Women and health, anxious Asian girl looking at pregnancy test kit, sitting on ground at home

4 Ways For You–the mother who has never lost a child–To Love on the Woman Longing For One:

Mother’s Day is a unique holiday for people like me. On the one hand, I have two children I adore. I love opening their presents. I love hearing my four-year-old whisper in my ear, “We got a surprise for you, Mommy,” and then watching his face light up as I open the gift.

But the truth is, I also have four babies waiting for me in heaven. Mother’s Day is one of those days that reminds me just how much I miss them.

I wanted to write a post and speak to those of you mothers who have never lost a child or dealt with infertility.

Here’s the thing. With my first pregnancy, I was the mom who had no idea how hard miscarriages or infertility were. We had no problem getting pregnant, and my baby was healthy. That first Mother’s Day was wonderful.

I was oblivious to the fact that hundreds of women out there were dreading the same day I celebrated.

I even had friends dealing with miscarriages and infertility and still had no idea just how much my actions were affecting their hearts.

Now, I know what it’s like. I know what it’s like to long to hold a child you’ve never met. I know what it’s like to visit infertility doctors and walk away with little hope. I know what’s it like to mourn a day that others celebrate.

And I feel as though it’s my duty to share what I’ve learned. I’ve been on both sides. In a way, I still am.

Here are some ways for you–the mother who has never lost a child–to love on the woman longing for one: 

1. Be a listening ear if she wants to talk. 
But please, don’t act like you know what she is going through. As much as you want to understand, you don’t. And that’s okay. Just listen and love.

2. Do something unexpected for her (like flowers, a meal, a sack of candy, etc.). 

3. Pray for her (and let her know you prayed). 

4. Refrain from complaining about your life.
I know life with little ones can be hard. Believe me, I feel that way often. But she would give anything to have your problems. She longs to have someone keep her up at night, drool on her new outfit, or throw a tantrum at the store. The things you hate about your life…she wishes she had.

I’m not saying you can never share your difficulties or you need to walk on eggshells around her. She doesn’t want you to worry every time you are around her. Just be aware of her hurts, and be sensitive to them.

At the same time, though, don’t apologize for your children. They are a blessing, and she doesn’t want you to feel bad for having them. She just wishes she had kids too.

5. If she has lost children, remember them with her. 
Don’t be afraid to bring them up, thinking it will open a wound that has already healed. Believe me, she is already thinking about them. You bringing them up shows you care…and you remember.

6. Think before you post on Facebook.
Seeing pregnancy announcements or joyous baby photographs after babyloss is really difficult. It’s not that we aren’t happy for  you. It’s just that your joy reminds us of our loss. It reminds us just how much we are missing. I’m not asking you to never post anything about your child. Not at all. Again, your children are a blessing.

All I’m asking is that you think about us.

Think about the woman who has been told she’ll never have children.
Think about the young lady who just lost another baby to miscarriage.
Think about the couple whose adoption fell through.

Article written by author and speaker Lindsey Bell. For more blogs and information about Lindsey, check out her blog.