His name is Michael. He would have turned two this month.
We had been married for 2 months, to the day. March 3, 2009. I remember taking the pregnancy test. Positive. Positive?! Positively. Overwhelming surprise washed over me. My hand moved instinctively to my stomach. Life, there inside me. I moved forward with purpose from that moment, marked with my new identity. Mother. Like a sleeping giant awakened inside of me. Mother. No longer a word used only to describe someone else.
Two weeks later, the day arrived. We would go to the doctor and he would tell us how far along our little one was. Make plans. Find out a due date. A new holiday in our family’s world. One more soul.
Confusion, as the ultrasound tech leaves to get the doctor. Hushed voices on the other side of the door. Poking and prodding. No tell-tale “thump,thump,thump,thump”, the sweetest sound you’ll ever hear. We never heard it. Condolences all around. The pregnancy stopped progressing at 8 weeks. “So sorry for your loss.” “You can try again soon, you are so young.” “A blessing in disguise.” Disgust. Pain. “Why God? Haven’t you taken enough?”
Tears. Sedation. Surgery. Recovery. No medication for the ache inside, for the aching of an empty womb.
A caring priest pours prayer, power, and oil of healing on our heads. “You are parents.” “The vocation of parenthood is to welcome souls that will glorify God in Heaven. He’s already there. Mission accomplished.” “Give him a name, a name you can call him, and remember.”
Michael John. “Who is like God? and God is generous.” He gives and takes away. Blessed be His name.
This month, our first baby, our little one in Heaven, would have turned two.
Instead, we had the joy of welcoming his sister, our dear Margaret Gianna, this past December. Her little life healed all our hearts. As she grows we’ll tell her of her brother. We’ll teach her to ask for his intercession. A saint in Heaven to pray for us all. Blessed be His name.
October 15th was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. It’s so common, but so forgotten. 1 in 5 pregnancies ends in miscarriage or stillbirth. In a culture that doesn’t see the humanity of unborn children, our lost children are written off, the pain of losing them dismissed.
Please take a moment to pray for all those families who have lost a baby, either before birth or after. Though our pain is often silent, your prayers help lift the burden.
St. Gerard Majella, pray for us! St. Gianna, pray for us!