please drop a comment below or reach out to me via Instagram.

Wishing you lots of love and strength.

Xoxo,

Erica

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  1. Hi, I’m Nina and while I’m at the other side of the rainbow I have been where you are. I understand and I hear you. You are not alone. Love and light and all the best for your next battle round.

    1. Thank you for the kind words Nina. It means so much. It is certainly a journey. Remaining optimistic <3 We will get our rainbow soon.

  2. Aw, Erica, I had no idea. You are so courageous for sharing this. I know you will be an amazing mother one day – and I hope it happens soon!

    1. Thank you Courtney <3 I debated sharing - but it's important for me and for others to know they have support out there!

  3. Oh girl, I’m so sorry to hear that you had a miscarriage. I know that you’ve been trying to conceive but had no idea that you had gotten pregnant.. That must have been so incredibly tough. But, as you said, one day it WILL happen for you & it’ll be amazing!

  4. Thank you for your courage. I’ve been on this journey for two years and 3 miscarriages and 9 IUIs later it doesn’t get easy unfortunately. But you come to terms that nothing is wrong with you and you have nothing to be ashamed of. Here if you want to talk

    1. Thank you Andi! And I genuinely appreciate your offer and kind words. It is certainly a journey. Sending you lots of love and courage.