Sunday, May 8, 2011

Thinking About YOU This Mother's Day

Most of you probably don't know that prior to motherhood, I worked as a social worker for an adoption agency.

During that time, I heard lots of stories of loss and grief from people who navigated the painful worlds of infertility and loss. Those stories have stayed with me; haunted me.

Having twins, too, I've met many people who have been, or still are in the throes of infertility. Many have suffered painful losses and setbacks on the rocky road to building their families that I can't even imagine.

I stand in awe of all those women whose journey to motherhood is fraught with grief and struggle. You still have a smile on your face, move forward day after day, still love big and you still hope. What courage!

Yesterday I read this great article by Nia Vardalos, that chick from My Big Fat Greek Wedding. She speaks candidly, about her experiences on Mother's Days past, as she was struggling through infertility.

That article reminded me that Mother's Day isn't a happy day for every woman. Not even for every mother.

For some women, Mother's Day is a sad day. It serves as a reminder of loss, or is a reminder of a painful longing that has not yet come to pass.

For others, Mother's Day is bittersweet--there are children to celebrate, and losses to mourn.

I read this great quote the other day:
A miscarriage is a natural and common event. All told, probably more women have lost a child from this world than haven't. Most don't...mention it, and they go on from day to day as if it hadn't happened, so people imagine a woman in this situation never really knew or loved what she had.

But ask her sometime: how old would your child be now? And she'll know.
~Barbara Kingsolver
As I celebrate the gifts that Brynne and Hadley are to my life, my heart is heavy for all those women grieving this Mother's Day.

My prayer for all of you is that you are all surrounded by love and that your hearts find peace.


Julie Wilkinson said...

My little girl, Faith, would have been 3 this month.

My third child would have been 3 this Christmas.

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

That quote made me catch my breath this morning. Beautiful reminder, Julia. :)

Lauren said...

You know, I had assumed, since I found you through another infertility blog, and since you had fraternal twins, that you had gone through infertility yourself. I hadn't realized that assumption was incorrect!

I think it's wonderful that you recognize how painful this day can be for mothers without children.

Andrea said...

So very true. While I am forever grateful for our beatiful girls that are with us, I always carry our daughter that we lost in my heart and in my mind. Her name is Meredith Grace, and she would have been two in February.

Mama Mama Quite Contrary said...

Julia, so very true and thank you for the reminder. It made me also think of the Safe Motherhood Project, an organization that tries to raise awareness of birth-related deaths of mothers. I imagine there are a fair number of children whose mother didn't survive childbirth and Mother's Day could be especially difficult for them as well.