This is a post that is heavy on my heart tonight. Not just because tomorrow is Mother's Day. Not just because I will celebrate it with my two beautiful girls. Not just because I have to face the emptiness of the day without my beautiful baby boy. Not just because I don't have my own mom here to celebrate.
My heart is heavy because there are so many women who are mothers that will not be acknowledged. At all. No one will think twice about them. They will be overlooked while their hearts break inwardly. Losing Baby Grady has opened my eyes and heart in so many ways.
If you've never thought about this, I'd like you to take a minute and listen. Do you know anyone who has ever suffered a miscarriage? So often we hear of this news and think, "Oh, that's too bad" and continue on our merry way. Because they are so common (I believe the statistics are 1 in 3 pregnancies will end in a miscarriage) we tend to dismiss it when we hear of one.
But have you ever had a miscarriage? If you have, like myself, you know that the pain is not so easily dismissed. The pain is real, and it is deep. My miscarriage was between Emma Grace and Grady. I already had two living children, and it was devastating for me, even though I was only 7-8 weeks along. I do want to clarify. Losing Grady was MUCH harder than my miscarriage for obvious reasons. I don't think it's fair to even try to compare the two. They are both a loss, real loss, but different.
If you're reading this and have living children, think back to when you got your positive pregnancy test. Did you not immediately start thinking about how your life would change to accommodate this baby? What would be his/her first holiday? What room would this baby take over in your home or would you need a new house to make room for baby? What would you name this baby? This list could go on, but my point is this... From the very moment we find out we are pregnant, we start bonding with, dreaming about and loving our unborn babies.
My belief is that life begins at the moment of conception. Yes, I understand that implantation must occur, etc. But I saw Grady's heartbeat at 6 weeks! That was the earliest ultrasound I had ever had, and I couldn't believe how fast, strong and evident it was that he was very much alive in my womb.
The point I want to get across is that those women you know who have had an early pregnancy loss through miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy ARE mothers! They need to be acknowledged on Mother's Day. Being a mother doesn't necessarily mean you have to have a baby physically here with you in your arms. I guarantee those women will think about their babies on this Mother's Day, but my guess is that no one else will. They will smile and wish others a happy day, but inwardly they are sad, wishing someone would acknowledge them. But even more, they're wishing they didn't lose their baby and could celebrate with them in the flesh.
I want to encourage you to reach out to those who have had an early loss on this Mother's Day. I'm focusing on early loss because I feel that those are the ones most often overlooked. I would like to think that a loss later in pregnancy would be given more attention, but I know this isn't always the case either. Just remember, a loss is a loss at any point in pregnancy. A mother is always a mother in her heart to her baby/babies that she had to give back way too soon. I found a quote today that says, "A mother's love is instinctual, unconditional, and forever." UK
It doesn't take much to reach out. Just a simple, "I'm thinking about you today. I'm sorry for your loss" goes a long way! People often remain silent because they don't want to bring up bad feelings or make someone sad. I guarantee they're thinking about it anyway and will be touched that you thought of it, too. (Read the poem on my left side-bar!)
I read Molly Piper's post tonight about Mother's Day. She stated so eloquently how I'm feeling in regards to Baby Grady this year. If you're curious and would like to read it, click here. I don't have the energy to go that deep tonight and don't have to. She said it for me....thanks Molly!
Mother's Day will definitely be bittersweet for me.
The sweet part is that I have two beautiful girls that I am SO thankful for to celebrate with and love on. I remember when Emma Grace was still in the hospital. That particular Mother's Day I had two girls, but I wasn't sure if I would still have two the next year. Praise God, I still do!!!
The bitter part is obvious. I don't have Baby Grady with me. I also don't have my little tiny one that I lost so early. I don't have my mom here to share Mother's Day with, either.
It is also bittersweet, because last year, on May 10th (which just happens to be Mother's Day this year), we told the girls we were having a baby. I'm tearing up as I remember that day. I can't believe it was a year ago.
I can't believe how our lives have changed in that one year.
We were so excited to tell them. I was 10 weeks, 4 days pregnant with Baby Grady. I wrote a poem for Jessica to read. We sat them together, and Jessica read this poem aloud. (now keep in mind that I'm NOT a poet, but it's the best I could come up with!)
Mommy and Daddy would like to say
How very much we love you.
Jessica is a big sister,
Now Emma Grace will be too!
In November we will gladly meet
The new member of our family.
It may be a boy or another girl
We'll just have to wait and see.
But there is one thing we know for sure
And that, sweet girls, you see,
Is that we will live together happily,
Forever as a family!
Love, Mommy, Daddy and Baby-to-be.
They were beaming with excitement! It was such a relief to tell them why I had been feeling so bad. Jessica had told me more than once that I needed to go to the doctor and find out why I felt like I was going to throw up all the time!
I wish that poem had come true.
Here are a few pictures from that very special, happy day one short year ago.
Waiting and wondering...
Reading and catching on...
Beaming with excitement!
I searched today for poems and found two that I'd like to share with you. Because I have living children and a heavenly child, I'm posting two.
The first is for me and my other "Angel Mommy Friends". Happy Mother's Day to all of you!
* Best Angel Friends *
A beautiful little angel showed up to Heaven's gates
Confused and unknowing the plan that for him awaits.
Then another little angel walked up and took his hand
and said, "Please don't be sad you left, you're in the Promised Land."
"I'm glad to be here but I do not think I was to go,
Perhaps there was a mistake, for my mommy wanted me so."
The little greeting angel gave a sweet smile and said,
"My mommy wanted me too, but to Heaven I was led.
You see, we do not get to choose when on Earth it's time to go.
He gave us life, love and joy and a mother's womb to grow.
The Lord still needs new angels to guide them down on earth.
To watch over, comfort them, and help them see their worth."
"Is there still a way that I can sleep in my mommy's bed?"
The greeting angel grinned and said, "that luxury you'll keep.
I visit my mommy nightly and softly sing her to sleep."
The little angel replied, "then I think I'll like it here.
I'll visit my mommy nightly and weaken her pain and fears.
I love her and will keep her safe at night and in between,
And let her know with a sweet memory that she is still with me."
The greeting angel gave her new friend a big hug and said,
"Until our mommy's meet us here, let's be best angel friends."
"Okay," said the new angel, "that sounds good to me."
Then the angels sat and played keeping their mommy's in sight,
Humming the tunes to the song they would sing to their mommy's tonight...
This next one is for me and my friends with living children. Happy Mother's Day to all of you!
A MOTHER'S PRAYER
Dear Lord, it's such a hectic day,
With little time to stop and pray,
For life's been anything but calm
Since You called me to be a mom--
Running errands, matching socks,
Building dreams with wooden blocks,
Cooking, cleaning, finding shoes
And other stuff that children lose,
Fitting lids on bottled bugs,
Wiping tears and giving hugs,
A stack of last week's mail to read--
So where's the quiet time I need?
Yet, when I steal a moment, Lord,
Just at the sink or ironing board,
To ask the blessings of Your grace,
I see then, in my small one's face,
That you have blessed me all the while --
And I stoop to kiss that
I hope that all of you find some peace and happiness on Mother's Day. Take the day as it is. Be thankful that God has indeed blessed you with another. Cry and be joyful, if that's what you need. Be thankful for what you have and even for what you don't - I am!