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It's Not About Getting Pregnant, It's About Becoming a Mom

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by Dena Fischer, Feb. 20, 2010

I know how you’re feeling right now – I was there. Maybe my situation wasn’t exactly like yours. As you know, I had my boys with the help of an egg donor and a surrogate, so I probably wasn’t poked and prodded and injected and subjected to as many humiliating examinations by doctors with cold hands and even colder demeanors as you’ve been. But emotionally, I’ve been on the very same rollercoaster ride.

I wanted to have children and my body didn’t cooperate. It failed me and I was pissed off. Pissed at my dinky little ovaries that couldn’t grow a fat juicy lining. Pissed at the doctors who delivered bad news without the slightest shred of compassion. Pissed at all at the unwed mothers popping up pregnant without even trying. Pissed at the round, lovely fertile mommies-to-be wearing belly-hugging maternity clothes. At their morning sickness, their hemorrhoids, their prenatal Pilates, even their copies of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Oh, I went to the baby showers and the namings and the brisses. I visited at the hospitals. I watched the birth videos; I oohed and aahed over gifts and cuddled newborns. I was happy for all of them. Really. I was. But I also felt gyped.

Where was MY chance to be center stage? To be catered to, adored, cared for while my body performed this miracle? Why couldn’t I be the heroine in our story? Why couldn’t I DO THIS???

Eventually I came to realize that wasn’t really what it was all about – it was about becoming a mother, not becoming pregnant. You’ll get there too. You’ll become a parent if you want to – maybe not the way you planned, but you will. There are many roads, many options. If it’s what you want, you will become somebody’s mother.

And here’s my challenge to you: When you get there, don’t be pissed anymore. Not only about your infertility issues, but about being a mother.

I've noticed in recent years a trend I call the Culture of Complaint. Books and blogs abound about how hard it is to be a parent. Just last week I read one by a mother who sounded like she wanted a Purple Heart for having taken her twin toddlers sledding. Not getting to shower as often as you once did, not seeing every movie that comes out, not always getting to yoga class. The sleepless nights, the diaper changing, the money, the money, the money. How much time and attention “they” take. Yes, they do. And yes, things change. Choices must be made, priorities realigned. Didn’t these complainers at one point WANT to have children? Wasn’t it, in most cases, a choice they made? A goal they set?

I made a decision to not join the Martyred Mother Brigade. This generation of put upon mommies who act like they’re the first to lose their trim figures, to have a hard time balancing what needs to get done with what they want to do, the first to just be really, really tired. Come on. You don’t think cave women had it harder? And they probably had no idea a baby was even coming. WE WANTED THIS! Yes, nothing can prepare you for the reality of parenthood but honestly, don’t you think most of us have some sense of what’s coming?

Promise me that after all you go through to BECOME a parent, you won’t then turn around and whine about it. Don’t buy into the Culture of Complaint. I’m not saying it’s all a bed of rose. Far from it. But I wanted this. I wanted it badly. I made it happen and I’m so happy that it did.

When it happens to you, be happy. When your dead tired, you’re dirty hair is plastered to your head, you’re wearing the same sweatpants you slept in (and wore the day before), you haven’t had sex with your husband and it’s the last thing you want to do, the baby won’t stop crying and you feel helpless, remember that this is exactly what you wanted . . . and you’re damn lucky to have it.