When you lose a baby, certain dates start to carry an immense amount of meaning. They remain etched in your brain forever and can come with a lot of grief and dread when they come around each year… the day you found out you were pregnant, the anniversary of seeing your baby in a sonogram for the first time, the day you found out your baby’s heart had stopped beating, the date your baby would have been due, and, of course, Mother’s Day.
Like so many other things (pregnancy announcements, baby showers, first birthdays, etc.), pregnancy loss takes something that should be happy and full of joy, something to be celebrated, and makes it something to be dreaded. Social media is full of pictures of happy moms with their children, and every other ad seems to be promoting some sort of Mother’s Day gift. Even at church you can’t escape the recognition of society’s traditional portrayal of motherhood – maybe it’s in a sermon on motherhood, or maybe the pastor requests that all the moms stand up. No matter what form it takes, moms who have lost babies, moms who long for children but have yet to conceive, children who’ve lost their mom or are estranged from their mom, women who’ve chosen not to be mothers, and really any group of people who don’t fit the traditional “perfect” picture of motherhood, are often overlooked.
Overall, it can be a really tough day for so many people, people like me. But, as this is now my second Mother’s Day after losing babies to miscarriage, I’ve learned that it doesn’t only have to be hard.
While I will absolutely allow myself to feel my grief on this day, to mourn the fact that I don’t yet get to live out my motherhood, to shed tears for the three (yes, three now… I’ll share that story when I’m ready) babies I’ll never get to meet on this earth, I will also praise Jesus for the short time we had with each of our babies. I will be thankful for the wonderful mothers in my life. And I will enjoy time spent in nature with my husband, the Mother’s Day tradition we started last year on our first Mother’s Day after the loss of our son, Ellis.
To all my fellow loss moms, and to those that are moms in their hearts but have yet to conceive, know that you are not forgotten today. Know that it’s okay to grieve or feel sorry for yourself, and that it’s also okay to feel okay. And know that you are a mom, as I am a mom.
In vibrant health,