Monday, May 11, 2009

On remembering my first Mother's Day (as a mother)

I have to start by saying, I love where I am in my life, but that it wasn't always this happy. Mother's Day in particular was a rough day during those years when I wanted desperately to be a mother, but just couldn't get biology to agree with me. What a slap-in-the-face reminder of my monthly struggle and monthly disappointment.
I'm one of the lucky ones, as far as infertilty goes. Our reproductive endocrinologist was able to get us pregnant rather quickly, so there I was miraculously, blissfully, nauseatingly pregnant. It was an enormous financial, physical and emotional price to pay, but one that my husband and I didn't think twice about, and of course, would repeat in a heartbeat. (ahem, reality interlude - I don't see myself having a second...)
But there are the less fortunate ones: the couples whose infertility is chalked up to "unknown causes" and who just can't manage to get pregnant, despite all of modern medicine's advances. And the ones who seem to be able to get pregnant, but experience recurrent loss. Their syndromes aren't life-threatening, but come with their own special brand of pain and grief. I know many people in these situations, and though they hide their heartbreak from most, I see it and I understand it.
If this all seems too heavy on such a special day, forgive me. I only endeavor to remind mothers of how lucky they are, how special their maternal roles are, and how miraculous this whole procreation thing really is. And I also offer a little advice: please don't ask your childless friends when they're going to have a baby. How do you know they haven't been struggling to do so for years? And if you do know someone struggling with infertility, please be an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on, but please DO NOT offer unsolicited advice in the vein of "If it's meant to be, it will happen," or "Maybe God doesn't want you to be a parent," or "Maybe if you just relax, you'll get pregnant." Believe me, having been there, these are the types of statements that make us want to choke you fertile creatures.

I hope your day was lovely, we had a low-key day & that was a-o.k.
On our walk. Jacob was looking at the creek rushing under the bridge!


Ruth's Place said...

Very well said! I also never complain about my child to my childless friends because there was a time I would have loved to 'suffer' the sleepless nights etc

Pat said...

I've been there and had successful fertility work in NJ in the early 1970's...with a doctor who was rather a U.S. pioneer in the field. All that you say is SO true and people just don't understand it very well unless they have BEEN there. Congrats on that first Mother's Day as a mom.

dee said...

Happy First Mother's Day. Nice picture of your boys!

Quiltdivajulie said...

Good post ~

Andi said...

Adding to the advice...don't tell an adoptive mom that "Now you'll end up pregnant." I am still a bit sad that I (probably) won't experience pregnancy, but motherhood is wonderful in all it's forms!

paula, the quilter said...

Very thought provoking post, thank you. Love the photo.

Margaret aka Supermom said...

Hand's down, my 1st Mother's day was the best - still in a total state of bliss then. They are still good, just different. THe moments of absolute bliss are sprinkled in between tantrums and fits and many little hugs!