One of the most encouraging yet doubtful words anyone can tell a woman who loves children and is yet to be a mother, or having difficulty with keeping her pregnancy to full term due to whatever medical reason. . . is “Oh, God has placed you as their mother on purpose.”
Hmmm . . . well said with good intention, but undesirable for a heavy heart that’s bleeding.
I totally understand this might be a difficult truth to handle for some women, especially when a woman is childless not by choice. Mother’s Day can be a painful reminder of profound loss. For some it is miscarriage, for others it is infertility, and then there is also an affect called circumstances beyond their control.
Today, I am hoping we can encourage every woman still waiting to be a mother, to be called momma or be celebrated every Mother’s Day through self-written love letters that soothes, while also bolstering the joy of motherhood with them.
Yeah, every single one of them.
So, in the early Spring of 1999, we had just moved into a new apartment, two blocks away from Community College of Philadelphia, Spring Garden area. It was the perfect spot with the best view of The Art Museum. My job as the head teller at the community bank was fulfilling and just down the road, precisely Logan square in the bubbling heart of Center City Philly, which made my bike commute to work so easy and smooth.
Life was simple and beautiful indeed.
One day, we had a guest who came in from New York to sit for her medical board exam, she was an old classmate from secondary school (FGGC Sagamu), a very intelligent lady. She was the first guest we entertained in our new IKEA ed-up digs! Just two minutes into our catching up on girly gists about our old party days in Lagos, my husband joined us in the kitchen as our guest abruptly exclaimed… ‘You are Pregnant Yinka’
Oh okay… Just like that? how? I didn’t even know I was? She continued to talk fast, as she checked my eyes, my pulse, my tongue and we all burst into one of the best heartfelt laughter. My childhood medical doctor friend, myself and my husband were elated at the good news-diagnosis inside my kitchen.
Fast forward to May of the same year, I lost that pregnancy. Drowned in a pool of my own blood, confused, I ignorantly and unconsciously drove myself to UPenn ER, clutching my tummy and expecting a miracle right there, while breaking all the traffic light codes like a crazy woman detached from reality, then called my husband to join me as he was also working in the same hospital.
It was one of the most horrific Mother’s Day and birthday season of my life. In my grief I wrote a love letter to myself as an outlet for compassion, addressing my womb’s dilemma while also sending it on an errand to get it right the next time, and never play games with me again… today I’m overpowered with emotion, after recovering that same love letter written in pain over twenty years ago…even as I am still wrestling with the fact that the grief I experienced is still a daily challenge for other women today…
How many women have we reached out to today, who are still struggling with the acclaimed banner of today’s celebration? those struggling with the tabloid that brings yearly memories of hurt and detachment? those with dreams pampered but now a lost opportunity to be called momma or be celebrated for 5-mins?
May be its time we begin to teach our little girls that not only does their womb serve as the human habitat, but also: (1) The greatest power a woman possesses, (2) Their ability to establish, create or conceive on all levels (3) That there is an aspect of womanhood they need to know that is not represented by our past indigenous culture (4) Which was the absence of a platform that’s geared towards preparing our little girls’ mindset about timing (5) That this same powerful and beautiful aspect of creation can also be tapped in the birth of projects, careers, personal healing, spirituality, and relationships.
And in relationships…
Maybe it is time we begin to: (1) Openly address one of the most common causes of strained relationships or marriages as infertility or subfertility. (2) That there is usually a cause for concern if a woman finds it difficult to conceive after two years of marriage. (3) Most people do not wait that long before seeking for help. (4) The longer it goes on the greater the pressure from both families who are desperate to see grandchildren. (5) It could be quite distressing.
We know that the problem could either come from the woman or the man. There are many reasons why this can occur. It could be genetic or due to medical problems affecting either or both of them. It could probably be due to a spiritual affliction emanating from several sources.
Those self-love written letters to myself over twenty-years ago have helped me heal and be able to effortlessly advocate for maternal mental health, connect with other women in waiting or women in maternal distress and women detached from the reality of handling the fear of conceiving and losing it again.
Those love letters were written again after encountering two more miscarriages and have proven beneficial in my journey towards giving hope to others by encouraging self-written love letters, and also writing to others, especially during any season of grief.
Can you imagine finding joy and hope in reading someone’s unexpected handwritten words to you? maybe we should consider how we can add this ancient form of communication back into our daily lives, while helping others too.
But guess what! starting today, we can begin drafting those self-love letters, while we are also assured nothing happens by accident on God’s watch, especially in a way only He can accomplish. We are bound to experience both free will and His grace together in this life. Even before it is fully matured, our faith will help us follow His lead as we raise every un-born or adopted child in His light.
May the joy of motherhood be experienced, may miracle shine a beautiful light on this truth, because the passage of time does not prevent the promise of God from coming to pass. God gives children to the barren. Psalm 113:9, “He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children.
Yours in Hope as I share BLESSED by KiDi ft. Mavado
Yinka – Licensed Child and Family Psychologist, Michigan Endorsed Infant/Maternal Mental Health