Some people seemingly have it all… great careers, great partners, great health & great attitudes. The truth is, everyone is fighting a hard battle.
Every year for Mother’s Day, I send the mothers in my life, my mom, my grandmother, my mother-in-love (I don’t use the term mother-in-law) and my aunt cards and gifts. I know for a fact that I would not be the woman that I am today were it not for the incredible women who showed me how to wear a slip, wiped away my tears when I came home from school after being called “big nose,” and followed along with a finger as I attempted to sound out words as a five year old.
So much of me – my literacy, my fierceness & my “Donnie-ness” I owe to my mothers & mother-figures. It is incredible to have an entire day (really weekend) devoted to the mothers & mother-figures in our lives because God knows they deserve it. However, on December 9, 2011, Mother’s Day would take on an entirely different feeling for me. It was the day that my first pregnancy ended – at 5 months.
“Do you have any kids?”
“The moment you stop thinking about it, is the moment you’ll get pregnant.”
“God will bless you to be a mom one day.”
“Are those your kids?”
“You’re young, you still have lots of time.”
“If Janet Jackson can get pregnant, you can too.”
“You can adopt.”
“Have you considered a surrogate?”
“Are you guys still trying?”
(Note: all of the quotes/questions listed above have been said to me in 2016).
After December 9, 2011, – I’ve also housed two more babies in my belly that didn’t make it to their earthly birthday. We’ve chosen three names… I’ve daydreamed about three baby shower themes… I’ve collected co-sleepers and baby gates – all gifts from people who gave me things when I was pregnant. I’ve forced a smile whenever I’m told I’m going to be a mom one day. I’ve purchased maternity clothes. I’ve made phone calls, sent e-mails and whispered my excitement about the BFP (“big fat positive” pregnancy test) and sometimes when no one is around I hear my babies, all three of them calling me “ma” “mommy,” “momma.”
I can’t imagine anything more tortuous than smashing all of your life goals & dreams and being unable (at least until this point) to no fault of your own to have the one thing you want the most – a biological baby that you conceive in love, incubate for nine months and birth with the love of your life and your best friend. Pinch me – if it can be done without ovulation tests, shots, and a calendar with your “high fertility” days.
You wish there was an “it’s complicated” button for motherhood.
You wonder if Siri can respond on your behalf sometimes.
You fall to your spiritual knees often crying out to, negotiating with and seeking the comfort of your God – sometimes the only one with the answers (or silence) you seek…
On this Mother’s Day, I want to say “Happy Mother’s Day” to all of the childless Mother’s in the world. We carry scars that few people see, but I want you to know that your baby(ies) were here for a reason and the scars do get lighter with time…
Thank you to Casey May, for the inspiration to write this piece.