When you are struggling to build your family, you don’t know when the painful pierces are going to strike. I do not mean injections or any other physical piercings related to fertility treatment. I mean the sudden emotional pierces. Sometimes I feel them literally in the area of my heart, sometimes in my head or my throat, but usually in my belly. My emotional baseline is already high, but then certain moments or occasions send these extra spikes. They can come on any day, but I would safely estimate that most every woman experiencing infertility feels more emotional pain on and around Mother’s Day. I would love to be wrong about this, but from my own experience and those of many others, this time is the worst of the year. Of course, and unfortunately, those with infertility are not alone in being challenged by Mother’s Day. We are joined by many others, including those who have lost their own mothers or children, who have distant relationships with their moms (whether by geography and/or affection), women dealing with perinatal mood disorders like postpartum depression, or anyone who wishes to be a mother. And I think all of this is made worse by the fact that the Mother’s Day hype seems to start earlier each year (I thought April was safe!).
I wish I had some fail-proof advice for emotionally “getting through” Mother’s Day and the days leading up to it. In the absence of this elusive solution, my one suggestion is – as usual – to be gentle with yourself. This might include:
- Enjoying people and places that bring you pleasure and comfort
- Avoiding shopping, social media or commercials if that helps reduce the pain (though I know this can be easier said than done)
- Taking deep breaths of fresh air
- Expressing the emotions that you feel, not the ones you think you should have. (For me, it usually was some amount of crying.)
Finally, know that you are not alone, not on Mother’s Day or on any day, even if it feels that way. Please reach out to us if we can be helpful.
~ Kate Weldon LeBlanc is proud to be the new Executive Director of RESOLVE New England and wonders how long she can call herself “new”.