(Editor's note: "Good Morning America" is celebrating the upcoming Mother's Day holiday in the days ahead by highlighting many aspects of motherhood and the motherhood experience. Mother's Day is May 13.)
When we are sitting in a room full of pregnant women, with babies bouncing on laps, happy smiling families, with joyful coos wrapped in blissful arms, please don’t underestimate how hard we are trying. How hard we are trying to smile. To belong, to feel present. If you only knew how much it took for us to hold it all in. If you only knew, you wouldn’t second guess why we don’t attend some gatherings. Why we can’t commit to things a month or two or three away. Spontaneity is not something we live much anymore.
When we wake up and log into social media and see more pregnancy announcements and ultrasound pics, gender reveals, newborn baby pics…. Please don’t underestimate how hard we are trying. I’m sorry we have to "unfollow" you for a while. Please know it’s never personal. It’s just too painful to see. We are truly happy for your joy but can’t hold in our own feelings of jealousy and frustration. Please know we are trying, but we can only take so much.
When we find out we were the only ones not invited to the party, It makes us feel like we are invisible. Invisible in a world we are not a part of, because we don’t have kids yet. We pretend it doesn’t break our heart in a million pieces, that our best friends no longer include us -- because they didn’t think we’d want to come to a kids birthday. Please don’t underestimate how hard it is to feel forgotten, but still have the courage to keep fighting, desperately searching for a place to belong. Stuck between worlds is a lonely place and a daily reminder of what we still don’t have.
When we can’t drink, or eat certain things, or have to skip vacations and last minute family gatherings, it’s not because we are high maintenance, it’s because we are trying. Please don’t underestimate this daily fight. The one we hide through our smiles and silence. We are sorry for our silence about the truth, but it’s sometimes too hard to share. We don’t want to see pity in your eyes.
Please don’t underestimate the length to which we have obsessively lived month after month because we are fighting. We are doing everything. We are tired. Living in a cycle of grief and failure, desperately trying to be better, do better.
So please, never mistake any of it, for us not trying.
Chiemi Rajamahendran, wife and mom of two, lives in Vancouver, Canada, and the founder of Miss.Conception Coach. Her goal is to "inspire, support and connect women with infertility, giving them a voice and safe home to connect. Miss.Conception Coach was born out of the passion and dedication to offer love, support and guidance to women TTC and experiencing infertility issues." She has experienced and witnessed first hand how isolating and scary infertility can be.