This Mothers Day Tommy’s have launched a campaign to remind us that regardless of the number of babies in our arms, we are all Mums. It is an honour to support a charity so close to my heart and, as always, to share my story.
With Mothers Day approaching this weekend, it goes without saying that it is a very special day in our house, and one in which I count my blessing four times over. On Sunday morning I will wake up, after a lovely long lie-in, go downstairs where all four children will no doubt be waiting, armed with flowers, clutching their hand made cards, their little faces beaming with pride as I wrap them all up in my arms and tell them that there isn’t a Mummy in the world as lucky as I. And from the outside looking in, it will be utterly perfect.
And I think that is possibly the saddest truth of all, that no matter how many children I have, or how many years pass, there will always be a great big gaping hole in our lives that Joseph should have filled.
Because from the moment I saw those two blue lines on a test, saw his perfect little face on a scan and felt his kicks and wriggles as he grew, I was his Mum. As I decorated the nursery, picked out his clothes, prepared for the birth and counted down the days, I was his Mum. When I planned out our entire lifetime, so many hopes and dreams, when the end was so close I could almost touch it, I was his Mum. When I listened to the words that no parent ever wants to hear, clutched my belly, cried and screamed and told them they had made a mistake, I was his Mum.
Throughout a thirty hour labour, shocked and scared and praying for a miracle, I was his Mum. When I held him in my arms, kissed his ruby red lips, buried my head in his shock of black hair, counted his fingers and toes, knowing that it would never be enough, I was his Mum. When I bathed him and dressed him and told him about the big brother he would ever meet, when I kissed him goodbye and left the hospital with empty arms, I was his Mum. And when I watched as his coffin was lowered into the ground, covered with earth, and said the hardest of goodbyes, I was his Mum. And ten years later, our world irreversibly changed, when my heart still aches for the years we should have had, I am still his Mum.
“A Mother is not defined by the number of children you can see, but by the love she holds in her heart.”
And in that way, my heart is very much filled with love; with the memory of fifteen babies, all desperately wanted, all lovingly thought of, all lost before the thirteenth week of pregnancy. With love for Joseph, the most special little boy who is loved and missed every moment of every day, and for my four beautiful children who are living proof that miracles do happen.
This Mothers Day I shall be supporting Tommy’s and sparing a thought for every Mum missing a child. For the Mums who are still waiting, for those who celebrate alone, those with just a scan photo to cherish, a tiny Babygro to hold, a grave to visit. For the Mums who anxiously cradle their pregnant bellies, or hold their rainbow babies in their arms, the Mums who sit beside their babies incubators, just willing them to keep fighting. For the Mums whose paths to Motherhood were not conventional, who wear their battle scars with the terrifying clarity that their stories could well have been so different. For the Mums who hold their living children close and live with sadness and regret for what could have been, and what should have been. And for the Mums who are fortunate enough to have never experienced a loss, nor seen their babies lives hang in the balance, but who remind themselves every single day just how lucky they are.
We are all Mums.