I have this continual dialogue in my head questioning if I qualify as a Mom having never raised a child. The moment I found out I was pregnant I felt like a mother, and thinking of myself that way feels more validating of my loss and continual sense that something is missing. The ultrasounds I was able to see that little bean growing were magical, and I felt so connected to her I knew this love was unlike any other.
I had one of those moments last weekend that knock the wind about of you. My sweetie and I were out of town heading to breakfast with my family. I was driving and all of a sudden felt my body vibrating and my heart pounding. I pulled over and said to my sweetie I was having a moment and needed him to drive the rest of the way. I safely stopped as my eyes filled with tears and I felt a moment of utter panic. I had been driving quietly lost in my thoughts, and my sweetie said he had seen the process unfolding wondering about my silence. I didn't anticipate it, but retraced afterward and saw how my thoughts led me there. It led me to the moment I said goodbye to our daughter. Literally I was reliving it all. I could not pull myself together, but I knew it was okay that I was a mess.
I have felt sadness to the depth of my soul and thought about different moments before and after. That is the mark of time now: before and after the loss of Amy. That was the first time I was back in that moment, and it hurt just as much as it did when I experienced it first hand. To feel a child in you, moving around and then to feel utter emptiness, there is nothing like it.
I try to carry on and often find myself frustrated with how deeply it still hurts. Every pregnant belly I see comes with an intense sense of resentment. Every pregnancy and birth announcement is a reminder of our loss and our longing. Every time someone asks me if I have kids my heart sinks. Do I say I had a daughter but she's an angel? Or no I don't, which doesn't validate the place she holds in my heart. The worst is when someone asks if I want to have kids. I can't imagine asking someone that, but some people think nothing of it. Do I say I can't have kids or no I don't, just to shut them up & get them to leave me alone. Every single time I have one of those conversations I find myself just trying to get through it until I can get away before I cry. I thought it would get easier but it hasn't. One thing that has changed is that I have gotten better at hiding it. Time and practice I suppose.
I just try to continue living life as best I can, sometimes that means I am on autopilot and that's okay. Sometimes I get so caught up in the busyness and then when I slow down it hits me like a rock. I was at a community event yesterday for work and as I was leaving someone had wished me a happy mother's day. I didn't say anything, but smiled at the person and carried on. I left and ran in the pouring rain to my car and once out of sight burst into tears. I had my cry, wiped my eyes, and carried on with the rest of my work day. That is my life now. Have a moment, be in the moment, take a breath, and carry on.
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A Letter to Mom's for Whom Mother's Day is Hard
For Childless Mothers
Those of Us Struggling with Infertility on Mother's Day
If all you can do is crawl, start crawling. ~ Rumi