Mom to Three: Two Here, One in My Heart | Still Playing School

Mom to Three: Two Here, One in My Heart

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: , ,
I'm a bereaved mother. It's a very important part of who I am but it doesn't define me. And yet when someone asks that seemingly innocent question, "How many children do you have?" I always pause before deciding what to say. This Mother's Day I'd like to answer it in a different way.


I'm a mother to three kids with two here and one you can't see. She's always in my heart and on my mind and her name is on our lips at all times but you won't see me loading her in and out of a car seat or chasing her at the play ground.

One thought was heartbreaking to me from the moment we learned we were expecting our rainbow baby D even thought he is much loved and wanted and has filled our lives with more laughter.

"I'll never have a picture of all three of my children together."

We have photos of E with her sister but now that D has joined us we'll never have a complete family portrait ever again. I think of it every time I look at an almost perfect picture of my two here. Every photo seems slightly off and then I remember why.

A reader (turned new friend) approached me recently to ask if she could draw Violet for us. She's been challenging herself to draw every day and recently those drawings have turned to portraits of loved ones and others who have touched her life in some way.

She draws from photographs so when she asked me for a picture of Violet to draw from I was struck with an idea. What if she could give me what I want most? A picture of my three children together.

We were discussing recently how her blogging the process and daily progress of these drawings compares to me writing about my grief. We both feel that we are putting ourselves out there in a vulnerable way to share these parts of ourselves and yet in doing so we get so much more back personally from the task that we forget that we are helping others.

And that's an understatement to say that she is helping me. Just look at that photo of the drawing as it is now. She is bringing the image of my heart, the definition of who I am as a mother, the answer to the question of how many children I have to life slowly through her attention to detail and shading and amazing talent. I'll never be able to thank her enough.

So this Mother's Day I thank her and you for celebrating all mothers especially the ones who outlive their precious little ones.

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This post is first of many in The Ultimate Guide to Baby's First Year. I'll be joining with over 40 other bloggers to bring you tips, resources, recommendations, ideas, and advice about your baby's first year of life. We're also bringing you tons of huge giveaways so you won't want to miss the rest of this series!



15 comments :

  1. Thank you for sharing your (and Violet's) story, so many mothers silently suffer loss of a child, their pain unrecognized by those around them. Hugs and understanding for what must be a happy (and simultaneously sorrowful) holiday.

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    1. Thanks so much for commenting, Betsy! I love being able to continue to share her with the world!

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  2. This is beautiful. I can't even imagine the heartache you must feel each day. I pray you are blessed in a special way this mother's day and that you feel the presence and joy of your little floating angel wherever you go. Happy mother's day!

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    1. That you for your beautiful and comforting words!

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  3. What a lovely gift your friend has given, Devany. Thank you for always sharing your story. I always gain a deeper understanding of what it is like to loose a child when I read what you write about Violet. It helps me to be a better friend to my friends who have lost children.

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    1. Thank you for your sweet words, Julie! I am so excited to continue to watch the progress of this drawing and then have it in our home when it's complete!

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  4. Devany, as a mom who lost her first baby due to miscarriage, I love this post! It is so true that I think of myself as mom starting from the day I found out I was pregnant with our angel baby, and he/she is in my thoughts every day as I look at the blessings of my four living children. What a beautiful gift your reader/friend has given you. It is so precious. Thank you for sharing for moms out there who have lost a child.

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    1. Jaimi, I'm so sorry for your loss! They are truly always in our hearts even if the world can't see that!

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  5. I love you. You know that, right. I love the way you tell this story. I love the idea of getting your family portrait. I am so honored that our lives have crossed paths. Thank you for sharing your story.

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    1. Thank you for inspiring me to tell her story once again! I love you, too!

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  6. Had to grab the tissues part way through as I realized what that beautiful picture was and how much it must mean to you.
    Thank you for sharing your story.

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  7. I will not cry, no... arg, too late! I have a few friends who lost their babies before the birth or right after. I'm going to share it with them. i'm sure it will uplift them. Thank you so much for the kind words you speak concerning the lost of a baby. I'm not in that case, but as I'm quite empathic, I feel the loss and the love you have for your darling Violet.

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  8. You are one of the strongest Mamas I know Devany, and I feel so blessed to have you, Violet, and the rest of the SPS family in my life! I love you very much! <3 <3 <3 Now move here and be my sister wife already..!

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  9. I can't even believe you shared OUR story on Mothers Day <3 How wonderfully special! I am honored to draw a portrait of your babies for you. You have truly touched me with your love for Violet. You don't let her memory fade away, you incorporate her into your family as if she had never left. And we all know she is always with your family and has never really "left". I think you are a great example for other mothers who lost a child, to let them know to share their children bravely and grieve how it is right for them. I have never lost a child and can't imagine what it must be like, but through you and Violet I can see. From you I am learning the proper way to comfort other bereaved mothers. Nobody is immune to the loss of a child, it could happen to anyone. Thank you for sharing Violet and yourself. You are a wonderful mother!! Happy Mothers Day!!!!!

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  10. I cannot wait to see this drawing when it is completed. It is going to be one of your most treasured possessions, I am sure of that.

    Love to you and your babies (even Mr. SPS...haha). Happy Mother's Day, Devany!

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