A Conversation with Jerrina IVF Warrior: Building Resilience & Showing Empathy
Since becoming a mama over 4 years ago, I have found myself immersed in a community of strong mothers, with a myriad of stories of joy, struggle, heartbreak and hope as they have walked their own journeys into becoming mothers. Motherhood chose me - unplanned, and unexpectedly. My initial reaction was somewhat panicked, but within minutes I was overwhelmed with gratitude, excitement and visions of what my new life would look like. Once Adalynn was born, I joined the motherhood tribe and came to know other women's stories to motherhood more intimately.
I learned of the infertility struggles of many close friends, family, and mothers I admired and followed on Instagram. Learning of those journeys moved me to tears, and brought me into a level of awareness of my journey and made me conscious of how I share my experiences in pregnancy and motherhood. After meeting an amazing mama, Jerrina, who went through IVF and has inspired so many other mamas I wanted to understand how all mothers can be more aware and supportive of women struggling with infertility.
A few weeks ago I sat down with Jerrina to discuss just that - how can we be there for women going through the taxing physical and emotional journey of infertility, both openly and silently? Jerrina is a creator, a fashion lover, an entrepreneur and a mother. She has shared some of her IVF and now motherhood journey through Instagram as a cathartic outlet that has also uplifted other women. Here are some highlights from our chat:
Candice: How can women share their milestones and pregnancy/motherhood announcements in a way that’s sensitive to women going through infertility or loss?
Jerrina: I still wanted to celebrate with my friends when I was going through my own struggles, I still went to baby showers, and wanted my friends to have their moment. It’s about celebrating with empathy and having awareness of others’ struggles.
Candice: After Maverick was born, do you feel like your experience as a mama has felt different or unique? How do you maintain balance?
Jerrina: Not really. I’m a mom with good days and bad days. The struggles of motherhood are shared, and I try to express gratitude and positivity everyday. I also LOVE quotes. I have them all over the house, they help me visualize where I want to go, and ground me for what I want out of the day, and life.
Candice: Any advice to mamas going through struggles with infertility?
Jerrina: You can’t compare. We had been married for a while when we wanted to start our family. Friends and family asked us all the time when we were going to start having kids, and being from the South there were a lot of questions and pressure. It wasn’t happening as easily for us. You have to remove that pressure and let go of the comparison.
Candice: Maverick just turned one, is there one mama hack or surprising aspect of motherhood that stands out to you?
Jerrina: He’s SO funny. Just the other day I was packing his diaper bag, and left the room for a minute. He had gotten into his wipes and was cleaning everything in his room.
Candice, Mama to Adalynn & Ellery
CEO, Of an Origin