Monday, September 17, 2012

Mas que mi vida

After each of my kids were born, I got tattoos representing them. For Stella, I have a cameo of a mother and child. For Roy, I have the phrase "mas que mi vida" arranged in a heart. It means "more than my life"in Spanish. I quite literally take the phrase to heart. Most mothers I know would truly sacrifice anything for their children (I am fortunate enough to know some awesome moms!) Motherhood takes some adjustment, but most moms I know, from the moment they know they are carrying a child, put that child above anything else.  We change what we eat, what we drink, how we exercise, recreational activities we engage in, etc. We change career plans, travel plans, party plans. As I wrote about previously, we don't see these things as sacrifices; rather, it is just that our own needs quickly take second place to those of our child. I have heard so many times, over and over, how carrying a child changes you forever. How unless you have carried a child and given birth, you can't possibly imagine the love and life-changing devotion you feel towards your child. Its almost like a club, the Mom Club, that only those who are fortunate enough to have given birth are allowed access to.

Recently however, I've had a new perspective on the Mom Club. Through this surrogate journey of mine, I have been introduced to moms who go through an entirely different set of circumstances and life changes. Those moms who are UN-able to conceive or carry, or those who choose to adopt. Wow, talk about dedication! I was so blessed to have conception, pregnancy and delivery be relatively easy for me. My life changed once I knew I was pregnant. But what about those moms who can't get pregnant? What about the moms who go through failed test after failed test, those who go through fertility treatments over and over, those who spend their life savings to pay for the hope that they can get pregnant? The moms who simply cannot carry a child to term, so they seek the help of someone like me? Those who choose adoption and wait on pins and needles for the call saying they are good enough to be given a child? Those moms who aren't in "traditional" heterosexual relationships who are told that their wives or life partners cannot adopt the child they worked so hard to get?  Those moms know sacrifice. Those moms give everything too, they put the POSSIBILITY of a child above their own needs. I now know of women who have struggled for 15 years, moms who have been told their religion eliminates them from the process of adoption with certain agencies, moms who have suffered multiple miscarriages, moms who have had to go out of the country to adopt a child. These moms personify the dedication, love and devotion that we associate with good mothers. I applaud them, I bow before them, I respect and admire them tremendously for their courage and sacrifice and examples. These are the moms that our society needs to recognize for the amazing women that they are.

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