On my first Mothers Day, I was still heavily grieving the loss of my daughter. I sat in church with my own mother and felt a huge lump in my throat as they announced the start of the Mothers Day program. My pastor asked all the mothers to stand up to be acknowledged.
I put my head down and instantly began crying.
I’d given birth, I held her, she passed a few hours later, I was mourning and she was showing up in my dreams…but I didn’t “look” like a mom. I didn’t have her in my arms to show to everyone. I had nothing but two photos, the outfit she was wearing when I got to spend time with her before saying goodbye and her urn.
I didn’t have a living and breathing baby.
I felt empty.
As I mentally beat myself up I felt my mom nudge me.
“Stand up.”, she said.
“I’m not a mom”, I cried.
“You’re a mother, stand up!”, she demanded.
I slowly raised my head and through the tears, I could see women standing around me, with roses in their hands. I looked towards the front of the church where the Leaders – the women who had spent months praying for me, anointing me and encouraging me – were telling me to stand. I’d be crying so heavily, I hardly had the energy to stand up.
I looked to one of those women in particular who gave me a head nod, reassuring me that I needed to stand, and that I could do this.
Everyone was now looking at me, smiling at me and telling me to stand.
I finally made it to my feet and did my best to wipe my tears away as I received my rose with the rest of the mothers in the congregation.
I will never forget that day. It was powerful!
Since then, I’ve had two high risk pregnancies which has now made me a mom of three, Jolie and her now her two brothers. There’s not a day that goes by where we don’t think or talk about Jolie in this house.
With Mothers Day coming up, I know that it’s a sensitive time for us Angel Moms as it’s a reminder of plans we made for our children while they were in our wombs that won’t come to fruition. While I am thankful for my boys, Mothers Day is still one of those days where I really imagine a life where my three children would be playing together and celebrating with me.
I also think about the first Mothers Day that I described above where my arms were empty, and all the women I know who are now going through that. I think about the women who are trying to expand their families only to experience losses one right after the other while still trying to be present for their living children.
It’s a tough one.
For the women out there who have carried a baby, but now have empty arms, this pin is for you.