Sunday, April 22, 2007

Matthias Journal Part I

Our son Matthias was born on Tuesday, August 9th, 2005. During his delivery, the umbilical cord became tightly twisted, cutting off Matthias' oxygen. He was born without a heatbeat and not breathing. Although the medical staff was able to resuscitate him, his little body had undergone too much trauma and could not survive, despite medical attempts to save him. Thirty-six hours after his birth, we removed his life support and gave his spirit back to the Lord.

In the days that followed, my cousin Michelle send me a package full of gifts to comfort me. She had lost a baby through miscarriage, and from her own loss was able to pour out love and comfort to me. One thing she sent me was a journal, with the advice that I record my grief. She wrote in it, "It will be important, as time goes on, for these precious, agonizing moments to be as tangible as possible. Don't allow your pain to fade into nothing more than the memory of a terrible dream you once had." She said the journal she kept after her miscarriage was priceless to her and that she wanted the same for me. I took her advice and started writing. She was right. I treasure those pages and am glad to have them, although it is painful to reread them.

The reason I am making my journal public is mostly for those who may need to know that someone, somewhere, went through the same pain they went/are going through. It was a desperate need of mine, especially the first year after Matthias' death, to connect with other women who lost a baby, and to know that I wasn't alone in my pain. I felt alone. And the greatest comfort I had was when someone else said, "you're not alone." Sometimes that came through reading books or online posts from women who experienced the loss of a baby. Sometimes it was through talking to women at church or friends who had lost a baby. Sometimes it was just the Father telling me, "I lost a child, too. And I am grieving with you."

These journal entries record a year and a half of my journey through grief. It is a journey that I am still going through. The Lord is faithful to His word: "Though He wounds, yet His hands also heal." Job 5:18

August 16th, 2005

Yesterday we buried our baby. Matthias Paul Mailly was born on Tuesday, August 9th at 8:35am. He weighed 7 pounds 11 ounces and was 20 inches long. He had dark hair. I don’t know what color eyes he had because he never opened them. He never cried or moved once he entered the world. In a few brief moments during his delivery he went from a strong, healthy baby to a still, silent, near-dead little body. How quickly things change. How fragile life is! He was alive for nine months and four days inside me and for two days after delivery. He is dead now. I have no baby. My belly and my arms are both empty.

August 26th, 2005

I can’t think of what to write. I feel numb, but it’s a dark, sad numbness. I can’t make my face smile, but I can’t cry either. I am not feeling anything sharply or deeply. There is just a constant, dull, unshakable gloom; a feeling of sickness and fear in my body and soul. I see nothing appealing around me. I just can’t believe my baby is dead and life is just going on like nothing happened. I feels like time should stand still when something this huge happens.

I don’t want comfort. I don’t want meals and cards and phone calls. I don’t want sympathy. I don’t want people being "encouraged by my testimony." I just want my baby.

August 27th 2005

I miss Matthias so much. I would give so much just to hold him. I HATE that he is gone. I want my baby so much. I want to see his sweet little face again. I can’t stand it that I will never see him or hold him or nurse him or be his mother. There is a huge empty hole in my life where Matthias was supposed to be.

Along with this horrible aching for Matthias, there is an intense longing to get pregnant again. Our lives were ready for a baby and I want to move toward filling that empty space in our family. I don’t understand why Richard doesn’t want to talk about it. He doesn’t even want to discuss having another baby. It’s like he’s just okay with this gaping HOLE. I am so angry. There should be a baby here and all he can think about is golf and dumb stuff. It’s not like it would make up for Matthias. Matthias died. Nothing will make up for Matthias being gone. Nothing will replace him. Nothing will make it okay. But our hearts and our home were prepared for a baby to be here. Now there is no baby, but we’re still ready. Can’t we move toward a baby joining our family again? I feel so angry at Richard for not recognizing how important it is to have another baby, or at least be trying. It’s like he doesn’t mind that there’s no baby here.

Matthias, Matthias. I will never hold you. I will never talk to you or watch you grow. I just want to say your name over and over. I want to affirm that you existed, you grew inside me and were born and you were ours for two days. You have a name and you belong to us, even though you are gone. You are. You are my baby. Matthias. Matthias.

August 28th 2005

I can’t get over the fact that God killed my baby. I just don’t get it. He worked all these details out just right so that Matthias would die. It makes me feel so alone. I don’t understand. I want to ask why but it’s no use – I know He doesn’t answer that question. Would it even help if He did answer? Matthias would still be dead. The hole would still be a hole. There’s a line a song that says, “Be still my soul; thy Jesus will repay from His own fullness all He takes away. ” It keeps running through my head as I think about the hole where Matthias was supposed to be. (“supposed to be” in my mind, obviously not in God’s). That hole seems unfillable. How can Jesus repay me for the hole He made when He took Matthias? How could that hole ever be filled? It will always be there, until Heaven.

Maybe that’s what it means. In Heaven all holes will be filled, all losses repaid. Everything that was broken will be mended then. And I have been broken. I can hardly bear it. The utter futility of it is almost more than I can stand. It is utter futility to carry a baby for nine months, to prepare everything for this baby’s arrival, to give birth to him, and then to have him die less than two days later. That is futile.

Matthias is gone. Nothing can make him not gone. So nothing can make the hole not a hole.

God killed Matthias and that doesn’t feel like love to me.

So do I trust what He says about Himself or what I experience of Him?


It does not feel GOOD that He snatched Matthias away. But like discipline, maybe it doesn’t have to feel good to be good. Maybe it can feel like the most horrible thing ever, but because it yields good things, it is good. Maybe. I don’t know.

September 5th 2005

My birthday has come and gone. Celebrating a birthday seemed so ironically sad. God has given me 26 years. Why? Why Matthias only 36 hours?

God ordained that little Matthias would be. That his tiny body would form inside me; that an eternal soul would be created. That he would grow strong and healthy in my body and that we would love him. God planned for this precious being to be my baby, to be born and to die hours later. Matthias’ whole lifetime was forever planned to be two days. Everything God had for him was done in two short, fleeting days.

It was so brief. But I know that little baby. I remember him! He was mine and I am his mother. Matthias, Matthias, you mean something to me! I know you. I know you are somewhere right now, your little spirit. You are not less meaningful, less important because you only lived for such a short time. You are so important to me. Sweet baby, sweet child of mine. Your name is Matthias and you are known.

He was so alive! He knew my voice and he felt me rubbing him through my belly and heard my beating heart. And I felt him kick and roll and hiccup. I heard his heartbeat and saw his unborn body growing, moving, living. He was so alive. Life is so amazing. His life was so amazing. Matthias.

September 8th 2005

I am afraid of forgetting him. I am afraid of forgetting all the details of those two days. I am afraid of forgetting his little face that I saw so briefly, of his little body and how his skin felt. Sitting in the NICU, the machines beeping, his tiny chest going up and down so mechanically, the seizures suspending his chest in tightness, like he had been crying too long. I don’t want to forget his tiny hand resting on my finger, his little belly button. How he looked the first time I walked into the NICU and saw him lying there. The smell of the place. The curtain, the IV’s, the monitors. His little diaper wasn’t fastened. The tiny blue and white crocheted blanket that covered his legs. Richard with his hand on Matthias‘ chest, praying for release from the spasms. His tiny nose, his lips taped into fish lips around the oxygen tube, his eyes closed. How I rubbed his little arm and feet. The soft spot on the top of his head. Wires everywhere. My ache to hold him. How much I wanted him to move. How much it killed me every time a spasm gripped his chest and interrupted his breathing. How much I wanted him to be okay, to live.

How short it all was. Too short. Too short to hold every detail in my memory. What I wouldn’t give to touch him and see him again. I didn’t have enough time. I couldn’t take it all in. I couldn’t memorize everything about him. I couldn’t touch him enough to imprint his feel into my memory. I didn’t have time to look at him enough, to touch him enough. All I have is my memories of him, and those will fade away. I don’t want to forget.

September 9th, 2005

Matthias was born one month ago today. I miss him!

I would have had a little one-month-old right now. I wonder so much what he would have been like. Fussy or content, chubby, loud, sweet... Instead I have a dead baby. No nursing, so poopy diapers, no night feedings, baths, naps. No carrying him around in a sling, no studying his little hands and feet and ears and nose. No wonder and awe at how amazing our little baby is, our young son.

Tomorrow we go to visit his little grave – all that I have left of him; all that I have to care for. I will love and tend the place where his little body lies; the Lord is caring for his spirit.

I love you, Matthias. I wish you could have known how much I love you. I wish I could have poured out all this love on you. Because all my love for you is still stored up inside me and you are not here to receive it. It’s not right. It just doesn’t feel like enough to love you by putting flowers on your grave. I love you so much. Matthias, Matthias.

I can make myself function to a certain extent, but I can't control my body's response to this shock and grief. I get this queasy, fluttery feeling in my stomach – like I’m nervous about something. And I think, why do I have butterflies in my stomach? I’m just standing here doing dishes. And then, oh yes, my baby is dead. Even when I’m not consciously thinking about it, my body knows. Part of me is missing. Part of my life is missing. What was and what would have been is gone.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Matthias Journal Part II

September 12th, 2005

Grace had gymnastics today and there was a nice lady there whose daughter is in Grace’s class. She had her baby boy with her, too. When I saw her come in pushing the stroller and saw her chubby baby sitting in it as we waited for class to start, I almost lost it. He was probably 5 or 6 months old and super pudgy and happy. I couldn’t believe how I responded to seeing that baby. I had to walk away and breathe deeply to stop the choking feeling. Deep breaths in through the mouth. Don’t think of your dead baby.

The moms sat up in a viewing room overlooking the gymnasium. She sat next to me with her baby on her lap. As we casually chatted I kept praying, don’t let her ask me about my children. She didn’t. I couldn’t have answered without weeping. She started playing with her little son, kissing his neck and making mommy/baby sounds to him. He was just chortling these deep belly laughs, his mouth wide open and happy. Then as his mom was lifting him up in front of her and kissing his buddha belly, he looked right over at me, right into my eyes, and smiled. I just had to smile back at him.

Then suddenly I was that woman and her baby was Matthias. I had this clear image of Matthias – happy, giggling, loving me and being loved. I saw so clearly what would have been. I saw my baby alive. My breath caught in my chest, and as I watched this happy mother with her happy baby, I saw Matthias’ picture on our fridge and it was he and I sitting there laughing.

But it faded so quickly. I saw the grave, the emptiness of everything, the meaningless baby things all over my house. And I knew that it wasn’t Matthias and me. I knew hers was happy and fat and giggling and alive, and mine was dead. I had to turn away, not look, not hear, ignore. I had to fight the suffocating shock of my reality again. I had to battle between the image of my baby alive and the knowledge of him dead.

This reality of Matthias dead is hard.

September 16th, 2005

My baby is dead and my husband wonders why I’m not normal. Not just wonders – expects me to BE normal and is angry when I’m not.

I am not normal. I cannot be normal.

October 1st, 2005

Matthias inhabits my waking thoughts and my dreams at night. There is bitter weeping in my dreams; sharp, sad sighs all day. I dream of him alive, or dead, or something in between. I dream of other women with babies and then in my dreams I weep greatly. But in the day, toward those women and babies, I try to smile.

Sometimes it feels like he is lost, somewhere nearby, and I only have to find him. I know he’s here; I can almost hear him, almost see him lying there, almost feel his soft baby skin. But he isn’t really here. And almost seeing him, almost hearing him, almost having him is not enough. If only I could hold him. Oh, Matthias, you were too soon gone.

October 15th, 2005
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

Your sudden breath
From life to death
A bitter grace
A yielding peace.
Farewell brother, son
Our small sweet one.
My baby boy
Not born in joy
In two days gone.

Lord, Yours are not our ways;
You give and take away.
So send Your love
Like a healing dove.
We bleed and cry
But death will die
All will be restored
When we see our LORD.

October 16th, 2005

I miss you, baby boy.
Your Papa calls you “our young son”. Sometimes when I think of you, I smile. Sometimes I cry. I love you. I will always, ALWAYS know you.
I miss you so much. You are a bitter sweetness, a joyful grief, an agonizing peace.
I love you, Matthias.

October 28th, 2005

This feels too hard. It is a pain I cannot bear. I cannot hold such grief and sadness inside me. It wrenches and twists and breaks me. I cannot be a mother to a dead baby. I can’t believe it. The pain of "my baby is dead“ is too much for my brain. I want to scream and rip my hair out. I want to close my eyes and cover my ears and make it go away. I need relief from this. It is too much. I need a respite. I need someone else to shoulder this suffering.

October 31st, 2005

I got pregnant with Matthias one year ago. One year ago my husband and I laughed and hugged when we found out we were going to have a baby. One year ago we tried to fathom what it meant to have created life. To realize that God had used us to bring an eternal soul into being. It was all exitement and happiness and smiles and awe. We did not know it would become anguish and sadness and tears and shock. We did not know our baby, our Matthias, would die.

I believe I am pregnant again. I hardly know what to feel. It makes me miss Matthias so terribly. I just want him. I want my baby. I want Matthias so much, but I know he’s dead and that’s final. It’s so final, so permanent. I want more children, but I want Matthias more. Oh, I want him, I miss him. How do I walk through life with such a hole?

If this were a story, I could do some impossible task to get him back, and I would do it. I would climb the highest mountain or cross the desert or swim the ocean. I would do whatever it would take in order to get my baby back. But I CAN’T DO ANYTHING. I can’t get him back! If only there was something… but there isn’t. The finality of it! Matthias is like a puff of smoke, a little rainbow light from a prism. I keep reaching out for him but I cannot hold on to him. He is there, but not really. I am trying to get to him; trying to catch him. But there is nothing in my hands when I open them and my arms are still empty. He is so present to me. He is so real. But I can’t find him.

November 11th, 2005

I am home alone. Grace left for the weekend at 2:30 and Richard won’t be home until 6:30. I am lonely. I miss Grace so much. She is so dear and precious to me. We told her last night that I’m pregnant and she was really excited. If this baby lives, she will be 7 when he/she is born. I want so much for her to have a baby brother or sister here with us.

I am glad I am pregnant, but I am not excited. I want to be pregnant, but I am not expectant. I don’t feel like I really will have a baby in 8 more months. I am terrified that I will have a miscarriage. I feel like my body will think I’m not ready to be pregnant yet and won’t keep this baby. I’m afraid my body will betray me, thinking it knows best. I want to tell my womb, keep it! I’m okay! I want this baby and I’m ready! But bodies do what the want, and I can’t make mine listen. I just hope it will keep my baby.

The other thing is this almost total lack of anticipation. I don’t think about being pregnant. I don’t think about having a baby. I don’t think that I’m going to have a baby. I think I may. It’s possible, but not sure. Maybe not even probable. Today I am pregnant. Tomorrow I may not be. I don’t expect that I will be. And it’s not that I’m forcing myself to have this mindset. It’s not as if I start to think about my baby and then force myself to stop thinking about it. I just don’t think the same anymore. I don’t fantasize about my baby like normal pregnant women do. I think, “Wow, today I was pregnant. I’m glad! Who knows what I’ll be tomorrow or next month or next July. All I know is right now I’m six weeks pregnant. And that may be it.”

Being pregnant has also made me miss Matthias so much. Terribly. Before I was pregnant I wanted to get pregnant so badly because I was missing a baby. I had all these maternal desires and love built up inside me and no baby on which to pour it out. The desire to hold a baby was painfully strong. Now it has really sunk in that I will always be missing a baby. If I have this baby, I may want to get pregnant again right away because I will still have a missing baby and still have a need for that baby in my life. However may children I have, I will always have one too few. Having children won’t fill the hole. Matthias will always be missing. Sometimes I even feel angry, like I don’t want this baby – I want Matthias! But then of course I feel horribly guilty and know that I do want this baby. I’m just so sad for Matthias. Sad that I delivered my baby after nine months and he died. I’m so sad that he is a memory; forever a two-day-old baby in my mind and not a three-month-old in my arms. He doesn’t seem real. Like I’m trying to hang onto a fog.

Last Wednesday I told Grace, “Matthias would be three months old today” and she said, “Wow, he’s really growing!” I had to explain, well no, he’s not. At least his body isn’t. Like how dead trees don’t grow or dead flowers don’t grow. I don’t know if she understood. She just said, “Oh. They don’t?” I know she does miss Matthias in a real way. There is also just an acceptance with her, like a matter-of-fact way of saying, Matthias was my brother and he died. I see her trying to figure out how Matthias fits into our lives. Does she say, I have a brother? Mama has two children? Now I’m going to have another brother or sister? There are two children in our family? Sometimes she draws pictures of our family with Matthias in them. It’s difficult for us all to learn how to talk about our family now. We have to use odd language littered with exception clauses. We have to define things in strange ways. And try to make it normal. Nothing is normal now. Our new normal is not normal.

I have to learn to grieve and be joyful at the same time.
I have to learn to look forward with anticipation and look back and remember.
I have to be in the present and not forget the past.
I am sad and happy.
I love and I long for.
I have been given something and I have had something taken away.
Grief and joy, mourning and laughing.
Striving and resting, peace and anguish.
Emptiness and fullness, bounty and want.
Life and death, receiving and losing.
I am a walking paradox.
I am sorrowful yet always rejoicing.
Under all is HOPE.

January 3rd, 2006

2005 is over. Strangely, it makes me feel a sense of loss. The year my baby was born and died is gone. We’re moving on and Matthias is not with us. This year, God willing, a new baby will be born, but the year of my loss is gone. Matthias’ year. He will be left in the past and we will move on. I feel like I’m losing him again. I can’t bring him with me. He will become a distant memory in the past as we live our lives. Matthias, Matthias. I’m sorry. You will come with my in my heart, sweet baby. Goodbye.

February 10th, 2006

It has been 6 months since Matthias was born and died. Yesterday we were going to visit his grave but we had a snowstorm and couldn’t go. It’s still snowing today but maybe we can go. It seems like today is so far from that hot August day. My life goes on. I have heartaches that press upon me; sorrows of life, of marriage and mothering and daily burdens. And so this pain of losing Matthias has become mingled with the pain of life. It no longer sits, solitary and special, on a pedestal where I can attend to it alone. Instead it has become part of me and part of all the pain I feel. When I grieve over problems in my marriage, this Matthias grief is part of it. It’s mixed in with my longing to be a better mother and grief over my failings. When I see Richard being harsh with Grace I grieve for her, but somehow it’s also about Matthias.

There are times, too, once in a while, when it breaks free from all other sadness and I grieve for my baby alone. Times when I go back in my mind and recall him and those two days. Then it’s cold and clear, just about Matthias. And also about me and who I am now. Mother to a dead and gone baby. It’s true – it’s all fading and staying in the past and becoming part of my history and life instead of two clear, here-and-now days. And I want to hang on, but maybe I shouldn’t.

June 20th, 2006

Ten months now. In two months it will have been a year. And in three weeks the next baby is due.

Mother’s day was last month. My First Mother’s Day Without Matthias. I felt okay, just a little tinge of sadness, until I was sitting in the pew before church started. All of a sudden I was totally overcome – swept up in a bitter sadness. It was choking me, wrenching at my mind and heart and lungs. It was with a huge effort that I held it back. It welled up again several times and I wanted to let it come. Let all the sadness and grief come pouring out and just cry. But I didn’t. Not in church. I wish I would have.

At the end of the service I got a white rose, along with other mothers who have lost children. That was the saddest part of the day. Otherwise it was not difficult. I am still a blessed mother.

It is summer again and I am hugely pregnant again. I am waiting – impatiently again – for my baby to be born. I hope so hard that this one will LIVE. I don’t think God will take this baby also, but He might.

June 28th, 2007
Moses has arrived, "drawn out of the water."

Friday, April 20, 2007

Matthias Journal Part III

August 3rd, 2006

Next week will be the one-year anniversary of my baby’s birth and death. One YEAR has passed! Now Moses is here, my arms are full, my days and nights are consumed with him. God has healed so much hurt. The wound is no longer raw. He has given me joy for my sadness, gladness for my mourning. I still miss my sweet Matthias. Moses looks so much like him.

Would he be walking now? I wish I could know a one-year-old Matthias. He will never be more than a two-day-old baby to me. But he is my baby, and my memory of him is sweet.

I have been having vivid flashbacks the last couple of weeks. It’s August; hot. I remember going to buy his casket, his burial gown. I remember the heavy, heavy burden of sadness on me all the time. Sitting in the parking lot while Richard ran into a store and crying. Thinking, how can all these people go on with their lives, so oblivious to the fact that my baby just DIED?! Watching hour after hour of “24”. Being so utterly sad.

I’m not as sad as that anymore, but I remember it clearly and the memory of it makes me cry still. It hurt so much that Matthias died. How could I shoulder that heavy load of grief? The Lord – the Lord was faithful. He held me up under it.

And now he has given me so much joy. Moses does not replace Matthias, but he heals the hurt. I feel the Lord smiling upon me, rejoicing in His gift, rejoicing that He has given me joy.

August 9th, 2006
One-Year Anniversary of Matthias Paul’s Birth

Lord, Your grace has been sufficient for me.

When Matthias died, many of the verses I clung to the hardest were promises; promises that God would heal, would bring comfort and even joy. At the time, there was just pain and heartbreaking sorrow. There was some comfort then, too – enough so I could keep surviving. But as I read the Lord saying He would heal me, I thought You’d better, Lord. I will be lost if this is not true; if you don’t hold true to Your promises. I need these to be true.

I was so broken. There was such a hole in my heart. I knew I could not go on, could not survive in that state without healing. So I clung to His word – that He would heal and bring joy and gladness.

And now His promises have been fulfilled and I know they will continue to be in the future. He has brought healing to my broken heart. He was repaid from His own goodness all He took away. He has given me joy for my sadness. Indeed, the LORD will comfort Zion… He has made me dwell in the house as a joyful mother of children.

He has been true.

I cried as I sat here and realized this – everything I put my hope in when my baby died has proven good. “Do not fear, Christian; I have felt the bottom and it is good” said Faithful as they stepped into the deep and dark water. The bottom is sound. He is True. I put all my eggs in the “God is Good” basket. And here I sit, one year later, and He is.

As I have been praying today, I cried out in thanks to God for healing me. But then in doubt and confusion the thought came, yes but You also were the One who hurt me in the first place! How can I thank You for healing when You caused the wound? And clear as light came the answer – Don’t you see that the safest thing is for Me to be in control of the pain as well as the healing? What if I didn’t have any control over your suffering – how could that be of any comfort? No – it is much better that I am the surgeon who both holds the scalpel and who sutures you up. I love you enough to not let your pain be out of My hands.

Yes! Lord, it is good that You have afflicted me and beautiful that You have healed me. I am confident of Your love and so I take comfort knowing that You do the cutting and the mending.

You made the universe
And You can mend me.

All I have in this world
Is the promise of Your grace.

August 9th, 2006
Thoughts as I sit by the grave of my baby on the one-year anniversary of his birth.

It is overcast today with a threat of rain in the distance, although the sun is making its way filtered through the clouds overhead. It is not hot but pretty humid. A cool breeze is blowing the wind chimes on Matthias’ grave. Today is not much like that day one year ago. Then it was glaringly hot – no clouds to soften the sun’s intensity. I remember standing here watching my husband dig our son’s grave. The sweat was pouring down his face and he wiped it away with a cloth or napkin and then placed it in Matthias’ grave – his sweat a gift to the son he would never raise.

Now I sit here with another son in my arms. How much has happened in one year! Matthias is still very real to me. Very much in my heart and very loved. I have cried a lot today as I go back over everything in my mind, read the cards and letters, look at his little handprints and footprints and wisp of hair. I held Moses and felt Matthias’ absence acutely.

It still seems so strange, so bizarre that my baby DIED. He was born and now he’s dead. One of my children died.

When Matthias was buried here he was the only baby in this field. Now there are four more; one very new. It wasn’t here last time I came. I wonder about those parents. I know something of what they feel. It’s horrible. It’s horrible to suffer that loss. I never knew I had the capacity to suffer that much. I never knew I could be that sad and still live. Even the memory of it hurts.

Oh how I miss that little baby. He is so special, so unique. My only baby Matthias. No one will ever have those fingerprints, those tiny toes, that soft hair. A matchless and special being, known before the beginning of time. As significant a person as one who lives 100 years past two days. God’s own special creation, thought up, designed and brought into existence with all his days already perfectly written. Matthias’ significance in the heart of God is even greater than in mine. His special purposes for Matthias are as great as those for the rest of creation. This is sweet to know. Matthias matters. To me, to Richard and Grace, to family and friends and people I don’t even know. And most of all to God. Matthias is beloved in the heart of God.

September 24th. 2006

Today we dedicated Moses to the LORD. It was a day full of mixed emotions for me. I remembered saying these words over Matthias, “surrendering all worldly claim upon your life…”
And now I hold Moses and my once empty arms are filled.

I missed Matthias and was again brought to tears remembering the pain of losing him. I thought today how strange it is that as Matthias died and my heart was breaking, the Lord knew He was going to give us Moses in less than a year. He knew the joy and healing He would bring even as He allowed the pain and sorrow. This is partly why He told me to trust Him. He knew He would be good on His promise to bring comfort and healing.

I love Moses. He is unspeakably precious to me.

And I love Matthias. He is also precious in an absolutely unique way. My sweet, sweet baby. I still miss him in a very real way. I look at Moses and I feel what I missed with Matthias. All this I never had with him. It is sad to me.

I have had more joy since Moses came and at the same time have missed Matthias more that I have in a long time. Moses coming brought happiness and also freshened the wound of Matthias.

And of course Grace, who is too dear for words. Daily I wonder at the beautiful person she is becoming; a flower bud opening into petals of incredible workmanship.

I love my children.

December 13th, 2006

When you lose a baby, the pain and sense of loss comes both from that little person no longer being with you and also from the loss of all your expectations for that baby. When an adult dies, you miss all the things they said and did, besides missing their presence. If Richard died, I would miss all the things that made him who he was. When Matthias died, I wasn’t able to mourn over anything he did, or miss what he was like. Instead, I mourned over all my expectations of what he would be like; the things he would do. I felt the pain of missing out on discovering who he was, and of mothering him. Added to that was of course the sadness of missing his little person, his presence.

Moses does not take away the pain of Matthias’ absence. No other baby will ever be able to make up for this baby, Matthias, being gone. But Moses does ease the pain of the loss of expectations. He eases the “mothering” pain. He filled my achingly empty arms. Although I want to have Matthias at my breast, and making baby sounds, and learning to crawl, having Moses here doing those things lessens that particular pain.

That’s the best I can explain it.

February 10th, 2007

Matthias is 1 1⁄2 years old. Or he would be. It has been 18 months since he was born. Can it really have been so long? There is still such a deep sadness inside me that rises up and sometimes bursts out. Grief over my poor, sweet, lost baby. Grief for myself; his aching, wounded mother. It is something I carry around with me everywhere I go. It’s never gone because it is part of me now.

The following excerpt is from Waiting by Lisa Lenzo. She’s telling about the birth of her second child, after her first baby died.

“Beneath the baby’s crying, I notice a strange sound, coming from somewhere close. It’s a sound like I’ve never heard, human and inhuman, stranger than the blueness of my daughter’s skin. I listen to it with no idea of what it is until I realize it’s coming from me: a low, keening moan; sad, hopeless, inconsolable; but what makes it so strange with that it isn’t sustained – it starts and stops, broken by my laughter.”

Yes, I know that sound. I know it. My heart makes that sound, because it has been broken. But it also laughs, because it has been mended. And one day it will be completely healed.

Sometimes I am disgusted with Richard for not grieving much anymore. Or so it seems to me. But I must remember that he is not me, and he is not a mother whose baby died. He is Richard, a father whose son died. And as he allows me my own particular grief, so I must allow him his.

So then instead of feeling lonely in my grief, I feel glad that it’s my own private sadness that no one can touch. The Lord alone knows my mother's mourning. My grief for my baby. My private, sweet, desolate heartbreak.

Lord, I am not alone. You are here with me in all of this. Thank you! I love You!


"Indeed, the LORD will comfort Zion;
He will comfort all her waste places
And her wilderness He will make like Eden,
And her desert like the garden of the LORD;
Joy and gladness will be found in her,
Thanksgiving and sound of a melody."

Isaiah 51:3