Today marks Mother’s Day, my second with a child that I can cuddle every night. I’ve considered myself a mother for a lot longer than that though. What constitutes a mother? In my eyes, to be a mother you do not need to have a child in the here and now.
As someone who lost two babies in the first trimester of pregnancy prior to having my son, I considered myself a mother long before I gave birth. In the three fresh IVF cycles that I’ve undertaken, I’ve had a total of 22 embryos. Of those 22, Oakland is the final remaining baby I have. I lost all my embryos either during the five days of hell in which I waited anxiously and prayed to a God whom I still question the existence of, or during early pregnancy. To be honest, I don’t know which is worse. Losing a baby in a lab and losing a baby in the womb both hurt. I will never forget them; five days young or five weeks young, they were still my body and soul encompassed in a tiny sac created from tireless amounts of love, pain and heartache. I am a mother of 22 and no one can tell me otherwise.
To all mothers out there who have not yet had their baby who shares this plane of existence, today marks a very bittersweet moment. You will laugh, cry and experience every emotion under the sun. If you want to scream at the world for how unjust life is, do it. Allow yourself to feel everything that you are entitled to feel. I can’t tell you “it will definitely happen for you” but I can stand beside you and support you. What I can tell you is that I honestly hope with every ounce of my being that one day your dream baby becomes your reality. Whether you’re now mid-cycle, waiting for your little embies to reach that magical blastocyst moment, or a woman who has no remaining embryos or a woman who is taking an indefinite break from the pain of IVF (and this is ok to do!) you share this day with me. You are mothers, today is yours. Do not ever feel less than a mother, because you put yourself through hell and back for your babies, which is what a true mother does. Let’s celebrate the little lives of our embies together, we deserve that and more.