Mother’s Day is a special day that for most of us means we look forward to spending time with our families. It’s an opportunity to show our appreciation to our mum by spoiling her and giving her a day off from cooking and other household chores.
Growing up as one of four children, I always knew that at some stage in my life I wanted to be a mum. On April 16, nineteen years ago, that day came as the result of a twisted turn of events in which our daughter, Kalin, was born at 24 weeks gestation. The experience was surreal. I could never have imagined this happening to me. Mother’s Day that year didn’t feel like a day to celebrate, instead, I felt a deep sadness that was coupled with the guilt I felt around not wanting to celebrate with my Mum.
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It was hard to pretend to be happy when I felt like my world had been turned upside down. Only weeks ago, I had given birth, held my beautiful tiny baby briefly, and then said goodbye. I remember feeling confused. I had been excited (and if I’m honest, apprehensive) about becoming a parent, but the whole experience and outcome was not what I had expected. Could I now say I was a mother? When people asked if I had children what would I say? I felt people only wanted to hear about any children I had, not about any I had lost.
For the next two years of my life when Mother’s Day came around, it was just another anniversary that reminded me of what could have been. My hope and dream of being a mother had become a reality for a brief moment in time, but then it was taken away. I had become a mother, but like so many others (as I came to realise) I was a mother without a living child. On Mother’s Day my beautiful husband would wish me happy Mother’s Day and I would cry.