Trying to hold ourselves together and find our new normal after loosing our precious twin babies at 20 weeks to HELLP Syndrome.
Baby Boy A and Baby Girl B, conceived after 20 months and IUI plus injectibles; born still on November 12, 2008.

A blog about pregnancy loss and infertility. And whatever comes next. A blog about hanging on together and holding each other up.


Monday, May 4, 2009

A Mother

Here in the babyloss community we call ourselves “mothers.” And I suppose it’s true. I have been forever changed. I have carried two perfect examples of life inside of me. I loved them with every ounce of my being and in ways I never before understood or thought possible. I gave birth to two perfect little babies, and will forever carry the weight of their absence. My inability to protect them shattered me to the core.

And I can remind myself of these things all day long. But I don’t feel like a mother.

There’s no nursery in my house. There aren’t any bottles or sippy cups in my cupboards. We don’t have car seats in our cars. We sleep in and stay up late. And we save money for fertility treatments rather than college. I sing songs to my dogs, rather than a child (embarrassing but true), and I rock – well, I don’t rock at all. I don't bandage knees or break up fights. I don't cut the crust off bread or cut grapes into quarters. I'm not sending new photographs to doting grandparents. My arms are empty. Painfully, obviously, empty.

And the world certainly doesn’t view me as a mother. Not ever, but particularly not on this coming Sunday. No one will be sending me a card, taking me to lunch, or handing me a gift. There would be no corsage for me at church.

Sometimes I want to scream at the world and convince it of my mother-ness. But most of the time I just feel like a fraud. I want to embrace Mothers' Day in a bittersweet way: bitter because my little boy and girl - my son and my daughter - are not here with me; sweet because I am still their mother.

But if I am a mother it is only in an intangible, emotional sense. (And, I suppose, in a physical sense too, if you consider my reshaped body.) The practical side of me doesn't even remotely feel like a mother. Which, I suppose, is the real source of the heartache after all.

21 comments:

Marie W said...

Well said. These are the same feelings I have been trying to articulate. We are mothers, but not to the world. I surely don't feel like one. In my thoughts and prayers.

Mommy (You can call me OM) said...

Oh, Bluebird. I wish I could convince you that you are a mother. You are. Those two little babies are your children. You are forever a mother. I know my saying so doesn't make it true. What makes it true is little A and B. That's a fact, no matter how little physical proof you carry with you.

I imagine Mother's Day will be painful for you, seeing moms with corsages, etc. I'm thinking of you and praying you'll find some peace as you think of your little ones.

Ms. J said...

It's a terrible purgatory.

Brenna said...

You said it well. And Ms. J is right, it is a terrible purgatory. I'm not Catholic, but DH grew up in the Catholic church and we've talked about the concept of Limbo--that place where babies supposedly go if they die before they're baptized, that place that isn't heaven but isn't bad, either. That's were I feel I am. I'm not in "heaven" as a mother who gets to take her child(ren) home with her, but I do have these bittersweet memories of having carried and given birth to three beautiful children--Mommy Limbo. I hope we both make it out of Limbo some day.

Brenna said...

PS--I understand that the Catholic church has somewhat done away with the concept of Limbo, which sounds wise to me. I hate to think about some sweet baby not making it to heaven just because he or she wasn't baptized in time!

Kim said...

I.understand.every.word. This Sunday will be very tough for alot of women and men. Liv has come up with a small way to help make the day easier for us. Since I can't link here you can go to my page and click the OMG! You Rock Day icon. If it interests you there is still time to sign up to hang out and chat with on Mo...OMG! You Rock Day. HTH

Courtney said...

Oh it is going to be soo hard on Sunday. I have the same feelings about it. Bittersweet.

*hugs*

Cara said...

Oh - the first mother's day without tangible proof of our chidren is so hard!

That is the main reason the memory walk is on Saturday. It is our goal to affirm the 'parenthood' of all attending - without encroaching on the church / brunch kind of day that Sunday always is.

If I had your address - I'd send you a mother's day card!!! xoxo

M said...

wow. that's it exactly! thank you for writing this. i've been struggling with trying to express to myself & others why i'm having such a hard time with this. you expressed to beautifully. thank you!

JenJen said...

Bluebird, you are a mommy and I so wish that the world would acknowledge that our love and devotion are just the same as a mommy that wipes 100 butts...Ok, so I'm not writing as eloquently and as beautifully as you did :)

If no one else tells you "Happy Mothers Day" and huge ((hugs))

Another Dreamer said...

(*hugs*) That feeling is familiar, even though I lost both my pregnancies very early on... Mother's day is very bittersweet for all of us I think. Take care hun. You are still a mother, but I also understand the ache, the feeling of being a "fraud." I feel like that too.

Kerry said...

Thank you for this post - it is everything I am feeling, as well, and you said it so perfectly. I am sending you hugs - lots of hugs.

Rebuilding Myself said...

Beautifully written. You capture the struggle with the definition of motherhood so well.

loribeth said...

Here from LFCA. Thank you for a great post. This will be my 10th Mother's Day without my daughter. :( Most of the time I do pretty well, I think, but M-Day still has the power to make me want to hide under the covers. Unfortunately, that will not be possible this year as we have to attend (get this!) a BAPTISM.

I was moaning about this last night, & my dh (!)(who is normally very supportive) suggested that maybe it was time to move on & let go of some of these feelings (!!), & try to enjoy the baptism.

I told him that I think I'm doing pretty well, thankyouverymuch -- but I reserve the right to be sad (POd, even) on Mother's Day. I think I've earned it. End of story. ; )

annacyclopedia said...

Thank you for writing this. There should be a corsage for you at church, and you should be getting cards and flowers, and I hope that your words contribute, even in a small way, to the world changing the way it defines motherhood. May you find a way to honor yourself as a mother this M-day, even if those around you miss out.

Parenthood For Me said...

You have articulated so eloquently your loss. You are a mother and always will be. I am so sorry this mother's day will bring you pain. I do understand somewhat. This is my first mother's day since adoptin my son. I remember a couple of year's ago someone wishing me happy mother's day (they didn't know me really) and I wanted to scream at them. At that time I had no prospects of ever being a mother.

Anonymous said...

Adopt someone, instead of wining for the rest of your life.

Jane G said...

Here from LFCA. What a beautifully written and poignant post. I have lost babies too, albeit earlier in pregnancy. I know what it's like to grieve for lost little ones when you are standing among a crowd of mothers of living children. Bitter sweet indeed.

As for the anonymous poster above, it's funny how people who are prepared to leave shitty comments on other peoples' blogs are never prepared to put their names to them. This lady is grieving for her son and daughter who died less than six months ago. All I can say is I hope you never have to go through something like that in your life, as I would not wish it on my worst enemy. Have some respect for another person's grief for goodness sake.

S said...

I'm so sorry. I have been having MD blues since the start of this week.

MD is a day of horrible emotions for me, as it is for most mothers whose babies have died. I can imagine for some of us struggling through infertility it is another day that rubs it in our faces that we are not mothers. For those of us whose 'wall of shame' includes nothing but dead children, it is another reminder that we may be mothers to our invisible children, but we are not parents.

Last year (http://shaliniwhite.blogspot.com/2008/05/mothers-day-2007.html) was my first MD without my daughter. I was in the pit - and also because no one has ever acknowledged ME as a mum. I spent the hours leading up to midnight alone, watching Janaki's 45 minute 19 week scan, it was the best day of my life, to see her up and about on the screen so alive, sucking her thumb, then waving, then doing rollovers and being cheeky. I spent the whole scan time crying like an idiot and wanting to go back to that dvd-time when she was still alive and we had so much to look forward to.

This sunday, DH, the ever understanding mere male, has invited everyone here for the lunch. I have no idea how to deal with it, and can only hope the prescribed valium I am on takes the edge off. I can't believe I have to rely on a drug to help me cope. But I doubt I will be acknowledged once again. And that hurts, damnit.

Sorry to add a rambly depressing post. Just feel so isolated on days like MD and christmas time, and somewhat comforted that I am not entirely alone.

I will be acknowledging and thinking of all us moms whose babies have died too soon... as mothers.

Love
S

Lynda said...

Like others have said You are a Mommy!! You have all the love in the world for your child and thats what makes a mommy!! You will be in my thoughts this Sunday *hugs*

ProLifeWife said...

Oh, dear dear dear lady, You are still a mommy. I just cannot begin to imagine your pain. I will be praying for you that God comforts your broken heart, and your husband's as well. Someday you will hold your babies in Heaven, but that probably doesn't mean much now.And you may not be acknowledged by this world as a mother, but you listen to me: you are a wonderful mama.