I did a Mother's Day de-briefing last year to process all the ways that day had poked at prodded at a very fresh wound. I really didn't expect to do one this year, because as we all know I am totally FINE...like completely FINE....DOESN'T EVERYONE SEE HOW FINE I AM???!! So as it would turn out, being well out of the acute phase of the trauma of miscarriage does not exempt you from needing to excuse yourself in the middle of the afternoon to sob like a baby. I mean, so I've heard...
I happen to love motherhood. I love my mother and the magical way she gets me because she made me. I love maternal, nurturing energy. I loved seeing everyone smiling in pictures with their moms all over Facebook on Mom's Day. I've always felt this way. I've felt drawn to the pure magic of pregnancy, childbirth, and the role of being a parent since I was a tiny little girl. Because mommyhood has always been in my blood, it is a bit of cruel irony that of all the medical or emotional traumas that could have been dropped into my lap, miscarriage and reproductive issues were the ones I ended up saddled with. I think that's what made Mother's Day hard for me this year. Despite everything that happened, I still genuinely love the institution of motherhood and it hurts my feelings to not have the kind of ownership of it that I wish I had.
I wish I could guarantee that I would be one of those smiling mommies cradling their newborns on their first Mother's Day. It's always the not-knowing, isn't it? Will I get to be part of that sisterhood? Then I was absolutely blown away by the love and care that was shown to me by my friends and family that day. I truly didn't expect that, but out of the woodwork came friends telling me that they recognized my maternal energy even if I did not have a baby to show for it. One girlfriend sent me this article about a woman who speaks of still being a mom even though her baby was never born, my mom got me a little present, another girlfriend left a heartfelt message on my machine listing the ways she felt I embodied the goodness of motherhood, other friends and family sent texts, emails, and good vibes. It made me realize that I already was part of a pretty incredible a sisterhood (personhood) even if it's not the one I expected to find myself in this Mother's Day.
My would-be First Mother's Day reminded me to embrace the fact that this experience lives inside me and accept that it is going to continue to rear its head at various significant moments. There will never be a point in my life when I the experience won't hurt. However, as the months and years go on, it seems that its memory will transform and highlight the ways I have grown and those that have been by my side for the ride. Even though my pregnancy did not manifest a baby, it manifested a brand new relationship with my body, a transformed outlook on the word, and an even deeper connection to the support system I have around me.