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Mother's Day--Am I A Mother?
Written by Clara Hinton   |  Feb 23, 2002
Holidays following child loss can become dreaded events. Stores and shopping malls are filled with darling stuffed teddy bears, flowers, candies, balloons, and colorful decorations to serve as reminders of the coming holiday event. But, when a child has died, oneís perspective changes dramatically. One of the worst holidays to face following child loss is Motherís Day.

A woman struggles with a very basic question when early loss occurs such as miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, or stillbirth. Women who have given their child up for adoption struggle with this same question. Am I a mother?

Am I a mother? When there is no child to hold, no child visible to others, this question is one that pains the innermost depths of the heart. Motherís Day is especially difficult because there are such things as new baby dedications done in churches, mother-daughter banquets planned, and flowers designed just for mothers. A woman who does not have her physical child with her often agonizes over what to do and what to say to others.

Even if your baby lived one day inside of you, you are still a mother! Your body was ďwith childĒ; therefore, in a very real sense you are a genuine mother. That is special, and worthy of recognition. It is extremely important to give validity to the fact that you wear the cherished name ďmotherĒ. Am I a mother? Yes!

Sadly, many of our churches do not recognize mothers of miscarriage and other early child loss. I donít believe this is an intentional oversight. I believe it stems from a lack of understanding and a general feeling of not knowing what to say or do in an uncomfortable situation.

Card companies also are lacking in the careful wording of cards for mothers who have experienced miscarriage and early child loss. Often, even those closest to you will overlook you in the celebration of Motherís Day. In fact, there may be some who would think you are not accepting the loss if you want to celebrate Motherís Day in some way.

What are you to do? Follow your heart. If you feel it is important for you to be recognized as a mother, then let others know of your wishes. Tell your pastor that you would like mention made of your baby, too, on dedication Sunday. Perhaps this would be a wonderful time for you to name your baby, if you have not done so already. Giving a baby a name is very healing.

Tell others that you would enjoy flowers, or that you would love a donation made to your favorite charity in honor of your baby for Motherís Day. Wear a flower on Motherís Day, or choose something that has special significance to you such as a bracelet to wear in honor of your baby. This will give you a connection to your baby, and allow you to feel like you are a mother.

Yes. You are a mother, and that means that Motherís Day is for you, too. Hold that day close to your heart by honoring your childís birth and death. Grieve the loss, but remember your baby. And, by all means, allow yourself the privilege of being called mother.

When you validate the fact that you indeed are a mother, you are moving one more step forward in your journey of grief towards healing.
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