This morning, at a few strokes after midnight, an amazing woman in my life gave birth to her second angel baby. This was her second trip to the hospital to deliver a child she knew she wouldn’t bring home. This was the second child she named, knowing she would not be saying the name out loud daily as the child grows into his or her own being. This was her second heartbreak on a level I understand, but still cannot fathom when I really soak in the facts and feelings.
So, to all the angel baby mothers: I know you. I am you. I know what it’s like to wonder what life on earth would have been like for your sons and daughters. I know that you have their names engraved in jewelry, little tiny urns in hidden corners, and trees planted in their memory in your yards. I know you have dates on the calendar that come with no ceremony, but can reduce you to a puddle on the kitchen or bathroom floor.
I know the triggers. The hospital shows. The birth announcements. The innocent questions asking how many children you have or why you’ve waited so long to parent (because, you know, you aren’t getting any younger). I know you want to celebrate with pregnant friends, but sometimes it is more painful than others. I know seeing a baby bump walking through a grocery store can spiral you for a few hours as you remember your grief.
I know my dear friend who gave birth early this morning is going to be okay. I know she is stronger because she’s experienced this before, and accepts her son’s too-short journey with her more easily because she intimately knew this could happen, and had accepted the risk before getting pregnant again. I know how brave that is. I know how the most horrendous reality can become true in a moment in the doctor’s office.
I know she loves him. I know she knows him best. I know she will never forget him and, as cruel as life can be, neither will her birthday ever be the same since she was celebrating her own special day when it became special for this different, less welcoming reason. I know on her birthday next year, she will remember the hospital, the delivery, and her sweet little son coming into the world minutes passed midnight.
Angel baby mothers have a special knowing. Their hearts ache eternally for their sons and daughters. They will support you and grieve with you if or when you join their ranks. They will share the details of the birth and the appearance of their too small children…they will help you however they know how so you can start to deal with a reality no one ever should know. They will make it less scary if that’s possible.
They will also remember you and your child’s name. I have so many angel baby names swarming in my head, and a special place for each of them in my prayers. So, today, I add Beckett’s name to my list. Beckett, we love you forever. We know you had a perfect journey in a perfect little body with the perfect mom and family for you. We know you are perfectly at peace, and we accept your sweet place in our lives. Please pray for Beckett’s family if you are the praying kind. Much love to all the angel mommies I know will be reading. Xx