Content Warning: Miscarriage
In complete honesty, I debated about sharing this post. I wrote it last year when I was “celebrating” Mother’s Day childless once again. It’s such a hard topic, something people are still learning to talk about in society. The story in this post is raw and vulnerable.
But with Mother’s Day tomorrow, I couldn’t just leave it to sit as a draft and never share it. This post isn’t just for me anymore, but for all the mothers who have lost their children. Mother’s Day isn’t just for the moms who are blessed with living children but for the ones that were blessed with just a moment, just a breath, with their heavenly children.
Mother’s Day is a very hard day and just know that if you’re a loss mom (or someone who’s lost their mom, or someone who didn’t have a mom, or someone who’s had to distance themselves from a toxic relationship with their mom), I’m praying for you and thinking about you.
A friend of mine and author of Silent Stories, a book about her first miscarriage, Rachael N. Miller, asked me how I would describe miscarriage to moms and other people who have never gone through it, and my response to her was raw and honest, and I wanted to share it here, especially with Mother’s Day tomorrow. It’s important for me to continue to share my story, to process my emotions and feelings through the written word, and hopefully share more of my heart and experience with those of you that may not know or may be struggling with the same…
“I bartered with God while miscarrying. You know you’re not supposed to because it doesn’t work like that, but I remember bartering everything I thought I had in hopes it would work.
And I remember the fear and panic that clawed up my throat when [Hubby] knocked on the bathroom door because all I could think of was how excited he had been earlier that day and how I had failed him.
I still have the baby items I wanted stowed in a secret Amazon list because I can’t delete them.
I had to do the “walk of shame” to return the pregnancy books I’d borrowed to the local library.
I still have the three bibs we’d gotten to send with birthday presents to both of our families as our announcement.
I still have a huge pile of baby board books, some bought and some gifted, that I’ll read whenever I’m sad or whenever I need an extra burst of hope. The first baby book I got was really special. We’d always associated elephants with our baby because it was an inside joke of ours from back when we were dating, and during our Christmas trip to see my family in 2018, we went through a drive-through Christmas lights display. And [Hubby] about lost it for the first time since we’d miscarried and he told me we should be doing this with our baby next year but we couldn’t. So I went out and bought an elephant finger puppet book that talked about how much the baby elephant loved his mom and dad.
And sometimes I’ll still have to look at my husband and say, ‘We were pregnant right? I showed you the test and it was positive right?’ And he has to reaffirm me because it’s so freaking lonely that sometimes I wonder if I was just crazy and made it all up; like maybe it was all in my head. Which is silly, I know, but I just felt so lost.
There’s hating women who try to claim that pregnancy is a walk in the park, or the ones that say things like “man I can’t wait to not be pregnant so I can have alcohol again,” and it’s staring at their pictures with your fingers hovering over the computer keys, wanting to type, ‘Do you even KNOW how much I would give up to have a healthy, viable pregnancy like you? I’d give up most everything.’ It’s sometimes unfollowing women on social media you care about and love who are pregnant or have newborns because you can’t do it right then. It’s too triggering. It’s also working through processing the anger and grief and learning how to pray for those women again when all you want to do is cry and ask God why you.
It’s buying pregnancy tests every. Other. Damn. Month. because maybe you’ll be surprised again. You get in your head and literally CONVINCE yourself you just have to be pregnant even when there’s a zero percent chance for that to be the case. And it’s cursing yourself when you have handfuls of negative pregnancy tests in the trash because there’s no way you should have convinced yourself of something so outlandish, yet you did it anyway.
But then, it’s also being surprised. It’s being surprised as a family friend approaches you on Mother’s Day while at a graduation party for your brother-in-law and asks how you’re doing, and nobody has asked you that in a very long time.
It’s a friend sending you a “Still a Mother” t-shirt, and another friend sending you more baby books and a baby blanket for when the time is right and you hopefully have babies (biological or adopted) of your own.
It’s posting about how your baby would be a year old this May and trying to be okay and having both your sister-in-laws hug you and let you cry all over them, and they don’t care if you’re a mess. They let you cry and reminisce and get some things off your chest, and you didn’t know how badly you needed all of that.
And then it’s opening a birthday present that’s a necklace that says ‘mother to an angel’ and bawling over FaceTime because family does remember you and your baby, and in that moment, you are 100% seen.
They may never think of those little moments again. They may never think about that necklace or those hugs or those questions that they thought to ask in the moment. But you will always, always remember them. You tuck them away in your heart, write about them in your journal, sear them into your memory, even burst into tears in thankfulness once you’re in privacy. Because you were acknowledged as a mother. You were seen, and that means that your precious baby was seen and remembered too.“
So, mothers on Mother’s Day… Hug your babies tight. While I have an earth-side baby to hold now, my arms are still missing one. There are still women that don’t have this luxury.
And everyone, be gentle to the miscarriage moms you have in your life (and the friends who have lost moms, and the friends who don’t have moms, and the moms who have lost their children, and the friends who have a complicated relationship with their moms or children). Mother’s Day is one of the hardest and most disappointing days of the year for us. And even though I have my CJ, it doesn’t negate my loss. I still remember CJ’s older brother or sister on this day too. I was still a mother long before CJ arrived earth-side.
We don’t want fancy speeches. My youngest sister-in-law often told me, “Savanna, I don’t know what to say.” And I told her, “I don’t need you to say anything. I don’t need perfect words. What means the most to me is that you see me.”
And while I won’t say all miscarriage moms feel the same way by ANY means, there are quite a few that just want to be remembered. It goes beyond remembering us as mothers — if you acknowledge us as mothers, that means you remember our heavenly babies too.
In honor of some loss moms I know and their angel-babies on Mother’s Day…
Baby “Munchkin” Roberts (08/2018)
Rachael N. Miller — Butterfly and Matthias
The mothers and babies in the Miscarriage SOS Support Facebook Group
And other moms who have spoken with me privately *hugs*