Am I still a mother if I have never held my child? Am I crazy for loving and longing for someone I never had a chance to meet? When I am out and people see me, childless, do they know it is not by choice?
I have racked my brain for expository ways to describe child loss—desperately lamenting and shedding tears over poems I have come across in books and online that have almost captured the pain of child loss with their words. But there is something left unsaid, even in the most eloquent of descriptions—I suppose it is something that can only be expressed through vibrations of the heart.
We knew the prognosis would be bleak from the onset, but they say there is nothing greater than a mother’s love, right?
When most parents find out they are expecting a child, or perhaps even before they learn the news, they begin to visualize and conjecture their child—praying that the best of themselves (and their partners) will be pulled and come together to form the most perfect, small human. In my instance, having just buried my soulmate, my J, finding out I was expecting was like God giving me (and all of our loved ones) a chance to have him back! We knew the prognosis was bleak from the onset, but they say there is nothing greater than a mother’s love, right? And that coupled with the power of prayer, this child should have been a sure thing!
Looking back, I was so selfish to want my child (Baby M). I was naïve to the hurt he would one day feel when I couldn’t produce his father. I was nescient to the void he would have and the burdens he would bear as he went through life, a fatherless child.
So this all brings me to the question that has repeatedly awakened me in panic-induced states countless nights: who or what determines who is celebrated on mother’s day? Does the ascension into motherhood begin at conception? At birth? After time/energy has been spent rearing a child?
...not only had I failed to do what God literally created a woman’s body to do, but I had failed our friends and family.”
Merriam Webster defines ‘mother’ two ways:
• A woman in relation to her child or children (noun)
• To bring up a child with care and affection (verb)
When I initially learned of my Baby M’s demise, I felt the harsh sting of failure—not only had I failed to do what God literally created a woman’s body to do, but I had failed our families and friends. That coupled with grief, pain, and despair is enough to make anyone question any and every thing they have ever known. I know I did.
Today, however, I can honestly say I didn’t grasp the demeanor of a mother, until I returned home from the hospital with no child. Seems a bit insane, right? It wasn’t until I began to accept (and I use that term VERY loosely) that perhaps Baby M was better off away from me, that I became a mother. A mother’s life is full of sacrifices for her child—and the moment you sacrifice your heart (I believe), you may be classified, and celebrated as a mother.
Perhaps the greatest gift a mother can give her child is the permission and encouragement to fulfill their God-given purpose in life. I must believe that Baby M’s purpose was always to be an angel. And as his mother, all I can do is continue to pray for the strength to accept, and find solace in, my baby’s purpose.
Today, I honor the children we love enough to accept their home without us, and the mother’s here with us, and those who have gone on to yonder. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers, by noun, and verb.
About the Author:
Today’s guest blogger, Faith A. King, is the founder and CEO of Tutoring Co. and King’s Scholars, but most importantly, she is my baby sister. With a Masters in Health and Rehabilitation Science, she has a passion for people, and is working towards a Doctorate in Biopharmaceuticals.
For those who are not aware, she lost the love of her life, Joseph, almost a year ago, and lost the baby they were expecting in common, just a few, short weeks ago.
To say that her life has been challenging these last several month would be a gross understatement. But I can unequivocally say that she is the most resilient person I have ever known.
Please join me in the ongoing journey to keep her lifted, and please help me wish her a HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!