Here I am in another one of those bittersweet moments.
Three years ago I miscarried our first baby a week before Mother’s Day. For some stupid reason, I stumbled bleary-eyed and light-headed through Mother’s Day brunch with my family and my sister’s in-laws while my husband was at work. What was I thinking? Trying to put on a brave face, I suppose. Or, more likely, trying to convince myself that I was okay.
For the next three years, the holiday would be nothing but painful. I felt terrible for wanting to avoid it, since my own mother had been nothing but supportive and loving through our miscarriage ordeal and the aftermath. Not to mention she’s always been an awesome mom. She deserves to be honored, thanked, and celebrated. For the last three Mother’s Days, I managed to get through the day, but not without a great deal of sadness and a great many tears. I know it was a part of the grieving process not only from my loss, but also with my infertility. Still, I felt guilty that those negative feelings outweighed my love and appreciation of my own mother. I feel like I let her down. She would (gently) scold me for saying that, of course.
So, here I am today, not only pregnant, but just a few days past 24 weeks. Viability. Does that change how I feel about Mother’s Day? A little. It hurts a little less this year, knowing that I have a healthy baby growing inside me. But overall I still feel the weight of grief. Not only for me, but for all of the women who have lost babies, for those who are still waiting for their take home babies, for those who may never have a child to call their own, and for those who have lost their own mothers. For so many, it’s a painful reminder of what one doesn’t have. And while I am incredibly grateful that I have my own mother and my baby to make this Mother’s Day special, I still grieve for the baby I lost years ago. This holiday will always be tinged with sadness.