The fact that Mother’s Day is coming hadn’t yet crossed my mind. I was three months pregnant last year in the middle of May, fresh from a trip to the Emergency Room in Berkeley, reassured at least somewhat that my baby and I were both fine. This year I will be blessed to celebrate both as a daughter and a mother. No one will question this because I have a living child.
But I remember well the ache of Mother’s Day 2006 after my first pregnancy ended in miscarriage. I remember the feeling of not being official the following year, despite my swollen belly, because I hadn’t yet held my child. From this vantage point, I know with my entire being that a woman does not have to see her baby with her eyes, or hold him in her arms to be a mother. My heart hurts for all of the baby lost mamas who have yet to be recognized by society because we cannot see their child.
I got an email today from the woman who organized a Holiday Ornament Swap to remember our dead children. While it brought up all my insecurities around being crafty, sending my little bit of homemade love to another grieving family was important in my healing process, and receiving one with Ben’s name on it meant so much. Another one is being organized for Mother’s Day, so that all mothers who have lost a child during pregnancy or shortly after can be recognized. If you are a baby lost mama and would like more information and/or would love to participate, click here for details. I’ll be trying out my new needle felting skills for this one.
“So when the great word ‘Mother!’ rang once more,
I saw at last its meaning and its place;
Not the blind passion of the brooding past,
But Mother — the World’s Mother — come at last,
To love as she had never loved before —
To feed and guard and teach the human race.”
— Charlotte Perkins Gilman