I’m thinking about all the years (and there were many) I waiting for Mother’s Day to be about ME. I hate to say it and don’t mean to offend, because I’ve lived it, but wow, can infertility make a person any more selfish?
Never did it occur to me before we adopted tht it might be about others, too. I mean I bought the obligatory card for my mom and mother-in-law and that’s about all I thought about it. I see now its about those moms that came before us who nurtured, support and teach us; those caregivers who are there when no one else is; those who try to help us live though our own losses and disappointments with a little less pain; those who celebrate our happiness even whey they aren’t feeling so happy themselves; those who have known their own maternal losses and feel emptiness and childless for a number of reasons. It never really occurred to me to think about them.
Since the adoption of Woob, I see motherhood through many different eyes–thankfulness, pride, joy, grief, loss, love–both the bitter and the sweet.
This year, despite my joy in being Woob’s mom and the joy we have in our connection to his first mom, I’ve found it hard to truly celebrate. You see, about now I should have been about 12 weeks’ pregnant. There was a little bitty person (people??) growing inside me that just faded away so quickly. As a mother, that knowledge hurts.
Back when we started treatments again, my mind really only registered two scenarios–I’ll either have a baby or won’t get pregnant at all. Those were the things I was prepared for. Stupid, stupid me–it never occurred tome that I’d lose a pregnancy at any stage in the game. I have two college degrees, I read everything and consult with Dr. Google a lot, and consider myself a realist. But I never really saw this outcome as a possibility.
So this mother’s day, I kind of played along. I planted my mom’s flower bed, went to lunch with mother-in-law. I sent a package to N. in hopes that she knows I relly see her as not just New Baby J’s mom, but Woob’s too. Mostly I was silent. I was missing that little person who’s not there.
Another pause in the weekend–we’re in a process of clearing out the old in our house. I absently too the bin of bibs that have been long-unneeded in our household and threw them in a bag for Goodwill. Didn’t give it much of a thought. Mom was with me in the car for the trip to drop stuff off. She didn’t like the way they were so casually stuffed in the bag (there were so many! Woob was a puker.), so she took them out and straightened them one by one. She noted how little and sweet they were, pointed out the “special” ones, the ones that looked like new. Who would think a bag of old stained bibs could be such a reminder of memories and a trigger for grief? The bag just screamed “You won’t be needing these again!” and it was all I could do to hold it together and not take the bag back. For what, I don’t know.
So, this motherhood stuff is complicated. All moms figure it out. Whether you’re a “real” mom by biology, an adoptive mom, an “almost mom”, a caregiver, some type of mother of loss, it really doesn’t matter. We share the complexity of whatever your motherhood role happens to be. The best we can do is to nurture the good and tend to the wounds as best we can, not just for our children, but for ourselves as well.
I do wish you all well, whatever path of motherhood you’re on.