Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Dear baby sister

This post will contain many Christian references. If that makes you uncomfortable I apologize, but my faith plays a significant part in my birthing philosophy. If my Savior can be born on a dusty floor among smelly livestock, then surely my children can be born in the comfort and safety of our home.

I’ve wanted to write this to you for a year now and just haven’t found the time. Or maybe I had the time and the words just wouldn’t come to me the way I hoped they would. I wanted you to know what an impact your pregnancy and the loss of your son have had on my life.

I’ve heard many times that when a teenage girl loses her baby, it must be “God’s punishment” for her being sexually active outside of marriage. I wholeheartedly disagree. First, “children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward” (Psalms 127:3 KJV). He would never use a child to punish someone. Second, I believe that if any “punishment” is necessary, the trials of raising a child at 15 should serve as punishment enough.

There was an article in ParentLife magazine this month that really spoke to me when I thought about you and your son. The author writes, “He was ready for [him] to join Him in heaven, and He chose you to carry out [his] fate because He knew you’d be strong enough to handle it.” The Lord didn’t give you a son and then take him to punish you. A child is a blessing, whether you’re 15 or 40. I hope you don’t find this selfish on my part, but for me, Izaiah’s life and death helped me on my second pregnancy journey. After having had such a horrifying pregnancy and c-section with Sarah, my faith in God and faith in His creation of birth was severely shaken. Broken. I said I wanted to give birth to my son at home, and the way I was designed to give birth, but in my heart I didn’t really believe that would happen. I didn’t think I could do it and I didn’t think the Lord would help me.

If Izaiah’s death was not to punish you, then what was the purpose? What was the purpose of his short little life? It was no accident that mom wasn’t free to take you do the doctor the day you found out Izaiah had died. It wasn’t an accident that I was a stay-at-home-mom and everyone else in the family either worked or was at school that morning. The Lord purposed for my hand to be the one holding yours when the doctor walked in to tell us. Then to see you laboring that night, and all the next day for a baby who would never see your face, spoke to my soul. The Lord protected you through a terrible day and a half pitocin-induced labor. He gave you grace and peace. Before you got the epidural, and you were feeling your body painfully hug your sweet departed son, you never yelled out to anyone, “just take this dead baby out of me!” No one would have blamed you if you had. Labor can be painful even when the mother knows there is a sweet reward waiting just on the other side. For only sadness and pain to be awaiting you, everyone would have understood.

Then two months later, my son was conceived. A son, just like yours. How could I not have faith after witnessing your trial? Could I honestly say that the Lord protected a 15 year old girl through trying pregnancy and death of her son, but would not protect me as I birthed my son at home after having had a cesarean? I did worry during my pregnancy. I worried that my son would die before I saw his face. But then I would think about you and Izaiah, and I would trust the Lord. I would think about your love for your son, and the Father’s love for you, and I would trust Him.

I pray that I will never truly know your loss, and I pray that the Lord will continually teach you and draw you closer to him through it. I thank the Lord often for Izaiah’s life and death. Izaiah’s death and Caleb’s birth have taken me to a place in my relationship with the Lord that would not have been possible otherwise. I hope, I hope… that this can bring some comfort to you sister.


Amanda said...

Becky, it's been a long time since I've "seen" ya via email...I just found your blog via your (re)intro on the main list. Your letter really touches me too, with the loss of my baby boy Noah. It was very beautiful and I hope your sister likes it.
---Amanda M. (mommy to Micah, Jillian, Noah, and Mariam)

Anonymous said...

Saddly, I understand that pain , too. My daughter died and she was just a month old. I will never understand why this happened to me. That is not supposed to happen. Why? Why???? My Faith was completly shaken and although I have other children now, my Faith will never be the same.... Yes, I do believe in God and love Him, but I will never understand HOW he could let this happen.

I am very sorry for your sister and really hope she is strong to overcome this.