A couple weeks ago we told the boys they were doing a great job as big brothers and asked them to describe what the job entailed. Here is what they came up with:
- Learn what she likes and use it to make her happy
- Learn what she does when she is happy
- Know tricks
- Be gentle, especially if she hurts you
- Listen carefully to keep her out of trouble
- Keep her safe; watch her
- Make “fluffy forts” [these are nests of pillows, blankets, books, and toys] for safety and fun
- Learn her favorite foods (e.g. smoothies, yogurt, ice cream) and which are just for treats
- Share grandmas and friends with baby
- Help keep her looking good with shoes and bows
- Try not to scare her
- Be generous: let her play with your toys (or underwear), give her some of your food if she likes it
- Hugs and kisses
- Don’t wake her up
- Teach her new words
A little while later we took the boys and Mystery out for sushi and told them we had published their description and that someone had already indicated s/he was interested in getting them as big brothers. This little person would come to meet them and Mystery next May. After some initial confusion about whether we were adopting, and why Mom’s stomach didn’t look any different from before, the boys were excited about having a new baby brother or sister. (Mystery was oblivious.) They gave the new baby (and the sushi) a big thumbs up.
On Monday I got to see the baby’s heartbeat on an ultrasound. We celebrated! Baby looked great and measured 6 weeks 2 days! I was really excited about Mystery hopefully getting a BFF exactly two years younger than her.
That afternoon, I started having the symptoms of a miscarriage and our hearts started swinging between hope and fear. The loss was confirmed on Thursday.
By that point it was not a surprise, but we are still really disappointed. It was a short pregnancy, and because of our history it is not too hard to find our way back to the familiar and beloved signposts of God’s sovereign wisdom, love, and mercy. The loss of the anticipated joy of a baby still hurts, though.
We named the baby September, or #17. His/her life verse is Lamentations 3:24: “‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in Him.’”
The boys (especially Percy) have been praying daily for the baby, so I felt it was important for us all to have a chance to say goodbye and to reassure the boys’ hearts with our hope in eternal life and God’s perfect love. We had a family memorial service today and threw a flower into the pond each time we shared what we will miss about baby September or what we are glad s/he is experiencing now in heaven. Percy said he will miss getting to see the baby smile at him. Valor said he is glad the baby is getting to miss the sadness of this world. I am publishing the script for our service here in case another family would like to use it. I hope it is the last time we have to.