May 9, 2015

Thoughts on Being a Mother

The first time I celebrated Mother's Day (in recognition of myself as the mother) was in 2011. TJ bought me flowers and one of those Boppy body pillows. The ones that are supposed to help pregnant women sleep more comfortably. He gave me a card and wrote a message from the twins. It was a beautiful memory.

A few weeks later, we lost the twins. Mother's Day since then has been a very painful day for me. The memory that stands out the most to me took place at church. The priest asked all moms to stand up while he delivered a blessing. At first, I didn't stand up. I didn't have my children next to me in the pew like the other moms. After TJ urged me to, I reluctantly stood. The priest did something I won't ever forget. He acknowledged me. He included moms who had suffered miscarriage or lost a child at any stage, and he acknowledged those who yearn to be mothers. His message was one of hope and faith. Filled with sadness and appreciation, I began to cry and the tears flowed so freely that I had to walk out and take a moment.

Here I am in 2015, and I am preparing to meet our 7th child. This 7th child does not reside in my womb, but is every bit my own. This child will, God willing, be the first child I meet face-to-face, hold in my arms, and bring home from the hospital. Our baby is a miracle and the answer to so many prayers. My heart is filled to the brim with hope and gratitude. I'm thankful I don't feel the same sadness that I have in years past. But, there is always going to be a part of my heart that yearns and aches for the children we have lost. The ones who made me a mother, too.

Yesterday, as I was leaving school, a kind, elderly woman said "next year I'll get to wish you a Happy Mother's Day!" She knows we are expecting so I said, "well, I suppose we can celebrate this year, can't we?" Her response was "well not this year, but next!"  For some reason it made me feel the tiniest bit sad. While I understand that next Mother's Day having Baby Guy in our arms will make it the most special yet, am I not a mother already? And, I didn't want to get into the particulars at that moment, but I wanted to share with her that I've been a mother since 2011. The point of sharing this story is that I still wanted to be acknowledged. I wanted to shout "I already am a mother AND I am expecting our bundle of joy come September!"


I know this day is very painful for so many. Women who are missing the children whom they have lost, and ones on a bumpy road to parenthood. If you are already a mom, or you hope to become one, I acknowledge you. I hope that this day, which can serve as a reminder of what's missing or a reminder of the blessings before you (or hopefully both) can fill you with hope. If you're sitting in the pew, looking around at all of the other moms, waiting patiently for your turn, know that it's coming. Your desire to be a mom is there because you will be one. One way or another, you will. So, my challenge to you is to celebrate that fact this Mother's Day. And if it helps, remind yourself that those moms might have sat in your seat at one point. They might have shed tears year after year as they waited patiently for their turn. It's coming, Mama. It's on it's way and it will be right on time.

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