Mother’s Day During Infertility and Loss

MiscarriageDepending on the family or situation, holidays can either be a time of joy and celebration or a time of dread and sadness. Perhaps there is the welcoming of a new child into the family during a holiday, a time of celebration, but on the flip side, many families are grieving the loss of a loved one, young or old. Often times we are so engrossed in our own celebration or happiness to stop and think about people suffering loss and sadness during these holidays.

Have you ever wished someone a happy Mother’s Day out of habit just because they are a woman of or past childbearing age? At times it can be as hurtful as unknowingly asking an overweight woman when her baby is due. We just never know each individual's personal situation or struggle. Possibly that woman was never able to conceive, or she may have had cancer which left her struggling with fertility complications; possibly she struggles from repeated miscarriages or made the choice not to have children.

For women suffering from infertility, Mother’s Day can be a distressing and/or heartbreaking holiday, either because they have never been able to conceive or because they have conceived and lost a child. Many times, these women go forgotten; especially those who lost a child through miscarriage or the postpartum stages. We frequently forget that these women are also mothers even though their children are held closely in their hearts instead of their arms.

For some, it is easier not to acknowledge these women on Mother’s Day because the level of personal discomfort is so high. Is that fair? While there are no magic words to help those struggling with infertility or loss, we should always be mindful, aware, and sensitive to the situations women and families face in order to help them through these difficult days.