Monday, July 7, 2008

Crazy Mothers Anonymous

Whew. They left yesterday, and it was great getting the house back. Even our kitties seemed relieved.

I often say that after a visit to/from my mother that I want to join the witness protection program and just disappear. My mother is that stressful.

The bottom line is that my mother is an alcoholic who is incapable of thinking beyond herself and providing me with any amount of support. I don't think she's ever asked me once in the three years of IF how I feel or how I am dealing with it. Everything is about HER. A lot of people have hurt me and let me down throughout this process, but she is the queen. A few highlights from the weekend:

  • My mother is two glasses of wine into the afternoon (it's about 3pm) when our friends K&G stop by with their 2-month-old. They visited for about an hour, which was nice. My mother made their baby a dress. K is sitting on the couch with her baby on her chest, and the baby is out cold. She's in that kind of frog position. My mother is sitting next to K and says, "See, she knows. She knows her mommy and knows that is where she lived for 9 months." Husband and I are sitting there stunned. After all, no children of ours will come from my body. What will that make me? Not the mother? Of course, it never occurred to my mother that her BARREN daughter who is working with a surrogate might be bothered by that comment or that maybe that comment wouldn't apply to me. And coward that I am, I said nothing.

  • Five or six glasses of wine into the evening: "I still hope that one day, after you have a baby via surrogacy, that you will get a surprise pregnancy." OMFG. Are you kidding me? I replied, "Mother, that's not going to happen. I am barren. I am STERILE. My only tube was cauterized. It would truly be a miracle if I were to get pregnant without treatment...a genuine miracle."

    Maybe she felt a little embarrassed or some memory of exactly what was done to me during my laparoscopy tickled the reptilian brain that is all she has left because then she moved on to her favorite game of Blame My Father (my parents are divorced): "well, it must have come from your father's side of the family because no one in my family has it." I finally realized that she meant endo. I patiently told her that 1) I don't think that endo can be inherited that way (my father's sister had endo). I could be wrong but I seriously doubt the endo came from him. Women with UUs often develop endo due to flow issues. I then reminded her that endo isn't my only problem, and that I have a unicornuate uterus which is a big problem. Which allowed her to wring her hands and declare that she often wonders whether she did anything wrong when she was pregnant with me that caused this. Right, because it's all about her.

    THEN she tells me that she's thought a lot about it and maybe it's a trade off. I have no uterus, but I'm super smart. WTF? And I remind her that I DO have a uterus; it's just not fully developed. And anyway, what a consolation. Gee, I'm smart and that certainly makes up for NOT having a working uterus.

  • Hopelessly slurry at this point: Sighs my mother, "You used to look like me and have my body type, but now you look just like your father's side of the family." Which clearly is not a compliment. I asked her what she meant, and she told me that the women in her family have little bird arms and legs and put weight on only in their stomach. I'm built bigger and have bigger, more solid legs

  • Oh, and my mother's newest hobby and possible business venture? Making baby clothes. Hand-sewn and embroidered, beautiful baby clothes. Talk about torture. And within 5 minutes of their arrival, she told me that she knew I would have a boy, and she wouldn't be able to make anything cute for it.

So that's a snapshot of my weekend with my mother. She's so excited about surrogacy, and she's so generous at times, but she can be so damned insensitive. She wonders why I don't visit more and why I'll never move back to my hometown and I think it's pretty obvious. I wish to god I had a better support system. I wish I had a mother I could count on and trust with my raw, fragile psyche. I wish that I wasn't an only child and had a sister with whom I could commiserate over my mother's awful behavior. Maybe I wouldn't feel so alone and unloved.


sara said...

Oh geez the heck did you even survive a weekend like that?!?! Wow, I'm really sorry that you had to sit through that. Somehow no matter how many people you run across in the whole infertility journey that "just don't get it" the hardest one to deal with can still be our families and our mothers. Strange how that is, huh? I'm not sure if you're the huggy type - but I'm sending a hug your way none the less because after that type of weekend I would certainly need one!

Sue said...

That definitely sounds like a trying weekend. I would like to believe in her own way your mother means well, and she does seem to be excited for you. I'm sorry she can't just leave it at that and stop putting her foot in her mouth. It does make for some memorable stories!

Kymberli said...

Damn, Elizabeth. I'm sorry that you had to endure that this weekend, and from your mother, no less. Please don't let her lead you to doubt your place as the mother in this surrogacy. Thinking of you....

Duck said...

holy how do you do it. You deserve a reward for being the best daughter on earth.
We haven't told our parents yet, we live far away from them and figure it can wait until they have to know. But working with a surrogate is a whole new kettle of fish, it's more complicated then simply being infertile, so I'm amazed at your strength.

I'm glad things are going well with your surrogate and I'm hear for you!

kate said...

Oh, man. I just had a conversation with my mother wherein she reminded me, yet again, of what an insensitive piece of shit she can be. And reading this post brought it all back. My mother makes no secret of the fact that she loves my brother more than me, but she just told me this weekend that she wants to give my brother my grandmother's engagement ring (which she previously told me was lost...), so that he could give it to his girlfriend as HER engagement ring. Nevermind the fact that my brother never knew my grandmother, that my mom knew that I was interested in it, that I just wanted to see it one more time, she's going to give it to the brother because he "doesn't want to spend a lot of money" on an engagement ring for his girlfriend, who, by her own profession DOES NOT WANT an engagement ring.

Mom says it's because she wants something from our family to go to "the grandkids", even though these grandkids don't exist yet. I just wish she would make it less obvious that she doesn't want me to have kids. I wish she could pretend like maybe I'm an okay person.

But that'll never happen.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I'm with you. Mothers cut us to the core like no one else can.

Mrs.X said...

Holy heck - I think she's crossed the line from insensitive to plain brutish, but that's just me. I'm sorry that you can't get better support from the people who are supposed to provide it.

K77 said...

Ugh, I'm sorry. FWIW I have 2 (full) sisters, and they are both on my mother's "side".

k8jonkat said...

You are not alone. My mother just visited a few weeks ago and she does similar things. If I call after 5pm, she has already had a few glasses of wine and she repeats herself and slurs and says things that hit me in the gut, like naming every girl in town who is having a baby! You mentioned you are in NC too. I'd like to talk to you about the surrogacy thing. please email me at Thanks! Kat