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.
21 thoughts on “Anonymous”
And thank you for sharing it with us. While I have never dealt with even a modicum of the pain you have, I can understand the anger and disgust with one’s own body.My daughter was “kicked out” 10 weeks before she was ready. I have never seen something so helpless as to watch her lay in her too large hat under the painfully bright lights to chase away the jaundice, or see her heels swell to twice their size from twice daily blood draws. After everything she went through, I was also unable to provide breastmilk for longer than 10 weeks, as my body simply stopped producing.Now pregnant with our next baby, I am terrified that my body will once again fail me.So I have a slight understanding of what you must have gone through to receive your wonderful gift. And I know how blessed you feel to have such an amazing friend to be willing to give you life.Congratulations on your baby girls!
I just wanted to tell you that I was adopted at birth and couldn’t ask for better parents! I admire your courage for coming here and posting. I also admire your tenacity when it comes to having kids. My mom (she’s the only mom I have ever had) was one of the best mothers in the world even though she didn’t carry me. I never felt any less loved because I was never a part of her. If anything, I felt MORE loved because I knew she wanted me so badly. With so many unwanted pregnancies these days, it is truly refreshing to read a story like yours and know what a wonderful Mommy you will be to your 2 precious gifts! I wish you well.
Thank you for sharing such a powerful story.
Three weeks ago tomorrow I gave birth 9 weeks early to a beautiful baby girl and boy. I was a gestational surrogate. The babies are still in the hospital. I’m sorry for your pain of not being able to carry a child. And I’m so glad that you now have your hands full of beautiful baby. Seeing my friends with their babies and knowing that I helped to make that happen is just amazing.Its been a great journey for me and for your friend I’d assume as well. And I’m sure your friend is just as grateful to have been a part of this as you are grateful for her having done it.Congrats on your fuller family!
Oh. My. God. This is THE MOST POWERFUL post I have yet to read at Shape of a Mother. My whole body exploded into goosebumps, especially when I read this line:”My heart swelled as my belly should have.”May God continue to bless you, your husband, your children and the woman who gave you this incredible gift.I only wish you would have shared a picture of your beauties!
Wow. Thank you for sharing such a neat story. Best wishes to you in your new life as a MOM!
Thank you so much for sharing your story. I cried with joy reading it.
Thank you for sharing your story, it brought tears to my eyes. How amazing to have friend like that, willing to share her body with your children, what an amazing gift to give….
The road you take to get here doesn’t matter – welcome to motherhood. May God continue to bless you, your family, and your wonderful friend.
You are a mom however it happened. As a fellow mom of twins I am so happy for you! Twins rock!
This is so powerfully beautiful.
That is such a selfless thing to do for someone else. I am glad that you got your babies, what an awesome thing.
Well, now that my keyboard is good and soaked with tears, I can say that that was one of the most moving posts I have ever read. Carrie
What a beautifully written, beautifully incredible story. What an amazing friend, what amazing stress you went through, and yet, “My heart swelled as my belly should have.”Congratulations to you all! Happiness all around!
Wow, how beautiful. Love to you, husband and babies :)
WOW… what an amazingly beautiful story. Thank you for sharing.
Anon- When I started reading your story my heart ceased in my chest. I can’t imagine how hard your journey to motherhood has been, but I’m so glad you are here with us. This is absolutely beautiful story. Bless you, your husband, and your little girls.
That is an incredibly beautiful story! Thank you for sharing.
What an amazing journey you have endured. I must say I am glad to have read this and see the other side of the fence. I myself have been considering gestational surrogate for friends of dh & I’s. They are unable to conceive thus far due to a tilted uterus and some other complications. I am currently 7 months pregnant with boy #3 for dh & I. I have to admit that I feel somewhat ashamed that I can conceive so easily and they can not. I know that a child would bring so much joy & happiness to them but I do fear that if the baby were to be the wrong gender or something were to go wrong that things would go awire. Thanks so very much for sharing your story and shedding some light on the other side of things. Bless you and your wonderful family.
I cried so hard while reading your post. I got one of those lumps in my throat that makes it hard to swallow. For someone to be willing to do that for you, speaks wonders about what a great person you are. I am sorry you put so much negativity on your self for not being able to get pregnant. Especially when you said that you thought you were being sent a message that you were not supposed to be a mom after the first failed attempt with your ser agate, but I hope now with your TWO lovely little girls you see that you most definitely were supposed to be a mom. Welcome to Motherhood
What an incredible story. I agree with everyone else – you are a mother, twice over, no matter how you got here. Your journey, hard as it was, was no doubt necessary to prepare you to be the very best mother your two darlings could possibly wish for. I’m sorry for your pain, and I’m so happy for you that you got your babies in the end!! Your friend is an amazing woman as well, to do that for another person! Thank you for sharing such a powerful story, and welcome to motherhood!!