I was at the store last week picking out Mother’s Day cards for all of my mothers and grandmothers, and came across the “New Mommy” and “Mommy-to-be” cards. A pit formed in my stomach, and my hand reflexively fell over my empty tummy. How can you miss someone you’ve never met? How can you love someone whom you’ve never touched? But here I am, sorely missing my sweet angel baby on this Mother’s Day weekend. I literally sat down for a sec in the card aisle of Dollar General and allowed myself the moment to grieve.
It’s a silent suffering. It’s a lonely loss. For some people, a baby isn’t a baby until they are born into this world. Some take the terms fetus, zygote, embryo, or whatever else and use them to place value on life. “It wasn’t a real baby yet” is what they say; and so when you are grieving you don’t feel entitled.
But God says to Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:5) that “Before I formed you in your mothers womb, I knew you and set you apart for a purpose“. This tells me that babies are known, loved, and given a life purpose by God before birth, and even before conception. You carried life. An important, unique life full of purpose. You are entitled to grieve! You are also entitled to celebrate yourself this Mother’s Day, even if it’s only you who recognizes that you are a mother.
You were taking prenatal vitamins. You made healthy choices and sacrifices like quitting smoking or alcohol. You watched everything you ate and were careful to avoid random things like deli meat, hot tubs and hair dye. You may have started a savings account for your baby and even started purchasing things for it. You were careful not to do anything too strenuous to your body. You protected your unborn child and kept them out of harms way, safely tucked away in your womb to grow. You prayed for your baby and talked to it and loved him/her recklessly and unconditionally; whether for 5 weeks or 5 months. Those are the things that made you a mother. The title is not revoked once the life of your unborn child ends. You are feeling this pain and grief because you are a mother who has lost a child.
I want to be acknowledged as a mother this Mothers Day, but I’m not sure if anyone will. My husband might, he and I have truly been in this together. Family and friends who are aware of your loss possibly do not want to bring it up to you because they fear they may upset you. What they don’t realize is that it is more upsetting to be overlooked. Though unborn, your baby existed and you don’t want others to act as though it didn’t. My dad actually just told me he “wasn’t sure what to do in this situation. He thought of me while doing Mother’s Day shopping, but did not want to add insult to injury”. To be honest, had I not gone through a miscarriage myself I also would not know how to handle it. So I understand. I really do and I don’t fault him. It just truly is a lonely loss.
To every mother who has a baby that was born in heaven, all of those who are part of the ‘Invisible Mom’s Club’, I say Happy Mothers Day! I pray for our strength and peace on this day. As we celebrate the other wonderful mothers in our lives, please do not neglect yourself. You are a mother. You created life, you nurtured life, you protected life; and you should be acknowledged on this day. Not only am I praying for mothers who have lost their child through miscarriage, but for all mothers who have lost any child for any reason. I am sending hugs and love to you all.