After struggling with ɪɴꜰᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴛʏ, this mom delivered healthy triplets. Along the way, she faced many changes she never expected.
Desiree and Ryan Fortin had been happily married since 2009, but there was one thing that didn’t work – they had struggled to conceive for a long time. Doctors diagnosed Desiree with ᴘᴏʟʏᴄʏsᴛɪᴄ ᴏᴠᴀʀɪᴀɴ sʏɴᴅʀᴏᴍᴇ so she and her husband tried for three long and painful years before finally turning to ɪɴ-ᴠɪᴛʀᴏ ꜰᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴢᴀᴛɪᴏɴ. “It wasn’t just that I couldn’t get pregnant,” she wrote of those difficult years. “[Iɴꜰᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴛʏ] brought me more tears than I ever thought I could shed…. [It is] expensive and exhausting physically, emotionally, and mentally,” the mom said.
So you can understand that Desiree and Ryan were ecstatic the moment they were finally told their first I.V.F ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛᴍᴇɴᴛ had worked. And when they saw the ultrasound they couldn’t believe there was not one but three babies growing. The Fortin triplets were born at 34 weeks and one day, via C-sᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ. The couple was overjoyed to welcome babies Sawyer, Jack, and Charlize, all of whom weighed more than 5 pounds.
After some soul searching, Fortin said that she was reminded that her scars, stretch marks, and extra skin – which she affectionately calls “hope wounds” – are symbols of motherhood that remind her daily of the way her body grew and delivered her three babies.
In a touching blog post about body image and ᴘᴏsᴛᴘᴀʀᴛᴜᴍ ᴅᴇᴘʀᴇssɪᴏɴ (PPD), Fortin shared personal candid photos of her post-pregnancy belly, along with encouraging words for other mothers who are also struggling with postpartum body image and mental health.
“Despite my ‘baby bump,’ when I look into the mirror, I see so much more beauty than I’ve ever seen before because my hope wounds, which are with me forever, have far greater meaning to me than I ever knew they would,” Fortin wrote in the post. “Even though I may have a little extra pooch and lots of tiger stripes, I longed for wounds like these.”
“To be able to say, ‘These are my scars, and I love them,'” Fortin told TODAY Parents. “I went through so much before I received my scars, while my scars were forming, and after they really set in, and I feel like capturing these images was a beautiful representation of my journey.”
In addition to the physical changes caused by a triplet pregnancy, Fortin’s journey was also a mental one. The stay-at-home mother struggled with ᴘᴏsᴛᴘᴀʀᴛᴜᴍ ᴅᴇᴘʀᴇssɪᴏɴ and anxiety and, in the early days of motherhood, took ᴀɴxɪᴇᴛʏ ᴍᴇᴅɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴ to control ᴘᴀɴɪᴄ ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋs.
“I did what I needed to do to get through that season of life,” Fortin continued. “As mothers, we need to have grace for ourselves.”
Fortin says she hopes sharing her message will help other mothers take the necessary time to offer themselves grace and patience and to get the help they need, whether it’s hiring a babysitter so they can catch up on sleep or seeing a doctor to discuss their feelings.
“Ultimately, I just hope that women everywhere can embrace their bodies because growing a human being and delivering one is not an easy job,” said Fortin. “It isn’t an easy job being a mom either, and our hope wounds are something we should be proud of, not ashamed of.”