Mama, didn’t you lose a baby once?
The question caught me off guard. Somehow, it sounded funny dropping there into summer air from my eleven year old’s lips. “Losing” a baby. It feels like an accurate description, if losing means being so close to what you wanted, holding a child gently inside of you until he slips away while you lie under coarse emergency room blankets and cold fluorescent lights. If it means your idea of the person he would become, running through your fingers like sand. One minute a possibility, the next a sad impracticality.
I answered her with a smile. I turned to look at her and her little brother and little sister.
Yes, I have three babies who live in Heaven. That means one day, when you get there, you’ll have three more brothers and sisters to meet!
They were fascinated by the idea. What will they look like? Are they boys or girls? What will their names be?
All questions that I don’t have answers to.
I don’t think about them every day. I don’t even think about them every week. It feels sad to me sometimes, the fact that I have moved on with Adelade, Sawyer, and Emerald, busy life, wonderful life, and I don’t stop to think about the babies that disappeared almost before they had even started. I don’t keep track of the dates when I knew they were gone. I don’t try to imagine how they would be at this age or that age. They almost feel like a short, sweet dream.
A few weeks ago, I sat in a large room filled with women, and Mandisa was on stage, being honest about struggles that she has had. She turned to one of her singers and asked her to talk about her miscarriage. As she told a little bit of her story, I could almost feel the collective empathy and understanding radiating from the women in the room. Then she sang a prayer to the One who gives and takes away: Lord, you know a mama’s pain…
And, all around the room, it was like a dam had broken, and so much sadness and grief and heartache poured out. But, something else, too. Acceptance. Faith. Hope.
In this room filled with God’s own daughters, the Holy Spirit was everywhere, bringing comfort. Gifting faith. Granting reassurance and peace.
I sat there with tears streaming down, a hand on the weeping friends that sat on either side of me, and I thanked God for the hope that comes through the gospel of Jesus Christ. The hope of eternal life. The hope of better things to come. The hope of a future where death doesn’t exist anymore.
I thought of my three absent babies. And, I was overwhelmed by the goodness of a God who made a way for me to meet them one day. The gospel is extra sweet for grieving mothers. Heaven holds our Savior and our babies, and many a great mystery will be revealed on that beautiful day.
I wonder what God named my kids?
One day I’ll know. Three babies slipped through my fingers here on earth, but they aren’t lost. Not even close.
Every once in awhile, Adelade, Sawyer, or Emerald will talk about my babies in Heaven. They watch my face, wondering, maybe, how I feel about it all. I shed many tears in past days. I grieved. I moved into a wild and busy life with my kids. And now when I’m reminded of those three little souls that touched this earth only by making an imprint on my mama’s heart, it gives me an even greater hope in the future that God promised. He gives, and He takes away, and He gives and He gives and He gives. Forever. What a Savior.
There’s also the loss and longing for the babies that haven’t come yet. Thanks for sharing Melissa. You’re a blessing.
Yes, so true, Elizabeth. Such a terrible longing. Yet, also hope for a future where all longing is banished forever. Thanks so much for your comment!
Melissa, this is beautiful. I’ve never experienced this but have so, so many friends who have. Thank you for writing.
Thank you, Sarah!
Stephen Matthew. That’s the name of the little one we never got to meet. Or Stephanie. We could live with that. We don’t know which. But that’s alright. God knows. And this little one has met the two grandkids we never got to meet. And his grandmother, who never got to hold him in this life, and his great grandmother and grandfather, who’ve been gone a long time now. And his Lord, who loves him or her more than any earthly relative could begin to. I’m a dad, so don’t know anything about what you and other mothers, and even my own wife, have gone through. Thank you for this glimpse into it – and the faith and hope that accompanied it. God bless you.
Beautiful thoughts. Thank you!
It’s hard to not be overcome by the horrific presidential campaign rhetoric. And then, right when I was feeling despair I read your blog Melissa. It was like a fresh breeze, sending the pollution into another galaxy.
Thanks so much, Robert!
Thank you for this. I, too, am busy with the blessing of three small children but was just missing my baby lost years ago. Your words helped me understand a part of my grief I’d never grasped before. Thank you for this gift, though I am so sorry you lost your babies. What a sweet reunion we can look forward to!
So sorry we’re in the same club, Katherine. Thank you for this comment. Prayers for you!
We lost a baby too. Thank you for this sweet article. I so look forward getting to see his or her face once we are truly home.
I lost a baby at 22 weeks and I have bonded with so many grieving mothers. It has been the sweetest blessing, but I feel the pain again and again as I mourn with others. It is such a difficult road.
I have also experienced this twice with two of our own babies, and once with our son and his partner’s precious Sarah who slipped away into eternity shortly before it was time to enter this world as the first child in her family. Yes, it is a blessing to know that we will meet this little souls someday.
I mean ‘these’ little souls.
Beautifully written, Melissa!
Thank you, Carlene!
Love your blog as so many things I can relate to, especially this one! Heaven is a wonderful place full of those we have lost here on earth, but will see for an eternity when we get there! Thank you for sharing!