"Sometimes infertility feels forever ago, and then someone announces the Stick Turned Blue and I’m right back in the emotions, the longing, the feeling left out. It was another lifetime and it was yesterday. A part of me will always be that woman with her face pressed up against the glass looking in on what she can’t have." - Melanie Dale
I came across this article above felt so connected to it. It was another lifetime and it was yesterday. I longed for, fought for, injected for, begged for, paid for, bled for the chance to be a mom for four long years. During those 4 years I experienced 11 IUIs, 3 IVFs, a 6 week miscarriage, a triplet pregnancy that resulted in a miscarriage at 9 weeks after seeing his heartbeat 3 times, my water breaking and going into preterm labor with my daughter at 18 weeks, and then when I thought there would be a miracle, lost my son Jude at 21 weeks. I have been an infertile longer than I have been a mom to living children. I have more experience on that awful side then on the side of parenting.
Beckom and Noah have brought an unexplainable amount of healing to the nasty hole that was left in my heart from the loss of my stillborn twins, and the compound years of negative pregnancy tests, stressful ovulation mating, countless pills and tears. They will never replace Jude and Brinly, but like stiches, they have helped my wounds close and have allowed me to live again. They have in a sense, saved my life.
I have avoided church on Mother's Day for years. I was over the "all moms please stand up" section where I would have to desperately watch mom's get flowers and hugs and applause. It worsened when I lost the twins. I deserved to stand, I wanted to stand. I had HELD my own child, he was just dead. But if I stood-would people think I was pregnant? Would people be confused? Would the really fertile women who have no clue what it is like to miscarry/deliver babies roll their eyes? I wasn't jealous. I wish their was a word that mixes a twinge of jealously with deep deep longing for something just and good that isn't happening for no-good-reason; a word that captures a woman holding her empty stomach and sobbing, a word that captures the unbearable silence in the ultrasound room after the words "I cannot detect a heartbeat". Melanie Dale puts it perfectly=for so many years I felt like that woman with her face pressed up against the glass looking in on what she can't have.
This year I attended church, twins in tow, and sat with my own mom. The moment came. All mom's stand up. I did, but I felt weird. I was so conscious of the fact that there were women in the room who had suffered silently, who were longing for the title, who were fighting themselves to beat infertility. I got my flower. I got my chocolate. But to the majority of the strangers there, I just looked a lucky girl that got 2 for 1. I have actually had strangers tell me "you are so lucky you got two." While I am beyond lucky I got twins through a selfless friend/carrier and a 2835723895732 treatments, I am not lucky. My story has been bumpy, and messy, yet somehow beautiful. That is His way I guess. On Mother's Day I was happy and sad-Dale also puts in her article, it's a tension between wooo-hoooing that I am finally a mom and mourning for the women who are not and want to be. Mother's day reminds me of ALL my children and that makes me happy and sad too.
On a lighter note, I will tell you about Noah's Mother's Day gift to me. Mother's Day afternoon we spent quietly at home relaxing. The boys are really really into their jumperoos (it's almost like a baby bungy) and Noah was jumping his little heart out with a huge smile for a long time. I eventually went to sit by him and then I saw it-#3 running down his leg and getting grounded into the carpet with each soul-felt hop. I yelled for Darren to come look at his son. I couldn't stop laughing. I carried him to the bathroom at an arms length away while Darren started the bath. As I was holding him awkwardly in the bathroom, I turned to look at the scene in the mirror. Noah turned too, caught my eye, and with his little poop filled onsie he gave me the biggest gummiest smile ever. I just have to say to those designers of Dolce and Gabanna that recently said "IVF babies are synthetic" there is NOTHING synthetic about their #3. I smiled the whole time I cleaned Noah up. His mother's day gift reminded me I'm a mom, to living kids too.
For those mommies to children that have died, and to women who are mother's in their hearts but have not yet gotten to hold your child, keep fighting. Miracles still happen.
Me holding Jude, 2013, then me holding Noah and Beckom, 2015