Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day: Happy and Sad

My Mother's Day was fabulous. From the wonderful meals made, to a little time to myself, to lots of family time. It was just a day of thoughtfulness from my boys. Xander was especially into Mother's Day this year, and I got a fabulous card and a picture of him with a homemade frame. Liam was along for the ride and got a kick out of the festivities. We just had a fabulous day!

I am blessed. My children are loved and they love me. My husband is a good man, whom I enjoy spending my time with and look forward to traveling the days that are coming with him.

And yet, as I checked on my sleeping children last night, my heart broke too.

I've spoken before of my online community. I know some of the women who read this blog are also part of that online community. We come together, regardless of race, religion or nationality. Our habits and parenting are different. But oh, how we support each other. We cheer for the victories of each other, love each other, and hold each other up. We are a sisterhood.

And sometimes we grieve together.

We've grieved for lost dreams. We've grieved over lost parents and husbands. We've held the horror of lost children in our hearts. When one of our members can no longer stand on her own, we try to hold her up with words. Our hearts travel distances that our bodies cannot always travel (and sometimes some of our bodies travel those distances too).

Yesterday, in the middle of Mother's Day celebrations, we all grieved. It seems a betrayal of the worst sort. One of our members has battled over four years of infertility, including a failed IVF. She wants a second baby so badly that we can all taste it for her. (Mind you, she is not the only one who is battling hard against secondary infertility. And if I could take that pain away and give each woman a baby who wants one...well, I would do it in a split second.) But this woman, she had a surprise pregnancy after all of this!

And we all rejoiced for her! This is the result we all dream of for our sisters who battle infertility. It gives us all hope.

This week she was 12 weeks pregnant. The magical number that is supposed to put us out of danger. Pregnancy becomes so much more certain after that time. And she saw the baby moving, wiggling, and living fully just a few days ago on ultrasound. A beautiful, whole, living baby.

We all believed for her. And rejoiced. And wept with relief. She was having a baby. This was real!

Except that after a few days she could no longer hear the baby's heartbeat on the doppler. And sometime in the hours between what was Saturday and the darkness that became Sunday...yes, Mother's Day of all days...she and her husband discovered that the baby had passed away.

It seems a heartless cruelty. And part of me feels like something has been yanked away. From her. From me. From our group. We all love this baby, who is now gone. And there is nothing at all that we can do.

If you pray or think positive thoughts or just spend a moment sending your heart out, then this woman and her family need it more than anyone I know. These are the darkest of days for them. Her friends and extended family need it. Our online community needs a little of it too. Healing will be hard.

The irony of it happening on Mother's Day is lost to no one. Part of me is angry about that. Sad, but angry too. Why now? Why take this day of joy from her?

But I also remember that motherhood is not all cards and appreciation. Sometimes it is standing together in hard times. Which is what we are trying very hard to do. So maybe it is appropriate after all. Hard still, but appropriate because as mothers we take what comes and travel through it all.

So, as I looked at my own blessings last night, I cried a little.


Cindi said...

Eloquent, accurate & heart-breaking.

My heart & prayers go out to her, her family and to each of you Laura.

CJM said...

So unfair and so heartbreaking. My thoughts are with you and your friend, Laura.

McCryssy said...


Lisa said...

It is SO unfair and SO hurtful. I cannot even begin to imagine her pain.

Heidi said...

Thank you so much for this, Laura. It feels so much less lonely knowing that it's not just Tahd and me missing our baby.