To Those Facing Infertility on Mother’s Day
Dear brave and resilient woman,
May is upon us and Mother’s Day is around the corner. You’ve probably seen the Mother’s Day adverts and specials everywhere – in your social media feeds, on television and radio, and in the grocery stores. Are you dreading the day? When you’re facing fertility issues it’s not unusual to feel this way. It tends to feel like a day that emphasizes the thing you want the most but don’t have. I know that it may not be easy for you, so there are a few things I want you to know.
It is okay if you feel sad or hurt, even though you appreciate what the day represents and love how beautiful it is to see families celebrate their mothers. I know that you may feel like you don’t belong, like there is no place for you in what sometimes feels like an ‘exclusive club’ that you would really love to be a part of. You may feel like you’re broken or like you’re not good enough, because as much as you long to be a mother it just hasn’t happened. Perhaps you had quietly hoped that this year you would be pregnant or that you’d finally be celebrating your first Mother’s Day with your new baby, so it is frustrating to face the sense of disappointment. In life it seems so natural to journey through the different seasons of being, to move from singlehood to marriage, to move from maidenhood to motherhood. Yet, it’s been different for you and you are doing your best to keep it together as you inhabit this space somewhere in-between, uncertain of what to call yourself while you’re still waiting.
I want you to know that you are not alone. Although not everyone will be sensitive to your feelings, please know that your hurt is valid and your longing does not go unseen. Your loss is not forgotten. I see you. I understand your struggle and I know your grief. No, you are not broken and of course you are enough. It is okay to feel whatever you are feeling. You have a right to express and process your experiences in a way that is healing for you.
I know that your journey is exhausting. I am sorry that things haven’t come to you more effortlessly. I know how hard you have worked. I see all the thought and effort you put into your fertility – the doctors’ appointments, the bloodworks, the meditations, the injections, the supplements, the herbal remedies, the fertility-friendly diet, the exercise, the body temping, and all the other things that you do to give yourself and your future baby the best chance. I see how much you have sacrificed. I know that you are tired and just wish that things could be simpler for you. I see your strength, how much you have endured and overcome. I see how you have fallen, gotten up, dusted yourself off and have kept trying. You are incredibly brave and resilient.
“If I could say one thing to those of you who are struggling… I’d tell you to take care of yourselves—to do whatever you need to do to make it through this Mother’s Day… Taking care of yourself becomes essential as you try to work through the grief and loss that has overtaken your journey to motherhood.”
~ Leah Campbell, Parents.com
If you are feeling low around Mother’s Day, then please be kind to yourself. Practice self-compassion. If you need a little gentleness, do what you can to create some room for yourself to breathe. You are allowed to give yourself some space. Disconnect from social media if you need to shield yourself from triggering posts online. Do something nice for yourself. What would give you some joy? Do something for you, something that you enjoy and that will lift your spirits. Cook your favourite meal. Listen to music that you love. Pamper yourself with some self-care. Do what feels good for you.
Remember once again, you are not alone. Even though things may feel hard right now, hope is not lost. Your future is still unfolding and each day presents you with new possibilities. Each day is an opportunity to begin again. Stay hopeful.
“My biggest message for you this Mother’s Day: Don’t be so hard on yourself. From one woman on this winding journey to motherhood to another—I see you. Infertility isn’t your fault. On this Mother’s Day, I honor you. I honor your commitment and dedication to having a child. I’m inspired by you. You’re going to be a great mom.”
~ Andrea Syrtash, Pregnantish