A Mother’s Day Note to Those Who Have Miscarried

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and I am already seeing the blogs circulate.  I am thrilled that we are speaking honestly about a day that is tender for so many of us.

As I sit outside on this Saturday afternoon with my laptop in hand, I am aware that I could write on many topics surrounding motherhood.  I know the feeling of yearning to become a mother and not being able to.  I know what it is like to give birth and raise a child with my husband’s eyes and my hair color.  I know what it is like to mother a child that has someone else’s eyes and hair- to watch your heart and family expand through adoption.

I know what it is like to peel the white strings off of oranges because that’s the only way they will be eaten.  I know what it is like to sleep, but not really, only then to stumble down the hall towards a baby that needs you.  I know what it is like to be utterly vulnerable and exposed because after all, motherhood is scary.  Knowing that every inch of your heart is walking around with that tiny person is risky.  And yet, we take it.  We open ourselves up to it all, knowing that it is worth it to love these precious ones.

I know about all of those sides of motherhood.

But there is another side that I also know.

I know how to be a mother to babies I never got to hold.

I wish that wasn’t part of my story and I wish it wasn’t part of yours, my friend.

I hate miscarriage.

I am convinced that it is one of the most heart breaking things a woman can go through.  It is the worst kind of irony.  Something that is designed to be so beautiful- carrying and sustaining life inside your womb- instantly becomes horrific as your own body rejects your child.  All without your permission.

It happened to me four times.  And I will never be the same.

Where was I?  What was I doing when that tiny heart stopped beating?  Was I washing the dishes or eating dinner?  Was I laughing? Was I sleeping?

I missed it.

If I could cup that little face inside my hands, I would whisper these words:

“I am so sorry, my sweet little one.  I wished it would have kept beating.  I wish you could have grown healthy and strong.  I wish I could have seen your face.  I wish I could have heard your first coos and your first laugh.  I wish I could have held your hand as you took your first steps.

I wish you could have had a lifetime of memories.

It feels a little empty without you here- like a puzzle with missing pieces.  We will never know what the full picture would have looked like because you aren’t here with us.  And that will always be sad, little ones.

You will always be missed.”

I wish I didn’t know this side of motherhood.  And I will never know why some of us have to and others do not.

I don’t know why it happened to you, sweet sister.

But you are not alone.

There are more us.  There are more of us who miscarried more than just our baby that day- we miscarried a lifetime of mothering that sweet soul.  And our lives will always be different because of it. Our hearts will always be different.

So although I wish I didn’t know this side of motherhood, it is my reality.  I am a mother to babies I didn’t get to meet.  Tomorrow, I am going to take a moment to honor that part of my story as a mother.  I am going to slip away to some quiet corner away from the hustle and bustle of the day, and cherish the love I gave those babies and the part of my heart they will always hold.  I am going to honor all the tears I shed for them.

After all, isn’t this what we celebrate on Mother’s Day?  We are thanking our mothers for loving us in a way that no one else on earth can. We are thanking them for taking the risk, no matter what it cost them.

And my friends, your love for those babies cost you a lot.  And you paid it with such grace.

As their mother, you loved those babies like no one else on earth could.

And that, my friend, is worth celebrating.

Happy Mother’s Day.

6 Comments

6 Comments on A Mother’s Day Note to Those Who Have Miscarried

  1. Robyn Downing says:

    My daughter, Sarah, has three live children and lost one to stillbirth and then miscarried three others. It has been a heartbreaking road. Each one was loved and is never forgotten. I am amazed at Lord’s grace and compassion to help her through this. She is a very strong woman of God and has been able to minister to other families that have gone through this.

  2. S.T. Ranscht says:

    I have only ever been pregnant once. After my son was born, as I figured out what I had to do to be the best mom I could be, I found myself asking, “You’re really going to let me keep him?” For months. Years.

    The answer was. “Yes.” You know him. Brylan.

    You’ve just shown me so much I never knew about you, and I sit here crying, feeling my heart open to so many mothers I rarely spend time thinking about. I would be honored if you would allow me to share this on my blog tomorrow morning.

    • S.T. Ranscht says:

      My apologies if I’ve over-stepped, Bonnie, but I went ahead without your permission to add the link to this exquisite post to my Mother’s Day message. In fact, it’s kind of the point of my Mother’s Day message. I’m sure you have both hands and a lap full of children, so it wasn’t realistic to expect you to respond on such short notice, but what with Mother’s Day being officially set for one particular day of the year, I decided not to wait until you found a couple minutes to mess around with your computer. On the other hand, if I’m being terribly realistic, every day is Mother’s Day. We just don’t get cards, flowers, and brunch the other 364 (or 365 this year). I hope you enjoyed yours more than anything you’ve enjoyed in your life.

      Love, Sue

      • Bonnie says:

        You didn’t overstep at all! So glad you shared! I have been underwater with Mother’s Day, birthday and work. You can always share! So happy to hear from you and happy Mother’s Day!

  3. Sara says:

    Really well said, as always, Bonnie!

  4. Melody says:

    I wish this wasn’t part of your story either, or anybody’s story! I will also never fully understand it. But you have been faithful to encourage and comfort. others with the hard parts of your story, and that is beautiful. Happy Mother’s Day.

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