Surviving Mother's Day After Baby-loss
Mother’s Day is just around the corner. It’s a time for celebration, right? We get together to honour our mothers, or to be honoured AS mothers. But, what about the mums out there that have lost a child? And what if that child was the only one they ever had born to them? Or, if they was never granted the chance to get to know the child?
For weeks, the day is marketed by companies such as Hallmark, signs appear everywhere telling you to not forget your mother, special brunches are offered at restaurants…the list goes on and on. Despite whatever the underlying intentions of marketing are, feeling the crushing blow of a cruel reminder of that you will have to spend this widely celebrated day without the baby/s that you are still learning to live without can feel unbearable.
Please remember that you’re still a mother on Mother’s Day if you’ve had a miscarriage or stillbirth.From the moment you saw that positive pregnancy test, you loved your baby - and you carried your precious little one with you. You began imagining their future, and dreaming about who they would become, and planning your life together. And, while the time you were pregnant or the time that you had with your baby was far too short, it is important to remember that you loved your little one for their whole life.
You were, and always will be, their mother.
Unlike many other mothers, you will not be able to hold your child in your arms on this special day - and some of your friends and family may feel it is inappropriate to reach out to you, or talk to you about how you are feeling, on this day.
ow to remember your baby on Mother’s Day
- Mother’s Day can bring to the surface some deep and unexpected emotions and feelings – it can be an emotional roller coaster – so be prepared for this & be kind to yourself
- Don’t be afraid to talk about, and cry for, the baby you have lost – if possible share your memories with a friend or family member that you trust and who understands your need to talk and cry and express some raw emotions.
- Do something in memory of your baby – maybe plant a tree or flower – go for a walk to somewhere beautiful or a favourite place
- Light a candle for your little one, and say a few words for them
- Spend time with loved ones – a mother, sister, your partner, or children -and share your thoughts and memories about your loss with them
- If you are already part of a support group, suggest going for a meal, coffee or outing together and share your memories of your babies and thoughts and feelings about the day. It may help you to support others who are also struggling with their loss on this day
- Create a memory box or book, or take time to look at a memory box you have created on Mother’s Day
- Ignore comments from anyone who suggests that you are not a mother. Even though you lost your child during pregnancy or soon after, you are still a parent
- Re-read cards and letters, look at photos, hands and foot prints or any other mementos you have gathered
- Try writing your thoughts and feelings down in a blog or private journal or letter to your baby - it can prove to be incredibly cathartic
- Read blog by someone who has also been through a loss
- Remember the Dad who may also be struggling on Mother’s Day – and grieving in his own way for his baby – whilst worrying about his baby’s mum. Go for a meal together, or a walk somewhere special, and talk together about your feelings.
Remember, there is no right or wrong way to deal with grief. If you want to cry, or be alone, or go out with friends, you must do what’s right for you - but don’t ever put pressure on yourself to feel or act a certain way.