Letters To Our Babies
I’m writing you a letter you will never read. As difficult as this is, the need for me to express my love for you far exceeds the need to push this pain away. It all happened so fast, I’m still trying to wrap my mind around it.
January 13, 2012 5:00 p.m. I got up from resting to use the bathroom. I had been having some slight stomach cramps throughout the day, so I thought I’d lay down for a bit. While peeing; I felt something pass through me. It wasn’t painful, but I knew it wasn’t right. “Please God, ‘NO’”, I remember saying as I reached for the light. I turned to see 2 drops of blood on the floor and my heart fell. Realizing that gravity was not my friend right now; my first instinct was to lay on my bed.
Your Daddy and oldest brother, Blake, were at a soccer practice. Thankfully, your 12 year-old brother, Ryan, was in his room and came running as soon as I called his name. “Ry, something’s wrong, I need you to grab my cell phone so that I can call the Doctor.”
Now, 5:08, the Doctor was gone, but the service assured me she would call me back. I hung up and asked Ryan if he would please pray, for I could not. “Dear, Lord…” then the phone rang. Dr. Silberstein assured me that cramping and spotting were normal in the first trimester (even though I’m in my 2nd). As for the feeling of something passing through me – that she could not explain. When I got off the phone, I knew I would have to investigate. Ryan got me a towel, as I returned to the bathroom. I told him, I have no idea what I’m about to pull out of here and if he wanted to leave I would completely understand.
“I’m staying,” came his unwavering answer.
I reached to the back of the toilet with strength that was not my own. The next thing I remember is opening my hand to see you for the first time. A perfectly intact 13 week old fetus. I was shocked.
“That’s our baby”, Ryan blurted.
We stood there just staring at you in disbelief. Your eyes were the bluest eyes I’d ever seen. There were your legs and arms, I could even count your fingers and toes. And from what I could tell, the boys would have gotten their wish for another brother. You seemed to have all that you needed. Why are you here so soon – too soon.
I pushed re-dial on the phone and told my doctor what I held in my hand. She of course was so sorry for my loss, but so surprised at the way it happened. Most miscarriages are not that clean and few ever allow you to hold your baby, well at least not at 13 weeks.
I got off the phone and told Ryan that for some reason this baby was needed more in heaven than it was on earth. Most of the time your brother, Ryan, has maturity beyond his years that I find a little scary, but days like today , it clearly is a gift and a blessing. He calmly said, “Things happen for a reason”, and with that he hugged me, I mean he really hugged me.
We put you in a small glass bowl with some water so that Daddy and Blake could see you and say good-bye to you. Ryan went off to his room for some alone time. Unable to get a hold of your dad earlier, he called me back to see what was up. Your conception was a bit of a surprise, but your untimely birth was a shock neither of us were prepared for. He kept saying, “I am so sorry.” After 18 years of marriage I knew he meant he was sorry for all of us. For the last 3 months the four of us would grow more and more excited each day. We bonded as a family discussing your development, your gender and your possible name. So excited when we could finally send your picture through emails, texts and Facebook to let all our friends and family know of our uncontainable joy. Now, within only seconds, it was being taken away from us.
I got off the phone, and in God’s perfect timing, began going through the process of delivering the sack and all that comes with the miracle of birth. (This was the step my doctor couldn’t explain me skipping). But right then I knew…God gave me not only the opportunity to hold my baby, completely intact, without distraction or pain, but he waited on “the yucky stuff”. He is a Just God, despite my grim situation.
By the time your dad and Blake walked through the door, the reality of it all had set in. Ryan came out of his room and shared our sad news with Blake. The two of them are so different. Blake so much like your dad, not quite sure how to give in to his emotions. Needing extra time to walk away and process things. This worked out well, for Ryan and I had shared all the words we needed. Now we all just shared understanding looks of heart-break and the comfort that can only come from the hug of someone who is feeling your same pain.
They saw you, were amazed by you, and then couldn’t look anymore. Ryan and I kept coming back to you, learning something new that we hadn’t seen before, etching you in our memory. But we all deal with grief differently and that’s perfectly okay.
I took this photo of you (above). It seemed strange to want to capture the moment. But I somehow had such a peace and I knew God was going to reveal things to me overtime. Anyway, I didn’t find you gross and unfinished. Honestly, you were one of the most precious things I had ever seen. Seeing you made it real to me, to us, and I knew there were lots of others out there who too had fallen in love with the idea of you. It might help them say good-bye as well.
Before I let you go, I want to tell you that your life was not a waste. I am certain there are moments to come, lives that will be touched, and miracles we may never know about. I am proud to be your mom and honored to have been able to hold you for a brief moment here on earth. I will always remember January 13, as the day you came into the world and changed my life forever. This will not be known as the date that I lost you, rather, the date that I glimpsed at eternity and felt the hand of God upon me.
So, goodbye my sweet baby, but just for a while. I know with great certainty that I will see you again. And I know until that day – you will be in the best of hands.
I love you,
I thought of you with love today, but that is nothing new.
I thought about you yesterday and the day before that, too.
I think of you in silence. I often say your name.
But all I have are memories and your picture in a frame.
Your memory is my keepsake, with which I'll never part.
God has you in His keeping. I have you in my heart.
I shed tears for what might have been.
A million times I've cried.
If love alone could have saved you, you never would have died.
In life I loved you dearly. In death I love you still.
In my heart you hold a place, no one can ever fill.
It broke my heart to lose you but you didn't go alone
for part of me went with you, the day God took you home.
February 23, 2013
My dearest baby Jake,
It has been 30 days since I last held you in my arms. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of you and miss you. It’s hard to put into words the deep love that I feel for you and the sorrow in knowing that I do not have the chance to raise you.
Others may find it difficult to understand my grief, for they see your time here to be so brief. What they don’t understand is that I’ve loved and cared for you from the moment I was blessed to have you inside of me. I got to know you during the 23 weeks we spent together. I felt you move. I heard your heart beat as you heard mine, and as my belly grew, I knew you were growing, too.
It is not fair that I don’t have you here with me right now. It is not fair that I had to pick out your urn instead of your crib. It is not fair I had to plan your memorial service and not your birthdays. It is not fair that I prayed for a son and now you are gone.
Your daddy and I found out the harsh reality that we will not be able to keep you on December 27th. In spite of the statistics presented to us by our honest, yet sympathetic doctor, we couldn’t take your life. Each time we felt your kicks and heard your strong heartbeat, we believed you were fighting to hang in there. Who are we to end a life that was so graciously given to us? Your daddy, sister, and I held tightly to the hope that you will overcome the odds.
The nurses that took care of us during our 18-day stay in the hospital were very supportive and encouraged me to hold on to hope. The early morning that you quietly came into this world on January 11th, the nurses wept. I was touched, for that meant they cared for you, too.
Leaving you behind at the hospital was one of the saddest things I had to do. I wanted to take you home just like all the other mommies did with their babies. I was so sad I would never get to hold you again. Imagine my bliss when that wasn’t so.
Although at the time we didn’t know it, Daddy and I found the right place for you to stay until the day of your cremation. Sonya was heaven sent. I was able to visit and spend time with you. It’s funny to look back on the day when I thought if I couldn’t keep you, I didn’t want to see you or hold you. Forgive me for my ignorance. The eight days that I got to spend with you, holding you in my arms, were truly special and were more than I imagined I would be spending with you. I thank God for the time he allowed me to have with you. You brought joy and love to my otherwise grieving heart.
My dear son, your brief moment with us has been a blessing, you have a purpose, a reason. Your existence mended the broken pieces in my life. I truly learned of a love that is unconditional and a grief that is so profound. I discovered new heroes that I otherwise would not consider. I have a new appreciation for life and that God is truly in control of all things.
Thank you my son for leaving such an impression in my life. You will always be in my heart.
Love you always,