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A Childless Mother

May 5, 2014

For the first time ever, I have asked a guest blogger to write a story in honour of Mother’s Day. This is a different type of Mother’s Day article. It is written by my sister-in-law, and it details her journey and struggles with infertility. What I think is so brave about this article is that she has written it in the middle of her journey while she is still feeling so many raw emotions. My favourite kind of articles to read are those told by people who are willing to be vulnerable, open and brave. Those are the stories that help motivate others to share their own experiences too.

A Childless Mother

Mother’s Day is a double whammy for me. I lost my Mom when I was 12 years old to colon cancer. I miss her everyday but her absence is particularly acute on the day when we celebrate moms and all they mean to our lives.

The loss of my Mom is compounded by my own struggles to become a mom. More than six years of fertility treatments and I have only ever achieved three chemical pregnancies. Each of those early-term losses broke my heart. To be so close and yet so far, after months of cycling through hope and disappointment, was devastating.

My journey to motherhood – which continues – has taught me a few things:

I am brave. I would not have come to this realization on my own because in the middle of taking meds, getting blood work, and undergoing procedures, my focus was on the details of my treatment plan and not how I was handling the experience. It is only after hearing the adjective “brave” from several people who are close to me that I have actually come to accept that it fits. You don’t expect to have trouble conceiving. You don’t expect to be poked and prodded in an attempt to do so. With all of the technology and treatments available today, you don’t expect to fall short. If you too are on this journey, please give yourself some credit and recognize your own bravery.

A loss is a loss. It took me until my third chemical pregnancy to really understand this and to accept that I needed to find my own meaningful way to let go. It was only at this point that I took time off to heal. Healing for me meant long walks and giving our babies back to God to love and care for, as my husband and I would have done here on earth. Don’t get me wrong, I still miss our babies and grieve for the people we didn’t get to know. At the same time, there is solace for me in knowing they were gifts from God and he has welcomed them back. If you too are on a journey to parenthood, please find your own way to honour the children you do not have.

I am blessed. Really truly blessed. I have a wonderful, loving husband who makes me laugh, is incredibly affectionate and helps me keep perspective. We both have supportive families who care for us and are accepting of our choices. We have friends who are willing to listen or provide a distraction when needed. We live in a city with ready access to fertility treatment and formed solid relationships with the nurses and doctors who assisted us. And we have children in our lives that bring us great fun and joy. If you too are on a journey to motherhood, please remember your own blessings.

I am open to more possibilities. Today, my husband and I have decided to pursue adoption. Letting go of the dream to see how our genes would combine to create a new little person was not done quickly or easily. We have opened up ourselves to a new vision of our family. Recently, I have started to imagine our family photo on my nightstand. Us and three children. Yes, zero to three is likely ambitious but that is my picture. I want to be a mom and no longer see a single path to this special role.

P.S. My experiences and feelings may resonate with you; then again, they may not. Every woman’s and every couple’s fertility journey is unique.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. May 5, 2014 1:12 pm

    Thank you for taking the time and emotional effort needed to write this. I will say a prayer for and your family.

  2. Dixie permalink
    May 6, 2014 7:11 am

    Wishing you all the very best, I have three beautiful children who have grown into amazing independent adults & I cherish them everyday & could not image my life without them in it. This will be a sad Mothers Day for us having just lost my own Mum a few months ago.
    Hoping you get your own ray of sunshine xxxx

    • May 6, 2014 12:27 pm

      I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your Mother. I saw this quote and it made me think of you. “As mothers and daughters, we are connected with one another. My mother is the bones of my spine, keeping me straight and true. She is my blood, making sure it runs rich and strong. She is the beating of my heart. I cannot now imagine a life without her.” Kristin Hannah, author

  3. Shelly Rae permalink
    May 7, 2014 11:42 am

    Carey-Ann …. What a beautiful and touching story written by your sister- in-law. The blessed children who she will become mother to!

    • May 7, 2014 12:05 pm

      Hi Shelly.

      Yes, she is such an amazing woman. She will be a great Mother. Thanks for taking the time to comment. I will ensure my sister-in-law reads all comments on her blog.
      Take care.

  4. May 7, 2014 1:39 pm

    Thank-you, to both you, you, for sharing and appreciating what a beautiful person your sister-in-law is.
    Thank-you to your sister-in-law for not only sharing her journey, but most of all, never giving up.
    I am one who shared these exact emotions. I am reading this at a time when we are struggling again (our first child was 3 yrs in the making through fertility, number two is also proving difficult). It helps renew the hope you need to succeed in this journey, no matter which road gets you there. This article also helps to remind me it’s ok to have the feeling, feel them but not to hold onto them.
    Once again, thank-you, both

  5. Jenn permalink
    May 7, 2014 2:24 pm

    This is an amazing story and I wish your sister-in-law all the best in her adoption Journey. I have a real life journey very similar and it no joke that after 8 years of infertility we decided to adopt and our family went from 0-3 kids in less than 2 months!! I would love to share it with her if she has the time. She can email me at anytime!! Wishing and praying that all her dreams of becoming a mother come true.

    • May 7, 2014 3:25 pm

      What an amazing story you have, Jenn! I love when people who are struggling share their stories and then someone who has come out the other end can help them through it. Thanks for offering the contact info. I will pass that along. Take care.

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