Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pregnancy & Infant Loss - Are You a Mother?

I had a stillbirth at 6 months in 2001.  In 2003, I had a miscarriage at 8 weeks.  My two pregnancies resulted in empty arms and a broken heart.  I carried my son for 6 months and another baby for just weeks.  I felt very conflicted about my role in this world.  What was I?  Was I a mother?  Was I not?  Yes, I had experienced the thrill of finding out I was pregnant.  Yes, I had experienced morning sickness.  I had the ultrasounds.  Two babies yet, in the end, there was no child in my arms.

I knew in my heart I was a mother.  But was I??  There were people who empathized.  There were people who tried to offer support.  Some understood what I was going through.  Others did not.  Some people confirmed that yes, I was a mother with no child here on earth.  Others treated me like I had no claim on the title because we were physically childless.  I think I heard it all.  One memory stands out like it was yesterday.  I was essentially chastised for my emotions and told that at least I never actually had a baby and new it and its personality.

I just want to say this.  If you have ever been pregnant, you are a mother.  You played a part in the creation of a life that was, for a time, growing inside you.  Perhaps you even experienced a live birth, but at some point afterwards, you lost that precious baby and wound up with an empty crib waiting at home.  You, too, are still a mother.  Let me state this clearly.  You ARE a mother.  Are.  Not were!!  Don't let anyone ever take that away from you.

In thinking about what to share in this post, I came across a poem {author unknown} that I wanted to share with you.  I hope you find some comfort in these words.

I thought of you and closed my eyes, 
And prayed to God today. 
I asked what makes a Mother, 
And I know I heard him say: 
A mother has a baby, 
This we know is true. 
But, God, can you be a mother, 
When your baby's not with you? 
Yes, you can he replied, 
With confidence in his voice.
I give many women babies, 
When they leave is not their choice. 
Some I send for a lifetime, 
And others for a day. 
And some I send to feel your womb, 
But there's no need to stay. 
I just don't understand this God, 
I want my baby here. 
He took a breath and cleared his throat, 
And then I saw a tear. 
I wish that I could show you, 
What your child is doing today, 
If you could see your child smile, 
With other children who say: 
We go to earth and learn our lessons, 
Of love and life and fear. 
My mommy loved me oh so much, 
I got to come straight here. 
I feel so lucky to have a mom, 
Who had so much love for me. 
I learned my lessons very quickly, 
My mommy set me free. 
I miss my mommy oh so much,
But I visit her each day. 
When she goes to sleep, On her pillow's where I lay. 
I stroke her hair and kiss her cheek, 
And whisper in her ear. 
"Mommy don't be sad today, I'm your baby and I'm here." 
So you see my dear sweet one, 
Your children are Ok. 
Your babies are here in My home, 
They'll be at heavens gate for you. 
So now you see what makes a mother. 
It's the feeling in your heart. 
It's the love you had so much of, 
Right from the very start. 
Though some on earth may not realize you are a mother, 
until their time is done. 
They'll be up here with Me one day, 
And you'll know that you're the best one! 
~Author Unknown~

This month we remember all our babies who have died during or after pregnancy.  October 15th is National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  Please join Salena from {A Little Piece of Me} on the 15th as we link up and share our stories.  Please feel free to grab a button to help spread the word!

A Little Piece of Me

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