Contrary to the title, Mother’s Day is in fact a wonderful day. I love being showered with the cutest handmade cards and gifts with the sweetest “I love you’s” from my littles, and text messages from my friends and family. I love getting breakfast in bed, and not having to do any cooking. What I ask for every year is a nap, because that is the best gift anyone can give me! But the truth is, this day always has a little dark cloud cast over it for me now. My own personal storm to dampen the day.
I don’t say this to put down anyone’s views of this special day, but it is truly how I feel. My mother passed away in February of 2015, after a long battle with multiple myeloma cancer. Everyday without her is painful, but on special occasions like her birthday, holidays like Christmas, Easter, and today just makes my heart ache so very much.
(My Mom with my two oldest when they were 4, and 2 in 2012)
Even today, two years after she has passed, I found myself standing in my Father’s kitchen helping to put dinner on the table with my stepmother, and the panicked thought suddenly came to me: “You forgot to call Mom and tell her Happy Mother’s Day!” And I stood back for a moment and my eyes filled with tears when reality hit me that I was in my parents home that they shared her last 8 years, and she was no longer here. I do not think the urge to call my Mother will ever go away- I called her at least once a day every day until the last year of her life when she became so sick and reclusive that she got rid of her phone.
Six months after my Mom passed, I was shocked to discover I was pregnant. We had decided to be done after our third, so this was unexpected indeed! We were excited of course too, but I’ll be honest, it took me a few days to get over the shock that I would have to go through another pregnancy. My pregnancies were not the easiest. I deal with anxiety and depression, and it magnifies itself when I am pregnant. My third pregnancy was the hardest, and my postpartum depression was almost unbearable.
That being said, once my morning sickness was somewhat manageable, I was already picking out names and imagining how I would be dealing with two babies so close, (my son was just barely 1 when I got pregnant!). Around week 12 we went in for the ultrasound where we would get our first look at the newest little peanut. My doctor’s face suddenly looked concerned, and he turned to the nurse and whispered something. They both nodded in agreement, and he turned to me.
“There doesn’t appear to be a heartbeat. I’m so sorry, Heather.”
Those words cut into my still broken heart like a knife. I started to sob while still laying on the table. My poor husband didn’t understand what the doctor had meant. He thought that it was too early to hear a heartbeat, but once the doctor told him that the baby didn’t make it, his face crumpled up.
As if the heartbreak of losing the baby wasn’t hard enough, next came the process of getting it out of my body. I went through a failed round of what I can only describe as abortion pills, which left me in complete agony for four days. They put my body into labor, so it made me feel sick, and have all the accompanying contractions and horrific pain of having a baby. The only thing was, I wasn’t getting to have a baby at the end of it. I laid on the bathroom floor for half a day because I was too sick to walk back to my bed, and I just cried and cried. I remember at one point feeling my hair being brushed back from my face, but no one was there. I knew it was my Mom.
On day five, I went back for another ultrasound, only to horrifically see on the screen that the baby was still inside me. I found myself once again sobbing on the table in my OBGYN’s office. I was scheduled the next morning for a DNC. Thankfully, the surgery was successful, but my husband said that when I came to in the recovery room I started crying saying that they had taken my baby away, and he said it was so incredibly heartbreaking.
My baby would now be one, and yes, I thought of her today. My daughter is convinced it was her baby sister.
Mother’s Day is an incredibly emotional day for me. But that being said, motherhood itself is incredibly emotional. We go through heartaches almost daily, and handle it with finesse and strength, (or at least we pretend to). Motherhood would not be motherhood without the struggles, the bumps, the fights, the pain, the suffering, the messes. Without those, we would not be able to experience the laughter, the kisses, the fun, the rainbows, the love, and the joys. It’s all connected whether we recognize it or not. We as women, and mothers need to be easier on ourselves, and others. Motherhood is NOT easy! Give yourself a break, even on the hard days. We all have them. There are these spectacularly unrealistic views of what society thinks Moms should be, (hello Pinterest!), and yeah, that’s never going to be me. But you know what? I am okay with that. I am absolutely content with not being perfect.
Although I am not grateful for my losses, I am grateful for the things they have taught me, and how it has helped me to recognize the good things in my life, and be a better mother and person in general because of it.
Happy Mother’s Day
The Raw Brunette