I’ve been thinking and praying hard on what to post on the blog in honor of Mothers Day. For the woman walking the path of infertility, it is one of the most difficult days of the year. My first thought was to post a tribute to all you mommas-in-waiting, who have had to be so strong for so long. But I really cannot stand the idea of revisiting the pain of my Mothers Days gone by, when this is my first Mothers Day in so long that is blissful, happy, and so full of joy. I do not want to ruin that by focusing on anything other than my sweet baby girl.
My Mothers Days over the past several years have been characterized by waiting, aching, longing. And this year is completely different. Instead of waiting for a time when I’d carry a precious babe in my womb, and hold her in my arms, I’m wishing I could rein in the time that seems to be passing all too quickly, and cherishing every fading, beautiful moment.
After being so clueless as to the right thing to write, on one of the loneliest days of the year for the barren woman, I decided to simply stay quiet on Mothers Day, and not to post anything at all here on the blog.
But then I read this mother’s tribute to her baby on their first Mothers Day together and thought, “Okay, I can’t not write Bonnie a letter on Mothers Day. It just has to happen.”
So this letter is my heart right now, in this very moment. It is not intended to cause any of you anymore pain than you’ve probably already been experiencing this weekend. Rather, it is intended to capture mine and Bonnie’s relationship as it is right now. Because this time is so, very fleeting.
It used to be that Mothers Day made me sad. It made me sad for myself, and it made me long for the children I wondered if I would ever have. It made me envious of all the mothers who were celebrating with children of their own. It was a painful reminder of the children I ached for, but did not have.
But this year is so different.
My heart still hurts for the women in my life who are where I’ve been in years past: Longing for the child that is, statistically, an improbability. Staying home from church, restaurants, shopping malls and public parks, because they just cannot bear being reminded of their empty wombs and quiet nurseries.
But my heart is also incredibly full… Full of the joy that you’ve brought me over these past eleven months, and full of gratitude for my Savior who granted my heart’s desire when He gave me you.
Some of our days are very long and very hard. You are teething, and your nose is running constantly during these spring months. You don’t nap much at all during the day, and we rarely get out of the house since we are busy taking care of two other babies. Yes, the days can be long. But the moments, weeks, and months are so short. I’m holding on tightly to each and every one of them.
You are crawling, and even beginning to take some of your first steps, so you don’t need me as much as you did just a month or two ago. You are sleeping through the night, so you don’t need me at all at night. You can eat finger foods all on your own, so you don’t need me to feed you. You are taking a bottle, so you don’t need me for nursing. How I miss the days when you did! And don’t even get me started on cuddling… You can barely sit still long enough for a diaper change!
Except when you want to read. You love to cuddle up with a good book! When you crawl over to me with one of your favorite books, and scramble into my lap, my heart swells with pride and wonder. And I love the way you can say “mama” now, and the way you reach for me when I walk into the room, or crawl toward me when you miss me. I am so proud of the way you are growing and learning. You are a different baby than you were eleven months ago, when we brought you home from the hospital as a calm, helpless, wrinkly newborn.
In years past, Mothers Day has been about me: my infertility, my emptiness, my brokenness, my loneliness, my failure, my heartache.
But this year, I’ve realized that Mothers Day is not about me at all. Instead, it is a day to celebrate you and me, together. And mostly, it is a day to celebrate our glorious Savior, because were it not for His grace in my life, you would not be sitting on the floor at my feet right now, chewing on Biscuit’s dog bone (something I should really stop letting you do.) You are my constant, beautiful, crazy reminder that we serve a God who is able to do more than we could ever ask or imagine. Because you are so much more than I ever could have hoped for, and more wonderful than I ever could have imagined.
Every negative home pregnancy test, every needle, every blood draw, every invasive ultrasound, every penny… They were all beyond worth it for the joy of having you in my life. You are my own, personal ray of sunshine. You are the light in my life, and apart from salvation, and apart from your dad, you are the best gift I’ve ever been given. I love you more than my words can ever fully express.
And if I teach you one thing in the coming years, let it be this: As much as I love you, we serve a Savior who loves you even more. My love pales in comparison to His. It is my deepest prayer that you will come to know Him as your own Savior at a young age, and that you will live the rest of your life according to His love for you, and yours for Him.
Being your mother has already been the greatest honor of my life. And even though you’ve been on this earth for only eleven short months, you’ve been in my heart for so much longer, and I’ll hold you close there forever; closer than you will ever know.
And no matter if your Dad and I have several more children or none, you will always be very special, in a very special way. Because you are the daughter who made my dream of motherhood come true. And you are more, and you are better than I ever could have dreamed.
“You can no more predict the path of the wind than you can explain how a child’s bones are formed in a mother’s womb. Even more, you will never understand the workings of the God who made all things.”
-Ecclesiastes 11:5, The Voice translation
If you came here today looking for a post about infertility and Mothers Day, you might want to read my post from last year, which you can find here.
“It occurs to me that faith involves buying into a story-an overarching narrative that makes sense out of the universe and our part in it… Our relationship with the Hero is what gives us purpose, dignity, and HOPE… I am confident that God owns the narrative and that these unwelcome times are in His capable hands.”
-Ann Spangler, The Tender Words of God (Can’t recommend this devotional highly enough!)