Features / 30 March, 2019 / Ellie Thompson
I woke up today, and as usual for a Sunday morning, I sat up in bed, picked up my phone, and launched my Facebook app to see what everybody was up to. It’s Mother’s Day, so I uploaded a photo of my mum and me, tagged her in with some heartfelt words to celebrate the occasion and proceeded to scroll down my newsfeed to see that everyone else was celebrating the same thing, but I quickly noticed there was a marked change this year.
Instead of wishing their own mothers a happy mother’s day, the majority of well-wishes, photos and tags were posts from husbands and boyfriends, on behalf of their children. It suddenly felt as though every female on my Facebook friend list was a mother, except for me.
I looked on at photos of special breakfasts of salmon and poached eggs, pancakes with chocolate, breakfasts presented on trays with little vases holding flowers for mum to enjoy. All from the comfort of her bed with all her family around her.
It’s cold being here on the outside looking in.
The day wore on and my newsfeed continued to be chocka-block full of photos of handmade cards, videos, tissue paper flowers, glazed pottery and happy family snapshots… Beautiful pictures of mamas with their little miracles. It would be absolutely nothing out of the ordinary to anybody not struggling to conceive, nobody else would think to bat an eyelid. This year I noticed them all, and each hurt that little bit more. This is because right now it feels as though it might not ever be something I’ll get to experience, and it made me sad to the bottom of my heart.
We’re still trying for a baby. It’s been eighteen months of dashed hopes and negative pregnancy tests, every two week wait longer than the last. Eighteen months isn’t even that long compared to some who have been battling for years, but when you’re in your mid thirties it feels as though time is fast running out. The odds are firmly stacked against you.
Infertility can be an incredibly dark and lonely place.
Those that might turn around and say ‘well, at least you’re having fun trying!’ obviously don’t have a clue. ‘Trying’ when you’re using every gadget and gizmo you can get your hands on to time cycles and ovulation while sticking to crazy diets and cutting back on the ‘good stuff’ is absolutely no fun. Wondering why every single month something isn’t connecting properly. Who’s fault is it? What’s going wrong? Why US? What is WRONG with us? ARGHH! It makes you want to scream.
The frustration, the anger, the sadness… Being on the TTC rollercoaster on a monthly basis can quickly take its toll on your relationship.
So, anyway… Like many couples out there, we’re waiting to be referred, and we are hopeful. We have to be. Days like today are always going to hit where it hurts. It makes you consider all those women and men out there, unable to have children. Couples that would have made brilliant parents to gorgeous little ones.
I wonder how you would begin to get over that? I honestly don’t think you could. Life would remind you every step of the way, from children and grandchildren of friends and family to imagining the little ones you never had, and how their lives might have turned out…
Infertility is a life long sentence.
It must be about finding a new direction and re-directing those maternal instincts elsewhere. Twenty-seven cats perhaps? How many would it take to fill the void?
In any case, does anybody else have a clue what we’re supposed to do with the rest of our lives if children are no longer in the picture?!… Pub?!