Sunday, May 12, 2013

You Are Seen...

It wasn't until I personally experienced the elation of that first positive pregnancy test that I began to understand what it would mean to be celebrated on Mother's Day. After all, with my first-ever due date being May 9, 2008, I remember the joy I felt in thinking that I would get to BE celebrated that year... in addition to celebrating my own mom.

And so at 13 weeks, when it was discovered that we had lost that precious life, I felt as though I no longer belonged. I not only lost my child, but also my entry ticket into the club of motherhood.

To no one's surprise, then, when I learned I was pregnant again a few months later, my hope was renewed. I may not have had that first child in my arms to love and to hold and to cuddle on Mother's Day of 2008, but I would have another child whose life was being formed inside my very being.

And yet the unthinkable happened: between the joy of that second positive pregnancy test when we learned I was pregnant with Isaac, and Mother's Day of 2008, we learned that Isaac's prognosis was very, very poor. So poor, in fact, that we were given no guarantees of how long he would make it... either in the womb, or out.

So came Mother's Day of 2008. And to maintain a spirit of honesty, I will say this: I was dreading it.

I remember being in church that morning, and all of the mothers were asked to stand. And here's the thing: I didn't know if I should stand or not.

I had no evidence of my motherhood for the world to see. I had lost my first baby, and wasn't far enough along in my pregnancy with Isaac to be past the "is she pregnant or....?" phase. I didn't know where I belonged... other than this strange limbo of somewhere between motherhood and not.

The following year...Mother's Day of 2009. I am sure it goes without saying that this was one of the most difficult "firsts" since Isaac was born and passed away. My pregnancy and our loss of Isaac was very known my the members and attendees in our church; our pastor had even brought us in front of our congregation a few weeks before he was born to have them pray over us.

So once again, on Mother's Day of 2009, all of the mothers were asked to stand. This time, there was no confusion.

And I did. Knees trembling, tears streaming, and heart breaking... but I stood. Because to honor my son and acknowledge that he was born, and that he lived, and that he was here... how could I not stand?

It's not the picture of honoring mothers that we think of when celebrating Mother's Day. It isn't the situation whose sentiments can be nicely contained in a Hallmark card. Yet, it is often the situation that goes unacknowledged.

And so today, as I shared on my Facebook status this morning, I want you to know that YOU... you, whose situation doesn't fit the norm or can't me nicely summed up in a card... YOU are seen.

To the mommies out there who have every reason to celebrate today: I wish you the happiest of days. 

To the mommies out there who can't hold one (or more) of their kiddos because of a loss: I am missing them with you today. 

To the ladies out there who long to be a mother but have yet to see that dream realized: I am praying for you today. 

And to those of you who have a mother who is no longer here to celebrate with you: I am remembering with you today. 

Lots of hugs to each of you today, friends, whether your situation is celebratory and joyous, or if today is a day that brings up hurt and sorrow. You, too, are seen and acknowledged.