–On August 3, 2019 at 9:00pm, Briscoe Baby 4 was born naturally at home and delivered directly into the arms of Jesus. The following is a letter I wrote to express my grief at not being able to hold him or her myself before s/he left this world. It was too early to determine the sex of Baby, but was never too early to know s/he was alive and loved.–
Things didn’t go as planned. Not even for a minute.
Your very existence floored me. I was surprised when I found out you were there. To be perfectly honest, I knew there was a chance a baby could be created, but knowing that you were there, really and truly there and alive, that your DNA was directing millions of cells to do a variety of jobs, and those cells were faithfully multiplying: it scared me. I was scared for weeks.
Your siblings keep me so busy, my mind was reeling at the thought of keeping up with you too, of giving you everything you deserved. But, Baby, you were always wanted. You might not have been expected, but you were ALWAYS wanted. Never for a second did I think about not making room for you. From the moment I found out you had been given to us, room was created. My heart grew, my womb grew, and I began to prepare our home for you. I love you and I will ALWAYS love you. You will always have that space in my heart. It’s yours now. We were all so excited to meet you, to hold you, and to care for you. Truly.
Things really didn’t go as planned.
Baby, I went to check on you at the doctor’s office and I will never ever forget that day, as much as I wish I could. Baby you weren’t well. You were there and my body was doing everything to hold on to you and to keep you safe, but Baby I’m so sorry your heart wasn’t working. God’s creation is so intricate and so amazing that we are still unable to comprehend how everything fits together so perfectly and I want you to hear me say that He doesn’t make mistakes. You were not an accident and nothing about your life was outside of God’s hands. Baby, you got to meet God before I could meet you and that is incredibly special for you to be held by your Creator, but I need to be honest with you Baby, I am also really mad. I wanted to hold you. I wanted to kiss your sweet face and see who you looked like. I wanted to share you with your brothers and sister and see who you are. I wanted to know what you like and dislike and if you were going to be bookish like the rest of us. If you would like to swim and draw and play the drums like your brother, or be social and play games like your second brother, or be sweet and nurturing like your sister. But I also know you are your very own person and you would’ve surprised us with your uniqueness.
You already have surprised us.
Baby, this has been some of the hardest few days of my life. The waiting killed me. Waiting to know if you’re going to be okay or if you’re already gone. My ability to make decisions and to function was all but gone. But I’m a momma and a woman and if that means anything, it means I am damn strong. Women never give up. Women don’t back down. Women can’t stop because we run the whole freaking world. If we stop, life, very literally and figuratively stops. So I have to carry on. I have to pick up and keep putting one foot in front of the other. I have to care for your siblings, but know this: I did not give up on you. I am not giving up on you. You exist and you matter. Just in a different way than we expected.
We didn’t expect any of this.
Baby, you are surrounded by such a large and loving and caring family. People whom God gave you through blood and people whom God gave you through covenant. We were all rooting for you. We all wanted to meet you. We will grieve for you and we will miss you daily, but I will also rejoice for you. You get to escape the pain of this world and go straight into the loving hands of your Creator. Christ is with you, he has never left you or abandoned you and you will not have an opportunity to doubt that goodness.
I am not trying to paint a rainbow over my sorrow. My grief of your loss is felt deeply, physically and emotionally. I am sick to my stomach. I am throwing up and I can’t stop sobbing. My head and body aches at the stress of losing you and yet trying to hold on to you. I am scared. And I WANT you. I want you. You. But we’re not alone. And you will not be alone. My sweet and dear friend’s children, too many of them to name, will be with you as well. Because Baby, this world is broken. It is ripped apart by sin and aches for redemption and the casualties of that sin is too many of our babies. God’s heart breaks. Jesus weeps. The Holy Spirit groans. And Momma’s arms are empty.
Baby, this wasn’t the plan.
But it wasn’t an accident.
Your life was never an afterthought to God.
I love you,
—Verses that comfort me–
“Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” James 4:14
“Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead” 1 Cor 15:21
“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.” -Ecclesiates 3:1-8
“14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”–Matthew 19:14