Did you know that more babies are born in August than any other month of the year? It's true! Pairing the sunny month of August with World Breastfeeding Week, we thought this was a great time to highlight some amazing moms from our community who humbly opened up to share their journey to motherhood as well as the complicated experiences associated with the postpartum phase. We hope that you enjoy and laugh, cry, and experience all the emotions with each mama we highlight this month. Don't forget to keep scrolling and enter to win our postpartum giveaway below!
Postpartum Stories: Andrea Share Her IVF and Infertility Journey to Motherhood
I count my blessing each day that I have two precious little girls calling me mommy. My journey to pregnancy was a challenging one. In 2018 I experienced an ectopic pregnancy resulting in a ruptured fallopian tube that led us to choose the fertility treatment IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) to achieve pregnancy. IVF is a costly procedure in the USA, so after endless research, we decide to go abroad to Prague in the Czech Republic as medical tourists. I am forever thankful we were bold enough to move forward with this unconventional plan because my two healthy, beautiful daughters are here with us today and we are free of medical debt.
Because of the trauma I experienced with infertility and IVF treatment, I feared I would have difficult pregnancies and postpartum experiences. I didn’t trust my body could carry babies and spent a lot of time researching terrible pregnancy outcomes to “prepare myself” for the worst possible scenario. Every ultrasound I braced myself for devastating news, thankfully, the bad news never came. Both of my pregnancies were incredibly healthy. I felt elated to be carrying my babies. I felt empowered in a way that I never have before. I was determined to continue running and working out though my pregnancies. I felt fantastic.
Undoubtedly, that confidence began wearing off in the third trimester and I began to fear the worst for my childbirth experience (I was so nervous for pre-term labor) and my postpartum journey. After all I’ve been through with infertility and loss, I certainly wouldn’t be getting off this easy, right? I tried to enjoy every moment, but I felt incredibly fearful. When I was 7 months pregnant, our family grieved the loss of a precious four-month-old baby girl, Rowe Catherine, who was too perfect for this world. Her death was unexpected, catastrophic, and shook me to my core. I was deeply sad those remaining months of pregnancy. I felt so much pain for my cousin and his wife while simultaneously feeling panic of my own. These emotions took a heavy toll on my heart and had me nervously wondering if I would experience PAA (postpartum anxiety).
My first daughter, Simone was born a week before Christmas and was the best gift I could ever imagine for our family. To my surprise I had an uncomplicated vaginal birth, and she was as healthy as could be. Being able to hold her for the first time was the most impactful moment of my life. She was here, and I was going to love her for the rest of my life.
Andrea's Postpartum Experience
My postpartum experience was surprisingly positive, and my breastfeeding journey was a smooth one. I soaked up every single moment of the newborn stage and honestly felt like a better version of myself. Though parenthood I gained confidence and when the time came that my second daughter, Naomi, was born, I felt like empowered and capable. I found my purpose in parenthood. I wake up each morning and feel confident I am the person my children need. As each stage of parenthood passes me by, I find myself thinking “these are the best days of my life.” I am more motivated than ever to not only support their every need, but also my own. I am dedicated to my personal health and fitness, career growth, pursuing hobbies and modeling positive relationship behaviors. I see them watching me and I choose to fill my own cup so my girls can see what self-care and self-love look like.
Andrea Berardi is a mother of two and corporate trainer at a Children’s Hospital. In her free time she enjoys running, a glass of white wine in the patio and trips alone to Target.
We have partnered with the mom-founded, daughter-run brand, Motherlove, which supports moms from bump to birth, breastfeeding, and baby. Motherlove uses the power of plants and herbs to create a more supported journey for expecting and new moms. Founded by an herbalist mother over three decades ago, our products have always been rooted in connecting motherhood to the wisdom and time-trusted herbs of Mother Earth.
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