I am working with Tommys on a Mothers Day campaign called #WeAreAllMums to raise awareness that some experiences of motherhood result in stillbirths, miscarriages and premature babies. We are all still on a journey of motherhood regardless of the bumps along the road.
My outlook on Mothers Day has changed significantly over the past couple of years. Pre motherhood I often made this joke, “I don’t see why we have to buy presents, they chose to have us!”
Before I became a mom my understanding of Mother’s Day was that it’s a time to say, “Thanks for being a great mom!” Now, I see it as a day to say, “Thanks for making me a mom.”
I realise how much babies are precious little miracles that give you a gift as soon as you hear their little heartbeat or see those lines on a pregnancy test.
Many people would say the gift of motherhood is holding the baby in your arms but it starts much before birth.
I was given the first gift of motherhood in January 2014 when I heard my little boys heartbeat for the first time at 16 weeks pregnant. Fortunately I went on to have a beautiful little boy in July 2014. My Ollie!
Sadly my subsequent gifts of motherhood did not all have happy endings.
When Ollie was just 5 months old I had the gift of those little lines on a test! I was going to have Irish twins, this baby would be due before Ollie turned 1!
Just a couple of weeks later, before I’d even been to the doctors, I bled! I wasn’t overly concerned but I went to the doctors anyway and he wasn’t overly concerned but sent me to EPAU to check. Spotting is normal I told myself.
It wasn’t normal. I was just confronted with a still, silent screen and my little 10 week baby had no heartbeat.
It was all a bit surreal and I’ve written in more detail about the whole experience.
I thought that the only way I’d ‘get over it’ would be to get pregnant again. And just a few months later, I was pregnant! I was so scared but so relieved when I went for my 12 week scan and saw the little heartbeat. A gift of motherhood again.
I thought I was safe now, out of the ‘danger zone’ into the second trimester. I had a midwife appointment at 16 weeks and heard the little heartbeat. Everything was going to be fine.
I couldn’t wait until my 20 week scan to find out if it was a rainbow boy or girl. My husband, mom and Ollie all came to the appointment with me.
Once again I was met with that still, silent screen and no heartbeat. How? There was a heartbeat just a few weeks ago! What has happened since?!
Nobody could offer any explanation it’s ‘one of those things’. I agreed to a post mortem which didn’t provide any further explanation other than confirming that my baby was a girl. Baby Stevie.
Two little gifts of motherhood taken from me within 12 months of each other.
We were already engaged at this point but we decided to bring our wedding forward and my coping mechanism was to give myself a reason to be happy by planning our wedding.
Six months later in April 2016, we got married and our wedding theme was How I Met Your Mother. (An American sitcom, one of our favourite shows!)
The show is all about Ted’s quest for the one. Call it cliche, call it fate, whatever it was… on our wedding night we created a rainbow baby!
I was so scared when I knew I was pregnant, I didn’t see a doctor until 19 weeks and didn’t really tell anyone until around 23 weeks!
I was constantly scared that I’d lose him too but in January 2017 we were able to say… Haaaave you met Ted?
My fourth and very precious gift of motherhood!
So this Mother’s Day I might receive 2 bunches of flowers or 2 boxes of chocolates to represent my 2 boys. But I really feel like going to the toy shop and getting a super cool paw patrol toy for Ollie and something cute and sensory for Ted and saying, thank you boys! Happy Mother’s Day boys! Thank you for giving me the gift of motherhood.
I wish I could give my little girls a new toy and say thank you girls! I’m still their mom. For some moms that have lost their little gifts, they might not have rainbow babies that they can share on Instagram this Mother’s Day but just spare a thought because they are still mothers. They have experienced motherhood even if their journey was shorter.