Raise a Glass to All the Women Who Have Endured.

Women endure much when it comes to being a mom, the process of becoming one, and/or the shame of not being one.

I always thought I would be a mom someday. I guess because I had a mom, and dad and siblings, I imagined that my life would be similar. Ha! My life is ssooo not anywhere close to that! I don't have kids, but I always thought I would. I may still have kids, but I am aware that my chances of giving birth have decreased significantly. I went through a process of letting go of the deeply engrained notion of being a mom. That process involved a period of grieving and, in fact, I also had to re-envision my life all together. Friends would say, "Why don't you just get a donor or adopt?" I would reply, "Ha! I would not in my right mind willingly choose to be a single mom! I've seen how hard that is!" Now, before anyone out there begs to differ, I want to say, "To all you single mom's out there, cheers! You are amazing! I don't know how you do it, but you do. You are determined and loving. I applaud you. 

The one time in my life I may have actually had kids was about 11 years ago when I was married.  My wife and I were asking questions to our OBGYN, looking into all the avenues of conception, cost, and even perusing the sperm banks (that's the fun part). I remember getting so upset because "our love wasn't enough" to get pregnant. (Head shaking) Now I know...that statement is bullshit, but the feeling was real. I mean, seriously, how many kids in this world have come from spontaneous fucks that had nothing to do with love!?  I digress...at any rate, it sucked that we would have to go through all that and pay an expectorant amount just to get pregnant...like having a kid isn't expensive enough! What got me through was reminding myself that there are plenty of women who have to go through the same process even in a heterosexual relationship. That kept me sane and able to just be with the process. Cheers! To all those women who have gone through this process, you have much strength and perseverance. I applaud you.  

My wife and I never did had kids, and actually ended up getting a divorce- not from that though, it was actually more from the process of medical school and a long distance relationship- marriage killer. For anyone who has been in a strenuous graduate program, you know what I'm talking about. To all the women who have endured and successfully navigated being a mom and having a demanding career, Cheers! You must be communicative, understanding souls who know about boundaries and follow-through. I applaud you.

The ironic thing came a few years later when my ex-wife got married to a man and they started trying to have kids. She called me up one day and explained how she was really struggling to get pregnant. She said they had to go the route of fertility drugs and acupuncture, but to no avail and were now considering in-vitro fertilization. I had to laugh because ...well, you can imagine from what I said before, it had nothing to do with sexual orientation. And it really wasn't funny. To all the women who have been through this, Cheers! 

Life is and has been nothing I could have imagined. One thing I am incredibly grateful for are the many experiences I've had thus far. Through my journey I have heard stories and known intimately women who are moms, women who aspire to be moms, and the many women who have experienced deep loss, sorrow, & trauma in the process of trying to become one. Please don't forget the women who have been shamed for not wanting to be a mom. 

The women I've known who have had abortions, willingly or unwillingly, have expressed feelings of shame, guilt, hate from others, and even unresolved grief. You are courageous and strong. Cheers to you!

The women who have had miscarriages, which seem to be many, have expressed deep emotional, mental, and physical pain by it. The sadness of it seems to last and can even stress the relationship. To all you have had a miscarriage, Cheers! You are so loving and strong.

To all the moms out there, by whatever means you have acquired a child, thank you for showing up and choosing to love and teach, shelter and support our children. Cheers to you!

I also know plenty of women who know they do not want to have kids and deal with the shaming by others. What many have said is they don't like bringing it up because of the responses. To those women, Cheers! You are decisive and strong and needed in this world of over-population.

Women are strong, amazing creatures. They are mysterious, complex, deep, inspiring, resilient, and powerful beyond measure.

Cheers! To all the little girls and generations of women to come, you too are strong and will go through many challenges. You too will endure the pain, and experience joy as well.

Cheers! To all our female ancestors who endured and persevered, fought, stood up, spoke up, and took action to make this life better & opportunities more abundance for all of the women of today and to come; I honor and respect you deeply. Here's to you! 

I pour my drink to the greatest Mothers of all; Mother Earth and Grandmother Moon who regulate our cycles and keep us learning about letting go and growing, living and dying, over and over again. We will rise again and again. Cheers!

Here's to International Women's Day! Cheers!  Salud! Prost! Skal! Kanpai! Sei gesund!