I debated for hours yesterday if it was appropriate to share this information on my blog, and Martin helped me decide that I am the only one to decide this… and if I can’t put my thoughts down here, where can I? So I’ll say it:
Yesterday, Mother’s Day in the United States, was particularly difficult for me.
But I know that I’m not alone.
Quite a few years ago, doctors combined what seemed to be arbitrary symptoms, did ultrasounds, and finally had answers that concluded that I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is super common in women and can present itself in a multitude of different symptoms, which is why it took awhile for doctors to put all the pieces together and come up with a diagnosis. People with PCOS usually have severely irregular periods, and when they do happen, it’s usually particularly painful (debilitating even). Then there are the other symptoms, that can occur, but aren’t always present in each case: PCOS commonly presents itself as acne on the face and neck into the adult life, have trouble losing weight especially around the midsection, insulin resistance (which can lead to Type II Diabetes), unwanted facial hair, and so much more. It is also one of the leading causes of, drum-roll please: Infertility.
There are ways that doctors can go about treating each individual symptom, as they are presented with each patient, but there is no way that a doctor will know how much this disease has affected the fertility of a patient until the time comes that this patient wants to have a baby.
Martin and I have been trying, without success thus far, to conceive. Yesterday, I was hit with another negative test. Another failed attempt for the 6th month in a row. On Mother’s Day.
I yearn to be a mom. My social media feeds tend to be filled with my peers announcing due dates, gender revealing, baby bump photos, and presenting their new children to the world, and documenting their growth.
And yesterday, I got the 6th slap in the face, that it’s not happening.
Against my better judgment, Martin and I went out to do some shopping during the day yesterday (I didn’t want to be around anyone at all, except Martin) but he insisted we get some sun and get that patio furniture we’ve been stalking all week.
People from the various places we went wished me “Happy Mother’s Day!” 4 times. FOUR TIMES.
Each and every time, it was a slap in the face, a punch in the gut, a kick to the chin and a knee to my crotch. Here are some of the ways I wanted to respond:
“Thank you for pointing out that I am neither accompanied by children nor do I look pregnant.”
“Yeah, that’s inappropriate.”
“STOP ASSUMING THAT JUST BECAUSE I AM A WOMAN, MEANS I AM A MOTHER.”
A slap to their face
A punch to their gut
A kick to their chin
A knee to their crotch…
You get the picture.
How did I actually respond? I looked away and said nothing. I stayed silent, even though inside I was screaming, weeping and lashing out. Martin was a good husband and changed the subject each and every time. At some point throughout the day, I thought to myself:
If I feel this way and I’ve never conceived a child, what if I’d lost a child? I cannot even begin to imagine what it would feel like if one of the greatest joys in life is suddenly and irreversibly turned into such a traumatic and tragic moment.
And perfect strangers want to remind me of this?? Multiple times in one day????
What if I had made the decision not to have children? What if I had recently lost my Mom? What if my Mom is estranged from my family? What if I am a Mom who has an estranged child?
AND PERFECT STRANGERS WANT TO REMIND ME OF THIS MULTIPLE TIMES IN ONE DAY?!
I feel like there should be a rule: If I am physically assisting a child that arrived with me, or am 8.99999 months pregnant: Please – Wish me a Happy Mother’s Day! Otherwise – SHUT UP. Zip it. Resist the urge. Just, DON’T DO IT. You have NO IDEA what someone else’s journey looks like. If your employer insists that you wish each and every human with a vagina you come into contact with a “Happy Mother’s Day” please show them this post. It’s not ok. Really. It’s not.
So yeah, yesterday fucking sucked.
The thing is, though… I’m not being dramatic. I’m not being unreasonable. I’m allowed to feel this way. I have this pain in my life. No one can deny this, or take it from me. I’m working through it, with the help of doctors, my therapist and my wonderful husband. I have a team on my side, but it still hurts. Ultimately, I’m the one who feels all of this. But no one, no one on earth, can deny that of me.
So please, remember that everyone is trekking their own journey through life. You have absolutely NO IDEA what has happened to them. My dad taught me the meaning of the word “ASSUME” He always said, to spell it out because “It makes an ASS out of U and ME.” And I’ll always remember that.
So don’t assume anything, ever.
Just be kind.
That’s all there is.