I carry you in my heart: Mother’s Day after pregnancy loss

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Motherhood has shaped me, changed me, tested my limits, and taught me lessons. I am so lucky (and it is luck) to have a healthy toddler to call me, Mom. This growing, beautiful babe, still feels very much a part of me, like my arms or my legs. She is my heart and soul (and sass) outside of me, learning to navigate the world.

Having Stella taught me the depths of my love. The selflessness hiding inside of me. Even on our most challenging days (and there are many) she lights up my life. Having a toddler helps you appreciate the little things again, the things you forgot you once loved. Drawing with sidewalk chalk. Playing hide and go seek. Getting lost in your imagination. I carried her in my belly and now I get the joy of carrying her in my arms.

But there are two more babies, two beautiful beings, that I will only ever carry in my heart. Two tiny souls that also have lessons to teach, moments to share. You see, a mother’s love knows no boundaries, not time, nor space.

It seems impossible now, to think about the happiness of Mother’s Day without reflecting on the heartache of it too. Despite the warning signs, nothing could have truly prepared me for my first pregnancy loss. I’m fine, it’s fine, everything is fine. Stuff the feelings down, act normal, don’t acknowledge the pain. This. Did. Not. Work.

Anger, anxiety, and panic attacks… this loss taught me about mental health, grief and gratitude. A challenging road but an important one. This little life, gone so quickly as if it were a figment of my imagination, helped me appreciate what I have. This little life helped me become more in touch with my thoughts and feelings, more open to sharing my truth.

The wounds of my second loss are still quite raw, but I can already see the lessons forming. There is never a good time to experience pregnancy loss but let me tell you, during a global pandemic is not ideal. Everything alone.

This baby of mine, not meant for the world, was set on making me stronger, more resilient, it would seem. I said out loud, “I won’t survive if I lose another baby” and yet, here I am. Writing. Sharing. Surviving. The world continues to spin and I continue to get up, trudge on, and try to honour my loss while navigating this new, crazy life. Proud of myself for the smallest of wins, a real belly laugh, a moment of connection with friends.

Moving on sometimes feels like forgetting but I will never forget my babies, I carry them in my heart. 

Happy Mother’s Day to those celebrating and sending love to those who wish they were. 

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