1. My babies existed. They are real human beings who mattered and have been loved. Just because they died too soon doesn’t mean they somehow ceased to exist. Please, don’t avoid mentioning my babies, as if it will somehow remind me of my pain. I can assure you, I never forget that pain.
2. I’m a mom. Even if I have no living children, I’m still a mother…I carried a child in my womb, even if only for a short while. There is no way to even describe the sadness that accompanies watching other women receive cards and flowers and be celebrated, while I am passed over as “not a mom.” I’m still a mother, but I have been robbed of the mommy moments that mothers with living children get. Please, will someone just acknowledge that I’m a mom?? ?
3. Mother’s Day is painful, but I’m not being dramatic, attention seeking, or simply pouting. It hurts so deep, that I can feel physical pain through my body. My chest is tight, my head is spinning, and my legs feel weak and heavy at the same time. My stomach is in my throat, but my throat feels like someone is squeezing it. My arms literally physically ache, as if the emptiness is tangible. It really hurts. Can’t someone give me a hug and acknowledge my pain without acting as if I’m making it up?
4. I can actually feel happiness for other mothers. I know you think I’m making it all about me, but I do feel happy for you and your living children. It’s just that I also feel this pain, and the grief is so much more overwhelming that the happiness doesn’t usually shine through on this day. I wish you could understand this, and not be upset about it. I wish I didn’t feel obligated to put on a fake smile just to keep others from feeling uncomfortable around me.
5. My husband hurts, too. He sees me as a mama, but his chance of celebrating the mother of his children has been taken away, too. He’d rather be trying to wrangle kids and keep them from wandering in the grocery store while they pick out cards and flowers than watching me suffer, and grieving the children that should be alive (and probably driving us a little nuts). I wish other men would give him a man-hug and tell him it’s ok to be sad.
6. Yes, something as simple as a child’s laughter can unexpectedly make me cry. It doesn’t mean I’m an “un-fixable” mess of a person. It means I love children and long to hear my kids be happy. It’s a reminder of what I lost, what should exist but was taken away. Please, don’t view me as fragile, because I’m not. I just miss the family I was supposed to have.
7. I’m not trying to be weird when I stare at your baby with tears streaming down my face. I’m picturing my child, at the same age… and wishing they were in my arms. I’m debating asking you if I can hold yours, but I don’t want to freak you out if I start sobbing while holding him/her. If you see me staring, would you ask if I want to hold your child? It’s painful yet comforting at the same time.
8. Offering sentiments like “you’re still young, you have time,” or “it’ll happen when it’s meant to happen,” or other such phrases is not helpful. Not only are those horrible and the opposite of comforting, they’re not always true. Some couples will never have natural children. Some women are older than you think, or want more than one child, so there’s not “plenty of time.” I wish you could just tell me you love me and you’re proud of me for being brave enough to keep living and trusting God.
9. And yes, it’s possible to completely trust God while grieving lost children. Don’t tell me that it’s not. Don’t say “just trust God.” Because I have, and I do. Please, just tell me that God still loves me and is proud of me for trusting him through something that feels so cruel.
10. Bringing up adoption, or telling stories of infertile couples getting pregnant after adopting does NOT bring comfort. So stop. I’m not infertile. I’ve conceived while preventing, and yes, we are adults and understand how prevention and pregnancy work, so please stop asking us such personal questions. Being infertile is not the same thing as recurrent loss. While infertility is a horrible struggle itself, it’s not the same. It’s not exciting for me to turn a pregnancy test positive. It’s not exciting to announce our pregnancies, because they all end in loss. If we adopted and got pregnant afterwards, it wouldn’t be “haha” and happy. It would be just like the last 4 years of surprise pregnancies and expected losses. Telling me to relax and it will happen doesn’t apply. Telling me to “stop trying” and it will happen doesn’t apply. Why can’t you understand that getting pregnant is not my battle? That I’m getting pregnant on accident, and keeping the baby alive is my battle? Please just keep the sentiments at “I’m praying for you to deliver a healthy child.” Also, we have wanted to adopt since before we got married…it’s not a “second rate option” for us, and it’s insulting to present it as such. And asking a couple who is struggling with having kids if they’ve thought about adoption is like… well, I can’t think of a comparison, but I guarantee you’re not bringing up something they never thought about… ? But the biggest thing is, can you please stop acting like adoption is only something you do if you can’t have “real” kids?? Adopted children are real, too, and some people want to adopt regardless of ability/inability to have biological children.
11. At the end of the day, we just want our babies to be acknowledged. Mothers of living children are justifiably proud of their kids, they share pictures and funny stories, and brag about awards they received. Why? Because they love them and want the world to know how amazing they are. I don’t have the privilege of sharing amazing accomplishments of my children, but I still want the world to know they existed and mattered, even if only to me, and even if I have to wait until heaven to be with them.
If you’re reading this and you’ve never experienced loss, thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading it all the way through. ❤️
If you’re reading this and you’ve lost a child/children, I am giving you a virtual hug. You are a mama. Your children mattered. And it’s ok to grieve. ❤️
Feel free to comment with as much or as little detail of the children you are remembering this Mother’s Day, and/or the living children you are celebrating with.
Much love to all of you. ❤️
*This post is in remembrance of our 11 babies who reside in heaven. Though we didn’t have as much time with you as we would’ve liked, mommy and daddy still love you and miss you, and we thank God for the precious little time we had with you.