Five years ago I found out I was pregnant just a few weeks before Mothers Day! Saying I was excited is a complete understatement. I was told years before that I had a good chance of not being able to bear a child of my own and I was proving the doctor wrong!
I remember going to Barnes and Noble with my husband and we picked out several books on becoming parents and pregnancy. We hurried home and wrote a song to announce the big news to our families and couldn’t wait to announce it to the world. We were going to be parents! It was a dream come true!
Two weeks later, I woke up to a sight that no pregnant mom wants to see. I ran to the restroom and called for my husband. Tears immediately filled my eyes. I didn’t want to lose my baby. I was supposed to be a mom! We went to the Emergency Room and they performed a few ultrasounds. Unfortunately, there was no heart beat on our little guy and a D&C was performed a few days later.
Photos in this article are by Christine Olson Photography
Years passed by and my heart was aching to be a mother. The very thought of Mother’s Day brought me sadness and sometimes even anger. I couldn’t stand to see my friends, sisters and even strangers have babies, when it was all I ever wanted. It was a righteous desire that I knew was something that I was supposed to become and have in my life, but it wasn’t happening.
Fertility procedures, tests, medications, shots and surgeries was what my life consisted of for several years as I tried to become the one thing I wanted to be… a mother.
I remember it was the Saturday before Mother’s Day when there was a knock at our door. I answered it and on our porch was a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Tears filled my eyes and ran down my cheek as I walked up the stairs to my husband.
With a little bit of confusion and a crackled voice I looked him in the eyes and said, “I am NOT a mom. Why did you do this?”
He told me to open the card… so I did.
Through my blurry vision and tear-filled contacts I read, “Great things are truly worth waiting for. I love you, Happy “You’re My Best Friend In The Whole World” Day!”
As if I wasn’t crying hard enough before – I was now BALLING. But for a different reason.
For the following four years, we declared Mother’s Day as Best Friends Day! It was a day we celebrated our marriage and friendship.
We focused on all of our many blessings that we had, rather than focusing on the one that we did not. My husband always made it so special by getting me flowers or a little gift as a token and reminder of his love. I will forever be grateful for the way he made me feel that year and the many years we celebrated Best Friends Day. He made me happy on one of the most dreadful days as an infertile wife.
That same year I found an old article called, “Are We All Not Mothers?” I was drawn to it by it’s title. If you have a hard time having children, you know what I mean when I say babies and infertility “consumed” me.
The very word of mother, mom, baby, pregnant – sent a chill down my spine. I would do anything for that word to be a part of me. I began reading and came to a quote that said, “Motherhood is more than bearing children, though it is certainly that. It is the essence of who we are as women. It defines our very identity, our divine stature and nature, and the unique traits our Father gave us.”
Motherhood is more than bearing children? I continued reading.
“For reasons known to the Lord, some women are required to wait to have children. This delay is not easy for any righteous woman. But the Lord’s timetable for each of us does not negate our nature. Some of us, then, must simply find other ways to mother. And all around us are those who need to be loved and led.”
I took it upon myself that day to find other ways to mother. If I couldn’t bear a child – I was going to be a motherly figure to those around me. Being a mother didn’t mean I had to have a child of my own.
So I sat down and made a list of everything MOMS do for their children. I then decided I was going to do those things for someone else.
I took dinner to our neighbor I barely even knew, whose wife was in the hospital. I had a sleepover with all of my nieces at our house and we played games, ate donuts and had dance parties. My siblings and I surprised my oldest sister by cleaning her house for her while she was away. I soon invested my time and energy into other people and tried to be a “mother” to those around me.
To all of you women who want to have children this Mother’s Day, but don’t – I want you to know that I have been there. I know how it feels. Know today and forever, that you ARE a mother.
A mother doesn’t have to be someone who bears a child – a mother is much more than that. A mother is a teacher, a leader, a care giver, a food provider, a shoulder to lean on and a friend. If you are any of those things… YOU are a mother.
I encourage you to bring the Best Friends Day tradition into your home! It brought me the most happiness and I invite you all to join! Focus this Sunday on the many blessings you have. I know you each will be a mother one day. Miracles do happen.
All of our stories are different. There may be some women who get pregnant on their own, some with medication, some with procedures and some through adoption. But I know that each of us, child baring or not, can be motherly figures to those around us through the love we show.
“A mother is not defined by the number of children you can see, but by the love she holds in her heart.” – Franchesca Cox