Trigger Warning: This article expresses the process and difficulties of pregnancy loss. Although the purpose is to create solidarity during a time of such loneliness, we understand if you’re not in a place to read it. Please respectfully skip this post for now.
I see you behind that screen, trying to put on a brave face during a day that was supposed to be yours. I feel the pain you’re feeling as you scroll through post after post of littles loving on their mamas. I hear your cries for your babies you don’t have in your arms.
Truth be told, today was supposed to be so much different. Today was supposed to be the day my husband and I shared with the world that our baby was on the way, a physical sign that gave me the title I’ve been longing for – mom. It was the day I was anxiously counting down to, and so quickly turned into the day I’ve been dreading ever since we lost our second baby a month and a half ago. It’s been a holiday that looms over me as I wait to be surrounded by reminders of what should have been. The day the world forgets to celebrate the moms in waiting.
If your story is like mine, here are the words I need you to hear today.
The moment you gleamed with excitement when that second line finally showed through;
the moments you carefully cared for and catered to your body’s needs as you grew your beloved baby;
the moments you pulled yourself out of bed with every bit of energy left in your body;
or the countless times spent over the toilet sacrificing any sort of normalcy you once had;
the moments you watched the body you once knew transform and grow to create new life;
the late & sleepless nights you spent turning pages, clicking through articles, and creating plans for your growing family;
the moment you saw that little life inside you and witnessed the rapid flicker of a heartbeat as tears of joy & relief ran down your cheek;
every moment you placed your hands over your growing stomach and prayed everything was going to be okay;
the moment your “mom instincts” kicked in when something didn’t feel as it should;
the agony you felt when worry and fear overcame you as you awaited the fate of that little life you already loved so much;
the moment your worst nightmare came to life as you wept and mourned the loss of your baby;
in the days, weeks and months of pain, grief, and loneliness you endured;
in every moment you’ve wondered what would have been and desperately missed your child;
you became a Mother.
We may now lack the physical presence of what should define us as moms, but Mother’s Day is a day we should be celebrated. Because even though our experience of motherhood was cut short, it was real.
My wish for you today is that you feel seen. That you feel celebrated. That you can look back on your journey to motherhood, no matter how painful or messy, and you can find peace in the process and the confidence to label yourself as “Mom.”
I can’t wait for the day our kids barrel into our rooms with homemade cards and warm hugs. The day Mother’s Day will look just as we once pictured it. But I also know that those faces we will one day look at and love unconditionally would not be there without this day of grief. Our appreciation for this holiday in that time of our lives will not be nearly as impactful without experiencing today with empty arms.
Our day is coming.
But until then, may we celebrate each other on this day.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mama.
If you know someone who could use these words today, please pass this post along to her. We all need some extra love right now.
Niki grew up in Maple Grove, Minnesota before making her way to North Dakota, where she attended North Dakota State University (Go Bison!) and met her college-sweetheart-turned-