Fertility guilt. Is that a real thing?

*infertility and pregnancy loss trigger warning. If you are/have suffered from infertility or loss I do discuss these topics, please know that I see you and my heart is with you

What I am about to say may come off as insensitive but I swear I just truly want to know, is fertility guilt a real thing? Let me back step a little and explain just exactly what I mean. I am one of the lucky women who has not had any issues getting or staying pregnant. With both of my daughters it took one time to get pregnant. (This is not meant to be a brag, but I think that it helps to understand where I am coming from.)

I found out I was pregnant with my first daughter three days after my close friend found out she was pregnant. She had been trying for a few months and we were both so excited. Then a week later she unfortunately found out that she had miscarried. I felt so incredibly guilty. Here she was praying and hoping for a little miracle, doing everything in her power to get pregnant. There I was, barely remembering to take my prenatal vitamins, with the gift so many women long for. I did not understand it why was I the lucky one? As my pregnancy went on, I could see her healing as much as a person could, continuing to try for her little baby. She continued to sit there and support me through my pregnancy, as I asked her about her different doctors appointments, and her TTC journey. She even threw me a small baby shower. Even though she never said anything I know that it killed her inside because she was supposed to be expecting her little one too. I felt like I was in uncharted territory, I was so excited to welcome my daughter, but I did not want to flaunt it in her face. I wanted to be respectful of her feelings, but what I was unintentionally hurting her with my joy?

Fast forward about two years, I found I was pregnant again with my second. That same friend had suffered another pregnancy loss. My sister had been trying for almost a year and also suffered a miscarriage. I had several other close friends that also were struggling with infertility and pregnancy loss. Those same feelings of guilt came flooding back and this time they knocked me out like a huge wave. Instead of automatically shouting from the rooftops that I was pregnant again, I hid it for a while. My husband was the only person who knew. I agonized for over a month about how I was going to look my sister and friends in the eyes, while I knew they were hurting and tell them “oh by the way I am pregnant.” I felt so guilty, I felt like a terrible sister/friend, I just felt so unhappy. There was that one small moment of happiness, but it was quickly replaced with sadness.

Again, I sat there thinking, “God why me?” I am not inherently better than these other women. They were changing their whole lives, doing everything in their power to make their wombs the best place to welcome a little one. They were taking multiple different medicines, removing certain foods from their diets, tracking ovulation to the hour, shelling out hundreds/thousands of dollars on fertility doctors. These women deserve the world and it makes NO sense to me that I get to have the ONE THING they so desperately want. “Do I even deserve to have this baby growing inside of me?” That was a constant thought that ran through my head. I told God that I would trade this baby with my sister, just to see her happy and smiling for the first time in what feels like FOREVER.

After a month of agonizing, I decided that it was time to tell close family that I was expecting again. I decided that the most respectful thing for me to do was to tell my friends and family that were struggling in private. Instead of making some big post in a group chat or on social media. I would tell them one-to-one and let them process their emotions and then eventually make that big announcement. My sister was the first person I reached out to, remembering that she had just suffered a miscarriage a month ago, I told her in the gentlest way I could think of. Her response was something along the lines of “I knew.” While I was relieved that she had suspected something, and was able to process her emotions before hand, I still knew she would need her time to process. One-by-one I told each friend privately the news, and we discussed their feelings. I asked them what I could do for them to not make them upset. Some said they were fine with me talking to them about the pregnancy and giving updates, other said that they preferred not to hear about it. And I respected their wishes.

Now that I am six months pregnant, and everyone knows the news, I still find myself struggling to navigate certain conversations with the women in my life who are continuing to struggling with their TTC journey. Since announcing my pregnancy, my sister and another close friend has suffered a chemical pregnancy. And I do not know what to say to them other than “I am sorry.” I know saying things like “at least you know you can get pregnant” and “just try not to stress out because that will make it harder” are not helpful. Many times people, like myself, are well intentioned but the things they say hurt more than help.

So I guess my question is, has anyone else felt guilty about their own fertility journey? And if you are someone who has struggled with fertility issues, what is something you wish other people knew?

5 Tips For Amazing Sex After Baby!

Guess what, MOMS STILL HAVE SEX! Yes, I know shocking right.

A lot changes after having a baby. One of the most significant changes, is your body. Not only are there going to be some changes to your body on the outside, but there will be changes on the inside. Specifically, sex after baby will change, and that is NOT a bad thing. It may seem scary and I know some women have anxiety over having sex for the first time after baby, but I personally think it’s like having sex with your partner for the first time.

When my doctor gave me the green light to have sex again, she gave me a few pointers to help make the experience less, ummm….painful. Of course I went home and consulted Dr. Google in hopes of getting a little bit more advice from some fellow moms. Per the usual, I was overwhelmed by the amount of information and opinions that filled my phone screen.

So naturally I decided to add my own take to the mix. I have narrowed it down to five simple tips to get you started, whether it’s your first time having sex after baby, or you hundredth, I believe these tips will help EVERY woman, not just mothers.

First, I want to make sure I say this, there is nothing wrong with you if you do not feel comfortable enough jumping back into bed the second your doctor gives you the thumbs up. Between lack of sleep, possibly breastfeeding, taking care of a baby all day, not showering for days on end, and a thousand other things, you might just not be in the mood for your partner to touch you. Maybe you would rather take a long hot bath, or squeeze in a nap when you can. That is all totally normal, and you are not “failing” your partner. They will understand, and if they don’t well, they will just get over it. Just make sure you have that conversation together.

So here are my five tips!

1. Reintroduce yourself to, well…. yourself.

Yes. No one knows you better than you know yourself, and no one should know you better than you. Maybe you weren’t big into self love before baby, maybe the idea seems taboo. Well I am here to tell you, DO YOU. And you know what I mean. Take an hour, give the baby to your partner, shut the bedroom door, turn on some music, light some candles, maybe hop into a warm bubble bath.

2. Talk with your partner

In most things in life, communication is key. Sit down and talk about the fears you may have about having sex, or any emotions you might be feeling. Make sure you explain, that things are going to be different and the same old dance routine might not do it for you anymore. Sometimes men can be simple, and when they find a strategy that works, they tend to stick with it forever. If you have taken the time to get to know your new self, tell your partner what you liked.

Once you are in the heat of the moment; make sure to KEEP communicating. Maybe you are usually quite and reserved, but now is the time to speak your mind. At this point your partner is probably driving blind, so it’s up to you to let them know what to do. They will appreciate getting a little directions and not feeling so lost.

3. Lube, it’s more important than you think!

My doctor stressed how important it was that if we haven’t already, we started using lube. She said after having a baby, and especially if you are breast feeding, your body body doesn’t produce the natural lubricant during sex, that it usually does. This can make sex a little, uncomfortable. Don’t forget the scar tissue that you may have after tearing.

Invest in a good water- based lube. Why water-based? Water-based lubes are perfect for first time lube users. They are ideal for people with vaginal irritation and/or sensitive skin, you know that comes with having a baby. Water based lubes can be used with condoms and sex toys, but they can not be used for shower sex. Another downside is that water based lubes tend to get sticky, so you may have to reapply a couple times during longer sessions.

I recommended getting a few and trying them out, and seeing what works best for you. I have included a few brands below that have been recommended to me by a good friend of mine.

They have a TON of different flavors
KY is my go to lube!
Water Based Lube options

4. Toys, they aren’t just for kids

Uh oh! Another “taboo” topic we aren’t suppose to talk about. Well, news flash, sometimes a woman CAN’T orgasm with out a little outside stimulation. Maybe before baby you could orgasm with some basic penetrative sex, but now everything’s changed and you need to bring in the big guns. This is were vibrators come into play. Now, you don’t need to go out and buy the biggest most expensive vibrator out there. A small pocket vibrator will do the trick. However, I suggest something water proof, and that has a few different settings that you can play around with and feel what works best for you! Before you use your toys with your partner, be sure to try them out by yourself first. The two below come highly recommended by a friend of mine Samara Terese, you can check out her blog at Barely Surviving My Twenties

Comes in three different colors!

5. Get rid of the kid!

That sounds harsh, I know. But there are two things that are total mood killers. One, a dog jumping on the bed trying to lick your husbands butt. And two, a baby who wakes up screaming and wants to be feed. The dog you can stick outside or give them some peanut butter until you are done. But you can’t really just stick your baby outside for a half hour. You can, however, ask a friend or relative to babysit for a few hours. If you’re child is in daycare by now, you can leave work early to have a little rendezvous with your partner before you go and pick up your sweet little one. It doesn’t make you a bad mother to take time for yourself and your partner!

I remember someone gave me a little piece of advice after I had my baby. They said “Your child is going to leave you in eighteen years, and that’s good, that is suppose to happen. But your marriage lasts forever. So don’t forget to take care of your marriage and each other.”

-Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you

How to turn your wedding dress into a Baptismal Gown

June 30th, 2019, the day that my little angel was baptized and welcomed into the Catholic faith. It was a beautiful sunny, summer day, spent surrounded by family and friends. We decided to hold the ceremony at St. Paul’s church in our hometown. This was the church that my husband grew up going to, his little sister was the first baby to be baptized in the church. Father Mike preformed the baptism, we specifically asked for him to share in this occasion for several reasons. 1. He grew up with my mother in law, they lived near each other as kids and would toilet paper peoples houses together. 2. He married my husbands mother and late father. 3. He baptized my sister in law at the same church. We were discussing logistics about Elliot’s Baptism, asking Father Mike to officiate was a no brainer.

I remember when I was trying on wedding dresses, way back in 2016/2017, we were at a local bridal store, Jacquelines Bridal. After trying on the most beautiful wedding dress, falling in love and of course saying “yes”, the owner made a comment about how I could make a baptismal gown out of the dress. That comment stuck in my mind for the next two years.

Now I know that some brides out there wouldn’t even think about cutting up their wedding dress, and at first I thought I would feel the same way. However, the more my dress just say in a closet, I came to terms with the idea of working with someone to create a gown for my daughter.

Fast forward to 2019, we were at a local Vintage Market Days And we meet a local shop owner who makes homemade baby clothes. Janice Collier quickly fell in love with Elliott, she couldn’t get over how cute she is. While she was playing with the baby, I was admiring her beautiful work. I noticed a white gown she had hanging in the back corner of her booth. I turned to my husband and said “Honey, look she makes baptismal gowns.” (I had just started looking for a gown at this point). Janice turned to me and said “Oh yea, I can even make one out of your wedding dress!” And just like that a light bulb went off in my mind. I shared my excitement, took her i formation, left her my number and we went on our way.

Days passed and the idea was stuck in my head. If you ask my husband I am like a dog with a bone, when I get an idea in my head, I can’t let it go. So I decided to reach out to Janice and let her know that I was interested in meeting with her about getting a dress made. We set up a time to meet and I began to look at inspiration on Pinterest for our gown.

The day came for us to meet with Janice, who works out of her home. Together we all sat down, with my dress, the pictures of inspiration, fabric samples, and of course Elliott. It took about an hour or so of sketching, brainstorming and picking fabric for her bonnet, until we finally settled on a design. Janice also walked me through exactly what she was going to do to my dress, and which parts she was going to use.

We decided to use most of the lace from the skirt of my dress for the gown and bonnet. The underskirt was cut and used as part of Elliott’s underskirt. The jeweled belt was removed and use to create a removable belt on the baptismal gown. That night, after we left, I was so excited I don’t think I slept that night.

It took Janice about a week to finish the dress. Now when I tell you this woman is an incredible seamstress, I mean it. She hand drew the patterns for everything. She gently removed the lace from my gown with ruining it, she updates me during the entire process sending me little snapshots of her work. And then the day came when she messaged me and told me that she was all finished. My heart skipped a beat, it was like Christmas Day. I remember we were sitting in the couch, probably watching The Office, while Elliott was playing with her toys. Janice asked if I wanted to see it, and while I originally wanted to wait to see it in person, I said “YES”.


Now I am not a crier, I rarely show my emotions to people. But let me tell you, I CRIED. It was so beautiful and exceeded my expectations. Even though it was a completely different gown, I could see my dress in it. The thought that my little girl was going to wear my wedding dress, on her special day was so sentimental. It was perfect.

God Bless Elliott Grace!