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Mother love

Mindy wrote:

I want to move in and listen to your stories, and I promise not to talk about my children. In fact, be warned before you click on my homepage that my blog is entirely about the kids and that you will likely hate me to the hilt before you manage to find the Back button and navigate off the page again...


See, I like kids. I'm crazy about kids. I like mothers. And I especially like warm, perceptive, funny, wackaloon mothers.

I'm aware that many infertile women can't stand to be around attractive small children or fulfilled parents — it only emphasizes the lack in their own lives. I know it's hard to be reminded of what you don't have and may never achieve. If nothing else taught me that, the time I sat next to a new mother and her six-week-old infant while waiting to confirm the demise of my second pregnancy surely did.

But generally I don't suffer from that. I don't see everything through the lens of my own disappointments. Okay, almost everything, since I find I'm quite capable of relating anything to infertility. (Go on, try me.) But not that.

If there were a limited amount of fertility in the world, I might take other people's successes more to heart. If your having kids meant that I couldn't, yes, hilt-hating might well be in order. But my situation is entirely my own. No one else can resolve it, and no one's to blame for it. (Not even Ron Mitchell*, who gave me chlamydia in 1991 after meticulously palpating my breasts like he was looking for lumps.) So why should I begrudge you your joy in your kids, particularly when I want the same for myself one day?

If I thought I had no more options, I might feel different. Since I'm truly still hopeful, I can look at your kids and feel happy for you. Envious, yes, but happy.

...Having said that, let me also say that I too went through years of TTC and hearbreak and failed pregnancy, only to spend weeks by the bedside of a newborn on life-support, so I am not a blithely insensitive visitor. I wept at your stories, and spoke about our loss for the first time right here, so I feel a special affinity with the women who are supporting each other so gloriously here. I would be honored if you would let me visit and listen and learn.

Mindy, I'm so sorry for your loss.

All that I've written above sounds very gracious. But I'm really not so noble. While I like mothers in general, I confess I am biased: I really, really like mothers who've had to work hard to get there.

* Why, yes, that is his real name.