Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day Musings

About three years ago, when I was about two years into my TTC (trying to conceive) journey a colleague of mine shared a bit about her own infertility struggles.  In addition to being in the same field, it turned out we had a lot in common- our birthdays were just a day apart, we got married one week apart, and we both longed to start our family.  We were both even seeking assistance at the same fertility clinic.  I remember thinking "she really gets it" when she told me "I've had 23 failed cycles" (by this she meant menstrual cycles- she had not yet tried Assisted Reproductive Techniques but had clearly been keeping track of the monthly disappointments just as I had.)

With this shared experience, we forged a friendship unlike any other.  We leaned on each other during our losses, celebrated one another's victories and understood when it was too difficult to talk about either.  I remember when our mutual friend commented on how great it was that we were starting such a strong friendship but expressed concern about what would happen if one of us got pregnant and the other didn't. I told him that though it might be hard, I thought we would be happy for one another and hopeful for ourselves.    I was right.  At one point, after her first failed IVF cycle and my sixth failed IUI, we were both set to attempt an IVF cycle together.  Then I unexpectedly got naturally pregnant. I was initially afraid to tell her but ultimately did and she couldn't have been more over-joyed.   As it turns out, I miscarried and she had another failed cycle.  We both mourned the losses together.   And then, the news we both dreamed of happened.  Her third and final IVF cycle worked! I cried when she told me the news-  honest-to- goodness happy tears.  She now is the mom of twins and though she is incredibly busy, she  continues to be an amazing support for me. She still checks in with me weekly, listens to my pain and worry and celebrates the victories when they come.

This week she posted a very profound statement of FB that I wanted to share on Mother's Day:

The calendar never stops and here we are approaching another Mother’s Day. It is my first official one and I am feeling incredibly lucky to have the family I dreamed of my whole life. I am also painfully aware that many people are yearning for children of their own, are missing mothers and children who are now in heaven, and some who are still looking for the right partner to start their family. No matter where you are on your personal journey, please focus on the hope and possibilities to come. Life may not be what you expected, but sometimes the unexpected can be a wonderful blessing. Hugs and lots of love to all the special women in my life.

This other poem was given to me by my surro. Though I'd seen it before, it carries more weight this year as I hope and pray this will be my last Mother's Day without a child in my arms.

I Will Be A Wonderful Mother - By: Author Unknown

There are women who become mothers without effort,
without thought,
without patience or loss,
and though they are good mothers and love their children,
I know that I will be better.

I will be better not because of genetics or money or because I have read more books,
but because I have struggled and toiled for this child.

I have longed and waited.

I have cried and prayed.

I have endured and planned over and over again.

Like most things in life, the people who truly have appreciation are those who have struggled to attain their dreams.

I will notice everything about my child.

I will take time to watch my child sleep, explore, and discover.

I will marvel at this miracle every day for the rest of my life.

I will be happy when I wake in the middle of the night to the sound of my child, knowing that I can comfort, hold, and feed him and that I am not waking to take another temperature, pop another pill, take another shot or cry tears of a broken dream.

My dream will be crying for me.

I count myself lucky in this sense; that God has given me this insight, this special vision with which I will look upon my child.

Whether I parent a child I actually give birth to or a child that God leads me to, I will not be careless with my love.

I will be a better mother for all that I have endured.

I am a better wife, a better aunt, a better daughter, neighbor, friend, and sister because I have known pain.

I know disillusionment, as I have been betrayed by my own body. I have been tried by fire and hell that many never face, yet given time, I stood tall.

I have prevailed.

I have succeeded.

I have won.

So now, when others hurt around me, I do not run from their pain in order to save myself discomfort.

I see it, mourn it, and join them in theirs.

I listen.

And even though I cannot make it better, I can make it less lonely.

I have learned the immense power of another hand holding tight to mine, of other eyes that moisten as they learn to accept the harsh truth when life is beyond hard.

I have learned a compassion that only comes by walking in those shoes.

I have learned to appreciate life.

Yes, I will be a wonderful mother. 

Finally, I would be remiss without wishing my wonderful mother and mother-in-law a Very Happy Mother's Day.  Thank you for your unending love and support, especially during this difficult time in our lives.  And of course, Happy Mother's Day to the newest and most important mother in my life surro, Ellen. 

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