I Was a Mom. Then I Wasn’t | Guest Writer: Rikki Costell

I Was a Mom and Then I Wasn't
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I was a Mom. Then I wasn’t.

I was a Mom a few times. The first time I was a Mom was after two and a half years of infertility. I was a Mom for four whole days. Then I wasn’t. A couple of months later the same exact thing happened, with a third time that followed. 

Suffering from multiple early miscarriages after years of infertility was painful. The excitement during my first pregnancy was indescribable. I have wanted to be a mom my entire life. The thought of losing that pregnancy didn’t even cross my mind until it happened. With each pregnancy that followed my hope began to diminish at the sight of a positive test and our excitement was diluted. Nonetheless, I was a Mom, even if for just a few days, until I wasn’t. 

A few months passed before another positive pregnancy test and this time it was different.

The lines were dark and promising. We left for a planned vacation to California and I boarded the plane a Mom. Two days later I was rushed into surgery to remove my growing baby from my left fallopian tube. It was an ectopic pregnancy. We flew home and I was no longer a Mom. 

A year and a half passed and we became foster parents. One week after getting licensed we picked up a newborn baby boy from the hospital. I was a Foster Mom. This was the real deal. This was the sleepless nights and the bottles. This was the smell of a fresh baby and tiny clothes. This was motherhood. Twenty-three months later baby boy returned to his family.

I was a Mom. Then I wasn’t. 

Preparing for motherhood is simple. You read the books, take the vitamins and buy all the things. In some cases, you follow fertility protocols and in other cases, you take classes to become a foster or adoptive parent. There is no amount of preparation that could be done to prepare you for the opposite; to no longer be a Mom. You can’t prepare for the silent house. You can’t prepare for the reminders. You can’t prepare for the sensitivities or the way it dampens relationships. It is simply unexplainable.

I know all in all I will always be a Mom and have been since that very first pregnancy. But right now I do not feel like a Mom. I’m not folding small clothes. I’m not kissing boo boos or rocking a baby to sleep. I’m not getting a snack or milk or reading stories before bed. I felt like a Mom. Now I don’t.

Grieving the loss of our pregnancies was difficult but grieving the loss of a living boy who you poured your heart and soul into for nearly two years is hard to put into words. He is not dead. I can still have hopes and dreams for his future, even if I am not part of it. He returned home to his parents who love him so much and it is a beautiful thing. But that does not erase my pain. 

I was a Mom. Then I wasn’t.

Written by guest writer Rikki Costell. Rikki lives with her husband and two dogs in Sylvania, OH. She says, “My journey to finding motherhood has been long and exhausting but I still have hope for what our future holds! I love to travel but I’m horrible with directions. Coffee is almost always on my daily gratitude list and I’m a solid Enneagram 2!”


  1. Rikki, thank you for your touching article. I will say a prayer for you on Mothers Day. You ARE a mother and your children will never commit a sin. I have seven living children and one who was miscarried, but I consider myself the mother of eight. Like you, we also had one foster child. Christ’s peace to you and your husband.


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