To all the moms out there, whether your child is here on Earth, or waiting for you in Heaven, Happy Mother's Day!
It's a tough day for a lot of people, and I learned this week that part of the origin of Mother's Day stems from baby loss. Isn't it a little tragic that consumerism has taken it over, for the money? Not that moms don't deserve to be celebrated, they totally do, but still...baby loss is so taboo and no one wants to talk about it...it's ironic that this holiday may have started because of loss.
There are a lot of things going through my mind as this day approaches tomorrow. On the one hand, I am very excited to become a mom to a baby on Earth. So excited. Well, so nervous too, but mostly I can't wait to meet Zachary and be a mother to a baby that I can hold and kiss and love in person.
On the other, I can't ever forget the babies that made me a mom in the first place. I can't shake the feeling that something...someone...two someones...are missing this year.
It's sort of a morbid thought, because of course IF Jackson and Lily were here, than Zachary would not be. Zachary was conceived before Jackson and Lily's due date, so obviously if the pregnancy with them went well, than this sweet baby boy bouncing around in my belly would not exist. This thought is bringing up all sorts of weird and hard feelings this weekend. I am so THANKFUL for Zachary, but to admit that makes me feel like I have to finally be "ok" with the fact that our twins died.
That makes me feel guilty. I tell myself I should be ashamed, and devastated about our loss. I should still be mourning deeply.
Then I tell myself to shut the heck up. There's really no way to make sense of all of this...the miscarriage of Lily, the stillbirth of Jackson, this pregnancy with Zachary...there is no sense to it.
In the excitement and preparation of Zachary's coming into the world, the grief and sadness of losing Lily and Jackson does seem to be ebbing. It makes me feel like I am losing my connection to them as their mom, and that scares me. I remember when I was in the depths of my grief last June after delivering Jackson, that I never wanted to feel "better" because to feel better would separate me from him. I don't WANT to be sad, or to grieve, but I don't want to forget him either. I hate this separation, but then if I wasn't separated from him...Zachary would not be here.
It's just hard to wrap my brain around it all. When I try, I come to the conclusion that I am still just healing one a day at a time, and while the strangling pain and grief of baby loss is easing up on me, it's never going to be gone. I tell myself I am just getting better at meshing it into my life now. I am getting stronger. I can deal with it and it may not hurt as much, BECAUSE I am stronger. Because I am BRAVE. Not because I am better or the loss makes any more sense, or anything like that.
There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of them. Mostly Jackson, of course, because of how long he was with me and the fact that I delivered him and held him. I find ways to integrate both of them into our lives all the time, and even into Zachary's life. I have a beautiful story to tell Zachary about his big sister and brother, which I will do soon after we meet face to face. Some special things are going into his nursery to represent them. We've planted a rose bush in our garden in Jackson's honor, a pinkish white one, just like the hospital gave to us on the day we said goodbye to him. In a few weeks I'll be filmed for a documentary about baby loss to help break the silence and stigma surrounding it, all in their honor. To get their story out there to help and heal and hopefully change the world in a very small way.
I am still their mom, I love them, and their lives still matter.
I have to remind myself that our babies in Heaven are very much a part of our everyday lives. We've just gotten used to parenting them in this way, this unconventional and unfortunate way. I have to remind myself that I am NOT forgetting them, and not "moving on" from them, but settling into a pattern of parenting that is very unique. I am embracing them in this out of this world connection that we have.
As Mother's Day comes around this first year after our loss, I am celebrating in two very different ways. I'm celebrating the short and sweet lives of the babies we lost last year, and I am celebrating the fact that in just a few short weeks - our Rainbow baby will be in our arms. Because of them all, I am a mom. Each one of our children have taught me such different lessons, such different ways to love, and such different ways of being a parent. I am grateful for each of them, and love them so much. My heart, while sad and excited and scared, is so big and so full, BECAUSE of all three of them.
It is an honor to be the mother of three: Lily, Jackson and Zachary. Well, actually four, because Ashley definitely counts too. It's an honor to parent all of them in unique and beautiful ways. I learn something new every day about being a parent from each of them, and I am thankful for the extraordinary way that God has chosen me to parent and how He blessed my life through all four.