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Mother’s Day by Catherine Mousley

Mother’s Day was once just a day on the calendar. It wasn’t my day nor did it hold any significance other than showing additional gratitude to my own mother. In February 2017, a dream that I dared not to dream came true & I found out I was pregnant with Bud. Four days before Mother’s Day, on March 23rd, we had our first scan. In that moment my heart swelled with pure joy as we laid eyes on our boy in sheer awe & wonder. We talked excitedly about the future & created memories in our imaginations as we left the hospital on a high. On Mother’s day, although there were no cards or presents, it suddenly had a brand new meaning. I was going to be a Mother. I felt part of The Club & this enormous sense of purpose left me all warm & fuzzy. The next day, our world came crashing down when we learnt that he was at risk for Downs Syndrome. Further tests revealed that he also had Partial Monosomy 21 & less than 4 weeks later, we made the heart wrenching choice to terminate. Fast forward to Mother’s Day 2018. Although I was extremely lucky to be pregnant again with Jake, I was also trapped in a limbo land of grief & anxiety. I was a Mother, in every sense yet I still had no living child to show for it. A world in which I could not hold either baby in my arms. As I battled the grief & guilt from Bud’s death, I also struggled though the intense fear of not being able to bring Jake home safely. My brain cycled through every emotion & terrifying thought on a minute by minute basis. I couldn’t find the motivation or enthusiasm to celebrate something that seemed so fragile on many levels. Jake did arrive safely but it’s  still not a day that fills me with happiness. Quite the opposite in fact, for my heart is always incomplete when my son is missing. As a family we prefer to keep the day as normal as possible. Chris will give me a card from both boys because he knows how much this means to me, but there are no flowers or gifts. Instead we distract ourselves with an activity to keep both our minds off who is absent. For every Mother that chooses to celebrate, there are just as many that grieve silently. Keep those ones in your thoughts.


@maternalmentalhealthproject

Picture taken after Bud’s scan.




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