By: Juli Auclair Lipof
For many, Mother’s day is a celebration of moms, special bonds and family. A day for breakfast in bed and little gifts, made with love by tiny hands. However, for women dealing with infertility it can be an excruciatingly painful reminder of loss and the baby they long for so deeply.
Julie Vidales-Passow was one of these women. She and her husband, Marcus, dealt with infertility for years before seeking help from fertility specialist, Dr. Bradford Kolb at HRC Fertility in Pasadena, California.
With the help of Dr. Kolb, Julie became pregnant with triplets. She and Marcus welcomed Matias, Luciana and Francesca into the world on September 23rd, 2013. Julie agreed to speak with us about her beautiful babies and her plans for her very first Mother’s Day.
Q- Julie, describe the moment when you held your babies in your arms for the first time.
JULIE - “I had a C-Section and as they pulled my babies out of me I briefly got to see their little faces over the curtain but I got to hear their sweet cries and that in itself brought me to tears. Matias went straight to the nursery while Luciana and Francesca had to go to the NICU to monitor their breathing. When they wheeled Matias into my room I was felt this lump in my throat. I wanted to hold him forever and never let go. He was so perfect. I was literally holding my heart in my arms. Francesca was released the next day to the nursery. I was so ecstatic when they told me. Again, my heart hurt because it could not believe how much I loved this little girl when I stared at her sweet little face. After days of being in her incubator I finally got to hold my baby girl Luciana. She seemed so helpless and everything in my body wanted to never let her go.”
“Holding them for the first time was truly a surreal experience. I waited so long for this moment that I almost felt like I was dreaming.”
Q- You mentioned that Mother's Day has been difficult for you over the past few years as you struggled to conceive? How did you deal with that?
JULIE –“The last two years before I became pregnant with the triplets were the hardest. Mothers Day, 2012 was my first IVF, after 2 failed IUIs. My family and I went to Santa Barbara for a Mother’s Day getaway. It felt like this was it the perfect moment with all the people I love. I took a pregnancy test and it came back negative. My heart just dropped. I was so angry and confused. Then, Mothers Day of 2013 I was 17 weeks pregnant with the triplets. I knew being high risk anything can happen at any time. I kept receiving texts from family and friends wishing me a Happy Mother’s Day and every time I got one I cried.”
Q - What will Mother's day be like for you this year and how do you plan to celebrate?
JULIE- “Oh my gosh, I have no words to describe what this Mother’s Day means to me!”
“I still have those surreal moments of am I really a mom? Are these really my kids or am I dreaming?”
“I want to be with my babies and my husband and take in this moment and cherish the memories because there was a time in my life when I actually believed I would never get to be someone’s mommy. We have not yet made plans. We will most likely see our moms and maybe spend the rest of the day just the 5 of us.”
Q - What advice would you give to women who are struggling to conceive on this Mother's Day?
JULIE – “I really dislike the generic support statements that I heard more times than I could count. I do my best to lend an ear more than talk because sometimes there truly are no words that can or will comfort the pain or hurt you feel in your heart. Do what you want. Never feel obligated, or force yourself to be uncomfortable for the sake of others. I became very strong on so many levels going through this. No one will understand your pain unless they have gone through it too.”
“Have a support system that advocates for you so you don’t have to stand alone- it truly helps."
Juli Auclair Lipof spent 18 years as a TV news anchor and reporter before switching gears and launching her own video-based parenting website www.NotSupermom.com.
NotSupermom™ is chock-full of parenting advice and tips with a healthy dose of humor! She is also a writer, producer and social media manager. Juli lives in a suburb of New York City, with her husband and two children.