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Mother's Day - A Time to Validate Your Baby
Written by Clara Hinton   |  Apr 22, 2008
Mother’s Day brings a very mixed bag of emotions to the mother who has gone through child loss. It is an especially difficult time for mothers who never got to physically hold their baby due to loss by miscarriage, or other forms of early baby loss, including stillbirth. Many times questions plague the mother such as, “Do I count? Am I still a mother even though my baby never lived on this earth? How can I be counted among those called mother?”

There is a real need for validation of motherhood as well as the need to validate the life that ended all-too-soon. Mother’s Day is an acutely painful reminder of that need for the child to be called “your child”, as well as for you to be called a “mother.”

In many churches, there is a portion of time on Mother’s Day set aside for what is traditionally called baby dedication. This is a time when new parents come to the front of the church and their baby is introduced, and the parents make it publicly known that they intend to dedicate their child, a most special blessing, to God. The church then offers prayers for both parents and child.

Thousands upon thousands of mothers avoid this time in church every year because it is a painful time of feeling alone, isolated, and having no way to tell others of the special blessing that has touched their lives.

Thankfully, most churches are now aware of the deep, lingering pain associated with child loss and will make provision for you, the mother, to stand among the other mothers to validate your child’s life, also. This can be a time of deep healing for you as a mother, as well as a special time of healing and bonding as a family. This is a time to say, “Even though my baby is not present in my arms, my child is forever present in my heart. My love for this child runs deep and will never end. I feel honored to say that my child is among those living in the presence of God right now.”

If you are not able to stand, then by all means you can hand your church leader a paper with your baby’s name written on it and have your baby and you named among those called mother and child. It will be painful, yet at the same time this can be one of the most healing things you will ever do. Validation of your child, as well as validation of you as a mother, can be the most wonderful thing in the world. You are a mother and are recognized as such, and your baby is now validated as a real child – not just a lingering memory locked away in your heart!

If you are at a place in your grief journey where you are ready to take a bold step forward in your healing, talk to your church leaders about including you and your baby as part of baby dedication day. When you do this, you will be taking one of the most daring, yet meaningful, steps forward in this journey we call grief to a place of hope and healing. This is your baby. You are a mother. And, you and your baby have a place among all on this special day called, “Mother’s Day”!
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