October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. My friend wrote about it on her blog and had a “Forever Wall” where women could honor and remember a child they lost. I was going to visit the wall but instead I took some antacids and contemplated taking up smoking.
When I miscarried in my second trimester with my second child I was shocked. Although it was difficult in many ways I knew it could be worse. Just before I found out I was pregnant a sweet woman I taught with had carried her baby full term and it died just before she went into labor. I had not felt my baby kick or hiccup. We did not know the sex and I did not see his/her face. We got pregnant almost immediately after my miscarriage. Although we were sad for the baby we lost we were incredibly thankful for two sweet children we had.
When I lost Faithe’s twin in utero at eighteen weeks I was once again able to find a silver lining. We did not know until that point that there were two babies. Chris was traveling often on business and we were a thousand miles away from family at the time. I rationalized God knew I could not have handled two babies and two toddlers alone. Several months later we were blessed with a little Faithe (pun intended).
One reason I don’t want to put the names of the babies I lost on a wall is there were no names. There is something about a name. Naming a child, stray cat or the caterpillar Faithe found Christmas tree hunting last year endears a person to it. When something has a name we get attached, feel some sense of ownership or responsibility and we care more, but in this instance I suppose I kind of want to care less. My babies didn’t have names and frankly, I don’t like to think about that.
Although I have questions, doubts and I argue with God about things I don’t like, agree with or understand, I have shared before that at the end of the day, life is better, more purposeful and more meaningful because I have faith in Jesus Christ. God has also given me peace, courage and helped me be a little nicer.
He also gives me something else that is truly one of the best gifts of all.
Romans 5:5 that says, “And hope does not disappoint us because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom He has given us.” I need hope. I need hope that I will see the babies I lost someday. I need hope that they will love me like crazy, know I’m their mama and that they have wonderful names. During Pregnancy and Infant Awareness month or anytime I let myself think about my babies, I am so thankful for real Hope that does not disappoint.
“Dear God, thank you for the ability to have gratitude in loss and I thank you for hope. I pray for all my family and friends who could put a name, face, memory and child on that wall. I pray they know the peace and gratitude that comes from having you at the center of this messy life. Please squeeze my lil’ peeps and thank you for taking perfect care of them…and me. In Your Name, Amen.