When I was at the doctor last week, she said something that is still bothering me. When we were talking about heparin injections, she said, "oh, and sub-cue injections aren't a big deal." Okay, if you're comparing sub-cue to IM, that's probably true. And if you're comparing sub-cue injections to having open-heart surgery on a daily basis, that's definitely true. But sub-cue injections in my opinion ARE a big deal. It has nothing to do with the amount of pain and everything to do with the emotions tied to it--the idea of self-inflicting pain as well as WHY you're giving yourself an injection.
So I smiled politely and said, "they're a big deal to me."
To which she replied, "some diabetics give themselves daily injections for their entire life, Melissa. It's not a big deal."
And here is the difference (and correct me if I'm completely wrong since I'm speaking as a non-diabetic): diabetes is a condition that affects your life. Therefore, when you give yourself an injection, it is to save your own life. Infertility is a condition that actually affects someone else's life--your not-yet child's life. Provided you don't commit suicide (and depression leading to death is a very real possibility in the IF world, so I'm not taking this lightly), infertility will not end your life. Therefore, when you're giving yourself an injection, you are actually saving someone else's life. In the first situation, we have an inborn desire to survive, therefore, we're willing to do anything to save our own life. In the second situation, we are acting like a mother long before we ever become a mother. You are putting your child--your not-yet child--before yourself. You are doing everything in your power to protect them and see them into this world. And it's that drive that brings you to give yourself an injection and it's that drive that I find to be such the big deal, Dr. Not-As-Good-As-The-Ninja-Nurse-Practioner.
Which then leads to the question, when do you become a mother? And can you ever lose motherhood once you have it? If a 60-year-old mother loses her 30-year-old child, does she cease to be a mother? Why do we not afford the same sensitivity to mothers who lose their children inutero or through stillbirth? Why do we demean their motherhood by not including them in Mother's Day and instead giving them a separate day in October (the 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day) which is actually about the loss and not about the motherhood? Why have we set up our society in such a way that women who experience pregnancy loss feel embarrassed to call themselves a mother around other mothers? Why do they consider themselves a not-yet mother when they have already engaged in mothering duties--protecting that not-yet baby as best they can?
You're a mother when you pick up that needle and hold it to your stomach. You're a mother when you take any steps necessary to becoming a mother--including making that first RE appointment or filling out your adoption paper work. I want to use October 15th to remember children lost. I want to use May 13th this year to celebrate us.