A Bump She Never Saw

October 24, 2021

She wouldn’t see my positive pregnancy test or the way my heart exuded through the smile on my face. She wouldn’t be at the other end of the phone call where I’d shout “I’m pregnant! You’re going to be a grandmother.” She wouldn’t be there to watch my belly grow and my heart expand. 

She’d never know this version of her daughter, the one where she becomes a mother of her own. She wouldn’t be alive to see the ultrasound pictures and receive the daily updates on the baby’s size and vegetable comparison. She wouldn’t watch as a husband and wife transform into parents or watch the months progress and the pregnancy flourish. 

She’d never know the family that’s slowly growing, built on a love she originated, the endless and bold love of a mother. She’d never watch as her daughter grows in weight and also in love and responsibility. She’d never get the opportunity to support her daughter through this stage of a new adventure, a stage already clouded by fear and anxiety, but for me, her daughter, also plagued by the grief of having a mother in heaven. 

With each month and each milestone a new life was forming in the same space that years earlier a hole was crafted through the life-changing loss of a mother. Odd how a space within ourselves filled to the max with blooming life, a space so full it is sometimes hard to breathe, can also be the space that holds an emptiness like only a motherless daughter can understand. 

She’d never see the baby shower or the carefully decorated nursery. She’d never watch as her daughter waddled into the hospital holding hands with the partner who helped create this miracle. She’d never hear the sounds of the heavy breathing and the emotional cries that would escape her daughter’s mouth. She’d never hear the first cries as her grandchild inhales breath outside of the womb for the very first time. She’d never see the image of her daughter holding a perfect baby while looking perfect herself.

She’d never seen the bump and now she’d never see the new life and the new family that was created in this moment. She’s a mother in heaven. A mother missing so many priceless and delicate moments. Moments that are meant for mothers. Moments meant for daughters and mothers together. Moments so drastically different for mothers in heaven and their children here on earth. 

It started with a positive test she never saw, a ‘yes’ she’d never read. With time it continued with a bump she never saw emerge and one she never saw expand. It continued with a new life and blessing she’d never know or welcome. It ended with a piece of her legacy that she’d never know or help raise. 

She was taken from this world and the consequence of that loss has now transitioned into new heartbreak and grief for her daughter, the devastating reality of being a mother without a mother. And she’s learned that a mother without her own mother is the most unique mother of all, haunted by an absence and blessed by a legacy. 

A mother without her mother, a woman with pieces of her heart spread across heaven and earth. 

xox, Chels

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Chelsea Ohlemiller

Chelsea Ohlemiller

A thirty-something wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.

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