Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mark 1:11

Even as a child, I've felt very close to my parents and related in so many ways to my mother early on.  We (my brothers and I) were loved unconditionally and confidently knew we were everything to them.  Innocently, we believed their lives began when we entered and that there were only 3 of us they could love like they do.

There was a day each year, that I was confused or jealous by a secrecy of my parent's emotions that I never could comprehend.   Nothing elaborate would happen on this day and sometimes it wouldn't be remembered until the next.  But I might walk into my parent's room to find my Mom folding laundry and crying or over hear Mom and Dad whispering then hug.  This day was unimportant to me.  By 5th or 6th grade we learned that there was a 4th one of "us" who never made it to play.  A sibling we knew nothing about.  A little baby that was probably not nearly as important as we were, who's life ended after the 12 week mark but before the 40 week gestation.

It was simple for us to believe then that God had "planned" for us to be here and that other little baby to not.

Well, my and John's lives forever changed in July 2008 when we lost our first little one very early in the game.  It was sad and we felt empty.  But learned we were ready for children and were hopeful for more.

Luckily, a year and a half later God called Carter into the world.  Carter has forever changed our lives and our hearts.  We love him unconditionally and our lives began again when he entered.  We became new people with his existence.

When we became pregnant with our next child, because of Carter, we knew the magnitude of how this baby was going to change our lives.  We understood what we were getting ourselves into and we couldn't wait.  It was a nervous excitement.  John and I now knew this little one has a spirit, a personality and a fire that is as individual as every person...and we could NOT wait to learn all about him!  We have been thrilled to love a new little being, a sibling for Carter, for the past 5 months.

On September 8, my mom's birthday, we went into our mid-pregnancy ultrasound to learn our child's sex but instead learned that the little one no longer had a heart beat.  In slow motion, the ultrasound technician explained the details, but all I could see was a picture of our baby up on the screen.  A real baby.  Little head, little hands.  Little feet.  The idea that we would never know that baby we could see on the screen the way we know Carter is devastating.  That is our child.  We are the parents.  There was an energy, a spirit, a personality there.  There was a heart beat.

When I think back to the careless, flirty days of dating John, I never would have imagined us to be the kind of people attending grief counseling and making decisions about our child's remains.  But it comes with the territory.  A grief counselor carefully explained every detail about our child's entrance into the open world and then options like a viewing, receiving mementos, autopsy, bodily donation, funeral services, mass burial, cremations, or private ceremony.

The little baby we saw up on that screen, is our child, our baby.  We are Mama and Dada.  Knowing these two thoughts, guided us through the decisions.  Making exactly the opposite decisions I might have imagined chosen in those flirty days of dating.  We decided we wanted to know as much about that little baby on the screen as we could.  Many of the options were "if this....then you can..." kind of options.  We asked them IF possible to try and find out the gender, IF possible we'd like to see our child, IF possible we'd like footprints, IF possible we'd like an autopsy, IF possible we'd like our child's remains handled individually and IF possible we'd like to obtain the ashes for a private ceremony.

Thankfully, because I'm not that emotionally strong, I do not remember our child's entrance.  But we were over the moon to learn that our angel baby is a BOY!  I never would have thought through the sadness, learning HE is our SON could bring joy...but it did!  We hugged and even celebrated!!  Knowing that huge piece of information brings such peace to our minds.  We have another son!  We have another son!!

The nurses were very supportive of our wish to view our son.  This wish however, was circumstantial, depending on nurse and counselor's viewing and collaboration.  The wish was respectfully declined.  We still have that little face you dream of during pregnancy in our heads and know he is just precious!

Another bit we do know about our son is he has perfect feet!

How can anyone doubt the work of God when you see something so detailed, tiny and perfect?  

We asked for four prints.  Each for Mommy, Daddy, and both sets of Grandparents.

The final pieces to our son's Earthly existence will be his memorial service.  We have spoken with a funeral home to arrange the details of his little body...with perfect feet.  We look forward to rejoicing over his life and existence and can't wait for our full house in Heaven.

Being a new parent, I am constantly amazed by the realizations that present themselves to me about my own parents growing up.  A new understanding of their unconditional love, the constant desire to see their children safe and happy, and how their hearts grew and made more room for each of their children...even the ones not known on Earth.

"You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."  -Mark 1:11

We are deeply in love with our newest son.  He will forever be in our thoughts, hearts and prayers.


(Thank you to Suzie for keeping our blog going as I'm taking a bloggy break.)


  1. This is beautiful. I thought about saying I'm sorry for your loss, but you have such a sincerely positive viewpoint about your son that I don't think it's a loss to you. May our ever-loving, graceful God bring you peace and comfort and happiness as you delight in your Heavenly son for the rest of your life. Your son is in the perfect place with Him.

  2. I am moved to tears. My heart and thoughts go out to you.

  3. Hello Sarah. I'm visiting via We Teach and wanted to thank you for sharing this special story of your son with us. Very best wishes to you and your family.

  4. Hi Sarah,
    I'm visiting from We Teach also. I'm very sorry for your loss. I'm sure sharing this difficult time was hard. You may have given someone else a little strength and information to get through a similar situation.

  5. Thank you for this brave post. I'm sitting here with tears streaming for a grandson. God called Conally back to heaven on August 3. My daughter-in-law had gone in for a routine sonogram. She and my son, along with my precious granddaughter, had a beautiful sunrise service for him. My granddaughter told him her favorite Bible story and sang some of her favorite songs. Again, thank you for your bravery in sharing.

  6. Sarah, so sorry for your loss. This is a beautiful post that brought tears to my eyes. I'm sure it will help many other mothers who are going through or have gone through similar losses.



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