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Infertility Cubby

Surviving Mother's Day
by Chelsey Langland

For an infertile woman, Mother's Day is hard. I know that I find it more difficult than Thanksgiving or Christmas or any of the other holidays that come throughout the year. While every holiday marks the passage of time, bringing with them the relentless thoughts of, "Surely by next year I'll be pregnant", Mother's Day is a holiday that celebrates motherhood. And if you're desperately trying to achieve that goal, but not having much luck, it can be hard.

Here are some ideas for getting through Mother's Day relatively unscathed:

  • Is your own mother still living? Are you close geographically? Emotionally? If so, find something fun that you can do together. Treat Mom to a pedicure, and get one for yourself, too. Take her to lunch at a fun restaurant. Have high tea. Do something that turns the focus of the day onto the special relationship that you have, regardless of the day on the calendar.

  • Do you have siblings? Are they aware of your infertility issues? Do they understand that this is a hard day for you? If so, enlist their help in your survival. Have them do the shopping or card selection while you contribute money. Let them order the flowers, or venture into the card shop if it's too hard for you to get there.

  • Can you postpone your celebration until next week? Next month? The delay will allow you to put on blinders and ignore most of the Mother's Day advertising. When you feel up to it, do something special and fun.

  • Do something proactive. Make a donation to Resolve and further the cause of all of us who are fighting infertility. Write a letter to your political representative, urging state or federal mandates requiring insurance coverage for infertility procedures in general and IVF in particular. Contact advertisers or television networks that portray infertility and/or adoption in an unrealistic or insensitive manner. You might feel good about asserting your power.

Give yourself permission to feel blue. It's OK to feel sad about not yet being a mother, and it's OK to resent this holiday. Hopefully, your mom (and any other mothers who are important to you) will understand. More importantly, hopefully some day in the not-to-distant future, your baby will find you through whatever means are necessary, and you'll get to celebrate, too.

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