Good Bones home designer and renovator, Mina Starsiak Hawk has been a pretty open book when it comes to her daily life and motherhood on social media. From candid snaps of her 1-year-old son with husband, Stephen Hawk, to all the behind-the-scenes drama of her HGTV show, she has shared a lot for excited, enthusiastic fans. Unfortunately with the frankness of it all comes its fair share of criticism from mommy shaming trolls targeting the Indianapolis native's moves, choices and actions on Instagram — the latest being her journey through IVF as she works to expand her family.
While Starsiak Hawk warned fans earlier this month ahead of kicking off her IVF journey that those who give "zero f's" can just skip all her Instagram Stories as she will be posting for the "hundreds of women" who have messaged her and appreciate the honesty in her process, one user in particular took the time to shame her.
In a string of videos posted Friday night, Starsiak Hawk addressed the comment most gracefully while in her home and said she wanted to talk about it for "a lot of reasons in general."
"I watch all your stuff, but this is over the top. Too much. You didn't get pregnant the exact month you wanted? You give woman with real fertility issues a bad name. Booooo…" the Instagram user, whose name Starsiak Hawk blurred out of respect, wrote in response to a previous confession shared by the HGTV star.
In videos that spanned almost two-and-a-half minutes, the 34-year-old shared how the comment was "not cool on a handful of levels."
"You don't know me, I don't know you, you have no idea how long I've been trying. You have no idea know what my fertility issues are or aren't and even if you did — like I'm not judging you, [but] you just you don't know me," Starsiak Hawk said in the video. "I think in general people think it's really easy to pass judgement on other people through social media because you kind of feel like you might know me or my situation or what I'm going through, but you probably don't know all of it, so if you feel that way about it, that's cool — just don't say it."
She went on to share how she usually doesn't ever look at the comments, but knows she gets an "overwhelmingly" positive response from her following base who have been "amazing, hugely supportive and literally the only reason" why she posts about her fertility journey.
"So many people have sent me hundreds and hundreds of messages about how helpful it's been for them, so, girl that made the post — just don't because — Steve's yelling — you don't know our story. But that's that's all I have to say," she said.
While holding her son, Jack in her arms, Starsiak added that if the user who posted the comment is annoyed by her Instagram Stories, she could just "unfollow" her.
"But I feel like you're probably in a really tough place," she sympathized. "Like, if you've been dealing with infertility that long, I can't even imagine. You know, I've been trying for a little over a year and it's hard so, that sucks and I'm really sorry. And there's nothing I can do to help, but just trying to share my story to make it easier for other people."
While infertility can be a difficult experience, both emotionally and physically, Starsiak Hawk has been chronicling her challenges for months now, sharing most candidly with fans the various procedures she has been undergoing, including a HSG or hysterosalpingogram test that diagnoses blocked fallopian tubes and acupuncture.
As one of the most effective forms of assisted reproductive technology, IVF or "in vitro fertilization" is a multifaceted series of procedures used to help women with fertility, according to the Mayo Clinic. During IVF trials, mature eggs are retrieved from the ovaries and fertilized by sperm in a lab. Following this collection, the fertilized egg or eggs (embryos) are subsequently transferred to the uterus. These steps are split into different parts and the process can often take a little longer.
As per the clinic, one's chances of having a "healthy baby" with the assist of IVF depend on a variety of factors, including age and the cause of infertility. Such treatment can be time-consuming, expensive and invasive. Additionally, if more than one embryo is transferred to the uterus, IVF can result in a pregnancy with more than one fetus (multiple pregnancy).
Photo credit: Aaron Rapoport/Corbis/Getty Images