Behind The Brand Motherhood Surviving Motherhood

Surviving Motherhood Turns 2!

I can’t believe we’ve been Surviving Motherhood together for two years. 

Two years has gone by in the blink of an eye.

Since this brand requires about the same level of love and care as my children do, it only seems right that time would fly by – it’s like my 4th baby! Many of you know that I started a small blog shop in 2015 and not long after had the idea for our Surviving Motherhood drinkware line. I have really been feeling pulled to share the full story of how it all came to life, and I thought since we are celebrating this special milestone there really is no better time!

Here we go…

In 2012 a dear friend of mine lost her daughter very late in her pregnancy. Without a doubt I wanted to do all that I could to support her during this time, so when she asked me to attend a biweekly pregnancy loss support group I was more than happy to. We began going to these support group sessions together, for two hours every other Wednesday night.  For weeks on end I sat by her side and listened to these strangers mourn the loss of their pregnancies and young babies.

I watched my friend share her own story, and find comfort in knowing she wasn’t alone. After only a few weeks I found myself wondering why I had decided my family was complete with only two children.

I thought, here I am listening to all of these people struggle and having the ability to say, “I’m done after two kids” seemed like a luxury.

As crazy as it sounds, I started to feel more and more like something was missing and that I needed to have another child. 

I had no idea how to approach this subject with my husband but simply saying, “All of these people can’t have babies and I can, so why aren’t we?” seemed kind of insane – but I did it anyway.

It took me a few months of begging and pleading but my husband was finally onboard to try for baby #3. My first two pregnancies were so uneventful and smooth, and we conceived so easily I (foolishly) expected the same this time around. 

Not so much.

After 6 months of trying to conceive we FINALLY had a positive test and were on our way with baby #3. I announced our excitement to family and friends right away, and scheduled my first doctor appointment. When I went in for my first ultrasound at 13 weeks I was alone because this process wasn’t new to me, (I had a 3 and 5 year old at the time) but the news I received was devastating.

All the “parts” that were supposed to be there at this stage in pregnancy were, but there was no heartbeat.

I remember being ushered into another room with tears pouring down my face wondering why I hadn’t brought my husband with me today. Despite the fact that I was still attending these pregnancy loss support meetings with my friends every other week I had so many questions swirling in my mind. 

Was this my fault?

Did I do something wrong?

I have two healthy babies, how could this happen?

From there things started to blur and I remember being scheduled for a D&C and sent home to rest until it was time to go in. Little did I know, not only would I end up needing two D&C surgeries, but that the entire process would be incredibly traumatic for a number of reasons.

I was in the hospital for over a week, and throughout that stay and even after I was sent home I felt as if I was just existing.

I woke up one day not long after being sent home and had this realization that for the first time in my life I had a lost sight of who I was and what I wanted for my family. How could losing a pregnancy cause me to question everything? 

At this time I was working full time as a Treatment Coordinator for an orthodontist, a job I’d had for 10+ years and expected to have for as long as I could foresee, until now. Suddenly I felt like there was something else I should be doing, but I wasn’t sure what.

I began writing and started a blog because I wanted to seek out and connect with other moms who had stories similar to mine. The following year I finally got pregnant with our rainbow baby and again had this strong feeling that I needed to stay home with my kids. I followed my gut and after many discussions with my husband and some careful financial planning I was able to quit my job in Orthodontics and committed myself to writing and blogging full time.

After our third son was born, I again found myself expecting to have a similar experience to what I had with my older boys, who were relatively easy babies. The truth is I struggled with breastfeeding, postpartum depression, and transitioning to being a mom of 3. I wanted this baby so bad and never anticipated how much he would change our family dynamic. 

When he was just a few weeks old I left the house to run some errands and when I returned home I sat in my driveway in silence just collecting my thoughts. As I sat there sipping on my coffee I took a deep breath and thought to myself, “I’m quite literally surviving motherhood today, one sip at a time.” and I knew I couldn’t be alone in feeling this way. 

A few weeks later the Surviving Motherhood drinkware line was born. 

My plan was to launch this brand new product line and open a blog shop for my growing community of readers. Just few months in, my new products were already taking off and Surviving Motherhood was clearly resonating with moms all over the country. It was then that I realized there was a need to give Surviving Motherhood it’s own home and with that the Mom Life Must Haves brand was born.

Since then, Mom Life Must Haves has grown and blossomed to include apparel and accessories loved by moms across the world!  I could never have imagined that my desire to stay home with my boys would have been fulfilled this way. Looking back, this journey has been so wild, yet so rewarding. The simple fact that we as moms can stand in solidarity with one another, despite our parenting methods, opinions, and beliefs, is so powerful to me. 

Looking back on the events and decisions that led up to today, I find it so crazy that this all started with me simply trying to support my friend.

If I hadn’t started attending those group sessions with her…

Would I have even tried to have another child?

Would I have three kids today?

Would I have started a blog and ultimately “quit my day job”?

I can’t say for sure that I would have, which is mind blowing to me. 

On that day when I sat in my driveway thinking, I can’t be alone, I would have laughed in your face if you told me two years from now I’d have united thousands and thousands of moms over one simple phrase.

Whatever you’re surviving today, cheers to you, mama!

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  • Reply
    May 18, 2018 at 10:02 am

    Gina, I love this! Thank you for sharing your story! We’re all in this “Hood” together! Thank you for being YOU!!! Love you Momma!!

  • Reply
    Sarah Nelson
    May 18, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    Thank you for being you Gina, and creating such a wonderful brand. Its popularity is testament to all the hard work you’ve put into this! You’re the best!

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