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.