almost just like a mother

Interestingly, I’ve never written a Mother’s Day Post.   It seems sort of the sine qua non for infertility blogs.  Ah, maybe *now* I’ve arrived!

I must say, prior to anything else, that my own mother wins – supportive and loving and willing to let me make my own way through things.  My current struggle with Mother’s Day has nothing to do with her.  Nothing.

Back in the day, when I thought I was just ttc, not actually infertile, I would read about how some people found Mother’s Day too hard to deal with, how they hated it.  And I was all, “Aw.  Poor them.  I’m *so* okay with all this.”  Totally cavalier and shit.  At the same time I was nurturing fantasies of at home insems, no medical intervention, rainbows and unicorns and chocolate bacon and all that sort of shit.

Oh, how far we fall….

Last May, it hit me.  Oh, yes, I should have seen it coming.  I’d already become one of Those Infertiles – you know the ones:  the ones I used to sigh and shake my head for.  Poor them.  Only it became poor me.  Somewhere along the line, it became poor me.  And the crowning moment was that Mother’s Day.  It bit.

Was it because had the miscarriage not happened, I would have been a mother then?  Or was it simply the slow erosion of my sense of self?  Or just that 5 years is too long to do the same thing over and over with no success?  Whatever it was, I think it marked the moment when I began to think of myself as infertile.  Not just lacking in sperm, not just unlucky or impatient.  But infertile with a capital IF.

The kind who has friends they don’t really talk to any more.  The kind who hides behind newspapers so as to not see acquaintances with babies and feels small and stupid for not being big enough to deal.  The kind who uses a medical diagnosis as an identity.  The kind who can’t speak with hope anymore because that line’s been disconnected.

We’re still here, though.  Us infertiles.  It almost feels like coming out.  You get to put a name to how you feel.  You get a community of people.  You get to swap stories and use acronyms nobody else gets. You get to hope that by telling your story, somebody somewhere will feel a little less alone.  But the difference between being infertile and being gay is there’s no joy in infertility.  I’d not wish it on anybody.

Since the miscarriage, I’ve taken to referring to “when I was pregnant,” with increasing ease.  If I were to pick it apart, and clearly that’s just what I am going to to do, there are several things going on.  Oh, let’s make a list.  Just for fun.

  1. civic/social duty.  Lots of women have miscarriages.  Fewer talk about it.  Even fewer will talk about how it went.  So I should step into the breech, yes?
  2. it happened.  So it’s worth mentioning. I could glance down and look away, or I could say, “yeah, when I was pregnant, I…..”  Or “… right, that was when I was pregnant, so….”
  3. healing.  The more times I talk about it, the easier it gets to talk about.  Also, see #1 above as the corollary to this.
  4. shock value. Self explanatory, also relates to #1 above.
  5. truth.  I was pregnant once.  I might never be again.  I want to remember.

Maybe that was the closest I’ll ever get to motherhood.  Yeah, yeah, I know it’s not.  I know that’s a very narrow definition of motherhood and not one I really subscribe to, but, for real, y’all.  Maybe that’s as good as it gets for me.  Maybe those 7 weeks and a handful of days are it.  I don’t even count it as a baby – it was too early and too hard to believe for that.  But I was a mama, just for those couple few weeks.

And I’m still here.  Scarred and scared and very, very low on hope, but still here.  No stronger, no smarter, no better – worse, I think, in a lot of ways.  But still here.  Struggling with my motherfucking baggage as I climb back on the train one more time.

Happy Mother’s Day.

9 Comments on “almost just like a mother”

  1. xo. Thanks for verbalizing stuff that I often feel and think.

  2. Shannon says:

    Yep. That about says it all.

    Happy Mother’s Day.

  3. clemency says:

    For sure.
    Speaking as one who has just made the transition to being that person you shake your head over and thank the sweet goddess that you are not them, I completely relate to everything you’ve just said.

    But hey, there’s always hope. Because look. Here we are, *both* blogging at the same time. And I have a new computer to write on! Who would have thought? Maybe, in a couple of months, we might both be somewhere else we thought we’d never be. At the same time. Well, I can fantasise.


  4. alison says:

    How could you not feel this? But I am so, so sorry that you do. And wishing and hoping that it doesn’t last too much longer.


  5. the injector says:

    thanks for putting all of that “unspeakable” emotion and reality out there. it is so important to talk about miscarriage, infertility, and complicated pregnancies…whether the rest of the heart cloistered population wants to hear about it or not:) sending you lots of love from downtown detroit (that’s where i am today).xoxo

  6. bleu says:

    I truly feel if you are ever pregnant than you are a mother, period.

    I am so sorry for your pain. Thank you for talking about miscarriages. It is still not talked about enough in my eyes. I still bring it up often, the 4 children I lost. It makes others uncomfortable and i relate to every reason you mentioned above. The more we discuss it the more we can break the silence and open our hearts to others suffering in silence as well.

    I wish you love and peace.

  7. cvillegrrl says:

    I think one becomes a mother the moment one begins to put the needs of a child ahead of the desires of oneself. Most of us became mothers with the first swallow of a pre-natal vitamin and the first reading of a book about fertility. Some of us haven’t gotten our children yet, but that doesn’t make us not-mothers. Back when I was blogging, I wrote a post about this very topic…

  8. […] read several thought-provoking posts on the subject in the last few days — check out this or this or this. I’ve also been feeling grateful that Mothers’ Day isn’t a big […]

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