Journey to Motherhood
Tami Smith, owner and founder of Fit Healthy Momma, is an infertility survivor, certified workout and wellness enthusiast and mother of two. We talked with her about her journey to being a mama:
Describe yourself in 3-5 words.
Motivated, Spiritual, Committed, Intuitive, Grateful
If your journey were a song, what song would it be?
Yellow by Coldplay
When did you know you were ready to start your motherhood journey?
I always knew I wanted children, so when I got married in 2013, it always felt like part of the plan. By 2014, my husband and I had moved from a large city to a small town and the timing felt right to start trying for a baby. I knew I was ready, but my body had other plans.
How would you describe your journey to someone who has never met you?
My timeline began in 2014, I tried for a baby with the help of my OBGYN for a year before I was sent to a fertility specialist where I was pregnant within a couple of months thanks to close monitoring and a specific protocol. My son was born in early 2016. When my son was a year old, I began thinking about another child. I again sought out help through my OBGYN. After six months of fertility medications and monitoring, I was pregnant in September 2017. However, that pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. Again, I was referred out to a fertility specialist where I got pregnant on my third or fourth cycle. I gave birth to my daughter in late 2018.
What part of the motherhood journey are you in currently? Would you mind sharing a bit about it?
I have two healthy children, ages 4 and 1.5. A toddler and a preschooler are tough, particularly during this pandemic, but I remain grateful for each and every day for the gift I have been given. When we have a rough day that feels never-ending, I think back to the times when I fought so hard to have my children and change my perspective and mindset to one of gratitude.
Who or what has helped you the most on your journey?
Connecting with other women who have either walked a difficult journey to motherhood before me or who were on a journey at the same time, was hands down the most helpful and inspiring part of my journey. Infertility can be an extremely isolating experience, and it can be incredibly tough to talk about it with people who aren’t able to fully empathize. I found that connecting with other women through social media, podcasts, and even in person was the fuel that kept me going. Their stories inspired me, broke my heart, and encouraged me to keep searching for that light at the end of a long, dark tunnel.
What moment sticks in your mind most from your journey?
I would love to say it was the moment that both of my children were born, but that’s not the truth. The moment that sticks in my mind most from my journey is my miscarriage and the extreme grief and sadness I felt as a result. Ultimately, it was the catalyst for me to seek more advanced care, and I am grateful for the experience in hindsight, but in the moment it was devastating. The feelings from that time are seared into me, which is why I think I am able to connect on a deeper level to the thousands of other women who have similar experiences. There was so much happiness and triumph in my journey, but it wasn’t without plenty of pain and that’s what comes to the forefront of my mind when I think about my journey to motherhood.
What would you say to others who find themselves in a journey similar to yours?
I would say that I know how lonely it can feel to struggle with infertility. I know you feel like you’re the only one amongst your friends, family, and acquaintances who are struggling. But you’re not alone. I think that infertility is far more common than we think and there are so many resources out there to help you along the way. I would encourage anyone who is struggling to find a community, whether that be in real life or online. I listened to an infertility podcast daily after my miscarriage and it helped me to feel connected to the women on the podcast and gave me so much hope for the future. I would also encourage you to get educated and advocate for yourself. You know your body better than anyone, if something doesn’t sit right with you, get a second opinion. Dive into all the credible resources out there and educate yourself on supplements, treatments, and actions you can take to support your journey.
What has the journey taught you, and what keeps you going?
This journey has taught me that I am stronger than I ever knew. I am strong for persevering when things got tough, for giving birth to two children, and for wanting to share my story and help other women along with theirs. What kept me going when I was in the middle of my infertility journey was my knowing that I was meant to be a mom. What keeps me going now that I am a mom is my love and appreciation for the gift I have been given.