Thank you, beautiful community, for your joy over our recent news that the White Leaf family is expanding, and for your support as we've also shared our experience with secondary infertility and recurrent miscarriages. In our previous blog post, we described the many years and heartaches between having Keegan and baby #2.
Now, we'd like to open up more about the emotional process along the way, through a Q & A with our Co-Founder, Meghan. Meghan recounts the experience of handling parenthood and running a business (centered around creating and offering baby food, no less), as they went through the winding road of hope and pain of infertility as a family.
We hope this story of resilience and the importance of seeking professional help to process and work through anxiety and depression, will resonate and support you as well, no matter what you are going through in this season of life.
Q: Was it ever triggering to see other families expanding?
MR: 100%. After the recent miscarriages, I for some reason kept seeing pregnant women everywhere. I mean everywhere. It was so discouraging and sad. Plus with work, we started to generate a lot of exceptional influencer content, and seeing the most gorgeous babies devouring our products was definitely difficult. Having to speak about baby food, feeding babies, and thinking about launching new products for babies when you yourself cannot have one was definitely not the highlight of my life.
Q: How has the experience of the second pregnancy been? Was there a good amount of anxiety?
MR: Yes, I was in serious denial that I was even pregnant this time around. I didn't download any apps, I didn’t dream of names, I didn't even schedule my first OB visit to confirm the pregnancy until I was 12 weeks along!
After each week that would go by, I felt relief but still didn't acknowledge that I would carry to full term. I actually didn't even feel that I was going to have a baby until after our 20-week gender scan! I mentally detached from the physical.
And still, now, I suffer from "what still can go wrong" I am hyper-vigilant about ensuring I feel the baby move, and have slight panic attacks when I don’t feel him move.
Q: Did you seek professional help to ease your stress, anxiety and grief?
MR: With the encouragement of Keith and a dear friend, I booked therapy sessions after 20 weeks with a therapist who specializes in postpartum depression to help me clear up all the past trauma that still affects me from Keegan's birth, my postpartum depression, as well as the unaddressed grief of secondary infertility.
Through my work with the therapist and my OB, I discovered that a lot of previous losses were also due in part to my high level of stress with entrepreneurship and White Leaf, my previous bout of postpartum depression, and a traumatic birth experience that I had with Keegan. I wanted to clean my mind and make space for this new little guy.
Q: How did you keep faith & resilience? (Or, understandably, lose it at times)
MR: Ultimately, they key was surrendering. Keith and I had a difficult conversation after years of trying to conceive where we both said, "we are ok with our perfect family the way it is. Maybe two kids are not in our cards." We both came to terms that this was the way it was going to really give us the strength we needed to carry on and see past all the triggering images of babies and allowed us to focus on our "mission" in life to bring truly pure products to market for families.
I also poured my soul into this business, and leaned into my purpose of bringing delicious, pure, regeneratively farmed products to market for families. I made this my life’s path and ultimate goal.
I have been fortunate to have resilience run through my veins from early on. Like many people, I have been knocked down many times in my life from early youth to now that this seemed like another hurdle that I knew, eventually, I would overcome. Life doesn't care about your plan, but it also has a way of working out even better than you originally imagined.