In most societies, it is assumed that girls will grow up and have babies. We, as girls are given dolls to play with, babysit, help with others’ kids and are taught nurturing skills in preparation to become a Mom. Historically, women had children at a much younger age and had more children. As women entered the work force, the size of families steadily became smaller and women waited later to start their families.
Awaiting – It is a word that describes a longing for something. And, with the decision to become a Mom, we are awaiting the moment that we know is coming; we will be pregnant and have a baby. It is natural. Awaiting, for the woman who waits, month after month, turns into a longing. Awareness of what may not happen sets in. We anguish. It is painful and we want to dismiss the notion that we cannot have children, and we await the inevitable truth. The simple joy of hearing your friends, colleagues and family, who are pregnant with little effort, starts a slow burn. The awareness that we are different, and the awareness of others that we are different, also sets in.
Naturally, people ask, “When are you having kids?”, and the answer is…
When we have lingered and tried, and explored and studied and investigated all the ways in which we can become pregnant, we come to an acceptance that we may become mothers in a different way. Acceptance of the reality that we are unable to conceive, carry a baby or to have a child gives way to the understanding that we can still be a Mom.
Through many phases of grief, and it is a real grief of loss, we eventually come to appreciate that we have many options to overcome infertility. Many are medical, some are holistic, and others are outside of our own body. All lead to the same place; becoming a parent.
Anger, is certainly one of the most intense feelings during this period of grief. Anger, even for those we know and love, who become pregnant, have kids and their lives seem to go as naturally as we had wished. Going to baby showers and holding new babies brings with it many emotions. Anger; real and intense.
My infertility story lead to the appreciation that there was a plan for me to be a Mom. A quote from a song by singer Dave Matthews, “give me scars to bring me grace…” and to me that says, I will see and have things in my life that lead me not only through pain, but to a grace of knowing that there is beauty all around me too. Appreciation for this assuming, awaiting, awareness, anguish, and acceptance; all leading to the grace to understand.
As we go through this Fertility alphabet soup, I hope that you too can share your words, thoughts and feelings about what is an audacious attempt to become a Mom, Dad; Parents.
Photo Courtesy of Nancy McCullough