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The Mother's Day Blues
a blog by Suzanne Rico, May 14, 2012
I remember when Mother’s Day went from being special to dreaded. I remember seeing homemade cards stuck to my friend’s refrigerators and hearing about breakfast in bed served in bed by small, earnest waiters. I remember celebrating with my mother during those dark years when becoming a mom myself seemed about as likely as winning American Idol—and thinking, “This is not how it’s supposed to be.”
The silver lining of infertility’s black cloud is that once you are on the other side, it is difficult to remember the heartbreak. Becoming a mom somehow softens it — perhaps it's nature’s way of making up for cheating us out of our maternal magic. Whatever the reason, some kind of selective memory eradication makes me only able to see how all the time, energy, tears, money and despair were worth it to become a mom. I write this to assure other women who have not yet achieved their baby dreams that there are better days ahead — and if they feel a little low this week, it’s normal. And it’s OK.
Everyone deserves to celebrate Mother’s Day if they choose. And while I would not presume to tell anyone with fertility issues what path they should take, Mother’s Day is a good time to remember that there are always options. Don’t accept a dead end. When old-fashioned sex doesn’t work, there is in vitro fertilization (IVF). And if IVF doesn’t work, there is egg donation. Or surrogacy. Or adoption. Sometimes I still dream that someone is going to drop a little girl off on my doorstep (even though my little boys keep me plenty busy), but of course, it’s never that easy.
So try to keep your focus forward instead of down. Remember the goal and perhaps re-strategize on how to get there. “Easy for you!” you say? No, it wasn’t. Staying positive through miscarriage, surgery and multiple failed IVFs was one of life’s biggest challenges. But the other option was to hide within my sorrow, and let Mother’s Day be a marker of my failure rather than a reminder of what I was striving for.