Whether you yourself are a bereaved mom, a woman dealing with infertility, or a friend of someone who wants to be a mom, read this. Read it. Share it.
Today is International Bereaved Mother’s Day. It’s a day that was set aside in 2010 to honor moms who have lost a child, whether it be through miscarriage, stillbirth, infant loss, or loss at another time. It’s a day to honor the moms who ache to be moms, but have struggled with infertility and may not have ever been pregnant. Who ache for morning sickness. Who ache for sleepless nights. It’s for ALL moms who have lost a child or never had one she so desperately wanted; who the world may not see as a mom, but who feels like one even though she isn’t holding her child.
The traditional Mother’s Day is hard on women like us. Yes, us. I am a loss mom, too. And, I would like to acknowledge my babies.
Baby Bickford, miscarriage 8 weeks, 2008
Baby Bickford, miscarriage 6 weeks, 2010
Carter Eugene Bickford, infant loss – born 12/9/11, died 1/27/12.
And I want you to acknowledge your lost child. It doesn’t matter when you lost them, because they mattered.
A person’s a person no matter how small. ~Dr. Suess
They mattered. And it’s time the world took notice.
To the moms who lost babies… Don’t be shy about speaking your child’s name. Or the way they left this world. The only way the world will learn to accept the loss of a child as a real thing is if we talk about it. Not just to each other. To any one. To every one. No, I’m not asking you to walk up to a stranger and say your child died. I’m asking you to be proud that they lived, for however small of a time. To be proud enough to make that time count. I’m not asking you to dwell. I’m asking you to remember. To celebrate. To make a difference in the name of your child. To give hope to those who will come after you. To be a light in their darkness.
For those who feel the ache of Mother’s Day because you have yet to even feel the joys of pregnancy, I’m asking you to be kind to yourself. To take that desire to be a mom and put it 110% into something aside from grief. Mentor. Be a great aunt. Work in your church nursery. Babysit. Find the mothering moments in every day moments that you may be missing. Not because you’ve given up, but because you’re letting precious opportunities slip by, moments that you could be sharing your motherly instincts, your motherly love with little boys and girls who may need a motherly influence in their lives. Don’t miss out on these moments. These are the moments that will prepare you for the motherhood you so deeply desire.
There is no foot too small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world.
For the broken ones that know they will never have a child of their own, at least not from their own body, I’m asking you to find peace. Make peace with your body, your soul, and your partner. Forgive yourself for the feelings you have of guilt, like so many do. Know that you are still a mom in your heart, because in your heart is where that desire first grew, and it never died. You’ll always feel that way, that’s what makes you so beautiful.
For the moms who are moms and have never had to experience the pain of loss, know that it exists. Don’t brush it off. Don’t ignore it just because you couldn’t imagine how it must feel. Or don’t want to imagine it. Don’t ignore it because it’s too hard to talk about. If you do that, you’re telling your friend – the world – that these children don’t matter. Put yourself in our shoes, and just for a moment, feel what we do. Feel it so hard that you hurt. Feel it so much that the next time a loss mom wants to tell you about their baby or their loss, you listen. Hug. Cry. Bond. Because you are the model of what motherhood is. You are what we wish we could be. What we might never be. Remember that. And remember to always be grateful for your little ones, sleepless nights, poop-smeared wall, and all.
Today is a day for YOU, all of you. Love on yourself today. Love on a friend who’s feeling the loneliness of empty arms. And never, ever take a child – yours, the lost ones, or anyone else’s – for granted.
And, please, speak your child’s name or a child you know of that’s been lost, in the comments below. Let’s acknowledge them today as we celebrate their moms.
Laura SQ says
Oh my word, this article you’ve is so powerful. I love it, beautifully written. I love that you wrote a message to me with in it…A message to moms who haven’t lost, addressing how we should approach this. So so so powerful and beautifully written.
Thanks, Laura! It meant a lot to me, so I’m glad it’s gotten the response it has. 🙂
angela gardner says
Sweet landon James 12-227-07 and Elizabeth Dolleen 03-22-12 to 03-24-12 …. Another great article!!!
Thanks, Angela! And, I’m sorry for your losses. But, I’m so glad that my articles are meaningful to you. 🙂
Caitlyn L says
Olivia Grace, miscarriage 16 weeks, 2005 and Baby Yasika, miscarriage 5 weeks 2013
Remembering sweet Olivia Grace and Baby Yasika with you. Hugs.
while I personally have not lost a child- I have as a pediatric nurse held many little ones in my arms as they leave this world. I have also worked with parents during their loss and nothing compares to this loss. I know many a tear was shed by me as these little ones move on and the parents grieve. I have watched many parents pick up the pieces and move on with their lives and I praise them for doing so- may God bless every one of them.
Thanks for commenting, Kathy. Wow, what a tough job. I remember how amazing the nurses and doctors were when we lost Carter. It takes a special person to be able to do your job, and I’m thankful for people like you!
Cali. She lost her battle with HLHS just a week after birth. I never had the privilege of meeting her but I love her mother and ache today for her loss.
What a sweet tribute to your friend’s child. I am so glad to see a friend recognizing loss, we need more friends like you in our lives!
Carol West says
My son Michael age 34 took his own life on March 31,2011. Thank you for this article. My heart is still broken. I am lucky enough to have a wonderful daughter Nicole, that helps me with this emotion. A day does not go by that I don’t think of him, and what he would be doing, and how much he would have enjoyed his daughter who now is 10. God bless all mothers and those that want to be mothers
Oh, Carol, I’m so sorry. I know that must have been incredibly tough. My grandfather committed suicide in 2005 – it’s an awful things for the family left behind. I hope that you will find peace and that your heart will heal soon. I’m so glad you have your daughter and granddaughter to help you through! 🙂
Ginni O'Beirne says
Today would have been my son, Kevin’s, birthday. Even though it’s been 19 years it feels like yesterday! Thanks for posting.
Ginni – wow. What a tough day for you. I hope that you got some comfort from this post. Hugs to you.
Baby Trebec, miscarriage at 9 weeks, August 2007
Beautifully written Angela, I think of this baby all the time and try to tell myself that I may not have the babies I have now had this child been born. It still hurts. We were so excited, so full of hope and then our world came crashing down.
Thank you Robin – and you are so right, what a great way to look at things. I do remember that feeling though, of the world crashing down. Remembering Baby Trebec with you.
My sister is in the very early stages of her fourth pregnancy in 8 months. I feel her previously losses very strongly. My nieces and nephews play a big part in my life, and her 3 little ones are no exception! I love them so much!! I have six nieces or nephews in Heaven, looking down on me, and I know that the pain I felt at each loss is nothing compared to the pain their parents feel each and every time they think of their little ones in Heaven.
Wow, Michelle, that must be hard. I understand your hurt too, I see the same thing in our family members. They all say that they are feeling the grief so strongly and can’t imagine what our grief must feel like. Hugs to you and your sister!
Ana Fairchild says
Hello Angela! This is a wonderful article in the midst of Mother’s Day coming around the corner. It’s a reminder to women throughout the world that even when you may feel like the only one who knows what your going through, there are so many more women out there who feels the same exact way. The heartache, the loneliness, the desires of arms full and simply put just knowing that we’re not forgotten. Thank you! Ana- My Symphony Of Life podcast.
Thank you, Ana. Beautifully stated. 🙂
Jeremy Kai – lost to adoption, September 1982
Casey Luke – born @ 26 wks. July 3-July 4, 1987
misc @ 8 wks – August 1988
twin girls @ 13 wks – March 1998
misc @ 6 wks – Oct 1998
misc @ 7 wks June 2000
Timothy Cole – Mar 14, 2001
Noah Elijah – Oct 19, 2002
Wow, Kelly. I’m sitting here trying to figure out if these are all your heartaches or if you were sharing the heartache of your friends as well. I cannot imagine that much loss, and I’m so sorry you had to endure that. Thank you for taking the time to share. Hugs.
Baby (Samuel) Egbert, miscarriage 7 weeks Nov.2012
Baby Egbert miscarriage 5 weeks Mar.2013
Thanks for the article. It was just what I needed. <3
Thank you for sharing, Ariane. Blessings to you and your sweet babies gone too soon. Hugs.
Melissa Montgomery says
Wish I had known about this day. I have lost three children. I didn’t know what they where so I didn’t get to name any of them. Baby Montgomery 1 was lost at 5 weeks in 2001, baby Montgomery 2 was lost at 20 weeks in March 2005, Baby Montgomery 3 was lost at 5 weeks March 2006.
It’s a relatively new day, Melissa, don’t feel bad that you didn’t know. I’m very sorry for your losses. I know they were each difficult in their own way. Hugs.
Thank you for this. Although I have adopted now, I still struggle with losing my ability to ever give birth. I feel selfish for a lot of the thoughts I have even though I deal a lot better now when I hear of someone becoming pregnant than I did in 2005 when I had my hysterectomy.
You are very welcome, Pipi. Thank you for sharing – I’m so glad you were able to adopt. What a blessing! And, trust me, the selfish thoughts are completely normal… we’re only human!
Peyton Joy died at age 3 from accidental drowning in a backyard pool. It will be five years this July and my family still struggles with her loss. Not our daughter but a neighbor and good friends. I did not know about this day.
Wow, Lori. How awful for that family and yours. Just knowing a family well that loses a child is hard, they don’t have to be your child. Hugs to you all.
Amanda Hoyt says
Your three sweet babies will forever be written on my heart.
Your strength, hope & love are incredibly evident and are a testament that prayer changes things.
Today (and always) I remember my little one gone too soon at 9.5 weeks gestation; Noah Joel.
Thank you for being you, Angie.
Thank you, Amanda. 🙂 Love you and your sweet Noah, and so glad I met you!
Mandi Buckner says
Beautiful. I love the thought of “survived and sharing” as you call it. I have two healthy babes and am expecting a 3rd this summer. However, I experienced a stillbirth before them and two miscarriages in between. God takes us through difficult times in life to be an inspiration and encouragement for someone else and you are doing just that. Blessings!
Thank you, Mandi! And congrats on expecting! After a loss, it’s scary, I know, so I will keep you in my prayers. Thank you for stopping by – following you on twitter now too! 🙂
Lydia Faith — m/c at 7 weeks (2004)
Remembering Lydia Faith with you… Hugs!
This is such a beautiful article. Remembering my 5 lost babies today and always, and so thankful to be blessed with my son!
Baby Reynolds – miscarriage April 2007
Baby Reynolds – miscarriage August 2007
Nolan Reynolds – Born December 19, 2008 (Alive and well, praise the Lord!)
Baby Reynolds – miscarriage June 2011
Baby Reynolds – miscarriage March 2012
Baby Reynolds – miscarriage (ectopic & tube loss) December 2012
Aww, so sweet – and so glad you are able to celebrate your son in the midst of all the loss! Thank you for reading it and commenting.
Baby Jones #1 miscarriage @ 9 weeks Jan2011
Baby Jones #2 miscarriage @ 6 weeks May 2011
Baby Jones #3 ectopic rupture @ 6 1/2 weeks June 2012 (a dear friend saved my life by calling 911)
Baby Jones #4 & #5 miscarriage @ 6 weeks (IVF attempt 1)
Hoping we just conceived Baby Jones #6 through IVF three days ago
Every loss hurts. None of the wounds truly heal. Here’s to wishing, hoping, and praying.
Praying for you. I know the losses are hard. Hopefully joy will come soon. Hugs.
Thank you for bringing this day to light! I had no idea and am overjoyed to know it exists. I am a proud Angel mommy to Noah m/c 2010 and Shi m/c 2012. God bless you wonderful women and Happy Mother’s Day <3
I’m so glad you stopped by and were able to learn about the day. Hugs to you.
Lost my baby Daniel this February and life has not been the same ever since. I miss him so much it hurts.No one should have to suffer like this
I’m so sorry for your loss. I know no words will provide comfort, only time. If you need any resources or someone to talk to, feel free to email me.
Thank you for posting this. It is so uplifting. Mother’s Day brings such a different emotion when you’re the mother of a lost child (or children). It’s hard to explain but deeply felt. It’s so good to read posts like this as you go through those emotions. Thank you again.
Baby Norwich 1- MC at 7 weeks
Baby Norwich 2- MC at 5 weeks
You are very welcome, Julia. I’m glad it brought some comfort to you. Hugs.
Thanks for sharing. We lost Elizabeth Sterling at 9 weeks after going through fertility treatments last year. I am now 6 weeks pregnant with a miracle that we are praying will be our rainbow baby. First ultrasound tomorrow…so nervous!
single and childless says
My prayers go out to those who have lost children or miscarried, I can’t begin to imagine that pain. I simply suffer through the pain of not being a mother. Waiting to do it right….go to school get married have kids…well school and the career came..but the family has not and I am getting older by the minute. I had to stop going to church on mothers day because I was torturing myself