One day I was scrolling through Instagram and saw the term, Invisible Motherhood. It took my breath away as I resonated with the feelings of being a “secret” mom. You won’t see me lugging around a car seat or trying to maneuver breastfeeding in public. I don't spend my time soothing a crying baby with quiet hushes or trying to catch up with an energetic one year old.
But I am still a mom.
My body housed 3 souls and I miss them every day. I know they are safe and relishing in God's glory in the most perfect place in the universe. But I still miss them.
I love my work and having quiet evenings with Michael. I laugh and have joy in my life and enjoy slow peaceful mornings sipping my coffee but I still miss them, my children.
I think about the alternate universe where I have an earthly child and how our lives would be in the day-to-day. As time passes and we come closer to Bennett’s due date, I think about all of the plans we had for this time of year. We would have done our maternity photo shoots by now. We would have gathered with our family and friends to celebrate the upcoming arrival of Bennett with doughnuts and gifts and so many smiles. I am supposed to be on maternity leave right now and putting the final touches on Bennett’s room. I would be researching the best ways to breastfeed and sleep and manage life with a newborn. I would be picking out his outfits for his newborn photos. I would be packing our bags for the hospital and anxious for the unknown world of contractions and labor. But I am not. It is all so surreal, because at one time it was all so real, and then all of a sudden it just wasn’t. Right now I am living and I am trying. Trying to put one foot in front of another and seeing where it leads. Trying to live my life for Christ and to honor Bennett and his siblings. Trying to remember that even though we experience joy and pain here on earth, it is not my final home. With the help of God, Michael, family and friends, I am moving forward. Even when I have tears in my eyes, I also have a little smile because life is so good. I know it feels like winter will never end--oh how I know--but deep in my heart I also know that no matter how long and grueling winter might seem, it always ends and spring will come.
These roses were given to us after we lost Bennett. Our extra bedroom is full of dried flowers representing the love and loss of Bennett. I am too sentimental to throw them all out, so I will use them to honor Bennett and his story. To me, seeing the promises of flowers in the snow is the perfect representation of feeling the hope of spring even in the midst of a painful winter.