Every year I make a post on Mother’s Day for all those struggling to enjoy the holiday. I didn’t do it this year mostly because my mental load was high that day. A long couple of months with work and births meant I was no as prepared as I usually was. So I decided to protect my mental health and repost a post someone else had made.
This morning my mental health is amazing. And as I was sitting at my computer to write this weeks blog post I feel all those broken hearts on my own heart. Because yes the holidays are hard, but truthfully for many of us every day is hard. And there are so many journeys that bring people to grieve on Mother’s Day. But today I want to talk about a path that I myself have walked. Miscarriage.
If you have been following me for a while you know that I lost my first child through miscarriage or, as I like to call it, early birth. He was born via D&C on July 29, 2013. Mother’s Day I always think of him as well as his birthday, the day he was due, but also I think of him on a Tuesday, I think of him when I am sad, I think of him when I am happy, Grief doesn’t stick to a schedule. I think of him when his sisters are playing a silly game and wonder what role he would play in the antics. Last night I was playing with my daughters by catapulting rubber frogs at each other. The battle was thick with laughter. I paused a moment to picture one more laugh filling the air.
Grief is a funny thing. And I think many forget, myself included, to talk about those lost babies after healthy babies are born. After all the goal of that pregnancy was a healthy baby, and now you have a healthy baby, right? But what almost any mother or father who has lost a baby in the womb is there is no replacing that baby. There is no, moving on, there is just a growing more love for the children that follow. Nearly every time someone asks me how many kids I have in my heart I say 3 but out loud I always say 2. And that stings. I want to share about my son and how proud I am of him. I want to share all that God has done through his short life to help others. But that conversation requires energy and I often times find myself not having that energy.
So what I want to tell the world, or anyone in the world who will read this, is that I have a son. His name is Noah. I love him and miss him everyday. His pregnancy was my fearless pregnancy, my innocent pregnancy. The one that I didn’t wake up every morning fearing I would lose him. He was the child who taught me to be brave, that I have the power to help others, and that motherhood is beautiful even when you want to curl up and die because it hurts so bad. I don’t feel anything but beauty and aw when I shed tears for my son, because I never heard his voice, he never gave me a mother’s day card, and never held my hand, but yet I love him as much as I do my daughters. And that is motherhood. We don’t love because of who our children are, we love because they are and so are we.
I love to pain occasionally. I am not very good but I love doing it. I can’t tell you how many times over the years I have tried to paint something to represent my son. I so much wanted to make something beautiful to have as a memorial to my precious baby. I can create all kinds of art! I even sold my creations as a form of income for a while. But I couldn’t manage to make anything close to representing my experience or to be even a lowest level piece of art. And honesty as the years progress I have done less and less art because my life is so full of my ministry.
Today as I was thinking again about how much I wished I could create something to represent Noah and I felt God nudge my heart with images of families I have served. I saw all of their faces and the faces of their children. I saw the magnificent work of art they all are. I saw the tears and heartache. The beauty in the love and even in the pain.
I don’t know if anyone will ever see the collage artwork of my ministry. But I can, and I will look on it often, and it will bring my solace and rejuvenation when needed. The name Noah means “rest” and “comfort”. I will take rest and comfort in the myriad of lives Noah has touched.
I love you my son, my first born, my Noah, because you are.