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May 09

The day you became a mother

I don’t think the pain of a miscarriage ever really goes away. It’s been 18 years for me, and I’ve got three healthy, happy kids now, and there are times when I’ll hear a certain song that brings me back to that time, and I’m swept up in the sadness and grief and loss. It’s not often, but those babies I lost in that first pregnancy are a part of me that’s separate and distinct from all three of my children. Marc just wished me a happy mother’s day, and said that he still remembers that day, so long ago, when I first become a mother. And I think he was thinking of the day when our oldest daughter was born. But the day I became a mother happened a year before that, and that experience, the pregnancy and the loss, that was what made me a mom.

I remember everything about the pregnancy I lost. I remember the slow realization that I could be pregnant, the thrill of buying a test, that first moment of absolute joy before the reality came rushing in. An incredibly unplanned pregnancy, a brand new relationship, and no idea what would happen next.

I remember the next eight weeks. They were blissful. Terrifying, because I was so scared of the future, but so sure that this baby wanted to be born. That this was meant to be. When I lost the baby, when the ultrasound showed that it was twins, and one was still viable, the confusion, the relief and unimaginable grief… it was all so overwhelming. Losing the second twin, and all that happened afterwards… it was simply the worst thing that had ever happened to me, and it changed me in ways that I still can’t entirely express.

That miscarriage brought me Marc. I don’t know if we would have made it otherwise. I was scared of relationships, afraid of being too vulnerable, of getting too close. I was so completely broken after the miscarriage there was no way for me to put up any walls. I was completely honest and raw and lost. He saved me. I felt safe with him, and only with him. He gave me a place to be, he loved me no matter what, and he gave me Jessica, Sam and Julie.

Being a mother is fundamental to my identity. It’s who I am, it’s what I do. The temper tantrums, the midnight vomiting, the nights in the ICU and the hours sitting at IEP meetings. The tears and the cooking, the tiktok videos, the barbie dolls and legos. All of that is my life now, and I’m profoundly grateful, every day, that I have the opportunity to do this. My path to motherhood started in loss, and grief and terrifying fear that I’d never be able to have a pregnancy go to term, that I’d never hold my baby in my arms.

I’m a mother, and I’m forever grateful to Marc, because he loves me and supports me, in every way. I’m grateful to Lilli and Sarah, and all that they bring to my life. I’m grateful to my Jessica Mary, my Samuel Earl, my Julianna Ruth, and all the lessons they’ve taught me. All the love that’s right there, all the time. And I’m grateful to the twins, because without them, I don’t know that I’d have all the rest. They’re the way I started my motherhood journey, and my story will always start with them.

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