Mother's Day - A New View
Updated: Sep 7, 2019
We are all on a journey. It’s your own, but we need each other. I will never forget the first Mother’s Day after we lost our first baby. I remember walking into church and dreading everything and anything that would happen that day. I was going to watch kids do a program for their mothers and sing about how much they loved them. It was the day my baby was supposed to be due to come to this world. I knew people would ask about us having children (believe it or not, it happens more than you would think). I knew that there would be a high chance that randomly I would break out crying, and not a single person in that building had any clue what I had experienced besides my dear, sweet husband, Steven.
I did what I thought I could to prepare mentally for this day because I knew that it would be hard for me. Nobody in my immediate family, up to this point had experienced this loss and we hadn’t shared with many people what we were going through these last few months. Just a side note I’d also like to share here, the physical pain this had caused my body was sometimes as bad, if not worse than the emotional pain. There were days I felt so weak I didn’t think I could get out of bed. It may sound dramatic, but you must understand, my whole life I felt that my calling was to teach, lead and be a mother…so the thought that it might not happen for me in this life was absolutely defeating and devastating.
I felt a huge loss of purpose.I was angry with people I didn’t even know because they had this gift that I wanted so badly. I was not showing my husband the love that he deserved at all because all I could think was that I had to be pregnant and making love become more of a chore than actually a way to show affection to my husband (I’m embarrassed to admit that but it’s the truth) I had unintentionally been hurting him and ostracized myself from many people around me because the thought of seeing others pregnant or with their children depleted me. One of my best friends was pregnant and instead of being happy for her I mourned for me (Now, in no way am I saying that this isn’t ok) IT IS ABSOLUTELY OKAY! I wish that more people would say that. I had every right to feel sad, emotional, exhausted, drained, frustrated, angry, lost, alone, afraid, jealous, etc. Those were all OK to feel. The difference is I knew that I couldn’t let it define me.
photo credit; @Kenzie Geddes Loss was now part of my life in a way that I had never experienced before. I realized something during this time. I realized that this was part of our story now, whatever was going to happen would make us who we were meant to become, and we would learn something from our journey. It was HARD and honestly, it still is. Even though we have children here on this earth now, and we are so blessed to have them. We still miss our babies that we lost. In no way am I saying I know how someone feels that has been through this loss, or experienced it… because I don’t, but I know what it is for me and my family and the pain and heartache it has brought. I also know the gratitude and lessons that I have learned because of my journey. I realized different things that caused me pain when people said them. I realized to other people, since we now have children of our own, here on this earth, the pain from our losses have been forgotten or minimized. I don’t blame others for feeling this way but I see it and feel it.
According to many people we have “overcome that battle because we now have children.” For us though, it still exists and is real pain and suffering that we are living through. Some days it hits hard and I still ache for my children I was never able to hold. Some days I imagine what it would be like if all our children survived. There are days where we wonder if attempting to bring more children into the world is meant for us or if we can handle the heartache of more losses. (Out of 5 pregnancies I have lost 3 so chances are high). I know that when people ask questions about having children (yes, they still ask even now that we have 2 children) they have good intent, but boy, it can hurt more than people realize. I remember right after our second loss, I had gone to an activity and a woman came up to me, I’m sure with pure intent. She asked, “When are you going to give that boy a sibling”. This woman had no idea that just days before I said goodbye to a slow beating heart fluttering inside of my body. This woman didn’t know that the physical pain I’d felt was debilitating and it took everything in me to get out of bed that day. This woman didn’t know that I spent countless hours in a bathroom, sick as can be because of the physical toll this took on my body. This woman didn’t know the aching in my heart to be able to give my son another sibling. This woman didn’t know that that little boy was with me at the doctor watching the ultrasound as this baby’s heart stopped beating and his mother felt hers stop for what felt like hours. There are many other things this woman didn’t know.
Gift from my ar friend Christie Millett I learned something from this experience. Everybody is on their own journey, each of us have stepping stones that we may not want to take on, but they come anyway. We all have seasons in our lives when we experience things that truly we don’t know if we are going to overcome. Sometimes we fall and need help up but aren’t ready to ask. A lot of times we don’t know why things happened or what we are supposed to learn from them. Looking back, even though my journey isn’t the same as others, I am thankful I was able to experience this because I grew a little every day. I fell and still fall, but I got back up and kept moving forward. Little did I know less than a year later, and many years after that I was going to be able to “mourn with those who mourned and comfort those who were in need of comfort” because I was able to relate to something they had gone through.
On this Mother’s Day I challenge you to reach out in love to those whose story you don’t know. Don’t ask for specifics or details of anything. Just serve and love them. Offer to help with something without them asking. Instead of the regular “If you need anything, let me know” just do it! Don’t ask if someone needs dinner that night, just take it. Go out of your way to bless someone who needs you to be the light in their darkness. Instead of seeing a struggling mom in the grocery store, (who has a screaming child, trying to juggle their groceries) and looking the other way…go up to her and tell her she’s “doing a great job and she should be proud.” Give grace to the person who isn’t going fast enough! Smile at someone on a walk, take dinner to your neighbor you haven’t talked to in days, weeks, or months, pay for someone’s lunch in the car behind you (if you’re like me and eat out more than I should) 😉
This Mother’s Day remember all the people who have been and are mother figures in your life whether they have their own children or not and remember you don’t know what journey they may be on and their story isn’t yours but they may need you. Mother’s Day is a special day for many AND it is a heart wrenching day for some of those same people. They want to celebrate in their way. Have compassion and show understanding to someone else’s journey because we need each other!