We have done different things in the past on Mother’s Day. Up until my first miscarriage, Mother’s Day was a day to celebrate all of the mothers in my life – my mom, my mother-in-law, my friends. I would make little gifts or write cards to them. I enjoyed it because I really enjoy encouraging other people.
But that all changed with my first miscarriage.
2013 – I went to church that day. I was still recovering from my miscarriage I had just 6 days earlier. I didn’t want to be the kind of person that stayed home. I wanted to embrace the “this isn’t about me, this is about celebrating my friends just like I’ve always done” mentality. But when I walked in, the first person asked me when I was going to be celebrating this day, myself, and I almost lost it right there. But I held it together….that is, until the first video during the service. I managed to get out to the hallway before the ugly crying started. My husband was making coffee that morning, so I just stayed with him in the kitchen for the rest of the service. My in-laws had come in that weekend to support us, and I left them in the sanctuary. Thankfully, they understood and were awesome about it. I would also like to note that the church put a beautiful poem in the bulletin that day, honoring all mothers. One of the ministers who saw me leave the sanctuary came to check up on me and told me that he was thinking of me when they put that particular poem in the bulletin that week. Another minister also came to check on me. That church rocks.
2014 – Michael and I decided to get out of town this time. We went to Austin for the weekend. He shopped at fish stores and I had a morning at the spa.
2015 – This was after my first daughter passed away. It was this Mother’s Day that I requested a special heart-shaped urn for my daughter.
2016 – I was actually pregnant on this Mother’s Day. I went to church, dreamt of future Mother’s Days. It was a pretty amazing day. I didn’t know that only three months later, she, too, would pass away unexpectedly and inexplicably. But this day was a happy day that I still cherish.
2017 – This Mother’s Day, I holed up in my house. I didn’t know how I was going to be on this day. I spent the morning snuggling with my dogs and watching light-hearted TV shows on Netflix (that had nothing to do with motherhood). My husband gave me two cards – one from him and one from the dogs (the dogs’ card included a pack of highlighters because just recently, Teddy destroyed my favorite pink one). I wasn’t on my phone very much, but I think one of the most amazing things that happened this year was the unexpected texts and messages I received. I didn’t respond to very many because I was overwhelmed by the kind words and thoughts and prayers included in each message. You are all a part of God’s work on my healing heart, and I’m so thankful for each of you.
Just like how different each of my Mother’s days these past four years have been, other women who have experienced or are experiencing pregnancy loss or infertility may do this day differently than I have. And that’s okay. Maybe some need to be in community and decided to go to church. Maybe some need to get out of town. Maybe some need to do something special to remember their child(ren). Maybe some just need to stick their heads in the sand and wait for it to pass. Maybe some are pregnant this year, but they still remember the children that came before.
None of these are wrong or selfish. If you find this particular holiday difficult, know that you are loved. You are valued. I know it feels isolating, but you are not alone. If you ever want to talk or vent, I’m here. But more importantly, God is here. He sees you. He hears you. And he is walking with you every step of this journey.