From the Heart of an Infertile: A Letter to Mama’s on Mother’s Day

From the Heart of an Infertile

Hey there sweet Mama,

I know we have never met.  You don’t know much about me unless you have read my “about me” section, and honestly, I probably know little to nothing about you.  But if you are a mother,  I’m going to guess that Mother’s Day is a time of celebration for you. You wake up to burnt toast ready for you to eat in bed. There are flowers picked from the yard lying next to your pillow. You open gifts handcrafted with love and read cards made by tiny hands and broken crayons. It’s a great day for you!  As it should be!  You should be celebrated for all the sacrifices you make for your family. You should be recognized and applauded for all of your hard work.  Because being a mother? It’s not easy or always fun.

But in the midst of your celebration this Sunday, can you do me a favor?  Can you also remember and acknowledge her? She is the one hiding in the back of the church. Last pew. Staring at her feet with tissues in hand.  She is also the one with tears in her eyes as she passes by the flowers, the Hallmark greeting cards, and the eye-catching #1 Mom necklaces.  Because, you see, for her, Mother’s Day is not a time of joy. But rather heartache.  It’s not a time in which she is remembered, but often forgotten. And it is a time when she feels alone. Painstakingly different. And less of a woman. It’s not by choice that she has chosen to not be a mother, but instead it has happened by force.  The disease of infertility that affects the reproductive organs and destroys the dreams of 1 in 8 couples has caused her to feel this way.

I know you may not comprehend her thoughts. Or understand her feelings. And that’s okay. Because I know it’s hard when you haven’t walked in another person’s shoes. But in order to see her story and feel her pain, would you like to try? If so, let’s take a quick walk down memory lane. Is that okay? But make sure before you lace up your shoes, you grab a box of tissues because it won’t be easy. So if you ready, let’s take a deep breath in and out…because here it goes…

I want you to first remember the excitement you had when telling your husband, or your best friend, sister or parents that you were expecting. You were so excited, right?! And do you remember how pregnancy changed your body–it was just a little at first, but then as your baby grew, so did your belly. And you rejoiced with each picture taken to show the progression. And do you remember the emotions you felt when your miracle kicked for the first time? Or had the hiccups?  You were crazy excited, right?

What about when your baby moved inside of you at the sound of your voice? And think back to the overwhelming sense of joy you felt and how your heart almost burst out of your chest when you gazed into their eyes for the first time. Do you remember the tears in your own? And how those tears made it difficult for you to frantically count their fingers and toes?

Now sweet Mama, here comes the hard part. Are you ready? I want you to place your hand over your womb and try to strip yourself away from having those climatic moments that have given you life changing memories. And instead, I want you to take a moment to imagine the pain of hearing a doctor tell you that the chances of you conceiving are less than 3 percent. Your eggs do not mature for ovulation.  Your endometriosis is not fixable.  Your husband has zero sperm.  Or your Fallopian tubes are blocked and beyond repair. What about being told you have been born with no uterus?

Imagine yourself in your first, second, or third trimester going in for a routine doctor’s appointment expecting to hear the nurse tell you that there is a healthy baby developing perfectly. But the only thing you hear is silence, followed by a muffled voice telling you there is no longer a heartbeat.

Imagine instead of picking out your child’s first outfit, you choose a casket. Try to imagine the pain associated with never knowing what it will feel like to have their precious arms wrapped around your neck. Or never getting to hear the sound of their voice or look into their eyes. Better yet, your beloved child will never get to look into your eyes and see the unconditional love you have for them.

It’s hard imagining these horrific moments, isn’t’ it? And no one wants to. No one wants this type of pain for even a second. But for some women, it is their reality that often paralyzes them with worry as they fear of never being able to experience motherhood. It is their reality that keeps them feeling alone and set apart.  Always on the outside looking in while attending baby showers and other social gatherings. It is their reality that makes being able to get out of bed and attend a church service on the second Sunday in May, an unbearable and painful and tearful struggle.

Because for this particular holiday, those who only see a negative pregnancy test, or who have suffered a miscarriage, a still birth, or experienced an unsuccessful adoption, their fears, worries, and painful emotions are magnified and intensified. Every Mother’s Day commercial they see, greeting card they pass by, or baby giggle they hear reminds them of what they are not, but so desperately want to become.  It is like pouring salt into their open wound.  And on that Sunday when they watch as each mother stands in church to be recognized…to be applauded…shame can unexpectedly wash over them as they realize they are forced to be left sitting, unqualified for such honor.

Even for those who have hope that their situation could change and faith so strong to believe that it will, this day is still not easy. Because the grief from what she is not and what she has lost, will come pouring down on her like a hurricane. And while she should be able to get up and run to the church on this Sunday for healing of her broken heart, much like a sick person runs to a hospital, she can’t. Because for her? The pain is far greater in the church, then at home.

But even so, she still needs shelter from the storm. A place where she can find peace. And hope. A place where she doesn’t feel alone. Or scared. But most of all, she needs someone to take her there. Because do you remember in school when the storm alarm would sound and the teacher would lead you to a place of safety? You were scared and so she helped you to your knees. She showed you how to cover your head with your hands, all the while reminding you in her sweet and gentle voice that it would be okay. Do you remember that? Because that is what she needs.

She needs someone with compassion and understanding, perhaps someone like you, to help her.

Because in the coming days her alarm is going to sound. Her eyes will slowly begin to open. And she will immediately be stricken with sadness and despair as she remembers what day it is.  Mother’s Day. And she will need someone to take her to a place of safety. To remind her to get on her knees and cry out to the Lord for His comfort, for His peace. All the while needing someone to help cover her head for protection. But not with hands…with words. But not just any words. His words. Because through heartache and pain, she too will need to hear a calm and gentle voice. A voice reminding her that according to Leviticus 26:9, He will look on her favor and increase her numbers. And she will need someone to assure her that He will fulfill the desires He has placed inside of her heart (Psalm 37:4). And what she has lost? He will restore. (Zechariah 9:12). 

She needs someone to remind her that the most fertile part of her body, is not her womb. But her heart. Because that is where her dreams and visions are born. It is where her plans are made. And desires are planted. It’s where motherhood starts. It is where it lives. And where it grows.

Although these words might not completely erase the emptiness she feels, it will help her know that she is not alone. It will help her see that she is not overlooked. And the child she might have lost has not been forgotten.

So, sweet Mama, if you know someone struggling with infertility will you be that someone for her? Will you step out of the crowd and be the one she needs this Sunday? Will you help shield her from the wind and the rain caused by her grief? Because the shelter she needs, could be found inside your hug. Or the thoughtful card you send or the flowers you give, could be the umbrella that not only helps her weather the storm, but also helps her to dance within it. And the individual time and attention you give to her on this particular day that is meant to celebrate you, could be exactly what she needs in order to help her remain steadfast in her faith and confident in His timing.

So, let me ask you again sweet Mama, will you be that someone she needs this Mother’s Day?  I sure hope so…

With Love


I would love to get connected with you on a more personal level. So if you liked this post, pass it on. And then click here to find Waiting for Baby Bird on Facebook. Or come follow me on Instagram at @waitingforbabybird. I seriously can’t wait to “meet” you!

 

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60 thoughts on “From the Heart of an Infertile: A Letter to Mama’s on Mother’s Day

  1. Thank you for writing this! Beautiful words! The worst part for me is I want to celebrate my mother and make sure she feels loved but my heart is so broken. It’s a double edged sword on Mothers Day!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I always love your words. I find so much comfort in what you write. I wanted to send a big ol hug for this sad time for so many. I hope you find some happiness this weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well thanks a lot, now I’m crying.. seriously though, thank you for always being the one to express your love and care for all the mommas in waiting, mommas grieving, and mommas dreaming. You have such a gift ❤

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  4. Hi just wondering what happend to the article Remembering the Childless Mother on Mother’s Day. I shared it to my facebook page and now it is showing that the page is not found. It was such a greart article that many need to read.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. And I’m bawling! I love your words, Elisha. I love your writing, I love your beautiful Spirit and Heart and I absolutely Love that God placed you in my life! Happy Mother’s Day, Sweet Friend

    Like

  6. Thank you for your amazing words.. We are all on a very hard journey and it is nice to have people to share it with xxx Just remember all the lives you have touched with you words and celebrate that on Sunday 😘😘😘

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is real. I’ve been that woman down the back of the church for 19 years now. I’ve looked down at my feet not wanting to make eye contact or walked quickly past as the corsages are handed out to the women who bear the title “mother”. It is real. It hurts. Thank you for your words. Wish they had been written years ago to the women around me who never really knew what to say to me. Some were kind and careful and loving and I thank God for those who tried.

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    • Hey girlie! I am so glad you found this little ol space of mine too! I really hope you take a peak around and find a fresh dose of hope. And that you always leave feeling encouraged. And understood. And loved by our Father. If you ever need anything, please feel free to email me at 10hopeingod@gmail.com. I love hearing from those who read and follow 🙂

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  8. Tears…I am that one needing the shelter and a few of the beautiful ladies at church overwhelmed me with their love and caring yesterday. Felt so humbled and so loved. Your blog has been such a blessing to me since I found it a few weeks ago! Keep believing in your miracle! You are inspiring me too as well!

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  9. I’m a mom now, but I still feel the heartache of 10 years of infertility, miscarriage and then delivering my baby at 25 weeks and having her spend the first 5 1/2 months of her life in the NICU. Becoming a mom didn’t magically take all that pain away. Yes, I am a mom now. And I feel truly blessed. But I will still always hurt. Those of us who are moms after infertility and loss deserve prayers and love as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh bless your heart! You are absolutely correct. I just can’t imagine all the pain and heartache you have endured. I hope and pray there are people in your circle who can help you shelter the storm. And weather the wind and rain of grief that wash over you on holidays…and anniversaries…and other dates that cause a sting. If not? Feel free to message me. Especially on the hard days. Because I will be more than willing to hold out an umbrella for you. xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are so sweet. Thank you! I hope my comment didn’t sound harsh. I just know there are other women like me out there who are still struggling even after being blessed with children. I do have some support, and I will take everything I can get! 🙂 I will also continue to pray for you and so many others who deserve to bring their own sweet babies home. Sending love.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh your comment wasn’t harsh at all :). I just don’t have children so when I write, I wrote from my heart and the feelings and thoughts I have. Does that make sense? It’s not that I don’t think those women need sheltering as well, I just don’t know how to put that into words :/ xo

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  10. Dangit. My comment was deleted. I’ll try again.

    I am a mom now, but I still have heartache from 10 years of infertility, miscarriage, and then delivering my baby at 25 weeks and having her spend the first 5 1/2 months of her life in the NICU. Becoming a mom didn’t magically erase all that pain. I am very grateful for my daughter, and so grateful that I finally get to experience motherhood. But those of us who are moms now after infertility and loss still feel that hurt, and we need love and prayers too.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Mother’s Day is very hard. As a mother, who’s daughter is suffering from unexplained infertility, it can be heart wrenching. My heart aches for her, even though she doesn’t show it, I know she is hurting. Wondering when it will be her turn. Mother’s Day has come and gone for the last nine years, but still her arms are empty. Oh Lord, bless these women. Pour your blessings out for them and let their hearts and minds heal. Lift them up and hold them close. Comfort them on this day, and everyday. Amen.

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  12. Elisha…just beautiful. I remember every Mother’s Day, how painful it is for those without children, those with prodigals, those with children who are now with the Lord. I also remember those with prodigal Mothers like I had. The pain of losing a baby and then not having a Mom who could help you get through that. I remember the first Mother’s Day without my Dad. He was like Mom and Dad to me. Let’s face it…sometimes holidays just suck. Not that we can’t be happy and grateful for what we have and for what others have, but just the “over-play, re-play, Hallmark-way” holidays are portrayed. Sometimes it is just too, too much. Again, such a beautiful way you have with words and feelings. Thank you, Elisha.

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  13. Stunningly beautiful post as always, Elisha. Hands down the best Mother’s Day post I’ve read! Thank you for sharing your heart and uplifting us through God’s Word. It’s a privilege to know you, dear sister in Christ! <3, Meredith

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  14. Absolutely beautiful! Every word is exactly what my heart and mind feel every Mother’s Day. May you (and all of us) be blessed with His Peace and Love on Sunday and always!

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  15. Thank you so very much for writing this. It’s the most compassionate piece I’ve read on the loneliness of Mother’s Day. God bless you for the time you put into it. I shared in on my FB wall in the hopes it will help people see how hard this day can be and how they can help those who need it most. ❤

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  16. Thank you for sharing this. My frustration is when I go to church and hear Happy Mothers Day. I am a New foster mommy and love it! In my heart, I would still love to conceive…..I know God has plans for my life but it is a struggle when people don’t think before they speak on Mothers Day or any day.

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  17. Reblogged this on The Not So Perfect Life of a Pastor's Wife and commented:
    As I get ready for Mother’s Day, I was reminded of Elisha’s post from a kind friend. I read her post last year, and it made me cry then-as it still does today. I wanted to share it with y’all because she says what I can’t. Feel free to share her post with everyone and follow her at Waiting for Baby Bird.

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  18. Pingback: A good read but grab a tissue… | infertile me.

  19. Pingback: Goodbye 2016… | Waiting for Baby Bird

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