My cousin, AK, writes about her quest to become a mother at Living is Easy with Eyes Closed. Because of our different experiences, AK and I both feel differently about our status as mothers. In honor of Mother’s Day, AK and I are doing a two-part post explaining our journey into motherhood. Here’s AK’s installment:
After 10 months of trying – I finally got pregnant. Sadly, two weeks after that first positive test, I miscarried the baby. I was about eight weeks along at the time. After the loss, I found myself having a hard time trying to figure out what I was. Was I still a mother? Many times, people celebrate their first Mother’s Day while they are pregnant with the child, not just after the child is born. They are considered a mother while they are pregnant. So if I was a mother while pregnant, what am I now? If a woman has only one child, and that child was to pass away, would you tell the woman she was no longer a mother? Why is it different for women who have miscarried a baby? Is it because we are not considered a mother to begin with?
While working through this, I decided to look up the definition for the word “mother,” and most of the definitions I found said something along these lines:
a. A female person who is pregnant with, or gives birth to, a child.
b. A female person whose egg unites with a sperm, resulting in the conception of a child.
c. A woman who adopts a child.
A woman who raises a child. (freedictionary.com
)The American Heritage dictionary’s definition includes: “to care for, nourish, and protect.” as part of the definition.By these definitions, I was a mother. I may not have given birth to a baby, but I conceived one, and I was pregnant. I protected my baby- I took it easy, I made my baths cooler. I would have done ANYTHING possible to protect that baby, but unfortunately, there was nothing I could do to prevent what happened. I nourished it – I ate healthier, I took my vitamins, I ate according to the guidelines my doctor gave me. I cared for that baby. I really did. I loved my baby. I bonded with it, talked to it, we shopped for it. Just because we lost the baby, I don’t think that I am no longer a mother. I felt a love and connection that I didn’t know it was possible to feel. I became a mother the moment I saw two lines on a test, and that doesn’t just go away because my baby is in heaven instead of here with me. Once you have felt that love and connection, you are a changed person, I know that I am! So this Mother’s Day, despite what anyone else may say, I am going to celebrate being a mother – because I believe once you are a mother, you are always a mother.