Today is my first Mother’s Day with a Child. I spent MANY years dreading Mother’s Day. Not only have I not had a Mom to celebrate it with since I was 14, but, Mother’s Day for me, for many years was a reminder of my failures as a woman. A reminder that my body hated me, and that I hated my body.
For most of my twenties I would hear friends complain of late nights with their baby and diaper rash, colic, and teething. And I would get super annoyed because that was ALL I wanted! I am ashamed to admit it now, but, I ruined several friendships with wonderful women in my twenties, because I resented them SO much for being able to have children. Or I told them I was going to their baby shower only to back out five minutes before hand. Or, I was a being a bitch and brought them a bottle of whisky to their baby shower as their gift! I pride myself on being a good friend, but, I was not a good friend to a lot of people when they needed me most. And to those people I would like to say I am extremely sorry.
When Ari first came home with us August 29, 2016, something special happened. All of a sudden we were receiving emails and messages from people all over the Country from women who had the same struggles that Trenton and I had. Even two messages from Canada. We were giving hope to the hopeless. The women like me- women who for nine years went on diets, took hormone treatments, did IVF, had miscarriages…
I just want to say that YOU are my people-The Mom’s to furbabies, the try as you might, the never-give-upper’s, – I GET you!
The Mother’s to babies that never made it out of the womb- I GET YOU!
Something that we don’t talk enough about as a society are miscarriages. Miscarriages are one of the worst things any woman will ever experience. A woman should never feel shamed because she is speaking about it. I can’t tell you the number of times I went to talk about it and the room became dull and hushed, and all of a sudden it was like, #ThatAwkwardMoment when Mae brings up her miscarriage to her closest friends and family members because she needs someone to talk to about it, and the room falls silent because MY PAIN, is too much for that person to take five seconds and have EMPATHY for!
The worst thing any one has ever said to me in my life happened during a time when neither Trenton or I were doing well. We both had MAJOR depression issues to work through, and I didn’t even have a job. So, here is a woman who has had SEVERAL children and she says to me after miscarrying the twins, “Mae, let’s be real-it was for the best. You do NOT need to bring a baby in to your situation.”
It never occurred to that person that we were in a bad situation because we couldn’t move past the notion that we may NEVER be parents! Financially, the decks were stacked against us, and our bodies weren’t cooperating. Trenton may never get to carry on a legacy. Trenton is my best friend in the world, the love of my life, and I couldn’t give him what he wanted more than anything on this planet!
Adoption. I urge MY people to please consider it. There are so many babies in our Country and in the WORLD that need a home. They maybe have been placed in to an orphanage, but that is YOUR child, and they are out there WAITING for you to come bring them home! We also need to work on lowering the cost of adoption. It is a completely unrealistic amount even for someone like Trenton and I. I still want to adopt more kids but I don’t know if it’s going to happen because of the cost of adoption. There are people like me and Trenton that can afford their children once they are home, but they can’t afford the huge lump sum that may have to give to an adoption agency, or home studies, and lawyers.
There are a lot of really good people out there that WANT to adopt, but most likely will never consider because they know going in to it that it is going to be really expensive! Or they only live in a one bedroom apartment and live paycheck to paycheck, so moving OUT of that apartment in order to have a home study done may seem completely unrealistic. It’s not. I’m pleading with you to not give up hope. I am pleading with you to never give up your dream of becoming a Mother or a Father!
I’m also going to be so blunt as to say it-but I am also urging some of you young Mother’s to consider placing your child up to a Family that is like Trenton and I. I’m always talking about my story, but a few of you may have had a hiccup while writing your story. There may be partying you still want to do, places you still wanted to travel, or you may have wanted to be married first. Stories you NEED to tell. In the pit of your stomach you know whether or not you want to keep your child. Placing a child up for adoption is one of the most generous and selfless acts you can ever do for someone else. It truly puts you in to Saint-Like Status in my book.
Thank you Leslie Graham for what you have done for our family. Thank you for introducing us to the biological mother Sarah Butterworth. Happy Mother’s Day, Sarah. And happy Mother’s Day to you, Leslie.
Which brings us to our little growing guy. Lucas Aristotle Hagan. Oh, the wonders this World still has yet to hold for you. I am truly the luckiest girl on the face of the Planet! I truly believe that everything is predetermined. It’s not all random chaos. No one knows this, but the first morning Lucas and I woke up in our home, I had held him on my chest the whole night. I had read that was one way to bond with the baby. It helps because his heart beat syncs up with yours. I’ll never forget it, but I woke up and I forgot he was there! His little eyes peaked open, and I kissed him on his cheeks. And I said, “Good Morning, baby!” And, I remember tears started flowing from my eyes. I turned on my side and cradled him in my arms. “Thank you, God! Thank you for finally answering my prayers!” I belted out. I kissed Lucas Aristotle and sobbed in to my pillow, and then I kissed Lucas Aristotle and I thanked God some more. This went on for a good 10 minutes. And it hit me-I’m a Mom. After eight years with the love of my life, one laparoscopic surgery, 3 different fertility drugs, 4 IVF treatments- I’m a Mom.
And boy, was this kid worth the wait. I know I’m biased, but he IS special. He smiles and laugh more than any baby I have EVER seen! In fact, I don’t even need an alarm clock anymore! Most mornings I wake up to him just laughing SUPER hard! And I have NO idea what he’s laughing at! And then he starts babbling, “Da-Da-Dad!” Lol, because that’s his way of letting us know- Hey! I’m ready to eat!
When Lucas Aristotle first came home I had a talk with him the first day. I said, “Look, I have never been around babies. I tried reading the baby books in 5 days-but you’re going to have to be patient with me. We’re going to have to figure this out together.” And, that’s the honest to God’s truth. I didn’t have nine months to prepare for him. I had 5 days. So, when he came home-a lot of it I was just winging it! Now, about the 4th month was when Trenton and I had figured out a schedule that worked for both of all of us.
And, he never ceases to amaze me. Sometimes, I’ll catch myself staring at him and I’ll think about how tiny he was when he first came home, (3 lbs, 5 oz.) and now here we are 4 days away from being ten months old and he’s so long and big now!
This morning I walked in to his bedroom and did our morning wake up song, “Good Morning! Good Morrrning! It’s great to stay up late! Good Morning! Good Morning! To You!” And he smiles, and I go to pick him up to get him a bottle, and he grabs my hand before I could put it behind his back. (BOY! He’s GREAT at grabbing! I mean he is STRONG!) He takes my hand and places it on his face. I know he is trying to put my finger in his mouth because we’re teething right now. Instead, I start to stroke his cheek. I look him in the eyes and say, “Your Dad is the greatest love of my life, and you are going to be my greatest accomplishment.”
At it’s core level, Mother’s Day to me, has always been a celebration of us as women. The extra hours we have to work to support our families. The guilt we feel for having to work instead of getting to be there with our child. The sacrifices we make for our families, the quiet secrets we carry as women to protect our families. The innate ability we have to nurture. We are tough, ladies. We really are. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you out there. This is ALL of our day!