Reflections on Mother’s Day

Yesterday was Mother’s Day.

My mom is dead, and has been for 18 years.

My babies never made it. They never took their first breaths, instead they died much too soon.

Mother’s day for me, is not a day to celebrate. It is a day to hide. A day to mourn what was, what could have been and what will never be.

The first year after my mom died, when I was only 14 years old, a relative sent me a card a few days before mother’s day acknowledging how hard mother’s day would be for me and reminding me that while my mother was gone I was still surrounded by her spirit and love. She was right, it was hard. Going to a gravesite is no way to celebrate mother’s day. But, her sensitivity and caring validated my feelings and gave me a safe space to be hurt. Her kind act left a lasting impression on me and I still remember this as one of the nicest things someone did for me in the aftermath of losing my mother. It was people like this who warm my spirit and provide me with hope for human compassion.

Somehow I learned to deal with mother’s day. Somehow I learned to remember my mom in my thoughts, send a simple mother’s day greeting to my step-mom and pretty much ignore the presence of the day entirely. In the weeks leading up to mother’s day I learned to avoid malls where every piece of signage is a reminder of the date and my own selfish self-pity. I learned to avoid going out for brunch or super on mother’s day and being surrounded by those who have what I do not. I learned how to survive the day.

But the last few years have been hard for me in a new and unexpected way. As we began our adventure into recurrent pregnancy loss, mother’s day became hard for me in a whole new way. Last year, I made an overt decision to hide from the day and run away into the mountains to hide from any reminders of what we were going through.  Outside of Mr. MPB, no-one has ever recognized me as the mother that I am. No-one has sent text messages or left voice mails to wish me a wonderful day or to simply say today must be hard, I’m thinking of you. Yesterday was the exact same.

Except, at the same time, it wasn’t.

A random acquaintance gave me a beautiful mother’s day.  We’ve met once or twice, and while we were chatting our plans to adopt came up, as did out losses. I learned that she too had struggled to have her child and in the 10 minute conversation a few days before mother’s day she almost brought me to tears when she said with excitement radiating through her:

Next Mother’s Day is going to be the best! You are going to be crying buckets of joy when you open that card that says you are a mommy and you are hugging your child. Oh, it’s going to be amazing!

In those words she changed my attitude about mother’s day. Her words empowered me to not close myself off this year. Instead, I’ve thought about our future. I realized that mother’s day won’t always be horrible. In fact, there’s a really good chance that by this time next year we will have a little one. I talked about our children, the ones we’ve lost and the one(s) we will have. Honestly, I’ve been overcome with excitement about our choice to adopt, and the relief and hope that comes with our decision to adopt. I thought about our future and I was excited! We will have our family. I am a mother!

Next year I might just be a mother to a living child. Within the next year, my dreams may just come true!  Next year will be different!

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59 Comments on “Reflections on Mother’s Day

  1. Yes! Next year will be different. I will be crossing everything for that to be so!
    And you are a mother indeed. I can only begin imagine how hard MD is for you having lost your mother and your babies. But one day, whilst there will always be the sadness at the loss of your mum and babies, it will be happier and you will be able to cuddle your child and know that you have thrived.

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    • I love the picture you painted of the day that I am able to cuddle our sweet child. Knowing this, thinking about this, I realize that some day I will find joy again in mother’s day. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your excitement about next year. ❤ Thinking of you, as always!

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  3. I love this! And I love that her excitement and kind words lifted you up and made you excited for the future! You’re right, you’re on this journey now and your child will be with you very soon. It made me really happy to read this xxx

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  4. Yes, I believe this to be true. The whole time I was reading, I was thinking “Oh my gosh, she’s going to be a mother to a living child so soon, this is so exciting!” And then when I got to the end and you basically said the same thing I did a little cheer in my head for you. I can say, from a perspective of someone who has a living child, but has lost both a mom and babies, that Mother’s Day will always be kind of sad (at least it has been for me), but also joyful at the same time. Bitter sweet — like most things in life I guess.

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    • Awe, thanks so much for the cheer! 🙂
      I think your perspective of mother’s day will hold true for me as well – bitter sweet. But, I am so excited to add the sweet part to the day. Somehow, I feel like after all of our struggles I will appreciate the sweet part just a little bit more. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I just love you, you know that! I am sooooo excited for you and your first Mother’s day with a baby in your arms. I am so happy to be on this journey with you and to watch you blossom as a Mom. I am so happy that you are excited for the future and the possibilities it holds! Love you!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love you too! And I love that we are doing this adoption thing together! It’s going to be so much fun to watch your family grow and to trade mommy tips with each other. One day, hopefully soon, we will both have our babies in our arms! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I thought of you yesterday and prayed that your next Mother’s Day would be full of the joy of being celebrated by and with your child:) I love this turnaround for you: it’s the beginning of a new chapter of blessings for you!! I’m so excited for what’s to come:)

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  7. Yes it will! Your excitement is contagious! I feel it will be a great Mother’s Day for me too…some how, some way. I must keep believing. I also feel the excitement in this post of the anticipation of your child…finally being in your arms…you are certainly on your way and I am blessed to be able to read about your story from beginning to the end! Next year, I hope we both look back at this and think…wow…we were right…what an amazing day it is! xoxo

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    • Thank you so much my friend! I think you are right, mother’s day will be different for you too next year and we will so enjoy looking back and smiling at how much has changed in our lives! 🙂

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  8. Thanks for the post. It really puts Mother’s Day into perspective.

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  9. I think this is exactly how I felt this year. Hoping for a better next year. 🙂 I was fortunate to have a few infertility/loss friends message me, but no family acknowledge the day. It’s one of those things where we need to accept that those people are never going to get the depth of our love, strength, hurt and loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Beautifulness! With all my might I hope next year is different for you!
    Yesterday was a difficult day for me, even though I have my little ones. I couldn’t stop thinking about my mom, which I seem to do on mother’s day now that she is no longer here, and will never meet my kids. It makes me a miserable person on that day…I hope next year is better for me too.

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    • I am sorry that mother’s day was so dificult for you, I hate that I understand but I do. I suspect that regardless of the fact that you have children who want to honour you, the longing for your own mother will always be in your mind. Love to you!

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  11. You are definitely a mum, and next year will be different! How exciting! I’m really excited for you to be looking ahead to this momentous year. It’s going to be amazing x

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  12. I love what she said. We all know the sacrifice reaps the reward but it is a very dark path to get there sometimes. Here is to wishing many life times of Happy Mother’s Days to come!!

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  13. I am so glad to have read this, because I’ve learned the importance of something that would never have occurred to me. In South Africa, where I grew up, Mother’s Day is very much about one’s own mother. We (or at any rate my circle of friends) just don’t give cards, gifts or “HMD” to other people’s mothers. (Like Valentine’s Day and Halloween – it’s recognized, but nowhere near as big a deal as it is in the US.) So I had no idea how much it could mean to write a note to a friend who has lost their mother, or their baby, simply acknowledging the pain of that day’s memories. Thank you!

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    • It might not be the same for everyone, but I have always remembered that one individual who sent me a note so many years ago. I wish I had kept the note, but I don’t tend to keep much “stuff” so it’s long gone now.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I never thought Mother’s Day could be a decent experience until yesterday. R and I decided to focus on us and our Littles. He gave me a beautiful and equally meaningful gift, we shared some tears, had an amazing brunch, spent some time with one of my dear friends, and later lit and released 3 paper lanterns in our babies’ honor.

    This Mother’s Day wasn’t about other people, as it always has been, it was about us: our love, our miracles, and our losses. The simplicity of that made it Real, and better, and somehow okay, even when I know it’s not.

    I think we all do what we need to in order to get through days such as these. Now I know there’s nothing wrong with a bit of grief on a day when many are celebrating.

    Now I finally know.

    With heart,
    Dani

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I am so sorry Mother’s Day has been a special kind of hell for you in the past. I am proud of your bravery to decide to change your perspective! I will try to do the same! I probably have one more MD to go through before parenting, but I will stay hopeful with you!

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    • Thank you so much my friend. It’s amazing how the words of someone who doesn’t really know me well at all was able to shift my perspective. Her excitement was contagious. 🙂

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  16. I’m so glad that someone was able to help you turn around the way you see things. I truly believe that you’re both right, and next year you’ll have your little one in your arms!

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    • Thank you Amy. It was almost strange that someone who doesn’t know me and all my emotional baggage was able to says something so perfect to me. I much prefer her perspective then my own. Here’s to next year being better for both of us!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I was thinking of you yesterday. I wish they would phase out these sorts of holidays. I would bet all of the onesies in the world that next year is going to be different for you. You are just meant to have a baby in your arms.

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    • Thank you so much Molly. I wish I were one of the naive people who could just kick back and enjoy these types of holidays. But alas, that’s not my life or my personality.
      Thank you so much for you hope for next year! 🙂

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  18. I love the way this post wound through your grief, so many layers of grief, to a moment with a relative stranger that shifted your thoughts on Mother’s Day. It sounds like your survival strategies are spot-on, and I hope that this is the last Mother’s Day where you have to employ them! It’s kind of funny, I feel it too — that weird transition of being mired in the hopelessness of infertility treatments to being at the relative start of the adoption process, but still not a mother. It was a funny place to be, but I’m glad that there is excitement for the Mother’s Days of the future, when those babies are here.

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    • Yes, I knew you’d get it! It is such an amazing transformation that comes along with moving from infertility/loss to adoption. Honestly, it’s about time we get to be excited for something!! 🙂

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  19. I still hate Mother’s Day because I know how hard it is to want desperately to be a mother, and then have to watch everyone else celebrate it while you grieve in silence. Every woman is a mother in some capacity – to their living children, to their unborn children, to their pets, to their husbands, to their siblings, to their friends, and to their babies that died before ever being born. Why can’t it just be “woman’s day?” That’s what I wondered all day yesterday.

    I am excited for you… next year will be different. Even if you don’t have that baby in your arms yet, you’ll be so much further down the road.

    Mother’s Day to me is not for the kids to celebrate me, it’s for me to celebrate getting here after a hellacious road. It’s for me to celebrate that they actually arrived in my life!

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    • I totally agree with you about it just being “women’s day”. Heck I’d even be happy if mother’s day was somehow magically transformed to include all the mother’s you listed above.
      And, thank you for your excitement for the future. 🙂

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  20. You’ve been a mother before last Sunday in my view but it is so nice to know you’re looking forward with a different perspective and feeling hopeful. I too hope that this time next year brings tears of joy not heartache to you.

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    • Thank you so much my friend. Not surprisingly the idea of an actual in my arms living child has me excited for next year! Now, let’s just hope our adoption happens within the next year! 🙂
      I hope you had a wonderful mother’s day with your MT and your little growing baby!

      Liked by 1 person

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