IVF + Endometriosis Warrior Sandra Elidor shares her strength in her journey to motherhood.
Describe yourself in 3-5 words.
Sandra: I am a wife, mom, entrepreneur, woman of faith, and women's health advocate.
What's your current state of mind?
Sandra: My current state of mind is to try to remove stress as much as I can. I am currently in the process of the second cycle of my infertility treatment.
What part of this motherhood journey are you in? Would you mind sharing a bit about it?
Sandra: I am a bonus mom (step-mom) to my 11-year-old daughter. We also have our 6-year-old son from our first IVF cycle. My husband and I would love to have another baby. We are trying to go through the process of infertility treatment again. I must say, this time around is more challenging than before. My age and my Endometriosis is causing significant roadblocks.
When did you know you were ready to start the motherhood journey?
Sandra: I always wanted to be a mom. Even as a little girl, I wanted four kids. Two boys, two girls. When my husband and I got married, we wanted to start trying right away to get pregnant sooner than later. We already had a child at home (my stepdaughter). The extended honeymoon bliss that most couples wish to have before children was not an option for us. So I wanted a honeymoon baby. I wanted a baby right away. I never imagined my motherhood journey would look like this. I never would of though the amount of work, sacrifice, and the financial obligation it would take for us to conceive a child.
If your journey were a song, what song would it be?
Sandra: "Trust in you by Anthony Brown
The Lyrics are:
You did not create me to worry
You did not create me to fear
But You created me to worship daily
So I' mma leave it all right here
My hands are raised because I surrender
Your will is what's best for me
I worship you because You're Jehovah Jireh
I bow before the King of Kings
No more crying, no more complaining
I believe Your word is true."
Before my husband and I decided to go through our first IVF cycle. It was hard. I complained a lot. My question was, "why me." I didn't know how to surrender. It was hard to worship because I was so mad at God. Over the years, I found peace when I worship. I found surrendering my infertility struggles was a weight lifted off my shoulders. Besides, what option did I have? I felt that I hit rock bottom. There was only one way left "up."
Who is a woman who inspires you?
Sandra: I can say what everyone else would say, "My mother," and she has and still does, but the person who inspired me during this process was my pastor's wife. She has her infertility struggle, and she was able to talk to me and inspired me to do IVF. I was worried that I was playing God by doing IVF. She counseled me and comforted me throughout the process.
What moment sticks in your mind most from this journey?
Sandra: The moment that sticks out to me the most was right after my first HSG test (Hysterosalpingography). The endocrinologist told me, the one tube I had left was blocked due to my Endometriosis. I left the clinic crying; I felt defeated. That moment will always hunt me. Last year, I had to do the same test again, and it was hard. I thought I was over that feeling of being defended, but I was depressed for weeks. That is when I realized I had PTSD from that experience.
What would you say to others who find themselves in a journey similar to yours?
Sandra: You are not broken.
Yes, your journey is different from most, but it doesn't make your inferior. It doesn't make you less of a woman or mother. It means your journey to motherhood is a little different. It means you are willing to sacrifice for your child way before you become a mother. It means that whichever way you received your blessing, that child is loved.
What has the journey taught you, and what keeps you going?
Sandra: This journey taught me to have faith and be patient. It taught me to love my family hard and be sensitive to their needs. It taught me to advocate for myself. The thing that keeps me going is knowing my pain of not being able to bear children can help others go through the process. I speak to women all over the world about their Endometriosis, as well as their infertility journey. I get to cry with them and help them birth something much bigger than a baby. They get to give birth to a new and better version of themselves. They can find peace in their journey to motherhood. The great thing is, I get to go through this journey with them. I get to mentor and coach them in the process. They become part of my Filling Empty Wombs squad.
We don't have to go our journeys alone. Having an additional outlet to communicate with others who can relate, share stories and wellness tips can make all the difference on this adventure. Read more stories from the Journey Series below.
If you are looking for support or have questions about your own journey, please join Premama's Journey to Motherhood community, a place where women can talk, lift each other up and learn useful wellness, health, nutrition and self-care tips.