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.