Catching Our Rainbow

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm…

Mom

on June 4, 2014

My mom has not been the most supportive during this whole process. When I called her in tears after my first miscarriage she simply asked me if I had a miscarriage or my period just started and seemingly brushed off the pain I was going through. As we continued down the RPL road, my mom would say things about how if I wouldn’t take a pregnancy test I wouldn’t even know I was pregnant and I would just think my period was late. If I ever tried to talk to her about what we were going through because I really needed my mother, she would act angry and defensive and tell me I’m too young to be worrying about stuff like that. It was frustrating and heartbreaking, and I just stopped telling her when I got pregnant or miscarried.

But I came to a realization about six months ago. My mom doesn’t deal with her feelings–when something makes her sad, she shuts down and lashes out. She wasn’t being callous and mean when she said and did the things she did, she was dealing with her pain in the only way she knew how. It’s a very unhealthy and unhelpful way to deal, but that’s how she does it. I also learned something else about my mom: she takes direction well. I was so upset because my mother is in no way maternal and I wanted her to naturally be the comforter I needed, but that was not a realistic expectation. I have since learned to tell my mom, in plain language, how I feel and then tell her what I need from her. For example, “Mom, I’m really sad about all of this because it is really difficult to go through, and I need you to just let me be sad. I need my mom to just sit and listen and let me be sad.” Once I was clear about what I needed from her, my mom got a lot better. I also started explaining to her why certain things that she said hurt my feelings, and I would bluntly ask her not to say them to me. And it worked. This mothering thing doesn’t come naturally to my mom, and I think she just didn’t know how to handle the situation and defaulted to her unhealthy way of handling pain and sadness. Once I guided her and told her what I needed, she was much better.

This meant that I had to overcome as well. I had to overcome my anger and frustration that my mom does not know how to be my mom without me telling her what to do. I had to release the feeling that her comfort didn’t count when she didn’t just do it on her own. I had to accept our relationship as it is and be ok with it. This breakthrough in understanding my mom would have meant nothing but more anger and frustration if I just used it as an excuse to be angry at her for not being the nurturing woman I craved, but I opened up communication and utilized what I learned and we have advanced leaps and bounds from where we started.

As I said, I have been hesitant to tell my mom that I’m pregnant ever since my first loss. We decided to tell her after our last scan, and we actually drove from the office to her work (she is a middle school librarian) to tell her the good news. I had no idea how she would react, but I didn’t want to wait any longer–we had told my sister a few days before and it wasn’t fair to ask her to keep that secret while living with my mom. When we told her, she broke into tears and wouldn’t stop hugging me. She ran into the office and made a copy of our ultrasound to put up in her office. She asked when she can start telling people and acted happier than I have seen her in a long time. Since then, she calls me at least once a week to check on me, and she is even going with us on Monday to our scan.

Her reaction was exactly what I needed. It’s what I craved every pregnancy and never got. I think the fact that we were moving on to adoption opened her eyes to just how serious our situation was so she could really see just how exciting of a miracle this little one is. I also think that our growing understanding of each other has helped her step into her role as the mother of a pregnant woman. It took 26 years and a lot of anger and tears to get to this point, but I feel like I finally have some sort of relationship with my mom that is healthy and nurturing. It’s just another way that this little one is a complete miracle who is already changing my life for the better.

Five more sleeps.

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