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I See You – A Mother’s Day Post

{May 12, 2017}

Dear Mama,

Somewhere in the months, maybe years, since you’ve started trying to conceive, Mother’s Day has turned from a sweet holiday to a day filled with sadness and longing. Longing that has yet to be fulfilled. Maybe your arms hang empty. Maybe your heart is still trying to find a way to piece itself back together after loss. Maybe there’s an empty seat at your table next to your toddler that’s just getting a little too big. Maybe you’re trying to find your way back from a failed treatment cycle. Wherever you’re at, I see you.

I see you trying to hold yourself together as you walk past the baby clothes at Target. I see you trying to decide if you can handle attending church this Sunday. I see you scrolling through your social media feed wondering if you should just delete the app altogether or unfollow all the mamas. I see you cringe and then tear up when another person tells you “a baby doesn’t make you a mother” or “count yourself lucky that you can sleep in on Saturday”.

I see you.

You see, I am you. I’ve lived through 6 hard Mother’s Days. I’ve spent almost a decade navigating the waters of infertility in various ways. I’ve lived through dozens of negative pregnancy tests and a few failed treatment cycles. I’ve questioned my resolve, my desire to mother, even my faith all because the weight of my empty arms. I’ve stayed home from church on Mother’s Day and ignored my well-intending mom’s phone call to try and wish me well while I waited and trudged my way through hell.

This Sunday is Mother’s Day and it’s your day, too. If it helps to inhale the splendor of a newborn, hold that friend’s baby and get lost in the heaven that is new life. If hearing from a friend or a relative about all of the magic that womanhood holds without motherhood, then hug her tight and ask her to repeat it one more time. If it helps to shut the door, turn off the phone and binge watch Netflix — go for it. If buying that new pair of shoes distracts you from the ache, run to your favorite store. If writing a letter to that someday baby soothes that empty place, pull out a pen and pour out all of the love you have to share.

I’m not here to tell you how to navigate one of the hardest days of the year. Because I know that’s yours alone to figure out. And, there’s no right answer. What I am here to do is validate the pain. To validate your struggle and the noble quest to bring new life into this world. I am here to tell you it’s okay to cry. It’s okay to let your mind wander to the places of doubt as long as you promise to bring it back to the light. I am here to tell you that I promise you — I really do — that Mother’s Day won’t always be a sad day. It won’t. Someday you will be a mom. Someday that chair won’t be empty and instead you’ll be vacuuming cereal off the floor after a sleepless night with a babe with a snotty nose. And, some days come faster than you think. I promise.

This weekend will pass, and you will make it through … it’ll be one more hard and painful Mother’s Day closer to that wonderful time that you bask in the beauty of your baby. The new life that you fought so hard for. The new life that only 1 in 8 women can really appreciate to the depths that you do. And you know my friend, that right there is worth it. So, just know this Sunday you are not alone. We’re thinking of you. And, here ready to help whenever you’re ready.

#Iam1in8
#FSTivfmom
#FertilitySpecialistsofTexas

Hi! I’m a proud IVF mom of two amazing boys, thanks to the expert care at Fertility Specialists of Texas. I know, first hand, how lonely infertility can be, which is why I write personal entries for the FST blog  — it’s my way of helping break through the isolation. To let you know you’re not alone. And, neither am I. If you ever want to chat with someone who’s had empty arms, who knows the heartbreak of this journey, I’m here. And, I’d love to connect: fstivfmom@gmail.com.

Brie Dance

FST Patient & Guest Blogger