When other women are being feted by their progeny, no amount of positive psychology can override the sense of loss I feel

I check my inbox. “Order your Mother’s Day hamper now!” the headline shouts. Delete. On my television screen someone’s trying to get me to buy their “special gifts for special mums!” I switch channels. In my letterbox there’s a flyer flogging perfumes, because “Mum’s worth every scent!” I bin it and grit my teeth. Only another week of this, and then the hardest day of the year will be behind me.

When you’re childless not by choice, Mother’s Day can be a painful reminder of profound loss. For some it’s miscarriage, for others it’s infertility, and then there’s something called “circumstances”, a term with a complex set of sub-categories. My story involves all three – multiple miscarriages, long periods of apparent infertility and then a relationship with someone who didn’t want any more children. Although I gave up trying to become a mother almost two decades ago, wrangling that grief is still a daily challenge.

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