Yesterday I graduated law school. As most know, it also happened to be Mother’s Day. Not only did I make it through what is inarguably one of the toughest days of the year for mommy wannabes, I also had one of the most incredible days of my life. (I know, I know, I’m sure racking them up these past two weeks. However, I promise to make up for it this summer as I blog endlessly about the miserably mundane life of a law school graduate studying for the bar.)
About four months ago my mother called and asked for the date of my graduation. I looked online and discovered that it was May 8. I then pulled out a calendar to figure out on what day of the week May 8 would fall. Panic ensued. MOTHERS DAY?!? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!? MY special day celebrating something I had worked SO hard for had to fall on the most anxiety-inducing day of the year? A day when all a woman who suffers from infertility wants to do is disable her facebook, hide under the covers and count the hours until it’s over. REALLY?!?! Can’t we please just reschedule? It’s not a large class…really…any other day but THAT one.
Needless to say, the date was set and whether I liked it or not, the day celebrating one of my biggest achievements would be shared with the day that recognizes one of my biggest failures. And yet, it was almost appropriate, as my time in law school was inextricably tied to my infertility. Three years ago, at about the same time I decided that I wanted to return to school, my husband and I decided we wanted to start our family. Like most mid-twenty somethings I was blissfully unaware that life CANNOT be planned and viewed having children like adding another class to my schedule. Having children while I was in school would enable me to stay home with them during the day, go to school at night, and begin a new career right about the time that they were ready to enter preschool. It was SO perfect.
Four months into law school my plans began to crumble. My first pregnancy loss. Then another, and another, and another. Endless fertility treatments. Driving to my clinic at 4 a.m. three times a week-- a FOUR hour round trip-- then working all day and driving downtown for school at night. Planning cycles around exam schedules, planning classes around injection times, planning externships around HCG result days. This was NOT what I had signed up for.
But rather than focus on what I had not gotten out of the past three years, I decided yesterday that I would focus on what I had gotten out of the past three years and in turn, what I could carry forward with me as I begin this new chapter in my life. I had gained strength, I had gained perspective, and above all, I had gained a newfound appreciation for the phenomenal mother that I have.
Yesterday was my mother’s special day. But what did she do? She sat through a three hour graduation for ME, threw a party for ME, made a toast to ME, gave presents to ME, and darn if she didn’t even mention the MD word. Like many law school graduates I haven’t exactly decided what I want to “be” after graduation. But I do know this. If given the opportunity to “be” a mother, I can only hope that I will parent with half the sensitivity and empathy of my own mother, and that in turn, my children will love me as I much as I love her. To the greatest mother EVER... I love you.