As I snuggle with my sick little boy on a stormy Sunday, a truth crosses my mind again, as it does occasionally these days:
This is not my first child.
You may be surprised at this admission. I have one child at home, one child to feed and clothe and kiss every day, one child to claim on my tax return next spring.
But he is not my only child.
Two years, two months, and two days ago, I was sitting on a bus, en route to a cross-country meet, knowing my dream of becoming a mother was coming to an end.
Only thirteen short days before, I had stopped at Target to buy a onesie with the words, “mommy and daddy love me”, laid it out on the couch, and waited for my husband to arrive home for the news. Happy tears fell, kisses were exchanged, and conversation poured forth with joyful anticipation and plans for the future.
Almost as suddenly as he or she entered our lives, that little one was gone. Some of our friends and family had to be told of the reversal, as we had already shared the good news in our excitement. We offered the facts and tried to move on and act normally around those who knew. For those we hadn’t yet told, there was the debate over whether to tell them now. We opted for no, deciding it was best not to put anyone through an unnecessary loss.
A child who only a few short weeks ago had been just a glimmer of possibility in our minds, now had grown to consume our every thought. We would never know if it was a boy or a girl, only having been six and a half weeks along. We would never know that little one here on this earth. We would always wonder what that baby would have grown up to be.
We consoled ourselves by saying God knew what He was doing, that He perhaps was sparing us even deeper heartache. We wondered if we’d ever know why we had been given this blessing only to have it taken away. We wondered if there would be another chance, as the doctor assured us there would.
Over the next few months, as seemingly every couple we knew announced their own coming additions, we continued wrestling with questions and fears. Is it going to be impossible for us to have a baby? Did this happen because God’s will is for us to never be parents? Or do we just need to wait, and for how long?
The path to healing has been difficult and ongoing, and in future posts I may further explore our journey. Our son was born one year after that first baby would have been due. We are overflowing with joy at his life. Yet still, I have moments when I answer a person by saying, yes, he is our first child, but find myself correcting the statement in my head.
My first child was taken to heaven before I got to know him (or her). I still believe in the value of that life, that soul that God created. That baby changed me, changed my husband, changed our relationship and our lives forever.