Mother's Day

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I had thought that she would be here with me today.  When I thought about Mother's Day at all, that is.  I thought that we would be holding our first child in our arms, that we would be seasoned by four months of new parenthood, that what started out as the hardest thing we'd ever done would suddenly start feeling more routine as we grew steadier and she grew beautifully.

Instead, Eve's ashes live on a shelf in our living room, and the only part of her that was ever truly her lives in the arms of Christ. 

When I first saw that positive pregnancy test nearly one year ago now, I knew that we were in for the challenge of our lives.  I knew that it would be so difficult, so scary, and so worth it. 

I was right.  Being a parent to a stillborn child has been the hardest, scariest thing I have ever done -- and it is so worth it. 

Parenting a dead child is unlike anything I could ever have imagined.  There have been so many difficult things -- the sleepless nights, the endless ways that you second guess yourself, the tender and aching chest, the fear that you are doing it wrong, the way that your marriage is shifting and changing before your eyes.  And yet . . . are these things not also experienced by new parents of living children?  Moreover, I think that parents of living children would agree with me -- that being a parent (regardless of whether your child lives or not) is endlessly worth every bit of pain and fear and sacrifice. 

That is what I am celebrating on this, the first Mother's Day that I know that I am a mother.  I am celebrating the first life that we were gifted with that ended before we wanted it to, and the second life that is growing within.  I am celebrating the fact that in the past year, my husband and I have become the parents to two children who have and are changing us for the better. 

A mother is a mother.  I am a mother.  If you say that you are a mother, regardless of whether you have children tugging at your hem today, I agree with you.  Let us be mothers together, and celebrate the blessing that God has so lavishly given.

Wishing a happy mama's day to you, friends.

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