Today is Mother's Day so Happy Mother's Day to my wonderful mom! Also, happy Mother's Day to my mother-in-law, grandma, aunts, mentors, etc. who have mothered me in some way over the last nearly 29 years. While Lee and I know that we're doing what we've been called to do, it is sometimes very hard to be over 500 miles away from loved ones.
As much as I love the recognition of the hard work and sacrifice on Mother's Day I also recognize that it can be very hard for many people. I think of my mom, who lost her mother 20 years ago. I was blessed to know Nana for 9 years, and I miss her deeply, but I can't even begin to imagine how my mom feels. My mother-in-law has experienced the same loss so I pray a special blessing on all those who have lost their moms, at any point in their life.
Mother's Day can also be hard on those who have lost a child or experienced the inability/difficulty of having a child. This is where my story begins. I was supposed to have my first ultrasound this past Friday. Instead, early this past week I took another home pregnancy test somewhat hoping, for yet dreading, the negative sign. Two weeks ago I was pregnant. Now I'm not. Some might say I was "barely" pregnant, whatever that means. Something they call chemical pregnancy. It was also described to me as the pregnancy not being "viable." They wouldn't say the word, but it was an early miscarriage (about 5-6 weeks). I never got to see the baby on an ultrasound. I never got to hear the heartbeat. What I did get to experience was the joy in having the pregnancy test be positive and in telling my husband. I also experienced the heartbreak when everything started going wrong, and then almost two weeks later when I got the phone-call telling me it was over. I experienced days and days of heavy bleeding. I experienced pain from intense cramps and being stuck with a needle 5 times as they drew blood for tests. I experienced sadness when my hCG levels barely increased, then timid excitement when they doubled, then doubled again, and finally devastation when they dropped dramatically. Life has been a roller coaster for the last 4 weeks for sure.
I've learned more over the last few weeks about miscarriages. I learned things like chemical pregnancies are actually pretty common (most happen before a missed period so without an early pregnancy test you might never know). I learned that miscarriages themselves are more common than most people think. Most of all I learned that it hurts so very deeply. There is a hole in your heart. And because it hurts and because it is so very personal people don't want to talk about it. A friend linked this article on Facebook. She just went through a miscarriage and was much further along than me and has had more complications (she's back in the hospital after emergency surgery). I don't agree with everything the article says but it does present some common misconceptions about miscarriage and the struggle of going through it while trying to suffer silently. Well I don't suffer silently very well so I'm super thankful for those who have encouraged and prayed for Lee and I over the last month.
I knew today would be hard. We had hoped to celebrate impending parenthood, but instead I'm left crying in church as mothers are recognized and I'm left sitting. I don't say all of this to make anyone feel bad. I don't think we shouldn't recognize mothers because I'm not one yet. I think it's just as important to rejoice as friends and family rejoice in the exciting role of motherhood in the same way that they feel sorrow as I do for my dream to be delayed. Lee has been amazing through this difficult journey. The first day I started bleeding I came home in tears. Lee prayed for me (because the only thing I had been able to pray for myself was "please no" over and over again). The thing he consistently told me, and which I desperately needed to hear was that he loved me, and that God loved me even more. When I couldn't understand why this was happening he told me he didn't either but God loved us. When I asked him some very tough questions he told me God loved us and He loved our baby. And I know it to be true. Not because I always feel it, but because He says He does and because He has shown it over and over again. He has shown me through the love of friends and family. He has shown me through His provision in so many areas of my life. He has shown me through His discipline. And most of all He has shown me by sending His son to die a horrific death on the cross to save me from my sin.
So if possible, call your mom and tell her how much you love her. If your mom is gone, thank God for the time you had with her. If you're estranged from your mom, ask God to fix your relationship, and thank Him for the mother-figures He's blessed you with. If you have children, tell them what a blessing they are. If you've lost children (from conception to adulthood) accept God's healing and thank Him for those you can mentor. If you've struggled with the inability to have children understand that God sees your pain. If you know anyone with any of these struggles, give them a big hug! Above all, know that God loves you and desires a relationship with you.
Thank you for letting me get this out there. With God's grace and the love of friends and family Lee and I are healing. We look forward to trying again soon, and we trust in God the whole way. We sang the following song in church this morning and it was just what I needed to hear/sing. Happy Mother's Day!