This week is actually Infertility Awareness Week, whose theme is busting myths about infertility. I'd like to bust a few myths myself - not about infertility in particular, but about the different journeys women go through as they approach motherhood. A lot of people think of infertility when I use the term "maybe motherhood", but that's a simplistic way of looking at it.
Myth: I'm alone. I'm the only one going through this. No one understands me.
Reality: You are not alone! Other women may not have had the same exact experience, but many women have had similar experiences and be able to relate.
Maybe motherhood is much more than a single experience. It's the longing to be a mother and all that comes in-between until you reach your dream or say goodbye.
I quoted Tom Petty before, but I say again..."The waiting is the hardest part." Whether it's through maybe motherhood or not, most women go through an experience like this - living in a painful in-between place, losing precious dreams and moving through that. We have more in common than we realize!
So many different ways you could experience maybe motherhood across the spectrum:
- Dying to have kids, but single and looking for Mr. Right - or waiting for Mr. Right to propose!
- Married, and one person wants kids (that’s you, mama!) while your husband is on the fence.
- You and your honey both want kids, but you’re waiting until the right time.
- You’re TTC (trying to conceive) but still haven’t seen a positive on that pesky pregnancy test.
- You’ve been TTC for a while and suspect something’s wrong. You’re nervously beginning the process of testing and diagnosis.
- You have confirmed fertility problems and you’re in the frustrating process of fertility treatments.
- You have confirmed fertility problems, but you’re a granola hippie mama type, trying alternative medicine instead.
- You'd kill to do an IVF cycle, but your insurance is crap and you don’t have the cash.
- You’re going through fertility treatment, but you and your hubby disagree on steps to take or how far to go.
- You’re thinking about adoption, but unsure - or you and your spouse don't see eye to eye.
- You’re already in the arduous process of adoption, wondering if it will ever happen.
- You were pregnant but lost your precious child through a miscarriage or a stillbirth
- You’re pregnant now - but after going through infertility or miscarriages, you feel worried something will go wrong or stressed and unhappy with how the whole thing went down.
- You already had the baby, but still feel disappointed, like it didn’t happen the way you hoped it would or left out of a normal happy experience or not like other mothers.
- You've already had a baby, but now you're trying for another and hitting roadblocks.
These sound like vastly different experiences, right? Each is unique, but all have the experience of maybe motherhood in common - the experience of not being able to control something we thought would be simple and natural. For control freaks - yep, that’s most of us - maybe motherhood is a journey that tries the soul.
But I cling to the belief that not only can we survive it - there’s the possibility that we can come out more beautiful and more resilient on the other side.
If you're going through a maybe motherhood experience of your own, say hi - you're not alone!