It pleased our Lord God to call my child home to His heart at six weeks gestation. I was eight weeks pregnant when I went in to have my first ultrasound and it was then that I found out that I was pregnant with twins. One sac containing one of the babies was larger than the other. The tiny sac containing the second baby was much smaller in comparison and there was no heartbeat. I am in my third trimester now and I have struggled with various thoughts and mixed emotions since then. I asked myself questions like: “How could I lose one child and not both?” “Was my lost child a boy or a girl?” “What would he or she have been or done if they had been given a chance to live?” “How much extra joy would this baby have brought to our home and family?” “Is my child sad without me?” Does my child feel like I didn’t want them?” The reason I felt all these things was because for a time before conceiving, I was a little scared at the thought of twins—scared of the extra work it would be and I had doubts if I could handle it and balance my time between both of them and my older daughter. I was afraid I didn’t have what it takes or that I wouldn’t be a good mom. But now I would give anything in the world to have my baby back. I have struggled with my emotions too and juggling the joy and sadness—joy of my child that did survive and is growing and well, and my child that passed and all the questions and “what if’s?” that come with it. I have had a hard time moving on and being in the present with the hope of the future for this surviving baby because the devil has been tempting me to be stuck in the past and tempting me to think that somehow my lost baby was my fault. I had thoughts enter my mind like: “well you aren’t strong enough to handle two at the same time anyway.” Or “you would have been a bad mom.” I know these thoughts were coming from the evil one and therefore all not true, but for a short time I believed them. I was listening to the wrong voice. Christ had called my child home and as hard and that was for me to cope with, I came to realize that my child is in much better hands in the arms of Jesus and Mary then it could have been in mine. It is so hard for our human minds to imagine it, but Our Lord and Blessed Mother love my child even more than I do.
Back in late summer, as my husband and I attended outdoor Eucharistic adoration with our marriage group, I stared at Jesus present in the Eucharist and asked Him in my heart: “Jesus, please give my baby in heaven a kiss from me.” Almost immediately, I saw a cloud form in the sky that looked exactly like the face of Christ, holding in His arms a baby. I was so stunned that I had to take a picture of this cloud before it drifted away. I cried very hard but also had joy in my heart for the sign that God gave me so quickly after hearing my thoughts that I was saying to Him. Christ reads our hearts and LOVES to hear us talk to Him. I showed this picture to my husband and he could clearly make out the same thing I had seen. We both knew that God had given us this sign in the sky to assure us that our baby is well and safe and very much loved even more than he or she could have been on earth. I can’t understand or explain this concept of unnecessary suffering in the world. I am not mad at God. I never was from the beginning. I have tried my best to accept God’s will but I have asked Christ to help me in my suffering and grieving and to help me carry my cross. I know that He truly does and that night’s sign in the sky was confirmation to me that not only is He holding my baby, but He is holding me and my husband as well. Christ walks with us in life but so many in the world make the choice to use their suffering as an excuse to walk away from God. I could have chosen to be angry at God or question “why, why?” but by how I was raised by my mother who is so good and strong in her faith and my father who died like a saint and portrayed many holy characteristics in his life, I strive to work by faith in this journey we call life. This experience has shown me further that this life and this world is not our home. This life is so short and heaven and hell are eternal. As a wife and mother now, my main goal is to bring myself, my husband and my children to heaven. But the blessing and gift from God is that I already have one in heaven! It was like God did the work for me. My child had no heartbeat when I found out that it did not survive but I know my child had a soul. Anything living and growing has a soul. God had breathed the breath of life in me twice so I know my baby lives on in the next world that I hope to be a part of someday. In the world’s eyes, I will only have two children but in my heart and in the mind of God, I will always be a mother of three. And someday when my oldest daughter is old enough to understand, we will tell her that she has a little brother or sister—an angel in heaven and protector of our family that we can pray to and have intercede for us always. There may be times in the future when I see my daughter playing with her sibling, that I will think to myself: “there should be three there playing together.” But it is not our job to question God’s actions. He knows what’s best for us and has a bigger plan for us than we planned for ourselves. God allows things to happen only for our good. God doesn’t want us to be sad or to suffer, but in our faith we know that the path to heaven is narrow and paved with thorns. But God’s promise is that He walks with us in our crosses and He understands them more than anyone because He already paid the highest price for our sins and conquered death and rose to life to show us that we will live forever in Him! In heaven there will be no sadness or tears or sorrow and He will show us that everything He did and allowed in our lives was for our greater good.
In our lives and especially at the hour of our death, we will hear two voices: Christ and the devil, who both want us for themselves. Who will we listen to? The devil tempts us to live in the pain of the past and the worries and doubts of the future BECAUSE he knows that only GOD has control of our past, present and future and only God knows it all. With God there is no time—He lives in the past, present and the future where the devil cannot possibly be. The devil rushes you to look to the future or to frighten you and remind you of the past whereas Christ our Lord stills you and gives you peace and tranquility in the present. God is so good in our joy and in our pain. He calls us to pray and trust when times are bad and when times are good.
My due date is close to Valentine’s day so since we have no way of knowing if our lost baby was a boy or a girl, we named the baby “Valentine.” It will take time for me to grieve. Is any mothers heart ever completely over the loss of their child, no matter the age? Like after my father and my brother passed away, there will be times in the future that the grief will weigh too heavy on my heart and I will cry and there will be times that I remember my child with love, joy and affection and a smile on my face. My child is resting in the arms of Jesus and Mary and that makes me a proud mommy. That is the best place possible for my child to be.
I felt compelled by God to write this, especially after that sign in the sky that night. Instead of holding on to that pain or living in the past or being tempted to despair, I felt compelled by God to use this pain and memory and to share it with the world, to help others. I know there are so many women who had experienced the pain of miscarriage and there are those mothers like my mom who have lost their children at an older age. It is never a good time to lose a child and the grief will always be there but now that it has happened to me, I understand my mom’s pain in a small way. I always said to myself that if ever experienced a miscarriage, I didn’t know how I could ever move on in life or how I would ever be the same again. I think this experience has changed me, but my choices have been “am I going to let this change me for the worse or for the better?” “Am I going to live my life in an event in the past or have hope in the future and trust in God’s plan for me and my family?” I will never be able to talk about my child that I am carrying, (which we know will be our first son), without talking about the child that I lost. The unknown will always be painful, but I offer that pain up to Jesus. I am a mother of three, not two, no matter what the world says. I will always love my child in heaven but after all these mixed thoughts and emotions have passed through my mind and heart, I know that God allowed this and will use it for good. God does nothing to punish us. Christ simply wanted my child for Himself, in His kingdom. I am not going to fight or argue with that. I write this because I know many mothers have had to suffer miscarriage or loss of a child at any various stage. Writing this and having this journey with Christ has helped me so much. If you have gone through something similar, I pray it helps you too. I am blessed by my baby Valentine.