Gifts for Mom, Grandparents, Besties and YOU🎄 ➔

This is going to be a tough one. Another seemingly innocuous situation that should be easy, but for me is anything but. It comes in different formsa conversation, a moment in a TV show, a scene in a bookbut it always has the same effect. Some reference to motherhood makes me flinch. 

Today, it’s in an English lesson I’m teaching online to a 7-year-old boy in China. I’m supposed to be teaching him to say, “This is my mom.” Slide after slide in the lesson shows a happy mom cuddled next to her child. Mom and daughter hugging. A toddler son kissing his mom. Mom after mom after mom. 

There will never be anybody who says of me, “This is my mom.”

I do not resent the chain of events that led to this. It just is what it is. I was single throughout the years of my peak fertility. Once I finally got married, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and we had to put pregnancy on hold. By the time we received the green light from my doctor to try for pregnancy, we were hardly spring chickens. My peers were posting pictures of proms and graduations of their kidsbudding young adultswhile I was just hoping for a baby. Just one.

RELATED: I Did Not Choose Infertility

We tried everything. I took medication to stimulate ovulation month after month until I hit the maximum dose. Then, we met with a fertility specialist. I read article after article. And I did all this prayerfully. We believed, we hoped, and we waited. And then we tried again the next month. We exhausted all options including adoption, which my husband decided against because of our ages and season in life. We tried everything until there was nothing left to try.

My journey to motherhood came to an unexpected end.

There’s a mother and daughter who come often to my mind. I see them as clearly as I see my hand in front of my face. The little girl is about four or five. They’re wearing matching outfits in the fall: jeans, long-sleeved white tees, scarves, and boots. They’re posing for a picture side by side, smiling. The mom is happy. Really happy. 

Then I blink and remember that dream has died. The mom in the picture is me. The little girl is the daughter I always wanted but will never have. 

Motherhood. I’ll never have what I always wanted. This dream did not come true for me. The task before me now is to learn to live with this new normal. To find a way to cope with all those little moments that inevitably pop up that flash motherhood in my face. To deal with the pain of infertility and discover what’s next for me. I know this won’t be easy, but I also know it’s not impossible. 

RELATED: Dear Infertility, You Will Not Define Me

So, I choose . . . 

To not let disappointment turn to bitterness. 

To not let this one sadness, big as it is, sour my whole life. 

To live not in the shadow of what will never be, but in the light of all that’s to come. 

To find the strength to keep dreaming even though this dream did not come true. 

Originally published on the author’s blog

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Joy Harris

Joy Harris has worn many hats: social worker, state government staffer, online tutor. Her current hat, and favorite so far, is blogger. She writes about Christianity, cancer, and infertilityamong other less weighty topicsat whatmattersmostblog.com. She lives in Georgia with her husband, stepson, and two fur babies.  

Dear Someday Baby, I Long For You

In: Baby, Motherhood
woman in meadow www.herviewfromhome.com

Dear Someday Baby, Sometimes it feels as if I’ll never get to meet you. You see, we’ve been trying for you, for quite a while now.  Sometimes I daydream about you. I see your wavy hair, your cute little nose, your beautiful face, and I hear your laughter.  But I only see you in my dreams.  Sometimes I imagine holding you in my arms, rocking you, singing to you. I long so badly to hear your cries and to watch you sleep.  But I only see you in my dreams.  Some mornings I wake up reaching for you, but suddenly...

Keep Reading

This is Infertility

In: Loss, Motherhood

I see you.  I see you buying the 50-pack of ovulation sticks from Amazon, because your cycle is never regular. I see you using those sticks every day, just waiting. Waiting for the rollercoaster to begin.  I see you. Googling every symptom during the two-week wait. Every month you tell yourself you won’t, but again, you break down. Out of desperation, you start thinking of your symptoms. You’re obsessing over the possibility of “maybe”. I see you. Loving an imaginary baby, month after month. You calculate the due date, you imagine the gender. You take good care of yourself and...

Keep Reading

To the Woman With the Aching Heart and Empty Womb

In: Baby, Grief, Loss
trying to conceive, infertility, baby, pregnancy, motherhood www.herviewfromhome.com

To the sad woman in the OB/Gyn waiting room, I see you. I know why you’re here. Don’t worry, I won’t tell the others. I get you. I know how hard it is to sit in this room. They should make a separate waiting room for we women who are about to burst into tears. I know how hard it is to sit with all these beautiful women with their adorable bellies, toddlers in tow. Their spouses stare at them with loving eyes—so excited for the blessing that is safely held in their wives’ bellies. They don’t know your situation....

Keep Reading