In two days my mother should be turning 60 years old. Instead it’s been 1597 days since I said goodbye to her for the final time.
55. She was 55 when she passed away. Far too young, especially since there was so much she hadn’t had the chance to experience. And myself, at 27, I was far too young to be motherless. To then battle infertility on top of the loss of my mom was like some higher power was just laughing at me.
My mom and I were always incredibly close, she raised me on her own and we had no secrets from each other. She could make me laugh like no other. The bond I had with her is hard to even translate in to words, we just knew each other in and out.
My greatest hope in this life is to share that same bond with my own child someday, son or daughter.
When she first got sick, the idea of losing her never even really crossed my mind. Maybe I was in denial of the diagnosis, or maybe I was naive. She spent so much time reassuring me that all would be fine, and I believed her. She was diagnosed with lymphoma a couple weeks before Aaron and I got married, so news of her cancer kind of took a back burner to our wedding. I mean as she put it “It’s just lymphoma”, so it was nothing we felt we needed to worry about. Three weeks after our wedding Aaron left for basic training and five and a half weeks after that my mother was gone. From diagnosis to the end it was 3 months. I had barely had a chance to wrap my head around her cancer being re-staged as stage 4 lung cancer before she was gone.
When Aaron and I first got together, my mom was planning out our wedding. She knew he was the one even before I did. Then when I knew too it was a lot of talk with her of the future, of our wedding, of kids and adventures and time spent with family. When she passed away the biggest ache in my heart came from the notion that she was going to miss out on being a part of my kids’ lives and that they wouldn’t get to know this incredible, strong, funny, brave woman. I couldn’t imagine raising children without her. Without her guidance and her support and her love. In all honesty, four years later and I still can’t.
Nine months after she passed away Aaron and I learned we were pregnant.
We were over the moon, but obviously I felt as though a huge part of my heart was missing. Within three and a half weeks we were miscarrying and I remember sitting in the ER crying, all I wanted was my mommy. I didn’t care that I was married and 28, my mom was what I wanted in that moment. My husband was and is my rock, he got us through our loss, but still I just felt that if I had had my mom to guide and console me through the loss it would have been easier somehow. Something I didn’t know until after she was already gone, was that she had been in my shoes. She had experienced the anguish of loss before her successful pregnancy with me. Knowing she had experienced it as well kind of made the loss harder because I wasn’t able to turn to her for support to get through it. I just knew that if she had been there she would have known exactly what to say.
Now let me preface this next part by saying I am very blessed to have a large group of wonderful women in my life. Aunts, my mother in law, sister in law, a sister and many amazing female friends, both near and far. I count myself incredibly blessed to have such strong women surrounding me. With that being said, for me there isn’t much that compares to your own mom being there for you. As Aaron and I started once again on our journey to Baby Bell, I was constantly wishing for my mom to be around. I wanted to share my excitement with her, my hopes for my future kids. Then, when that excitement turned to concern something was wrong, I wanted her reassurance that everything would be ok, and even if it wouldn’t be, I knew that hearing from her that it would, even if that was a lie, would ease my pain.
There hasn’t been a day over the last three and a half years of our journey that I haven’t wished my mom was here for all of this. For the appointments, procedures, pain, fear, hope, excitement, for all of it. To me, it feels as though the battle with infertility has been exponentially harder without my mom. When you spend a large portion of your life sharing everything with one person, it’s hard to deal with something so vast without them. She would have been able to quiet my fears in moments, and even if she couldn’t, the comfort of having her here would have dulled them at least.
She was rational and logical, but soft and kind.
With my mom’s birthday approaching and our first IVF cycle drawing near, my missing her seems somewhat intensified. I want nothing more than to be able to share these next exciting steps with her. I want to be able to call her in happy tears telling her she is going to be a grandmother. The realization that I will never get to make that call puts a lump in my throat that I can’t swallow. I am envious of people who have their moms to share in this battle, because I would honestly give anything and everything to have mine.
So, to the mothers and mother stand ins who support us on this rocky road, here’s to you. Thank you for all you do.
By Brittenay, journeytobabybell.wordpress.com