Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mixed Feelings on Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day.  I am finally a mom.  After nearly five years of failed cycles, lost heartbeats and crushed dreams I finally have the most adorable little son that I can spend Mother's Day with and call my own.  I should be overjoyed, right? Then why aren't I? All week I've had such mixed emotions- happiness for sure, relief, but also a sadness that blankets everything.  I told Jason last night that I think I am sad for all the people I know who are still trying to become moms.  People I "know" from the FB boards that I am part of, and people I know in real life.  I know what today is like for them.  Infertility is something you live with every day but on this day- when the very thing you long for, hurt for, mourn for is being celebrated by EVERYONE- the pictures, sentiments, and thank yous given for something you may never experience-it stings.  After year two, I learned to just avoid FB on this day.  Now that I can finally join in on the celebration- I find myself still wanting to avoid FB.   I certainly don't want to contribute to their pain with my own "look at me and my beautiful family" post but I also don't want to go there because I still hurt.

This morning as I woke to got to the bathroom around 5am,  I saw that my little guy was stirring.  Before I went to retrieve him, I checked FB as is my habit (figuring it was probably to early for the barrage of Mother's Day FB posts so still safe) and I saw a post from Our Misconception  by Candace Wohl that really resonated with me.  She too was experiencing a myriad of emotions on her first Mother's Day.  Here is a snippet of what she wrote that really hit home:

But for some reason, amidst this joy and what should be the end of the story, I hurt. I have an emptiness. Perhaps it is the scars I bare that remind me pregnancy was and will never be part of what has made me a mother.

I am standing in the middle of the road with one foot on one side of the line for what will always be my infertility diagnosis and the other foot on side of the fertile ground of motherhood.
Someone really put my melting pot of thoughts and “feels” into the right words last night. She said I was surviving infertility in a fertile world. Yes, yes I am.

I feel guilty.

I feel blessed.

I feel angry.

I feel overwhelming joy.

I feel sorrow for others.
I still feel infertile.

So yes, while there is a big part of me that is experiencing Survivors Guilt- wrestling with feelings of guilt for having survived/achieved something others have not- Candace's post helped me to see that I'm also struggling with still feeling infertile.  Yes, I have my baby.  But it was not an easy road getting him here.  And if I want another one, as so many have asked and as Jason and I ask ourselves either out loud or in our heads daily, it still won't be easy.  Mother Nature reminded me of what a bitch she can be when she decided to have my period show up a week early last night. Because after all, why not throw in some hormones to make me extra emotional during this confusing time?

After early morning feedings, I can usually put Jaden back down for an hour or two and go back to sleep myself.  I really wanted to do that this morning, because I knew I needed to write about my feelings after reading that post.  I've been struggling all week about what to say and finally got some clarity. I started to write and got maybe three sentences in when I heard the adorable "Ah-gee, ah-gee" cooing that Jaden does.  And my heart melted.  I brought him in our room for a few minutes and then tried putting him back down.    Once again, his cooing made it clear that he wasn't going back to sleep.  Now I think that bitch Mother Nature was winking at me through him.  Reminding me that this is no time to be feeling sad.  Reminding me that even though I didn't get to carry him in my belly, I get to carry him now.  I get to see his little face light up whenever he sees me and I get to be his mother.

On this day moving forward, I won't forget for whom this day is painful.  I won't forget those who long to be mothers, nor those who had to use the help of doctors to become mothers.  I won't forget those who needed the help of generous women either through adoption or surrogacy to become mothers.  I won't forget those in pain because they lost their mothers or those who have a strained relationship with their mothers.  This is a day to honor them all.

Yet I will also remember that I am lucky and blessed to be a mother to Jaden- a boy with a smile that lights up a room and a sweet and gentle spirit that warms my heart every day. 


  1. Thank you for sharing this. I will confess that I have friends that I envy because their feelings about motherhood are so much more straightforward than mine will ever be. I have decided that rather than forcing myself to see this as a day to glorify motherhood, I've decided to make it a day to reflect upon motherhood- to think about the different paths I took for each of my children, my complicated relationship with my own mother, my grief at losing my grandmother, my overwhelming grief at losing a child, my joy in the relationship I have with my adult and nearly adult children, my happiness at being able to parent both Mr. Q and Miss M..... While it may not be what everyone else is doing today it's what I think will work best for me.

    1. Thank you for reading, and for your comments. I know you understand the myriad of mixed emotions that come with this day. I think for those of us who did not have easy paths to motherhood its nearly impossible not to use it as a day for reflection. And that's okay too...

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