Due Date Reflections

The week of our baby’s due date . . . memories . . .

The past week has been a tough one for sure.  But we have had some precious family times that I do not want to forget.  God, you are so gracious to allow us to have these precious times together, sharing our tears and sadness over the baby that we loved and wanted but never got to meet on earth.

On Sunday night, after we got home from the church weekend away, we decided to watch the an episode of the Duggar Family TV show that we like to watch.  It happened to be the “Duggar Loss” episode, about when they lost their unborn baby, Jubilee.  It was incredibly sad but a precious thing to watch, especially as our baby’s due date was the next day.  The episode showed the scan where they found out their baby had no heartbeat.  Michelle said through tears, “The Lord gave and the Lord took away.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.”  Then we watched them tell their children – so sad.  Then it was the funeral and the burial.  Michelle had written a letter to Jubilee, which she had recorded ahead of time and played at the funeral.  At the burial, she started spontaneously singing, “Jesus Loves Me” and the whole family joined in.  So precious.  Michelle talked about the joy that the baby had brought to their whole family as they anticipated her birth.  She said that Jubilee never got to see her (Michelle’s) face but the first face she saw was the face of God.  Our family cried many tears as we watched all this and as we thought about our own baby – loved and lost too soon.

Afterwards we cried together and had a precious conversation.  I wish I could’ve recorded it.  I was on the couch with Mariah and Joel and Peter was with Hannah and Aliyah.  Mariah was crying the most at first.  After awhile, I asked her what she was thinking about.  She said she was thinking about, “If it was a boy or a girl and who it would’ve looked like.”  I told her that I think about that a lot too.

I asked her what else she was thinking about and she said, “Why did God make the baby die?”  I told her that I’d wrestled with that question a lot too. But I didn’t think that God made the baby die as He is not a fan of death.  However, He does allow things to happen that are hard and painful but not to hurt us, but for good and loving reasons.  I said that we don’t always understand His reasons but we know He loves us and He is good.  I shared some of the possible reasons – so we can better help others who are hurting, to help us rely on Him more, etc.

One of the older girls said at one point that soon after the miscarriage, they were having a conversation with Peter and said that losing this baby would help us long for heaven more.  This led into a conversation about heaven and the kids were asking so many questions.  We talked about whether our baby might be playing with the Cordles’ babies.  And whether we would recognize him or her when we get there, whether they would still be a baby or not, etc.  And we talked about the fact that someday all our tears will be wiped away.

At one point, Joel started to really cry.  It was so sad to see him that way. After awhile, I asked him what he was thinking about and he said, “I think about if it was a boy and what we would’ve named it.”  He would’ve loved to have a brother so much.  We reminisced about when we told the kids we were expecting this baby and how Joel kept writing “boy” on slips of paper.  He even drew one with him and a baby boy (I think both with boy parts!).  I kept that one!  We had a few laughs through the tears.

Joel came out with some really profound things, such as:

“If it wasn’t for Adam, this would’ve never happened.” (connecting sin with death) and “I used to not like Mondays (due to swimming lessons) but now I think it’s the best day because that was the day the baby went to heaven.” (Of course we don’t know what day that happened but that was the day of the scan where we found out the baby was gone.)

Over all, it was a very sweet and precious evening.

All four older kids, plus Peter and I, had written letters to the baby.  Through many tears, we read them out to each other.  I was blown away by the love our children had for their little sibling.   Their words were so precious and full of meaning.  Toward the end of Aliyah’s letter, she said, “The Lord gave and the Lord took away.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.”  That time of reading our letters and crying together was one of the most precious times we have ever shared as a family.  Thank you God, for bringing something so good out of something so painful.

I also read the poem I had written and we listened to the song, “I Will Carry You” which had been so meaningful to me in the weeks after the miscarriage and still is so special.

Later on, Mariah hugged me and said, “Mom, it will be OK.  We just need to trust God.”  Sweet girl.  I said, “Yes.  That is what we have been doing and will continue to do.”

After we picked Kaylah who was staying with some friends, we went up to the church at the top of our estate.  Peter had got some balloons, one for each person in our family, including one for the baby.  We attached little post-its with messages for the baby and after singing a few songs (Earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t heal, Glorious Day and Jesus Loves Me), we let them all go together.  Joel had taped a “heaven” paper plane onto his so his did not get as high as the rest of ours! (He had wanted to put an ice cream sandwich on!!)  The sunset was beautiful and we stood in the “remembrance garden” that had a plaque saying, “I am the resurrection and the life.” (We hadn’t known that garden was there when we decided to go to the church.)  So all in all, it was a very special evening.

When we got home, we put on a cd that Glen S. had given us.  It’s a family with ten children that sing together.  This one song really was precious to me.  It is a medley of Jesus Loves Me and another song called, “So Deep.”  The words are so simple but beautiful and I think I will always connect them with this sad but precious day:

His love is so deep

His mercy so wide

His arms are so strong

His wisdom so high

His power so great

His promise so true

Jesus loves us me and you