Its Mother’s Day….Again

Its here, the day that many of us love and hate….Mother’s Day.

Most of us have awesome moms, aunts, grandmas, friends and mother figures that deserve all the brunches, flowers, pampering and accolades they will get today. But while we’re doing all of that, on the inside, we might be dying a little.We can’t become biological moms (or not without plopping down thousands of dollars), some of us have lost a pregnancy, or a child, or even lost a mother or grandmother. Some had crappy moms or grew up without a mom at all. Because I don’t live in the same cities as my family, I’m not forced to go out to do anything, which is good, because honestly, this year, I really am not in the mood to pretend. Not only am I working through my infertility feelings, I lost my Nana a few months ago. I loved talking to her, and she was my favorite call to make on Mother’s Day.

 

This pretty much sums it up for today. Sorry Folks
This pretty much sums it up for today.

So what can you do? How can you handle this day that celebrates everything that seems just beyond your reach if you’re having a hard time?

Here’s what I’ve got:

UNPLUG. Seriously. Looking at Facebook and Instagram all day is not going to do anything to uplift you if you’re already feeling down.

Do something for Yourself. Whatever that means to you. Get a mani/pedi. Go shopping. Do yoga. Binge watch whatever you want. Do what makes you feel good about yourself today especially.

This is not something I would usually say, but….Skip church today.

Now, hear me out: In a lot of churches, especially Black churches, Mother’s day is a big thing. There are luncheons, and special sermons about mothers and mother hood. My old church used to give out single roses. They’d start with Moms, then Grandmas and Aunts,…..then trickle down to all those that “desire to be mothers”. This was always extremely hard for me, even before I had (or knew I had) fertility issues. I was here without my mom, no family around actually, I was painfully single at the time, so I just felt very isolated that day. Get your spiritual connection on your own today by praying, reading and spending time with God alone.

In the end, its up to you.

You know where you are, and what you can handle today, and if this is a time that is difficult for you. Don’t be afraid to say “No” or limit your time out if you’re invited to celebrate.

Celebrate the great relationships you do have today. Enjoy some of the benefits of not having children. (There are several!) Don’t let this 24 hours damage your spirit too much.

What am I doing today? Blogging (obviously), Staying off of Facebook, my calls to my Mom, Aunts, and friends,Cooking, Cleaning my Bathroom…

Oh, and going to see PRINCE!

Here are some more thoughts from around the web:

About that church thing: An Open Letter to Pastors on Mother’s Day

When it seems like its just you: Surviving Mother’s Day As a Non-Mom (Not By Choice)

When you’re child free by choice and people use Mother’s Day to guilt you (or an unnecessary parental apologist):  Sorry about Mother’s Day, my childfree girlfriends: Moms aren’t any more special (or unselfish) than you

 

No matter your status, ENJOY your day!

 

You Are Not Alone-Step Up and Speak Out: National Infertility Awareness Week

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It’s that time of year again: National Infertility Awareness Week!  The theme this year: You Are Not Alone. ( Cue the Michael Jackson music)

To know me and this blog is to know this is my mantra.  Infertility can be very isolating. When you look around and everyone has a kids, or is pregnant, or asking you about getting pregnant, you begin to feel this sense of separation. I’ve said here a few times that there is a feeling that you’re not a complete woman. Your body is betraying you every. single. day. How do  you explain your situation or answer people’s questions without drawing pity, which you definitely don’t want, or those awkward “just relax” or “keep trying” responses? So, you decide it’s better to keep it to yourself. Who needs that extra drama?

You want to talk to your best friend, or your mom about it, but how can you really? They don’t truly understand. They mean well and love you, and  they want to support you, but its a hard thing to relate to. My best friend has 5, yes 5 children! (who are awesome by the way) I keep my fertility struggle conversations with her to a minimum. Not because she doesn’t care. Not because she is uninterested (she asks for updates all the time), but because how can she understand? Trouble getting pregnant is a foreign concept to her. She is the exact opposite of infertility.

I was watching Teen Mom (the new episodes with original girls) the other day, and one of them went in for a wellness exam. The doctor was listening to the baby’s heartbeat, and asked if she could feel the baby moving. I started crying. Why? Because that is an experience I may never have. When you have those types of moments, who can understand that rush of emotion other than someone else who is or has been where you are?

But think about it: 1 in 8 couples are facing infertility. So, you are not alone. The next time you’re at church (mosque, synagogue), at a family reunion, dinner party, on the train, at the mall, in the hair salon, running a 5K, know that at least one more woman (or man) in the crowd is struggling with fertility.

I know it can be emotionally draining.  I know it makes you vulnerable. I know sometimes you just don’t want to be bothered. But….

Share your story. There are women that need to hear from you. They need the support and assurance that they are not alone. It doesn’t have to be a big thing. You don’t have to tell the world, just be there for one person. That can make all the difference.

Start a support group at your church or community group.

Be there for someone who is struggling with infertility

Post an Infertility article on your social media platforms

Even better:

Post about NIAW on social media. Share a link to NIAW  and Resolve.

 

I will be honest, what has helped me a lot is having someone to talk to, really two people.

I have a co-worked that had a myomectomy about 4 weeks before I had mine. We started talking about our fibroid battles, and found out we have similar fertility issues. We share articles, random facts, advice from doctors, and sometimes, just our frustrations.

I also have a friend who is about 10 years older than me, but she had infertility issues and had two wonderful sons via IVF. This was in the 90s when it was still a weird and strange thing, especially in the Black community. Her support and advice has meant a lot.

Then of course, I have this blog. I know my presence isn’t big, and its not the flashiest or most consistent blog out there, but to know that people visit or follow my blog, and I am doing my part to help someone make it through; providing information, telling my story, and maybe providing a laugh or distraction, makes me happy.

So Maybe Mamas, You Are Not Alone!

Share your story this week and beyond.

 

Its My Blogaversary!

 

Maybe Mama Blogaversary v2

 

 

Today, Maybe Mama is one!

A year ago, I decided to not just let this blog be an idea, but to actually do it! I didn’t know exactly what to do, or what to say (I still don’t a lot of the time), but I knew that I wanted to share my story and my experiences. I wanted to change the conversation. Hell, I just wanted to have the conversion about women suffering with uterine fibroids and infertility, especially within the Black community.

I wanted to create a space where women can talk about their struggle to conceive and not feel ashamed or misunderstood or be pitied. To talk about battling fibroids and not be dismissed because it’s not that serious”.  A space to talk about all the crazy things that life throws at us and not feel alone. I wanted a space to call out Black women in particular: you don’t have to suffer in silence, my sister. Too often we suffer or carry burdens in silence and alone, not thinking there is someone else out there who is right where you are.

If we, as women, don’t speak up, how can we advocate for funding for research, insurance mandates,or educate others on these and other conditions? How can we support each other if no one will step up to say “I’m going through this now too” or “I went through this, you can talk to me.”?

But more than anything, I wanted a space that was fun. Dealing with infertility and other medical conditions can be a lot. Sometimes, you just want to laugh even in the middle of struggle.

My goal is and will be to educate, support, and uplift women.

Admittedly, I have fallen short. Balancing a full-time job and other commitments (throw in wedding planning now!) with regular blogging can be a challenge, but it is a challenge I am more than ready for!

I hope to go into year two learning more about women’s health, and the art of blogging. I want to reach out to others, bring awareness, grow this blog.

 

Thank You to anyone and everyone who has followed, commented, re blogged, or just stopped by.

Special thanks to Word Press for the Blogging 101 class, and all of the resources WP provides new and established bloggers.

Coming out of the Closet: I’m a Beyonce Fan

Lets take a break form Infertility and Fibroids, and go Off Topic! A new category you will see more of, because sometimes, you just need to talk about other things.

 

Hi, my name is Jai, and I’m a Beyonce fan.  There. I said it for the whole interwebs to see!

 

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I got a new iPod for Christmas, a much needed upgrade, and I noticed as I upgraded iTunes (again) and re downloaded music, that I have a lot of Beyonce music. Like, a lot. More than I thought I did.  Now, I would never categorize myself as a Beyonce hater, because there are segments of  people who have an irrational hate of all things Beyonce (the polar opposite of the Beyhive: those that love everything Beyonce says, does, and thinks). I just never really would have categorized myself as a fan. I liked a few songs, but not a fan. I see myself as an artsy music girl. I love Erykah Badu, Mos Def (Yasin Bey), Janelle Monae, Santigold, Jay ElectronicaPrince! (who is my absolute favorite artist of all time) Surely, I don’t have room in my heart to be a fan of Beyonce’s. But, she did perform with Prince at Grammys in 2004, and he did say she was talented, and more knowledgeable about music than he thought……

(The low key shade though…)

Maybe I was still feeling some kinda way about the shade-tasic way the original Destiny’s Child broke up. I was a DC fan, but the day I turned on the original 106&Park in my college dorm and saw the Say My Name video with two new, random chicks, I was in shock. So much so that it was the topic of discussion in my crew for at least three days.

Maybe because I felt like I was too old to be a Bey fan. By that I mean that I’ve noticed that women who are really big fans of Beyonce are usually 30 and under.  They would have been tweens or little girls during the whole Destiny’s Child era.  They were a nice group of young ladies to look up to: stylish, talented, sassy but not raunchy. Those girls followed Beyonce’s evolution over time from a child and teens point of view. Adoring her every move. Women and girls 30 and under idolize her. They truly look up to her as a role model of success, style, and womanhood.

Plus, I always felt like she came across as a little vapid in interviews. But I see now that it was all an evil genius move. Well that, or her “people” never really wanted he to come off as having a mind of her own. Either way. Now, she seems more willing and comfortable speaking her mind and doing what ever the f she wants!

I have a friend, Shay, who went through this conversion a few years back. She and I were the last 2 standing in not being Beyonce fans in our circle. In fact, she referred to her as Beyowolf. Then, some time after the 4 album came out, Shay gave in, and joined the legion of Bey fans. It was just me, and I was refusing to go down.

As I recently went through my music library, I noticed not only did I own a lot of her music, I liked it. Like, those are my jamz! Doing choreography in my living room jamz. So, after I broke down and bought the Beyonce album on iTunes (yes, I got it a year later because I refused to be on the Beyonce bandwagon. That’s how serious I was about not being a fan), I had a long talk with myself and had to admit: I’m a fan. I respect her drive and push to make music and stay on top of the game, her ability to stay relevant, be a trend setter even.  Her style. Her stage show. As a former dancer, I LOVE the dancers she hires. And the choreography?!  The production. The costuming. Slaying! The fact that she manages to stay genuinely curvy and be in shape. I’m just here for all of it.

Now, I’m far from a Beyhive member, I won’t take it that far, but I am a fan. I just am.  And its OK. I can like Miles Davis, and Portishead, and The Foreign Exchange…..and Beyonce.

OK Bey. You win.    Bow down, bitches indeed.

UPDATE
Just as I started to settle in to Beyonce fandom, I may have to take it all back. Beyoncé is slated to sing Take my Hand, Precious Lord at the Grammys as a part of Common and John Legend ‘s performance if Glory from the movie Selma. The problem? Ledisi (Who is an awesome singer in her own right) sings this song (as Mahalia Jackson) in the movie. So why is Beyonce singing it, when Ledisi will be in attendance at the Grammys because she’s nominated for her own song? Good question. I can only guess there are politics involved. The better question is why did she except?
Major side eye, Bey.

Happy Holidays…

Artsy Christmas

So, my people. I’ve failed you again. But this time, my un planned hiatus came with good reason: WORK. You know that place you have to go to everyday that provides the excellent healthcare benefits so you can have all the wellness visits, tests, procedures, and lab work covered? Its also the place that cuts my bi weekly checks, and for the past 3 or 4 months, they have definitely gotten their money’s worth and then some out of me!

The worst part is I have a some really good blog posts, all currently sitting as drafts because I haven’t had the time I want and need to flush out my ideas, edit and, and research.

Le Sigh.

Well, obviously one of my 2015 goals is to not have long gaps in my posting.

New Posts in the New Year!

Until then, here are a few look backs that may be relevant to the holiday season.

People won’t stop asking you why you don’t have kids, or when you’re going to make them an auntie or grandma/grandpa in between servings of ham and opening gifts?

That Awkward Moment When….

Your holiday season has been filled with pregnancy and birth announcements? Don’t eat you feelings, read this posts.
Lets’s Be Real: Baby Envy

Using your holiday vacation time to get a procedure done or get in your doctor visits?

Making The Decision

Power Morcellators: Parts 1 & Part  2

And here are some great tips from the wonderful people at RESOLVE on coping with the holidays:

Coping with the Holidays — Again

 

Merry Christmas!

Happy Hanukkah!

Happy New Year!