Mothers know pain too well
“Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.” Michelle Obama
In the next two weeks I get to write about my mom, my dad and one of many pains that defined my life.
So some five years ago thereabout I had IVF. I was told that at some point I was going to be taken to the theatre for a procedure. Before then, I remember hearing people talk about the so many funny and strange things people do or say when they are getting out of the effects of anastesia after surgery. I even heard how a woman lost her marriage when she revealed some certain secrets as she woke from surgery.
So when I was to have a procedure during my IVF session, even though I didn’t think I had any damaging secrets I still was wondering what my recovery would look like.
… my mom was holding my hands, pacifying me and saying “I am here”. Wow I made it. The thing was I didn’t have a secret but I nursed resentment towards the circumstances that had led me to that point, but I had all along been determined to keep up a good attitude.
Fast forward to the day we were to run the pregnancy test to know if the procedure was successful or not. Prior to that day my body had communicated certain failure of the whole process to me.
I was so broken that I didn’t even think it was necessary to go for the test, but my mom insisted. She gave the sermon of how it was good to always finish what one started and how God still performs miracles. I reluctantly followed her that Sunday morning to the hospital, gave all samples required and waited for the 20 minutes that felt like a decade to me.
My embryologist finally calls on me, breaks the news (I already knew). Goes on to say something like, “… you may wish to try another cycle”. Me ke? Try which cycle? I was broken beyond words. I didn’t know when a river of tears began to flow down my cheeks as I gropped for the exit to where my mom sat at the reception waiting for the announcement of the miracle.
Mom held me to her bossom like I was still a suckling babe and let me soak her Sunday blouse with my tears, while she sought the quickest chance for us to leave for home. I could tell she wished at that moment that she had let me remain quietly at home. Just as we stepped out of the embryologist quarters, we saw a lady who was in my IVF batch. She was almost my mom’s age. Her friend who had accompanied her was congratulating her for achieving a pregnancy.
To my utter shock, dismay and even anger, my mom leaves my side, rushes over to her and joins in the celebration (she didn’t know this lady from Adam). She even places her hand on her belly and says a blessing for the unborn child. I didn’t care the least. I just needed to get out of that place. I cried all the way home and cried rivers of tears when I got home.
I guess this long story is basically about what support systems could mean to us. Sometimes I ask myself what would have happened if my mom had not selflessly and sacrificially supported me through the process.
My mom, I love you, you were not just there, you knew my pain better, and these words of Michelle Obama captures it, “It was one thing to get yourself out of a stuck place, I realized. It was another thing entirely to try and get the place itself unstuck.” Moms are constantly stuck and often than not spend their entire lives making sure we stay unstuck.
Swandy Banta is blue blooded, ask her what that means and she gladly tells you, she’s been through the tunnel of pain and she found illuminating light. She writes and coaches on the difficult subject of pain. Whether it’s national pain, community pain or the pain of loss and the hurts of life that makes us all ask why—she brings new perspectives. Swandy can be reached on [email protected]