Mother’s Day can be especially difficult for Mom’s who have experienced the loss of an infant. One of the hardest things about Mother’s Day for women who have suffered the loss of an infant is that people are celebrating mothers who have children to show as an example that they are mothers. We must remember that these moms who lost an infant, are and will always, be mothers to their angel infants.
For women coping with the loss of an infant at any stage, Mother’s Day can bring with it a sense of feeling misunderstood or unseen, and sometimes even a sense of shame. So often our friends, siblings, neighbors, or mere acquaintances don’t want to acknowledge the one-time existence of our babies. Or they struggle with just the right thing to say, so they say nothing at all.
You’re Not Alone
The sad facts are a high percentage of women who have conceived have experience some type of infant loss. Early pregnancy loss occurs in about 10 percent of clinically recognized pregnancies, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, with approximately 80 percent of those miscarriages occurring in the first trimester. About one percent of pregnancies in the U.S. will end in stillbirth (or a loss of the infant after 20 weeks gestation), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Every year about 24,000 babies die within their first year of life.
My siblings consist of five sisters. Out of a family of six girls, five of us chose to be mothers. Of the five of us who chose to be mothers, four of us experienced a miscarriage. In fact, between us, there have been a total of seven. There is one loss of an infant from positional asphyxiation, originally classified as SIDS. As I sit here and write this article, I pear at the beautiful bouquet of flowers on my desk delivered to me this morning from my daughter. She wanted to surprise me with the information about her pregnancy. However, after the flowers were already in route, she learned her pregnancy was not viable and she is now going through a miscarriage.
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the loss of an infant, when you get pregnant and lose your baby, your mother’s heart bursts in two.
Acknowledging and Remembering
Mother’s Day is the perfect time to remember all moms with both living and nonliving children. We are sisters who must standby each other.
Remember, you may not recognize the significance or sensitivity of this day in the ways parents who have experienced the loss of an infant had hoped. You may not understand all their complicated emotions. You may not be able to relate to those who want to be mothers but for many reasons can’t be or aren’t now, but wish they were. You may find it difficult to acknowledge the mother whose heart aches not only for the loss of her infant, but the unimaginable silent pain she feels because she still feels like a mother but has nothing to show for it.
On this special day of honoring Mothers, let’s do our part to reach out to the moms we know who experienced the loss of and infant who may be silently consumed with grief.
Here is my mother’s heartfelt note to every mom who has experience the loss of an infant;
“On a day where we honor mother’s, I want you to know you are loved and remembered. I want to ask how you are feeling this Mother’s Day? Are you feeling lonely? Forgotten perhaps? Sad? Hurt or angry? Please let me know! This Mother’s Day is for you too! I honor you as a mother on your special day. Happy Mother’s Day.”
Please share with a mother whose heart may be silently breaking on Mother’s Day.