Mother’s Day is usually a joyful time. For millions of women around the world, it is a time of treats, spa days, handmade or store-bought gifts given by little hands, and breakfast in bed. A time for celebration, relaxation, and honor for those blessed with (living) children.
But for 1 in 8 women who struggle with infertility and baby loss, it is the most dreaded day of the year. It serves as a painful and hyper-commercialized reminder of what is missing for them, of what they may never have, or of what they lost. It is they who weep silently in the background while others celebrate, forgotten in a world programmed only to recognize the visible, the here and now. Millions of us wish for a fast-forward button to skip over this day that can be painful as we mourn babies lost to miscarriage or stillbirth, stealing from us the coveted title of “mom”. We feel lesser, inferior, not equal to those whose babies made it safely into this world; to those who get the privilege of rocking babies to sleep each night, those who get to kiss boo-boos and wipe away the tears of toddlers after a fall or of teenagers after a first-love breakup. We may never hear the words “I love you, mom” uttered from the mouths of tiny kiddos. We may never have the joy of seeing that positive pregnancy test, the excitement of getting to announce the impending arrival of a new addition to our spouse, family, or friends. We may never get to see the soft flicker of a tiny heartbeat on an ultrasound, or feel the weight of a big round belly. “Auntie” may be the only title ever bestowed on us by those who don’t understand, the closest we may ever come to being looked up to by littles.
As one who has suffered the weight of infertility and multiple miscarriages, I understand this feeling all too well. This is my 7th Mother’s Day since we began our journey to parenthood. It is the 7th time I’ve spent most of the day in tears, longing for the babies we’ve lost to miscarriage over these long years. It is the very first time a few friends and family have acknowledged that I AM a mom, despite the absence of the 5 babies we’ve lost here in the physical world. My heart aches for others in our same position, for those who’ve endured the anguish of watching the rest of the world get their happily-ever-afters while we wait for a miracle that may never arrive. My heart breaks for all those who’ve lost children to miscarriage and stillbirth, children who were and are very much wanted, but were apparently too beautiful to remain on Earth and earned their angel wings much too soon.
I’m here to tell all those dealing with this painful disposition that you are not alone. If you (like me) are feeling forgotten and left behind today, on what should be a joyous day, please know that you, sweet girl, ARE a mom. You are worthy. You are special. You are deserving. Your babies lost in the womb matter, and they still make you a mom. Weep as much as you need to. Scream, cry, question why. But don’t stay there. Feel the very depths of your sorrow, but make sure you find your way back to the surface. Allow yourself to feel joy again, and know that you’ll get through this. You are stronger than you know and more powerful than you’ve been led to believe. Your day will come, one way or another. You’ll find your peace, and you’ll find your happy once again, if you let it return to you. Happy Mother’s Day to all of us moms, in whatever form and circumstance that may be. ❤