This post is part of the Dear Mom Letters series.
Dear Mom whose baby was born into Heaven (via miscarriage or stillbirth),
First of all, I want you to know: You are a mother. Do not let anyone try to convince you that you are not.
I have not experienced the pain of losing a baby. I have not even had a miscarriage.
And sometimes people like me don’t know how to talk to people like you.
Should we mention the baby? Should we pretend it didn’t happen? Should we ask how you (the mother) are doing?
And when you see people like me post pictures of our babies on Facebook or even lament the terrible twos, you’re probably thinking: “If only, if only I had that opportunity. If only I had my baby back…I would take one hundred years of terrible twos.”
I’m sorry, dear Mama. I’m sorry those of us who haven’t experienced your pain just don’t get it.
It’s true. We absolutely, positively do not know the pain you have endured. We do not know, so we should not pretend that we do! Everyone has trials in this life, but yours…yours…to have held the hope of a child without actually getting to hold that child in your arms…
I can only imagine it must be excruciating.
Image by eggo
I remember it like it was yesterday even though it was almost five years ago. My husband and I were in missionary training with several other missionary families, and our dearest friends in our shared apartment were halfway through their pregnancy with their fourth baby.
The mama was glowing in eager expectation of the baby she thought may be her first son. As my firstborn was only about seven months old, we gleefully discussed all things baby together. Diapering, feeding, baby clothes…it was all so exciting.
I remember the day she told me it was strange to her that she hadn’t felt the baby move. At this point in her other pregnancies her babies had been moving. She worried something might be wrong.
But naive as I was, I thought she was fine.
And then I received the phone call. She had gone for her prenatal visit alone while her husband attended classes. She couldn’t get in touch with him. So she called me.
The baby was gone.
The breath knocked out of her already was now knocked out of me. My friend–my dear, dear friend…My friend whose dear baby we had all touched on her belly…
Her grief was overwhelming. And all of us missionary families mourned with her. We just did not understand.
“Why God, Why?” It is all we could ask.
My husband and I cared for her three girls and wondered how we would answer the questions like: “Why did God want our baby in Heaven?”
We were asking the same questions ourselves.
We still do not know the answer. My friend went on to lose several more babies. And then she had a son. Three girls and a boy.
She lost six babies in all. I will never forget one day on the phone: “Erin,” she said, “as a little girl I always wanted ten kids. Ten. Now I have them.”
She continued: “I just never realized six of those ten would be born into Heaven.”
Image by tiwi
Dear Mom whose baby was born into Heaven,
I don’t know why. I do not have to. I am so, so sorry. I wish I could hug you right now. You are strong. The hurt you have endured is much greater than the temporary pain of childbirth.
No matter how many children you have here on earth or in Heaven, know you are a mother–to each and every one of those babies.
If you’ve experienced a miscarriage or stillbirth, I recommend the book Grace Like Scarlett: Grieving with Hope After Miscarriage and Loss. It’s a book that I’ve begun to keep on hand to give out to my friends who have experienced a loss. I hope it will serve to encourage you or your loved ones during a very difficult time.