It's spring time and just as the hyacinth and peonies and cherry blossoms are bursting into bloom, so seem to be the mamas in my neighborhood. Why does my baby bump radar seem to kick into hyperdrive at this time of year? I feel like preggo bellies and newborns are absolutely everywhere. What's the most wild to me is that those mamas are no longer my parallel universe doppelgängers. My parallel universe chicas are the ones with EIGHT month olds strapped to their chests or nestled into strollers trying to run me off the sidewalk. If all had gone as planned, I would be celebrating my first Mother's Day on Sunday with an eight month old tiny Becca spawn glued to me. That blows my mind. As it stands now, however, I don't even know what having an eight month old means. I mean, I do, developmentally, but I simply cannot wrap my head around the reality of it. Oh how very different my life might have looked right now if my pregnancy had gone the distance.
I realize I can mark my mental state over the last few Springs in peonies, my favorite flower. Two years ago when Chris and I were casually "not not trying" to have a baby he bought me a bouquet on Mother's Day "for my future baby-mama", he said as a sweet joke. Then last year, when we had just lost the baby a few months earlier, I bought a bunch for myself as did Chris because we decided babyless mamas deserved flowers too. Fast forward to this year, when I bought myself the glorious blossoms pictured above without even connecting it to Mother's Day at all (man, the difference a couple years make). They sit in a big mason jar lighting up my kitchen counter reminding me that time really does heal (very slowly, but surely nonetheless). The healing process is in full effect, but the specter of that trauma still comes and goes, floating around me as it pleases.
I wonder if it will always be like this, for we mothers that might have been. The more time that passes, the more it seems clear that I will always have an awareness how old the baby would have been at every special occasion, of each Mother's Day where I buy my own flowers, of the birthdays that won't come in August. Sometimes I wonder why I am still writing this blog a little over a year after my miscarriage, but I think I keep doing it because I am continuously surprised by the big ways and small that his experience has colored every season of my life. I want to keep talking about it because as I move farther away from the acute experience it becomes even clearer in my rearview mirror. I would never want any of you out there reading to think you are alone for still getting sucker punched by the ramifications of miscarriage even when there are years between you and it. There is no expiration date on the scars that losing a pregnancy leaves. Sure, those scars transform over time, sometimes they are more noticeable than others, but they are always there. It's hard to imagine anyone who has experienced this NOT thinking about it on a holiday dedicated to motherhood. So to all of my compatriots in this weird sisterhood (and those who love them), I'll be thinking of you on Mother's Day and honoring the ways we continue to make sense of the longterm impact of thwarted mommyhood.