How this incredible mum explained infertility to her 7-year-old son
As mums - we inevitably have to deal with the slightly awkward questions that come as our babies become toddlers; then preschoolers, and on to big kids.
It's a conundrum that one inspiring mum had to weather recently - when explaining her infertility to her seven-year-old son.
In a moving Instagram post, Shelby Eckard - who hails from South Carolina - detials her recent roller-coaster of emotions.
"This morning, my 7 year old son walked in on me crying at my desk," she begins. "He asked, momma, why are you crying?' He then caught glimpse of my screen, where I was looking at a text sent from my girlfriend, who sent an ultrasound picture of her baby. He asked, 'what is that?' I explained it was a baby, trying hard not to go any further because I'm not ready for a 'where babies come from discussion'.
"He said, 'but momma - I don't understand. Why are you crying? Babies are awesome.'
"This, spawned a whole flood of tears I held back behind burning eyes. How do you explain to a 7 year old the emotions and challenges of infertility?"
Shelby adds: "I mustered up my strong mom voice and told him, 'yes, babies ARE awesome. They make hearts happy and homes feel full and are the greatest present a person can ever get. Having a child is like looking forward to a birthday. You know the time for it is coming.
"And for some reason, for some, those baby days don't come when they're supposed to. Or ever. And it's like waiting on a present and not knowing if you'll ever get it. And it can make you sad. If you were looking forward to your birthday, and it didn't come, you'd be sad, right? And you'd be really happy when you finally got your birthday present.
"'Mommy had to wait for your baby sister, and it was really hard. But she's pretty awesome, right? And she was totally worth the wait. So mommy is happy when she sees her friends happy. And that's why she works hard to help those women feel happy each day'."
The mum-of-two next adds: "Later on, I couldn't find my son. I finally walked into my bedroom, and there he was sitting on my floor, crayolas everywhere, doodling and writing.
"I asked him, 'what are you doing, buggy?' He said, 'I want those ladies to be happy, too. I want them to get their presents. I can't give them a baby. And I thought maybe they can borrow my sister for a little, but I can't drive and I'd miss her. So I am drawing them pictures as presents.
"'Maybe you can send them to them for me? When they're sad? I don't want them to give up. I want them to be happy.'
"There's moments when I think I'm failing as a momma, but these moments? I know I'm not doing so bad."
Hear, hear we say!
Ms Eckard has previously explained that her pregnancy with her son was unplanned, so she never thought she’d struggle to conceive.
But after years of failing to get pregnant again, she realised she had PCOS. After fertility treatments, she was able to have her daughter.
“I am lucky to have my two beautiful children,” she has told the Huffington Post.
"I know not everyone is so lucky. I think that’s why I share stories and advocate for women with PCOS to share theirs as well, so one less person can feel alone."