Monday, May 2, 2016

Mother's Day 2016

Mother's Day is rapidly approaching.  We're spending time making an assortment of handprint/footprint art for that special day.  There is nothing I like more than something with my kids prints on them.  I love looking back at the handprint platter from the boys 1st Mother's Day, knowing their huge hands now would never fit on such a small surface.  I have a whole collection I cherish.  And yet, it is so painful to see.  It's so hard, because not all my children are included in the way I would want.  My children, all 4 of them, are not accurately counted.  And that will always make this week difficult.

I'm so incredibly blessed to have Reagan's footprints.  I know not everyone who experiences stillbirth gets those, especially children who passed in the years before Reagan.  I stamp each of my living children's hands or feet, get these blurry images that I love so much, messy just like real life, getting a glimpse into the crazy of life.  And then, when the kids are all tucked into bed, I pull out Reagan's box, handcrafted and painted by my parents.  I sift through her cards, letters, special clothes, until I find her footprints.  And then I have to make a photocopy.  And then cut those out, or trace over them, or do something to try to transfer them to the art project of the moment.  I am so so thankful I can always include her in our art, that her footprints are right there with her younger brothers and sister.  But it's so heartbreaking.  Those feet never change.  They remain so, so tiny.  They actually seem to get smaller as everyone else grows bigger.  I HATE that I don't get to see them grow.  I HATE that life seems to be passing her by.  I HATE that I don't get to see my first baby girl grow up, that I miss those bouncing curls and ballerina feet.  I love that Hannah gets to wear her clothes and use her toys and blankets, but it some days it makes me miss those moments with Reagan even more.  As everyone comments on how beautiful Hannah is, I remember vividly how beautiful Reagan was.  And how no one else got to experience that, no one else besides us got to see her.  Oh, how I long for the day when I can introduce her to our families!

It's been many years since I walked the road of infertility.  And many in our new town would never know the pain this holiday brings for us, as I am so much surrounded with living life as a mother.  Mother's day - the day I dreaded for so long.  I still, years later, am just filled with anxiety about the day.  I feel for my friends who are waiting for their babies.  I feel for my friends who have lost babies, long ago forgotten by the world, who are waiting for their families to be complete.  This Mother's Day, take a moment to pray for the wife sitting quietly without kids running by, the mother who has experience miscarriage, the mother who doesn't have all her children at home with her.  This is one of the hardest of days.  And yet, one of the most beautiful.  Reagan made me a Mommy.  She was my first, will always be my first.  SHE is the reason I was able to celebrate this day before I had little feet running through the house.  And for that, no matter how painful, I am eternally grateful.


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