I’ve been there. I’ve been that momma on Mother’s Day. The one who has fallen in love with a baby she has never met. The one who feels like a mommy in every fiber of her being but has no baby to show for it. The one who places her hand over her empty womb daily, wondering if it will every carry her child. A child she can watch grow and learn and love every single day of her life. The momma who aches to hold her own baby in her arms not just on Mother’s Day but every hour of every day. I’ve been there. I know the hurt in your heart. I know the tears that flow when no one is looking. I know the sadness that gets replaced by anger and then gets replaced by such deep sadness all over again. I understand.
I sat at the kitchen counter of my parents’ house, much like I did when I was younger and still living there, except now I was a decade older, swollen from infertility treatments and sick to my stomach from all the different medicines I had to be on. I remember trying really hard to hide how crummy I was feeling. My grandparents were in from Florida, so I didn’t want to dampen the mood... After all, it was Mother’s Day. A day most people happily celebrated.
We were supposed to be heading to a local festival, but the weather wasn’t cooperating. We sat around the counter trying to figure out what to do instead when my husband walked in the room and announced he was leaving to go have dinner with his parents, even though we had just spent the whole morning with them. When I questioned why he was leaving so abruptly he said (without thinking), “Well it’s Mother’s Day, and if we aren’t going to do anything now because of the rain, then I should go be with her...” And in that moment he broke my heart in ways he probably to this day would not understand.
I have a wonderful husband who was very supportive during all of our infertility struggles (as I have written about in previous posts), but sometimes even the most supportive ones in our lives have no idea how hurtful a small action can be to someone. Especially a wife who wasn’t able to get pregnant. I remember him walking out the door, casually telling me he would swing back by and pick me up before heading home, not noticing for even a second the pain he had just caused. As the door shut my grandma came up behind me and wrapped her arms around my shoulders and whispered, “He shouldn’t have left...” And just like that the tears started to fall, and for once I was not alone. I wasn’t crying deep sobs into my pillow, but instead in the arms of one of the most incredible women I had ever known. And she let me stay that way for quite some time.
I am sharing this with you not to make it out that my husband is some awful insensitive man, or that my grandma judged him by his actions because neither could be farther from the truth. I am sharing this with you because I think it’s important to know you’re not alone. Because even the best husbands in the world are going to misstep. Even our best friends or family members are not going to fully understand our struggle if they have not walked in those shoes. It’s a journey that is like no other that I have personally experienced. Infertility for so many of us mommas is the very first heartbreak motherhood. A heartbreak that for me, ended up making me a better mother when it was God’s timing.
I am also thankful for those heartbreaking moments because I have been able to talk, write to and love on so many wonderful women who have or still are experiencing the pain of infertility. And as Mother’s Day approaches I wanted to make sure you knew someone was out there that understands your pain. I don’t know God’s plans for you. I don’t know if one day you will give birth to a child of your own, or if you will find yourself being handed a baby that may be brought into the world by another woman, but has now become your child. And I can’t promise you that you will ever have a child at all, but I can promise you this: you are not forgotten. The Lord has plans for you bigger than you and I can ever imagine. He will use your momma heart one way or another. It may be to bring love to children in classrooms, it may be to save children from orphanages, or it may be by blessing you with your very own sweet babies. But no matter what the direction he leads you, your heart is heard. And he will fill your heart, I promise you that.
So on this Mother’s Day, I want to acknowledge and remember all those with a Mommas heart, not just those with babies in their arms. I pray you find comfort in knowing God has a plan for you too.