T/W: This article features a story about baby loss which some users may find triggering.
We all have dates on the calendar we dread for a number of reasons. For the last three years Mother’s Day has become one of those dates for me. I became a mum, and lost children through miscarriage, when I was 17. No matter what happens in the future, if I have other children or not, I know my heart will always sink a little on the approach to the date because my Airley, Freddy, Thomas and two other miscarried babies will be forever missing.
One of the first big realisations I remember having when I became a bereaved Mother was just how many moments of my life my children would be missing from – days such as Mother’s Day. It felt, and still does sometimes, impossible to face. I was scared that my status as their mum would be forgotten or that I would feel so removed from them that I would no longer feel like their mum. I know this is something that is faced by all bereaved families, but it is important to acknowledge that for those of us who become bereaved parents at such a young age, we have a longer time to live without our children. I still struggle to know how to survive significant dates and am still learning how to handle them, but some of the best advice I have ever been given is that you have to let the day be what the day will be and ask those around you to take you as they find you.
Part of why I dread Mother’s Day is the lack of understanding my peers have for why the day is still important to me. I know this Mother’s Day there will be no card from my family, or one bought on behalf of my missing children, or flowers dropped off by a friend. I know that I will be my own champion and buy my own Mother’s Day flowers this year. When I first became a bereaved parent, people told me that the world struggles to talk about baby loss, and that some friends will understand but some will not. I never expected just how isolating it would be and I know that this Mother’s Day other young parents will be struggling too. Just remember that you are not alone.
I have found myself wondering about what my life would have been like if my story had been different. These thoughts are a massive part of my grief and life as a bereaved parent, and part of me always wonders if this is because of my age or because I haven’t gone on to have another child. All I have right now are these “what if’s”.
This Mother’s Day my daughter would be just over two, able to scribble in a card or even bring home her first Mother’s Day gift for me from nursey. I wonder if she would have worn a “I love my Mummy” t-shirt. I will never stop wondering what it would sound like to hear her call me Mummy. My twin sons would be just under a year old now, far too young to protest at wearing cute “I love my Mummy” onesies. I wonder If I would have managed to get three small children to sit still long enough for an annual Mother’s Day photo. It is all these little moments I miss and all the memories I know we will never get to make, and my mind will always think of the tiny person I lost between my children and the bump I should have now.
This Mother’s Day I want to say Happy Mother’s Day to all Mother’s. You are not alone. I hope you have a gentle Mother’s Day and remember that should you need it, plenty of support is available on the day.
Love Airley, Freddy and Thomas’s Mummy
Further Support & Information
If you have been affected by the issues raised in this post, you can find more information and support in the links below: