There have been times in my life when infertility has been a destructive force. The longer it has been a part of my life, almost 15 years now, the more I have changed and adapted to accept the simple fact that I will likely never give birth to a child of my own. As I get older, almost 36 now, the more I realize that I am getting to that age when the clock really starts ticking down and for some reason the grief over infertility is popping up here and there again. I’ve noticed it more in the last 6 months than I have in a few years.
The first time I really noticed it again was Christmas 2013. As a family we were celebrating later in the afternoon. My husband works in the care industry and I took him to work that morning at 6 am. When I returned home, I logged into Facebook to look at the early morning Christmas photos and to make the Merry Christmas post rounds. I was generally in a good place when I logged in, and not so much when I logged out.
Maybe it was because I was sitting alone on Christmas morning for the first time in my life. Maybe it was because I saw hundreds of photos of children. Maybe it was the joy on the faces of children across the world and missing those days of my own childhood when nothing was more AMAZING than waking up to see what Santa left behind. Maybe it was because my brother and sister-in-law had also recently decided to take a break from fertility treatments and I was forced to give up hope of children in my immediate family.
You see, I love history. I love genealogy and learning about where we came from and who we are. I love knowing that when you play a small part in the big picture of the universe, somehow and some way, even though you’re gone, a legacy is left behind. Infertility breaks down that legacy. It’s gone. When I die, there is no more of me in the world. If my brother and his wife permanently give up fertility treatments, both lines of our family, Mom and Dad will end. There will be a branch of the family tree that just stops. It’s a pretty sobering thought isn’t it?
Mother’s Day is another day that hurts a bit. While most people consider it a wonderful celebration and time to honor the woman on the planet who deserves it the most, I consider it a yearly reminder that my body failed me. I see all of the Facebook photos of cute gifts their children gave them , and read a few sad posts from people who struggle with the grief of losing their mothers on this day. It doesn’t make me angry, but it stings a bit.
To be completely truthful, most days I am OK with not being a Mom. I don’t have to worry about my house being spotless 24/7 because a toddler is going to find that one random thing in the floor that just might cause a trip to the emergency room. I don’t have to baby proof. I can go to a movie at midnight if I want to, and I don’t have to pay someone to come and watch the fur babies in the middle of the night. When my “kids” annoy me while I am doing something else, a simple finger point and “go to YOUR BED” means I get the peace and quiet so many moms crave. I don’t get the your kid is sick come and pick them up phone call and I don’t get all those crappy little bugs and viruses in my house that they pick up at school. I can sleep in on the weekends and if I want a bowl of Lucky Charms cereal I can have it without sharing! I can be selfish and imperfect at home without wondering if it is going to traumatize another human being. I have more freedom than moms. That glass of wine and a hot bath most moms crave, I can have it when I want it.
So, it’s rough a few days a year. Moms have it rough every day of the year, so I guess I’ll suck it up and be OK with not having kids…most days.