Kelly and her husband have been trying to conceive for almost three and a half years. From the beginning, Kelly has experienced a rollercoaster of emotions – grappling with the fact that she had undergone two full years of IVF treatment (eight rounds, four hysteroscopies, two egg retrievals, one major surgery, one miscarriage and one d&c) – to now find that she may not be able to experience the joy of carrying her own child. She wrote this letter to all the moms in-the-waiting who might be feeling alone on this Mother’s Day.
To all the Mom’s “In-the-Waiting,”
It’s April (home of the National Infertility Awareness week) as well as around the time when Mother’s Day ads begin to pop up everywhere – “How to Celebrate Mom,” “What Moms Really Want for Mother’s Day” and more. Prior to wanting to have kids, these ads moved in and out of my brain without a second thought. But, in 2018, when we decided we were ready to build a family, that day began to (and continues to) serve what feels like a big fat reminder of the one thing that I am not – a Mom.
Undoubtedly, Mother’s Day is not an easy day for many. Whether you have lost your parent or you are a Mom grieving your child, this is a day that many need to mentally prepare for. Specifically, this letter is for those “Mama’s In-the-Waiting” as I like to call them. Those, who like me, have been fighting to become a Mom for an extended period of time.
So, ladies, here we are. It’s that Sunday in May where you plaster on a smile for the mom’s in your life yet silently grieve, yes, we are still here. You wonder with guilt, how many pregnancy announcements will come on this day? – the best Mother’s Day gift of all to arrive Fall of 2021! How many posts will you read from doting husbands about what a wonderful Mom their wives are?
The fact is, it’s nearly impossible not to evaluate where you are in your life on this day. For me, these past three years have been days of reflection. Days of wondering, how did we get here? How are we still here? How are my friends’ kids getting so old?, Why does this have to be so hard for us? And the kicker – Will next year finally be our turn to celebrate as a family?
You wake up that morning, childless (not just a dream, but a daily reality), realizing another year has gone by. Life feels like it has packed up and moved on, leaving you in the dust. It’s the kind of raw heartbreak I would not wish on anyone. It’s feeling like the world continues to spin and spin and spin as you are tied down, forced to just sit there and watch everything and everyone you love go by. Life seems to move on for everyone else, as you wonder – How. Are. We. Still. Here?
And after the heartbreak and tears, comes the guilt. I have a Mom – alive and well. I have not just a good but a great life. Life is short, I need to enjoy it! I tell myself. But when the one thing you are living, breathing and fighting for day in and day out feels so far out of reach, it’s hard sometimes to put that into perspective.
Sure, some days are easier than others. You put on a good front. Half of the world doesn’t even know you’re fighting this daily battle. “You’re so strong” the people who do know say. And some glorious days you truly do believe that. Other days, you crawl into bed crying, wondering what is wrong with you as you question how much grit and fight can one take?
I say all of this not to have anyone feel sad for me. When I say I have a great life, I mean it. I am beyond blessed. I say this for those who thought trying to have a baby was going to be “fun”, to those grieving a miscarriage, to those facing secondary infertility, to those fighting for their first child via IVF, to those who are grieving not being able to carry a child, to those just trying to wrap their head around what comes next. I say this to all those having a tough time on this Mother’s Day. You are not alone. I see and recognize that the fight to become a Mom is a fight you step into the ring and show up for each and every day. You bear knockdown after knockdown, hoping and praying that this is “our final round”.
To all of the Mom’s In-the-Waiting – whether you’re grieving a heartache or hopeful for what lies ahead – I hope you know that on Sunday, May 9th, and undoubtedly, every Mother’s Day for the rest of my life – I see you, I hear you and you are loved. You are not alone, and you are a hell of a lot stronger than you will ever give yourself credit for.
Other helpful posts:
- Renée’s miscarriage story
- 5 ways to support someone experiencing a miscarriage
- Sam’s infertility story
- Maggie’s story on her ectopic pregnancy