Mother's Day from an infertile mother's perspective

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It’s that time of year again. Mother’s Day is tomorrow. Once again, I find myself waffling between two very different and very opposite viewpoints about the holiday.

I dread Mother’s Day. I know it will probably end up being a nice day with my family (my parents are visiting for a few days), but there is a part of me that, even though I am a mother, still dreads the arrival of Mother’s Day.

We celebrate our 6th anniversary this summer. Six years of no pregnancies, ever. I never imagined it would be this way. When we got married, we expected that children would soon follow. They didn’t. Despite our attempts to conceive, God’s plan included a wait for us.

As each year passed with no children in our family or on the way, I grew to despise Mother’s Day. Everyone knew we wanted children, but attending church on that day became incredibly painful. Mothers were honored, I was not. I wanted children too! Women younger than I was were pregnant or already mothers and were being honored. . .yet I was sitting on the sidelines grieving the absence of children. It became a day of reminders that I didn’t have what I so desperately longed for. It was so easy for everyone else to become mothers, but my doctor’s hopeful words that “it shouldn’t be too hard for you to conceive” seemed empty and unrealistic. I considered skipping church on Mother’s Day several times, but since I was the church pianist, I never actually acted on it.

Eventually we began the process of adoption. Almost nine months later, our son was born. I was thrilled to finally be a mother. After we brought him home from the hospital, we brought him to church the very first chance we could. Interestingly enough, that first service at church was Mother’s Day. What an honor.

I wouldn’t trade that journey – it was through infertility and adopting our son that I finally came to accept Christ as my personal Savior. I had to see that finally having that child I so desperately wanted was not enough to fill that void in my life. I can honestly say I wouldn’t change how God had things planned. It is a great honor to finally be a mother, especially after waiting for it for so long.

But even though I see how God’s plan was the best. . .the old emotions surprise me. I thought we would have another child by now, but once again, God is saying, “Wait.” I don’t know His reasons. I’d probably be lying if I said it didn’t sting a bit, but for the moment, there is peace. He is in control, and He does have a better plan.

Then my thoughts turn to all the other women who are still waiting to become mothers. I wonder how many of them will see me with my son this Sunday, and turn away fighting back tears because I am just another reminder of what they do not have. How many hurting women will be at my church this Sunday, listening to my pastor give out awards to mothers (oldest, the most children, etc.). . .how many women will be sitting in the pews cringing from the pain and considering leaving the service?

So tomorrow, please don’t just assume that everyone is enjoying Mother’s Day. They may not be. If you know someone who has experienced infertility or loss, how about encouraging them tomorrow? Even just a hug would be wonderful for someone whose heart is aching this year.

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3 thoughts on “Mother's Day from an infertile mother's perspective”

  1. Dee, I know what you mean. I’ve often wished that we could just have children the “easy” (read: normal) way. It does amaze me to watch as God’s plan unfolds – it’s so much better than my plans ever are!

    Beth, I hope this Mother’s Day was better for you. And yes, I do hope that people were more compassionate this year.

  2. Hi Melody!
    I’m so thankful for this post! We struggled with infertility for 10 years. We took all kinds of medication to get pregnant, and then I would miscarry. 4 times in a row this happened! One of my last miscarriages was right before Mother’s Day, and on that Mother’s Day in church, I don’t know what happened, but I started sobbing, uncontrollably, and had to be led out of church. It is so painful. My heart aches for other women who desire children, yet can’t have them. We know our Savior is in control, and that helps, but the pain doesn’t easily go away. I hope your post inspired many hugs in church last Sunday. 🙂 Beth

  3. Melody,
    I know exactly what you felt. Both of my daughters are adopted but I so clearly remember the pain of Mother’s Day, practically any day before, when I would see pregnant ladies or ladies with their children. I love my girls and wouldn’t change the family God has given us but it still hurts somewhat when I want another child but have to go through the adoption process to have one. But God’s plan is perfect, as is his timing. We just need to remember this. God bless you!

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