Our journey through infertility, failed adoptions and now parenthood through the miracle of embryo adoption/donation.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Dreading Mother's Day

I have always dreamt about my very first Mother's Day. I would be all smiles and glowing. I would anticipate it like a kid at Christmas. And now it is almost here and none of those emotions are present. I am actually dreading it. My church has a MD luncheon and on MD the moms stand and receive a gift. All I can think about are those that will not be standing and it breaks my heart. In my church alone there are 5 families that can not/do not have children. And this is in a congregation of less than 250 people. One is in their 70's and another in their 50's and though it saddens me that they never had children both have come to terms with the fact. One couple has only been married 5 months and newly diagnosed. I am sad for them as well, but they are still in denial and it is not bothering them yet. The other two couples are both hurting and that kills me. Neither are open about their struggles and do not discuss it, even though I have tried to offer support. And that is fine. Each person must deal with infertility in the way that they find best. But just because they do not talk about it does not erase the pain that they are feeling.

I would like to do something for these women on Mother's Day. Not only for the ladies attending my church but for two other ones that attend a neighboring church and are on staff of my hubby's ministry. Both of these ladies have had one or more miscarriages and are still ttc. I want them to know that they are loved, prayed for and acknowledged. Yet I do not want to cause them any extra pain.
What are some ideas of what to do for them? Just a card? Maybe a card and candy? And should I mention something to the effect of "even though your babies are in heaven you are still a mother' to the ones that have babies in heaven? And if so, how can I word it? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


  1. That is such a tough one. Doing something could be as painful as not doing anything at all. I had a friend once who did not appreciate the extra effort to aknowledge that she wanted to be a mother and wasn't. It was harder for her to have it aknowldged than to be ignored. She was one of those people who was not open AT ALL about her struggles with IF and internalized everything to the point where it ruined everything in her life. To be sought out special on mother's day was a slap in the face to her, and it called attention to her inability to concieve. It was hard for me too because she was my best friend. I learned I had to just be there when she needed me, and sit quietly by her side the rest of the time.

    I have a neighbor who is very privately struggling with IF, and I don't dare do anything for her on mother's day, for fear it will make her cry more.

    I'm not trying to say what you want to do isn't a great way to show love and support. I know that I would have appreciated it, but for others it is a tough pill to swallow.

    Because of my old friend, I don't know what to suggest doing for these women. If you do do anything, however, I recommend not presenting them with anything in a public setting.

    It is all just so hard. :(

  2. Those are some good points, Chelle. Thanks! One lady I don't know well at all but we have a mutual friend that I was going to ask before I did anything. And I would definitely not do it publicly. I would have appreciated the gesture while I was waiting, but you are right, not everyone would.

  3. Before adopting our son, I literally avoided church on Mother's day. I just couldn't take it at all and didn't go to church on that Sunday.

  4. I agree it is a tough issue. If the ladies that you would like to do this for are already open about their IF struggles with you then I would say maybe a card will be nice. I guess it also depends on how close you are with them.

    Last year I had someone from my church send me an email about how they missed me that Sunday, but understood how hard some Sundays can be. In the email there was a link to an article about a Christian single woman and her single friends who all struggle with Mother's Day. I was touched, but I still felt awkward that she sent this to me because I had never opened up to her about our IF struggles.

    Still, it was nice to be acknowledged and remembered that day.

  5. Even though we have shared our struggles with infertility with our Sunday School class and several people at church, Mother's Day is still very hard for me. I can totally understand why infertile couples avoid going to church on MD. On one hand I feel very selfish by wanting to avoid the pain, but on the other hand it almost seems like churches and pastors (unknowingly) have to rub it in our faces that we're not mothers. You know?

    Anyway, I think sending a private card saying that you're thinking of them and praying for them is a good idea. Maybe mention that you and your hubby struggled with infertility for x amount of time and should they ever want to talk about it, you would be available.

  6. I love the comment of the previous poster. I think it is a great idea to just privately send a card.
    It is sweet of you to think of us!

  7. Yeah, I agree with Ashley. I was going to say: don't give it to them on that day. but if your sending it then that covers that. I always sort of feel left out more than anything- so if it were me I would appreciate it, but I think it depends on where they are in dealing with IF.

  8. Jess,

    Just wanted to comment that my first mother's day after our son joined our family through adoption was still a painful day with lots of mixed emotions. It wasn't until he was 2 or 3 that it really became a happier day. Just wanted to say...I think it's pretty normal.


  9. I too, even now, after being a parent (via adoption) for six (nearly seven) Mother's Day celebrations now, this post still...still...still... in thinking about it, makes me anxious, brings almost immediate tears. As a pastor, sometimes "fighting" the church for my needs to be recognized was incredibly hard. During the time we were fighting infertility, waiting for our children it was a constant balance to celebrate women, those who are mothers, those who have lost so much in their motherhood, or in longing to be mothers. It is just plain hard stuff.

    I wanted to share two posts from a couple years ago, while I was serving as a Pastor to Families, and encourage you to speak directly to your pastor(s) (who I am certain are not ill-intended, they may just not know) about this very issue, for both the need to recognize celebration and loss so that not one more Mother's Day goes by when a woman feels her loss even more deeply because her experience wasn't recognized... here are the posts... http://canonlyimagine.blogspot.com/2007/04/speaking-truth-about-mothers-day-and.html and
    http://canonlyimagine.blogspot.com/2007/05/i-guess-i-should-talk-little-about.html And thank you for your willingness to speak up and support.

    And best of everything on this journey you are on!

    Here from ICLW


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