As I lay here cramping, a cruel reminder, stifling my tears as my 5-year-old brings up an old topic; one that we try not to discuss but has been lingering around my heart lately; the miscarriage we had last year.
It was this time last year that we conceived our third child. I know that. I’ve thought about it every day since Fat Tuesday but tonight, my 5-year-old asked me a simple question as she lay on my stomach and I read her a bedtime story, “Mommy is there another baby in your tummy?”
We uncomfortably giggled. “No sweetie that's just the chili I had for dinner,” I awkwardly made a joke.
“Mommy, I want another baby,” her voice began to crack, “I want to be a big sister. I want a little brother or sister, everyone in my class has a baby!”
Everyone in her class does have a baby. I noticed that at parent’s night. I sadly remember thinking to myself, I’m supposed to be having a baby too. As the school year went on, their beautiful round bellies grew bigger and babies were being born. In fact my 5-year-old’s best friend’s mom is due any day now.
I'm laying in bed with my 5-year-old silently weeping because she wants to be a big sister and I'm just afraid I can't give that to her. Honestly, I’m too afraid to even try. She felt my hot, salty tears roll down my nose and onto her sweet head, as she gently nuzzled into my neck.
“Mom, I know daddy told me not to talk to you about the baby and I don't want to make you cry but I really want a baby sister or brother of my own.”
I could hear the longing in her voice.
I tensed, stifled my sobbing and thoughtfully tried to respond but before I could, she asked me a question that felt like a blow to my soul.
“Mom, what did they do with our baby's body? I want to see it.”
My voice breaking, “The hospital disposed of the baby.”
“What does disposed mean? Can I see our baby?”
“No. It's gone.” And with that, I felt my breath be taken away. She reached up with her sweet little hand and tenderly dried my tears with the soft sleeve of her pajama shirt. She gently patted them dry, one by one for what seemed like forever.
Then she hooked her arm around my neck and gave me a kiss, like she was trying to revive me as my heart stopped from this bittersweet pain that I was overcome with.
“Mommy, do you think you'll ever have another baby?”
Breathing heavy and trying my best to contain my composure, “Probably not, honey.”
“Mommy, I think God might give you another baby because he knows you want one.”
Then she gave me one more, sweet kiss, rolled over and is now sleeping soundly on my left arm as I type this with my right. There are 1,000 other things I should be doing right this moment but I'm writing this down because I never want to forget this moment of compassion and love that she has shown me and this one deep wound that we share.
She is completely amazing to me. I am in awe of her understanding of the depth and breadth of love. She is quietly and stoically everything I wish that I was. When I feel too wounded to carry on, she reminds me that there is a plan and I wish that there were more of her in this world. I love this kid more than she will ever know and I want to remember the way I feel right now, for always.