I wonder when you can legitimately be called a Mother. The obvious answer is when you have a child, but is that all there is to it?
Some parents never conceive, choosing adoption to expand their family. Some parents lose children to accidents or disorders, yet I still think they are Moms and Dads after loss. Other couples lose their pregnancies; sometimes over and over again after thinking they are firmly on their way to parenthood.
I felt acutely aware I was carrying precious cargo and undeniably special to be its vessel when I underwent two frozen embryo transfers. I don’t have a child, but no part of my soul fundamentally shifted once an embryo was placed inside of me. The love in my heart and instinct to nurture and protect came years before the embryos. Maybe in some ways you become a mother when you decide it is your calling? Is that the beginning of motherhood? When you choose it?
I think the heartbreak of involuntary childlessness is, in essence the grief of a lost child that never came; but was very much wanted and loved. Maybe in some ways I started the process of motherhood long ago and infertility has cruelly pressed the pause button. Infertility hid the remote and doesn’t care that I am waiting for years to see the rest unfold. Infertility teases and flaunts me by keeping me trapped in this quasi-state of motherhood while allowing others to go on with motherhood at full speed.
I suppose I won’t truly know until I have a newborn in my arms if what I’m feeling is truly motherhood at a pause. What I do know is that what I am feeling really sucks and I would like to beat infertility into a bloody pulp.