This weekend, we will celebrate mothers around the world. We will honor them and thank them for raising up and loving children. But what about the mothers who don’t have their children?
Six years ago, I experienced Mother’s Day in an anguished way. I left a church service that was too painful when they asked all the mothers to stand up and be honored. I spent most of the afternoon crying tears that I thought had already dried. Four days later, I found out I was expecting my first child, Charlie.
Below is my piece that I read for Listen to Your Mother Chicago. To all the mothers without a child this Sunday, I honor you.
Photo Credit :: Tiny Bubbles Photography
Just seven short years ago, I was in the beginning stages of a journey that I never imagined I’d have to take. A surprise pregnancy that ended too soon is how our road to start a family happened. I was in the middle of law school and never realized just how desperately I wanted a baby until that first one was gone.
Fast forward two years to 2008, same month, same time of year. This time, a planned pregnancy – once again taken from us too early. I heard it all and my heart just ached. Just a few months later, I found myself pregnant for the third time and this time, a baby made his way into our hearts and home. His brother came two pregnancies later and I couldn’t help but smile in spite of our three losses. So much to be thankful for…
Throughout the time since then, I have encouraged friends and family on their road to become a mother, however bumpy it may be and this is what I would say…
You are a mother. From the moment you saw two pink lines. You are a mom. Your baby may never have made it into your arms, but lives in your heart forever.
Your baby wasn’t a mistake, an accident, or something nature “fixed.” Please take the time to grieve…you’re hurting and know that someone knows where you’ve been. You aren’t somehow less of a woman. You aren’t “broken” or a failure.
I give you permission to say no to that baby shower. To quietly pass on an occasion that while celebratory for her brings so much heartache to you. A painful reminder of all that isn’t right now.
He will grieve differently. He’s a fixer. He wants to make it better, but the truth is, in this moment, life can’t be made right. And that’s okay.
In the midst of your trials, just know I understand. I see your silent tears, your quiet pleading, and your longing.
But don’t be afraid to try again. Don’t fear that this is your forever. Look to what will be. These struggles will one day be a distant memory. As you wipe sticky floors and faces. These days of sorrow will be replaced by chubby hands and sloppy kisses.
The best is yet to be.