The “M” Word: Grieving Infertility

POSTED BY HOPE, from Family 2.0

blocks spelling out "Mom"

Hope discusses the pain of never being a Mom.

Why would I take my pain public? I am not the only one to face infertility. Others live with the hurt I have, and much much worse. You may read this and wonder how or why I’d say the things I say. I’m positive if you were given this same set of circumstances, you’d be a superstar and rock this job like a champ! Me, I’m like the fat kid in gym class that is horribly uncomfortable in the spandex shorts and undersized tee! It’s gonna just kind of hang out there, y’all.

So many ways to make a family in this day and time. With technology and science, there are so many ways we can blend under one roof. Let’s not forget those who chose to be defined as a family without children. I received a reaction to my statement that Dave’s boys “are not mine” in my previous post. I will expand more on that point in a later post, but for now, know that there is a healthy understanding and respect for the title “Mom”. In their life, that position is filled.

On Friday, October 10th, my doctor sat across from me and explained that due to endometriosis I need to have a hysterectomy to address the horrible pain that is plaguing me. Since I couldn’t have children anyway, to him, it made sense to move this direction. This news sent me into a tailspin for days. I couldn’t think, sleep, eat or process a rational thought without applying extreme effort. I have exactly two weeks left to process the loss of my reproductive system. There is part of me that has been begging for this day for decades. Then, there is the woman deep down inside that is grieving terribly. You see, I wanted to have children.

I’d like to think that this means there’s a countdown to the sadness and when I emerge from that hospital on December 3rd that I will have left behind all of the pain. Gone will be the days of slipping into a fantasy about what my own child would have looked like, been named, what their voice would sound like and what they would want to be when they grew up. Left behind would be the dream of them running to me with a skinned knee and being the first person to celebrate moments of discovery with. I romanticize the idea of motherhood alright. In my heart, it is sacred. In my intellect and experience, I know better. I’ve watched the reality from a distance and laughed at the comedy of my fantasy. They talk back, ruin good furniture, change your plans and sometimes end up blaming you for all the things that go wrong in their life. Inevitably, that would’ve been my kid. The Alanis Morrisette song “Ironic” comes to mind when I think about the reality of how my whole Mommy journey would’ve gone.

The fact is that I am more than my body says I am. I have more than I will ever need. I have three little boys to impact with my love. I can be an example to young women in my sphere of influence, can speak into their destinies, provide counsel, guidance and become a “mother” to many. This is truth. But there are days, like today, when the reminder of that tiny package with my DNA on it will not be handed to me. That brings me back to the dark of the soul. The ache that hurts into my bones. Its weight can feel crushing and leave me physically spent.

Supernatural things happen in this kind of grief. It is only here, in hurt like today, that I can be reminded of what is needed to get me off of the floor. It is only by the strength of God that I can walk through a day like this knowing it is just a day and that the hurt will pass and life will move forward and I will be stronger tomorrow. I can allow myself these moments to purge the pain and then exhale, straighten once again and continue the march.

What awaits me? How long will it take to heal? Will I change? Well, I guess that remains to be seen. For now, I’ll take each moment as it comes. While I wait, I worship. Regardless of my pain, regardless of my preference, I worship.

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