Mother's Day honours
On this Mother’s Day, I honour all of the ‘invisible’ mothers. Those of us who have loved and lost too soon, those of us who have held tiny fingers with tiny fingernails, those of us who never met our momentary miracles, and then those of us too who have fought fiercely but only have dreams to show for it.
For my part, I think of all of our tiny fighter embies, each one defying the odds, surviving one day longer than they should have. I think of our maybe baby suspended in time in Harley Street, and wonder if he waits for us and senses that we should have come by now. I sit on the edge of the bed in our guest room, and feel the space mock me; the crumbly wallpaper laughing, goading me that we should have decorated by now, that this should be our nursery with yellow elephant etchings on freshly painted walls. I think of the boxes of children’s books, gathering dust in our attic; maybe they will never take their rightful place on tiny bookshelves, prised down for nightly story times. I think of every clinicians’ wrinkled brow: Never Been Pregnant? And I wonder if my body, which has always seemed so separate from the power of my mind, will ever cooperate, will ever serve its maternal function.
Recently, a friend informed me that it must be so much harder for those who miscarry, that I should thank God for sparing me that. And I went home and sobbed selfishly, indulgently on my mum's shoulder, because wouldn't there at least be some sliver of hope in that, a sign that what I have been fighting for so fiercely for four long years might at least be tangible, that there could be a physical response to my desires? Instead of lying awake at 3am with my barren body in front of me, wiping hot, wet tears from my eyes.
You, my baby, are bolt-upright-in-bed ghoulish dreams. You are injection terrors. You are jealousy and covet and green eyed monsters. You are free fall and dizzy desire. You are teeth-baring, flesh-tearing fight. You are nausea and bloat and yellow, pallid skin. You are the shades of green and yellow and blue, impressionist bruises across my belly. But you too are soft and tempting lullabies caught in spring air. You are your father’s blue grey crinkly eyes. You are future promise, a world beyond the wait. You are tiny rugby shirts and tiny converse trainers. You are lakeside peace and sound sleep. You are me at ease in my own skin. You, my baby, make me wonder what will become of me if this time, we don’t crawl closer to you. It seems foolhardy after all the failures we have chalked up to ask God that we will meet you this time. It would be too bold to imagine that I will hold you in my arms so soon. But I do pray that at least we will make it to transfer, that you baby will make it back home, and then it’s up to you. If you’ve been dreaming of us as much as we’ve been dreaming of you. If you’re ready for me to be your mumma, I’m here and ready and this battle has prepared me to create a truly spectacular life for you.
But for now, I’ll hold my Mum that little bit closer. I’ll give my puppy Maddox extra cuddles. And I’ll celebrate each of my friends who are ‘real’ mummas. But I’ll honour us ‘invisible’ mothers too, here in the shadows, holding our children just as close, whether in thought or in action. You are warriors and I honour you.