Mother’s Day was a little over two weeks ago, and I have been meaning to sit down and write this post ever since. Way back in 2006, I had a miscarriage at five months into the pregnancy. From the early days of the pregnancy it was obvious that something wasn’t right. I had conceived twins, but only one had actually formed a baby. The other was something called a molar pregnancy, which is a rapidly growing body of cells. The actual baby was healthy, but the molar pregnancy made it highly unlikely that I would be able to carry the baby to term.
I was given the choice to terminate the pregnancy, but opted not to. My choice was to do everything within my power to carry the baby at least long enough that it would be able to live. I worked with specialists in Jacksonville, FL in conjunction with my regular OB/GYN and was put on bed rest. It still didn’t work. At a little over five months I woke up in the middle of the night in labor. Upon arrival at the emergency room, I was told that I would have to go through the entire delivery process even though nothing could be done to save the baby. Needless to say, I was horrified and devastated to know that I would be leaving empty armed.
After I had delivered the baby, they asked me if I wanted to see it or to know the sex of it. At the time, I simply couldn’t handle it and said no. They sent me home with the instructions that I would have to be sure not to conceive again for a year and return for weekly blood testing due to the molar pregnancy. The tissue from a molar pregnancy can begin to grow again for up to a year afterward and lead to the need for chemo. Thankfully, that did not happen. However, I went home and sank into the blackest depression I had ever experienced…then for the next year was faced with a weekly reminder of what had happened when I went for the blood tests.
Once I was feeling less raw, I began to regret not having looked at the baby or knowing the sex. It was around two years ago that I found out that the baby had been a girl. Last year, I consulted with a very gifted medium who mentioned my baby daughter without my prompting. She said that she was safe with my mother and that she knew how very much I loved her. This broke a barrier with me. I sobbed uncontrollably in both pain and relief. After that reading, I could feel the presence of my daughter around me at times. With time, that experience changed from one of heartbreak at not having her with me to one of comfort that she was around.
Finally, a few days before Mother’s Day of this year I decided that I wasn’t going to celebrate Mother’s Day at all. I felt very upset at the people in my life who had hindered me in feeling what I needed to feel throughout this experience. Never acknowledged as a mother; I was told to move on, that it was meant to be, to let it go, and other similar things. So, I stuffed it all as deep within myself as I could stuff it. What if they were right? What if allowing myself to reflect on it made me hurt longer? All of their words swam in my head constantly. Despite the fact that I did nothing but cry and sit in a dark room for months on end, I was still told by family and friends that it wasn’t good to let myself think about it…that I needed to see it as a blessing. Really? What the fuck?
When I woke up on Mother’s Day I made the decision to celebrate it for myself…as a mother. Just because I had returned from the hospital without a baby, I was still a mother. I had carried her inside my body for five months and lived in hope that she would be okay…and in fear that she wouldn’t. In the late morning on Mother’s Day, I went outside with my journal to write my feelings out. Then something which seems simple, but ended up flipping a switch happened. I finally began to call her by name. My ex-husband and I had chosen the name Layla for a girl. Just the act of acknowledging her name was so very healing for me. Even though I have not had children to date, and no longer entertain the idea due to my age and other factors, I will be celebrating Mother’s Day for myself from here on out.
More and more I am learning to listen to my own wisdom instead of looking outside of myself to be told how to feel about something or for validation of my worth or knowledge. It isn’t that I think that I know everything…I never will. However, I am being led more and more to forge my own way for a while. To allow myself to trust in who I am and in what I know. The cycle of not having enough belief in myself and my intuition has not served me well and it’s time to let go of that pattern. I’ll be going back into the knowledge that I already have…brushing up…putting back into practice…rededicating myself to my path. The big difference is that this time, I will be doing so without guilt or the need for validation or approval from anyone else.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. It is a bit longer than usual, but after a few weeks of asking myself if this really needed to be said, I got a resounding yes. It is so important that we give ourselves permission to feel our feelings…that we trust in ourselves…that we learn to let go of input from others, or even from ourselves if it isn’t good for us…and we also have to trust that we KNOW when something isn’t good for us. Our shared experiences can be so powerful and healing for one another…and that is my reason for sharing.