What makes a woman become a mother?

Pregnancy?

Childbirth?

Leaving the OB Department with a newborn snuggly fastened in its car seat?

Yes, those are the things we typically think of, but what about the women who are desperately hoping and waiting for the day when they bring their own child into the world?

The ones who have fought with all they have to be able to carry a baby but are still left with broken hearts and empty arms…

Are they mothers?

I say yes…

In fact, I’m calling it Invisible Motherhood.

And if you’ve ever questioned whether or not Invisible Motherhood exists, then I’d like to introduce you to Amy Harding.

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Amy and her husband, Jeremy, are parents who have yet to bring a baby home.

After 13 years and 6 losses, these two are still waiting…

They’re still hoping…

With a community, dubbed The Harding Army, who has rallied behind them, they continue their effort to become parents who know not just the joy of a positive pregnancy test, but also the joy of looking into the eyes of their child.

And today…Today I want to share just a little bit of their story in honor of their sweet little girl, Jentry, who should have made her appearance yesterday…

Amy & Jeremy, we stand beside you, cry with you, and lift you up as you continue your journey.

#HardingArmy

The following was written by Amy Harding…

July 12, 2018

A date I dreamt of several days and nights. An official date of when I’d finally have my baby.

But no baby will be born today.

When you’re pregnant, your growing belly and excitement is an obvious sign for people in your world to check up on you. How are you feeling? Are you ready? How much longer? Getting any sleep? Boy or girl? Name?

But when you lose your baby, they don’t remember an important day is approaching. And even if they did, what are they suppose to say or do about it?

The last couple of weeks I’ve found myself even more emotionally unstable than usual. Everything brings me to tears. 5, yes 5 of my friends/acquaintances were due within a couple of weeks/days that I should’ve been too.

All of their babies are here and healthy. Not mine. I don’t sleep and when I do it’s at the most inconvenient time of day that most people will think ‘she’s just lazy’.

I have no ‘get up and go’ for anything. I just want to stay around the house. I know it isn’t ‘healthy’. But I cannot make myself put on a smile right now and my puppy dogs don’t seem to mind if I’m smiling or not.

This loss has hurt worse than the others.

I guess between the money spent and the knowledge gained and simply knowing she was a she from the get-go…

A gender makes it more real I guess.

That along with IVF being so ‘high tech’ you are watching numbers and hormone levels that a “normal” pregnancy doesn’t even acknowledge.

IVF comes with more blood draws in the first 6-7 weeks than average pregnancies get the entire time. You are constantly watching and waiting to see those numbers increase accordingly. And when they don’t…

When the answer is always no.

When you’re forced to continue on like nothing happened.

When you don’t want people to remember tough dates like today, but it still hurts that they don’t.

When it shouldn’t matter because you weren’t very far along anyway.

When it all just seems to be a little too much…

So, I’ve finally made myself roll over and begin to contemplate getting up out of bed at 11:00…

I’m making this post because today is a huge part of this journey and I will forever hold Jentry in my heart so very, very close to the surface.

I will not just disregard these feelings and this moment for someone else’s comfort. I will not hold back in fear of someone’s eye roll or criticism. This is me. This is the raw version of what is constantly nagging at me, just begging to come out.

The tears don’t like to be restrained and the emotions manage to wiggle their way out more often than I like, but it’s simply what and who I am.

ONE baby daddy/husband…

13 years…

6 losses…

6 IUI’s…

1 IVF egg retrieval…

2 IVF Frozen Transfers…

More doctors than I can remember…

And still….empty arms.

-Amy Harding

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Painting by Miranda DeOrnellis of AKM Designs. This was painted (2016) memory of Amy’s dad and the loss of 4 pregnancies. Since then, two more little birds have joined the flock.

I will never understand why…

Some people have no problems getting pregnant while others have to fight with everything they have and still can’t seem to win…

It seems so unfair…

I wish I could fix the brokenness of our world…

And though I cannot, the one thing I can do is share their story…

To help others understand that mothers are not just those who have full minivans and mountains of laundry…

And that sometimes motherhood is invisible.

It’s so easy to get caught up in visible motherhood…

Those of us who have full nests can spend our time complaining about how hard it is to be a mom…

And though it is true, mommin‘ ain’t easy, it is good for us to remember that there are invisible mothers out there who are aching for sleepless nights, whining kids, and endless cries for “mom”…

So for the visible moms, even on the hard days, remember your blessings…

Because the invisible moms of the world would gladly take every one of your bad days if it meant that their arms were as full of babies as their hearts.

And for those women who are living in the purgatory of Invisible Motherhood, we see you, and we stand with you.

Want to know more about Amy & Jeremy’s journey? You can follow them on Facebook here.

If this is your first time here, I’m so glad you stopped by.

Make sure to check out some of our most popular articles on SELFCAREPARENTING, RELATIONSHIPS, and more. THIS IS A GOOD PLACE TO START.

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