Monday, May 9, 2011

I survived MD2011


It was touch-and-go for awhile there, but I ultimately survived Mother's Day 2011. Thank goodness it's over.

I like to compare my personal thoughts about Mother's Day to all those people who hate Valentine's Day so much and want to boycott it and wear black and all that. All commercialism aside, it's just a day dedicated to reminding me that I (still) don't have what I want.

Although I tried not to forget the "other half" of the day-- honoring my own mother(s)...I am just much too selfish of a person to not STILL let my day be ruined by my own problems. Which isn't fair, because my mom and Matt's mom are totally awesome moms. And just so that I don't go a whole post without a picture, let me just throw in this amazing picture of MY mom (and me):
Could my mom BE any cuter?? Seriously. I would so wear that tank top. Anyway.

Let's review my few Mother's Days, shall we?

2008: We'd been married for 10ish months. Were still trying to not get pregnant. Therefore, I imagine Mother's Day was a joyous day celebrating our own mothers.

2009: We'd been trying to get pregnant (TTC, in infertility-world-speak: Trying To Conceive) for  about 6 months. Not long enough to be worried yet, I think I remember being hopeful and happy on this MD. This would be my last year not being a mother (or mother-in-progress) on MD!

2010: This was a rough one. It was our first MD as being officially "infertile," and we were at the very beginning of our medical journey through infertility treatments. I was really sad, particularly because this was the first year that most of my friends (who had begun TTC around the same time we had) got to celebrate with their new babies and/or baby bellies. I was totally left out of the club and I hated it. However, I have very vivid memories of sitting in church and knowing-- knowing, beyond a shadow of a doubt-- that it would absolutely be my last sad Mother's Day. I was 10% sad that day, and 90% happy that at this time next year, I would have a baby or at least be pregnant. There was not a single grain of doubt in my head that either the medical treatments or the prayer would have paid off and I would be a mother by next year. In fact, this is the one and only holiday that I 'marked' as The Date. I will be pregnant by MD 2011. I WILL BE. There was just no possible way that I wouldn't be.

2011: I wasn't pregnant. I don't know what kind of miracle I thought might occur between Saturday night and Sunday morning, but when I woke up it hit me like a ton of bricks: I missed my deadline. I'm still not pregnant. Still. It is Mother's Day 2011 and I am no closer to being a mother now then I was last year or 2 years ago or 10 years ago. The medicine didn't pay off. The IUIs didn't pay off. No miracles have occurred. I'm as un-pregnant now as I was the day I was born. Not knowing how to deal with the emotions this unleashed, I spent the better part of the day crying my carefully applied eye-makeup off.

I'm still not pregnant.

People were so kind to me, though. I got so many sweet messages and notes and cards. People hugged me and let me cry all over their church clothes. (And I'm crying AGAIN, now, as I type this and remember.) No one made me feel like a freak or like I'm overreacting. No one flaunted their motherhood in my face. I felt so much love and support.

But I can't stop crying because I'm still. not. pregnant.

And because I don't know how to feel anymore. I don't dare think about Mother's Day 2012. I can't. Because if I do, I know what will happen. I will feel the old familiar surge of hope and optimism (DAMN YOU OPTIMISM!) and I will see sunnier days ahead. Twenty-twelve?? Oh, I'll be pregnant by then. I have to be! It's an even year, and good things happen on even years! Twelve is my lucky number; my birthday is 12/12...I will obviously be pregnant by Mother's Day of 2012. And if I try to think ahead and project how I might possibly feel then if by some fluke I were not pregnant...I can't. Because I can't imagine how horrible that would feel. I can't imagine that my heart could survive that long. I simply do not think a soul is capable of grieving that much. My soul, anyway.

But those were the same things I was thinking last year, and look at me-- I made it. I did survive. I beat the odds...not the ones that say we will not be able to get pregnant...but the ones I set for myself, the ones that said I would not make it if I didn't. My friend Kristin, who is one of my road-weary soul sisters in the infertility battle, once told me that every month she feels like she's at the end of her rope-- and then the rope just gets longer. I like that picture and I totally agree...except that I am completely overwhelmed with the fear that this rope is miles and miles long and I've only climbed down like 30 feet of it. So yeah, the rope is longer-- but do I really want to even stay on? I'm tired of hanging on already. And now I've gone and lost myself in my own metaphor, but you know what I mean. 

Sorry to be a big downer all over your day and kill your post-MD buzz, but sometimes a girl just needs to unload. And since I can't unload without making a big sloppy cry-fest out of myself, it's probably better that I do it online.

I think that my game plan for next year will be this: Either I will be pregnant on Mother's Day, or I will be on a vacation. I will be sampling every rum-filled beverage in the Caribbean, or every sauvignon blanc in (wherever that stuff is made...Italy? Trader Joes? Haha), or every beach in Hawaii, and I will not even pause to think about Mother's Day. I will not look at Facebook and see pictures of moms and babies, and I will not go to church and make a fool of myself every time a family walks in. This will not at all do anything to dull the pain of infertility in general, but it should at least save me from a week of EVEN MORE CONSTANT REMINDERS of infertility (and from seeing all the men at Publix buying bouquets of flowers, which reminds me of why they're doing that).

But on second though...this plan will never work out, because it would require money. Money in the IVF/Adoption fund. So I guess this plan, like most of my plans, is contingent on me winning the lottery. A feat that has roughly the same odds as Matt and I getting pregnant on our own. Funny. (If you have a sick sense of humor)

And now I have no way to conclude this blog, so I will just leave it at this:

Hope your MD was better than mine. Here's to next year. 


  1. No need to apologize for being a downer - thanks for being honest! Glad you survived... and here's to hoping MD2k12 is much more hopeful.

  2. I have a great idea: If neither of us is pregnant by MD2k12, then let's take a road trip and meet in the middle. We can spend our time staying up late, sleeping late, and doing all of the other "fun" things non-parents do. And if all else fails, we can sit around crying and eating our feelings. At least we won't be crying alone, right?

    And yes, I have often been able to relate to the rope metaphor, but truthfully, I am so very thankful that I don't know how long the rope is. Because if I did, I think I would have thrown up my hands in despair by now.

    And also, I'm praying for you. All the time. Even though I've never even met you in real life. :)

    Congrats on surviving and here's to another year of TTC :)

  3. erika- i appreciate your being so candid on this topic. and i really admire your optimism. i struggle with giving up hope easily sometimes. i pray for you about this whenever i think of you!

    i think sauvignon blanc is from france. the name's french, at least.

    i was in publix yesterday and the girl who helped carry out my groceries said that she thought being a "mom" to a pet counted when i was explaining to her why my husband is not a jerk for sending me to the grocery store on mother's day since i am not a mom.

  4. I don't know what else to say except that I love you and want to virtually hug you through the blogosphere. I thought about you on MD and am so grateful that you lay it all out there so that more of us might love on you. I am confident that God is in control. Continue to place your hope in him.

  5. Thank you for being honest and sharing this. My husband & I have begun the journey of trying to get pregnant and I'm scared that I may have waited too long. I hope and pray that you will be able to get pregnant very soon.

  6. ((HUGS)) I admire you for posting so honestly. My Mother's Day was a giant swirl of mixed emotions but I'm too chicken to post about mine.


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