This Sunday, 26th March, is Mother’s Day. It is my second Mother’s Day.
To the majority of the outside world, I will not be recognised as or acknowledged as a mother. Why would I? I don’t look like a typical mother. There are no children running around my feet, drawing on my walls and giving me sleepless nights.
My version of motherhood is different to the ‘norm’. I am a mother to a baby who was born, but never cried, a baby who was born but never came home. My baby was stillborn, and he changed our lives forever. My version of motherhood is protecting the memory of my baby. It’s making sure Guy’s name and his story is known and remembered, because he mattered. He is a much loved and much wanted little boy who is missing out on a whole lifetime. We as parents, are missing out on the life he should have had. Instead we are including Guy in our lives by writing his name on sandy beaches and stones, releasing balloons off into the sky and fundraising in his memory to help protect the lives of other babies. This is not how I expected motherhood to be.
When your baby dies, its difficult to know where to place yourself. Calling yourself a mother when theres no baby to show for it feels strange. Initially I found it quite difficult to get my head around, but with the love and support of the baby loss community, I quickly learned why I am a mother. I am a mother because I carried and gave birth to my son. I have a Guy shaped footprint on my heart and will protect him at all costs.
Now, I wear the ‘Mother’ title like a badge, literally. I have a T-shirt and a jumper that say so! I also wear Guy’s footprint and birthstone around my neck everyday, hoping someone will ask about him.
Last year, I found the build up to Mother’s Day to be upsetting and confusing. Despite having given birth to my sleeping son just a few months before, immersing myself into a community who taught me that I am a mother, I dreaded the day. All the hype filled me with deep sadness and fear that I would be forgotten. Thankfully, my husband got me a card from Guy, and my Mum bought me a beautiful Willow Tree mother and child ornament. It felt incredibly special.
This year, I am choosing not to allow myself get too bogged down with it all. It requires too much energy and I know how easily I could fall into a fresh black hole of grief. Instead I am going to try and fill my mind with love for the son I am so proud of and thank him for making me his Mother. I will keep reminding myself that I know in my heart, I am a Mum! I am Guy’s Mama, and mum to the three little Jonesy’s that did not survive the first trimester.
I am secretly hoping the hubby remembers to get me a card though, but even if he doesn’t, I know that he along with a small number of family and friends will be thinking of me this Mother’s Day.
This weekend I will be supporting Tommy’s #WeAreAllMums campaign. Helping to raise awareness that whatever your version of motherhood is, it matters. You are a Mum. To those Mamas who have conceived and lost, the Mamas who have birthed and said goodbye, and those desperately trying to bring home their rainbows…
Happy Mother’s Day!