This week, I'm not writing about books, or toys, or about speech therapy activities at all. This week, I decided to share with you a very personal story. A part of my life that I've been debating for weeks if I should share it or not. I opted to write about it, because recently, many people have asked me how did I come up with my Learning with Yaya materials. I'm finally ready (I think) to give them an honest answer, so here it goes...
Learning with Yaya is my "baby." A baby my husband and I have been trying to conceive for almost two years now.
On January 2016, after one year of trying to conceive without success, we underwent our first fertility treatment. We were very excited that we will finally have a baby in our lives, as all the doctors and nurses were confident that we were going to have a successful trial. Well... they were wrong...Our treatment was a complete failure! It was a huge let down, and truly devastating...
A couple of months after our loss (because that's what it felt like) I realized I had a HUGE need to create. However, I was not ready to ride that crazy roller coaster again and embark in another treatment yet. With that need to create something that was mine, a wave of creativity just invaded me. And that's how Learning with Yaya was concieved!
Yes, I love to sing, and I've dreamed about writing my own songs since high school. And yes! I've dreamed about publishing my own books since I was a kid! (I still have a vivid memory of myself using my mom's typewriter to write short stories). And yes! I love to teach and I feel fulfilled with every little improvement my students achieve. But the reality is, that Learning with Yaya was my way to bring something of my own to this world! (And of course, my way to cope with reality). I immersed myself in music, song writing, voice lessons, video editing, recording sessions, and illustrations. Six months later, Learning with Yaya was born!
Now that my "baby" is here, I'm eager for the world to see it! Not only because I'm proud of it, but because with every child I reach, I keep filling that empty space in my heart. With every smile, new word learned, or thankful words from parents, I feel like I brought something worthwhile to this world.
And finally, for any one dealing with infertility, hang in there! I know it is a crazy, painful ride, but it helps (a bit) to know that you are not alone! :)
Yael Herszkopf Mayer MS, CCC-SLP is a pediatric, bilingual (English/Spanish) Speech and Language Pathologist and the creator of Learning with Yaya. She received her Masters of Science degree in Speech and Language Pathology- Bilingual Extension from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Clinical Psychology from Universidad de Iberoamérica in Costa Rica.