|Awesome t-shirt idea from the Five Camels blog. |
Hope they don't mind that I stole it cause I kind of love it.
Mother's Day is the infertile woman's day of reckoning. It presents a unique kind of torture to those of us who have been trying (and trying and trying) and failing (and failing and failing) to become a mother. Tomorrow will be my fifth consecutive I-am-NOT-a-Mother's-Day.
I spent the first few wistfully longing for the day when it would be my turn to get a handcrafted glitter-crusted mother's day card and dried pasta necklace. (I have to assume that any child of mine would be proficient in the use of craft supplies, regardless of gender) That day was taking a long time coming but I was sure it would get here eventually. But as each year passed and the failures piled up I became a little less certain.
Last year, Mother's Day fell on the day before my frozen embryos were to be transferred. A friend said encouragingly that it would be my very last Wanna-Be-a-Mother's Day, that by "this time next year" my life would have changed and I'd be celebrating Mother's Day for real.
I believed it. I almost had reason to. One embryo stuck. It was my first pregnancy.
7 weeks later, my first miscarriage.
And now here we are, it's Mother's Day again. My baby boy Oliver would have been 4 months old by now. 4 months exactly on Sunday. Old enough to hold his head up and grab at my dangly earrings and laugh and smile and coo. Maybe even sleeping through the night. But no. He left us in July and is nothing more than a might-have-been. A small smooth seashell sitting on my dresser all that remains to remember him by.
Amazingly, I was given a second chance at this year's Mother's Day. Tomorrow I would be 14 weeks along in my second pregnancy. I would have just crossed safely into the second trimester. That would have been enough of a milestone for us to celebrate the holiday. Mr Wren would have brought me flowers, called me "mommy" at least a dozen times, we'd have watched Away We Go and I'd have been snuffling hormonal tears of joy all day. But no. That baby left us, too.
My friend was partially right. This past year has changed my life, but not in the way any of us hoped. I want to spend this Mother's Day the way I've spent much of the past month since my miscarriage: studiously NOT thinking about mothers or babies, or how some of the former manage to get loads of the latter without even trying, while some of us try every thing known to man and still end up childless.
But I know that's near impossible. I have my own mother to think about, after all, and my MIL. And my many beautiful, amazing, inspiring friends, both IRL and on the internet, who are mothers. I need to find a way out of my pit of selfish misery to honor the countless sacrifices, the unconditional love, the comfort and nurturing and undying support of mothers everywhere.
I'd like to design a greeting card for infertile women to give to their friends-with-kids on Mother's Day. The outside would show a mother cradling a newborn babe. Inside, it would say, "I hope you know how lucky you are." Happy fucking Mother's Day from your jealous and bitter infertile friend.
Instead, I'll send flowers to my mom, take MIL to brunch, and spend the rest of the day quietly feeling bad about myself.