Saturday, October 15, 2016

Remembering Our Babies in Heaven

"To the grieving parent: On the days when no one but you mentions their name, I am so, so sorry. Say their name bravely. Know that they are still real, they were still here, and you are still theirs."
~ Lexi Behrndt

Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. Really, all of October is dedicated to awareness, but today is a specific day to remember the little ones that were lost too soon. 

It's hard to reflect on our losses. Our years of infertility and loss are ones that, in many ways, I would rather put behind us. All of the hurt and confusion, pain and frustration are better left in the past, particularly as we begin our much-prayed-for years of parenting. And yet, it's not so easy to forget. I mean, will I ever be able to really forget? As painful as those years have been, they were important years that the Lord used to grow, refine, and comfort us.

And deep down, we don't want to forget, especially not forget the precious lives that the Lord entrusted to us, however short the time was. We didn't get the chance to hold them in our arms, but every life is precious, even in it's tiniest and most vulnerable of stages. And so today, I want to mention the names of the precious ones we lost too soon...

Jack and Jill.
We transferred the first 2 embryos, desperately praying that the Lord would grow and bring them to us to parent. We were told at the time of transfer that they had not done so well in the thawing process, but we were committed to offering them the best chance at life. We moved forward with the transfer and went home to pray for our miracles. When we received the call a couple of weeks later that we were not pregnant, it was such hard news. We had lost our little ones, the tiny embryos that we had seen on the ultrasound screen, moving and growing...alive! And yet they were not strong enough to implant and grow, so instead were born into heaven.

A sweet friend and mentor had been affectionately calling them Jack and Jill as we prepared for our transfer, and so we thought it was fitting to keep their names. 

Amy and Noah.
We never got to even see these tiny embryos like we did the others, because they did not survive the thawing process. Thawing proved to be too much for them, and so they never even made it to a point of transfer. That was a hard loss too. To know that our little ones didn't make it, and were lost in a lab, is hard to think about. But it is comforting to know that they will never know the pains of this world, only ever knowing the face of our beautiful Savior.

Amy means "dearly loved," and Noah means "rest or peace." Both of these tiny ones were loved and wanted, but we are thankful they now find their rest in Jesus.

Annie and Hope.
We transferred our last 2 embryos, and we had better news at the time of transfer. They did better in the thawing process, so we were hopeful we would get to carry these babies. So when we got the phone call that we were pregnant, we were so excited! It was news we had longed to hear, and we had finally received it! Which is why the news that came just a couple of days later was such a devastating blow. Our beta numbers had dropped, indicating that we were losing the pregnancy. We felt so helpless, because there was nothing we could do to save them. I miscarried a short time later. Our babies were there, but then all of sudden they were not. 

Annie means "blessed with grace." We were indeed blessed with the grace of these tiny lives, even if it was only for a short time. This name is our reminder that we are showered with grace from the Lord, and we would still bless His name, even if there was pain in our offering. We chose the name Hope because of the hope and joy we felt when we found out we were pregnant. This name is our reminder that our felt hope and joy may have been taken in the moment, but that our ultimate hope and joy in Jesus can never be taken.


So today, we remember our precious little ones, the tiny lives that we carry only in our hearts. We may not fully understand why the Lord gave us these babies for only a short time, and why we never got to parent them this side of heaven. But each precious life was a gift, and we want to pause to remember how the Lord used their tiny lives to show us His grace and love.

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