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A Letter to the Mother in Waiting from a Maternal Mental Health and Eating Disorder Therapist


a letter to a mother in waiting from a maternal mental health and eating disorder therapist

By: Gabrielle A. Morreale M.A. LPC. C-DBT.


Last week was National Infertility Awareness Week. As someone with lived experience of dealing with not only infertility but also secondary infertility and loss. I wanted to pause for a moment and share a personal reflection.  Please note this blog is personal and I ask that you read it with the lens of kindness. 


To start, I will say I love that National Infertility Awareness Week is celebrated and it brings up a lot of unresolved emotions. Also, is a week really enough? Like many women’s health issues, it lacks funding and the attention it truly deserves. However, for those in the throes of infertility and loss and even those of us dealing with the aftermath a week hardly feels like it’s enough at all. We’ll have to take it though, I guess?


My journey to becoming a mother was not sunshine and roses. It was filled with grief. It was long. It was painful. It was lonely. It made me someone at times, I didn’t know or even like. After years of hard work in recovery, I found myself in a place of deep disconnection and frustration with my body. If you are going through infertility and can relate, please know you are not alone, and whatever you’re feeling whenever you’re feeling it is valid. I promise - its not your fault or your body's. 


sun shining on pink tulips

As I was going through last week, there were moments where my breath was taken away from the deep sadness that I still feel linked to my infertility journey. Yes, there were also many moments of joy and gratitude because unlike many, I was lucky enough to get my rainbow baby. However, I can promise you it was not easy. 


This blog is for the moms in waiting the ones whose hearts are aching desperately to hold a sweet little baby in their arms. It is also for their loved ones to give you a little insight to what they may be dealing with on a daily basis. Check on your friends, especially if they’re going through infertility. Here are a few things I learned along the way and that a very wise woman once shared with me. 


You Are Already A Mother


First, I want to tell you, you are already a mother you may not feel like one whether you have a baby or babies in heaven or a baby in your heart YOU are a mother. The deep ache and longing for a baby is a pain no one should ever have to endure. I’m so sorry you are struggling for this precious gift. It is nothing you’ve done wrong, and you are 100000% worthy of your babe! I’m rooting for you! Whether you are in the throes of IVF or just starting on your journey YOU are a mother. Hold that close to your heart, especially on the hard days, it will help your heart break a little less. 


It’s Okay to Be Selfish


Second, you’re allowed to be selfish! Infertility and loss change us. You don’t have to apologize for those changes. You also are allowed to start putting yourself first. Learning to advocate for yourself and your needs will only make you an even more incredible mother. Your needs matter.


field of pink and blue flowers

Allow yourself to say no to things that don’t make you feel good. it’s OK to decline social engagements. This is a really challenging time. It’s also OK to enjoy social! Do what feels right for you today and always. If you need it to be let this blog give you the permission you need during this incredibly tender and sensitive season. You don’t have to go to everyone’s baby shower. You don’t have to partake in conversation around your fertility journey unless you want to. You also don’t have to feel joy with every pregnancy announcement. These will hurt a lot. It’s okay. Even if you get lucky enough to have your baby earthside, these will still hurt. It’s okay. Whatever it is, you need during the season please let this blog be your encouragement to put yourself first!!


Don’t Take it Out On Your Body


Lastly, this is not your fault and please don’t take it out on your body! As an eating disorder survivor, my go to coping skills for so long was to use my body as my way to communicate that I was not well. Please don’t take this out on your body when it comes to infertility - it is no one’s fault. Your body is not the problem and doesn’t need to be your scapegoat. It is an incredibly unfair circumstance that happens to one in six of us and when it comes to loss one in four of us. You did nothing to deserve this. It’s not your “karma” or lack of trust in God. It’s life and infertility sucks!


Do your best to be gentle with yourself. Be kind to your body. It probably already feels like the world is being deeply unkind to you, I know I felt that so deeply. The more compassion you can show yourself in the process of infertility, the less peace infertility can take from you. Although at times please know it will take your peace regardless… you’re doing nothing wrong. If you are struggling to be compassionate with yourself in the process, I so feel that. The deep loathing I felt toward my body at times especially after loss was unreal and it truly only made my journey harder. 

Your body is your friend. Your body wants to support you it wants to be there for you! One affirmation that helped pull me out of the depth of my pain was that my body was my home and would be my baby’s home. That truly is so special. If this affirmation helps - yay! If not - totally ok. If you can find even small ways to be kind to yourself and your body on this journey. 


I want to fully acknowledge these suggestions are much easier said than done. I can promise you, they helped me and still help me to this day on my journey. Being in recovery while navigating infertility was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I am so glad that I was able to maintain my recovery and that I was able to get my rainbow. If you are struggling with infertility, loss, eating, or anything at all please know I or my team would be honored to help. You are already and will always be a mother!





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We offer a wide variety of services related to eating disorder recovery including trauma therapy!  We offer Weekly Support Groups, Nutrition Services,  and Family and Parent Therapy as well as Coaching, all tailored to meet the specific needs of the individual. We offer our services for Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating, and Orthorexia online in New Jersey, Delaware, South Carolina, and Florida! We are here to offer our support and understanding in a safe and non-judgmental environment.


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Recovered and Restored is an eating disorder therapy center founded by Gabrielle Morreale. We specialize in helping teens and young women heal from eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, orthorexia, and binge eating disorder and treat disordered eating, anxiety, depression, and PTSD. We provide eating disorder therapy in the towns of Horsham, Upper Gwynedd, Lower Gwynedd, North Wales, Lansdale, Hatfield, Blue Bell, Doylestown, and nearby towns with eating disorder therapy. Also providing virtual eating disorder therapy in New Jersey, Delaware, and Florida. Some towns served virtually but are not limited to Pittsburg, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Center City, Cherry Hill, Haddonfield, Mount Laurel, Cape May, Avalon, Brick, Dover, New Castle, Bethany Beach, Marydel, and Oceanview

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