The sacrifice it takes to be a mother is often ignored. It is uncomfortable to acknowledge the overwhelming pain, isolation, change, and loss that women face as they navigate motherhood. Yet, everyday good mothers wake up, tackle the challenges of the day, and raise the next generation of beautiful, diverse humans.
Some mothers, like Paula, face unimaginable trials. Miscarriages, stillbirths, and infertility are part of many women’s stories, and yet we manage to underdiscuss them too. Why as a society have we decided to suffer in silence? Why have we decided to live in uncomfortable false truths when we could grieve together and heal? These are very loaded topics, but a reality that many women face. A reality that Paula faced several times throughout her motherhood journey
A giver by nature, Paula has always looked out for others. In reminiscing about who she was before becoming a mother, she found it difficult to think of who she was as a person, aside from being the caretaker at home. This is a reality for so many women who are forced to mature and leave their childhood behind due to their circumstances. This was also very much Paula’s reality as she helped raise her sisters through some difficult times. From my short time speaking to her, I gathered that she was so much more than that, however. She was a young girl with big dreams. Dreams that were put on pause to start a family.
Paula and her husband have been blessed with nine beautiful babies. Only five are Earthside and the other four are living with our Heavenly Father as angels above. Paula experienced one still birth and three miscarriages throughout her motherhood journey. All of the loss she experienced instilled fear in her. There was no diagnosis or reason behind her pregnancy losses. The fear of the unknown made it difficult to enjoy the growth and milestones of pregnancy, but it also made her indulge in the blessings she held in her arms. Little blessings that are now filling her schedule with football, dance, play time, and beautiful memories.
Beautiful memories that often overshadow the trials that Paula and her husband went through, but a mother’s strength and wisdom knows better than to keep the struggles hidden. To share our struggles with fertility and motherhood matters. To remove the stigma from these topics and walk one another through the hardship with kind, gentle hearts matters. We have an impact on one another. Our stories, even those of tragedy, can make the biggest difference in many women’s lives as they make the transition into motherhood. This is something that Paula embodies as she shares her story with others. She encourages grieving mothers to avoid losing their place in the world. She encourages mothers to reach out to their support system and rely on them during trying times. Most importantly, share your truth and live a life that honors the children you will meet in another life. Let the beauty that comes from tragedy prevail.
Who a woman is before becoming a mother is drastically different than who they are as a mother. Paula is a woman who always prioritized her family. First her sisters, then her husband and children. As she continues to raise five happy, healthy kids, she has circled back to herself and her dreams. As a child, she dreamed of becoming a Pediatrician or a Nurse. Today, she looks forward to continuing to raise a beautiful family, but also work towards her aspirations of becoming a Midwife or Doula. Her gracious, gentle soul filled with perseverance and strength embodies these professions. She serves as an example of the strength that mothers hold and how much they overcome regardless of their circumstances. She radiates the beauty of life while paying homage to the trials that strengthened her.
A very special thank you to Paula for sharing her story with me and allowing me to share it with the world. It has been a privilege to meet her and get a preview into her life and beautiful family. To all Mamas who have lost a child or are waiting for that blessing to come: I pray for you and your healing. I pray that you meet someone as strong and kind as Paula to help you through the trials and find strength to share your story.