I could dread this day like the plague. I could put on my Sunday best and smile like the perfect mother raising the perfect family. I could post a bible verse and remember to thank God for my two toddlers. I could do a lot of things on this day, but I am choosing to allow myself to grieve.
On October 15, 2018, I miscarried our precious baby at eight weeks. I named him Haven and he was due to be born on Mother’s Day weekend. The little soul growing within me, the one that I wrapped my arms around at night, would never be in my arms earth-side. Every daydream that I had about this little one would forever be just that, a dream.
A few months later on New Year’s Eve, we were happy to find out that we were pregnant. Once again I was able to celebrate the life growing inside of me and I could not wait to share our rainbow baby with the world. Only, a few weeks later, I found out this baby had implanted in my fallopian tube and I would have no choice but to terminate the pregnancy. After an emergency surgery, I would wake up and once again feel the heaviness of an empty womb.
The emotions were unnatural. When your baby is no longer growing inside of you that means they should be growing outside of you. They should be healthy. They should be thriving. They should be here in my arms, but for me, it just meant it was the end. Two lives that I loved, two lives that I created, two lives that were so uniquely a part of me were now gone.
So on this day, I will grieve because it is okay to grieve. I will remember the two babies that never made it into my arms. I will celebrate their precious lives, even though they were all too short. I will hold my two miracle babies close and take in every moment with them. I will cry into my husband’s shoulder. I will laugh with family. But I will allow myself this time on this day and know that others will understand my sadness.
This Mother’s Day will look a little different this year, but I am so proud of the mother that I have become.
I have become a better mother because I am proudly flawed.
I have become a better mother because I am broken, but I am healing.
I have become a better mother because I now love like there is no tomorrow.
I have become a better mother because I no longer care about the perfect image.
I am a better mother because I am celebrated daily by my loving husband and children.
I am a better mother because I know how to not be okay.
I am a better mother because I trust in the promise of life after death.
I am a better mother because of the two I never held.
This Mother’s Day will hold memories of loss. But I will hold and love the two God has given me and we will plant a tree for the ones we lost, Grace and Haven. You are still so loved. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mommies who will not be holding but mourning the babies that we never got to hold. Celebrate the beautiful lives that you created and that are celebrating you from afar. Allow yourself to grieve, but allow yourself to be celebrated.
May you all be honored as moms on this Mother’s Day.
This story originally appeared on Community Contributor for Today Show