What Broke My Heart

What broke my heart: Mother’s Day 2016.

Or rather, the weekend before.  This weekend.

Our family has always celebrated Mother’s Day the weekend before the actual day.  Family tradition. We can go out to brunch without fighting the crowds that occur Mother’s Day weekend.  Being with my family is the important part, not a specific designated day of celebration.

This year, my heart is heavy.  Last year, I knew that I was pregnant by the time we got to our Mother’s Day celebration. Ger enjoyed a mimosa with his brunch and I joked with him for making me jealous that I could not have one.  This year should have been a family of five, with Nelle being a few months old. Or I should have been very pregnant with Iris. Either way, not what I pictured.

My heart is with women that I know that desperately want to be mothers, but do not have children.  I want to fill the space of a day like Mother’s Day for them.

My heart is breaking for someone dear to me who just had a miscarriage.  The pain is palpable.  The tribe of women who share that experience are welcoming in their understanding, but it is a membership that no one wants.  She and I talked, about distance that has emerged between us over time, for no particular reason other than being in different places.  Any space there has been erased and doesn’t matter.  I hold her in my heart today and cried with her, even from a distance.

When will it end?  One minute I am resentful of the women who parade around their pregnant bellies and babies, unaware of how much I hurt. The next minute I am heartbroken for those who share my experience. How long will I be so affected?

Four years ago today, I was headed to my six-week postpartum visit after Quentin was born. Seven years ago today, I was headed to a midwife appointment, almost halfway through my pregnancy with Theo.  Events with even my own children are hard to digest.

I began writing this, and a friend shared with me this article: “How I Choose to Survive Mother’s Day After Losing My Children.”  Children, plural. Multiple losses.  She writes that she still parents her lost children by taking care of herself, by choosing joy, life. I am not yet to the point where I choose joy.  But I am choosing life, however altered. I try to take care of myself. I get out of bed in the morning. I move forward.

I took a bath shortly after midnight, hoping the water would soothe my aching muscles. It didn’t.