By: Katie O’Connor, Founder, Shine: A Light On Fertility
When you live through infertility it’s an experience that stays with you. It changes you. It is a process that breaks you down, makes you question what you really want, and makes you stronger and makes you dig deep.
I am an optimistic person, I generally see the glass half-full, however infertility can make question that thinking. You have to live in a cautiously optimistic state, hoping for the best, but also preparing for the worst.
After struggling to get pregnant with my daughter, I struggled with “enjoying” motherhood. I felt so much pressure to love every minute that I felt more stress then joy. I don’t think I am alone in the feelings I had, but no one talks about it. I wouldn’t say I was post partum depression, but I was definitely not myself. I felt high levels of anxiety and would feel extremely alone when it was just me and my daughter at home. I had a supportive and amazing husband, plenty of “mom friends”, but still felt this overwhelming pit in my stomach every morning thinking “how was I going to get through the day”.
It eventually got better, at about six months post partum, I went to see my normal alternative medicine doctor and shared how I was feeling. Her immediate reaction of “oh we can fix this” calmed me down instantly. She prescribed that I take Chinese herbs, a specific concoction, a little acupuncture, and get checked regularly. I would say that took another six months, but I slowly started to feel like myself again. I didn’t have a panic attack at the thought of having to leave the house with my daughter for an errand or appointment.
Don’t get me wrong, through all of this, I loved LOVED my daughter. She was amazing, a true miracle, but even with all that love I couldn’t help the feelings that were consuming me. I just never felt natural at being a mom, I worried “where were my motherly instincts?”
Fast-forward four years, and I am more at home being a mom! I feel like I also have me back! I’ve learned that when I schedule out me time to workout, or just get a massage, I am happier, and in return a better, more present mom!
Katie O’Connor is the founder of Shine: a Light on Fertility, a unique fertility support community. She is a wife, mom, only child, marathon runner, fitness instructor, and fertility advocate! Check out the website, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and explore our Pinterest!