What I want on Mother’s Day is to be treated like the Mother that I am.
Because just like you…
I missed and peed on my hand multiple times when taking pregnancy tests. I cried with excitement and fear when I found out I was pregnant. I threw up and cursed tuna sandwiches. My face broke out like a teenage boy. I craved weird stuff like spoonfuls of sour cream. I argued baby names with my husband and started collecting onesies. I wept for joy the first time I heard my child’s heartbeat. I giggled with excitement every time I saw our child’s image on the ultrasound. I read all the books. I picked out a crib. I planned and fretted over the future. I was induced. I labored for hours. I had painful contractions. I pushed until I thought I was going to pass out. I delivered my child. I cried and wept for joy as I held my child. I did all of these things just like you…
Except my child died.
I picked out an urn when you chose your child’s first outfit home. When you took your child home, I picked my child’s ashes up from the funeral home.
Just because I don’t get to…
Spend sleepless nights feeding my child. Kiss their chubby thigh rolls. Film their first steps. Cuddle them through a sickness. Read them their favorite book 400 times. Coach their first soccer team. Ease their first boo boo. Watch a Disney movie 127 times. Tease them about their first crush. Teach them how to drive. Ground them for missing curfew. Encourage them to finish college in a timely manner. Watch them graduate college. Dance with them at their wedding.
Just because I don’t get to hug my child when they tell me that I am going to be a grandmother, doesn’t mean Mother’s Day doesn’t apply to me.
We all started out with the same love, hopes and dreams for our children. You were just blessed to live that love and experience those dreams and fulfill those hopes. And we are the Mother’s that weep, mourn and grieve the years we will never get.
1 in 4 women experience a miscarriage, stillbirth or a newborn loss, yet somehow…women that lose their child at 8, 18 or 38 weeks, 2 days or 1 month don’t receive acknowledgment on this day. It’s not that people are cruel or mean, it’s just they don’t realize it or don’t know how to handle this topic.
But what we want is to have a Mother’s Day just like you. On Mother’s Day:
- I want happiness and not sadness. Though I know I will be crying all day long and aching inside.
- I want to celebrate my child by thinking of him, sharing his photos and saying his name.
- I want my husband to hug me, give me a sweet card and wish me a ‘Happy Mother’s Day’.
- I want family and close friends to shoot me a message that simply says ‘Hey, I am thinking of you!’ or ‘Happy Mother’s Day!’ Nothing more or less.
- I want places that pass out flowers for mothers to recognize me as a mother.
- I want people to be more aware of their audiences on this day, especially on social media.
- Most of all, I want you to smile and think of me as the Mother that I am and think of my child on this day.
Thankfully, there is an online community called Hope Mommies that is a safe place for moms to gather, share their stories and find comfort. When I asked these mom’s about Mother’s Day, this was the common issue brought up:
Most often our friends and family are afraid that they may upset or ‘remind’ us of our loss if they say something. But the truth is, we already think about our dead children every minute of the day. You won’t be ‘reminding’ us, you will be honoring us by remembering us.
And for those who fear they will make us cry, as Dixie (Mom to sweet baby boy Lucian, born 17 weeks early and lived for 2 and a half days) said in reference to Mother’s Day:
I’ll either cry from happiness and sadness, or I’ll cry because my baby and I were forgotten.
The bottom line is: we will cry but please let those tears be because you remembered us and not because your forgot us. Happy Mother’s Day to ALL the mommies in the world and please reach out to those special women in your life and wish them a Happy Mother’s Day!