Being Seen.

I never knew four weeks could feel like forty years at one second, then only seem like one day a second later. It’s been twenty-eight days since Jensen has been gone. Some mornings I wonder if I woke up from the nightmare and other mornings it’s like getting slapped in the face. Today was a slap in the face; just as physical slaps in the face, it stings afterwards.

Today was overwhelming for me. I’m grief stricken and felt anger, sadness, helplessness, guilty, and vulnerability. All those in one day are hard to handle. Yet, I’m still here. I feel Jensen near my heart and see his little ultrasound pictures smiling at me. Reminding me he’s here watching over his momma, now and always.

He will always see me as a mother, which leads to Day Three.

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In what ways have others seen and acknowledged your motherhood?
How do you see yourself as a mother?
In what ways is your motherhood visible?

Most of the time (like 99%) I see myself as a mother. I know I’ll always be Jensen’s mom. He was made of me, I delivered him, and love him. Since he’s not here physically, I can’t be the traditional mom I wanted to be. I see myself as mother now by saying Jensen’s name, writing about him, and sharing our experience. There’s still a bond between us even though Jensen is in heaven, a mother’s love is unbreakable. Not only emotionally do I feel like a mother, but physically. I see the stretch marks, my face changing, and my body still feels like I should be nurturing a newborn. Today, it hurts as I’m typing this. My body tells me I should have my baby here and my brain knows he’s not here physically to be nurtured. Today is hard to be seen as a mother.

I feel like all moms have times where they think they’re not doing their best. Worries that their baby isn’t sleeping enough, growing as big as they should be, or not hitting all their milestones. Moms worry about their babies. I worry about him being in heaven. I worry he sees my guilt. I worry that he feels my sadness. I worry I can’t show him I love him enough. So I guess in that way I see myself as a mother.

To others, I think it is hard for them to see a mom without a living child as moms; not that they discredit me and others as mothers. If I go out to lunch or dinner for Mother’s Day on Sunday, will someone tell me “Happy Mother’s Day” with a big smile? I get support from my friends and family, they speak Jensen’s name and listen to my worries. Comments on my blog let people say how much love I have for Jensen and how proud he is of me. That makes me smile and feel like I’m doing a good job in this journey of motherhood.

Then I question myself…
Does Anthony see himself as a father? Do my parents see themselves as grandparents? Does my brother see himself as an uncle? Am I really seen as a mother?

That’s how bad my grief makes me question myself and others.

Then I question… Does Jensen see me as his mother?

That answer is yes.
I see Anthony as a father. I see my parents as grandparents. I see my brother as an uncle. I see myself as a mother.

My motherhood is visible to others because I let it be. For other people, I won’t let them question if I am or not. I share my love for Jensen and I’ll tell anyone his story. For ten months I carried him, cared for him, and made sure he was one happy little boy.

The pure existence of my son makes me a mother. Everyday I’m proud of that.


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