Motherhood. How do you define motherhood? A friend of mine recently posted on Facebook about the loss of her precious baby through miscarriage. She opened her heart and her pain to her Facebook friends. As I was leaving an encouraging comment on her post, I was struck by the many other mothers who had commented and shared about their losses. It got me thinking about what makes a mother and suddenly, these words came to me.

“My motherhood is not defined by the number of children who live in my home, but by the number of children who live in my heart.”

To the woman who has lost a baby during pregnancy: You are a mother.

To the woman whose baby passed away shortly after birth: You are a mother.

To the woman who gave birth to a baby born still: You are a mother.

To the woman who has been hoping beyond hope to conceive a baby: You are a mother.

To the woman who buried her child at far too young an age: You are a mother.

To the woman who has been separated from her children: You are a mother.

To the woman who looks at her empty house and aches for it to be filled with the laughter and joy of her children: You are a mother.

To all the mothers who hold more children in their hearts, than they do in their arms: You are a mother.

Motherhood is made up of mothers at all stages of the motherhood journey. We lift you up, we validate you, we honor you. We want to know, What’s your Motherhood Number? #MyMotherhoodNumber

Note: If you are seeking a place of support and validation in your motherhood, I invite you to join our private Facebook group, Joy in Bereavement. Joy in Bereavement was created to form a community of support for bereaved parents in the Antelope Valley and Santa Clarita Valley, and raise Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness. This group offers parent to parent support at any stage of grief, moderated by two AVBRN members and Certified Birth & Bereavement Doulas.

Rosalyn Skelton is a DONA International certified birth doula, Stillbirthday certified birth & bereavement doula, and owner of Pear Baby Doula. She has been providing support to birthing families since 2012. Rosalyn is the mother of a son, born at home in 2014, and an angel baby born in 2012. She has a deep respect for childbirth and finds great joy in supporting women and their families throughout pregnancy and labor. Rosalyn supports birth diversity through any outcome, in any trimester. She brings a love of academia to her birth work and believes in making informed choices from evidence-based research. In her life outside of babies and birth, she can often be found exploring the outdoors with her family or curled up with a good book.