Mother’s Day, May 2001
Nearing the end of my third trimester, swollen, emotional, excited, nervous, hopeful. I’m standing in church this Mother’s Day morning wearing a light, minty green maternity dress wishing I was already holding my daughter. I don’t know if I am allowed to stand up when they honor moms. I don’t know if I am considered a mom yet, but I know I feel like a mom. I am so full of fierce love for this baby I have yet to meet. I want to love her and protect her and cherish every little thing about her. I just know being a mama to this little girl we have named Chloe is going to be the best part of my life.
Mother’s Day, May 2002
An undefined Mother’s Day. Here I am, pregnant again, without a baby to hold. The baby that made me a mama is cold in the ground but still warm in my heart. Am I allowed to stand up this year? No one can see my baby. Can I say that I am the mother of two? As I stand in church, holding my nephew tightly to my chest, I start to weep. I put him down and race from the sanctuary. It isn’t supposed to hurt like this. I should be rejoicing and celebrating motherhood! I am longing for what should have been. I miss my daughter, am jealous that other moms are holding their children with smiles on their faces, when my heart is broken into a million pieces and I am expected to be happy. I am beginning to hate this day.
Mother’s Day, every year
I hopefully wait for this day, loving that I have three beautiful vivacious daughters to spend the day with. I have a husband whom I adore that loves me with the kind of love I dreamed of having when I was a young girl dreaming of marriage. These children we have are an overflow of our relationship and a blessing straight from Heaven. So, every year when the emotions hit me in the face, I feel guilty. I want to only feel gratefulness. I want to rejoice and smile all day while doing a little happy dance that shows my excitement at being a mama. I hope every year that I won’t feel the despair, but every year, there is a moment when I mourn for the baby who died. I sit and remember her. I remember her smell and her sounds and the way she felt when I held her. I remember how my heart felt when I looked at her…and I remember how my heart felt when I saw her for the last time. I’m not sure why Mother’s Day is the day all the memories bubble out, but maybe it is because her birthday is coming and she is already on the front of my mind. Maybe it is because Chloe is the child that turned me into a mom.
I haven’t forgotten her, and there isn’t a time that I can remember that I haven’t wished and wondered. I wish for her when we are experiencing great and exciting things. I wonder if she would have fit in with her sisters and shared the same tight bond with them that they share with each other. When I hear giggling in my house, there is a pang in my heart for her. When someone comments about how my girls look so different, I want to tell them that their sister didn’t look like them either. That she had a reddish tint to her wavy hair. I just want the world to know she existed. That she came into this world and changed our lives in ways that nothing else has ever come close to doing. Her life, her short, beautiful life, was worth the heartbreak. I wouldn’t go back and change having her for my daughter, so this year, as I remember and feel, I do feel grateful. I try to shake off the guilt and give myself permission to cry. Sometimes life hurts, but He is always a good, good Father who is faithful to gently wrap me up in His embrace and replace my tears with joy.