By: Rachael Fast
My first Mother’s day was May 8, 2011. Exactly two months after my daughter had been born sleeping. It was an incredibly difficult day, not only was it my first mother’s day and the day Elaina should have turned 2 months old, but it was the day the denial and numbness wore off, the day anger and grief hit me with full force. I don’t like to remember that day.
The Mother’s Days since have been better and I have found peace and happiness in a day I always thought would be sad.
I have 3 living children that I get to celebrate with and that show the world my motherhood. I also have 2 children I have to wait until heaven to hold. My heart is always saddened that the little girl who made me a mom isn’t here with me, neither is the baby I lost between my two sons who are 3 and 1, especially on Mother’s Day. But I’m thankful for their short lives, thankful that I’m the one who got to be their mom, the only one who truly knew them. I am able to celebrate the day.
A typical Mother’s Day for me consists of church in the morning with my family, and then, weather permitting, a picnic lunch at the cemetery. It’s nothing fancy or extravagant, but it’s my way of spending the day with all of my children. We eat lunch, take pictures, and just spend time together enjoying the weather.
Of course, there is always still sadness, but the overall day is a happy one, one in which I’m with and remembering those I love the most.
It took a few years for the day to have some semblance of happiness. It definitely wasn’t that first year, or even the second. When I was able to take my rainbow baby girl to her sister’s grave on Mother’s Day, I felt some healing. Every year has gotten better for the most part, of course the Mother’s Day after my miscarriage was difficult.
If this is your first Mother’s Day after a loss, my heart is heavy for you. I know the pain of those hopes and expectations being shattered, the feeling of empty arms when it should be a day of jubilation.
Take the time to take care of yourself. If your church holds baby dedication on Mother’s Day, it’s ok to skip it, I did. It’s ok to tell family members if you don’t feel up to celebrating. It’s ok to mention your baby’s name when talking to those family members. It’s ok to have a hard day. Over time, you may develop traditions for Mother’s Day, or you may not. Regardless of if you ever feel like celebrating the day, I hope you have peace and find yourself with those you love, remembering the child or children that made you a mother.
About Rachael Fast
Rachael Fast is a stay at home mom of 3 children, a girl and two boys, and has two babies in heaven due to stillbirth and early loss. She loves connecting with other moms, whether they’ve had a loss, and especially hopes to encourage and support hurting moms.