Surviving is not Living

For the Mothers Who Are, But Aren’t

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My first Mother’s day was May 2008. At that point, and  prior, Mother’s day was a  whole other concept for me. It was about life, mothers who had given life to children, and celebrating those women. I might have thought about bereaved mothers fleetingly, but I never really considered what a difficult day it must have been for those mothers who could not see and hold their children. I thought of the mothers whose children sent them cards and made them dinner and  finger painted messy pictures and gave hugs and snotty kisses.

I was in my second trimester with my son. I anticipated a lifetime of all of those things. I looked forward to all of the years I would spend with my son. I was  a mom, and the following mother’s day I would raising a 6 month old.

That isn’t how it happened, and now, Mother’s day has a very different feeling for me. I still celebrate the wonderful mother I have, and the friends and  family I have that are wonderful mothers to their living children, but more so I think about the mothers who are often forgotten. The ones who question if they can still call  themselves a mother, the ones who look longingly as their friends and family receive gifts from their children, and are  acknowledged by the world as mothers, and who never question how to answer when someone asks them if they have children.

Mother’s day of  2009 approached and I dreaded it. I asked  for the day off work. I readied myself to have a flood of emotions come over me.  They never came. I was at  peace that I was still a mother.  I  think another part of me realized that even if my son had lived, at 6 months he wouldn’t have realized what the day was. For the next couple years Mother’s day wasn’t as difficult of a day to get through as I thought it would be.

But there’s something about this year that is beginning  to change. Perhaps it could be that I’m missing the  Mother’s day hug of  a 4 year old boy who is starting to understand holidays and wants to make his  mommy feel special. Perhaps it’s because I’m turning 30 this year and starting to wonder if I will ever again feel the flutters of this precious child I helped create coming to life and growing within me. Perhaps I am beginning to  feel like time is running out. Perhaps it’s the world continuing to turn and  friends continuing to welcome  home baby two and three and four…

Or perhaps it is the weight of sadness that too many women face alone each day, and especially on Mother’s day. The women who have tried for months or years and yearn to  see those two lines on a pregnancy test. The women who have seen those lines and yet weeks or  months later endure a heartbreaking miscarriage. The women who  have felt  life within and yet have held death in their arms. The women who have  no living children and not only doubt if they can call themselves mother, but start to doubt if they can even call themselves woman, after  so  much devastating loss and a body that has failed them on countless occasions.

So this Mother’s day, while I do celebrate with all of you who are terrific mothers, forgive me if my love and attention goes more  towards those like me, who  try to stifle our jealousy, congratulate our mother friends like it isn’t sometimes the  most difficult words to utter, and wonder if the day will ever come that we know what it is like to hear a child call us mommy.


Written by No More Tomorrows

May 11, 2013 at 10:13 pm

Posted in Baby Loss, Grief

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