We are the forgotten ones, the mother's who grieve with smiles on our faces, but sorrow in our hearts.
It's ironic how life changes your perspective on things. I never thought of Mother's Day as anything more than a day to celebrate all the mommies with kiddos. My mind never bridged the gap between the women who've lost children and the kind of sorrow they must feel on a day such as Mother's Day. Until, I became one of them.
It was a struggle to get through the day. There were several moments when it was hard to fight back the tears, but the guilt of being a "debbie downer" on a day that's supposed to be filled with happiness and love, was enough to keep the tears at bay. Don't get me wrong, I loved celebrating my mother, mother-in-law and my sister-in-law who gave us my niece, Audrianna, but the reality that my little bundle didn't make it to this earth to celebrate with us, well, it's heartbreaking.
I have 3 tattoos all of which hold some meaning and importance in my life. The first; a butterfly with pink highlighting on my right wrist symbolizing hope, life and endurance. The second; paw prints walking alongside my footprints, surrounded by little hearts on the top of my right foot, and the third of a dog and cat silhouette in the shape of a heart, on my left wrist. I decided I wanted a fourth tattoo, but didn’t know what I wanted until I weathered one of the worst experiences of my life, a miscarriage at 13 weeks. A miscarriage that continued to rock my world for 6 months after we first learned our baby was gone.
Shortly after the ordeal began the idea of a tattoo surfaced, but I was distracted by a phantom second pregnancy, a multitude of doctors appointments, weekly blood draws, and eventually a second surgery. Then, before I knew it, my due date was right around the corner as was Mother's Day. The sadness and grief I thought I had moved passed was all too present again, and I wanted this Mother's Day to still be special so, the idea of a tattoo became even more important. It would serve as a way to celebrate the life that grew inside me for 13 weeks, but also bring a sad chapter of my life to a close.
On Saturday, two days after my due date and a day before Mother's Day, my little angel who was already a permanent resident in my heart became a permanent image on my body as well. I couldn't have asked for it to turn out any better than it did; I love it.
Everyone grieves differently, there is no right or wrong way to mourn a life lost. This tattoo is exactly what I needed to close a door, but never forget, a sad chapter in my book. It's time for a new chapter.
"Babies lost in the womb were never touched by fear, they were never cold, never hungry, never alone and most importantly, always knew love." - unknown