A year ago I was in the Ottawa airport on my way home from a long getaway, and I was writing about facing down my very first Mother’s Day – one that I would have to face without having my daughter with me. I knew then what baby-lost really meant.
This year I find myself in a different situation. Instead of the invisible motherhood I felt last year, this year I wear my motherhood as a swollen bump for all to see. Although I haven’t spent too much time in public in this pregnancy, it never fails that when I do well intentioned people are curious about the little life inside of me. Almost certainly, the first question people will ask is “is this your first?”. I’ve made peace with the fact that any time anyone asks me about the number of children I have it will feel like a slap in the face. No one means for it to feel that way, but it does. Who looks at someone pregnant, besides another baby-lost mom, and wonders if they have any dead children? It’s always my first thought, But to those that don’t know the pain and the hurt and sleepless nights, Ignorance really is bliss.
So to those on the outside today, I’m somewhere in mommy limbo. Invisible mother. Mother to be. But not quite a mother just yet. But to me, I’ve been a mother since I first saw that little bean on an ultrasound in August 2012 and since I that first and only time held that gorgeous little girl in my arms.
So thank you to my darling little Everlee for teaching me how to be a mother. Maybe in the hardest way possible, but I think I will be stronger and more capable and more loving all because of you. You will always be my first born, my first love, my first child. And I can’t wait for the day when I can tell your brother or sister all about you, and how, because of you, that they’re here and they’re loved (and probably over protected) more than any baby that has ever lived.
The longer I live, the more convinced I become that surviving changes us.
After the bitterness, the anger, the guilt and despair are tempered by time, we look at life differently. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers, fathers who had to be mothers, baby lost mothers and mothers in waiting out there. Be kind to yourself today and always.