About the blog
Risa Kerslake Writes is a personal blog on infertility and motherhood, and what happens when these two roads intersect. My passion is encouraging women through their struggles to conceive and walking alongside them while raising small children.
This site came about at the beginning of 2017, when I decided to take my writing to the next level. I spent four years blogging about my infertility journey on a site called Who Shot Down My Stork?. Infertility is my passion, but I knew I wanted to break out of that mold and have the freedom to write about whatever I wanted, so alas, my self-hosted website was born.
I blog a little about everything, but most of my writing fits into several categories.
Infertility (and donor eggs): I struggled with multiple treatments in my six-year journey of infertility, finally welcoming my little girl after two rounds of using an egg donor. I have several women every week who contact me because they are experiencing their own struggles and are looking for support and encouragement. I blogged consistently through my journey until early 2015, and while I’m parenting after the fact, I still pour my heart out into this space about how it has continued to affect me.
Parenthood: Being a mom is both familiar and nothing like I envisioned. My daughter is full on toddler now, and it’s all I can do as a work-from-home-mom to keep my sanity some days.
Life: Occasionally, I like to post about things that are just about me. I like to talk about myself—I have a blog for crying out loud. Here you will find the general things life has thrown my way.
The Anxiety Diaries: Recently, I’ve been writing through my struggles on anxiety, particularly after my daughter was born. It’s messy and it’s hard to talk about sometimes, but words are powerful, and I love to help others realize they aren’t alone.
I’ve been told that I’m very real—that I tell it like it is, without glossing over the hard stuff. My writing can make you both laugh and cry. My best work are the ones that do both. This space is my community—my tribe, and some of the most amazing women I’ve ever known have come about from this site. I want you to feel welcomed here.
About Me (and why I write)
Ever since I was a child, I’ve wanted to be a writer. I was eight years old when I recorded my first thoughts:
My spelling and ability to focus my writing have improved since then. My love for tacos has remained.
From those diaries came short stories, and then longer stories, and then I became a teenager and writing stories was no longer cool. I don’t even know what was cool back in 1998. Doc Martins? Whipping out my compact mirror from my back pocket and obsessively checking my face every five minutes like all the other girls were doing? Whatever it was, I tried to do it and the extent of my writing became nothing more than the notes back and forth with my friends.
I meet a guy.
My husband Chris and I met while working at Panera. I don’t know, I think he offered to pour the hot soups into the warmer or something. I was 16 and he was 19 and we were just friends until he got a girlfriend. I realized it was an inopportune time, but he really needed to be with me instead. After four years together, we got married in 2008 (ten years after Doc Martins went out of style) and I was still in nursing school, working toward my RN degree.
We moved around a couple times in the Twin Cities and bought an Australian Cattle Dog whom we named Toby. I was working as a nurse in home care and Chris was in finance. We knew we wanted to have a baby, so when the time was right, we gave each other that knowing smile, poured some wine and I got pregnant.
Just kidding. It didn’t quite work out that way.
I realize I’m infertile.
I started my blog, Who Shot Down My Stork? in 2012, three years into trying to get pregnant on our own. Initially, I wanted that blog to be a place for friends and family to read about our struggles to have a baby. Somewhere along the way, I accidentally became an infertility blogger and strangers wanted to read about my failing reproductive system. And they actually thought it was entertaining. Who knew?
After multiple IUIs, IVFs, two miscarriages, and a donor cycle that involved a trip across the country, I left my job as an RN, in order to put my full time and attention into one last cycle. We chose a different egg donor, drained our savings and took one final trip back to Texas. In November 2015, six years after initially trying for a baby, we welcomed our daughter Olivia into the world. She’s pretty much perfect. Probably why I write about her 95% of the time.
On writing—and motherhood
I became a stay-at-home mom, but along the way, picked up some freelance work and now am a regular contributor to several infertility and parenting sites. Apparently, you can make a living from writing after all.
When I’m not writing this blog or frantically making deadlines for my other freelance work, I am being a mom. Usually doing Mom things like wearing leggings, drinking coffee from a variety of mugs, and trying to sign my daughter up for lots of free activities since trying to finance a sibling for her doesn’t come cheap when you’re still infertile. You will usually find me taking pictures, reading a book, convincing my husband to bake ridiculously complicated things for me, and eating food dipped in Chick-fil-A sauce.
Welcome to my space. A place to be real, to provide support to moms in all walks of life, and at times, to awkwardly overshare. Sort of a diary, except that it’s been passed around to my entire graduating class and probably some ex-boyfriends as well.
I hope you enjoy. Sorry about the swearing.
I usually publish posts about twice a week and love connecting with other women. If you don’t want to miss a post, join my newsletter that comes twice a month in your email!
photography by erinandi photo