I don’t suppose this is a day that is well-known really to anyone, especially someone who is not involved in online communities for bereaved mothers. But I wanted to briefly mention it anyway.
Today is International Babylost Mother’s Day. A day when mothers are honored, even when their babies are no longer in their wombs or arms.
Next Sunday will be the big one. The Mother’s Day where all of us (in the US at least) will do something for our mothers, maybe even our sisters or grandmothers, and for those who have borne a child, where something sweet may even be done for us. But Mother’s Day is bittersweet for some of us. For those of us who have babies that we can no longer hold, the day holds reminders of emptiness. Of grief. Of those babies who we so desperately miss & anxiously await reunion with. While those memories are beautiful in their own right, they are tainted.
I remember my first Mother’s Day. I didn’t know about Babylost Mother’s Day back then. But on the second Sunday in May of 2008, my mother gave me a pair of earrings with little pink pearls. Two pearls, she said; one for each of my babies. One was in my womb and the other was in heaven. It was so bittersweet, and so beautiful, to be acknowledged as a mother of two. Because it’s true.
Someone walking around the store might not know I’m a mother of nine, especially when they see how young I am or see just Gabriel as my companion. But today, on Babylost Mother’s Day, I remember my seven children specifically who are no longer here with us on earth; I also remember the dozens (hundreds, probably, if I include all the women I know and minister to online) of babies of friends who are also no longer here. I honor those stalwart women today. For walking this road none of us have chosen for ourselves. And for loving our babies enough to acknowledge them, and to acknowledge ourselves as their mothers.
Next week, I will rejoice over all nine of my children. I will rejoice over my mother. I will rejoice over my mother in law. My grandma. My sisters-in-law. I will thank God for the gift of their motherhood, for the blessing they are to their children.
But for today, it is a lesser-known day. Almost a hidden, silent day. Everyone seems to want to attain admittance into the world of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day… but Babylost Mother’s Day isn’t a holiday that anyone desired to know. Nobody wants to be included here.
God knows. He bottles our tears. He cradles our covenant-babies in His arms. He has vanquished death, and it will therefore not have the final victory.
“For You formed my inward parts;
You knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in Your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.”