To the Miscarriage Mamas on Mother’s Day

accidental okie miscarriage mamasDear Mama.

Yes, Mama. Not Almost Mama. Not Someday Mama. You, the grower of life, the incubator of heartbeats and fingernails.

You are not a used-to-be.

I want to tell you that I’m sorry. I’m just so sorry for the death deep within your womb, for the loss even deeper in your heart. 

I don’t know how it happened, your unique story.

I don’t know when it happened. If it was late, there were probably logistics and procedures, maybe even danger for you. I cannot begin to understand.

If it was early, it probably hurt more than you ever thought possible – losing this life you didn’t even know existed just days or weeks earlier. I know it took me by surprise.

And for some of you, it’s happened again and again. The cruelest of cruel jokes.

This pain might be an ache that’s dulled over time, but will never fully go away. For others it is a sharp, fresh cut full of venom and tears.

We all have so many different stories, different pain. And now for each of us, all that complex grief, the years or months of emotions, the children you now have or the children you still dream of having – all of it – gets balled up into a tangled mess of a thing on this special weekend.

Yes, Mother’s Day is here again.

Last year was my first Mother’s Day. At six months pregnant, everyone who glimpsed me celebrated this new life, and I relished it. Happy Mother’s Day to me! 

The week before Mother’s Day, I floated about in my pregnant bliss, accepting well wishes from grocery store checkers and baristas. When the actual day came, I unexpectedly hid in my bed and sobbed. There was so much to be thankful for, but so much to mourn, too.

The well wishers didn’t know the whole story. That baby bump, our sweet boy, was the third baby I’d carried in my belly since the previous year’s Mother’s Day.

Mourning and joy. I think for many of us, they will forever mingle together on this day.

Whether hands full of kiddos who need bottles, band-aids or help with calculus homework, or hands still empty and heart still longing – we remember the cadence of those heartbeats, the positive pregnancy tests, the sweet dreams for a life that was suddenly gone.

It’s a hard week. A weird week.

Throughout my own season of loss, God was so faithful. He showed me beautiful, life-sustaining things about himself. He gave me comfort when I didn’t think it was possible.

Known

Last year, anchors were suddenly all the rage. You couldn’t click on Pinterest without seeing 20 different variations of the verse, “Hope is the anchor for the soul.” I thought it was sweet…gimmicky, but sweet.

Then after our miscarriages, I struggled to define an ache I couldn’t quite move beyond. Sure there was sadness and there was grief at the loss of these two little lives, but there was something else. Something more.

It festered and grew until one day it hit me: They were never known.

Most of my friends and a lot of our family didn’t even know I was pregnant both times. Life – glorious life that was prayed for and yearned for – came and went. Never known or quickly forgotten. It seemed too cruel. Even I, the holder of those heartbeats, didn’t know them.

Grief finally identified, I wept for the babies I would never know here on earth. Were they boys or girls? Did either have The Professor’s hint  of red hair or my random hatred of apples? Would they have been funny or serious, or maybe a bit of both? 

As I processed my grief over my babies not being known, I felt a strong urge to read Psalms 139. It’s the Psalm that says, “I knit you together in your mother’s womb.” For someone having miscarriages while seeing a fertility doctor, the thought of that passage seemed more like a cruel joke than a divine word from God.

As I begrudgingly read the passage, one section I’d never paid much attention to came alive.

My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

In that moment, I heard the tender voice of God whisper, “Your babies are known. They are known by me.”

In the depths of the earth – in the secret place where not even I could know them, He knew them. In that instant, I remembered the anchor pictures I kept seeing. The anchor – the same one that was the hope for my soul – it was down there in the depths of the earth, firm and secure.

Jesus knew my babies, and they were never alone. This has become my hope, my anchor. And if you ever wonder why I always wear an anchor necklace, that’s why.

Your babies are known. Fully, perfectly, completely known. Maybe not by you and maybe not by anyone else, but by God who formed them in that secret place.

And because they are fully known, they will never be forgotten.

Seen

I learned that God didn’t just know my babies. He didn’t just see them. He saw me. 

He saw the deep hurt that so many people didn’t. He saw me at my ugliest, saddest, angriest and most confused.

El Roi – The God Who Sees Me.

It has become my favorite name of God. There’s something really special about this name. The context isn’t The God who sees me win races and post Facebook statuses about my perfect life. It was the God who sees when we’re at our most vulnerable and most scared. 

Here’s the really cool part: it is a name given to God by a pregnant lady. Hagar encountered God while trying to run away from the crappy hand she was dealt.

“You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the one who sees me.” (Genesis 16:13).

He has seen your deepest pain. Not the put-on-a-pretty face you. Not the b.s. The real. The ugly. The lost.

Just like your babies, you are known. You are seen. Your pain is not forgotten.

Dear miscarriage mamas, this Mother’s Day, I pray that you honor it as you need. That might mean hiding under the covers, tear streaked. It might mean putting on a pretty face at church or a family gathering, and screaming in the shower later in the day. It might mean accepting sweet misspelled cards made by tiny fingers, and still giving yourself permission to feel that pinch of grief mingled with great joy. It might mean visiting a grave site.

Mother’s Day is about celebrating life and life givers. I think for us, the miscarriage mamas, who hold this day with interweaving and complicated emotions, we have a piercing reminder that today we can also celebrate the ultimate life giver – the one who ravaged death and will someday make all the sad things come untrue.

Your babies are known. You – your pain, your grief, your joy – they are seen.

You, sweet mama, are not a used to be, and so to you I want to say this: Happy Mother’s Day.

Comments

  1. Jean Barrett says:

    Thank you. Mine was many, many years ago, but never forgotten – just glossed over. I’ve come to loath those words from the Bible. I couldn’t read them without feeling bitter, and as you said, mocked. Now I’m seeing them with fresh eyes and a better understanding. My faith in God didn’t falter back then, I just misunderstood where I stood in His eyes. Thirty eight years later, I finally get it. Thank you.

  2. Thank you so much. I have dealt with my 12 losses, some when I was lost, some after I was found. While I was lost I didn’t care and shoved it to the back of my mind and kept on going, but I was angry, hurt, and in despair. Each Mothers Day the hurt just kept piling on. Then I was saved and my life changed forever. The first area God dealt with was my losses and the feelings that went along with it. He then allowed me my first child, it was my seventh pregnancy, my miracle child. I was elated, then five more miscarriages, it was different though, still a loss, but I knew my children were ok. They were loved by Him that created them. They always have joy, and are taught by Jesus, wrapped in His arms. They were never lost, only found. Eternal bliss for them, Thank you Lord. Thank you for telling all those who have lost something so precious, so that they know they are loved, they are a mom, and those children are not forgotten. Thanks for acknowledging those whose faith never falters and encouraging those whose faith does stumble. My faith never faltered but it was from someone encouraging like you who kept my faith alive. GOD BLESS YOU !

  3. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I just recently lost my baby. I would have been 25 weeks yesterday, but I miscarried on February 8th. The pain was unbearable. But lately the Lord has given me great peace. We are trying for another and I was ok until today, Mothers Day. I woke up and desperately wanted my husband to tell me Happy Mother’s day, but he didn’t. I went to church and a lady feon church who had had a miscarriage years ago told me, “Happy Mother’s day mamma!” And she was the only one. Not my husband, not even my mother. I just felt like everyone had forgot. And I wondered if I could really call myself a mamma. So thank you very much!

    • Abbey, If I could hold right now I would, and I would tell you Happy Mothers Day over and over again. Most people want to tell you that but they are afraid they will hurt you. That is why God has put others there who have gone through the same thing to be there for you. My greatest encouragement is the fact that I will see my baby again when I get to heaven and he/she is perfect and is being loved by the greatest lover of all, Jesus. I pray God will bless you with another child and that you will be able to enjoy the role of motherhood. My heart is with your and may peace surround for the rest of days. Happy Mothers Day to you !

  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have just come back from the doctors today having miscarried at 8 weeks. It is the second time. I was broken and then your blog picked up on my Facebook. I must have meant to have seen it. Reading it helped, I hope one day I will celebrate mothers day without happiness, with my own child. God bless you.

  5. Teressa Johnson says:

    Oh I just love you. I know this is a year old, but I love you still the same and this amazing gift God gave you to write truth and love.

  6. It’s my first Mother’s Day as a Mama. It’s also a month before our baby would have been due. God in His mercy, took our baby home September 27, 2015 at 5 weeks in the womb. I am not going to church on Sunday. Even pregnancy announcements bring tears, I can’t do a whole sermon on motherhood, especially since I completely and whole heartedly agree with the Biblical admonitions to desire motherhood, to raise children up in the knowledge of Christ. My husband and I prayed for children from the time we were engaged.

    How I prayed perhaps the Lord would send us news of a new little one in time for Mother’s Day, but unfortunately God still said ‘wait’. My heart aches for the baby I never knew. His/her name ‘Trust’ is stamped in copper on the pennant I wear around my neck. God IS good. And I AM a Mama. Even though few know of our precious baby safe in the arms of Jesus.

  7. Stephanie says:

    Thank for this beautiful article. We found out yesterday (Friday) that our baby is gone. Our D&C is scheduled for Tuesday. This will be a difficult Mother’s Day weekend to get through, but I know I’m not alone.

  8. Cheryl Clemons says:

    I was pregnant last mothers day and I carried my baby to 5 months and when I lost my baby it Hurt when my husband and everyone just looks at and pretend that I wasnt pregnant like it doesn’t hurt like hello u were all there wake up!!! This is a beautiful story thank you

  9. Our angel baby would have been 1 later this month. We lost her at 9 weeks in the womb. Even though I now have a rainbow baby sleeping upstairs, I still grieve the one that we lost. Thank you for your post, it was healing for me.

  10. Thank you!!!!!

  11. Samantha says:

    Thank you so much. I lost my baby December 15, 2015. I never knew real pain until I had that miscarriage, and today just hasn’t felt right. I’ve been trying to find the words to express my feelings and I couldn’t. But thank you and thank you for being someone who can understand.

  12. Brandie says:

    Thank you so much. I lost my baby last Saturday. I have been so incredibly sad yet I have felt God carrying me through it. I know God loves me so deeply and I know He loves our babies and children more than we do. I didn’t know how to feel yesterday and my sister sent me this post, it helped me tremendously. It gave me so much understanding and confirmed things I was feeling and taught me a lot. This was so helpful. Thank you Thank you thank you!! It helped me get through yesterday. By the supernatural strength of our God I was able to celebrate and be thankful for my blessings and my family and mourn and be okay with mourning for the loss of my baby but have peace that our baby is in Heaven with Jesus. This was just so reassuring to know our babies are known by God and He knows my pain and He is helping me. And I didn’t understand for sure until my mentor told me I am a mom and this post did too. So thank you again so much. God Bless You.

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