I AM a Mother
Guest Post by Erin
Mother’s Day is almost here and I hurt. I hurt more than may be deemed reasonable by someone not in my shoes. I hurt with an unbearable pain and longing that I can barely put into words. I hurt because the world doesn’t view me as a mother – something that I yearn, strive, and work for everyday. It’s something that is so simple for most people…to make that choice to become a mother and see your wish come true. My wish is not coming true. No amount of will, determination, strength, shots, pills, or medical intervention seem to be making my dreams come true. And that hurts. Bad.
You hope, wish, and maybe even pray for what you want more than anything in life and you still can’t have it. You are not a mother. I even had my closest of allies in infertility tell me I was not a mother. But you know what? I AM a mother, I am a mom. Just because my child is not here, it doesn’t mean that in my heart I am not already a mother. I may never, ever see my dreams come true. I may never hold my child in my arms. I may never be viewed as a mom by the outside world or praised on this holiday held for these “special” women, but I will always and forever be a mother.
I became a mother the moment I decided that I wanted to have children of my own, when I was only a child. I became a mother the moment I looked into my husband’s eyes and dreamed of raising and loving our children together. I became a mother the day that I decided not to further my education and career, because I would rather use my efforts to give my children the best life possible. I became a mother the days and nights I spent feeding, diapering, and caring for other people’s babies, my little brother and sister, my nieces – all the while dreaming of caring for my own children so lovingly, someday. I became a mother the day I threw out my birth control pills to dedicate myself to making my dream come true. I became a mother through every month and every cycle that I struggled and wondered if there was something wrong with me and what the future would bring.
I became a mother the day I held my head high and walked into the reproductive endocrinologist’s office for the first time, putting my dreams into someone else’s hands.
Every shot into my soft flesh, every pill swallowed down my parched throat, every painful blood draw, and hospital visit has made me a mother. Every week, month, and year that goes by with my yearning to hold my own baby growing ever stronger, makes me a mother.
And then there are my boys. My beautiful, wonderful boys who seem to have existed in some sort of hazy dream. I WAS a mother, I was THEIR mother. They belonged to me. That wonderful doctor whom I’ve put my hopes, dreams, trust, and faith into helped me make my dream come true. All of my struggle, pain, and heartache became worth something in that moment. I carried my identical twin boys for only eight short weeks before their hearts stopped beating. Cruel doesn’t begin to describe it…my dream come true ripped away from me in an instant that can never be taken back. Just like my motherhood cannot be taken back. I did not stop being a mother the day that my boys died. Don’t tell me I am not a mother.
Mother’s Day comes every year and it hurts. It hurts because people do not see me as I see myself… as a mom. But I am a mom because I have love in my heart for children that don’t exist. I have struggled more for my children than most people who already have their children in their arms do. I just have nothing to show for it except heartache, pain, scars, and yet, a sense of strength. A child in your arms, the birthing of a baby, does not a mother make. I have more love in my heart for all of my children that could have been, were, and will hopefully be, than anyone could possibly know.
THAT is why I am a mother.