Ain’t I A Woman: Ivori Lipscomb-Warren
My “Ain’t I A Woman” story began on Monday, August 21, 2017 when at the age of 40 and 16 years of marriage, I had a miscarriage. That day will forever be with me as I am a Professor and it was the first day of the fall semester. I will also never forget because after being diagnosed with infertility at the age of 35, my husband and I were able to get pregnant naturally. I labored for three months and during this time, I felt as I though I was not a woman. What woman could not give her husband a child? What woman loses a baby? What woman has a miscarriage? What woman? Well, I was no better than anyone else and I was THAT WOMAN! Not only did I feel like my body failed me, but I felt like I failed myself and my husband too.
In December of 2017, we began infertility treatment – In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). Unfortunately, we were not successful, but in April of 2018, we changed Fertility Centers and I formed a medical team that consisted of my Reproductive Endocrinologist, Acupuncturist, Herbalist, and therapist to aid me and to be an advocate for me on this journey to motherhood. From June of 2018 to June of 2019, I did 9 back-to-back IVF cycles. In July of the same year, we transferred an embryo and unfortunately, we were unsuccessful; in September we transferred another embryo and while it was successful as we became pregnant, we did suffer yet another miscarriage; however, in December we did yet another transfer and became pregnant! The entire pregnancy was rough as I was sick for the entire 9 months, was hospitalized for nearly 2 weeks, and had home health care. However, on Monday, August 3, 2020 at the age of 43 and 19 years of marriage, my husband and I welcomed our rainbow baby (baby born after pregnancy or infant loss) boy.
Life after pregnancy has not been a crystal stair either. Postpartum is rough, especially as I developed late onset preeclampsia and still living with it (hypertension) along with type 2 diabetes. However, I would go through everything (yes, even the heartache and pain) again to hold my baby boy in my arms and look into his big brown eyes.
“Ain’t I A Woman” for overcoming infertility?
“Ain’t I A Woman” for being an IVF survivor?
“Ain’t I A Woman” for TRUSTING THE PROCESS (my husband’s favorite 3 words that have guided me over the past 4 years)?
“Ain’t I A Woman” for always trusting, believing, and remaining faithful?
“Ain’t I A Woman” for going from pain to purpose as I help women purposefully design a life they love in the areas of mental wellness, infertility, IVF, postpartum, and entrepreneurship?
“Ain’t I A Woman” for being a voice for women who feel as though they do not have one after pregnancy and infant loss?
The answer is quite simple…YES, I AM A WOMAN! I am a woman who loves herself and is learning how to give herself grace as I continue to grieve and grow after loss and journey through postpartum.