• Thu, May 10 2012

Unbearable: Suffering From Secondary Infertility & Stuck In The Middle Of Mother’s Day

Having a child is usually a happy time in a woman’s life. Unfortunately, as we wait longer to have children, infertility and trouble conceiving can become a part of the family making process. Unbearable addresses these difficulties.

For all that we moms might complain about Mother’s Day, I think most of us can agree that we’re lucky to be parents. Whether I spend the day with my daughter or relaxing all on my own, I feel very blessed to have a gorgeous little girl to cuddle up to at night.

When my husband and I were discussing having another child, he asked me why it was so important to me. Why couldn’t I be happy with just one child? It’s a question that couples have to decide for themselves, and partners have to be honest in answering.

Without hesitation, or even much consideration honestly, I replied, “I’m better at being a mother than I am at anything else in the world.” Cocky, right?

He thought so too. He raised some serious eyebrow. I had to clarify, “There’s nothing that’s come more naturally to me than taking care of my daughter. I feel like it gives me purpose. It showed me a part of myself that I didn’t know was there and that I’m so happy to have found. If we didn’t have another child, none of that would change. But it does make me feel like it’s an experience that I want to continue and grow.”

The truth is that as long as I had the financial means to support them and the emotional ability to care for them, I would have a dozen children without any problem at all.

Apparently my argument was convincing, because my husband agreed that we would try to have at least one more little one. We had that discussion over two years ago now.

I feel a little conflicted about this little holiday that celebrates motherhood. On the one hand, I have a gorgeous child to be thankful for. On the other, it’s another reminder of what I haven’t been able to do, deliver another healthy baby.

It’s so easy to say that I should positive about Mother’s Day. After all, I’m one of the lucky ones. At least I have a single child. Also, I have an amazing mother to shower with praise and adoration. By wallowing in self-pity over my infertility, I seem ungrateful for all the blessings that I have.

And yet, it’s so hard to tell anyone, even myself, that they need to feel positive. It’s hard to say, “Well now is a time to focus on your blessings.” Of course it is. But at the same time, it’s important to acknowledge that infertility is still hard. I will never tell anyone to pretend that they are happy, when it’s completely natural to feel a little upset about their current situation. It’s okay to feel disappointed that you’re spending another Mother’s Day without the baby you’re hoping for. And I have to remind myself that it’s acceptable to feel sorrow over the child I lost, even while I’m rejoicing the daughter I have.

Everything that I love and cherish about being a mother makes this single day a time of tremendous extremes. It’s a celebration of something that is vitally important to me. And it still manages to rub my struggles in my face.

It would be easy to write a post about sucking it up and putting on a happy face, but it wouldn’t be fair. It wouldn’t be honest. I will spend this weekend cuddling with an adorable little girl who is the light of my life. But I’ll have moments when I’ll think back to the second that I learned I was losing my pregnancy. I’ll have twinges of regret and depression that put a quick damper on a happy family holiday. And I’m not going to pretend those moments don’t hurt. Of course they do, they just don’t hurt enough to justify forgetting all the things I’m blessed with.

(Photo: SheKnows)

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  • Kristin

    Your Unbearable columns always seem to appear at the perfect moments. I too am struggling with secondary infertility and reaching yet another mother’s day without giving my beautiful daughter a sibling. I have never felt such a purpose in my life as I did after she was born and I learned, I know it sounds egotistical, how great I am as a mom. Today I’ve decided to let myself wallow, especially after yet another post of someone announcing their pregnancy after trying for a month or two. Tomorrow I’ll shake it off and put on my happy face facade but just for now I will let myself wallow.