Blog chronicles our journey to parenthood after infertility. I am sharing our journey of parenting and the ups and downs of Motherhood. We have 3 babes; Charlize, Sawyer, and Jax. They are my hope triplets and they entered our worlds in August 2015.
Sometimes we face things that are really hard to process, work through, and overcome.
About a year ago, I told a friend who was struggling with infertility that I would be her surrogate if it came to that. After much hope for my friend, she finally conceived. My heart was overwhelmed with joy.
As time went on, I still felt like it was on my heart to be a surrogate so we found an agency to work with.
We met with my Doctor to discuss surrogacy and if the complications during the delivery of my triplets would prevent me from even qualifying. “You have 3 beautiful babies at home that need you,” she said as she proceeded to share the potential things that could go wrong considering my history. “You could lose your life, Des.” Ultimately, carrying and more so delivering another baby, would be life-threatening.
I knew right away I would likely not qualify for surrogacy, but all I could think about was my 12 remaining embryos. “Are you saying the same risks apply to me if I got pregnant with my own biological child?” She was silent for a moment. I knew the answer.
It painfully struck.
My heart broke because I truly wanted to help someone become a Mom. And I deeply grieved my embryos and my broken body. I was ashamed for wanting another baby when I have 3 miracles right in front of me. I was ashamed of my body for not functioning once again the way it’s supposed to. I felt like my desire to have another child was stolen from me. Silently, quietly, privately, I grieved- which was usually the few minutes I had alone in the shower. I cried and I cried hard.
It was a matter of time before my grief was crippling me. I started to have panic attacks every couple days. That’s when I knew I needed help. Ultimately, it was my silent grief that was the culprit to this painfully difficult season I’ve been in the last several months.
However, my silent grief also showed me how God is always at work in us, revealing and renewing our hearts. I have to choose to trust Him in the story He has created for my life, especially the fine print. And I don’t know what our story holds, but I do know God is doing something good in me.
I am so excited to introduce you to Cleo Madison. I am in love with this beautiful boutique that offers modest, yet incredibly gorgeous and stylish apparel for women. I also love the heart behind this brand. I think it is amazing to see different styles of dresses, skirts, tops, and even swimwear that bring a sense of modesty and beauty to women.
Cleo Madison offers a variety of beautifully designed and made dresses. This is the Ballard Striped Dress in Burgundy. It is a gorgeous and incredibly comfortable. As a Mom, I always go for comfort. It is so easy to move in this dress. However, I love how I can dress this particular dress up or down. If I wanted a night out, I could wear this beautiful piece.
I wear this dress in a small. I love everything about it. This particular dress is also available in navy. Cleo Madison is a unique boutique that offers personality in their designs and beauty in modesty. “Modesty is always in style,” and I love how @cleomadison has used their brand to show women that dressing modest comes with beauty and value.
I hated breastfeeding.
There. I said it.
When my triplets were born I experienced some complications and nearly lost my life. My Doctor told me I would likely not be able to breastfeed, but miraculously my body produced enough milk for all 3 babies. It was such a miracle and I was so proud of my body for functioning the way it was supposed to. I came to the NICU everyday with milk that I pumped the night before and I would take turns nursing the triplets hoping to experience “the bond” I often heard about.
When we finally came home with our babies, I pumped exclusively. The triplets all had GERD, which made feedings stressful because each baby needed individual attention. And I was already so exhausted, pumping didn’t help. But I kept telling myself I needed to do this for my babies. I felt like I would be failing them (and myself) otherwise. A “friend”even told me that “formula is poison.” What a disappointment I would be if I chose to stop.
The weeks continued to go by and I was in a fog. I knew I wasn’t myself. I started to despise breastfeeding and even felt jealous of my husband as he laid in bed while I stuck a machine to my boobs.
There was such a tug-a-war in my heart. I felt so ashamed and embarrassed because I didn’t want to breastfeed anymore. Guilt can ruin you.
When the babies were 3 months old I finally saw my Doctor to seek help for my postpartum anxiety and depression. It was one of the hardest steps, but the best thing I could have done for myself. I needed help. I was exhausted, in a depression, just not my normal self. The very first thing she suggested was to stop breastfeeding. She even wrote me a prescription that said “stop breastfeeding.” I felt like she gave me permission to stop.
So I did.
If you take anything from this, take this:
Fed is best. Breastfed. Formula fed. It doesn’t matter. Either way, you’re an amazing mom. Surround yourself with people who will support you because you need that, especially as a Mom. Ultimately, we are all working hard to raise good humans, so let’s stand together Mama’s and support each other.
Lack of sleep is like a poison.
Like all new moms the sleep deprivation kicked in hard when the triplets were born. It was a whole new level of exhaustion and the culprit of my postpartum depression and anxiety.
One night when the babies were just weeks old. I had just finished nursing Charlize. I cradled her in my arms and dosed off. And by dosed off I mean, I fell into a deep hard sleep.
Suddenly, frantically, I woke up, shouting “we forgot to feed the babies.” I startled Ryan as I jumped out of bed without even realizing I had Charlize in my arms. I remember Ryan shouting “Babe. No!” as if he was watching a slow motion film. Fortunately, Charlize was cradled in my left arm so she slipped right into the bed, but if she was in my right arm, she would have fallen on the floor. My sleep deprivation put me into a delirium. I was exhausted all the time. This moment told me lies about who I was early on as a new Mom and instilled fear in my heart.
Sleep is a need. It is medicine to our soul. It helps us stay healthy. I was not prepared for the lack of sleep that would intrude my being and ruin my functionality as a Mom. It heightened my anxiety and put me into a depression. I wanted to be in bed all day, but I couldn’t. I was a Mom to three tiny newborns who needed me. I felt so incapable.
I had no clue what I was doing. The triplets suffered from GERD, which didn’t help. Feedings required extra help and individual attention. I often wondered how God could entrust me with all 3 of them. I hated feeling like I needed help, like I couldn’t be a mother on my own. But what I learned is that it takes a village to be a good mom. I needed to ask for help. I needed to go on meds to help me function. I needed a Mommy helper. I needed to do things that would help me get through such a hard season.
My babies are toddlers now and I can tell you, I still need my sleep. If I am not getting the sleep I need I turn into a monster. I have less patience and am sometimes reminded of all the lies I believed about myself back when my babes were newborns. However, what I’m reminded of more than anything, is that, it takes a village and it’s okay to ask for help.
To the woman struggling to face this Mother’s Day,
I know this day may be a hard day. I know you’re heart is hurting and grieving. You long to be a Mother and I know this Day is reminder that your womb is empty. Trust me, I know. I know Moms everywhere are celebrated and you desire so deeply to relish in a role so special and honorary.
This Mother’s Day, I celebrate you. You are strong and brave. I celebrate you for not losing hope and being patient in the midst of God’s details. I celebrate you because infertility sucks and fertility treatment is exhausting emotionally, physically, and financially. Trust me, I know.
I celebrate you because the scar on your stomach represents a child who was welcomed into Heaven’s gates sooner than you imagined. I know you’re grieving, Mama. I celebrate you because it takes so much bravery to bury your baby. Mama, I’m sorry. I know the day you lost your baby it was heart wrenching-the ugly cry kind of heart wrenching.
I celebrate you because even though your baby left your womb far too early in pregnancy, you’re a Mom. I know you were dreaming of life with her. I know you think of her often. And I’m so sorry for your loss.
Mama, I celebrate you because you take kids in that need a home until they find their forever home. Being a foster parent is not an easy job! We need more Mama’s like you in our world
Mama, I’m so sorry the adoption process is taking forever. I know you desire so desperately to hold your baby in your arms. I celebrate you because adoption takes a special kind of Mother’s heart and your babies are lucky to have you.
Mama, thank you for being a spiritual mom. Even though you may not have given birth, you are a Mom to many. You have a Mother’s heart. Never forget that.
Friend, I’m so sorry your Mama is gone. I know it must be hard carrying on life without her. I’m sorry you can’t share this Day with her and tell her how much you love her.
On this Mother’s Day, I remember you! You are not alone and you are not forgotten. To the mama struggling to face this Mother’s Day, I’m thinking of you
I once was you.
A close friend told me once, “Anxiety holds hands with fear.” And the fear of losing one of my children at a park, or the zoo, or even the grocery store, has paralyzed me at times. I feel like I have held my kids back from incredible adventures. It’s like I’m keeping them from experiencing things I know they would love because the fear of someone taking one of them is so overwhelming that it is often easier and safer to just stay at home.
In the last several months I have taken steps to help me with my anxiety struggles. I am apart of an amazing moms group called MOPS. This was essential in helping me make friends in my area and walk through some of my daily challenges with moms who offer no judgement or criticism, just love. Recently, our MOPS group held an Easter Egg Hunt at a large park in our city. I knew we would not attend this event-not because we were busy or out of town; but because this park is a panic attack waiting to happen.
The special day was upon us I told one of the other moms in my group the truth about my recent panic attacks and that I would be skipping the egg hunt due to my anxiety. I felt ashamed. I knew how magical this celebration would be for the triplets, but I also knew the kind of anxiety it would bring me.
My friend asked me if she could reach out to a few of our “Mentor Moms” to see if any of them could help me with my kids, so I would be able to join in the special day. Initially, I was embarrassed and felt like a burden, but I know that was not the case. My friend found two mentor moms willing to help me with my kids that day. And it turned out to be an amazing time. The joy I got to share with my kids was so fulfilling and rewarding. I felt, although this type of adventure is a still a major struggle for me, it was a huge step forward in asking for help.
I think, as Moms, it is important to be honest and vocal about our needs. Expressing your needs helps those around you understand what you are going through and be there for you in ways you may need them. I choose things that I know I can handle, but what this experience taught me is that it is okay to ask for help in things I think I cannot handle.
All three of our kids are obsessed with babies. For Christmas, I got Charlize a baby doll and the boys boy baby dolls (in which they both named Rufio haha). With every baby doll you need the perfect baby doll stroller. And I couldn’t be more excited to introduce to you: TRIOKID.
Triokid shares the idea of “true toys.” This is something I love because it motivates children to create and explore their own ideas and experiences. Triokid brings so much inspiration in turning family moments into quality family time together.
We have both the blue and pink Sportline Stroller. This stroller is durable and features a carrycot for the baby doll to lay, which can be adjust forward or backward. It is very sturdy and the handle can be adjusted, which is great because as the triplets grow we can adjust the handle to fit them perfectly. It also includes a storage basket, which I love. This is something I know will last years in our family. Seeing them create moments and care for their babies is the sweetest and I love watching them use their imaginations in this way.
@triokid releases the power of imagination and I love seeing my crew creating and sharing moments and new experiences together. Be sure to check out Trio Kid to explore all they have to offer.
I couldn’t more excited to tell you about Carissa Miss and why I not only love their beautiful dresses, but the passion and love behind the dress moves my heart so deeply.
@shopcarissamiss not only has a beautiful line of clothing that you will love, but they are designed as a non-profit committed to increasing awareness about infertility. 100% of their proceeds fund infertility grants. This is amazing and truly touches my heart so deeply, especially after suffering through such a painful season in my life. Though I have my miracles now, it is amazing to be able to represent a shop that stands for and shares in the same values as myself. I am so honored to be represent this beautiful line of women’s clothing.
The dress I am wearing is called The Camille Sheath It features high scoop neck, pockets, and elbow-length sleeves. The pockets in itself are a game changer. It is so comfortable and is absolutely stunning. I love the flare in the dress, as well. It can also be dressed down or up. I think now that I am a Mom sometimes I want to be able to wear something beautiful, but also casual because I will doing the mom life all day long. This dress is a must have. And another reason to love this dress even more: all proceeds from this dress go to fund the IVF infertility grant that will be awarded December 2018. Simply incredible.
You can use code: Desiree for 15% off your order!! Happy Shopping
And Xanax “I got this.”-my daily mantra
Nearly every day this week I feel like I have gone to bed and woken up with an already empty bucket of patience, which kind of feels like a horrible way to start your day with three toddlers. I also haven’t been sleeping great because my brain feels like it won’t stop thinking. There are some things that I’m working through in my heart and there are also some incredibly exciting things happening that just have put my mind into whirlwind causing me to feel stressed and overwhelmed. I even got a cold sore. The lack of patience and exhaustion are the worst combination, and then add stress and I turn into a ticking time bomb. I think you could say this week I was an anxiety attack waiting to happen.
And it happened. Twice.
I haven’t had an anxiety attack in 8 months and then all of the sudden I have 2 in one week. It feels frustrating.
These moments are hard. The moments where my body is suddenly heating up and my heart racing. The moments where panic begins to fuel my heart with fear. The moments where my husband is late for work because he can see the panic setting in. The moments where I know I need a xanax. The moments where my kids see me on the brink of losing it and the fear of what they think of me implodes my heart. Those are the hardest moments. It is amazing how much anxiety and fear can captivate your mind in those moments!! When I’m in the thick of an anxiety attack I have a very hard time seeing a brave, strong, great mom. And instead, I see weakness and disappointment.
Then after some time passes and my heart has calmed down the confident, continually growing me kicks into gear and I realize that the only way I’m going to do this mom job well, is with grace.
It is okay that I need to have xanax every now and then. It is okay that I need daily anxiety medication right now. It is okay to be open, honest, and vulnerable about this season. It is okay to focus a lot on self love and self care.
“I got this” means waking up, knowing however the day turns out that you are a great Mom. It means choosing grace and self love. It means one day at a time. It means believing in yourself!
I recently discovered WINK Naturals and I am loving everything about this amazing company and their natural products. Wink Naturals is a company that has 100% natural, chemical and drug free products that offer solutions to everyday struggles! I was initially interested in this product for myself, as I have been struggling with sleeping well and anxiety. But what I love about WINK is that it is safe for the whole family. We have even used a few of their products on the kids. I absolutely love this company.
The Adult Zen Melts have melatonin and L-Theanine. They work incredible and don’t make you feel groggy in the mornings. I started taking these recently because I have been struggling to turn my mind off at night. It is a fast absorbing pill that melts right on the tongue. I take it about 30 minutes before I go to bed. It has really helped.
Anxiety Zen drops-I have recently been struggling a lot with my anxiety. I started taking the anxiety zen drops in my coffee every morning. It is an anxiety support that promotes peace and anxiety relief naturally, non habit forming. It helps calm my often racing mind and kind of take the edge off. I love it.
Foaming Oil bath wash– My kids are obsessed with baths, so we are all on board with the foaming oil bath wash!! This is the first foaming oil bath wash on the market. The kids love using this as a bubble bath. It lasts the whole bath and smells so good. I also like that it can bring a calming effect before bed time with the kids. The foaming bath wash is also hypoallergenic and no tear! Safe for newborns to adults!
Llama Lotion-I love this lotion. My husband and I were convinced that once we started using this that our babes started sleeping through the night. It paraben, fragrance and is dye free. It is made with essential oils that offer an amazing citrus lavender aroma, It can also be used for eczema, dry itchy skin, cradle cap, teething rash, etc. We have been using this every night with the triplets. I have noticed their skin isn’t as dry and I love how it offers such a calm and relaxing smell, like the bath wash.
There are so many great things about Wink Naturals! You will fall in love with their all natural products and be amazed by difference it makes in your family’s life.
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