It’s that day every year where many women feel so very alone, left out. And the Mother’s Day after miscarriage can be especially hard.
We turn our focus inward, separating ourselves from others.
What we lack becomes our only focus. We get angry, bitter, sad, depressed. Skipping Mother’s Day get-togethers with family or services at church.
We’re being selfish, but we have a right to be. Right?
I want to challenge you this year, to make a change. To make a difference.
Over the last few months, since our baby passed away, I’ve been thinking. A lot. I always looked at other people in crummy situations and thought “If that ever happened to me, I’d still live out my life to the fullest. I would choose to be happy and make the best of my situation! I would want to be a witness to others for God’s amazing love, even though I struggle.”
But I haven’t always done that.
In fact, I’ve done a really bad job of doing that.
I may not have cancer, and I may not deal with physical limitations, but I still get brought down with my struggles. I let Satan’s record play over and over in my head, telling me I’m not good enough. That I’m not worthy, that something is wrong with me. I allow the events of my miscarriage to replay over and over, robbing me of the peace I’ve experience over the last few months. The grief keeping me up at night until the darkness overwhelms me. I dwell on how “unfair” it all is.
My grief became sin.
And I call out to God – crying and pleading for peace, to settle my soul. But it doesn’t come…… until I realize that the little voice in my head is not my own.
Are you allowing yourself to be brought down by the one who wants to see our demise? Are you in a battle against the enemy that wants nothing more than to make you feel miserable, so much so that you stop doing the work of the Lord?
My dear friend, I want you to know that you are enough.
You are good enough, you are whole enough, and you are so very loved. Your status as a mother does not define who you are. And we can not let these attacks on our emotions take control of us.
“Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name.” – Psalm 142:7
Let us choose joy.
Let us choose to be full of life and service to others.
Let us show how the love of the Lord works in us and through us, even in times of struggle.
“May the God of hope fill you with all the joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 15:13
It seems difficult to serve others when we ourselves are hurting, but you, my friend, also know how others in your situations may be feeling. Your ability to minister to others will leave a lasting legacy in their lives.
So how do we show love to others this Mother’s Day?
- Send a card to someone who may be dealing with infertility. Let her know you’re thinking of and praying for her.
- Same thing goes for a woman who has experienced the loss of a child this year. To often our culture deems a woman only a mother when she can physically hold her child. But there are many that long to hold their children, yet will have to wait for heaven until they can. Let these mothers know that they are celebrated and loved.
- Look around your social circle or church for that single mom that needs encouragement. Invite her over for dinner or send her a card acknowledging her work.
- There are also mothers out there struggling with feeling their worth as older children cause a divide in the home. Find a way to encourage them, give them a hug and let them know how “good enough” they really are.
- The loss of a mother is also a devastating event. (it’s actually the real reason Mother’s Day was created. The founder wanted to have a way to honor her mother after she had passed.) So remember those around you that no longer have their mother with them.
I’m not suggesting that the pain of infertility or loss will go away. We all have different journeys, different emotions, different outcomes. I’m only suggesting that we show love to others who are struggling on Mother’s Day as well, to let them know they are being thought of, that they are loved, to help take some of the sting out of their day.
I don’t think you can truly understand. You HAVE a child. you have CHILDREN! You just don’t have as many as you want to have. You are a mother. Some of us are not and will never be. That is a pain you will never know and can never imagine.
@alana, Alana, I’m so sorry that my words caused you any pain, that was never my intent. I was sharing my own story, and my own struggles and how they overcome who I want to be, how I let those little voices tell me I’m not good enough.
I was suggesting nothing other than trying to do good even in sadness – finding others who may be hurting similarly to the way that we may be, and extending some love and care to them in their situation. It won’t take away the pain of infertility or loss, but I think it’s important to remember others, just as we would like to be remembered. It would have meant the world to me to have a friend send a card around the always difficult Mother’s Day, letting me know she was thinking of me during a hard time.
And you’re right in some aspects – my pain isn’t as raw as it used to be. But you also have to realize that I was in that place once, infertile, with no children.
Again, I’m terribly sorry if my intentions were not written clearly enough and I’m so sorry for the pain that you carry. It IS a pain unlike any other.
@donielle, I’m sorry. I was just feeling really raw this morning. My mother died a week ago, and her deathbed regret was not getting to see a grandchild.
I can never give her that now and I know for sure it was the one thing she wanted.
@Alana, Hugs, hugs, and more hugs. My heart and prayers go out to you.
@Alana, this hit home for me. I struggled with infertility for many years and my dad (who died of cancer) died in my infertile days and his only wish was to be a grandpa. I have 11 babies in Heaven now who he can be with..it brings me some comfort. I am sorry for your loss of your mother. But I also know that in my infertile days (I was told 2 years in I would never have children of my own..I have some severe issues). my husband did not believe it was alright to do any form of ARTS and he did not want to adopt so I really believed I would never be a mother nor would I have that chance. I had no clue that I would have the story I currently have. None of us know. and therefore Donielle’s pain is no different–a different result than your story is *currently* but she DOES know what that pain feels like because she has experienced it first hand. I had no idea I would ever have children and I have been greatly blessed–even in the deaths of so many babies later down the road. But I know that pain intimately because I have lived it. If years from now you are so blessed with a child (and I pray that you are) you will never forget that pain that you are feeling right now. Unfortunately that is just not how it works. You may be happier yes–but that ache is still part of your journey and who you were. You lived it. therefore you have a right to it. Hugs. I am so sorry you are dealing with SO much at one time 🙁 I wish I could take it away for you ♥
@Alana, Oh Alana, I’m so sorry for your loss. How extremely heart breaking! Any words I could come up with seem so hollow, but know that I am praying for you.
A Different Alana
@alana, Alana, I am so sorry for your pain…you caught my eye, because, well, you have my name, and it seems you feel the same pain I carry. We’ve been trying for almost 4 years, from all indications, it will never happen for us (still hoping for a miracle though) and I’ve FELT what you have said. Sometimes the world seems so unfair in the fact that so many people can have their children, and often so easily, and I feel left in the quagmire alone, as these people who have their children tell me what to do, when I usually feel trapped that I can’t get them to understand my pain. And I will be honest, Donielle’s words struck a chord with me in this post too…because my last 2 Mother’s Days have been aweful…one with a horrendous morning in church (which is supposed to be a sanctuary), and another where one of my very own siblings asked when I was going to have a baby so I could celebrate Mother’s Day with them. This year, to save my sanity, I am not going to church this weekend, and we are avoiding family…my husband is sweeping me off to a weekend getaway. Even though Donielle’s words are what I SHOULD be (and it does make me feel a bit guilty that I am not that woman right now, and I didn’t want to add guilt to the list of things I am already struggling with this weekend), I am preserving myself this Mother’s Day instead, and I am mentally saving Donielle’s suggestions for a future Mother’s Day. But Donielle does know the pain. She has been there. I can hear her past struggles in her post about the person she wants to become through them. And she has dealt with hardships I have never known.
Donielle, I just wanted to say I’ve been following your website for a while…the holistic methods of conception appeal to me (my body did NOT do well on the drugs!) but there aren’t many places where people talk openly about it, and I’ve really appreciated the tidbits I’ve garnered from your site! So thank you for opening yourself up!
@A Different Alana,
This is where I am too. We know the medical reason WHY we don’t have children after almost 8 years of marriage, 6.5 years of not preventing, and over a year of actively TTC before we gave up. And it is looking less and less likely that we will ever have children, despite wanting them very much.
The pain of this is like nothing I have ever experienced, and my main goal for Mother’s day the past few years has been to get through the day without breaking down or snapping at someone.
@A Different Alana, Alana, I’m so sorry for your struggles and pain. I hope you were able to enjoy yourself on your getaway.
Pain is real and expected, so don’t feel guilty for experiencing it. My only thought this year was trying to remember others who are struggling as well. Most people don’t even realize how hard this day could be to some women and those struggling often get forgotten. I too practice “self-preservation” many times as it’s often necessary to keep my heart from going to that deep, dark place.
Maybe next year we could hold a ‘boycott mother’s day’ event. 😉
praying for you.
Ouch. Alana, I have often found myself thinking the very same thing that you’ve expressed in your comment and now, being on the other side of infertility, it really hurts to hear it from someone else. For 6 years I tried to have a baby and came to a point in my life where I was beginning to accept that I would never have a child. I was so lonely. Nobody around me knew the pain I was experiencing and no other pain was like it. I experienced many of the feelings that Donielle is talking about in her post. Then, by some miracle, I got pregnant, and now I have a 5 month old daughter. I am a new mom. I was just telling my husband last night that I still don’t feel like a mother and I can’t believe that I had actually been pregnant. The pain of infertility became such a part of who I am that even now, I cannot shake it. It stays with me and it always will. I’m not trying to minimize your pain, but please realize that there are moms out there who DO know your pain. Sometimes I feel guilty that I was able to have a baby because I know there are so many out there who still struggle. Hugs to you!
@Carrie, Carrie, that pain that carries with us is odd isn’t it? I still cringe when people say something to others that brought me heartache when we were still awaiting our first child. Or the dumb things they say to me when they hear of the age spacing between my children. Or when a family member was talking about my blog and said “good thing we don’t have anyone in our family that deals with infertility!” *ahem*
Rejoicing with you on the birth of your daughter and praying that the pain you have experienced may one day comfort another.
Donielle, just so you know, my reaction to this post was the comforting feeling that you do actually get what others have gone through. When you write, “And I call out to God – crying and pleading for peace, to settle my soul. But it doesn’t come…… until I realize that the little voice in my head is not my own,” I cried as if you knew something that was some sort of secret. Mother’s Day is hard, but I still look forward to the day peace comes to stay.
Carrie, thank you for writing, “The pain of infertility became such a part of who I am that even now, I cannot shake it.” That’s a fear of mine, but I try to stay conscious of it so it doesn’t define me if I get to mother someday.
@Jessica Juice, Jessica, I’m so sorry for your struggles. I can hear pain in your writing. I’m working toward having more peaceful days than not – waiting for the Lord’s return so that the peace in my heart can stay.
praying for you.
Such a delicate balance to be thankful for the children we have but still mourning the loss of ones we didn’t get to hold this side of earth. The ache of empty arms is unlike any pain and people don’t acknowledge those very real feelings of grieving for a child we have never known. God does bring comfort and He will bring healing, it just may not be until we get to heaven. “This world is not our home”. I very much look forward to one day being able to meet my sweeties in heaven, where I know they are being taken care. But, it doesn’t mean I don’t ache for them.
@Alana, I’m sorry for your aching arms and heart. I have struggled with infertility and remember the overwhelming feeling of not having a baby to hold and not knowing if I ever would. I’m sure my words offer no comfort but know that I will be praying for you.
Thanks for writing this article Donielle! I love how authentic you are about sharing those demons that so many of us have wrestled with. It is exactly what I needed to hear as we head into this Mother’s Day weekend. It has been over two years since we lost our little one, but the pain remains. By God’s grace after 25 months of infertility we are pregnant again! We are taking things day by day, and just thanking God for the wonder of being pregnant. I so hope I will get to meet this new baby here on earth.
@Janea, Janea, I’m so sorry for the passing of your little one and I rejoice with you over your new miracle.
I love what you said “We are taking things day by day, and just thanking God for the wonder of being pregnant”. It really hits home for me the place I want to be in if we are to be given another child.
Thank you for sharing.
Oh, Donielle, I’m not sure how I missed this post over Mother’s Day.
But thank you, nonetheless.
The past few years have completely changed my perspective on Mother’s Day. I went from having a “surprise” happy Mother’s Day (several teens that I had worked with stopped me on my way out of church to tell me, “Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!” and I sat in my vehicle crying after they left. Good, good tears. Healing tears.) To having a difficult but intentionally happy Mother’s Day (the year I realized that I was thankful for the Lord hiding the future from me and allowing me to walk the road of infertility. Lots of tears that year too. But also healing.)
And then this year.
Oh, this year was… like God reaching down and blowing kisses across my life.
From the card that the boys I babysit gave me (“you’re the best part-time mom, ever!”) to the reader of my blog who sent me a beautiful handmade card that read, “She Loved with a Mother’s Heart and God smiled”.
Learning to walk this road with grace is the hardest and most beautiful assignment I’ve ever had.
Thank you for taking time to write this post. To encourage us each, again, to look beyond our personal pain. I wrote a post this month about things to remember when the doctor says you’ll never be a mom- and I talked about recognizing that every person carries pain.
“Your pain is real- but it is not the only pain.”
And it’s almost painful to even say that but it is so, so true.
Thank you for showing us a glimpse of your pain and also for calling to account the sin that can so easily take a hold if we aren’t aware.
May we all learn to show love and form community and walk in grace.
Many, many blessings,