Friday, March 21, 2008

It's Okay Not to be a Mother

Everyday it is getting better. The longing for a baby is slowly, ever so slowly, subsiding. This time a year ago we were doing fertility treatments. You know, spending thousands of dollars on injectable hormones and running to and from the doctor's office for ultrasounds and bloodwork. Oh, yes, and injecting myself at least once, sometimes twice, a day with hormones that may eventually cause cancer. The hormones always made me lethargic and miserable. Really don't miss that at all. Really don't miss the bloating or the mandated 'sex on a schedule'. I was desperate and reaching out for anything.

A year later I am beginning to realize that it's okay not to get pregnant. It's okay if I don't give birth. The big surprise I'm discovering within myself is that it's okay not to be a mother.

All my life I thought it was the most natural thing to get pregnant and give birth. Unfortunately, infertility robs any piece of natural order out of motherhood. Growing up we are led to believe that pregnancy, giving birth, and becoming a mother is the ultimate thing a woman can do in her lifetime. Now I am beginning to realize that maybe it is not. It's okay not to pin that motherhood star on your wagon. I have finally discovered that I really should not base my self-worth on my ability to conceive and bear a child. It's okay not to get pregnant. It's okay if I don't give birth. It's okay not to be a mother.

1 comment:

Pamela Jeanne said...

I hear you. It's just taken me a lot longer than I expected it would to arrive at the same place.