At Tommy's, we recognise that Mother's Day can have very different meanings to each person and as such, we wanted to share two inspiring women's journeys and what this day means to them. We asked each of the women one question:
What does Mother's Day mean to you?
Find out their answers...
Hadley Freeman, Author and Journalist
''Mother’s Day is a bittersweet experience this year. This time last year, I thought I’d be celebrating it with three children. But instead I had a miscarriage, exactly a year ago next week, so although I’m lucky enough to be able to spend it with my two year old twins, the absence of that third baby, who would have been six months old now, is deeply felt.
I hadn’t realised how much loss is involved in motherhood until my friends started losing their babies. Three of my friends have had stillbirths, one had a baby who died after a month and another lost his toddler earlier this year. And that’s not even counting all the miscarriages, of course. Mother’s Day is sold by the shops as being all about flowers and chocolates and happiness, so it’s easy to forget how much pain lies behind it for some.
Mother’s Day is a celebration, and it should be: it’s a celebration of mothers who go through so much to be mothers, whether it’s raising children or enduring so much in the hope of having one, or losing one. So for me, today is a reminder of how lucky I am to have my two babies, and it’s a connecting bind between me and every other woman who lost a baby somewhere along the way, and is thinking of them today.'
Jessica Clasby-Monk, of the Legacy of Leo
'This will be our first Mother’s Day with two sons - Leo who is forever missing, and Eli, his little brother. It’s a mixed set of emotions, where you are constantly pulled in both directions. You want to celebrate and acknowledge the day in the same way that others do, but you are always aware that a part of you is missing and that will always make it a bittersweet day. As bittersweet as every day.
We will do something small, breakfast out perhaps, so it isn’t too overwhelming but to also celebrate our motherhood, and we will probably leave some acts of kindness - or as we call it #ALeoBitOfKindness - behind to include him as best we can'.
When Jess and Nat's son Leo Phoenix was born sleeping on 17.01.16, Jess started recording her journey through stillbirth, miscarriage and pregnancy after loss on her blog the Legacy of Leo. Jess also recently started regular Twitter Q&A sessions called the Baby Loss Hour to open up the conversation on Baby loss. You can read more about Jess's story here.
In addition to our core work on miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm birth and pre-eclampsia, Tommy’s also funds projects that research the effects of lifestyle and well-being on pregnancy and on the later life of the child.
When a baby dies after 24 weeks of gestation, it is called a stillbirth. Nearly 3000 families a year get the devastating news that their baby is not alive. Our research is helping to change this.
Around 60,000 babies are born prematurely each year in the UK. These babies are vulnerable – they are born before they have grown to cope with the outside world. Tommy’s is saving lives by researching how we can prevent premature births by finding those at risk early on.
Miscarriage is the most common complication of pregnancy with 1 in 4 women experiencing at least 1 miscarriage during their reproductive lifetime. This is a quarter of all mothers-to-be, a quarter of all families affected by loss.