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The Hardest Day of the Year

Mother’s Day is quickly approaching, ready to pounce on the fragile emotions of every infertile woman in the world. We are doomed for a day of being excluded from dozens of rituals: Mother’s day presents, breakfast in bed, special mothers’ gifts they will give out during church service, and the flowers that the hostess will hand out at the restaurant we eat at for lunch. This is such a hard day for a woman that struggles with infertility. It is a day to celebrate our mothers and the women in our lives who are like mothers but in spite of the celebration of those women, there is a dark cloud that looms over our head with the reminder that we don’t yet have our little ones in our arms. I, myself, have to fight the urge to stay in my pajamas all day and eat Oreos in bed while I catch up on my recorded shows for hours upon end, secluding myself from any reminder that I have never once in my life had the privilege of being called “mom.”

For me, the hardest part of the day is that I have no control over my motherhood status but I am being excluded from something I want to be celebrated for. It is not my choice that I can’t leap from my pew when the pastor asks for all of the mothers to stand up during church service. It’s not my fault that I don’t get the free dessert at the end of a special dinner out to eat because I don’t have a little one to care for. If it were up to me, I would be three Mother’s Day celebrations into it already.

So what do we women, who long for more than anything to be celebrated as mothers, do on Mother’s Day? How do we handle the flurry of emotions? First, I want to tell you that it is okay to grieve. There is absolutely nothing wrong with sobbing into our pillows and getting chocolate chip cookie crumbs in our bed sheets. I have done this on many an occasion. But what I have found alleviates my pain and helps me get through this rough time is to take the focus off of myself and start pouring into the lives of others. I want to encourage you on this Mother’s Day to sew seeds into someone’s life. Personally, I have seen this in my own life as I have begun writing about our infertility journey, volunteering, and even going out of my way to do something special for my dear friends who are new moms. It hasn’t always been easy and it’s still incredibly hard at times when all I want is for everyone to acknowledge and understand the excruciating emotional pain that infertility has plagued on me. But it’s so amazing the transformation we begin to see in ourselves when we take the focus off of us and we step outside of our circumstances and begin pouring love and light into those around us.

Second, I want to encourage you to look past the celebratory rituals that are forced upon us and find total solace in knowing that we are women with a mother’s heart – something so pure and selfless that we want nothing more than to completely devote our entire lives for the well-being of another little human; To raise them in a way to love others in order to help make this world a better place; That we will go through whatever it takes to have a little one in our arms. That beautiful, sweet desire is something that deserves a celebration. You, dear friend, deserve to be celebrated. Don’t forget that. You are a beautiful creation intended for a divine plan and purpose and the mother’s heart you already have is one to rival any woman out there.

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. – Ephesians 3:20

So girlfriend, when that hostess at lunch asks, “Are you a mom?” I say you take that flower out of her hand and with everything in you tell her, “I am in my heart!” Then give her a high-five (I’m a high-fiver) and order the fanciest dish on the menu because you deserve the best!

Leave a comment

Lesli Westfall

Thanks Hannah! I virtually have my hand up to ‘high-five ya!’. What a great post!

Roxanne

Thanks for this post today. I have already been dreading Mother’s Day. Over the past few years I had finally gotten to the place of peace where I could attend church on Mother’s Day after skipping them for several years. However, this year is different again. Very recently, my husband and I went through a round of IVF and it failed. I have been wondering this week how in the world I am going to be able to attend service and keep my emotions in check. I will probably get that all too familiar “twinge” inside every time someone innocently tells me “Happy Mothers Day” and most likely be crying in my seat most of the time. However, I will try to remember it is okay to grieve and know that by God’s grace I will make it through that difficult day and God will eventually heal my heart of the pain & hurt from infertility.

Roxanne

I also agree about sowing seeds into others lives. We have also recently had the opportunity to become Godparents and that has been an incredible blessing in our lives. So, while we wait for our own blessing to come into our lives, I am pouring my mother’s heart into my Goddaughter 🙂

Roxanne, I’m so sorry to hear about your failed IVF. That news breaks my heart. Mother’s Day is already tough so I’ll be thinking about you and praying for you on Sunday. And what a beautiful outlook to have with your Goddaughter…it really is amazing the change we start to feel when we start sewing seeds!

Jenna

Thank you for this helpful article and insight. Like Roxanne I too have dreaded this day in particular and for the last 3 years had decided not to go to church in the end as it focuses very much on Mother’s Day (and all women too), but still I felt so heartbroken. Sometimes I find I felt very strong and would go and be fine, but as the years continued it got harder. For me I’ve let it become about how I feel on the day and either decision for me is fine – go or not go.. whatever I feel I want to do. ..A time to grieve but a time to laugh and I let myself do either in my own time and own way. God bless you all at this difficult time of year x

I see I’m not alone either. My period started today after a failed iui this month. I was just hoping that this year would have been different. I too will not be attending service as my emotions may turn the service in a different direction. Lol. Remain faithFILLED. God is able. He has heard our hearts desires and in His season and perfect timing, we all will bring forth our children.

Tonya

Thank you so much for the post! I find out this weekend if our IUI worked, which could make it a great weekend, or it could be a really terrible weekend. Kinda wishing I could run away til Monday. But I really appreciate what you had to say and may have to try blessing others on this Mother’s Day and maybe by next one I will have a lil blessing of my own! Thank you!

Andrea Jones

Thank you for the beautifully written insights, and the great advice to sow into others out of our pain. Well-done; I enjoyed reading!

Kaye

After i re-read this, I had to forward this to a friend in the same situation. A job well done!

I can remember back in 2009, when I was visiting my mother’s church they called for all hte mothers. My brother was visiting us in Ga (he is from California). I began to weep. I was so heart broken. Last year I was over the Mother’s day program at my church and I was acknowlegge for saving four children from being placed in the state foster home. They are gone back to their mother who is still not takin care of them. I am dreading tomorrow because I will be at my mother church again this year.

I am probably older that all of you on this website. My mother had me when she was 14 and she was raped by my dad when she was 15 (my brother was born on Christmas a gift from God). How can a young women be so fertilbe without a memses, yet I have had miscarriages and I am still hurting after the last babies aborted themselves within me. Yes, I am full of hope, “There is nothing too hard for God”. A gentleman told me the other day, keep my eyes on Jesus and stop comparing myself to Sarah and compare my self to Hananah.

Do I go to church and let everyone know how much that I adore my mther. SHe has been a dad too me also, becuase my dad never took care of me. He ran from child support, and said he could not be made to love me. He was killed three years ago, three weeks after I got up and testified about how special my mother had been in my life. Through the abuse that I have recieved from pasy boyfriends, to her praying me back to Jesus. I just answered my own question. Pray for me, because there is nothing too hard for God.

Jeniene

Simply, thanks

Lesli Westfall

I’m sorry you have been through so much Faith. Praying for you.

Lesli

Angela Barrera

I have been in need of some support and some words of hope as I have been dealing with infertility for several yrs with several failed treatments including ivf twice. My most recent attempt ended in miscarriage this Feb. I am going crazy at my wits end and don’t know where to turn. I get angry at God but then I feel so guilty. I have stopped praying because I don’t see any proof that he is listening or even cares. I just need to feel so not alone.

Lesli Westfall

Hi Angela,

Thanks for your comment. My heart is heavy and hurts for you. I didn’t want to respond to your heartfelt cry in haste. I know you are hurting and I want to be sensitive to you. If it helps any…what you are experiencing is ‘normal’, the sadness, the anger. You are NOT crazy, even though you feel as if you are at your wits end. What you are experiencing is ‘grief’. The grief infertility causes from surmounting disappointments, month after month, and the loss of your baby in February. Grief can push you down into the pit… I know you don’t feel like praying and asking God anything, anymore…believe me, I get it! But I encourage you to keep calling out to Him, He is faithful and He will help you through. I pray you can trust me on this one.

I notice your email address is TCH.(I work in TMC too.) If you live in the Houston area I’d like to meet you and invite you to the HOPE Christian infertility support group. Attending HOPE I can guarantee you will not feel alone. You’ll have women come along side you to ‘be there’, comfort you and pray for you. So I’m listing the two groups we have within the city of Houston.
Lakewood Church, 3700 Southwest Frwy. Houston, 1st Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. hope@lakewood.cc
The Ark Church, 450 Humble Tank Rd., Conroe, 2nd Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. 936-756-1908

Also, I’d like to send something to you, to help you along the way. If you don’t mind, please send me through the contact page your physical address and I’ll mail it to you. In the meantime, I am praying for you and have sent your email to our volunteers to pray. Know that you are not alone, the Lord loves you and is there for you and so am I. In the future, I hope to meet and see you at one of our support groups. Feel free to keep in touch.

In Christ’s love,
Lesli

Lesli Westfall

To all who have left a comment, thank you. This ministry is here for you and I pray you’ll feel this is a safe place to share you the matters of your heart. Know that I and our team pray for you.

Lesli

Lesli Westfall

Thanks Hannah for all you do for Dancing Upon Barren Land Ministry and for others!

YOU are appreciated!

Lesli