In more than 50 countries people are celebrating Mother’s Day today. Many people might claim that it has now become far too commercialized and yet another chance for retailers to try and sell us flowers, cards, and gifts that we don’t necessarily need, but for me, this day is something really special.
First of all, because I’m very grateful to have such an incredibly beautiful mother and second because I’m about to become a mother myself.
I’ve been longing to become a mother for a long time. I thought I would easily be able to conceive when I was ready. Like a lot of women, I spent many years in my twenties being terrified that I would get pregnant when I wasn’t ready. But it turns out, for most of us, baby-making is not nearly as easy as they make it seem in biology class.
I will never forget how excited we felt when we started trying.
It was as if I was pregnant already, and of course, I thought it would happen for us straight away. I read numerous books, educated myself on all the latest research, and on many occasions obsessively Googled ‘early pregnancy symptoms’ as every niggle and twinge I felt within my body was a sign that I was pregnant.
However, it wasn’t long before the excitement turned to disappointment with test after test coming back negative. One of the lowest points of my experience was crying when a close friend told me she was pregnant. They were not happy tears; they were ugly, dark green tears of incredulous jealousy.
Over the last years, I learned that my expectations were unrealistic and that even when you do get pregnant, it doesn’t always mean that things can’t go wrong anymore (I had a miscarriage after 9 weeks the first time I got pregnant). I learned that the road towards motherhood can be quite a bumpy ride and that getting pregnant is really a true miracle.
Today, on Mother’s Day, I enter the last trimester of my pregnancy, and I’m celebrating the tiny wonder that is growing inside me.
But I’m also very aware that this day can be tough for those who struggle with grief, loss, and/or infertility. For many, Mother’s Day is a painful reminder of what never was or what no longer is.
Some of my friends have endured the unthinkable pain of losing a child. Many of my friends lost their mothers and will forever miss being able to spend this day with her or call her on the phone. Other friends may hardly feel like this day warrants celebration. Their mothers failed as parents, were dysfunctional or even abusive. And then there are my friends who desperately want to become a mother, but struggle with infertility.
This post is simply intended to bring awareness to something I never gave a second thought to before I started trying to have kids.
My hope is that, if nothing else, it will make you more aware of something you may not think about…and my greater hope is that it will help someone out there going through the same struggles feel a little less alone.
So when you are celebrating Mother’s Day today, spare a thought for those people who are not able to celebrate this occasion. And if you know who they are, reach out to them!