Hey momma, I see you. You are sitting quietly in the corner hoping and wishing not to be seen today. You have purposely set a smile on your face in hopes that the other women won’t notice the tremble that’s caught in your throat. You are sitting in your pew today, watching the other mom’s receive recognition for their achievements of “oldest mother” or “newest mother.” You politely clap for them and then turn your face so that no one will see the tear forming in the corner of your eye. Momma, I see your heart. A heart that’s bursting with all the nurturing qualities of a mother, but your arms are still empty, so no one has yet to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day.
It wasn’t too long ago that a family member hugged each of her daughters and wished them Happy Mother’s day and then looked at me with an awkward expression on her face and blurted “I’ll wish you a Happy Mother’s Day one day too.” I chuckled and quickly turned around, dismissing her comment in a lighthearted manner because I didn’t even have the emotions to process those words. I had just miscarried at ten weeks gestation, and my heart crumbled into pieces at my loss once again. I wasn’t’ a mother, not to her, or to the rest of the world. I wasn’t looking for recognition as a mother or to fit in a click of young women chasing their children. I just wanted my baby, the one who slipped away too soon. I just wanted MY child.
For many women, motherhood starts long before she ever becomes pregnant. A sacrifice of self is made long before a child arrives here on earth. For many of us, motherhood begins with ovulation test kits, BBT temping, herbs, medicines, and special diets. Motherhood for many women is a journey of blood draws, undiagnosed infertility, shots, and suppositories. It begins with plastering a smile on our face as we watch our sisters receive another hand colored Mother’s Day card at lunch while we sit across from them empty-handed.
Not long after my first miscarriage, my own mother pulled me into her arms and said, “thank you.” She thanked me for the grandchildren she couldn’t hold just yet, and for being open to the pain that motherhood would bring me. She thanked me for making her a grandmother when she didn’t yet have a living grandchild. She honored my heart and blessed the fruit of my womb.
See, motherhood is a journey that looks different for each of us. Sometimes it’s a journey of heartache and loss before we receive our little treasure. For some, we will never know the joy of motherhood here on earth, but today, I want to say Happy Mother’s Day to you. I recognize your heart, the one full of love and nurture. I recognize the sacrifices you have already made and the ones that will come later down the road. Momma, I celebrate you as you wait for your treasure!
Wife & Mother