Guest Post by Melissa Ayala
With my first Mother’s Day with my rainbow beside me, and the third with my angel in my heart, I wanted to write about this day. A fellow loss mom posed the question to a group, “If you can say anything about Mother’s Day, what would it be?” And it gave me the idea to take the responses and turn them into a written piece. I have met many other loss moms on this journey, and though I wish it weren’t this way, I am thankful for all of them. I’m also honored to have learned a little about each of their children. These are their responses to this question. Thank you so much to each of you for being in my life, and thank you for taking the time to read what we have to say about Mother’s Day.
I am the expert on my own grief.
Mother’s Day will always be hard for me, and I guess I just want people to respect that. Especially if all your children walk this Earth, please don’t tell me how to feel on this day (or any day.) I am the expert on my own grief. And please remember the one that made me a mother. Remember I have TWO daughters, and I’m always thinking of both. -Melissa Ayala
After you lose a child every day is a tough day. Mother’s Day can be one of the toughest. It’s a day that is meant to celebrate mothers. After you lose a child you aren’t celebrated as a mother. Unfortunately, after you lose a baby it’s usually one of the days that your friends and family stay away. This can feel isolating and hurtful and, in turn, make the day even harder. It is always nice to be acknowledged as a mother, especially on Mother’s Day. Many people don’t do this because you don’t have a child they can see. On Mother’s Day, a thoughtful card or even a text is always appreciated. The simple acknowledgment that this is a hard day and that you are a mother doesn’t make the day any easier, but it does help. -LR
I have mixed emotions regarding Mother’s Day. My first son, Giovanni was born May 8, 2016, which happened to fall on Mother’s Day. Even though he made me a mommy first, which I am grateful for everyday, my very first Mother’s Day I lost my baby—my first born. Now I have my rainbow, Carmelo, and this Mother’s Day will be celebrated gently with my earth baby and with the memory of my angel baby. -JM
Six years ago we lost our beautiful baby boy to an umbilical cord accident. This has never been an easy time of year for us, and his loss being so close to Mother’s Day brings back so much pain. Now I have been thankfully blessed with two beautiful living children, but Mother’s Day will always be bittersweet. Not only do I think about my two living children, but I will always think of my sweet baby boy that I carried in my stomach for almost 9 months. Every Mother’s Day I try to do some sort of planting activity in his memory. –SPF
“You are a mother and I wanted you to know even though your baby is not here physically with you, you are a mother, and I wish things were different.”
I would say to people who haven’t experienced a loss, if they know someone who has, just acknowledge that to them. I wouldn’t expect anyone to say with a great big smile on their face, “Happy Mother’s Day!” But if you say something simple, acknowledge they are a mother to them. “You are a mother and I wanted you to know even though your baby is not here physically with you, you are a mother, and I wish things were different. Do you need me to do anything for you or with you on this day? We can talk about your child, talk about how you are feeling. What can I do for you or with you? You are and will always be the best mother a child could have asked for.” -SJW
Mother’s Day will, of course, remind me of my loss and bring up sadness, but it is also a celebration of us – my son who has passed and me. I believe he chose me to be his mother, so with this sadness is a feeling of honor and joy that he will always be mine and I will always be his mommy. Don’t say to me, “Well, at least you have your daughter.” No. I have my daughter and my son. Love transcends the physical world forever. – MEC
I’m not really sure I’ll ever be truly happy on Mother’s Day.
Two years ago, I celebrated Mother’s Day (sort of) in the hospital with Aidan. Then last year at the cemetery, feeling so conflicted if I was a mother. It didn’t matter what everyone said. I had to go out for Mother’s Day with my family without my son. I received presents for my baby that was not yet born, but I didn’t want them. It was hard to appreciate my mom that year. This year will be unique as well. I’m actually a bit nervous about it. I’m not really sure I’ll ever be truly happy on Mother’s Day. We shall see. –JK
I feel like I have a weird situation since before I lost the twins, I always dreaded Mother’s Day. All I wanted was to be a mother and had gone through years of fertility treatments. Then after the loss, I was pregnant with my rainbow baby. I was sad, of course, because I was mourning their loss and wishing I was holding them in my arms. Now, I’m still sad, but in a different way. I feel like a piece of my heart is missing always but even more so on that day. –KS
This might be weird but I would say different things to different people. To the mom who just lost her baby and has no other children I would say Mother’s Day sucks and to do whatever makes you feel ok. To the mom who has living children I would say Mother’s Day will always be bittersweet. To the people who have never lost a baby I would say I am an earth mother and an angel Mom. I would say I hope you never have to walk in my shoes. -LDF
Let us decide how we want to spend our day; be it out at a restaurant, or at home. -LV
I would ask that I am not expected to do anything with extended family commitments. It’s MY day and I will most likely want to spend it with my living son and remember my daughters in my heart without having to put a face on for others. -JS
For me Mother’s Day has me feeling 100 different emotions. I used to be oblivious to why it was a tough day for so many—loss moms and those struggling with fertility in particular. Now I completely empathize with those women. I think about the three little girls I’m missing and mother to, but I’m thankful for the two I have Earthside and the one I am carrying now that celebrate me as their mother on that day. The holiday is certainly not what it used to be. It brings forth a lot of raw emotion for myself, and I feel that emotion for all of my fellow loss moms . –JB
I guess I would want people to know that Mother’s Day isn’t always easy when one of the people that makes you a mother isn’t with you. Last Mother’s Day only a few people recognized I was even a mom. I was pregnant again and it was a very hard and emotional day. -KF
Mother’s Day is a special and loving day for all mothers. I became a mom to a beautiful angel son Noah that lives in heaven. Noah made me a mom, and now I am a new earth mom to a beautiful baby girl. I mother Angel Noah by remembering him, honoring his short but meaningful life and I say his name daily. Mothers Day is everyday for me. I love my living child and angel baby so much. I am so thankful that God chose me to be their mama. Wishing all mamas a beautiful, gentle and peaceful day. Mamas be kind and gentle to yourselves. -ML
Mother’s Day is joyful and painful. It will always be both.
Mother’s Day is joyful and painful. It will always be both. Just like motherhood, I enjoy the sweet beauty of all the moments with my living son, and I also grieve those moments lost with my son who passed away. I don’t mind the painful feelings though because it means someone very special is loved and missed. Wishing everyone a peaceful Mother’s Day. -ED
Mother’s Day is a day of love and celebration. Many people only acknowledge my living children, but it’s my angel in heaven that made me a mom for the first time and for that I am forever grateful. I parent my living children and my angel differently but I’ll always be their mom and I’ll always carry them in my heart, no matter what. So on Mother’s Day, as with everyday, I remember all my children and think about how lucky I am to be their mom. -KC
Mother’s Day is HARD. I have living children. Two. A sunshine and a rainbow. Mother’s Day prior to losing my angels was pretty awesome. It was a day to celebrate my daughter making me a mom! Amazing. Now? Now I don’t want to do anything. I make sure I set aside alone time to spend with my babies’ Urns. No mother should set aside time to spend with her child’s URN. Not ever. Mother’s Day is lonely no matter who is around. It’s hard to celebrate my children making me a mom when half of them are missing. It’s isolating. Seeing other happy moms raises my anxiety. This will be my first Mother’s Day with my Rainbow and I feel more anxious this year than before. Her big brother and sister should be here with her. They should be coloring cards with their big sister. Instead I’ll once again set aside time to spend with their Urns. You see, Mother’s Day for an angel mom, no matter how many children she may have is forever tainted. We won’t ever be able to enjoy it the way we should. Something is always missing. –DMF
Mother’s Day is a beautiful day with a dark cloud over it.
Mother’s Day is a beautiful day with a dark cloud over it. My oldest and my rainbow give me homemade gifts of finger painting pictures, which I happily and excitedly accept. Yet my heart tugs as I think of the little gift I’m missing. Another handprint should be there. Another kiss. Another set of feet puttering down the hall and wrapping their arms around me. The tears being held back when someone asks “What did the boys do for you today?” forgetting I have a baby girl in heaven. I then grieve for all the mothers who are unable to celebrate because their babies were taken too soon. It’s a day I really just don’t look forward to at all. -DO
Melissa Ayala lost her first daughter on 11/08/15 during an emergency c-section at 26 weeks due to a possible placental abruption, and her whole world collapsed. She was told she had to wait one year from her daughters birth to try again. After one year and 4 months passed, she was pregnant again. She was terrified and over the moon at the same time. On Halloween 2017, Melissa and her husband welcomed their second daughter. Halloween is Melissa’s favorite holiday, which makes her and her husband feel that this child was picked out by her big sister. Melissa is now navigating the joy of a new baby and the grief from her first, among other “new” mom responsibilities, and wants to make sure that her first daughter is never forgotten and that this type of grief is given a voice.