This doll is 32 months old now. She has two older brothers, one older sister and one who is missing. One who would be seven years old now. My eyes fill with tears and my throat lumps up and I type that in. So many years ago.
My second pregnancy passed on a windy August late afternoon. In my heart I knew my baby was hurting and gone deep inside the part of me that unexplainably understands my children. I knew because I didn’t feel butterflies. I didn’t want to barf up my breakfast, and I didn’t need a nap. About 11:30 my neck felt cold and I developed a headache and pain in my lower back. I went to sit and felt the sensation of needing to use the bathroom and began to bleed. All I could do was cry. Once I stopped I was on the phone with my doctors office with my husband at my side. We were told that a quick ultrasound would confirm the viability of the baby’s life.
This was the only fetus that I’d given a name. You know. I was sure that it was going to be a girl and that I’d name her Bethany Elisabeth (debating if it should be a “z” or an “s”) while I was deciding and watching the, “Your Baby This Week” updates I called her, “Little One.” That’s become fuzzy now as I’ve thought of the precious sweetie so many times. Imagining how she would be like now, if she’d grown up a part of our family. One in four women experience at least 1 pregnancy loss.
Why is it that your baby’s life isn’t valued until you look like this? Don’t fight me on that one. What I’m trying to say is that it seems to be just Mom who imagines the child’s future and treasures who they are when they’re the size of a peanut. Little One fit in the palm of my hand. I took a picture of her, absolutely astounded by the wonder of God’s amazing creation. My child had itty by arch of a back and what looked to be weeks from arms and crunched up legs. My camera couldn’t focus to the detail of her body or get beyond the red that I could not wash off.
I’ve never been into mourning life. I celebrate and thank and remember forever.
Crying is healthy, forgetting is injustice. If you are that one in four, you are told, “At least you have your other children.” Or, “You two can try again when you feel ready.”
No one will ever replace the child that I lost. I have never bought a onesie that says “Little One” on it or will consider naming a child Bethany Elizabeth because I loved that one and would never appear even to myself to replace her because it cannot be done.
Don’t forget to love the children that God has given you, and yes, to try for more.
Try means adoption if that’s the plan that is meant for you.
Never say no to children being a part of your life, and never think that one can be replaced by another.
They’re each fearfully and wonderfully made.
Treasure life and know that it is in God’s hands, no matter if that life never made full term entrance into the world, regardless of whether or not that child ever breathed the air that you and I do now he or she was formed and is of value in God’s eyes.
Someone decided that today, Oct 15 is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss day. This is my story. Share yours if you’re one in four and have the desire to do so. I tell this story of Little One who would eventually, in my mind’s eye, be a little girl named Bethany Elizabeth because I consider her story one of my birth stories. Just because she didn’t make full term doesn’t mean she isn’t real.
Recalling the story of my pregnancy lost in 2007 cannot be done without speaking of my husband’s taking me out for ice cream after the obstetrician told us that my pregnancy was not normal. I said that was OK, and he said, “No, I mean it’s not viable.” Instant tears. Darren knows I love icecream and drove me the 20 minutes to the local ice cream hang out. I had either pistachio or chocolate mint. And salted it with tears. I went home and cried all night. It was done.
It’s 2014 now and I have four children running about, active and full of life. It’s a struggle to get them to bed on time and to get them to settle and sit still at those times that society mandates quietness. If every moment that I hush them I were thinking of how much I wish I had that fifth to hush I couldn’t live. So it’s not that way. Because I am needed to be present and realistic. That reality is that it’s 8pm and that I have two kids to settle into bed yet.
You have my encouragement to live now and remember yesterday looking forward to seeing your child again in eternity. If that isn’t something to be excited about, I don’t know what is!