Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Rethinking Motherhood by Bloom Guest Heather

Heather & her cute family

You will love this. Many, many thanks to Heather for being willing to share it with us. May is off to a lovely start...

My name is Heather. I am an almost 30 year old mother of 3. Two here, and one in heaven. That feels weird to say. I love, love Bloom. I don't know if what I have to say about motherhood is very eloquent, or important, but I do know that I feel it. Deep in my bones. To the center of my soul, I feel it. Maybe I have a different perspective on it now.

For something I thought would come so easily and naturally to me, having children didn't. I got married at 22 and we decided we'd wait a year or two before having babies. I always wanted to be a Mom. I know that is why I am here. To fulfill my calling of motherhood. When we did start trying to bring a family here, it didn't happen at all like I thought. We tried for 2 1/2 years before we decided to give IVF a shot after much prayer, temple visits, anger, and tears. Neither of us had any medical explanation as to why we weren't getting pregnant. Looking back I feel like maybe we were supposed to struggle for this. Maybe that helped ME to be a better mother, to really appreciate it. I looked at getting pregnant and raising children kind of flippantly back then.

We found out we were finally pregnant and In Vitro had worked around Valentines day of 2007. We couldn't have been more grateful, excited and joyous at the arrival of our little boy that October. Life was wonderful. I was now a stay at home mom (I actually like to call that work at home mom) and things couldn't have been better. When our son was a year old I found out I was pregnant again. It floored us, we struggled so much and then BAM just like that - pregnant. We hadn't been trying. We were ecstatic, and I was very grateful. I felt strongly this baby was meant to come at that time. Two boys 21 months apart. How scared we were, but how excited we got when boy #2 finally made his arrival. In January of this year I found out I was pregnant again. Which shocked the socks off of us because we had been preventing. We thought we'd give it one more year. Our youngest was barely 18 months old. I remember when I went to take the test, which I was sure was negative, my husband told me he would be happy if it was positive. I cried. I was a little scared, and didn't feel ready. At 18 weeks we lost our little girl.

That was 2 1/2 weeks ago. It has rocked me to my core. Made me re-think what motherhood really means to me.

In the past, at times I had felt a little insignificant. As in, how is Heavenly Father aware of me and my daily struggles with tantrums, wiping noses, making dinner, potty training, trying to keep up with my home, playing with and teaching my children when there is so much worse going on out there? Does he really care about my little day to day dealings, frustrations, and joys like this? I am here to tell you yes. Yes. He does. I have never felt the power and significance of motherhood more than I have now. I felt it then, but I get it now. After the tragic experience of losing a baby we wanted like we need air to breathe, I feel and understand the reverence of Motherhood. What a sacred gift it is. To be entrusted with these spirits is awe-inspiring. It matters. It all matters. What we do MATTERS.

I have re-thought everything in how I am with my boys. I have quite the spirited little guys. But two of the sweetest I know also. Am I calm when they aren't behaving, do I try to understand what they might be feeling in that moment? Do I speak calmly and speak kindly to them when I feel like having a tantrum myself? Am I the example I really want to be to them? I'm surely trying. I'm trying day by day to be the best possible mother I can be for my children. Being there, showing up to support them, listening, serving, helping, loving them with everything I've got, so that they know, without a thread of doubt that they are the most important work I'll ever do.

I hope that every mother feels like the luckiest person in the world. The trenches of motherhood are deep, sometimes dark, and painful. But the joy we can experience far outweighs anything else. I am so blessed. Even in the thick of sorrow, I am blessed. There are angels all around us through this. Cheering us on, holding us, lifting us up. I pray for those who are waiting for a piece of heaven. I hope to hold one again soon.

The best moments we get in motherhood are like magic. I never knew that I would forever carry my heart outside of my body once I became a Mother. Or that love could run so deep and fill up every part of me. Every part. Or that I could be so fierce. I am a warrior mother for my babies. All I know is I'm giving it my all. And it's amazing.

16 comments:

Jen said...

Wow. That is lovely and inspiring and it was nice to be reminded too. I sometimes forget in the thick of all the day to day oh hum of parenthood.
Thank you for your bravery and sharing!

Lisa said...

I want to take those last four paragraphs and share them with my Mom, hang them on my fridge and put them in my journal.(of course it was all wonderful) :) Thank you for putting into words what so many of us feel but can't adequately articulate. I love it.

lizl said...

Writing this so soon after your loss took a lot of strength -- I wish I could reach through my computer and give you a hug. We suffered some sad losses as well, and I too am grateful for the perspective that they have given me. Every baby is a miracle. I'm so glad you have those darling boys to snuggle and squeeze as you grieve, and I hope you feel great about helping us all to mother a little better today.

Amy said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, but I'm grateful for your new perspective and your willingness to share it with others.

Motherhood was very hard for me too, but not because I didn't get to be a mom right away. I just had the hardest time with the transition. I came home from my mission (my life long dream) got married 6 months later and got a surprise pregnancy just a couple months later. When I was finally a-stay-at-home-er I felt like I wasn't doing anything. I didn't understand my new purpose (as a missionary every day is centered on a purpose), but the Lord taught me and I soon came to UNDERSTAND that the greatest work I will ever do to build up the Lords kingdom on the earth is right in my home. I'd heard it a million times but I finally understood it.

Now after almost a year long wait of trying for baby number two. I am finally pregnant again and I definitely appreciate my being a mother so much more after experiencing that trial. I hope I'll never let an ungrateful deed be done or word be said ever again.

I'm so grateful for trials because they are what teach us most important eternal truths that will lead us and sustain us right back into our heavenly Fathers arms.

Abbie said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. This was beautiful, thank you for sharing.

I was at the park yesterday and a granny-nanny (an older, more experienced nanny) was asking me if I stayed home or worked. I told her I stayed home and she said, to my surprise, "good for you. Children need their mothers close." It's so true! They NEED us! And, like you said, what we do matters! Motherhood is so much better when we remember how blessed we are, and this post helped me remember. Thank you!

Natalie said...

Heather, it took a lot of strength and courage to share all of that. Thank you. I lost a baby at 20 weeks a few years ago, and while it was one of the hardest things that I have been through, it is also the one experience in my life that I wouldn't trade for anything.

The appreciation and love that I gained for Motherhood, and more importantly for my Savior, Jesus Christ, is a gift that I will treasure for the rest of my life. If you want to talk or email, I would love to. My email is nhellis@hotmail.com.

It was hard for me when I went through this because at the time I didn't really know a lot of other people who had been through the same thing.

I'm happy to tell you that there's light on the other side. I now have a 20 month old daughter and we are expecting another in August. The babies that come after a loss like this are little angels, just waiting to bless your life even more than you can imagine!

Like LizL said, I wish I could reach through the computer and give you a hug!

Heather said...

Thank you for sharing your story Heather. We have so many things in common and my heart aches for you as I have been in your shoes.

We got pregnant with our first and then lost him due to a chromosomal abnormality. Then tried for children for 2.5 years after Camden. Finally we went the IVF route and were blessed with twins and now a surprise baby is on the way.

Going through the trial of losing a child and wanting to become and mother so badly has strengthened me more than I can ever know or say. And now that I finally have children to care for I will never take it for granted. Nor will I trade my experiences and hard times along the way. The Lord is always mindful of us especially when tending His children. What a blessing.

Honey said...

I'm not sure exactly what to say as I'm reminded of so many tender feelings and emotions. I am so sorry, Heather. This is such an incredibly hard experience to have. I'm grateful for the strength you have that will help carry you and and your family through. Our prayers for you and your sweet family.

Heather said...

Thank you so, so much for the kind words everyone. Really, you don't know what they mean to me. They are so healing to read. I love reading your comments and hearing YOUR stories and perspectives. I wish I could reach through the computer and give you all a hug too! Really. Natalie - yes, absolutely I would love to email you and I will be shortly. I'm so sorry those of us that have had to experience this have. Once again thank you guys!

jeanine said...

That was absolutely beautiful. Thank you.

Nicole said...

Thanks so much for sharing your story. I went through a miscarriage before my current pregnancy and it was so hard, but helped me to appreciate certain things like my children more. I still have my days where I forget though. I blogged about that very thing and addressed your post today. Some things you said really touched me. www.nicoleandsethgreer.blogspot.com

Thanks for sharing some much needed wisdom with all of us readers!

Jane said...

Thank you for sharing, when your experience is still so raw. I think it is important to share these realities. I am so sorry for your loss. We lost a darling little boy at 18 weeks too, after having two beautiful healthy boys. We named him, had him cremated and planted a tree over his ashes. I hope you can take the time to feel what you need to feel. We had a lot of support from many people, but others didn't know what to say and said nothing much, and others thought it was strange or wrong for me to dwell on it. I found it was a grieving process I needed to go through... if I didn't feel it then, I wasn't respecting the tiny life we'd lost, and that the feelings would surely resurface sometime anyway. The baby we had after this loss has been a little spoilt I must admit :-)

Kimberly said...

lovely post, absolutely wonderful to read. thank you for sharing

Jaime said...

Thank you. I wrote notes in my planner so I can read them again, daily. Thank you.

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iş kıyafeti said...

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