Saturday, May 18, 2013

On becoming a mother.


They are always there.
Part of my story.
Mother's Day is not just the joy of having four beautiful children around me.
It's the pain of having two of them not.

It is hard for me not to think of those who hurt on Mother's Day~
Be it from
 Missing their own mother~
Missing the one who made them a mother~
Missing that chance of becoming a mother~

I think there are many more hurting, or with those mixed feelings, than those who are completely full.
That is my story.

At a recent meeting that topic of your friend saying "I'm expecting" came up.
And what is the right way to tell someone.
I've been on both sides... How to tell someone & How I prefer someone to tell me.

No matter how happy you may be for someone becoming a mother, 
there is so often that sting that comes with it.

I remember days after I lost E.
A college friend had told me that he and his girlfriend were expecting. 
The knife.
And can you believe it?  Twins?
The twist.
I congratulated him and held my stomach 
(and my tears).

A week later I got a phone call.
It was my own mother and there was a lot of commotion in the background.
I couldn't quite hear.
And then it came out, "You're going to be an Auntie!"
(And dare I admit it.)
That knife was back.
And I was so ashamed.
I congratulated my brother and held my stomach 
(and my tears).

Because in those moments (when the pieces of my broken heart were still so sharp) it became about me.
I didn't want it to be.
But my broken heart went there and made it that way.  
That's how I felt.
The thing about feelings is that they aren't right or wrong... they simply are.

Both of these announcements came over the phone.
And THAT was the greatest blessing for me.
Because those moments of "me"
Those moments of breaking
Holding my stomach
Hiding my tears
were alone.

And when I saw the expectant parents next, I could hug them and say how happy I was for them...
And I was.

I just needed time.
We all need time.

Our experiences shape us, make us who we are, grow us.
Those broken sharp edges of our heart will become more rounded
But they will always be~ broken.

I wanted to share this story because perhaps you know someone.
Someone like me who had recently lost a child (or perhaps EVER lost a child) and you're wrestling with how to tell them.  This is what I would have said in those days, weeks, months and perhaps even years following my losses.

I want you to know that it will hurt me a little.
But not telling me will hurt me a lot.

I want you to know that in that moment you tell me I may be a little sad for me.
But I am also so happy for you.

I want to thank you for telling me over the phone
Where I won't have my face give me away.

Though it may take a moment for the reality of 
"It's not me" to settle in...
It will.

Because you are my friend.
I am and will be so happy for you, on becoming a mother.
There is nothing quite like it.
It's all I've ever wanted.
And hopefully, one day soon, 
I'll be joining you.

Thought of you all on Mother's Day.
Those of you full of joy.
Those of you full of sadness.
Those of you with the rounded edges.
And those of you still dreaming
of becoming a mother.

Godspeed.

16 comments:

  1. Love this, Laura. You have such a gift with words and sharing what I and so many others feel, but can't articulate. Thank you!

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    1. Thank YOU, Elizabeth, for taking a moment to comment. I often wonder if anyone still reads my "moments of pause" and it feels good when I know someone does (even though I am sad that there are others that 'get it'. No one wants this group to grow. Sending you peace! <3
      L

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  2. Angela Sarkesian GrossMay 18, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    I have had so many of these moments....since our loss, thank you for helping others and myself to know its ok to be sad for me and happy for them! (((Hugs)))

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    1. I'm so sorry... and yet I'm glad I wrote this post. I think one of the hardest things is thinking that you're in this alone when really so many of us are feeling the same way. That's the beauty of this community... knowing you're not alone! (((hugs)))
      L

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  3. You are eloquent with your words, and not many people can make you cry and smile at the same time.

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  4. You need to write a child loss book.

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    1. I would love to do that but have no idea how to get that ball rolling... maybe one day! <3 Thank you for the compliment!

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  5. I wish I could put my thoughts into beautiful words like yours.

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    1. Thanks so much Katie! You probably can... just need to do it! <3

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  6. This is beautiful, Laura! You and I have probably discussed nearly all the points you've made here, but the way you detailed them and expressed our feelings, is fresh and new, yet experienced and knowing -- such a wonderful combination! Wishing we didn't know these feelings all so clearly, but happy we feel them together. You're a blessing. Love you, LD!

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    1. Couldn't agree more MB!!! You're right though, we've been down this road before and there's no doubt we'll be down it again. Just glad we're on the same road together!
      Love you too and thank you!
      (you know how I love the comments!)
      ;-)
      Hugs-
      L

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  7. Beautiful heartfelt post and wonderful words to help others. ((HUGS))

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    1. Thanks Debby! As always, it means a lot that you read my stuff. Thanks for all you do for this community! <3

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  8. Just wanted to say that I love reading this blog!

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    1. Thank you so much! <3 I appreciate that!!! :-)

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