It’s been 4 years since our last attempt at IVF – I think – so long that I’ve lost track of the time that’s passed. Does it get easier? I’m not sure. I guess? I still cry, I still feel a twinge of disappointment every month – maybe that has lessened because I’ve come to expect it. More than anything, I think, what still hurts the same is the days leading up to and the day itself of Mother’s Day.
I lost my mom, and I miss her, I mourn that she can no longer be on the other end of the phone anymore. I miss her hugging me, smelling of Oil of Olay, and telling me everything would be okay. But that’s normal. It’s something I expected to happen my entire life, for as long as I can remember, since before I was even a teenager. Having older parents, I was constantly aware of the fact that they would die before all of my friends’ parents would. I was painfully aware that I might lose them at any time, maybe even before I became an adult. I was thankful to have them when I reached 30. Mom barely saw me turn 35, and dad was already gone.
I remember writing an essay in elementary school about artificial insemination – test tube babies I think it was called. I was supposed to write my personal feeling on the topic, and explain why I thought it was ethical or not. I probably still have it somewhere in an old dresser drawer, but I don’t need to find it to know that I wrote that it’s not right to try forcing the hand of God, and that “those” women should adopt. Pretty zealous for a 7 year old. I never thought I’d be writing an essay that applied to myself. I never prepared for infertility and never expected to face this demon.
Still, 35 years after that essay I still write, only now it serves as my therapy. I somehow let the emotion bleed through my pen/keyboard and it consoles me even if it’s just a little at a time. I didn’t write this year on Mother’s Day. I think I’m getting to the point where I feel like it’s time to let it go. I should get over it and accept that ‘that happened’ and this is life. I will likely not ever have children unless I adopt. I’m not sure we want to adopt. I’m getting old for kids and I think my personal cut-off limit is 45, the same year my mother had me, but in the meantime I’m still just trying to shake off what ripped my heart out. So I pretended to somewhat ignore the day. Although I didn’t. Not inside me, and not among my family, ie., my husband.
I came across a post through a share from a friend on Facebook. Someone who has also faced the infertility demon. I read it and thought anyone who reads my blog may find this resonate as much as I did when I read it, so I wanted to post the part of it here.
“I hate the way (Mother’s Day) makes all non-mothers, and the daughters of dead mothers, and the mothers of dead or severely damaged children, feel the deepest kind of grief and failure. The non-mothers must sit in their churches, temples, mosques, recovery rooms and pretend to feel good about the day while they are excluded from a holiday that benefits no one but Hallmark and See’s. There is no refuge — not at the horse races, movies, malls, museums. Even the turn-off-your-cellphone announcer is going to open by saying, “Happy Mother’s Day!” You could always hide in a nice seedy bar, I suppose. Or an ER.” (Anne Lamott)
Something else she said in another post that I think is very smart, and something I am trying to do. It’s all we can do, or curl up and die inside of ourselves.
“…writing is about paying attention. So is life. Wake up and look up, and then scribble it down. Don’t look at your tummy. Look at the sky.”
I wish for you to see the sky today my sisters. Much love to you.