Not Forgotten

I just finished reading a blog post by another homeschooling mother. In it, she talks about the loss of her precious daughter, Hannah. It is some heartbreaking reading. Maybe it just hit me extra-hard because of the sweetness of having a baby in the house, but I wept all the way through it. I sat down here at the computer, having just nursed my baby Jonah to sleep. Before I put him in his bed, I stared at his cherubic little face, tracing his cheek and ear with my fingertip, gently tousling his crazy, silky curls and thanking God for the joy this baby has brought into our lives. Reading a few minutes later about someone losing their little one was a sudden and agonizing contrast. I couldn’t dam the tears, my heart familiar with the pain of her loss and the frailty of life, and overflowing again with unspeakable gratitude for my sons.

I’ve never lost a baby as old as little Hannah, even though she was not very old at all. I’ve had three miscarriages that I know of. The last one was a year before Eli was born, a full nine years ago. But it’s true that a mother never really does get over the loss of a baby. I will always, always wonder who those babies were, and what they would’ve brought to our family.  I will always miss them, always remember them. I will always hang their angels on our Christmas tree, and whisper their names in my heart as I do so. And like tonight, when I hear another mother’s heartbreak over the loss of her own precious baby, I will weep, for her and for myself and for every other mother who has walked that dreadful path.

Perhaps those losses are one reason I’ve always longed for a house full of children. I know that no child can be replaced, but knowing how precious they are, and what it’s like to anticipate the arrival of one only to have it die, well…it changes a person. I feel like that by losing those babies, I have already lost so much. I don’t want to miss out on anything. It’s why I couldn’t bring myself to have my tubes tied after Jonah was born. (That might be TMI for some, but I’m just being real tonight.) I am definitely reaching the outer limits, age-wise, of childbearing, and chances are very good that I will never conceive again. But my heart is open to any additional blessings God might want to give us. I can’t bring myself to make a medical decision that tells Him unequivocally “No.” I trust Him to do what is best for my family.

I know that some don’t understand that perspective, and others don’t agree with it. But that’s OK. We’re all called to different paths and purposes, and who am I to say that God doesn’t call some to have just one child, or two, or none at all? Who knows the mind of God, but God?

Tonight, I pray for Him to comfort the mothers sitting up in NICUs around the world, and to strengthen the tiny babies fighting for their lives. May He soothe the terrified pregnant woman who just began bleeding, and stand beside those who will lay flowers beside a tiny tombstone today instead of holding their child in their arms.

May the God of comfort be with us all.

4 replies on “Not Forgotten”

  1. Oh, God bless you, Kari … I’m so glad you shared this – I soooooooooo relate!! I’ve only had one m/c (baby would have been 7 years old in May)… and now am awed to have one more chance to hold a baby of my own, such an undeserved gift when so many will never have the chance or are struggling with hard issues of loss or very ill babies…
    Like you, to my OB’s astonishment, I DID NOT have my tubes tied at my c-section (the ideal opportunity, acc’ding to the dr) … just couldn’t. Yes, I know I’m at the “ripe old age” of 39 … but I just couldn’t. I’m open to whatever God has too … I’m glad one other person on this planet understands that (besides my husband – he’s in agreement). Anyway, thanks for sharing your heart.

    1. Conny, I’ve been meaning to tell you thanks for sharing this with me. I was feeling like I was the only “advanced maternal aged” mom on the planet who opted out of a tubal when offered the chance. 😉 It’s a blessing that your husband is in agreement–at the end of the day, what matters is that you guys are doing what is right for your family.

  2. Your post made me think of my Mother… you know how close I was with her. I don’t know if I ever told you that she lost 3 children before I was born. She had a daughter that lived for only 3 days and a set of twin boys that were stillborn. At the age of 40 my Mother found herself pregnant again; was told she could lose her life with this pregnancy, she perserved through a very difficult pregnancy that the doctors allowed to continue 5 weeks past her due date (it was 1958). She was finally given a C-section to deliver me… and the remnants of another tiny fetus. God never blessed me with my own child, however, my Mother and all of the Mothers that put their life on line to bring life to this world have taught me the meaning of unconditional love.

    1. Wow, Rhonda….I knew about how her pregnancy with you had gone way overdue, and about the twin delivered with you. But I didn’t know about her other losses. What a strong woman she must’ve been to go through all of that.

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