We had about 30 minutes before we had to be somewhere last week, so the kids and I went to the park. While Ellison was playing on the monkey bars, she hollered over to me, “Hey Mom! You know the baby that you miscarried? What were you and dad going to name the baby, if it were a boy or a girl?” I looked up from my book and stared at her, wondering how this even popped into her head. Then Josiah said, “What?!?!? You were pregnant 6 times?” Ellison said, “Yes! She was pregnant 6 times, but only 5 were born.” Then she asks, “Did you cry?”
During the whole conversation I just sat there, listening, and wondering how less than 20 seconds went by and all these big questions were being asked that I don’t even have answers to, and they were still talking while I sat there with my mind racing and a dumbfounded look on my face.
We had never picked out a name for our #5 baby. I ended up miscarrying very early, and I guess we never really had a chance to think about it.
Yes, I did cry. Mike and I both cried. We would be up in our room crying quietly while we were in Massachusetts for my sister’s wedding. We didn’t want to put a damper on things, so we kept it to ourselves, which lasted until after the wedding, because I ended up having to go to the doctor while on vacation.
I was thinking about our little conversation at the park, after we came home and had some moments of grief. It doesn’t matter, how small the life was, or how long the life was, it was still very much important and I hadn’t realized that. I had thought that Eli and Boston were both children that we interacted with. We held them. We loved them. We kissed them. Baby #5 was barely a moment and we had never met, but no less important.
Several years ago, a friend reached out to me. She had been with her friend throughout the week at the hospital for their son. Their son had had a massive headache that went from bad to worse and they had to make a decision about life support. He was only 13. When my friend contacted me, she said, “What do you say?” One never knows what to say when a child goes Home too soon, even if they have had their own child go Home. There are still no words that can comfort anyone.
A couple of hours after i spoke with my friend, I was talking to my husband and I said, “Man, it must be so much harder to lose a child when they are older than younger. You know them. You’ve spent time with them. There are so many more memories.” He looked at me and said, “No. It is just hard. It isn’t harder if the child is younger. It isn’t harder if the child is older. It isn’t harder if you have never held the child, it is simply hard and there is no easier way around it.” I thought about that for a moment, because in that moment when I asked that question, I was comparing my pain to someone else’s. I was trying to make hers worse than mine. Harder than mine.
There is no “harder” when you lose a child. It may be different, but there is no harder. There is no easier way around it. There is no easier way through it. It is simply grief at the loss of a child no matter how old or how young that child was, and it is hard. Indescribably hard.
So, Baby Number Five, you may have been incredibly tiny and small and we may have never met, and never held you, but you were special to us. You were created by the God of the Universe to live for just a few weeks, and even now, 8 years later, you are remembered and we grieved, simply because we are your parents.