Miracles, Messy, and Missing

Happy Mother’s Day.

A day we all try to get out of the dishes, the monotonous routines and hope a meal out or breakfast in bed may be on the agenda.

My mom used to answer, “what do you want for mothers day?”

She would respond, “I just want you guys to get along.”

I thought that was weird. Mom, today, I get it. Harmony in the home is fought hard for, and rarely with siblings does a day go on that we don’t have at least a couple bickering matches to break up.

Peace is hard to come by when there are kids are that are learning to live with each other. And some days when it is really hard to get through the day- we forget about the days that we waited and wished and hoped for that positive pregnancy test, that awaited adoption placement, or a positive IVF cycle.

The Day I held my children, it was the closest I felt to experiencing a physical miracle in my life. So many little things need to go just right to get them here. A complex number of cells that needs to make it 9 months and survive the intense process of labor. Babies are miracles. I don’t think a mother or father would argue with that.

If you have struggled with that teeter totter of emotions of remembering how you longed for a day to be a mother, and then you have days that you just want one minute away from the crying, the whining, and the huffs and puffs after you’ve just asked for a little favor.

Where does all that lay on this day that we are supposed to be full of thankfulness and awe over our little miracles? And yet just the night before there were failing fits over bed times and embarrassing moments of realizing you forgot a few major end-of-the year-tasks that were due Friday. And here it is Sunday.

Let me just be honest- Some times theses days are messy. I don’t feel what Hallmark tells me I need to feel. I feel tired. I feel helpless because I am entering new phases of motherhood that are unchartered waters and really I am just trying to pretend I know what in the world I  am doing with these gifts of God that can some times be so stinking hard to raise.

If you are feeling this way- let me be the first to say “Happy Messy Mother’s Day.” The day where all the things you feel are just a mess of joy, thankfulness, frustration, and the ever present mom-guilt.

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I want to also say “Happy Missing Mother’s Day.”

13 years ago, we traveled home with a 14+ week baby in my belly, and “Happy Mother’s Day Grandma” cards to hand to our mothers. We had been anxiously awaiting to tell our families that our family was growing. We had a miscarriage earlier (one in which I didn’t know I was pregnant until the miscarriage had started.)

We couldn’t wait to tell them, so the cards were passed out as soon as we got to their houses, and the shrieks and excitement occurred. It was the announcement of my dreams. That Sunday I planned to go to the Mother’s Day Tea with my mother in law and her mother. It was another great opportunity to share with the extended family that I was celebrating my first mother’s day as well.

During the tea, I felt strange. Crampy and achy. We left a little early and I went home to rest. I stayed in bed praying that what I was experiencing was the first of growing pains. We continued to pray, hope, and be full of excitement.

We went back home, and the word was leaking out. This was pre-social media for us. A few suspecting co-workers put it together from my frequent nauseated trips to the bathroom. We waited to be “safe” to share, and we were so very excited to share.

The next couple of days my symptoms became more concerning. My mom, after a phone call from my husband, was there in my house, without batting an eye to come.

My doctor sent me to a sonogram, and we were ready to see our little baby.

Mom was in the waiting room, and the tech started the sono. She turned the screen. Walked out, and said she would be back.

I was sent home. My doctor called. And confirmed that the baby had passed, and it was looking like baby died on Mother’s day.

It seemed like a cruel joke. Miscarriage on Mother’s Day.

Today, Mother’s Day, I miss you baby. I wonder about you. I wish I had known more then about pregnancy loss and how to walk it,  so I could have grieved you better. I wish I would have buried you instead of giving you to the lab to be tested. That hurts so bad, baby. Today- I don’t just miss you as a baby in heaven, I miss you because this is your anniversary of leaving us.

Happy Missing Mother’s Day.

And there was another. One between the two older boys. Much earlier of a loss, but the hurt was just as big.

There was the awkward conversations at Adams graduation after being told “Congratulations!” to follow with, “We lost the baby.” I would quickly react with “oh, it’s ok, you didn’t know!” But inside, it wasn’t ok. I was broken by losing you.

I have these miracles. 3 here. 3 in heaven. We talked about all 6 of you today. My little Mags asked if one baby might be her sister. I saw here eyes light up with the idea of having a sister. It was beautiful. It was messy. It was all the emotions that Hallmark cannot and will not ever be able to put on a card.

There is a tattoo on my husbands arm. It’s my favorite place to rest my head. It’s my place where I can feel the missing, feel the pain, feel the messiness, and feel the miracles.

A day that we want to be celebrated, may be really just a day we need be allowed to feel all the things that motherhood produces. And today I gave myself permission to feel all of them.

And I think that feels right.

Do you mommas. Even if it’s messy. Even if it’s missing. Even if it’s a miracle.

Thank you Lord, for making mommas. And thank you Lord for not expecting us to do anything else but look to you as we do it all.