carried + loved collective

If You're Doubting You're A Mother

Jessica ScheksComment

"You are the place where your child's heart first began to beat. Your body was your child's first home. Death does not destroy that fact."

After my first miscarriage the question of, "Am I a mother?" plagued me. I felt like a loser for even wondering if I was or not. I mean, my body tried to be a mother... and failed. But a sweet friend, struggling with infertility herself, messaged me to simply tell me that, yes, I was a mother.

She will always hold a special place in my heart because she was the very first person to tell me I was a mother. Her words were truly a gift in the midst of my initial heartbreak. I sincerely hope you have people in your life affirming your motherhood, but if you don't, or still aren't convinced, then the following was written just for you.

If you're doubting you're a mother,
but you've had life growing within your own womb
for even a fraction of a second,
you are a mother.

If you're doubting you're a mother
because your arms are empty but your heart is full
(yet aches all at the same time),
you are a mother.

If you're doubting you're a mother
because society sends you constant signals that you aren't
(i.e. When a couple announces a pregnancy
people often say, "You're GOING to be a mom!"),
let me assure you that
you are a mother.

And you have been since the very moment of conception of your sweet baby.

If you're doubting you're a momma today, here are some things you can do to remind yourself that you are a mother and that you deserve to be recognized as one.

Buy yourself a Mom Mug

I am sorry that someone hasn't bought you one already. My sweet friend Leah saw a "Mom Mug" while shopping one day and felt like she should get it for me. She felt nervous about it but bought it anyway. When I received that mug in the mail I just cried. It's the sweetest little validation that I get to use everyday.

If you're especially doubting you're a momma one day, go out to Marshall's or TJ Maxx and pick out an adorable Mom Mug and some delicious tea, then go home and get super cozy and drink your new delicious tea in your new adorable Mom Mug while reading a book or watching a show that brings you joy.

Order some Mom Jewelry

If you're like me, you may experience a physical ache at times when you're reminded of your barren womb and empty arms. For some reason it helps me to wear jewelry in honor of my babies and motherhood. One of my favorite pieces is a simple gold bar necklace from Stamped + Finch. On one side I had the word "hope" stamped and on the other side I had "momma <3" stamped. I often wear the "hope" side, but even when I wear the "hope" side I know that the "momma <3" side is pressed right up against my chest and that comforts me.

I also have a locket from Bella Hope Lockets with the words "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living my baby you'll be." I chose this locket with these words because I knew it'd apply to my future children, too.. whether I get to hold them in my arms or not.

On my Pandora bracelet I have the Laurel Leaves, You Are So Loved, Luminous Florals, April Signature Heart, and June Signature Heart charms. The Laurel Leaves is in honor of the month of November (because the stone is close to the November birthstone), the month of my first miscarriage. The Luminous Florals charm was a gift from my best friend Julie, and is made with Mother of Pearl (she sent it to my around Mother's Day). My amazing sister-in-law, Lauren gave me the two Signature Heart charms for Christmas in honor of my two babies and their due date months.

Lastly, I have the pressed forget-me-not locket from Burden Bearing Baskets. I chose the word "hope."

Honor Your Child's Memory

There are so many ways you can do this. Here are some of my favorites:

  1. Make a photo book.
    I recently had a coupon for a free photo book from Shutterfly (I just had to pay shipping). I get deals like that in my inbox all the time, but this time it suddenly hit me that I should make a photo book in honor of our children. I don't have tons of pictures from either pregnancy but I gathered the ones I did have and started to create the book. I soon realized that I would need to make one book for each child because I had more pictures than I thought! So I made one for our firstborn and it was so healing. I felt so peaceful as I made the book. I chose a "baby book" theme and then chose the pictures that told the story of this sweet, precious life. I have never felt like more of a mother than when I made that book. My husband is not very emotional, but when the book arrived in the mail and I showed it to him he could barely look at it without crying. I'm waiting to make the photo book for our second child closer to her due date in April. 
  2. Make a shadow box.
    My sister gave me a beautiful shadow box at my wedding shower. Not knowing what to put in it, it got tucked away in a closet for over a year. It had completely slipped my mind until I found it again one day while rummaging through the closet after my first loss. I immediately knew what I wanted to do with it. I gathered some of my favorite things from my pregnancy and placed them in the box. Doing things in honor of my babies with my hands just feels motherly to me. Making a shadow box or photo book are things I would do even if my child was born and it just feels special.
  3. Write about or to your child.
    It's no secret that writing about my two sweet babies brings me comfort. Getting all of my feelings out onto paper provides a very needed release for me. Just look to the Psalms, David was writing constantly! It really helps me process things because it forces me to slow down a little and think about what I'm trying to say. I often have little revelations about why I've been feeling a certain way as I write. After my first loss I wrote constantly in a journal. I was too angry to write after my second loss, but after my first I wrote several letters to my child about how much I missed her and wished I could have saved her. 
  4. Fill a memory box with mementos.
    My first miscarriage was on a Sunday and I woke up Monday morning with the strongest desire to go to Marshall's and pick out a cardboard memory box to store all of my precious keepsakes from that child and pregnancy. Before we did anything else I had to find the perfect home for my memories. I literally brought all of the books, photos, pregnancy tests, etc. that I had already in the car with me so that as soon as I came out with the box I could fill it. For the next few days I literally took that box everywhere!

I hope these ideas will help to bring you comfort and assurance. Feel free to share below the things you do that help you to feel like a mother!