I’ve been thinking a lot lately about all the moms out there who aren’t yet moms, but who are desperate to be. They are moms in their minds, but not in the official sense. These women have been suffering through fertility treatments, riding emotional roller coasters, and dreaming of smelling that sweet baby breath only a new mom knows.
Yesterday we had some friends over, including our neighbors who had a baby girl a month ago. While everyone ate dinner outside, I held Baby Ainsley so her tired mommy could relax and take her time with her meal. I was alone in the house and cuddled her closely. She curled into me and I suddenly remembered holding my own girls as babies and how that spot just seemed made for them. Ainsley sighed a sweet baby sigh and nestled into my neck. I felt tears prick my eyes because as much as I would love to have another child, deep down I doubt I could handle it; and The Father Load says definitively whenever anyone asks us, “We’re done.“
It hurts my heart that some people are unable to have children. Either fertility treatments haven’t worked or they’ve run out of money to continue them. Either adoption is taking a long time or it’s impossible. Either they’ve suffered through miscarriages or had to consider surrogacy. There are so many reasons. And unless you’ve been there yourself, you don’t think twice before asking someone questions like:
“So, when are you having kids?” or,
“When are you having another one?”
I recently filled out an application to be an egg donor. To be able to help someone have a baby really appeals to me. Sure, it might be hard knowing that somewhere out there someone with my genes/traits could come into existence and become part of a family I’d never meet; but the possibility of giving that gift, the gift of life, far outweighed any of my fears. To think about giving something so seemingly small that would mean so incredibly much literally kicked my ovaries into overdrive.
I was rejected, of course. At the age of 33, my eggs are “too old.” Nevermind that because I myself required ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology) to conceive, I’m not the ideal donor. But let it be said there was nothing wrong with my eggs—my body just won’t release them on its own. So someone could just go in there and get them. Easy peasy, right? Apparently not.
As I held Ainsley yesterday, a lone tear slipped down my cheek and I brushed it away quickly. To know that I cannot give this gift pains me. My husband was distraught when I confessed it to him because I hadn’t consulted him beforehand. It was a moot point because I’d been rejected, but it’s also my body. Admittedly, Ainsley reminds me that I will never again hold my own baby. My twins are 4 1/2 and their “babyhood” was marred by my exhaustion, stress, and always the sound of someone crying. Juggling two at once made me feel as if there wasn’t enough of me to go around and neither daughter got enough snuggling or physical closeness with me/us. I relished my time with Ainsley and relinquished her only because I had to take my dog out to poop.
Motherhood, raising children—-is a hard job. But becoming a mother, the art of conception, is an entirely different matter and can often be far more difficult than most people realize.
I am a mother. For this I am eternally grateful. I don’t ever take it for granted.
And for all of you who are still trying to become mothers, or who feel like giving up—I’m so sorry I can’t help you.
But I can be your friend. I will listen. And I will love you and give you big hugs, even if they are virtual or via telephone.
Have you ever considered giving a gift like this?
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