I remember very clearly the day I inadvertently witnessed someone else’s most personal, agonizing despair from inside the procedure room at my OB-GYN’s office. I was waiting for my own doctor to come in and was already in a vulnerable state of mind staring at the stirrups awaiting me and feeling cold in my paper gown.
While waiting for what seemed like an eternity, I started to hear the most guttural and primal cries and moans coming from one of the other treatment rooms. At first, I figured it was someone in labor, but I soon recognized the cries of intense grief. There was no denying it.
I couldn’t see her. I just felt and heard her grief. I wanted to jump from the table and rush in to comfort her. I started sobbing — taking on her pain as my own. My suspicions were confirmed as my MD finally came in to examine me.
“What happened?” I asked.
She shared with me that a 12-week sonogram had just revealed a miscarriage. That I was there (sort of) to bear witness to such a painful and personal moment felt so strange to me. I could do nothing to help her. I don’t even know who she was or what her story was. Had she been trying for months to get pregnant? Was this her first miscarriage — or one of many heartbreaking incidences. Did she have other children? (Why don’t we talk about this more?)
The MD saw how affected I was by this and spouted some statistics at me — up to 15% of early pregnancies end in miscarriage, blah blah blah. Maybe this was her way of comforting me? But who was comforting this woman? And, honestly, who could possibly comfort her? Is there anything anyone can do to help someone through this kind of pain?
Why was I one of the lucky ones who never had to experience this?
This Mother’s Day, I want to hold space for all the would-be moms — the millions of women who would give anything to be cradling a baby, losing sleep, making curfews, preparing meals, picking up toys, and dealing with any amount of stress just to be a mom. The woman loaning her body to technology via IVF, IUI, and painful shots in the belly, just to conceive or maintain a pregnancy.
As we’re receiving our flowers, reading our cute handmade cards, going out for our Mother’s Day brunches and snuggling with our kids on May 11, let’s honor and acknowledge all the would-be moms out there, as well as all the men and women who have lost their own moms and struggle silently on this holiday amid all the Facebook family photos.
We see you.
We hear you.
We honor you.
We hold you in love and comfort today. And we pray that by next year at this time, you too will be holding your own precious baby and hearing the words “Happy Mother’s Day” for the first time in maybe years with peace in your heart.