By Megan Boss, Guest Blogger
For those of us living with infertility, holidays are hard. But Mother’s Day is definitely the most difficult. Honestly I wish I could just wipe the day right off the calendar. I’ve spent what seems like a million years dreaming of being a mom, but instead that dream fades away each and every year. No tiny handprint gifts, no homemade cards, no breakfast in bed for me once again this Mother’s Day.
My husband and I have spent all of our married life trying to make our dream of becoming parents a reality. It’s something we’ve both wanted since childhood. It was actually one of the things that attracted us to each other, both wanting a big family, a house full of kids. After about 8 months of just “relaxing and seeing what happens” we made an appointment with the OBGYN. She told us to give it 2 more months then she would recommend us to a specialist because of my age. (Insert eye roll here.) So there we were, 10 months and still no sign of Baby Boss. It’s official, we’ve been formally put into the INFERTILITY department.
10 months may not seem that long, but we just knew something was not right. We had an appointment with a specialist. We sat awkwardly in the waiting room trying not to stare at other couples. We tried the horrible clomid pill for a couple of months- nothing but hot flashes, night sweats and tantrums. We did an IUI (Intrauterine insemination)- nothing and plus that was really awkward. After some additional testing we learned that my ovarian reserve is very low. This told us that we should move on to IVF sooner rather than later.
IVF Round 1 we thought was a for sure thing. We were told there is about 50-60% chance of pregnancy with IVF ( I know…why is not 100%?) How do you spend $20,000 and not come home with a baby? We had appointments every other day. The waiting room became more comfortable. We were the “experienced couple” in the waiting room now and had a little fun picking out all the newbies just starting out or watching someone’s husband awkwardly turn in his sperm sample (Dude-we know what’s in the brown bag you are trying to hide in your jacket!). We really got to know all the staff at the infertility clinic…it was starting to be like a second home which…well it’s kinda depressing 🙂
We retrieved 17 eggs, 14 of those eggs were mature and 9 of those eggs fertilized. 3 of those eggs made it to day 5 to freeze. We transferred 1 egg in May (Mother’s day actually- we thought that was a sign) that egg did not implant. We still remember that phone call. We were shocked, so confused and so very sad.
In July we transferred our second egg and…PREGNANT, just in time for my birthday even though that sadly ended in a miscarriage after 8 wonderful weeks of being “parents”. We went through another emotional roller coaster of feeling shocked and so let down. We transferred our 3rd and final embryo in October. The 3rd time was not the charm for us. No implantation took place.
So just like that, we were out of embryos, and we lost a little bit of hope and faith. Parenthood seemed so far away. Going through infertility is a huge rollercoaster ride. You grieve the loss of what could have been, yet you have so much hope, then that hope is taken away from you and ends up returning a little later. The thing is though…you can’t just give up. How do you let go of the thought of not having a baby when that is the one thing you want more than anything in the world?
As another Mother’s Day approaches, the pain is very much real. Infertility is a loss. It’s the loss of a dream, it’s the loss of a family you thought you would have. Yes the handprint gifts, the # 1 Mom mug and the breakfast in bed would be fun but obviously I crave so much more than that. I crave having a little one who depends on me and who needs me, a daughter or son who thinks the world of me. I want the privilege of raising a little human, I want to teach him or her right from wrong, manners, morals, reading and writing. My heart wants all of that.
Although Mother’s Day is another reminder that I am not a mom, I can’t hide under the covers all day. I have to celebrate the ones I love who are moms. I have to keep the hope that one day my babies will come. Instead of crawling in a hole and crying all day, here are 5 ways to Survive Mother’s Day:
1. Celebrate the Moms in your life. Celebrate your Mom,Grandma or bestie who has little ones. Personally, I am so thankful for my mom. She has been with me every step of the way. If this seems to difficult, just send a card or a nice message and let them know you’re thinking of them.
2. Perhaps avoid massages, manicures or spa treatments around Mother’s Day. This last weekend I got a facial. When it was done, the lady said, “ Happy Mother’s Day. You’re a mom right?” I could have made that real awkward but I kindly just said thank you. I am a mom to a cat and an angel baby so I will take it, but it’s the assumption that is hard. If you go get any treatments done that weekend, be prepared for a lot of unintentionally hurtful comments.
3. Take a Social Media break. No doubt there will be tons of posts on Facebook, Instagram etc etc of Mother’s Day celebrations. My advice…you just have to stay offline for the day so those posts don’t trigger painful and raw emotions.
4. Keep busy. Do something that makes you happy. Gardening, puzzles, reading, hiking, take a day trip ect. Keep busy so your mind doesn’t overload with negative thoughts.
5. Netflix and Chill. It’s okay to stay home and cuddle up all day. Binge watch your favorite show, shut the windows, turn off the lights, eat junk food and do what you need to do. As my TTC friend always says “there is no rule book for grief.”
Going through infertility on Mother’s Day plain sucks and it’s going to hurt like hell. It’s going to hurt like Christmas hurt, like Easter hurts and so many other days, but I am not alone. I will survive like I always do because I am a warrior and I have hope that one day I will be celebrated on Mother’s Day!