Meredith, here, founder of Om Mama Co.. Today on the blog I’m comin’ at ya with some real (vulnerable) talk. Over the next few (2) blog posts, I’m going to be sharing my own fertility journey – trigger warning: infertility. Also fair warning, there will be talk of sex, and a few expletives. Sorry, not sorry.
I share this in hopes of holding space for community and showing up as my full self. If you choose to read and follow, thank you in advance for your kindness and patience as I navigate this chapter of our story!
Expectations and reality.
When I started Om Mama Co. back in 2018, I visualized myself using the services + connecting with the community in a particular way. I thought I would be there right alongside the mamas in no time – pregnant, and then with my own little baby. But as the universe would have it, that isn’t how my story has played out over the last 18 months.
I wanted to share my journey now, while I am still in the messy middle, to connect with other people that may be unknowingly trudging right alongside me. Even surrounded by the network of support I have nurtured over the last 2 years, I have often felt overwhelmingly alone.
However, the friends and providers that I have come to lean on the most have been those I have found through the Om Mama community, and I want to share that so badly with others that may be looking for answers on their own fertility path.
I have a lot of fears about sharing our story. I fear that I will be treated differently, especially considering my work as a motherhood community leader and maternity + newborn photographer.
However, I honestly believe that this experience is helping me treasure each and every baby and family I get to work with even more. It is a MIRACLE that a mother can grow a baby, and bring that baby into the world.
I know that many of my friends and clients have struggled with infertility, miscarriage, difficult pregnancies and births, and many hardships to get to this moment and I want to celebrate the HECK out of it with them. This is far from easy for anyone.
I have also come to love and appreciate every way womxn I have met have become mothers, each in their own, perfect ways.
None of this is to say that the decisions + choices we have made so far are “correct”. One of my biggest takeaways through all of this is how personal and individual everyone’s experience is. I am sharing with an open heart for the opportunities for you + me that may come from this conversation.
My journey with (in)fertility.
In my early + mid-twenties, I would watch my wedding photographer friends get pregnant right on schedule so that they could give birth in “off-season”. They would be hugely pregnant at our industry holiday party, and then back at it by spring. It seemed like a pretty sweet deal to me, and what I envisioned for myself one day.
I never thought I would have any issue getting pregnant. I honestly didn’t know that many people that had any trouble getting pregnant, apart from a couple of friends that had gone through IVF. And even then, I didn’t know the questions to ask, or the stories to understand.
I’ve always been a planner.
We planned to take our 5 year wedding anniversary trip to Europe, and start trying on that trip – April 2019, hoping to conceive by June at the latest. Let’s be real: I wanted to conceive in May, and figured that was that.
I made an appointment with my doctor, made plans to take out my IUD in January, and start tracking my cycle.
A friend recommended I read “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” by Toni Weschler. Even with everything I’d learned and knew so far, I was shocked by the “fertile window” and how pregnancy + ovulation actually works. Growing up, you are taught everything to not get pregnant. I’d been on birth control since I was 15 and I felt wildly unaware of how my body and my cycles and my hormones worked.
I remember vividly having sex for the first time without protection in our nearly 10 years of being together. I knew I was in my “fertile window” and afterwards we immediately thought – holy shit – did we just conceive a baby?!