the beauty and the heartache of mother’s day

I wanted to share a personal post today, because I think it’s important to be real if you’re a blogger.

This year is my first (official) Mother’s Day.  Last year, I was fortunate enough to be pregnant and feel my sweet baby kicking my ribs out of place inside of me, but nothing is quite the same as when you actually have your baby in your arms, get to know them, feel them, love them.

So I should just be ecstatic, right?  She’s finally here! My little baby that was waiting for the right time to grace us all with her presence.  I am blessed beyond belief to have her – she makes me a better, happier person.
But with the beauty of this wonderful gift of mine, I’m reminded and humbled by all of the years I didn’t have her.

I’m lucky enough to both be a mother and have a mother this Mother’s Day.  (Actually, I am lucky enough to have my own mother, a bonus mother (stepmom) and a mother-in-law, so I’m pretty flush in that department.)  But what about those who aren’t?  This day is a wonderful way to celebrate moms, but what about those who have lost or never known theirs?  What about those who so desperately want to be one and haven’t been able to thus far?

That was me, for many years.  I wanted so desperately to be a mom.  More than anything.  And I tried.  And tried.  And tried to be one.  I exhausted every possible resource.  My husband and I tried naturally for years, and when that didn’t work, we resorted to fertility treatments.  Seven of them.  Seven times, we failed to get pregnant.  Even when the doctors were telling us things like, “you’re prime candidates!” and “there’s a 90% chance the treatment will work” and “the next treatment should work, we’re just sure of it.”  I never thought I’d go so far as to use fertility treatments, but I wanted a baby more than anything and decided I was willing to do whatever it took.  That includes hundreds of shots I gave myself, undergoing anesthesia multiple times, countless blood draws and ultrasounds, only for me to never actually get to see a baby on one of them.  We’d receive huge medical bills weeks after the treatment failed, as if we didn’t feel like we were being punished enough.

It was horrible.  And honestly, it nearly destroyed me, when it was all said and done.


The point is, multiple mother’s days came and went during this time.  And while I wanted to just be grateful for the moms in my life, all I could think of was that I wasn’t one and probably would never be.  I’d sit on the couch the entire day binge watching shows and staying off my phone so I didn’t have to see one more mother’s day post.  I felt like I was motherly in so many ways, but I didn’t get to celebrate it.  Instead, it was just a mockery of what I didn’t believe at the time I actually was.  Deep down, I was happy for all of my friends and family that were moms, but my desire to be a mom made me want to shut out anything that reminded me that I couldn’t be one.  And I imagine it’s like that too, in some way, for people who have lost their moms or have never known them.

What I wish I’d known then, that I know now, is that I should have celebrated myself for the mom I already was.  I had two dogs I’d cared for their whole lives, a sister that I have an invaluable relationship that I helped raise, friends that came to me for advice, a husband that loved for me to take care of him, and even my own parents that I cared for when they needed me.   And that MY baby, my child, would come along one day, one way or another.
Our Isla came along when we least expected her, of course, and I think sometimes that’s how it goes. That ole’ “relax and stop trying” actually worked for us, though when people suggested that to me, I contemplated punching them in the face.
But she came when it was the right time, and she’s exactly who she’s supposed to be and here when she’s supposed to be.  (And any other child wouldn’t be her).  But damnit, if it wasn’t hard to believe she’d ever come along at the time.

So I ask that this Sunday, freaking CELEBRATE your mom.  CELEBRATE being a mom. CELEBRATE your spouse if they’re a mom.  But remember those who are moms in their own right.  The people that are motherly to others, have a pet or a spouse or a parent or a friend that they always look after.  Remember that there are those that are smiling at you and have private pain.  Remember those who have lost their moms.  Remember that being a mom and having a mom is the greatest gift in the whole wide world.  So if you’re lucky enough to be one or have one, don’t take it for granted!  It’s a day to celebrate you, moms… but it’s also a day to celebrate everyone motherly.

I dedicate this post to anyone struggling with fertility… whether it’s only been one month that you haven’t gotten pregnant and you feel defeated, or years of issues, please remember that you’re stronger than you know, and that your baby will find you.

I also dedicate this to my Isla Noelle.  Thank you for making me a mother.  Right now, you’re walking with a push walker oscillating between laughing and yelling at me because I’m pretty sure you’re constipated.  And I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.  I never knew my heart could be outside of my body, until I met you.  I love you with all that I have.

Happy Mother’s Day, everyone <3

xo, tess

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  1. Vicki
    May 12, 2017 / 4:20 PM

    Tess, I am so proud of you and am so exstaticly happy for you! You and Eric have been through so much and you now have a wonderful, beautiful daughter. I am so blessed to have you in my life and being a mother and a grandmother has given me a love like no other. I know this mothers day is a very special one for you. I am so happy you can now celebrate this year as a mom!!! You deserve this day and will have many many more to celebrate! Love you bunches Vicki

    • Tess
      May 13, 2017 / 2:40 PM

      Thank you, Vicki! <3
      We are so blessed to have you too! And I'm especially grateful to have you because you gave me the gift of Eric!
      Thank you; we are all so lucky to have Isla! She's the greatest gift. Happy Mother's Day to you, too 🙂 see you Thursday!! Love you!