This Is What I Know
I know I’ve shared this before, not on this blog…but on an old one. But the feeling behind this never changes. This was a note I did on Facebook a couple of years ago.
“Last October when Adrian Peterson’s son died from injuries sustained by an alleged assualt from his mother and her boyfriend…and I say alleged because I don’t know what the final outcome is, at the moment I think it’s still just charges…the entire football community became a support system. There were cards, prayers, hugs, outrage, and shoulders for the football player to lean on. Before games there were questions about how he was coping, how he was carrying on with his life, dedications of games in the young boy’s honor.
What a lot of people never realized was that Adrian Peterson had only recently learned the child existed. The first time he ever saw this little boy was after he was on life support in the hospital a couple of days after the attack. He was not a part of this child’s life and this child was not a part of his life. And when people would mention that in comments on different news stories, they were…rightfully so…villified by others leaving comments of support. People who said that this man was merely mourning the idea of this little boy, the idea of the man he would become, the idea of birthdays, graduations, marriage, and kids were belittled for their lack of sympathy and compassion. So what if it was the idea that was being mourned? It was a loss through no fault of Adrian’s and he had every right to cry over and grieve the things he was never going to have.
So why am I any different? Why is a woman who has suffered a miscarraige not given the same understanding, compassion, and support.
This is what I know…
…I know that from the second I found out I was pregnant, I thought of myself as a mother. I was actually excited about middle of the night feedings, nights spent soothing a coughing baby in the bathroom with the shower going. I embraced every part of what life as a mother was going to be. I teased with the hubby about being able to say, “Just wait until your father gets home” and how I needed to start preparing myself prenatally for the eventual “I hate you” screams that all toddlers, pre-teens, and teenagers are so quick to shout. I didn’t have rose colored glasses on when I thought about being a mother…I just thought about being a mother.
A handful of miscarriages, and coming up on what should be my 12th year hearing “Happy Mother’s Day”, I find myself a ball of tears with very little understanding and compassion from “society”. I say it that way because, of course, my friends and family who know that I’ve lost babies are my rocks. But, in general, I am not considered a mother by most people, even though in my heart I feel like I am…just to babies that are no longer with me. When people learn that I’ve had multiple miscarriages, I get a lot of lost looks…some just don’t know what to say. Others, I wish, should not say anything. I’ve heard a lot of things like, “Well, at least you won’t have to raise a sick child”, and, “At least you didn’t lose a real baby”.
This is what I know…
…I know that my babies were real enough to have a heartbeat. I know that they were real enough to change what I ate, drank, kept down, thought about, and shopped for. I know that while not all pregnancies are lost because there was something was wrong with the baby, no challenge or birth defect was worth me not wanting them. I know that I would have done anything, including laying down my own life, to get them here safely, to make sure that they had the best life possible.
Tomorrow, not unlike today or yesterday, I will mourn the idea of my children. The birthdays, the first days of school, the attitudes they would most likely have come by honestly, the everything that I don’t get to have through no fault of my own.
This is what I know…
…I am a mother. And I know that my friends and family have that understanding as well. I also know that because they love me and don’t want to hurt me, most will not say anything to me tomorrow about Mother’s Day. I know that it is a hard subject to talk about and that they hurt for me. But I know that, for me at least, not talking about it, not acknowleding that I held life, hurts as well.
I’m not asking for people to treat me with caution…saying “with kid’s gloves” seemed a little heavy handed…just treat me like anyone else who mourns. Some days are gonna be better than others, some days are gonna be bad, some days are gonna be awesome, and some days are gonna be the stuff of country songs and AA meetings. You don’t have to sheild me from your baby news, you don’t have to hide your mommy miletones out of worry for me. Yes, I might cry…but, it’s out of love and joy for you even if it’s mixed with a little sad for me. Ok, so maybe sometimes it’s more like a lot of sad for me and a little bit of joy and love for you. But that’s part of the process, the coping, the learning to live past the loss.
So there it is…that’s what I know. I’m not wanting pity, just a little understanding…and maybe for advertisers to realize that not every damn thing should be billed as or for Mother’s Day…but mainly the understanding. Understanding that I am a mother, just different from the norm. “
As you can tell, this was written for Mother’s Day. And I know we’re still like two months out. But, there was just something calling out for me to share this now. (Sorry the spacing is a little weird, it’s a copy & paste job from my original Facebook note.)