Contentment, Guilt, Grief, and Delayed Bonding

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Tedi Palmer Contentment Guilt Grief Delayed Bonding Jalina thissideofif #motherhood #infertility

Hi, I’m Tedi. I’m married to Chase and our son, Kason, joined our family after 7.5 years of infertility. To say that infertility is ever easy to go through is wrong to say because it was one of the hardest trials we have ever had to endure. We started trying to have kids when I was almost 24, and we didn’t have Kason until after my 31st birthday. So I’ve had a lot of time to think and mature. About 5 years into our journey, I started questioning on if I really wanted to be a mom. I was so content with our situation, we had the perfect little family which included our 2 dogs. I’m sure somewhere deep down inside I did have the desire to be a mom, but it was probably buried under the years of grief.

When I finally got pregnant naturally after 2 failed IVF cycles, I felt alone. Part of that was because we didn’t tell our family and friends until I was 15 weeks along, which made it difficult for me to relate to others online who had gotten pregnant after infertility around the same time as me. The other part of feeling alone was the guilt I was experiencing. After struggling for so long we finally had our miracle, but I was still battling that desire to want this baby. The feeling was worse when I thought of all these women who were still in their wait, and here I was saying and thinking I didn’t want to be a mom?!

Additional guilt was brought on by reading stories of women who had beaten infertility feel this overbearing joy after delivering their newborn. During my pregnancy, I found this book called How To Be a Calm Mom. In it she said, “It’s okay that you may not love your newborn at first sight because it took time for you to fall in love with your spouse, so why would falling in love with this new baby be any different?” Knowing that there were other women out there who understood that it was okay to not be like all these moms allowed me to take the time to love this new baby.

This struggle (after almost my entire pregnancy) was finally over once I figured out who was adding to the fire of my thoughts of guilt and questioning my divine right and role of motherhood: Satan. However, since I’m a believer in God, I realized that His desire is for me to be a mom and the best mom that I can be for Kason. Once I realized that, it all made sense and I was slowly able to get over that guilt I was feeling. Though, there are hard days with motherhood even after infertility. We’re all human, and infertility just doesn’t give you a gold star because you’ve beaten it. Infertility doesn’t put me above anyone else or make me a “better mom” because we struggled for so long.

But because of infertility, and the hardships I went through, I have more understanding, love, compassion, and even patience that I don’t think I would’ve had had I not ever gone through it.

Tedi Palmer Contentment Guilt Grief Delayed Bonding Jalina King thissideofif #motherhood #infertility

Tedi is a mom to her fur babies and a sweet miracle baby boy after many years of infertility. She is a T-shirt maker and the founder of Hope for Fertility, a foundation on a mission to, “To provide HOPE to couples struggling in their journey to creating or expanding their families, by helping them tell their story, by spreading infertility awareness, and providing financial assistance through grants and fundraisers.” Tedi enjoys running and blogging. You can find her sharing her writing, running, and parenting adventures on her blog, Running with Infertility, or on her Instagram feed.

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