I raise a coffee mug to all my unknown mommies. Oh let’s be real, my coffee mug has wine in it, don’t get me confused with a different kind of broken woman. This one is for my unknown mommies. Yes, you may be known as mommy to one, two, three, or 16 children (bless your heart if it is 16!). But this is for my mommies that were mommies that lost. Mommies that don’t talk about it to other mommies. Mommies that DO talk about it to other mommies. Mommies that want to talk, but don’t know how.
Here’s to my silent heroes who suffer every birthday, every baby announcement, every adoption commercial, every damn gender reveal with silent tears caught quietly in the sleeve of their shirts. I salute you. I hear you. I see you.
Here’s to my “step” mommies that have lost and yet bear the weight, judgement, and unknowing scorn of the “real” mommies you share your child with.
I recently found out about a silent mommy at a funeral. It was at her funeral that I found out this woman was meeting TWO of her children in heaven. TWO! I know another woman who has had the courage to speak out and share her love, her hopes, her dreams for her child and demand the world acknowledge her baby with love and respect. Yet another woman who shares her love and sadness with only a couple of souls she can connect to in a beautiful way. I see power in all of these women. I feel jealous of this power sometimes, to be honest. I didn’t realize I was an unknown mommy until this past Christmas when I blurted out my sorrow in an off-handed way after a couple of Christmas morning cocktails.
I want to honor my child. I want to honor and respect that I am an unknown mommy. I want to shout to the world that, “yes I am a step mom, but dammit I am a MOM too!” I don’t know how to start that conversation. I don’t know how to tell people two years later that I lost my only child and I have no hopes of another. I don’t know how to explain how adrift I’ve been. How lost and hopeless my heart remains. How I fill my silence with things, experiences, drinks, and pets! People don’t know how to deal with that. Well, most people. So let me educate you on the best responses I’ve gotten to the statement ” I was pregnant, lost my child, and am now incapable of having children”
- Silent tearful hug
- “Talk to me” followed by silence
- “I love you”
- “There is literally NOTHING you can ever say that will make me love you less” said while desperately holding me tightly
- Literally jump into my lap wrap your arms around me and tell me “you are amazing and I love everything about you”
- “What were your dreams”
- “do you want to talk more?” …..and when met with “no”. …..”Do you want a glass of wine and a fire lit?”
- Show up to my house with sushi, old movies, and zero questions
- Bring it up, so I don’t have to
- Let me bring it up when I want to
- Understand that I don’t know how to “get over it” and I may never
- “I understand now”
This life is so hard, even when we aren’t broken. We can actually help each other. We can ask the names of our unknown children. We can stop asking couples when they will have babies. We can start raising women up and start talking about the moments our biology failed us entirely. We can simply be there, silently, without judgement or advice.
All of my love to my unknown mommies–outspoken or silent. You are special and unique, and your baby is loved and honored in this world.
Oliver Jaymes ❤