08.29.16

THE GIFT OF CREATING A LIFE

218A7794218A7835218A7768Photos by: Mackenzie Jane Photography Dress: Maccs


Looking at these photos taken by Mackenzie Jane, I can’t help but tear up.  Not only are they absolutely breathtaking but look at that miraculous little baby bump.  I am so beyond grateful.  I think back to when I first shared our story about infertility and remember the undeniable pain I was feeling.  I was petrified to ever let anyone know what we were going through because I felt like a failure and I had zero control in changing what was happening. It was crazy how it happened.  One night I felt compelled to share, to make what I was going through known and let every single one of you know that we all have something we are struggling with.  Life isn’t perfect regardless of what we see behind these little screens.  Something felt different, like Convey The Moment was created for a reason after all.  

If you haven’t seen this video, then I would love for you to take a second to watch it.  Even if you can’t relate to infertility, there is so much more to it than just that.  Like how social media is so deceiving, how we forget to live everyday to it’s fullest and how there are more important things to invest our energy in than things that won’t matter in five years from now.  

Ugh, I remember those nights so clearly, in fact I’ll never forget how I ever felt.  I get this pit in my stomach just thinking about it. My eyes never without tears, my heart broken so badly I never thought it would be put back together and just feeling so ashamed of everything.  Feeling so angry at my body for failing me month after month.  I never knew if I would ever be able to feel peace again or have the chance to feel a love such as this.

When I hear from you girls (and guys!) still going through this I wish I could just hug you and really let you know that I know exactly how you feel.  I remember thinking this would never be an option for us, to have a baby of our very own.  People always told me that if I kept fighting I would have my miracle one way or another and I’m so grateful I never gave us even thought it felt like I wanted to time and time again.  Please, just trust me and keep fighting.

Pregnancy has been the most amazing thing I have ever experienced.  Truly.  I mean, of course it’s pretty hard on a woman but I think because of everything I just haven’t been able to feel much of anything but gratitude.  Everyone tells me to remember just because I went through infertility doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be allowed to complain, but the truth is that I haven’t felt the need to.  Everyone handles situations differently and I just think this is how I’m responding.  When I was throwing up, I would look up at Tim and smile saying “I’m so happy to be throwing up because it means baby is thriving”. I seriously am just so grateful.  

With this all being said there is one thing I have been having a hard time with and I felt like I wanted to share it because I’m certain I’m not the only one. Or am I?  Tell me!!

I remember telling my self I would take getting fat, and stretch marks and feeling uncomfortable over EVER feeling the pain of infertility, that I would just be so grateful to be able to carry my own baby.  While most days are pretty good, I do find myself having a difficult time with some of the physical changes that have been happening to my body.  I’m constantly told I look huge, ginormous, sooooo big…etc and this gets to a person after a while.    

If a negative comment comes out of my mouth towards myself Tim always reminds me of how lucky I am, and I KNOW this more than anyone.  But the reality is that my ass and thighs are about 3 sizes bigger than normal and I barely recognize my own reflection in the mirror and it isn’t always easy. I’m constantly reminded “you’re pregnant” but I think what I’m feeling is more than just “huge”.  

I want to emphasize that it is more than just how I look physically and about feelings to the situation itself… especially to someone who already struggled with her weight for a period of her life and how it brings up those feelings all over again. To some of you, you might not even notice the physical changes other than the bump, while to others they might be very obvious.  To myself, it’s more or less I think having to deal with some of those inner emotions since infertility.  

I feel a little bit of frustration that I HAD to struggle with infertility which meant I needed to take the hormones and then I was told NOT to exercise while stimulating because of the risk of ovarian torsion.  So my pre-pregnancy weight was already 10 lbs higher than normal and of course this creates feelings of disappointment.  You want to be the healthiest version of you when creating a life so to be honest, this part hasn’t been entirely easy.

Post transfer I couldn’t be active again (like literally wasn’t allowed to even vacuum for two weeks) or do anything physical during the first bit of our pregnancy. Then I experienced severe food aversions to vegetables for about 15 weeks, which can be pretty traumatic to someone who follows a plant based diet and relies on vegetables as a main source of her nutrients. Think constantly eating pizzas, pastas, crackers, and potatoes as your everyday staples.  Like even for breakfast.  It just felt like a huge cluster-mess of one thing after another especially when I take living a healthy lifestyle very seriously.  It had way more to do with just the numbers on the scale.      

I think I can’t help but feel a little it of resentment to the situation because on top of not being able to get pregnant on our own, I had no control over how healthy I was or how much weight I was gaining during my pregnancy and that has been hard for me. I’ve been working so hard at not blaming my body for failing me and reminding myself that I can make all the changes I desire post baby and she is perfectly healthy even if I’m not eating my normal super healthy vegan diet (I’m still eating vegan, just ditching the healthy part more often than not). For now it’s important to be kind to myself and remember creating a life is a lot of work and these physical changes are inevitable no matter what.   

I think these emotions and changes are only challenging me to grow into a stronger person and are helping me become an even better mother.  When I reflect I realize how I’m feeling victimized when this isn’t a positive response in any way and isn’t going to serve me any better.  Being able to grow this baby is truly the greatest gift I have ever been given and I will never ever take that for granted but I still can’t ignore some of the negative feelings I have been having.  So in the meantime I’ve just decided to take the opportunity to reflect, enjoy it all and remind myself every time I get feelings of  disappointment to just be a little better to myself.  I have been through a lot, physically and emotionally, and it’s okay.  
    
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Comments

  1. Carley says:

    Tearing up. Love you so much Eleni. Keep inspiring.

  2. Kelly says:

    This post hits so close to home!! Everything you feel is valid. I had 3 rounds of IVF and am now 33 weeks along with a girl as well. Before 10 extra lbs from fertility treatments, I ran half marathons, did Pilates and sat front row in spin class. Then, I felt like I lost the one thing that helped me cope with stress for years! No workouts!! I\’ve truly had an awesome pregnancy and would double my weight if it meant a healthy baby. But it doesn\’t mean it\’s easy to watch your body change so drastically and have people constantly say, \”you look huge, but you\’re all belly!\” You look absolutely stunning! I struggle everyday to accept this new body, but I keep reminding myself how blessed I am to soon welcome my daughter. I can tell you feel exactly the same!

  3. Nadiya Malyarenko says:

    Your maternity photos turned out amazing! I\’m so obsessed with the scenery and how beautiful you look with your baby bump! I also know how you feel with all the body changes. I am going through it with you at the moment and some days are harder then others, even though you know you need to stay positive. It\’s so hard to not let those thoughts get to you especially with all these new hormones! It is good to know that I am not the only one going through this! I look forward to seeing your little baby and just know that pregnancy will be over sooner then you expect and you will look back at it wanting to do it all over again!
    -Nadiya

  4. beautiful pictures and beautifully written!!!! sending much love from far away Poland 🙂

    http://www.mommyinthewoodss.blogspot.com

  5. First off, you\’re not alone! I think that regardless of our struggles and our journey, the one thing that we as mothers can relate to are the unstoppable changes with our body. I was so self conscious my first time around knowing that my body had changed rapidly (I gained almost 80 lbs in 9 months) and regardless of what anyone said I knew they were being nice. This time around I have struggled with not wanting to gain as much weight and finally said FORGET IT. I\’ll do what my body needs me to do. Even the other day my mother in law made a comment about how the dress I had on didn\’t do my body any justice and made my bump look huge. I wanted to cry and lash out but instead I made light of it and just owned my big butt and big bump. It\’s hard every day, even going through it a second time. It doesn\’t get easier but what helps me is knowing that my body was made to do this and it just needs to expand/grow/stretch to make sure my baby is healthy. Hang in there…it will eventually get easier, especially when you\’re holding that little baby in your arms!

  6. Throughout my pregnancy, I decided that when someone called me “huge” or “enormous” or whatever other term, to take it as a compliment on the amazing job I was doing growing such a big and healthy baby. I figured they just don’t know how to say it and why should I feel bad if I’ve gained weight or gotten stretch marks? I gained that weight to grow a whole life, just like you’re doing! I promise you, once you see her perfect, beautiful, sweet little face, all thoughts of weight will be out the window.
    I’m so happy you’re soaking up pregnancy, Eleni, it suits you. I can’t wait for you to introduce your miracle baby to us 💕

  7. Breanna says:

    I find your story so inspiring and I follow you on insta and it is so beautiful to see all your pictures and inspirations. I have a 1 year old daughter and when I was pregnant I had a nice big round bump too and I loved every minute of it. I am not very tall and she just grew outwards. People told me as well all the time that I looked huge but just embrace it! It\’s such a blessing and such an incredible miracle. I never struggled with infertility but just following your story has really inspired me and it is such a joy that you have shared this with everyone. Your positive attitude is so radiant, and you look absolutely stunning with that baby bump! You rock pregnancy for sure!

    Breanna

  8. SO stunning. It’s okay to feel all the feelings! You’re beautiful and the life you’re growing is beautiful. It can be a difficult adjustment (no matter your journey looks like) once you get pregnant. You don’t just go physical changes, you go through emotional and spiritual ones, as well! You’re beautiful inside and out, love. xoxo

  9. First of all, these pictures have me speechless! You are so stunning and will cherish all of these gorgeous photos forever!
    I know EXACTLY how you feel. I too gained 10 lbs during IVF and now am 21 weeks pregnant with twins and don\’t recognize my body! I have never been more grateful and excited, but I too struggle with everything you mentioned, especially since the comments make me feel so self conscious (\”Wow you\’ve gained so much weight!\” \”Your butt is huge!\” \”You\’re even big in your face!\”\”Why are you wearing that?\” etc etc etc haha!!) The comments are really hard to hear, but then I feel my babies move and everything is right in the world! Such an incredible blessing, If it\’s any consolation, I seriously think you look like a pregnancy model. Just carrying so beautiful with gorgeous hair and outfits! You should hang out with me and then you\’ll feel better- I\’m such a bum! hahaha! I love reading your posts! You\’re not alone. 🙂 xox Sarah

  10. Robyn McLean says:

    You are so beautiful and so deserving of this love! I know you know this already, but you will just never experience anything better than the love that little babe will bring you!
    I also struggled big time with my body image while pregnant and now postpartum for sure. I just remind myself that my body created a human being and to be kind to myself. I gained a lot more weight than I was “supposed” to. You’re not alone in your feelings, and I promised is worth it!
    <3

  11. These are truly the most GORGEOUS maternity photos ever! Your story is so inspirational and real. I\’ve loved following all of the milestones of your pregnancy! 🙂

    xo, Julie

  12. Angela says:

    Thank you so much for sharing so openly!! You look amazing and am always stunned to hear that people comment that a pregnant woman looks huge, etc! Really?! I think you look amazing! And I totally understand. I struggled with infertility and feel so grateful to be pregnant and feel guilty when I \’complain.\’ I have gained more weight than my first pregnancy already and am feeling just big and super uncomfortable. Some days it\’s just hard- all the physical changes and hormonal ones too!!! I really appreciate your post and honesty- it helped me today!! I admire that you get dressed up an look cute! I\’m living in Jean shorts and tanks this last trimester! 😬 Thank you again and I\’m so happy for you!

  13. Sarah says:

    Oh my gosh! I know where you’re coming from. I just had my 2nd girl at the end of June. 1 week after she was born I went to show her off at work. When I walked through the door a co-worker looked at my stomach and said, “Wow- Still no baby yet?” Up until that point I had been feeling pretty good about the weight loss. I still had a bit of a belly, but definitely didn’t look like I was full term. (Not to mention an actual baby in a car seat by my feet) Haha! People say ridiculous things all the time. You look amazing! No need to justify or apologize for your eating habits- chow down! I swore my baby would come out with a mustache and Sombrero because it felt like all I ate were nachos and guacamole. Once you meet your little girl, those feelings will take a back seat. I’m a little softer and bigger then before, but I feel comfortable in my, “mom bod.” I know that eventually I can get back to how I used to be, but maybe I won’t even want to. Congratulations and enjoy your last trimester!

  14. Jessica Champion says:

    You look absolutely stunning!! I think you are so brave to share so much, and I don\’t want to down play your feelings but, you look so so great. Healthy, happy and creating life!! You are right to not be so hard on yourself. Our bodies are amazing machines and you will be able to work on it post baby just as you said. keep being you, you are doing great! 😘

  15. What gorgeous photographs!!!! Your story definitely hits close to home for me as I have a 10 month old daughter who is a result of a successful FET (after a failed fresh cycle). Best of luck with the remainder of your pregnancy and enjoy every moment because I miss my belly and am already longing for another babe. ❤️

  16. Missy says:

    You look amazing and I love following all your posts. I often have trouble with being ok with feeling the way I do. 6 months after my husband I got married we were seeing a fertility doctor & I was diagnosed with stage III cervical cancer. We harvested my eggs & then I went through chemo & radiation. My sister volunteered to be our surrogate because my treatments rendered me unable to ever carry a child. Only 1 out of 11 out of my eggs survived & didn\’t work in the implantation. We then decided to use donor eggs. Yay .. my sister got pregnant. But 2weeks later she miscarried. I know I\’m blessed to be alive & blessed to have such an amazing sister But my husband is constantly telling me it is ok to feel sad about everything sometimes too. We\’ve all agreed to give it one more try. Please keep posting because it gives us hope!!

  17. Oh my word these photos are breathtaking. Your heart is so refreshing, thank you for sharing it with us. I completely understand where you\’re coming from… I just had my second baby and the post partum journey I have struggled to loose the weight as opposed to he first time when it melted off. It seems trivial to worry about something like that but I get it 🙂 you look beautiful!

  18. Stunning! You look amazing and this little one is lucky to have you as her mama!!!

  19. Julie says:

    The picture of you smiling so big (or maybe laughing) is absolute perfection! It\’s really true when people tell you that literally EVERYTHING…EVERY SINGLE THING…changes when you are pregnant. That\’s mind & body & even more when the bundle arrives. It\’s something you can\’t and won\’t ever to prepare for fully. You look gorgeous and you are all baby, girl!

  20. Hey love it’s me. Just wanted to let you know everything you expressed you’re thinking and feeling sounds perfectly normal to me. I’m so proud to call you one of my friends as you are one of the most kindest and purest hearts I’ve ever met. A true inspiration to others. P.S. Can’t wait to meet that beautiful mircale baby of yours. Xoxo Keep believing.

  21. Kristina says:

    By far the most stunning maternity photos I have ever seen!

  22. elaine says:

    you are seriously so stunning. so beautiful inside & out. I’ve been following your journey for a while – first it started because I was obsessed with your style and decor… then after seeing your video all those months ago, my soul connected so heavily with yours, as we had been struggling with infertility for a few years too. I am beyond happy for you and your husband that you were blessed with your amazing gift Harlow. I did a 2nd round of IVF at the same time as you in January but mine failed… but we did our 3rd IVF in August and it worked and I’m almost 12 weeks along and just so unbelievably grateful for this gift. I cry almost everyday of thankfulness. but I can also relate with the feelings of disappointment in my body for all those years and also the not exercising during stimulation and after. but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. what a gift and what a blessing that we never thought we would experience. thank you for sharing your journey in such honesty and beauty. you are such an inspiration and encouragement. much love to you and enjoy your little treasure!! xo

  23. Janessa says:

    I am almost 8 weeks and so greatful after such a long struggle, but I expressed your exact feelings to my husband this weekend! Working out was my stress relief and I can\’t do any of that! Walking is all I\’m allowed and I\’m going crazy! I feel like a fluffy marshmallow, and while I know it\’s all for a good cause it\’s so frustrating to feel so sluggish and fluffy! I like you, eat very healthy but have had major aversions to vegetables, which I normally love! The only way to make the nausea lighten up is to eat something carby or fatty! Thank you for your honestly because I know all of us who have gotten this far are so beyond grateful and wouldn\’t change it…but it is frustrating at the same time! Congrats on you beautiful little girl and hopefully you are doing well!!

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