THE SHAPE OF A MOTHER NOT CARRYING HER OWN CHILD
As I read all these beautiful posts I cannot help but feel a tad envious of all the wonderful shapes and sizes that your bodies have taken to on your journies to motherhood. Allow me to explain:
My body is irrevocably broken. It will not do what is the most natural and fundamental things of being a woman; that would be conceiving and carrying a child.
For as long as my memory will allow I dreamed of being a mother. We have endured endless years of emotional, physical and financial ravage to attain this dream. We did six cycles of inseminations and 8 full cycles of IVF and countless tests and bloodwork to be told there was no definitive diagnosis. I am an anomaly. No know cause. What? We were continually faced with disappointment and losses. I am and continue to be angry with own body for its failure. Perhaps that will never go away. I am learning to live with it.
The darkest day was when my doctor summoned up the courage to tell me that I would not be carrying my own children. Imagine for a second hearing that. What would you say, what would you do? I was crushed. I woke many nights knowing that I would never feel life moving inside my womb. That I would never share that intimate experience with my husband. I longed for him to be able to place his hands on my swelling belly to feel our child coming to life. To watch my body change, stretch and grow as it nutured the life within. I wanted to be able to tell my children what it was like when they were “in Mommy’s tummy”. The world became a painful place as it seemed that everywhere I looked EVERYONE was pregnant.
I had to make some real changes in my thinking because I did not want to live within my own skin as a bitter, jealous, hurt person. The tide began to turn. I turned to my family and friends for support rather than keeping all these awful feeling bottled up.
I have learned as I age that women are very resilient and strong. My admiration for all of you who endure pregnancy and motherhood is endless. I have come to appreciate the wisdom and joy of my girlfriends, mothers or not.
Then a miracle happened.
A girlfriend, who shared in the pain of my trevails, offered to carry a child for us. She was young, had two successful and uneventful preganancies. This friend of mine was adopted at birth by a wonderful family and her life was full. She felt that by carrying this child it would be her way to “give-back” for all of her good luck. Her husband and children were fully supportive of her decision. After the shock of her offer wore off, we made the decision to try it.
I waited in angst to see if it would work. We transferred my eggs and my husbands sperm into my friend rather than into my doomed uterus. The first try gave us a chemical pregnancy. My heartbreak continued. I was beginning to tell myself that I was being sent a strong message that I was not worthy of or meant to be a mother. We tried again. This time it worked. I lived every single day waiting for the other shoe to drop. I worried endlessly because someone else was now carrying my heart in their body. I had no control. It is still very diffcult to put into words all of the varying emotions. I wanted to be velcroed to her back but I took great caution not to interfere to much. She had to have her life.
We found out that we were to be blessed with twins and later that it would be twin girls. My heart swelled as my belly should have. I watched my friends belly grow to enormous proportions. What an extraordinary thing to watch an elbow protrude or hiccups bounce. I felt and still feel the most intense gratitude to her for a gift that could never be repaid but I still wrestled with the raw emotion of jealousy that these children were not within me.
Our babies arrived, healthy and safe. They are everything I hoped and dreamed of. My bitterness toward my own body has morphed into an intense and powerful love for these two innocent little children.
I am proud to be part of this sorority called motherhood albeit taking a winding path to get there.
What a beautiful site. Thank you to all the ladies who bared their souls and photos. Thank you for letting me share my journey.