Every so often there is a moment that really hammers home what it means to be an angel mom. I had one today.
Yesterday my mom texted me a photo of a collage of family names she made out of Scrabble tiles. We’re all there – her, her partner, me, my siblings, and all our partners. I felt a little jab of pain that she hadn’t included Luca but I tried to push it away. I considered asking her to add him but decided against it. Obviously it stuck with me because A DAY LATER I finally texted her asking if she would add him. She wrote back “I could…Let’s think about that…”.
My mom and I are very close. We get along great, are similar in many ways, and she’s always supported me through this infertility journey. She was even at the hospital when Luca was born; she’s the only other person who “met” him besides me and my boyfriend. She held him, took pictures of him…he was her first grandchild. If my amazing, wonderful, caretaker mom doesn’t know how to support me through miscarriage and loss then how could anyone else? I’m sure she has no idea how much these words hurt me. I’m sure she sat there thinking about how to word her reply (which is the whole reason why it took me a full day to ask). I’m sure she simply doesn’t want to feel sad every time she looks at this beautiful portrayal of our family. The thing is…I don’t either. But I don’t get a choice. Every family photo, every Christmas card, every tradition, every moment in our house I’m aware that there is someone missing. I have to wonder how different things would have been. I have to step gingerly around the gaping hole that is my son. Luca is there whether he’s on that collage or not.
I didn’t text her back. I don’t need to think about it. He’s my son; I want him on there. If he were a living grandchild there would’ve been no question as to whether he belonged on it or not.
I don’t know how to make others understand (I don’t even know if this is how every woman feels after pregnancy loss), but I need my son to be real to other people. I need them to recognize his existence. I need people to remember his name, to say it out loud, to consider me a mom. He was a human being with a beating heart and perfect, miniature hands and feet. He was a son, a grandson, a nephew, a brother to two furbabies. He was so very loved and wanted. He existed.