I loved Mother’s Day yesterday. A day where everyone recognizes moms everywhere for all that we are and all that we do. It’s nice to have a day like that because as much as we all love it, being a mother is hard.
Wanting to be a mother and having difficulty with that, well, that is hard too. And that is a reality that I can understand as well.
Two years ago on Mother’s Day, our church dedicated 33 babies. 33! That is a lot of babies. And some of those dedications were of my friends’ children. It was a day of rejoicing in the gift of being a mother and the gift of life.
I cried during the whole thing.
I was happy for my friends, but inside I felt like I was stuck in quicksand all the way up to my neck. It was the hard-to-breathe kind of cry that you never really want to do at all, much less in public.
Yes, I have 2 healthy children now for whom I’m eternally thankful. But what you may not realize about me is that I actually am the mother of 4 children. Two of those children went to be with Jesus before I ever got to hold them. Hunter and Bess…my babies in heaven. They have faces that I do not know, and names that the Lord gave me after they were with Him. They are counted among the people that I have lost in my life. And with loss comes grief…and eventually with loss comes healing.
This story isn’t short, and as I begin to tell you about it, it’s not one that is a one post kind of story either. But it’s my story and part of who I am. I will never be thankful for the loss or the grief, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Lord has turned what the enemy intended for destruction in my life into something good.
There’s just something about being a mother. And even before you have children, you know that it’s special. Noone has to tell you that there is joy in being a mother for you to know it, or to want it.
Tid Bit was the most normal pregnancy possible. We got pregnant just 3 months after stopping birth control…easy peasy. I felt tired when the books said I’d feel tired and I felt energetic when they said I’d have surges of energy. My appointments were routine, and I learned how to pee in a cup like a champ. I never went into that office with any doubts or fears about anything…ever during that entire time. He was born right on his due date and aside from an unplanned but necessary c-section, everything was perfect.
I got pregnant again in August when he was 16 months old…the very first month off of birth control.
On October 31st, 2007 we bought a minivan.
The Hubs is super tall and even in our spacious Honda Pilot there wasn’t room behind his seat for him to drive and to have a carseat with a kid in it. He sits all the way back and either Tid Bit’s legs would be crammed or we didn’t have room to have a rear facing carseat behind him.
I never wanted a minivan, but it was the only thing that wasn’t a gas guzzler that had enough room behind the driver’s seat for mutiple kids. And in no time, we’d be filling that van up with another.
I finished filling out the paperwork and buying our van after 5pm on that day…and I drove it home expectantly…looking behind me imagining 2 little people in the back.
The next morning I had my 12 week ultrasound. Everything had been great for the pregnancy. Things looked normal, the heartbeat at our previous appointment was strong. I felt tired, but good.
The Doppler on my stomach was having some trouble picking up the heartbeat. I know that even at 12 weeks, it can be hard to pick up the heartbeat clearly, but when the nurse said “I think it’ll be easier to just go to the ultrasound room to check it out,” I had a sinking feeling. A dear friend had just a couple of months before had the same thing happen and everything was fine. Tiny heartbeats can just be hard to pick up sometimes.
I tried to slow my heartbeat and push the worry out of my mind. And as I lay back and watched the ultrasound monitor, I didn’t see the tiny blinking that I’d seen when I was pregnant with Tid Bit. Everything on the screen was still….and I knew.
I started to cry before the doctor even said the words “This has just happened in the last 24 hours. Your baby is measuring 11wks and 6 days. This JUST happened.”
And then a walk outside to a minivan I never wanted but thought I needed.
Mother’s Day can be hard. I know. It reminds you what you want but may not have…or have lost.
I’ll tell you more of this story throughout this week.