To Those Waiting and to Those Mourning on Mother’s Day

{Author's note in May 2016: I wrote this post before Mother's Day of 2015. Since then, we lost our baby girl Aliza at 33 weeks pregnant. She had a chromosome abnormality called Triploidy. While I could update this post and say there are a few things I now understand, like how it feels "to get pregnant, only to have no heartbeat be the swift end to a short life's journey," I decided to keep it in its original form. Mother's Day will feel a lot different for me this year than last. We just brought home our rainbow baby, a boy named Levi. And while I feel happy and excited and hope to share a little of his birth story eventually, we are coming up on Mother's Day and I once again find myself thinking about this group of women. This group of women who still haven't had a rainbow baby, or who are still in the nightmare of infertility, or who are still asked how many kids they have and don't really know how to answer that question. The women who are still waiting and mourning this Mother's Day, one year later. I'm thinking of you, I'm praying for you, and my heart breaks with you. You are not forgotten.}

{Author's note in May 2016: I wrote this post before Mother's Day of 2015. Since then, we lost our baby girl Aliza at 33 weeks pregnant. She had a chromosome abnormality called Triploidy. While I could update this post and say there are a few things I now understand, like how it feels "to get pregnant, only to have no heartbeat be the swift end to a short life's journey," I decided to keep it in its original form.

Mother's Day will feel a lot different for me this year than last. We just brought home our rainbow baby, a boy named Levi. And while I feel happy and excited and hope to share a little of his birth story eventually, we are coming up on Mother's Day and I once again find myself thinking about this group of women.

This group of women who still haven't had a rainbow baby, or who are still in the nightmare of infertility, or who are still asked how many kids they have and don't really know how to answer that question. The women who are still waiting and mourning this Mother's Day, one year later. I'm thinking of you, I'm praying for you, and my heart breaks with you. You are not forgotten.}

I don’t know how you feel.

And that is my important disclaimer here.

I don’t know what it’s like to wait months or even years, only to see a little negative sign that hurts in such a big way.

I don’t know what it’s like to get pregnant, only to have no heartbeat be the swift end to a short life’s journey.

I don’t know what it’s like to have a child, only to lose them way before a mother ever should.

All I know is that I am 28 weeks pregnant, and that almost every other week I am told by a doctor that our baby probably won’t live. All I know is that although our baby is still alive and still has a heartbeat right now, some days I feel like I am already in mourning for her.

But if there’s one thing that this “not normal” pregnancy is teaching me, it’s that this kind of stuff happens often, way more often than I ever realized before. This kind of stuff where things don’t happen quickly and perfectly. This kind of stuff where it’s not just boom-bam-pow, and nine months later a healthy baby is born and lives a long and happy life.

And Mother’s Day.

It’s coming. It might be a few weeks away yet, but that doesn't stop every TV commercial and retail magazine from reminding us of this impending date. {And of how we better not disappoint our moms this year...again.}

But it’s not all happiness and greeting cards and flowers and Pandora bracelets on Mother’s Day. Not for everyone.

So to those who are waiting. Waiting to become a mother for the first time, or waiting to watch your family grow: I am so sorry.

I am so sorry for the pain you have gone through. So sorry for the waiting, the agonizing, the questioning, the crying. So sorry for the frustration and anger.

I’m sorry for the struggle to choose joy and gratitude in painful circumstances.

I am so sorry if you, like my friend, have ever thought, “there must be something wrong with me! I am a woman, and my body is supposed to be able to do this, to carry a baby!”

I’m so sorry for the well-intended comments and advice people like to share that sometimes have the healing effect of a band-aid on a broken bone.

I’m so sorry for everything you have been through behind the scenes at home and behind closed doors at the doctor’s office. Behind the smiles and the “I’m so happy for you’s” that you so politely direct at everyone else’s pregnancy and birth announcements. {Not that you aren't happy for others, but maybe you simply want this kind of happiness for yourself this time.}

I’m so sorry.

To those mourning. Mourning the loss of your child, or even mourning the loss of a relationship with your child that seems beyond reconciliation: I am so sorry.

I’m so sorry, no matter how long in the womb or how short on this earth your child was with you. Because there is no good time to lose a child: seven weeks, four months, thirty-seven years.

I’m so sorry for the reminders: the due dates, the birth dates, that one thing that you saw the other day that triggered a memory along with your pain. While you never want to forget your child, I wish the pain of your loss could be forgotten.

I'm so sorry, for even if you are blessed with more children someday, a child you have loved and lost can never be replaced.

“It’s so hard. And it’s something that never, ever leaves you,” my grandma told me about losing her baby at six months pregnant.

I’m so sorry.

And to both. To both those waiting and those mourning:

I’m so sorry for when you and your husband have felt like you are suffering alone. Because although you aren't alone, although this affects so many more people than we realize, these struggles are often kept quiet.

And I’m sorry for all of the other stuff that I don’t understand too. Because again, I don’t know how you feel. Being in the situation that I am in, I often wonder if someday soon I will more fully understand. But only you know what it’s like in the situation and circumstances you are in. Only you know how it feels.

So today, and over these next few weeks, and over these upcoming months of my own journey, and with a new sensitivity to how often this stuff happens, you are especially on my heart and in my prayers.

I know, there is always hope. Always. Hope.

But I don’t want to deny that there can be pain too.

And it's not that I think you need random pity from a random stranger such as myself. But I do think that sometimes it helps when recognition is given to how tough the valley can be to walk through.

Even Jesus, who knew He was about to perform one of His greatest miracles by raising Lazarus from the dead, stopped first to weep and mourn the loss with His friends. {John 11:1-44}

And even though great miracles might be in store for your life or great lessons might be learned along the way, that doesn't mean that pain and weeping aren't a part of the journey beforehand.

So I shed lots of tears with you. I send you the biggest hugs that I can send.

And I offer up earnest prayers that you will be blessed with the gift of peace today and tomorrow and through the days and years ahead.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. {Psalm 34:18}

I pray you will feel this closeness even in your deepest of heartbreaks. 

 

Grace and Peace,
Kendra

 

P.S. This blog post was also featured on the following websites:

More To Life Magazine {An online women's magazine designed to bring you more to life.} May 7, 2015

Project Pomegranate {Providing non-directive spiritual resources to support those who have experienced infertility, pregnancy loss, or infant loss, and to engender this support in their communities.} May 8, 2015

Next Sunday Resources {Quality Bible Study and church resources that celebrate the intelligence of learners, devotion to teachers, and the mission of churches everywhere.} May 12, 2015