Although this is the third post I’ve written on Mother’s Day, it’s my first Mother’s Day that I’m actually a mother (which is something I quite often never thought I would be.) The first post I wrote was entitled, “Happy Non-Mother's Day!” (here’s the link) and the second was called, “Mothering Myself” (here’s the link). For this year though, I’ve been debating what I wanted to write about.
For fun, I looked up “mother” in the dictionary and one of the definitions that was listed was one I had never noticed before. It was, “A term of address for a female parent or a woman having or regarded as having the status, function, or authority of a female parent.” I liked the sound of that. To me, it says that although you may not have physically given birth to a child, you are maternal and someone thinks of you as a mother to them.
This made me think of one of my long-term friends, Susan. She never had any children and even though she is around my mother’s age, I wouldn’t describe our friendship as a mother/daughter one. If anything (and I’m not saying this to get on her good side), in my mind, I think of her and I as the same age.
In addition to our friendship, I have often referred to her as, “My Fairy Godmother”. Our relationship, her endless support, her overwhelming generosity and love when I needed it the most, has definitely carved out a special part for her in my heart. That’s why, in my mind, when I read, “regarded as having the status…”, I can’t help but think of her. She has a unique, unconventional mother-like role in my life in the sense that she’s nurturing, thoughtful, giving and her affection is unconditional. It also helps that she shares the same sick sense of humor as me. That’s always a huge plus.
I also think of my amazing, strong and exceedingly fun friend, “CGD” (which is what she goes by on her blog which you can find here. C, as I’ll call her for short, also holds a special place in my heart. She has endured more than anyone should ever have to in her journey to be a mom. She has suffered through numerous fertility treatments, one loss at 15 weeks and at present, she does not yet have children.
When I think of her though, I think of her as a mother. Actually, if I had to categorize her, it would be as, “A mother waiting to happen.” I know in my heart, she WILL be a mother some day whether it’s through adoption, donor eggs or some other method. C is a determined, giving, exceedingly loving woman. She too provided a tremendous amount of support when I needed it and although I know it could not have been easy for her when I was pregnant, she was always honest with me about her feelings (when she needed space from me and when she was ok with seeing me). I deeply respected that she found her own way to acknowledge her own limits while still managing to be a part of my experience. She also has a damn fun sense of humor too. Any child under any circumstance would be lucky to have her in their lives and again, I don’t know if I could ever explain why but I just know in my heart that there is a child waiting for her.
Last year, literally on Mother’s Day, I started estrogen patches in preparation for my third IVF cycle. This year, I’m holding the baby that cycle produced. When I reminded my own mother of that this morning, how little hope I had last year starting that cycle and how much has changed, we both started to cry. My poor son looked at us both with an expression of, “Jeez ladies! What the hell are you so upset about???” Little does he know that not only were we crying about him but that it was happy tears. And how nice is it that I got to share that moment with my mom this morning on Mother’s Day? I mean, seriously. What a difference a year makes.
Now that I’m actually a mother myself, I see more than ever that there are all different kinds of maternal. There are step-mom’s, mother-in-law’s, a loving older sister, aunt or friend or your mother. Although this day is still tremendously difficult for those who want to experience pregnancy and/or being a mother in some form or another to a baby, I can’t help but feel that it isn’t just about the physical aspects of being a mom… it’s about a feeling. And really, when I think about the infertility community, I’ve never met a more nurturing, loving group.
So, as my very first sentence of this blog says, no matter who you are, your circumstances or where you’re at in your journey, I am sending you my love today and I hope and pray from the bottom of my heart that by this time next year, we’ll all be in an even happier place.