Once upon a time, I thought I would surely be a mother by now. Years ago when we started trying to build a family, I anticipated that it would happen sooner rather than later. Just one year ago, when I was preparing to embark on my first IVF treatment, I hoped that I would either be a mother or at least expecting by this Mother’s Day. Ten months ago, when we got further along in a pregnancy than we have in any of the chemical ones, I actually thought I had a shot at being a parent by this Mother’s Day. But the truth is, in some ways, I am well on my way to becoming a parent.
So much of parenting is about putting your child’s best interests before your own. My children have not yet been born, but I sacrifice for my unborn ones every day. Through stunting my career goals to do so many IVF rounds, putting my body through injections and invasive procedures, and putting our savings into making our future children, I demonstrate the kind of sacrifice it takes to parent. There isn’t a moment that has gone by in the past few years when I wasn’t working tirelessly on bringing them into this world.
This year, I’ll be “celebrating” in a pretty unusual way: my IVF egg retrieval is scheduled for Sunday morning. Hopefully, this will be a poetic beginning to bringing healthy children into the world. But who knows? Either way, I’m not sure that sacrifice is a reason for me to celebrate Mother’s Day.
Of course, it will be impossible to think of those that (theoretically) could have been, the pregnancies that did not result in healthy children. For this reason, I will probably choose to avoid social media on Sunday. While I’m happy for my friends who are parents, my raging hormones and I definitely don’t need to see other people’s happiness all over the internet, especially not post-op.
I will, however, make a point to make sure my own mother and grandmother know I am grateful for the sacrifices they’ve made on my behalf – and that on some level, I’ve reached a stage in life where I can better appreciate them – all that “you’ll understand when you’re a mother someday” stuff.
This Mother’s Day, I hope you’re true to your feelings about your journey, and are able to communicate how you do and don’t want to spend the day. I hope you can appreciate all the sacrifices you’re making on your journey to parenthood. And I hope that you have a role model (maybe your mom, or maybe someone else) to be grateful for.