"I think that once you go through labor, you have a completely new respect for mothers. Only we will ever truly know the pain and hard work it takes to bring a child into this world. Welcome to our club." ~Mrs. F
That was a comment I read yesterday on Facebook. As bold as it is to post so publicly without any regards to the 1 in 8 infertile women out there. I realize there are so many woman that haven't the slightest clue what real pain and labor of love to becoming a mother is while being fertile. The Mrs. F's of the world is why I keep blogging.
I was scrolling over the comments on a beautiful picture post from a close family member who recently had her baby and she shared online for everyone to see and read. I was in love and was reading all the sweet comments and congratulations when the words from that comment stopped me and it seemed as if everything was quiet and my ears went deaf. The hospital room felt as if it closed in on me and silence was all I could hear. Each word began to singe my heart as I re-read the comment over and over again. The room felt like it was slowly starting to spin. "Only WE TRULY know pain," I read again with conviction and tried to shrug it off for hours but the words seemed to pierce right through me as I laid in that hospital bed about to have my laparoscopic bilateral salpingectomy(double fallopian tube removal)and I tried to break the words down to make them less harsh but as I read each line they just became worse every time. They were taunting me like some sick mind game played by a serial killer. I wanted to lash out, yell, curse and comment right away and "put her in her assuming, uneducated and heartless fertile place." But that wasn't me. Typically it was but not in that context. Popcorn anyone? I promised my dignity I would wait until after surgery to gather my thoughts.
Blogging is my go to for infertility not fighting publicly on social media with seemingly nice women. Maybe she shouldn't be faulted for not having the common sense to choose different words. Or maybe she really felt this way? Did she? How could she? I didn't want to believe it. My brain flipped a switch and I immediately seen red because it is something that hits so close to home. Rage started to consume me.
I tried to break down and understand what she was trying to say. Instead of a simple, "Congratulations or what a beautiful picture!" like everyone else. Mrs. F made it a point to seclude birth mothers as a whole by stating, "after labor you have a new respect and we are a CLUB" and "ONLY WE will ever TRULY know the PAIN and HARD WORK it takes to bring a child into this world." Those words stuck out the most as I said them out loud. She was saying those lines to me. That is how I took it. Personal. And now I was also hurt.
I thought about my friends whom I have become close with who can never have biological children but have adopted and my heart was sad for them and for their children. Are they not loved and respected just as much? Are they not hard working mothers who love and labor just as much.
You see Mrs. F, I couldn't disagree more with that comment even if I had a lifetime to argue; and I would, believe me. I have so much "respect" as you called it for mothers already. Surrogates, adoptive moms, foster moms, miscarriage and still birth mothers, single parents, moms that are dads, grandmother moms, moms who choose adoption over abortion and yes birth mothers who are blessed to carry their babies to full term just like my mother. God bless them all. What strong women and men they must all be to choose to raise a child up in such a harsh world and mold him or her into someone with dignity, respect, love, humanity, humility and grace. So much respect it is insurmountable.
The second half of the comment Mrs. F is I wasn't sure if you meant physical "pain" or emotional pain. But you did use the words, "only we will ever truly know the pain and hard work to bring a child into this world." So let's use both since we are all Gods children, but he must not know this "pain" you speak of???
I am being completely honest with you here Mrs. F when I say:
I am not this "mother" you speak of.
I have never given live birth and physically labored a living healthy child into this world. But I do know the "pain" you speak of.
After seven years of, walking, more like fighting in my shoes, seeking multiple Drs and REs, paying for multiple infertility procedures, having them all fail while a husband was deployed to Afghanistan in combat; not once but four times, watching grandparents and friends pass on to never to meet our children, or choosing not one but two surgeries one which today removed my Fallopian tubes. Which currently the "pain" pills are only making me tired and not easing the swelling or gas shooting up my back and shoulders from the surgery. I now have six incisions on my stomach not just three. I lay here bleeding again on top of three towels while my husband who is also my best friend of nine years waddles me to the bathroom and consults my pains and dries my tears. Those tubes that are required for me to become this "mother" you speak of are gone and now after recovering from this surgery we fight on to shovel out $15,000 dollars on a chance to be part of that "club" you talk about with no guarantee. This of what you called, "hard work and pain only "we" truly know," you speak of would never compare to even just a fraction of our "pain."
But I am not this "mother" you speak of.
I do know a mothers pain Mrs. F.
Deeper than the ocean and wider than the valleys. A pain larger than I could ever attempt to describe to you before you could understand in this lifetime.
I feel that pain everyday. Not a day goes by where there isn't a moment that I don't know that pain you speak of. Pain in the physical sense is temporary. Pain when you finally are pregnant after years and years after multiple tests and ultrasounds telling you that you will have a baby is heart breaking. Only to lose everything you fought years for during an ectopic miscarriage. Gone. Now that pain Mrs. F, that pain is forever.
But I am not this "mother" you speak of.
Grief and the loss is forever. It is hidden in the depths of our crevices. Packed down deep seeping out like the early morning fog in the fall. Cold and crisp. You can feel this pain. Emotional physical pain.
However during a healthy live birth. You get to experience such overwhelming joy especially if you've been waiting years for something when you are finally blessed to give birth to a child. I could never diminish that joy to the pain I've felt for so long in my life from infertility. But the joy could diminish the pain. I believe.
At least in the physical sense yes we all understand how painful it must be to give birth because it is just scientific common sense that you know going into becoming a mother. Trying to squeeze a bowling ball out of a water hose isn't the most physically pleasing ideal a person would want to take on. But does this mean mothers giving birth via cesarean do not know this "pain" or "hard work". How about the ones with epidurals or no drugs? Is there a different club for those "mothers" too?
I do know that you do not wake up feeling that physical "pain" everyday for the rest of your life. I have multiple nieces and nephews and cousins. I have stayed overnights in hospitals after births. Vaginal and emergency ceseraean. All tempoary pain.
But the pain of loss I can assure you I absolutely do feel everyday.
That sadness. The emptiness. That failure of loss and longing to carry a child naturally on my own. That "hard work."
The grief. The loss. The defeat. It may not be all day and honestly maybe only for a minute at times or less but it is there. The thoughts of that pain. However we must carry on. Life doesn't stop for our loss as we must keep living.
I would rather comment and say to someone who has given birth publicly. Congrats! You get to experience so much joy. A miracle. A blessing. Everyday is life and love you share together. Snuggles and smiles. Happiness. To enjoy every minute of being alive and being able to watch their baby grow and teach them to learn but the greatest is love.
I can't say giving birth is the worst pain I have ever felt Mrs. F. I already know a pain and club that you did not speak of.
They are called miscarriage and infertility.
I am sorry Mrs. F.
But I am not this "mother" you speak of.
Or am I?
~Dedicated to my "mothers" everywhere.