In all honesty, I didn’t want to blog about Mother’s Day. I thought about putting something on Facebook, but that didn’t seem quite the right thing for me. I’m not having a bad Mother’s Day, but certainly not the Mother’s Day I was expecting. I was going to blog tomorrow, a reflection on the day, but felt that I couldn’t let the day slip away without doing for myself what I have wanted others to do for me today: acknowledge myself as a mom.
I am a mom. And though I may not get to parent Joanna, I get to love her, forever. She is mine and I will always be her mom. She gave that gift to me and I am so thankful. Though I can’t walk down the hall and scoop her out of her crib and cuddle her, though I will never see her take her first steps, go off to kindergarten, graduate high school, dance at her wedding, I will always have some precious moments with her.
The first time I got morning sickness.
The first time I craved avocado.
The first time I felt her move, and the second and the third, and even the last, because that was special too.
The times we heard her heartbeat and saw her little face.
Those 12 hours of labor, and though she arrived silently, she was mine. She was ours.
She made me a mom. I am proud of that. I am proud of me.
And I am proud of all the other mamas out there.
I am proud of the mamas who have their babies to hold tight. Don’t let go.
I am proud of the mamas-to-be. Be vigilant and cherish your pregnancy.
I am proud of the mamas in waiting. The ones who know deep in their hearts they will have children some day. The ones who have just started trying to have a family, and those who have been waiting, hoping, aching and praying for years. Don’t give up.
I am proud of the mamas of babies who’ve grown and moved away. Especially proud of mine – without her, I could not have been the mom I needed to be for Joanna.
And I am proud of the baby-loss mamas. Whether you’ve lost your baby to miscarriage, stillbirth, or sometime after they were born, you’ll always be a mom. Your arms may be empty, but your heart can still be full in remembering your baby(ies). It may take a while. I’m not there myself. But I know it can happen and I know it will happen.
So, mamas of all types, I hope you were good to yourselves today. I hope your families were good to you, too. No matter where you are in your motherhood journey, you are a mom, you deserve to know it and you deserve to celebrate it.
Happy Mother’s Day!
P.S. I wasn’t sure I would ever share this picture publicly. It’s a moment of both great joy and great sorrow (and messy hair, but who cares, right?). Because it’s Mother’s Day, and one of the few pictures of my little family, today is the day. Joanna, I am so proud to be your mama, today and every day.