Mother’s Day and Infertility: Permission to Feel
These pictures are of me on the other side, on the other side of infertility with my rainbow baby. On the side I wished for, ached for, and prayed for, for so many years. Mother’s Day was always a hard day for me, a lot of the emotions that surrounded Mother’s Day are quietly erupting and catching me off guard with the impending holiday around the corner.
To preface, my goal is to be honest and raw about certain topics that many individuals may feel uncomfortable talking about. In this space, I will share bits and pieces of my story that I know may resonate with others, chances are that I am not the only one who may feel a certain way or think a certain way. So if I can help just one person feel validated or comforted then it’ll be worth it <3
You see, I struggled with infertility for almost 6 years prior to having my first little baby girl. We struggled so much to get pregnant and stay pregnant. My world at the time looked a little like this: fertility meds, cycle tracking both at home and in the clinic, constant ultrasounds, medication to help ovulate and hold pregnancies, sonohystograms, multiple doctor appointments, which all resulted in two losses. The first was a blighted ovum and the second was a second trimester loss of our sweet baby boy angel. Both losses were absolutely awful.
After loosing our little angel, we were beyond devastated, like scrape me off the floor what is the point of this life type of devastated. Thankfully, my family doctor referred us to more specialists, this time to Mount Sinai in downtown Toronto to figure out what was wrong. Long story short…I had a septum uterus, which required surgery and healing time, but was promised by my “magical unicorn of a specialist doctor” that I would have a perfectly healthy functioning uterus. Which I am eternally grateful turned out to be the case for me.
But why talk about all of this and remember these things around Mother’s Day? Shouldn’t I be past all this and be grateful I am finally a mother? Like here’s your baby now be happy.
Well, I celebrated Mother’s Day with a lump in my throat for 6 years, wondering constantly when will it be my turn? Why isn’t this happening for me? What am I doing wrong? Is this a punishment? Am I not good enough? Why is my body my enemy? Why doesn’t my body work properly, everybody else’s does? Why her, and not me? I would absolutely hate going to anything Mother’s Day related (whether at church or family hosted events) and lets not even get into Mother’s day Sunday at church, still gives me such anxiety! Needless to say it was always a time to remind me how I was falling short. But of course this was all silent, I was always pressured to put on a brave face and smile, so I suffered silently.
I know this isn’t pretty or glamorous to talk about but this is a real thing and it wasn’t only “my” reality, there are countless women struggling and feeling all these things right now. It could be you, a sister, a cousin, an aunt, a sister in law, or a friend. It’s hard not to think about the pain that was at the forefront of my life for so long, you just can’t forget. I feel so much love for all those who are still struggling with the uncertainty and loss infertility brings.
My words to women who are still fighting this battle, my heart is with you. I don’t feel bad for you, I hated when people looked at me in pity and talked to me in that way; I am with you, feeling with you, giving you a hug, holding your hand and telling you that it will all be ok, it will be better than ok <3
Your divine desire of being a mother is beautiful and you will be a mother one way or another, that heart of yours will make anything possible. Which will make you an amazing mother one day. I remember those around me didn’t know how to support me or help me, it was lonely and absolutely scary all of the time. During this time I tried and worked on bettering my mental state, my body and focused on what I “could” do rather than what I “couldn’t” do, and it helped. If I could go back and say something to myself it would be: Give yourself the space to grieve and feel all the feelings that come with this and be gentle to yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you how you should or shouldn’t feel. Don’t let people (yes even loved ones) push you into doing anything that may tear your heart apart even if they don’t quite get why. Guard your heart and sanity and only do the things that bring you joy and positivity, even if it means turning off facebook notifications of fellow pregnant friends and ditching events.
I wish I would have been less hard on myself and stood up for myself when I needed a little time to cope with the ferocious feelings that come with infertility. Give yourself all the love you have in your heart and fill your mind, heart and day with things that uplift and better you, leaving no room for pain to lurk around. Never lose hope and faith. The other side (however it may happen) will be your present soon. You’ve got this<3
During this beautiful time of celebrating mothers, reach out to that person in your life that is still waiting to hold her special little babe or who carries them in her heart. And to you my friend who is still in this boat, I see you, I love you and remember you are a warrior<3
Photography by the talented Olivia Jenner Photography