This year I get two Mother’s Days.
Yesterday was International Bereaved Mother’s Day. I came across this holiday in some sort of search I did a few months ago and had no idea there was such a thing. I am so thankful that I get to celebrate my third Mother’s Day next Sunday. I should be celebrating with my 2 year old son and 6 month old baby girl. Instead I get two separate holidays for each of my children.
I’m not entirely sure how to feel about this separate holiday. I will still celebrate both of my children next week, even though one is in heaven and lives in my heart. I think it’s very important for a lot of women who may struggle with fertility and who’ve had multiple losses. Many of them feel outcast for not being mothers (with living children). I can only imagine how much harder our loss would’ve been without our son to take care of and focus on.
The simple version of our loss is basically one short sentence: There is no heartbeat. I had a perfect pregnancy, baby was healthy and even a little big. Really a pretty easy pregnancy, besides how very large I’d gotten in such a short time. When people say the second one is different, that was so true for me. All is well and uneventful until just after Halloween. I was 36 weeks and a few days pregnant and was just getting into the more frequent appointments and monitoring that happen toward the end of a pregnancy. I had noticed a day or so earlier that I didn’t feel as much movement as I would like. I was feeling some movement though and just assumed she had slowed down because she was running out of room. Just a regular 10 minute check up and when the nurse couldn’t find it right away I knew immediately. They confirmed with an US that she had passed away. I had her via c-section the next morning.
It’s been six months and I still sometimes feel like I can’t believe that it happened to us. I can’t believe I have a baby in heaven, that I never heard cry. And she was so perfect, just looked like she was asleep. I will always have her in my heart, and I still think about her everyday and light a candle for her nearly everyday. I’ll forever be the girl whose baby died. I will forever be a bereaved mother. Although I will always recognize it and offer support, I personally will celebrate all of my children on Mother’s Day, next week. Hopefully next year, I’ll have two living children by Mother’s Day, with a rainbow baby to celebrate.
There is a beautiful movement for mothers of loss called The Mother’s Heart “I See You” Project. It’s helping women with loss heal by banding together to feel recognized as mothers. You can find more information at at the link below. I wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all women with children, whether in your arms or in your heart forever.