by Chelsea Ritchie
Chelsea is a Midwestern girl who loves connecting with fellow women and bloggers about the topic of infertility and living authentically. She’s been married to Josh for almost 12 years, adores her furbaby Cali, and her family is currently expecting twins after nearly a decade of waiting and loss. Chelsea loves a good Americano, a cozy bookshop and mindless reality TV. She values engaging her faith and embracing difficult seasons with joy. You can find her on her blog and Instagram.
For me, the words “Mother’s Day” stir up more emotions than most words, and the day itself is bittersweet, as we celebrate the mothers in our lives, yet long to be celebrated as well. For those of you who are reading this today, who understand the grief of this holiday, you’re not alone.
If you have struggled with miscarriage, infant loss, or infertility, Mother’s Day can feel unbearable at times. It’s not that we are bitter, it’s that we feel broken, painfully aware of our unfulfilled longings and shattered dreams that surround the celebrations of the day. These longings leave a colossal hole in our hearts and with every Mother’s Day commercial, church announcement, Target display, or well-intended question asked, a little more salt gets rubbed into the wounds of our hearts.
If you find yourself avoiding the coffee shop on Mother’s Day to avoid the cashier’s questions about qualifying for the buy-one get-one, you are not alone.
If you reach quickly for the remote to change the channel from the sappy Hallmark commercial about moms, you are not alone.
If you have to let your husband know that you need to skip church on Sunday this year, you are not alone.
If you walk past the Mother’s Day card display at Target and wonder if you will ever be on the receiving end of such a card, you are not alone.
If you make a massive deal about your dog or cat celebrating you on Mother’s Day, you are not alone.
If you can’t go on Facebook or Instagram all weekend because the posts from your mothering friends are just too much to bear, you are not alone.
If you want to stay in bed all day, crying and clutching the baby blanket you purchased in dreams of it covering your baby for months, you are not alone.
If you question how God could allow you to go through so much pain, you are not alone.
If you need to decline a Mother’s Day brunch, or connect with your mom another day of the week, you are not alone.
If it feels like the grief may be too much to carry, you are not alone.
It takes so much strength to make it through Mother’s Day. And yet there you are, doing it year after year. You are a warrior. Your heart is so great, so big, so deep. Take the time, space, and freedom to grieve this day in the way that you need to, but let me also encourage you by reminding you that you are already a mother thanks to your mothering heart. Whether your child is still in your heart or in heaven, you have demonstrated such strength, love, fight, and hope for your future family. That love should not go unnoticed today. I pray that your hearts are filled with peace as this day arrives and that instead of feeling an unbearable pain, you are filled with a hope for the future and are appreciated and celebrated by those around you.
John 16:21–22 reads “When a woman gives birth, she has a hard time, there’s no getting around it. But when the baby is born, there is joy in the birth. This new life in the world wipes out memory of the pain. The sadness you have right now is similar to that pain, but the coming joy is also similar. When I see you again, you’ll be full of joy, and it will be a joy no one can rob from you. You’ll no longer be so full of questions.” I pray today that the bittersweetness of Mother’s Day is only a glimpse in your story. I pray that in the upcoming years, there is a joy that matches the sorrow you feel now. I pray for new life, not to replace the old, but to remind you that even in hardship and grief, there can be beauty.
To my own angel babies — Mommy loves you SO much. It’s hard to imagine what life could have been like if you were still here, yet it’s hard to imagine a world without you. While your lives were too short, I know that we will be together again someday, as a family. I know you are spending eternity in the best place possible — with the company of so many special babies of dear friends of mine. If you could all gather together today and touch each Mommy’s heart and through God’s strength, renew us. You are all so loved and your absence on earth leaves a hole in our hearts that nothing could ever fill. I wonder what color your hair would have been, how your giggles would have sounded, if you would have your dad’s sense of humor or your mom’s love for food. Thank you for your role in making me a mom. You may be gone, but you are never forgotten. We love you sweet babies.