Why Your Baby is Not Lost
On May 20, 2015, I gave birth to my seventh child. In my bathroom. My husband stood outside the door asking if I was ok, and I kept saying, “Yep, I’m fine.” I was……and I wasn’t. I needed to be alone. To birth this tiny baby on my own. I needed the space to allow my body and my heart to open up and release. That baby was just 11 weeks old.
And just like I had done with all my full-term babies, I held her body and cried. There were no words, no coherent thoughts, no logic to describe what had just happened. All I knew was that this tiny one was my child, my angel baby, and my love for her was (and is) immense.
At first, I didn’t want to talk to about it with anyone. And then I wanted to talk to everyone.
I wanted to tell them what had happened. Wanted them to know that there were more members of our family than you can see piling out of our suburban. Most of all, I wanted to validate the life of our baby and her place in our hearts.
There were close family members and friends who acknowledged our little one’s life and the impact she had on ours, but there were others who simply said nothing. I don’t blame them. Grief and loss are hard, and often there are no words, but the silence can be misunderstood.
No matter where your personal belief lies as to when life begins, this child that I held was my child. She was life formed from the love my husband and I share. She was life ended too soon. She is a part of our family.
The lessons I learned from this child, whom I only held for a brief moment in time, are as countless as the stars that now surround her in the heavens. She reminded me of who I am, of who I want to be. Of who we are as a family and just how important family is to us. She reminded us why we choose this crazy life with a passel of kids and why we hold that life so dear. She reminded me of my faith, and resting in that gets me through the times when I go to retrieve baby clothes for a friend from the bin packed up in the basement, and the dam breaks and I sob for the child I will never watch grow.
I question why. I plead for an answer, and then realize I have answer enough.
This tiny child taught me so much in her short life and even more in her death. More than I could ever capture in words. It is as if her pure soul spoke to mine and pushed me forward out of the self that I once was and into the self I always was. She reminded me to love and to be love.
I am sometimes asked the question, “Do you think you’ll try again?” And to that, I do not have an answer. Only a tangle of emotion and thought emerge. None particularly logical nor illogical. In not welcoming another child, does that mean I did not want the one gone too soon? And does inviting another child into our life mean we are replacing our angel baby? Neither of these are the reality, but grief seldom makes for logical sense.
The true reality is, even when you have six children and one is in heaven, no child is just another child. Each child is a gift. Unique and precious. In life and in death.
So I encourage you. Talk about your babies in heaven. They are a part of you forever. A part of your family. Celebrate them even in the midst of the heartache. The sadness will not go away, for someone whom you love has left this earth.
But your baby is not lost. Because your love for one another remains.