Dear grieving Momma,
I get it. I see you. I’m right here in the grief with you. The anticipatory grief is hard and it’s real.
Anticipating the dates that make you sad. The dates that pass by and should have been important. The holiday grief. The everyday grief. The grief of knowing someone who shares your due date or due date month. The grief that comes from knowing others’ hearts are broken for you and you want to fix it for them. You want to act normal and talk about what happened, but it’s awkward. It’s hard. Entering into someone else’s pit of despair is messy. The grief of trying to return to normalcy. Whatever that may be. Grief from your cycle starting again. Your cycle being so regular you could keep time by it. Your cycle being so inconsistent you wonder how you will ever conceive again. Your first cycle reminding you of your miscarriage. Your cycle lining up with every major holiday and having to be around people when all you want to do is hide.
Trying to grieve amidst the chaos of life. Grieving a child lost years ago or one recently lost. One lost at the earliest stage of pregnancy, so you didn’t even feel pregnant. One lost late and you delivered a stillborn. Grieving when you don’t have any children. Grieving when you do. Grief from infertility. Multiple losses in a raw grief. Not being able to move on grief and guilt about that grief. Grief from an unexpected message and you don’t know how to respond. Can you really share how you truly feel? Can they handle your grief? Or will they try to fix it or bless it away? Will they empathize and hold space for your grief and sit in it with you?
I could go on…
Dear joyful momma,
I also get it. I have joy that comes from two beautiful, healthy, living children who ooze innocent, naive, child-like faith. Joy comes from the little and big things. My favorite dessert, food or drink. A favorite outfit, that always gets compliments. Spending quality time with friends. Laughing so hard I cry. Crying when I need to and I have time, or make time.
I am joyful because my body is healthy and I know I can conceive. I have joy because I face trials and it produces perseverance. I have joy because I have a circle of family and dear friends who have wrapped their loving arms around us through it all.
I have joy because I’m married to a man who relies on someone other than me and himself for strength. I’m joyful because it’s a choice I make in all circumstances.
I could go on…
You are a momma of four. Two heavenly babies and two earthly little ladies. You are conflicted. The tension between grief and joy this Mother’s Day is almost unbearable at times. No Mother’s Day has been easy up to this point. When you thought you were ready for kids, you trudged through unexplained infertility. You fostered when pregnant and miscarried at 16 weeks. Your first Mother’s Day was spent grieving while caring for another Momma’s precious child. Wondering when you would be pregnant again, if you could be. Mad that this other Momma was pregnant when she wasn’t deemed capable of caring for the child you had in your care. Your second Mother’s Day was filled with the same tension you feel today. Joy and grief battled inside you as you held your beautiful 12 day old baby girl. You longed to have your son back and wondered if you could have had both children. You felt guilty for being joyful about your sweet daughter when you missed your son so desperately. Your third Mother’s Day didn’t meet your expectations either. You had a one year old and were expecting your second. Why would God allow you to not have children for so many years and then allow your first born to be taken away and then bless you with two so close together? You spent that pregnancy in a fog. Not just the normal pregnancy brain stuff. The ‘I already have an infant and I’m trying to balance work and life’ fog. Now this? Come to think of it, that was probably the most pleasant one, you can remember. Which brings me to the fourth. You celebrated in a new home, with a new church family where they do baby dedications on the day. You wished you were on the stage dedicating your youngest in this new church, but unsure this is where you would stay long term. After all, you had only been here a couple months. Your husband tried his hardest but nothing satisfied you and the day was a constant battle of emotions and him guessing what you wanted. You distinctly remember being disappointed. Not this year! No, year five was going to be different. You were going to be three months pregnant and hiding it because after all, we are in a pandemic. You were going to share the secret in another month when we all hopefully got to return to normalcy and share it in person. That didn’t happen. Something went wrong and your body miscarried. You were 8 weeks along this time. It was very different from your last one. With Noah your water broke and you delivered him at home. This time you suspected something was wrong and went to the doctor. Only to be sent home with no answers. Later that day and night you lost the baby. Now you wonder will your period return in a couple days and how will you handle that? You and your husband thought this was God’s answer. One last child. Then in a couple years you would resume fostering again. Now you don’t know what to think. Should we pursue another pregnancy or pause and foster sooner than we thought? You have so many questions and you are thrown back and forth between sadness and anger.
You’re not sure what to do.
You are sure of many things.
You are anchored through TRUTH.
You are anchored through PRAYER.
You are anchored through HOPE.
You are on a journey.
Through means continuing in time toward completion of a process or period. You may not enjoy the process but that is what life is, a process. God has been and will be my anchor through this all. I can lean into his TRUTH. I can PRAY to him and ask others to PRAY for me.
I have HOPE because he fulfilled his promises and became the way for me to salvation.
I have HOPE in him alone, because he is ever- present and all-knowing.
He loves me and is creating in me new wine.
Submitted by Anna Faber. A grieving and joyful momma of four, two heavenly babies and two earthly little ladies whose path to motherhood has lead her here, to encourage you in your own journey to motherhood, no matter what that might look like.