To the mother without a baby

You know that scene in Friends where Chandler and Monica meet the mother of the baby they’d like to adopt? The biological mom finds out that Monica is not a reverend and changes her mind. Chandler runs after her and says something along the lines of, “I may one day learn how to be a dad, but Monica is already a mother. She’s a mother without a baby.”

This scene makes me cry my little heart out every time I watch it because it’s something I’ve always believed. I believe a womxn who wants to be a mom, becomes one long before she sees those two blue lines; long before she holds that precious, wrinkly pink bundle. And for me, I became a “mother” when I was 7 years old. My sister, Caron, was 1. I was on all fours with her on my back, holding her pudgy little arms so tightly. I was “galloping” down our long corridor on this really bristly, hard rug with her on my back. She was laughing and squealing with glee. She had just the cutest little laugh as a baby, her voice would vibrate for a good few seconds thereafter – like when you’re forcing all the air out of your lungs. It remains one of my happiest, most precious memories. We played ‘horsie’ until my knees were red and the skin was starting to open a bit. I wanted that day to last forever. From that moment, I knew that I wanted to be a mother. That I wanted this joy forever. It didn't mean that I didn't want to be successful or accomplished, I just knew being a mother was one of the things I wanted to be.

When I first became a mother, I felt every nook and cranny of my heart grow and open a few inches. It just wasn’t big enough for the amount of love I felt. Our daughter, Lily, was just absolutely perfect and continues to be so today. A few months later I fell pregnant with our son, Liam. He was born 14 and a half weeks premature and sadly, passed away when he was 25 days old. For my husband Will and I, a piece of each of us died that day too.

Today, we have another precious little plum called Ila – a happy, spirited, gutsy little cherub that awakened parts of me I thought were gone forever. But the journey to meeting her was a treacherous, painful one.

So, this is my letter, my tribute if you will, to every mom waiting for her baby.

To the mother without a baby. I know you.

I know that longing – an aching prickle throughout your body.
I know how you fight back tears every time you see a newborn or a pregnant womxn.
I know how you hold your breath for every pregnancy test.
I know how cry for minutes, sometimes hours, after each negative result.
I know that you don’t feel entitled to cry - like you’re mourning something you never had.
I know how you avoid the baby aisle in every single store. And that catching a glimpse of a baby grower makes you weep in the mall bathroom.
I know that you have a dark cupboard jam-packed with baby goodies that you never go into.
I know that some days you want to give up and give all of it away.
I know that you can’t.
I know how angry you get at mothers who drink and smoke during pregnancy.
I know how furious you get when you see moms on the side of the road using their babies to raise money to feed their addictions.
I know how livid you get when you see they have more than one.
I know how jealous you get of preggy moms - even their swollen feet and discomfort.
I know you would give anything to feel that.
I know how you question god, and how you feel that questioning him may mean you have no faith.
I also know how angry you get.
I know how guilty you feel thereafter.
I know how much energy it takes to put on a smile and go to a friend’s baby shower.
I know how happy you are for that friend, even when you’re broken.
I know how sad you get with every new arrival.
I know how you cry when you pack away baby clothes.
I know that you have pictured their face, their nursery, their clothing, their laugh.
I know how a little part of you dies every time someone asks, “So, when are you guys making babies?”
I know how you’re sometimes tempted to say, “I have one/two/three, they’re just not here with me.”
I know how horrible you feel when someone says, “You have a girl. Time for a boy.”
I know how much you hate all those horrible vitamins, shakes and injections.
I know that you’ll do whatever it takes.
I know the little pacts you make with yourself - I will feel better when ‘this’ happens. I will feel better when ‘that’ is over.
I know how you have to catch your breath every time you see their name.
I know how you have to catch your breath every time you hear their name.
I know you how hard you are on your body, feeling that this is what it’s built to do.
I know how difficult it is staring at your partner, longing for the day that someone will call him, “dad”.
I know you feel that you aren’t there for him emotionally, not even 70%.
I know how you avoid the kitchen at work in case someone asks any questions.
I know that you sometimes suffer from anxiety.
I know how angry you get at the people around you for not always understanding.
I know how grateful you are for the people who do.
I know how you change the subject when someone mentions babies.
I know how every period makes you weep because you know what that means.

But I also know how strong you are. How brave you are. How resilient you are. How you get up from that bathroom mat every day and try again. How you wipe your tears and tackle life once again. How you smile when you feel like crying. How you carry on when you feel like giving up.

And I know you will get through this.
Motherhood comes in so many forms.
And it comes when you least expect it.
Never easily. But I truly believe, eventually.
Know that everything you’re feeling is valid.
That everything you’re feeling is OK.
That sometimes, it's OK to be angry.
Know that you are never alone.
That there’s always someone willing to reach out to you.
I know that this will happen for you.
With all my heart, this is my wish for you.
You are a mother.
And I know you. Because I was you.



  1. oh my heart aches ... thank you Kim for writing my hearts cries on this blog... wow.....


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