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Challenge: Life Changes

A Mother's Day With Empty Arms

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The store aisles are filled with cards, florists are creating beautiful bouquets. Mother’s Day is soon arriving. It’s a day to celebrate and pamper the amazing women in your life. But, for those spending a Mother’s Day with empty arms, it’s a day most would like to forget.

In 2013, I was pregnant with triplets, spending my first Mother’s Day growing three healthy babies. My life was filled with hope and joy. I was meant to be a mother and I had the pregnancy glow to show it. For Mother’s Day, my parents sent me three “blessing bracelets”, one in honor of each child. I remember wearing these with pride, amazed that I would finally become a mother later that year. But later, turned into sooner, as I gave birth more than 17 weeks premature. Less than two months after Mother’s Day, I became a mother to my surviving triplet, and eventually, a grieving mother to two angels.

I never put much thought into Mother’s Day after my children were born. I knew the first Christmas and Birthday would be difficult, but I honestly thought of Mother’s Day as more of a “Hallmark Holiday”. But as the day arrived, I found myself hiding in the bedroom. The weight of grief consuming my body; tears taking over as I laid in bed crying. Yes, I have one beautiful miracle child, but that doesn’t take away the fact that I lost her two siblings.

Mother’s Day is supposed to be a happy occasion. But, when your arms are empty, whether it be from child loss, miscarriage or infertility, it can be tough. Instead of celebrating being a mother, you wonder, why me? And as you watch Facebook explode with pictures of happy families, you think about what could have been. For me, I look at my daughter and wonder what she would be doing with her brother and sister by her side. Would her hand print card, be a trio of hands? Or would each of my children make their own special Mother’s Day card for me? And for years before I became pregnant, I longed to be that happy family on Facebook celebrating the holiday. Instead, I was facing yet another Mother’s Day with empty arms due to infertility, wondering if I would ever get that happy ending.

As we get ready to shower our mother’s with gifts and praise, let’s not forget those moms who may be struggling. For those who have experienced a loss through miscarriage, still birth or child loss, even though your child cannot be held in your arms, they hold a special place in your heart. You are a mother and always will be. And for those struggling with infertility, it’s completely normal to be sad. While this Mother’s Day may be heartbreaking, next year could be full of hope and happiness.

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For me, I know Mother’s Day will always be bittersweet, but I’ve come to accept that this is my new normal. My heart swells with pride as I hear my miracle child call me “mom”. Just recently, she opened my nightstand drawer, finding the three beautiful bracelets given to me three years ago. I teared up as I saw them, since they sat in that drawer due to tarnish. As my daughter pulled them out, she asked, “What is this?” I smiled as I explained the meaning behind each blessing bracelet. Peyton looked at each bracelet, inspecting them carefully and then she repeated me, “One for Peyton, one for Parker and one for Abby.” I am a mother to triplets. Each of my children are blessings, I just have two blessings looking over my family from above.

A version of this story originally appeared on Perfectly Peyton

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