I should have a 9-week-old curled up next to my 8-year-old this Mother’s Day. That’s really hard to acknowledge. Last year at Mother’s Day, I had no idea that the cycle I was starting would lead to pregnancy and then miscarriage. After 5 years of waiting for that pregnancy to come, I had given up and accepted that it just wasn’t meant to be. We’d be a family of 3, I was grateful for that, and I moved on.
This year, Mother’s Day is different.
I’m so incredibly grateful for the beautiful daughter I have, but I do mourn the baby we’ve lost. It doesn’t make me ungrateful… it makes me a mother. Child at home or not – miscarriage still means motherhood on this side of heaven – it means a baby is part of the family… we just don’t get to raise that baby.
Or in some of your cases: babies.
Every year on Mother’s Day, I think of those who have lost babies. Even before my own miscarriage, Mother’s Day carried a heavy burden due to infertility and the journey it took to bring Zoey home. But for the other women who don’t have a child at home: does she stand at church when all the mothers are asked to stand? Does she feel like she can’t, and like all eyes will be on her if she does? Does she feel isolated and alone? Does she just skip that Sunday all together for the sake of setting boundaries around her heart?
And that breaks my heart.
This Mother’s Day, if you’ve lost a child through miscarriage or stillbirth, I’m so sorry. Your child is not forgotten. You are not alone.
Whether you have one child at home or four…
Whether it was an early miscarriage or a later loss…
Whether it was a failed IVF embryo transfer or the loss of one embryo out of two transferred…
That child is an important part of your family and it is okay to mourn the loss of that child.
Mother’s Day after miscarriage is just weird. I’m so grateful to have a child on this side of heaven to raise, to play with, to teach, to talk to, and to literally watch grow up. I can’t even begin to explain how grateful I am. Truly. But it’s still weird and so very hard.
And as my child spends Mother’s Day weekend this year away from me at Girl Scouts camp, I’m missing her deeply. I’m also missing the 9-week-old baby that should be at home with my husband and me while she is at camp. Letting her go this weekend of all weekends was a hard decision and truly a selfless one because deep down I wanted to say “no way!” and keep her with me. I also wanted to go with her, but unfortunately wasn’t allowed to go since I’m not a Girl Scout. Being home without both of my babies is not how I planned to spend this weekend. And while I do get the chance to pick my daughter up from camp between 10-11 on Mother’s Day, you better believe I will be there at 10:00 on the dot to scoop her up in my arms and reclaim our time together.
If this is your first Mother’s Day after a miscarriage, I’m deeply sorry for your loss. If I can offer one piece of advice to you, it’s this: Pamper yourself. Do something good for yourself. Love yourself this weekend. Don’t walk through it alone. Your miscarriage may be extremely fresh or almost a year out like mine. Either way, I know how you feel and I know it’s hard. Find a way to do something good for yourself this weekend, and I pray you find comfort and peace in the midst of your storm.