With Mother’s Day this weekend, I think it’s important to remember that it is not always an easy day for some. There are those who long to be mothers and aren’t, there are those who have lost children whether through miscarriage or through death, and there are those who are mourning the loss of their own mothers or mother figures in their own life.
For years Mother’s Day was a very difficult day for me. Here’s my story…
This post is not for the faint of heart, and it is not for the weary. It is also not for those who are hurting, especially those who are hurting from having sent a baby from this world to the heavenly realm, perhaps even before birth.
It was 16 years ago that we officially mourned the loss of our first baby.
I can still feel the emotion, jagged and raw like it was yesterday. I remember laying on the cold linoleum floor in the bathroom. The bathroom. The very place that I thought I would spend the rest of my life. I say that because I thought surely there was no way that my life wasn’t ending in that very moment, or at least shortly thereafter since the pain in my heart certainly would keep it from beating much longer. I thought I would die, I wanted to die, and not in a suicide, end my life sort of way, but in the I cannot fathom living with the gaping hole that ripped my heart wide open kind of way.
We actually knew that day would come.
An ultrasound a few days earlier had confirmed our worst nightmare, that the baby I was carrying no longer had a heartbeat. It was just a matter of when it would happen.
How does one prepare to say goodbye to a child they have never even met?
In some ways I think not knowing it was coming would have been easier, at least it was for me when we lost our second baby several years later. The waiting seemed to give me too much time to collect thoughts, to collect emotion, and to collect tears that burst forth in all their toxic explosive pain while laying on that cold bathroom floor.
But the day came, the emotions came, and the tears came.
It was while laying on that bathroom floor for hours, although it seemed like days, that my view of children was transformed.
My view of being a mother shifted from being something that someone simply chooses to something that one is given, something that one is gifted, and something that one is blessed to become.
It was while laying on that bathroom floor that my heart pleaded with God to not let my story as a mother end there.
I felt like Sarah, Hannah, and so many others who pleaded with God for a child. I knew that my precious child whose heart had stopped beating before taking even one breath on this side of heaven could not possibly be the end for me, although in those moments I was convinced that it was. I felt such an emptiness, and I have never felt so alone.
It was while laying on that bathroom floor that I made a pact with God.
I told Him that I would welcome whatever children He gave, and however He gave them to me as long as I could be a mother to a living, breathing child.
It was because I was forced to lay on that bathroom floor with my heart shattered into a million pieces that I just don’t worry about what children will come, how they will get here, how we will support them, or what life will look like when God decides what is to come. God has continued to uphold his end of our agreement, and I will do the same.
On March 7, 1999, I became a mother.
I say I became a mother on that day because it was the first time that I actually saw my heart on the outside of my body in the body of a baby who was no longer alive here, but who was no less alive in my heart. I see that same heart in the faces of seven people who look back at me every.single.day.
I became a mother on this day, 16 years ago, and I have never been the same.
If you or someone you know has lost a baby at any stage, you may find this post encouraging, What Not to Say to Someone Who Has Lost a Baby.