Today is Mother’s Day. I called and wished my mom and sister a happy mother’s day. I texted my friends who have kids and wished them the same. I took a moment to be grateful that not only is my mom still alive and there for me to thank, but that she was an awesome mom too. She raised me to be the woman that I am today. I am fortunate. I am fortunate that I also have a sister that can show me what being a good mom entails. And I am fortunate that there is a wealth of strong, amazing women around me who are taking part in raising the future generations that are going to change the world. For all of this I felt, and acknowledged, how lucky I really am.
But then I also felt sad.
Sad that I am not yet a mom. Sad that this will be the fifth year in a row where Mother’s Day does not mean a celebration for me. Sad that Hubby and I are not able to conceive naturally. That we have to even have these struggles when there is so many other struggles we have already faced as a couple. Sad that I am both happy for those around me having babies, but also jealous, and sometimes resentful, that I am not.
And there are days where I feel like maybe I do not want kids. I like my life and the freedom that comes with it. Hubby and I can jump in the car and do whatever without thinking about taking care of anyone else. I can have a three hour nap on a Saturday afternoon and no one there to wake me up. I am able to go out with friends or spend money on things that I want without any responsibility for another human being. But, if that was really true, I would not feel so sad today.
I would not have stood in the kitchen getting hugged by Hubby as I cried for what we don’t have. What I hope we will have, but also may not. And I got teary eyed when I called my sister because although she has two young kids now, the lights of my life as well, she also knows how it feels. Feels to have another month pass by with a brutal period, extensive cramps and lost hope.
Yet, what can I do? At this point in time, we have already spent an ample amount of money, and time, to try and conceive. We tried the usual way for years on end. We have tried two IUI (intrauterine insemination) rounds, multiple exploratory tests and bloodwork at nauseum. Next step is IVF, and a whole slew of emotional and physical parts that go with it. And Hubby and I will try that. We will be hopeful and hesitant and grateful if it works. And done it if it will not. Planning and budgeting and travelling around the attempt to get pregnant gets old, and eventually we will say that is enough.
But for today, we aren’t done. I will be sad today, cry and feel the emotions that I spend most of my other days not acknowledging. I will grieve. I will stay off social media as many people post messages that celebrate those women. I will think about those other women like me who are trying to be a mom, cannot be a mom or even are a bereaved mom who lost those kids they fought so hard for. Those who have been pregnant time and time again but lose their precious babies. I will think of those moms who do not have their kids or disconnected from the ones they do have. And I will think of those people who moms are gone, or they don’t talk to, or never had.
Mother’s day is not always a celebration, and as I move through this bittersweet day, I will try to remember that. I will feel all the complicated feels that this day brings for me, will cry as needed and will talk to Hubby about the complexity of my emotions. And then tomorrow, I will keep moving on, push past it and regain momentum. I will not talk about this in my day to day because it is too hard. I am either met with sad faces or well-intentioned but not helpful platitudes of “it will happen” or “if it’s meant to be.” Maybe it won’t be. Maybe it will. But, spending my days spinning on things that are out of my control does not help.
People around me will continue to get pregnant and I will be happy for them. Spending time with my nieces will remind me that even if it is not meant for us, we still have children in our lives. We will try another medical procedure to see if it can happen and we manage the outcome whichever it will be. I will ask myself occasionally, when it is my turn to be a mom? But I will also remember that I am lucky. Lucky to have a family, a home, a job, a husband who loves me without expectation and a dog that brings us joy.
Do I want and hope for kids? Yes.
Is my life empty without them if it doesn’t happen? Absolutely not.
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.”– Mary Anne Radmacher