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International Bereaved Mother's Day

I had no idea this was a thing. I wish it wasn’t. I wish there wasn’t a reason to have an International Bereaved Mother’s Day. But I saw it in my news feed today. So there it is – today is International Bereaved Mother’s Day.

I’ve been struggling with Mother’s Day approaching, and how I feel about it. I struggle with calling myself a “mother”. A “bereaved mother”, yes. But a “mother”… there’s some grey area there, at least in my mind. I haven’t had sleepless nights due to an infant crying and waking up for feedings. I haven’t set up a nursery. I haven’t nursed a baby. I haven’t gone through labor. But still, I feel like I am a mother. I have planned for a child’s life. I have cried tears of happiness because I have so much love for the tiny human inside of me. I have felt the pregnancy pains. I have taken naps on the couch because my body is working so hard to create life. I have worried about my child’s health. So “bereaved mother” is fitting. And I’ll take this day as my “mother’s day”.

Mother’s Day, while definitely a time to celebrate the mother’s in my life – my mom, my mother-in-law, my grandmothers, my aunts, my friends - is also a time of sadness for me. Especially after the last year. The first Mother’s Day I experienced as a “bereaved mother” was in 2015. We had just lost our first baby due to an ectopic pregnancy a couple weeks earlier. And we had planned to announce to our family at a Mother’s Day lunch. That lunch came and I sat through it with a pit in my stomach and tears in my eyes. This Mother’s Day, I am not only mourning that loss, but two additional ones. By this Mother’s Day, I thought for sure we’d have a baby to love and hold. Our 2nd baby’s due date was April 6th. I was so looking forward to celebrating a Mother’s Day as a mom of a newborn. But instead, I “celebrate” International Bereaved Mother’s Day. Instead I dread Mother’s Day with all of its happiness for those with babies in their arms. How can such a joyous day for so many be such a dread for me? I’m happy for two of my best friends who are celebrating their first mother’s day. But I am SO sad for myself.

Today we “celebrate” all those mothers who hold their babies in their hearts, instead of their arms. The “bereaved mother has experienced the unimaginable, yet she is still able to walk.”

So today I will mourn. Today I will have my Mother’s Day. Today I will think about my babies and how much I love them and wish they were here with me. And next week I will do my best to focus on my family members who are mothers… the ones that have been there to “mother” us through the struggles we’ve endured over the last couple of years.


Happy International Bereaved Mother’s Day to all those mother’s that are experiencing anxiety as we approach Mother’s Day… this day is for us.  

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