To the Momma-in-Waiting for Mother’s Day,
This is a tough time, isn’t it? Your Facebook feed is filled with pictures of smiling moms with their little ones adorning them with cards, pictures, and gifts. You “like” the pictures but in your heart, you have grown to despise them a little bit. Not the people, of course, but the pictures.
Here’s a little glimpse of what your Mother’s Day (which always falls on a Sunday) may look like:
You grab some coffee and choke down your breakfast but you are not hungry. There’s a lump in your throat and you know why. After trying on what seems like a bazillion different outfits, you settle on one but it still isn’t good enough. It’s not that you look bad. You’re just uncomfortable and the clothes have nothing to do with it.
Your husband walks in, compliments you and you sort of shrug it off. He knows something is wrong and suggests that maybe skipping church would be okay for today. You say, “No, it’s fine”. In your heart, you know it’s not fine, yet you don’t want to be THAT person who skips church just because it’s Mother’s Day.
Off you go, heading towards what you know will be a less than desirable time. On the way there, you beat yourself up over the self-pity that has taken over. At the front door, greeters welcome you with, “Happy Mother’s Day!” You nod…thinking, “Don’t they know I’m not a mother.”
The sermon, yeah, this is where it gets sticky. Pastor goes on and on about children and motherhood. He delivers an enthusiastic message about how God created women to be unique and that childbirth is a miracle. You listen, sort of.
You fake a good smile when the congregation gives an ovation to the Moms in the room. You even muster up the strength to slap your hands together but not too enthusiastically and certainly without passion. You feel ridiculous for being bitter, especially in a church of all places. All the time, you sink further and further into your skin.
Sweet friend, you are a Momma-in-Waiting and this day is really hard, isn’t it?
It just doesn’t make sense anymore, does it? You are strong. You are faithful. You’ve done everything right to prepare for having a family to call your own, but now, you’re just adrift in a lifeless sea. People tell you, “Just trust God.” The problem with this is you have always trusted God. This is not a matter of trusting Him any more or any less. It’s a matter of heartbreak, loss, and confusion.
It’s not that Mother’s Day is the only one out of the year that reminds you of a life without children. You are reminded daily through social media, walking by the maternity sections of stores, negative pregnancy tests, grim news from the doctors, financial bills from IVF treatments, getting invitations in the mail to baby showers, and hearing that another person (among many) is expecting. This is what is hard about infertility and what is most misunderstood about it.
You have become a captive to the bones that carry you around. Your body is a stranger to you; betrayal of the greatest kind. Your heart beats and blood flows but it feels like an empty vessel; a shell of what it once was. Your thoughts won’t let you escape the narrow road that you are walking, even though you try. All this nonsense has awakened a level of sorrow that you never knew existed. Truth be told, you wouldn’t wish this upon anyone. You never wished it upon yourself.
There’s a special place in your imagination that you frequently visit. It has visions of pregnancy, childbirth, picking names and holding on to the living witness of love that has come into your life. It is filled with birthdays, family pictures, giggles, and grins. You visit if often and even though it brings you pain, it also brings you hope. Hang on to it.
Survive for the sake of that special place.
No one else should or could tell you how to get through Mother’s Day. Just do what you need to do. I’m not even going to tell you what will make this day easier because I know the only thing that would make it better is for a child to look at you, wrap his little arms around you, and call you, “Mommy”. This is a truth that churns up both devastation and fortitude. This is something that you know all too well.
Above anything else I’ve said,
Momma-in-Waiting, on this Mother’s Day, I’m thinking of you.