I can cope with a lot of things in life, I can even cope with lots of things all going wrong at the same time. I can cope with a constant stream of death and loss, I have proved that after everything that happened to me last year. I stopped to face it, and now I am out on the other side. I can cope with people being nasty to me and with negative comments towards me. I can cope with betrayal by people who I thought were my friends, and I can accept the past and everything that has happened to me.
But one thing I am struggling with is being an empty armed mother.
I feel like an outsider, excluded, ostracised. I was on my way to being a member of the greatest club in the world, the club of motherhood, and then BAM! – it was cruelly taken away from me when Frankie was born sleeping on 29th November 2013. I have been trying desperately to regain membership of the club of motherhood since I lost my Frankie, but the door is still closed to me. Whenever I suffer yet another miscarriage, the door to the club of motherhood is slammed directly into my face. I am obviously not good enough, not worthy and not deserving of being allowed membership to the club of motherhood.
Leigh Kendall of “Headspace Perspective” coined the phrase “Empty Armed Mother”, and it is absolutely spot on. An empty armed mother is a woman who has given birth to a baby, but does not have any other living children.
I am an empty armed mother, and because of that, try as I might, I do not feel like a proper mother, a mother who has their child or children living and with them in their arms.
Babies and children are everywhere, I cannot avoid it. Everyone else seems to be members of the club of motherhood, except me. I know there are many of you who have lost your much loved and much wanted babies, but you now have other children, or you had children before the one you lost. Of course you wanted the baby you lost, that is without question, but I don’t even have that. You are in the club of motherhood. I am not.
I really don’t know how to cope with this and address this. I am doing the very best I can to keep Frankie’s memory alive despite everything that has happened to me since he was born sleeping. It is so hard sometimes, because I feel a complete fraud. I can’t go around proclaiming that I am a mother because whenever I say I am to people I don’t know, I get asked how old my son is, and where he is, and then it is awkward as I have to explain what happened, thus making the other person feel uncomfortable.
It is so hard to explain this to people who have children, and even to people who have children but have lost one to early pregnancy loss or stillbirth. They just don’t “get it”, they don’t understand what it is like. My friends are lovely and really really do try to help me and explain to me that I am a proper mother, but they have children or a child already, so I know they can’t understand how I feel, and they never will. That’s just the way it is.
I’m scared to death that I am destined to be an empty armed mother for the rest of my days. Month after month goes by, and nothing. When it does happen, and I see those two lines on a pregnancy test, it is short lived as a handful of days later, I lose the baby. I would rather have not had the experience of having Frankie at all than be in the limbo land and hell I am currently in as a empty armed mother. What I mean by that is, if it was destined that he was never to enter this world alive, which he didn’t, I would have rather not had the experience of being pregnant and stayed as I was. Because of it I have changed beyond all recognition, and sometimes I’m not sure it is in a positive way.
What started this off was an innocent status update on facebook where mothers are encouraged to post details about when they were pregnant and what the birth was like because they are a “mummy and proud”. I so desperately wanted to take part in it, but thought there is no way I can as I’m a fraud. I did it anyway, but I felt SO guilty and and it felt so wrong that I was taking part in something that was reserved only for those who had their babies and children with them.
If there is anything I need help with right now, it is this. If there is anything I am struggling with big time right now, it is this. I feel like only a select few such as Leigh Kendall would understand how I feel, and I know all my friends can try their best to help me, but it is only those who are empty armed mummies like me who can truly understand. But I so appreciate all the love, support, Facebook comments and messages from all my wonderful friends, you are all amazing. IO also appreciate all the hugs, the more the merrier.
This is probably one of the hardest posts I’ve written for a while, but I had to get it all out. I hope that it doesn’t offend anyone reading it.