I have to admit that this is a bittersweet day for me. Tomorrow, we celebrate mothers. We recognize the love a mother has for her child and the love a child has for their mother.
A mother’s selfless love is incomparable to any other. It is raw, vulnerable, and unfaltering. It begins the moment you open up your heart to your child and is carried with you until the day you die. Unlike any other relationship in life, regardless of the circumstances, it cannot be compromised.
This day, I am reminded of the endless love I hold for Theodore and my unborn child. Their breath is my breath; they both hold my heart in their precious hands and for them, my pride overflows.
Sometimes when Theo is having a bad day, I wonder if I could go back to the days before I was a mother: before I experienced the unparalleled ache of daily watching my child struggle to survive…labouring with every breath, vomiting consistently, crying out in pain as his hands and feet decompose. If I could go back to those seemingly easy, carefree days, would I?
I know that even if I could, I wouldn’t. The greatest moment of my life was the day Theo was born and I wouldn’t trade watching him grow and learn that first year for anything in this world. Since his illness, I’ve also learned that my love for him knows no bounds. Even though I’ll likely be burying my son rather than him burying me, I wouldn’t change it. I wouldn’t change the incomparable joy of being a mother. To have never experienced this joy is a much worse outcome.
This is a difficult day for me, however, and I’ll admit that I’ll be fighting back feelings of jealousy and loneliness tomorrow. My son won’t be running to me tomorrow morning with a hand drawn card and sloppy kisses. He won’t be able to say Mama, give me a hug or even smile when he sees my face. We won’t be dressing him in a cute outfit and heading out to brunch. Instead our day will be the same as every other – administering pain meds, suctioning and providing oxygen, and changing his dressings.
Tomorrow, I won’t be celebrating Mother’s Day like most moms, and neither will the mother who’s experienced infertility, miscarriage, adoption struggles, stillborn or child loss. For these women on Mother’s Day (and every other day), their gentle, maternal hearts should be appreciated, their loss and grief recognized, and the difficulty that this day may pose acknowledged.
Theo can’t express his love for me but I remind myself that it’s there. I know how much he loves me and he knows the boundless love I have for him. This Mother’s Day will be mixed with pain and joy but we’ll be spending the day celebrating our unconditional love, a love I would never change.