I Remember…


To the woman who wishes to be a mama, 

I know that you never imagined that getting pregnant would  be this hard. I know that you never thought that it would consume every waking moment or that you would exhaust every possible outlet to make it happen. I also know that my story will not bring you any solace or make your journey any easier. I know that I have crossed over to the other side — that I am a mom. I am no longer like you, but I want you to know that I remember. 

I remember that excitement when I first started to try and how ready my husband and I were to have a family. I remember downloading apps, taking my temperature, purchasing ovulation kits, and tracking bodily functions that I never once paid any attention to prior to this journey. The first few months I reminded myself that it may not happen right away. I tried desperately not to over-analyze every twinge and cramp. However, as the months dragged on, I feared something was wrong.

I remember the relief I finally felt when I picked up the phone and called the infertility clinic. I did not know what they would find, but at least it felt like a small victory in this never ending battle. I remember when testing showed that everything was normal, there were no answers, and there was still no baby.  

I remember finally deciding to take that next step and dive into a world of hormones and procedures. I remember how the hormones slowly took over my body. I remember the tears, the struggle to get out of bed, and the fake smile I put on everyday. I remember the anger and the frustration. I remember having no control over my body, my emotions, and constantly reminding myself that it was going to be worth it. Each new plan brought forth a surge of hope, and each time it failed, my world came crashing down. I remember the two week wait. I remember feeling inadequate. 

I remember my friends’ families growing. I remember the elation I felt for them and the absolute devastation I felt for myself at the same time. It was so hard to explain that I wanted nothing but amazing things for them, but at the same time I was mourning my own loss at each new announcement. I remember avoiding Facebook, baby showers, and leaving parties early because it was all too much. I remember losing myself for awhile. 

I remember three failed Clomid cycles, three failed IUIs, and a completely failed IVF cycle. I remember watching my husband finally break down, my rock, and being strong for him. I remember difficult conversations. The realization that we would be parents, even if it was not how we envisioned.  I remember the support of family and friends. I remember that even in my darkest moments, I was never alone. 

I also remember hope. I remember my second IVF cycle. I remember embryos growing and transfers happening. I remember my positive pregnancy result and my transition to motherhood.

My friend, I know that you are struggling and that I cannot fix that. I know that your path may be very different than mine. However, I do know that you are right: you do deserve to be a mother, and you will make an amazing mother!  I hope that motherhood finds you. It may not be the way your expected; it may be very unconventional, but I hope it brings you happiness.

Stay strong, sweet mama-to-be. 

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Darlene is your typical Rhode Islander – she’s never left. She grew up watching Paw Sox games, drinking Dels, and gives directions according to landmarks, most of which no longer exist. She did attend high school in Southeastern Massachusetts, if that counts as leaving, and traveled all the way to South County to attend University of Rhode Island. After four years, she left with degrees in both Elementary Education and English. After college she began teaching and eventually found a home in third grade. Third graders are inquisitive, beginning to exert their own independence, and constantly make her laugh. They put up with her quirky sense of humor and her sobbing throughout read alouds.
Darlene ended up marrying the boy she fell in love with in high school. She and her husband have two daughters, an energetic two year old and the sweetest seven month old. Most days are spent trying to navigate full time jobs, raising two young children, reading, and drinking coffee. She loves to be outdoors and hopes that her girls will love camping, hiking, and kayaking as much as she does.