Defining Mum

My ‘Post Infertility Guilt’ Thanksgiving

Since I launched the blog at the start of the month, I haven’t written or updated ‘Defining Mum’ as often as I would have liked. I feel very fortunate that there are three very good reasons for this! At all times, I’ve had at least one of our three girls poorly in the past month with an assortment of illnesses passed back and forth which has resulted in two very grumpy babies, one out-of-sorts toddler and one very tired, emotional Mummy! It has led to me having a big case of Post-Infertility Guilt (or, as we all love an acronym, how about we call it P.I.G?)! Seriously though, it got me thinking about how infertility has changed my reaction in challenging times like this, about how it has defined me as a Mum. My P.I.G shows itself in two ways – either guilt for finding things hard in Motherhood, or guilt for enjoying the wonderful moments of Motherhood – knowing that others are still waiting to find their happy ending.

When you’ve been through something as traumatic and life changing as infertility and loss, it can affect you deeply. I vividly remember finding it difficult to hear someone complaining about a sleepless night. I would have given my right arm to be having sleepless nights because of having a baby rather than the sleepless nights from desperately wanting a baby and (at my darkest times) thinking I would not be able to ever have a baby.

I’m not sure I realised how much it had actually affected me until I started writing things down for my blog. Not only that but seeing everything that others are going through with such strength and optimism, it brings it all back. I’ve had moments where I wonder where I ‘fit in’ within the TTC (Trying To Conceive) community on Instagram and other social media. I may be lucky enough to have my children now but I still know what you’re all feeling and how incredibly all-consuming and difficult the struggle is, particularly on the run up to Christmas. I hope my story shows that you can survive this battle, that there is hope and, I suppose as I technically am still infertile I can stay part of that club!

And so, by writing my blog, the memories of those dark days have been renewed and as a result my inner P.I.G. has become louder in my head as I constantly tell myself:

I will not let myself complain…

I will not admit to having a bad day…

I will not say that it is incredibly hard work…

I will not admit that on some days I struggle as a Mum…

After all, I have everything I always wanted – how could whinge about anything when I have not one, but three beautiful girls.

But my P.I.G. isn’t all bad. It does make me remember to always be thankful, to remember how lucky I am. I’m pretty sure that if I had conceived naturally I wouldn’t be as appreciative as I am now. I believe I am a more grateful Mum because of my journey. It may not have happened for me in the way that I had originally planned but thanks to our egg donor and some amazingly supportive medical professionals, I have everything I ever wanted.

So whether you are feeling how I have felt in the past or how I feel in the present, no matter where you are on the journey I encourage you to take this American tradition and be thankful for what you have and where you are on life’s rich path. As painful as it was at times, I certainly wouldn’t change a thing. This Thanksgiving, you can keep your turkey, I’m thankful for my P.I.G!

Love, Becky x

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