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How Do I Tell My Mother?

December 23, 2018
Amy Williams Photo

I recently received the news that my husband and I cannot have children. My entire universe had been planned around this for-sure life event–a beautiful watercolor too blurry to see the fine details but clear enough to see the beauty of our future. I had it all planned–every family moment in idyllic beauty speckled with chaos and adventure.

I feel absolutely crazy grieving for a child I’ve never met or the loss of a life I’ve never held, and yet, here I am with no other way to describe it.


I can’t see any light beyond the certain darkness, a lifetime of knowing my own failure. Somehow, somewhere, I should have asked the right questions, insisted my doctor look harder at my symptoms, not waited so long just thinking it would all be ok.

I’ve experienced grief many times over from a very young age, but this feels so different.

Before, it seemed an inevitable part of human existence. Now it seems a cruel joke the universe is playing on me, as if I’m standing at a precipice and at the slightest nudge, I will fall into nothingness.

I feel so angry–for the first time in my life, I’m mad at God.
I’m mad at my fertility specialist.
I’m mad at all of my pregnant friends as they complain about pregnancy and those who complain about their children.
I’m mad at advertisers who send me adverts about baby things.

I’m just so angry. And so sad.

And now I have to tell my mom. I still haven’t been brave enough to tell her. To tell anyone except two coworkers and two girlfriends.

What do I say? How do I begin? My mother’s dream of being a grandmother is as strong as mine of being a mother. I was a miracle baby that she gave birth to at 35 after surviving breast cancer at 29.

How do I tell my mother?

-Amy Williams

Photo credit: Leio McLaren