Why Stillborn Mommies Deserve a Special Mother’s Day

woman-1284353_1280

You deserve your own special Mother’s Day, stillborn mommy. Yes, you should be honored and remembered in a specific way, and on a specific day, that wouldn’t apply to every other mommy. This is not to take anything away from other mommies who have not had the same life experience. All mommies should be honored on Mother’s Day, and every other day of the year for that matter. But you are different, stillborn mommy. You are a unique mommy. And since you are a unique mommy, you deserve your own special, unique day.

And even if you have other children besides your stillborn babies, then you should get two Mother’s Day holidays. One to celebrate you, for all you have done to love and sacrifice for your living children. And another to celebrate you, for all you went through during your pregnancy, and in delivering your stillborn baby. Not only that, but you deserve a special day to recognize everything you still do to keep their memory alive. You deserve it because of the unique pain that you still bear each day. Your sacrifice merits a different kind of recognition. Your story is truly one of a kind. And it’s time we saw some headlines about it!

It is not wrong, or prideful, of you to receive such a special holiday. It is not even wrong to  desire it. You went through a specific pain other mommies didn’t. Yes, you both carried a baby in your tummy. You both went through your hormonal changes. You both got sick. You both saw your babies on the ultrasound. You both heard a heartbeat. You both took good care of yourselves. You both gained weight. You both endlessly shopped for maternity clothes. You both decorated a brand new room for the baby. Perhaps you both had a baby shower and did a registry. You both spoke joyfully, and incessantly, about how excited you were for delivery day. You both cried after the birth (for very different reasons of course). And most importantly, you both love your babies with all your heart.

But…………you didn’t get to celebrate like they did, after all that hard work you put in. I mean, you were eating right and exercising. You went to doctor appointments and birthing classes. You went to all your scheduled checkups. You got sick and were uncomfortable………like all the time. You did all this, and you still didn’t get to celebrate like they did. And after going through all that, you deserve a special day. No one else knows your pain. It is unique. It is not something you can even put into words. Why aren’t you recognized for your suffering? I don’t know. It is a mystery to me why stillborn parents get pushed to the bottom of the pain and suffering totem pole. It’s time that changed.

As a stillborn daddy, I only know a little tiny piece of what you went through. I was there when my Ariana was born. But obviously, I don’t know what it is like to deliver a dead baby out of my body. A baby I felt kicking. A baby who could hear my voice, and could respond to every one of my subtle movements. You mommies do the real work. And I bet you would say that the pain of childbirth was nothing compared to the pain of seeing your lifeless baby afterwards.

Other mommies didn’t deal with that. It is a cruel thing that you had to go through. You had to watch other mommies smiling while looking at their new babies. You had to listen to your co-workers talk about how much fun they were having with their new baby. You heard them keep talking about how fast they go through diapers, and how much money everything costs. Or how they constantly talk about being awakened in the middle of the night because their baby won’t stop crying. Of course, they didn’t mean anything by it. But it still hurts really bad.

Your stillborn baby makes you a true mommy in every sense of the word! Even if you have never have any other children. You deserve your own special Mother’s Day. You deserve it today. Why?

Because………..

 

1) Your stillborn baby is fearfully and wonderfully made by God, and your womb is the place where this miraculous event took place.

2) So few people try to empathize with the pain you have gone through, and still experience. A special Mother’s Day would help people recognize it more.

3) You remember what it’s like to hold your lifeless baby and love them unconditionally, even when they could not love you back.

4) You continue to love your stillborn, even though your baby is not here to return it.

5) The length of a baby’s life outside the womb has no bearing on whether or not you are truly a mommy. A mother of a living baby does not make her more of a mommy than you are of your stillborn. (I’ve written more about this topic here)

6) Your baby is not dead. He or she is alive more than ever! (more on that here)

7) The bond between mother and child begins in the womb and never ends. Is there anyone else in the world as anxious as you are to see your little one again? I think not.

All of these reasons, and many more, make you a mommy. Not a lesser mommy. But a true mommy just like any other. Except for the fact that you are unique in many ways. You are a mommy who deserves her own very special Mother’s Day! And you deserve it whether or not America, the UK, or any other countries recognize it.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Your likes or comments are always appreciated! I will do my best to respond to each one. And if you enjoy my posts, I wouldn’t mind an extra subscriber either. (-:  God bless you, and thanks for stopping by!  – Jamie

 

You deserve your own special Mother’s Day, stillborn mommy. Yes, you should be honored and remembered in a specific way, and on a specific day, that wouldn’t apply to every other mommy. This is not to take anything away from other mommies who have not had the same life experience. All mommies should be honored on Mother’s Day, and every other day of the year for that matter. But you are different, stillborn mommy. You are a unique mommy. And since you are a unique mommy, you deserve your own special, unique day.

And even if you have other children besides your stillborn babies, then you should get two Mother’s Day holidays. One to celebrate you, for all you have done to love and sacrifice for your living children. And another to celebrate you, for all you went through during your pregnancy, and in delivering your stillborn baby. Not only that, but you deserve a special day to recognize everything you still do to keep their memory alive. You deserve it because of the unique pain that you still bear each day. Your sacrifice merits a different kind of recognition. Your story is truly one of a kind. And it’s time we saw some headlines about it!

It is not wrong, or prideful, of you to receive such a special holiday. It is not even wrong to  desire it. You went through a specific pain other mommies didn’t. Yes, you both carried a baby in your tummy. You both went through your hormonal changes. You both got sick. You both saw your babies on the ultrasound. You both heard a heartbeat. You both took good care of yourselves. You both gained weight. You both endlessly shopped for maternity clothes. You both decorated a brand new room for the baby. Perhaps you both had a baby shower and did a registry. You both spoke joyfully, and incessantly, about how excited you were for delivery day. You both cried after the birth (for very different reasons of course). And most importantly, you both love your babies with all your heart.

But…………you didn’t get to celebrate like they did, after all that hard work you put in. I mean, you were eating right and exercising. You went to doctor appointments and birthing classes. You went to all your scheduled checkups. You got sick and were uncomfortable………like all the time. You did all this, and you still didn’t get to celebrate like they did. And after going through all that, you deserve a special day. No one else knows your pain. It is unique. It is not something you can even put into words. Why aren’t you recognized for your suffering? I don’t know. It is a mystery to me why stillborn parents get pushed to the bottom of the pain and suffering totem pole. It’s time that changed.

As a stillborn daddy, I only know a little tiny piece of what you went through. I was there when my Ariana was born. But obviously, I don’t know what it is like to deliver a dead baby out of my body. A baby I felt kicking. A baby who could hear my voice, and could respond to every one of my subtle movements. You mommies do the real work. And I bet you would say that the pain of childbirth was nothing compared to the pain of seeing your lifeless baby afterwards.

Other mommies didn’t deal with that. It is a cruel thing that you had to go through. You had to watch other mommies smiling while looking at their new babies. You had to listen to your co-workers talk about how much fun they were having with their new baby. You heard them keep talking about how fast they go through diapers, and how much money everything costs. Or how they constantly talk about being awakened in the middle of the night because their baby won’t stop crying. Of course, they didn’t mean anything by it. But it still hurts really bad.

Your stillborn baby makes you a true mommy in every sense of the word! Even if you have never have any other children. You deserve your own special Mother’s Day. You deserve it today. Why?

Because………..

 

1) Your stillborn baby is fearfully and wonderfully made by God, and your womb is the place where this miraculous event took place.

2) So few people try to empathize with the pain you have gone through, and still experience. A special Mother’s Day would help people recognize it more.

3) You remember what it’s like to hold your lifeless baby and love them unconditionally, even when they could not love you back.

4) You continue to love your stillborn, even though your baby is not here to return it.

5) The length of a baby’s life outside the womb has no bearing on whether or not you are truly a mommy. A mother of a living baby does not make her more of a mommy than you are of your stillborn. (I’ve written more about this topic here)

6) Your baby is not dead. He or she is alive more than ever! (more on that here)

7) The bond between mother and child begins in the womb and never ends. Is there anyone else in the world as anxious as you are to see your little one again? I think not.

All of these reasons, and many more, make you a mommy. Not a lesser mommy. But a true mommy just like any other. Except for the fact that you are unique in many ways. You are a mommy who deserves her own very special Mother’s Day! And you deserve it whether or not America, the UK, or any other countries recognize it.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Your likes or comments are always appreciated! I will do my best to respond to each one. And if you enjoy my posts, I wouldn’t mind an extra subscriber either. (-:  God bless you, and thanks for stopping by!  – Jamie

woman-1284353_1280

 

You deserve your own special Mother’s Day, stillborn mommy. Yes, you should be honored and remembered in a specific way, and on a specific day, that wouldn’t apply to every other mommy. This is not to take anything away from other mommies who have not had the same life experience. All mommies should be honored on Mother’s Day, and every other day of the year for that matter. But you are different, stillborn mommy. You are a unique mommy. And since you are a unique mommy, you deserve your own special, unique day.

And even if you have other children besides your stillborn babies, then you should get two Mother’s Day holidays. One to celebrate you, for all you have done to love and sacrifice for your living children. And another to celebrate you, for all you went through during your pregnancy, and in delivering your stillborn baby. Not only that, but you deserve a special day to recognize everything you still do to keep their memory alive. You deserve it because of the unique pain that you still bear each day. Your sacrifice merits a different kind of recognition. Your story is truly one of a kind. And it’s time we saw some headlines about it!

It is not wrong, or prideful, of you to receive such a special holiday. It is not even wrong to desire it. You went through a specific pain other mommies didn’t. Yes, you both carried a baby in your tummy. You both went through your hormonal changes. You both got sick. You both saw your babies on the ultrasound. You both heard a heartbeat. You both took good care of yourselves. You both gained weight. You both endlessly shopped for maternity clothes. You both decorated a brand new room for the baby. Perhaps you both had a baby shower and did a registry. You both spoke joyfully, and incessantly, about how excited you were for delivery day. You both cried after the birth (for very different reasons of course). And most importantly, you both love your babies with all your heart.

But…………you didn’t get to celebrate like they did, after all that hard work you put in. I mean, you were eating right and exercising. You went to doctor appointments and birthing classes. You went to all your scheduled checkups. You got sick and were uncomfortable………like all the time. You did all this, and you still didn’t get to celebrate like they did. And after going through all that, you deserve a special day. No one else knows your pain. It is unique. It is not something you can even put into words. Why aren’t you recognized for your suffering? I don’t know. It is a mystery to me why stillborn parents get pushed to the bottom of the pain and suffering totem pole. It’s time that changed.

As a stillborn daddy, I only know a little tiny piece of what you went through. I was there when my Ariana was born. But obviously, I don’t know what it is like to deliver a dead baby out of my body. A baby I felt kicking. A baby who could hear my voice, and could respond to every one of my subtle movements. You mommies do the real work. And I bet you would say that the pain of childbirth was nothing compared to the pain of seeing your lifeless baby afterwards.

Other mommies didn’t deal with that. It is a cruel thing that you had to go through. You had to watch other mommies smiling while looking at their new babies. You had to listen to your co-workers talk about how much fun they were having with their new baby. You heard them keep talking about how fast they go through diapers, and how much money everything costs. Or how they constantly talk about being awakened in the middle of the night because their baby won’t stop crying. Of course, they didn’t mean anything by it. But it still hurts really bad.

Your stillborn baby makes you a true mommy in every sense of the word! Even if you have never have any other children. You deserve your own special Mother’s Day. You deserve it today. Why?

Because………..

 

1) Your stillborn baby is fearfully and wonderfully made by God, and your womb is the place where this miraculous event took place.

2) So few people try to empathize with the pain you have gone through, and still experience. A special Mother’s Day would help people recognize it more.

3) You remember what it’s like to hold your lifeless baby and love them unconditionally, even when they could not love you back.

4) You continue to love your stillborn, even though your baby is not here to return it.

5) The length of a baby’s life outside the womb has no bearing on whether or not you are truly a mommy. A mother of a living baby does not make her more of a mommy than you are of your stillborn. (I’ve written more about this topic here)

6) Your baby is not dead. He or she is alive more than ever! (more on that here)

7) The bond between mother and child begins in the womb and never ends. Is there anyone else in the world as anxious as you are to see your little one again? I think not.

All of these reasons, and many more, make you a mommy. Not a lesser mommy. But a true mommy just like any other. Except for the fact that you are unique in many ways. You are a mommy who deserves her own very special Mother’s Day! And you deserve it whether or not America, the UK, or any other countries recognize it.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Your likes or comments are always appreciated! I will do my best to respond to each one. And if you enjoy my posts, I wouldn’t mind an extra subscriber either. (-:  God bless you, and thanks for stopping by!  – Jamie

woman-1284353_1280

 

You deserve your own special Mother’s Day, stillborn mommy. Yes, you should be honored and remembered in a specific way, and on a specific day, that wouldn’t apply to every other mommy. This is not to take anything away from other mommies who have not had the same life experience. All mommies should be honored on Mother’s Day, and every other day of the year for that matter. But you are different, stillborn mommy. You are a unique mommy. And since you are a unique mommy, you deserve your own special, unique day.

And even if you have other children besides your stillborn babies, then you should get two Mother’s Day holidays. One to celebrate you, for all you have done to love and sacrifice for your living children. And another to celebrate you, for all you went through during your pregnancy, and in delivering your stillborn baby. Not only that, but you deserve a special day to recognize everything you still do to keep their memory alive. You deserve it because of the unique pain that you still bear each day. Your sacrifice merits a different kind of recognition. Your story is truly one of a kind. And it’s time we saw some headlines about it!

It is not wrong, or prideful, of you to receive such a special holiday. It is not even wrong to desire it. You went through a specific pain other mommies didn’t. Yes, you both carried a baby in your tummy. You both went through your hormonal changes. You both got sick. You both saw your babies on the ultrasound. You both heard a heartbeat. You both took good care of yourselves. You both gained weight. You both endlessly shopped for maternity clothes. You both decorated a brand new room for the baby. Perhaps you both had a baby shower and did a registry. You both spoke joyfully, and incessantly, about how excited you were for delivery day. You both cried after the birth (for very different reasons of course). And most importantly, you both love your babies with all your heart.

But…………you didn’t get to celebrate like they did, after all that hard work you put in. I mean, you were eating right and exercising. You went to doctor appointments and birthing classes. You went to all your scheduled checkups. You got sick and were uncomfortable………like all the time. You did all this, and you still didn’t get to celebrate like they did. And after going through all that, you deserve a special day. No one else knows your pain. It is unique. It is not something you can even put into words. Why aren’t you recognized for your suffering? I don’t know. It is a mystery to me why stillborn parents get pushed to the bottom of the pain and suffering totem pole. It’s time that changed.

As a stillborn daddy, I only know a little tiny piece of what you went through. I was there when my Ariana was born. But obviously, I don’t know what it is like to deliver a dead baby out of my body. A baby I felt kicking. A baby who could hear my voice, and could respond to every one of my subtle movements. You mommies do the real work. And I bet you would say that the pain of childbirth was nothing compared to the pain of seeing your lifeless baby afterwards.

Other mommies didn’t deal with that. It is a cruel thing that you had to go through. You had to watch other mommies smiling while looking at their new babies. You had to listen to your co-workers talk about how much fun they were having with their new baby. You heard them keep talking about how fast they go through diapers, and how much money everything costs. Or how they constantly talk about being awakened in the middle of the night because their baby won’t stop crying. Of course, they didn’t mean anything by it. But it still hurts really bad.

Your stillborn baby makes you a true mommy in every sense of the word! Even if you have never have any other children. You deserve your own special Mother’s Day. You deserve it today. Why?

Because………..

 

1) Your stillborn baby is fearfully and wonderfully made by God, and your womb is the place where this miraculous event took place.

2) So few people try to empathize with the pain you have gone through, and still experience. A special Mother’s Day would help people recognize it more.

3) You remember what it’s like to hold your lifeless baby and love them unconditionally, even when they could not love you back.

4) You continue to love your stillborn, even though your baby is not here to return it.

5) The length of a baby’s life outside the womb has no bearing on whether or not you are truly a mommy. A mother of a living baby does not make her more of a mommy than you are of your stillborn. (I’ve written more about this topic here)

6) Your baby is not dead. He or she is alive more than ever! (more on that here)

7) The bond between mother and child begins in the womb and never ends. Is there anyone else in the world as anxious as you are to see your little one again? I think not.

All of these reasons, and many more, make you a mommy. Not a lesser mommy. But a true mommy just like any other. Except for the fact that you are unique in many ways. You are a mommy who deserves her own very special Mother’s Day! And you deserve it whether or not America, the UK, or any other countries recognize it.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Your likes or comments are always appreciated! I will do my best to respond to each one. And if you enjoy my posts, I wouldn’t mind an extra subscriber either. (-:  God bless you, and thanks for stopping by!  – Jamie

You deserve your own special Mother’s Day, stillborn mommy. Yes, you should be honored and remembered in a specific way, and on a specific day, that wouldn’t apply to every other mommy. This is not to take anything away from other mommies who have not had the same life experience. All mommies should be honored on Mother’s Day, and every other day of the year for that matter. But you are different, stillborn mommy. You are a unique mommy. And since you are a unique mommy, you deserve your own special, unique day.

And even if you have other children besides your stillborn babies, then you should get two Mother’s Day holidays. One to celebrate you, for all you have done to love and sacrifice for your living children. And another to celebrate you, for all you went through during your pregnancy, and in delivering your stillborn baby. Not only that, but you deserve a special day to recognize everything you still do to keep their memory alive. You deserve it because of the unique pain that you still bear each day. Your sacrifice merits a different kind of recognition. Your story is truly one of a kind. And it’s time we saw some headlines about it!

It is not wrong, or prideful, of you to receive such a special holiday. It is not even wrong to desire it. You went through a specific pain other mommies didn’t. Yes, you both carried a baby in your tummy. You both went through your hormonal changes. You both got sick. You both saw your babies on the ultrasound. You both heard a heartbeat. You both took good care of yourselves. You both gained weight. You both endlessly shopped for maternity clothes. You both decorated a brand new room for the baby. Perhaps you both had a baby shower and did a registry. You both spoke joyfully, and incessantly, about how excited you were for delivery day. You both cried after the birth (for very different reasons of course). And most importantly, you both love your babies with all your heart.

But…………you didn’t get to celebrate like they did, after all that hard work you put in. I mean, you were eating right and exercising. You went to doctor appointments and birthing classes. You went to all your scheduled checkups. You got sick and were uncomfortable………like all the time. You did all this, and you still didn’t get to celebrate like they did. And after going through all that, you deserve a special day. No one else knows your pain. It is unique. It is not something you can even put into words. Why aren’t you recognized for your suffering? I don’t know. It is a mystery to me why stillborn parents get pushed to the bottom of the pain and suffering totem pole. It’s time that changed.

As a stillborn daddy, I only know a little tiny piece of what you went through. I was there when my Ariana was born. But obviously, I don’t know what it is like to deliver a dead baby. A baby you once felt kicking. A baby who could hear your voice, and could respond to every one of your subtle movements. You mommies do the real work. And I bet you would say that the pain of childbirth was nothing compared to the pain of seeing your lifeless baby afterwards.

Other mommies didn’t deal with that. It is a cruel thing that you had to go through. You had to watch other mommies smiling while looking at their new babies. You had to listen to your co-workers talk about how much fun they were having with their new baby. You heard them keep talking about how fast they go through diapers, and how much money everything costs. Or how they constantly talk about being awakened in the middle of the night because their baby won’t stop crying. Of course, they didn’t mean anything by it. But it still hurts really bad.

Your stillborn baby makes you a true mommy in every sense of the word! Even if you have never have any other children. You deserve your own special Mother’s Day. You deserve it today. Why?

Because………..

 

1) Your stillborn baby is fearfully and wonderfully made by God, and your womb is the place where this miraculous event took place.

 

2) So few people try to empathize with the pain you have gone through, and still experience. A special Mother’s Day would help people recognize it more.

 

3) You remember what it’s like to hold your baby and love them unconditionally, even when they couldn’t respond to any of it.

 

4) You continue to love your stillborn, even though your baby is not here to return it. But one day they will!

 

5) The length of a baby’s life outside the womb has no bearing on whether or not you are truly a mommy. A mother of a living baby is not more of a mommy than you are of your stillborn. (I’ve written more about this topic here)

 

6) Your baby is not dead. He or she is alive more than ever! (more on that here)

 

7) The bond between mother and child begins in the womb and never ends. Is there anyone else in the world as anxious as you are to see your little one again? I think not.

 

All of these reasons, and many more, make you a mommy. Not a lesser mommy. But a true mommy just like any other. Except for the fact that you are unique in many ways. You are a mommy who deserves her own very special Mother’s Day! And you deserve it whether or not America, the UK, or any other countries recognize it.

—————

* This article is dedicated to stillborn mommies specifically because my blog has this emphasis. So just to be clear, much of what is written here would apply to mommies who have miscarried as well. Your miscarried baby also makes you a mommy just like every other mommy! I wasn’t purposefully excluding you by any means. There’s something unusual about people’s responses to stillborn babies that made me want to write this.

___________________________________________________________________________________

Your likes or comments are always appreciated! I will do my best to respond to each one. And if you enjoy my posts, I wouldn’t mind an extra subscriber either. (-:  God bless you, and thanks for stopping by!  – Jamie

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5 Unforgettable Moments You Had With Your Stillborn Baby

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“I can’t believe this is happening to me!” Is this what you were thinking the day you had your stillborn baby? Were you confused about why, and more importantly why you?Or maybe you were feeling anger or jealousy, thinking something like, “Why can’t I have a normal baby, a living baby, like everyone else in this hospital?” “Why do they get to have the joy of taking their newborn home, and instead I’m holding a dead baby?” Why? Why? Please, someone just tell me………why?

Even as a daddy, I struggled with the above questions. Although I’m sure I don’t struggle nearly as much, or as bad as you mommies do. But some questions never get answered for any of us, at least on this side of heaven. Just thinking about that day can bring back a teeter-totter of intense emotions. Your stress levels can spring back to unprecedented levels, can’t they? Your brain relives that time so vividly. Your mind can soar to the utmost heights of joy, and 5 minutes later sink to lowest depth of pain and sorrow. There were moments of despair and sheer terror when you were in the delivery room. But those same moments were also mixed with love, wonder, and hope. How can anyone even explain this? I lived through it and still can’t explain it. And no one, except for parents who have been through it, can even relate to what I am talking about. The whole experience is still shrouded in mystery.

Are you ever afraid you’re going to forget those precious moments you had with your lifeless baby? You know, those moments in the delivery room when he or she finally arrived? Are you ever afraid your memory will lapse on how it felt to be cradling your little one? Do you ever think you’ll forget that little boy or girl? The way they felt? The color of their eyes? The exact appearance of their face? What about the words you spoke to them as they lie motionless in your arms? Are things starting to become a blur over time? Are you scared of the moment slipping away from you?

Yes, we all have these fears when it comes to our stillborn babies. We’re afraid we will forget some of the most memorable few hours of our lives. Granted, this could happen. At least to certain degrees in most of us. We live in a fallen world, with minds that are also fallen. The sad fact is that, as some of us get older, we will forget some of the moments we had with our babies. This could be due to Alzheimer’s, senility, or simply old age. Nothing, not even our good memories of delivery day, will be perfect on a fallen earth.

But why do we have these intense fears regarding memories of our stillborn? Very simple. You fear losing those things you most treasure. You become almost obsessed with not losing them. Memories of our babies are precious. Especially since, for parents of stillborns, memories are all we have. And we may forget little tiny moments of that day, but certainly not the whole experience. Not even close.

By the grace of God, here are 5 gut-wrenching, tear-filled, but at the same time precious moments you will likely not forget about your sweet stillborn. As a daddy, my experience was much different than you as a mommy, of course. And although this one is written for both parents, I suspect mommies will relate to it more. Either way, I hope it blesses you. So let’s get to it, mommies and daddies. While there are many more things that could be added to this list, I hope you will never forget………….


1) The exact way it felt to hold your little baby in your arms for the first time.

Remember how you carefully made sure that their fragile, wobbly body was well protected, with their head placed sturdily underneath your arm? Remember trying not to injure them, and being ever so delicate with them? Trust me, whether or not you say you believe in God, you knew that your baby was created in His image. You cannot deny that. It shows in the way you treated your little one. The way you took extra care to make sure you held them like a baby should be held. The way you reacted when the nurses wanted to bathe and clothe your baby in a cute little outfit. You wanted to be a mommy and daddy just like every other parent. Stillborn babies are body and soul just like every other human being, created to bring glory to God and live forever. You must accept, and hold onto this truth, because you proved it in the delivery room. You loved and cradled your baby like the precious human being they truly are. And it felt amazing, didn’t it?!


2) The way you pretended you were going to take your baby home.

Remember the tears and overwhelming emotions when your baby was born? Was it joy or was it sadness? Was it both? I suspect it was both……..in some crazy, but unexplainable way. Delivery day!! YAY!! No wait……..“I can’t be happy! Can I??” At some point, you stopped worrying about what everyone else thought. You stepped full force into the messy and scary reality of what you were going through. You talked to your baby like you were giving them instructions, didn’t you? You told them how much you loved them, right? Even though you knew they couldn’t hear you, you still told them. You wanted to make that day as beautiful as it could possibly be. And that is the way it should be. That is our God given way of dealing with grief. No one was going to take your moment of joy away from you, even if they tried.

And you needed to pretend a little, didn’t you? You felt like you were going to take them home with you. You convinced yourself of this. Just for that short period of time, you pretended like you were like every other mommy and daddy in a delivery room. “Why should I be any different than them?” is what you were thinking. And you know what, it was ok to pretend. It was ok to pretend that you were taking your baby home. We allow little kids to have that kind of mind sometimes, right? We wouldn’t dare condemn every kind of “pretend” game. How else could you have enjoyed those few moments you had with your baby? The mind is an amazing thing! It gives us the ability to enjoy precious moments, even in the midst of awfully intense sorrow. Both at the same time. It allows us to momentarily shut things out a little bit, doing away with emotions that will only complicate things. That’s what I did with Ariana. I held her like she was coming home. I spoke to her like she was coming home. It made the time go much better. Was it like that for you?


3) That moment when your precious little first came out of your body……..silently.

It was a deafening sound of silence. I know that is an oxymoron, but it wasn’t like any other silence. It was a silence you could only feel. A silence you can still vividly imagine when your mind travels back to that day. Remember how you were hoping and praying, and wishing real hard, that your baby would just start crying, despite all the medical evidence that said he or she was already dead. I knew Ariana was gone before we went to the delivery room that day. The ultrasound proved as much the day before her birth. But I still kept holding onto hope. Maybe I had seen seen too many movies. I don’t know.

But I believed miracles happen. I wasn’t a Christian at the time. But I still believed that God existed, and that He performed miracles. I still thought I would get my prayers answered. Yes, I really thought we were going to get a miracle on February 20th, 2002. Looking back, I imagine Ariana coming out of the womb crying like other babies, looking at me as if to say, “Daddy, why do you look so frightened? Have faith! I am alive! I am a living miracle! Come over here and give me a hug!” But it wasn’t meant to be. You know how people say “crickets” all the time now when speaking about silence. That was the answer God gave me. “Crickets” was all I heard from my little girl. Mommy was moaning in pain. The nurses were speaking encouraging words. I was silent. Silent and crying. And my baby was silent. I know yours was too.


4) The thoughts you had when you had to give your baby back.

How cruel it felt to give your baby back to the people at the hospital, knowing that the next time you see your little……..he or she will be in a casket. Knowing that your hope has now been disintegrated, you feel like there is no reason to have joy ever again in your life. Now, all you can think about is how you have to lie in that bed and listen to all the other babies screaming and crying in the other rooms. You have to somehow hold up under the weight of what feels to be an unbearable load. You have to drive home with that empty car seat in the back.

It has been said that picking out a casket for a baby is one of the most dreadful experiences one could ever go through. The person who said this may be right, but they are missing the whole picture. Here’s the thing. You also had to see that casket being lowered into the ground. Did you think about seeing your little being lowered into the ground when you gave them back at the hospital? Maybe you suppressed that truth in the moment. But not long after, you knew it was coming.

Don’t forget that moment at the cemetery. I know it’s painful, but do not forget this moment. Why? Because it is a part of your story. It is a part of you that no one should ever forget about. It is a reminder that this world is not as it should be. You had to give your baby back. And that is not the way it should have gone down. Mommies and daddies should not be handing back their babies at hospitals. But there is hope!


5) The moment when you first thought about where your baby really is.

You know what? The casket is not your baby’s home. Neither is the grave. Read those last two sentences again. You know what else? The day you delivered your stillborn wasn’t all about pretending was it? Maybe the part about taking them home was, but there is a greater truth that should’ve kept us going. And if this truth didn’t keep you going in the delivery room then, please make sure it keeps you going now. Your stillborn baby is now, and forever, in a place of infinite joy and pleasure.  I keep thinking about where my little girl was in spirit, even though she was lifeless in my arms. You can do the same. Even better, you can think about where your baby is now. They’ll be dancing on streets of gold one day, when they have their glorified bodies. And that is not pretend. That is for real.

Your baby’s spirit is now with Jesus. So even if you do end up with a tragic disease of the mind and forget about your baby, HE never will! And if you are in Christ, you will see your baby again. And no one, and I mean no one, can ever take that truth away.

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Your likes or comments are always appreciated! I will do my best to respond to each one. And if you enjoy my posts, I wouldn’t mind an extra subscriber either. (-:  God bless you, and thanks for stopping by!  – Jamie

If You Had Been in Hawaii on January 13th, 2018

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Imagine you lived in Hawaii, and you woke up to find the following text alert on your smart phone……….

BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.

I don’t know about you. But I imagine the words coming from my mouth would have been something like “%%$%&*$%#%!!!!” In other words, not printable for a Christian blog. But the dread of such a message was very real for hundreds of thousands of Hawaiians on Saturday, January 13th, 2018. A day no Hawaiian could ever, or will ever, forget. Thank God, it was a false alarm. But it was nearly 40 minutes before the terrified residents of Hawaii found out that the ‘threat’ wasn’t a real threat. That 40 minutes gave them plenty of time to think. It must’ve seemed like forever under the circumstances. I can only imagine what some of the racing thoughts would be for most people:

What do I do? Where do I go? Where exactly is it going to hit? Where’s my kids? Where’s my wife/husband? OH NO!! We don’t have a shelter!! HELP!! GOD, please help us!!

Fear. Panic. No…………more like unbridled terror…………hearts beating faster than they would in any of your worst nightmares…………….absolute, utter terror.

“I am going to die!!” was the theme of the day. A day that started like any other. And then, all of a sudden, in the blink of an eye, you find out that you may only have minutes to live. As the initial “fight or flight” panic winds down just a little, what would you think about? Whom would you think of? Would regrets begin to flood your mind? Would you really go from terror to regret? You might think such a response could never happen if your very life were at stake. You might think that the entire time would be focused on physical survival and nothing else whatsoever. Think again.

You would think about more than just your own, and everyone else’s, physical survival. Your relationship with God and how you have treated others would overwhelm you. Why? Because when you’re a Christian, eternal things matter more than anything. Obedience to God, your prayer life, unsaved friends and family members……….it all matters. And when your time is short, especially with only minutes to live, you won’t be able to stop thinking of eternal matters. If you doubt me, I suggest you read this sobering article by pastor Garrett Kell. In it, he recalls the harrowing account of a Christian woman named Dee, who was in Hawaii that fateful day. She received the ominous false alert. At the outset, her initial reaction was like a lot of people’s would be. Survival mode instinct kicked in. Then, because she is a believer, everything turned Christian from this point on. Instead of just thinking about physical survival, and what to do in a panic, it became ‘What important thing have I failed to do?’ or ‘What did God command me to do that I have willfully neglected?'”

Don’t get me wrong. It certainly matters what you do in survival mode. It matters whether you live or die. We have a God-given instinct to want to live. Your behavior matters when threatened with death. But ultimately, it’s in God’s hands whether you make it out alive. It’s in God’s hands whether a threat is real or a false alarm. But what matters even more is this: How did you live before the threat even happened? What was done for Christ? What was done in love? How much did you pray? Did you put your hand to the plow without looking back?

Remember our sister Dee in the above story. Something else came to her mind during the threat. She remembered that her son did not know Jesus. It scared her something fierce. He had resisted the gospel many times in the past. It wasn’t that she failed to try. It’s just that she knew one thing: if the Lord didn’t grant her son repentance before imminent nuclear fallout, then he would be forever under the wrath of Almighty God. I guarantee you that she will share the good news with him again very soon if she hasn’t already…….and again soon after that. No hesitation. No apologies. I believe that missile threats help to turn people into passionate evangelists.

You may be thinking, “Jamie, that missile crisis was a fluke. Ain’t gonna happen again! And even if it does, what are the odds it will happen in my unknown part of the world?!” Ok, maybe so. But what about this next hypothetical scenario? What if this were you? Could the scenario below be you tomorrow? Or the next day? Next week?

 

Here goes………..

 

Your eyes begin to open ever so slightly. “Sir, can you hear me?” asks the nurse as you look up in bewilderment. You don’t even know what happened. All you know is that you are in a hospital, lying down and in a lot of pain. You are conscious enough to hear the question. But you don’t have the strength to answer. The nurse stares at you softly with a mildly reassuring smile and says, “Sir, we are going to take good care of you.”

You are confused and disoriented. You muster up enough strength to ask one very important question………….“What happened?”  She replies, “You are having a heart attack and we need to perform surgery. The doctor is on his way.” Your wife and kids are crying profusely, not knowing what is going to happen. And just like that, you realize that this may be it. You might not be around much longer. Technically speaking, you are on your deathbed. You didn’t plan it. You had no idea it was coming. But here you are.

Christian, have you ever thought about your deathbed, if you even get one? What will it be like? What will you think about most?  What will you want to do over again? What will cause you to shed the most grievous tears? Whom will you think of? What will be a great source of regret? Have you thought about the terrifying emotions you might experience? The frustration of a bad choice made, or not made? The spiritual agony of not obeying God? The “what if” thoughts plaguing your mind something fierce? The agonizing prayers asking God to “just give you a few more weeks of time!!” That sinking feeling of “It’s too late to do anything now.”

What if you were to suffer a severe stroke and you had this gut-wrenching thought:

I want to do something now. I want to make things right with her. But I can’t speak. I can’t move my arm or my fingers. I can’t call her to tell her how much I love her. She may never know that I wanted to reconcile with her.

Sad. Pitiful. Devastating. Let’s pray to God that we take care of these things while we have time. Scripture tells us to “redeem the time.” Christians should pursue good with others, and make the most of the time God has given us. Obedience requires us to put things in order as best we can in the here and now. Fight against regrets now, so you don’t have to deal with them when it may be too late.

Whether or not you experience a missile threat, one thing is for certain: You will have regrets. I’m not saying that you can take care of every single one of them. I mean, we are sinners. There is only One who lived and died with zero regrets. His Name is Jesus Christ. But………..we can work through them while the Lord has given us time. Let us seek Him for the grace we need to pursue God and others with love. In the here and now.

The reality is that we are all on our deathbed every day we live…….so to speak. We are dying. Every moment that passes we are one step closer to the grave. So maybe we ought to consider every day a deathbed experience. In the famous work “The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards”, Resolution #17 states:

Resolved, that I will live so as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.

In other words, we should start doing those things that matter now, not later. Don’t wait for your deathbed. You are already on it. In the Book of James, we read this:

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (James 4:14)

You don’t have to be lying on a hospital bed with a heart attack to begin attacking your regrets. By the grace of God, do what you can. Make your best effort. It won’t be perfect, of course. But you will not regret trying. I can assure you of that. Deathbed regrets are not those things we tried to make right and failed. They are the things we never even tried to fix. Nothing brings regrets to the surface more than serious threats to our lives.

There are things we all need to do now. Let us pray that God’s Spirit would bring us to the place of obedience. If you’re a Christian, you can take comfort in knowing that Jesus Christ has died for all those regretful things we have ever done, or failed to do. Praise His glorious Name!

In my next post, I write about 6 specific regrets we may have. Stay tuned!

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Your likes or comments are always appreciated! I will do my best to respond to each one. And if you enjoy my posts, I wouldn’t mind an extra subscriber either. (-:  God bless you, and thanks for stopping by! 

Some of the Saddest Last Words Ever Spoken

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“So much wasted time.” According to his daughter Katie, these were the last words uttered by former teen heartthrob David Cassidy. He succumbed to liver failure on November 21st, 2017. The news of his passing, as well as every person who dies, reminds us all that we are only here for a short time, and then we vanish. I know that sounds awfully morbid and depressing. But it’s true. We experience it close to home and when we read the news. And Scripture affirms it. “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14).

Yet, most of us try to forget about this sobering truth. It’s like we push it aside purposefully and think death won’t happen to us for a long time. We live sometimes with reckless abandon when it comes to our Christian faith, not applying ourselves to the very Word of God. We always think we will have another day to make something right that we have previously wronged. Our mindset if often warped. We think things like……..

I’ll call her sometime and try to work things out. I’m just too angry right now at what happened.

Oh, you know what, it’s his fault. he needs to reach out to me first.

I’ll start praying more when the new year rolls around.

When I don’t have so much work to do, I’ll start spending more time with my wife.

I’ll stop looking at porn soon. I just need to get my fix for a little while longer.

Get the picture? We should not play such dangerous games with God. Time is running shorter every moment that passes. God can take us at any given moment.

Now, it would be really easy for us to point the finger at David Cassidy. His alcohol abuse and legal problems were well known. And while we can see clearly as to why such a lifestyle would be considered wasting time, we don’t often take the log out of our own eye first. Cassidy’s last words should not make us judge him harshly, but ought to break our hearts. And it ought to make us think more soberly about our own failures and sinful patterns. At least Cassidy had the humility to recognize that he had indeed “wasted much time.” He had the fame, the girls, the alcohol, and everything else that Hollywood excess is known for. But it took organ failure and being surrounded by loved ones on his death bed, to bring him to the place of agonizing regret.

At the end of one’s life, what does all that ill-gotten pleasure matter? What does it matter if you have wasted your time? What does it matter if you had numerous hit singles? What does it matter if the illicit sex felt good, or the drugs gave you a nice high? What does it all matter when you failed to love your family? And what does it matter if you constantly put other things before Jesus Christ? I am not sure what all was going through David Cassidy’s mind before his death. But his final words ought to bring us Christians to our knees and pray that we would stop wasting time. There is a line in the famous poem by British missionary C.T. Studd that goes like this: ‘Tis one life, it will soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.’

There is something more frightening than being on our death bed. And that is being on our death bed with regrets related to disobedience and wasted time. Time that could have been spent in the Word of God, praying, putting our sins to death, loving our spouses, and sharing the gospel. And what about spending time with church family and reconciling broken relationships? All too frequently we put these things on the shelf, supposedly waiting for a “better” time to deal with it. We foolishly assume that we will have time to take care of important things later in life. But folks, this is not Christianity. God does not give us “Time Outs” in our walk with Christ. He gives us commands to obey, and He doesn’t negotiate the time frame on when we start obeying them. The time is now. “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16). So let us get busy doing things for Christ that will last. Let us get busy now, so that we don’t regret it later.

Our biggest problem is that we often resort to other more ‘comfortable’ things so we don’t have to deal with the hard stuff. We end up watching too much Netflix, commenting on too many posts, tweeting about anything and everything, and stressing over matters we cannot control. Do we really want to wait until we have just a few hours (or minutes) to live before we realize that we wasted so much time? Do we really want to wait until we have stage 4 cancer to become diligent about eternal matters? Do we really want to stay angry and frustrated about the past and things that we cannot change? Do we really want to grieve the Spirit and harbor anger toward a brother or sister in Christ? I think not.

Lying on a hospital bed, surrounded by family, David Cassidy wished he had done things differently. We all have choices to make everyday. We either destroy our lives, and others around us, by giving in to sin. Or, we redeem the time we have by living for God. I hope and pray that Cassidy’s last words would be a wake up call to Christians everywhere. I pray that we would stop wasting time, do the hard and obedient things, and store up rewards that are everlasting.

And for those of you who aren’t Christians, you need to look to the God-man Jesus Christ, who redeemed His time on earth by living perfectly in thought, word, and deed. He spent 6 hours hanging on a cross, bearing God’s wrath for sinners like you and me. And He didn’t waste a single second of time doing it. He died, and then He rose from the grave 3 days later. All of this was purposefully planned. I urge you to repent of your sins, and receive Christ by faith. Otherwise, you will just be wasting your time on earth, and storing up wrath for eternity. And God doesn’t waste time when He is inflicting His wrath on sinners in hell.

Our days are already marked out by God beforehand. Christians, don’t put off obedience to the commands of God. Do them now. None of us will be on our deathbed regretting that we shared the gospel with too many people, or that we agonized in prayer too often, or that we humbled ourselves and asked someone for forgiveness. No, what we will regret are the times we did not share the gospel, or that we spent fighting with other Christians, or that we held a grudge against our spouse. Instead, how about we do these things to redeem the time:

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry (Colossians 3:5).

And also “aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one” (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12).

And of course………..

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age (Matthew 28:19).

Just a few weeks ago in a Florida hospital, the teen idol who once sang “Daydreamer” could only dream he had more time. Not just more time to exist, but more time to truly live…….with good and noble purposes. God gives us one reserve of time. And He desires that we use it for His glory. Let us repent of time wasted and begin redeeming it to glorify His Name.

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Your likes or comments are always appreciated! I will do my best to respond to each one. And if you enjoy my posts, I wouldn’t mind an extra subscriber either. (-:  God bless you, and thanks for stopping by! 

The Prayers of a Devastated Church

 

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A wicked man enters the parking lot, while everyone is quiet and praying,

They are talking to God and don’t know a murderer is near; They don’t know he’s coming.

I wonder………………

Were they able to pray that the horror would stop, that God would end the evil man’s slaying?

I mean………babies and children were murdered………in a church! This is all too mind-numbing.

Do the families wonder and pray this way?

Dear Lord, why did You allow this evil to happen? Why allow so much devastation and pain?

Broken lives and shattered families with no answers; we just wanted to worship You, and sing Your praise.

You had the power, and we know You are good; but an evil man entered our church and went insane,

You did allow it, and we don’t know why; we cannot comprehend; we do not understand all of Your ways.

Christians, let this be our prayer……………

Dear Lord,

Please help Texas and all of us to pray, even when we are confused and don’t fully understand,

Because we know that You are holy and good; You are perfectly wise in all of your decrees,

Your ways exceed our comprehension; we cannot fathom the things allowed by Your hand,

That goes for a church massacre and a sparrow falling to earth; even the gentle autumn breeze.


So, it is ok to wonder, Sutherland Springs……….

It is ok to wonder where your protection was. It is really ok, God understands. You can ask why. You can weep and you can cry. God understands.

He is a faithful High Priest. He suffered. He was tempted. He wept. Yes, Jesus wept. He understands………completely.

Jesus died on a Roman cross. This was brought forth by God’s hand.

The gospel, yes the glorious gospel, is where we must stand.

I know, you still wonder…………..

God, where were You? Why didn’t You stop this evil?

You wonder…………….

If He had the power, why didn’t He use it?

I do not know the answer, but I do know this……….

And I do not have to wonder……….

That in the midst of all your pain and sorrow,

And in the midst of having to face all of your worst fears,

Jesus cares for you and will never leave you. And one day He will wipe away all of your tears.

May God comfort and strengthen all of you at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. Our hearts go out to you all. We will be praying. God bless you.

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Your likes or comments are always appreciated! I will do my best to respond to each one. And if you enjoy my posts, I wouldn’t mind an extra subscriber either. (-:  God bless you, and thanks for stopping by!  – Jamie

 

 

 

The Day I Didn’t Protect My Baby Girl

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Daddies protect their baby girls. This is what they do. But I couldn’t protect mine. Long before she was even born, I had a mental list of all the things I would try to protect her from. Cuts, scrapes, and bruises from falling off her bike when she was young, to drugs, bad boys, and illicit sex when she got older. Later on, I would have added to the list things like bullies and online predators. But, in a small hospital in Northeastern PA, all these plans to protect came crashing down. All these “would be” teachings never came to pass. There was one thing I needed to protect her from that I couldn’t. I couldn’t protect her from her own strength. From her own lifeline to her mommy…….of all things. That is what she needed protection from. I didn’t do what daddies are supposed to do.

Thinking back to the very moment when I found out she was dead, I can almost recapture the same disturbing emotion……..if I concentrate hard enough. I can still hear the swooshing noises of the ultrasound machine. The deafening silence of the technician. And, even worse, the deafening silence of no heartbeat on the monitor. But my heart was probably pulsating into my shirt. And then……there was the look of fear on everyone’s face, including mine. A nightmarish feeling throughout my whole body. I wanted the technician to say something…….anything. And at the same time, I wanted her to just keep quiet. I wanted to delay what I thought would become a nervous breakdown. I was really scared. Yes, daddies get scared when their baby girl doesn’t move. It means he may never see her alive…….ever again. It means she got hurt really bad. It means he didn’t protect her.

I kept thinking “Are they going to tell me I am never taking her home?!” “Is this for real?!” “Are you telling me that I didn’t protect my baby from harm?! And how can I possibly ever protect her again, if she doesn’t come home with me?!” All of a sudden, nothing else in your life means anything to you. Money, stuff, sports, sex……….. nothing else means anything to you. Someone could tell you that you just won 10 million dollars, and you would feel dead inside. You’d push that green garbage out of your way. No desire at all for it. Money can’t buy back your baby. It cannot work a miracle. All I wanted was to protect her. But I didn’t. Simple as that. And it doesn’t matter how true it is that there is nothing I could have done. That doesn’t alleviate the agony of the whole thing. The agony has nothing to do with fault or neglect, or lack thereof. The agony is simply the fact that I never protected her. And protection is what daddies do for their little girls. And when they don’t protect, regardless of the circumstances, they live with unspeakable heartache. Their role goes unfulfilled.

I will never forget the feeling. But yet, I could never begin to accurately describe what it felt like. To be a daddy and lose your baby girl to stillbirth is a shock to your system. You don’t just “get over it”. Ever. I couldn’t make the darkness go away. I had to continually bear up under the awful reality. The reality that my baby girl is not coming home with me. I first felt the sting of this shock 15 years ago when I lost my precious Ariana. Seeing my baby girl just lying there motionless, it felt like every organ was wailing on my insides. A groaning lament that only I could hear. It wrecks your emotions something terrible. It is like someone sticking a knife in your head and ripping away the joy center of your brain, but leaving everything else intact. Something of this anguish will always be inside of me. Unfulfilled love. Unfulfilled joy. Unfulfilled expectations. And………unfulfilled obligation. And that is the obligation of protection. I wanted her to look at me with those baby eyes. I wanted her to look at me with the God-given instinct that she was safe in the arms of daddy. “I’m sorry that daddy didn’t protect you baby!” is what I would love to say to her now.

As a man, I am supposed to be the protector. And it ought to be a joy to take on such a God-given role. That is how our God designed things to be. But I couldn’t protect her in the womb. I couldn’t stop her from kicking so hard that she looped the umbilical cord around her ankle. Good daddies can, and will, warn their little girls of many things. Not that they will always listen and obey of course, but you still have the opportunity to warn them. Bad things might happen, but you can still at least try to wake them up to reality. You can still do everything under your power to step in and protect them.

And even if you can’t anticipate every possible thing that could happen to your daughter, you can still teach them about safety and common sense. You can be proactive. In fact, you should be. You can teach them how to use guns or pepper spray. You can teach them self-defense. You can teach them about unnecessary risks that they need not ever be taking. You can teach them how a teenage boy’s mind functions. You can teach about modesty in their clothing choices. You can teach them to scream at the top of their lungs “RAPE!!!!” when they are in danger. I would be teaching her all these things. Why? Because daddies are protectors of their baby girl. Even when she is 50!

Through the years, daddies can say lots of things to protect their daughters. These are some of the ways I anticipated protecting my baby……..

“Baby, you are too little for a real bike. You need training wheels for a while. I am buying you the one with training wheels.”

“No, honey, you are not allowed go to that party. End of discussion.”

“Princess, you are staying home tonight. The roads are too slick to drive on.”

“Sweetie, that skirt is too short. Go upstairs and change. Now.”

“Ariana, no Facebook for you today. And I’m taking your phone away for a few days.”

“I don’t care what Tina’s parents are letting her do. You are not going camping when boys are there!”

“I will not allow you to date that boy. He doesn’t love Jesus.”

And my personal favorite (the one I would have said most often)…………

“Repent and believe the gospel!” (If she believes this, it will protect her from hell)

Good daddies can anticipate and plan for all these things, then act accordingly. And although we can’t make her always choose properly, we can tell her why certain pathways are in her best interest to take. But one thing a daddy doesn’t say is……

“Baby, don’t kick so hard in mommy’s tummy! Stop! You don’t know your own strength! You are going to die if you keep doing that!”

I couldn’t give my baby a speech about the proper and safe way to kick while she is still inside mommy’s tummy. She didn’t know any better. She just kept kicking like crazy. Her own strength and perseverance killed her. Her lifeline to her mother was the very instrument of her death. What a handful she would have been had she made it out of the womb safely! A handful I would gladly receive any day.

The question for me isn’t “Jamie, how could you have possibly known she was going to kick like that? And even if you did, how could you have stopped her?” That’s not the issue. I didn’t keep her from harm. That is the issue. Her blood flow was cut off. I didn’t fix it. I didn’t fulfill my God-given role of being a daddy. It isn’t about fault or blame. It is about reality. It doesn’t always mean disobedience toward your role. Sometimes it just means unrealized. “It didn’t happen for you like it does everyone else” kind of thing. In other words, life can really suck sometimes! Move on. Go forward. Right? No, it doesn’t work that way. They don’t have a pain vaccine for parents who lose babies. One day, if we are in Christ, every tear will be wiped from our eyes. But now, pain hurts. A lot.

Every daddy can relate to this God-given “protection” instinct, regardless of whether your little girl is dead or alive. When she gets hurt (either emotionally of physically), you feel that protection instinct take over. And you would take any blame for her 1000 times over if you could. If she got busted for underage drinking, you’d go to jail for her if you could (and then lecture her, and ground her….forever…… after she hopefully bails you out!) You’d take a bullet for her, without even thinking. Trust me, you would. You’d give your only lifeboat to her as you drown. There are thousands of aching daddies who have little girls with cancer. And they can’t stop it from spreading! Some of these girls will never ride a bike, graduate from high school, or walk down the aisle. And I can tell you one thing for sure. If these daddies had the opportunity to take that cancer out of her body and put it into his body………………done. In the twinkle of an eye……………done.

I remember how tight I held Ariana after her stillbirth. I held her like a protective daddy. I had my chance to protect her from harm. But she knew nothing. I remember her body was flimsy. It felt like a rag doll. It was my last chance to hold her though, so I held on as long as I could. They give you time to do this at the hospital. I am thankful for that. They gave me a chance to be a daddy. Daddies are protective of their baby girl. I wanted her attention so bad. I wanted her to look just once. I wanted her to know that nothing bad was going to happen to her now, because I was holding her. I was protecting her dead body from further harm. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? But that is what daddies do. Even when their baby girl no longer has breath or a beating heart. Then they came in to take her away. Her next stop was the funeral home. Then the cemetery. I couldn’t protect her from being lowered into the ground either. Yes, I know she was dead. But they were still lowering my baby girl into the ground. Do you now see what I mean?

I wanted to teach her to ride a bike. Even more important, I wanted to protect her from falling off the bike and hurting herself. I wanted to show her how strong daddy was, and how much he loved his little girl. That he would never let her fall down and hurt herself. Maybe a little boy could deal with the bumps and bruises. But not my Ariana. I would have done everything I could to keep her from a skinned knee. Right now, I picture what her smile would look like when I catch her before her bike hits the ground. Oh how I can see the look in her eyes! I write that in the present tense because I am acting it out as vividly as I can. Then, I would tell her that Daddy would never let her crash to the ground. I would say, “Daddy loves you and doesn’t want you to ever get hurt. When you hurt, I hurt.” How else would she ever know that I was a loving protector, unless I really did protect her from something? How else would she know why I saved her from the pain, unless I explained my motives afterwards?

But Ariana did get hurt. She never saw any of my protection. And this was long before she ever got to ride a bike. I will never share that moment with her. I can hear her cute little voice shouting, “Daddy, you saved me!!” That has such an irresistible ring to it. And I would have saved her too………every time. No hitting the asphalt and “learning her lessons the hard way” for my little princess. No free range parenting on that one for me. But we never made it to the bicycle stage. I couldn’t save her on the day of her birth. Why? Because I am not her savior. All earthly fathers have limited capabilities. I simply could not help my baby. Where do I turn?

Conclusion

God Almighty is the only One who could have truly protected my baby from harm. But in His perfect and infinite wisdom, He chose not to. Sure, I have questions. But I trust Him. Yes, it is difficult. But I trust Him. No, my trust isn’t perfect. But He is perfect and I trust Him. He is the only all-sufficient Protector.

Psalm 20:1 says, “May the LORD answer you in the day of distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.”

And in Isaiah 41:10 we read “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Ariana is now with her true Protector. Ultimately, I could never fulfill that role perfectly. But now she is with the One who never fails, not even for a moment. If I had been a Christian when she died, I would have certainly grieved. But I would have grieved very differently. There would have been a peace in the midst of the storm. A peace that comes from knowing that there is no event outside of God’s control, and that Ariana’s death did not catch Him off guard. And knowing that no harm can ever again come upon her, for God is her refuge and strength. And one day I will see Ariana under the mighty protection of Jesus Christ!

I do grieve that I can never play a part in her earthly protection. Daddies long to be fulfilled that way. But now, truly I can say, nothing bad will ever happen to her again. Ariana was released from my faulty and limited protection to God’s everlasting and perfect protection. She is far better off.

I had a vague notion of heaven around the time of my baby’s death, even though I myself was headed the other way. But I had no clear understanding of the character, power, and magnificence of God. But now that the Holy Spirit has taught me some amazing things through the Word of God, I have a certain expectation of great things to come. I will see the same King whom my baby now sees.

I will see my Savior. I will see my Lord. I will see my Protector. And all of my unfulfilled love, joy, and expectations will be eternally and infinitely fulfilled in Him!

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Your likes or comments are always appreciated! I will do my best to respond to each one. And if you enjoy my posts, I wouldn’t mind an extra subscriber either. (-:  God bless you, and thanks for stopping by!  – Jamie

10 Things Parents of Stillborn Babies Want You To Know (Part 7): Ask Us About Our Baby

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There was no blood flowing in her little baby body. There was no healthy glow. Her little skull was sunk down. Her eyes were closed. And the bruises were too devastating to even imagine. If you are the parent of a stillborn baby, you know exactly what I’m talking about. You can get to the point where you’re not even sure if you want people to visit you in the hospital. You’re afraid they may be traumatized. That’s how bad it is. But yet, he or she is still your baby. Despite all the pain and chaos of that fateful day, you miss your baby something terrible. You have hard memories. Really hard memories. But you still want to keep them. God keeps your baby now, and He gives you precious memories preserved in thoughts and pictures. Thanks to my parents, I still have a beautiful picture of my Ariana. And she is beautiful. Bruised and beautiful. How often do you ever see those two words put together? Yes, bruises and all. She was my baby. And I wanted to show her off.

As I continue with this series of articles dealing with parents of stillborn babies, we move to point #9.

Parents of stillborn babies want you to………………….

 

#9 We want you to ask questions about our baby (eye color, hair color, height, weight, did you get to hold the baby, did they look like mommy or daddy, do you have pics, etc.)

 

An Unforgettable Supervisor

“Do you have pictures? We want to see some pictures of your baby!!” These were nearly the exact words spoken from the lips of my supervisor a little over 15 years ago. It was a phrase so shocking that I never, ever believed that someone would ask it about my baby girl, Ariana. And although it was shocking, it was also a breath of fresh air in the midst of intense suffering. Shocking because……..well……..I didn’t think anyone would want to see pictures of another person’s stillborn baby. Too disturbing, right? At least this is what I thought at the time. I mean, according to the world’s standard of “cute”, a stillborn baby doesn’t quite pass the test. No soft, color filled cheeks. No developing facial features. No healthy glow to make people say, “Awww, would you just look at how beautiful she is!” In fact, sometimes your stillborn baby’s most noticeable features are the bruises and the blood red lips. Not exactly Facebook material, is it?

She Knew a Secret

What my supervisor said to me on that day was a breath of fresh air. I needed to hear that someone……anyone……. wanted to see what my baby girl looked like. Yes, my dead, already-decaying baby girl. Other than perhaps your immediate family, most people would never think to ask you for pictures. I suspect she had her fears about how disturbing the pics might look. Anyone would be apprehensive of such a thing. Not only that, but what if there was a really awkward reaction when she looked at the photos? You know, something totally out of her control. Like she might cringe, or look away really quickly, or even make a sound expressing her shock. I don’t know if she thought through all of these possibilities beforehand, but in the end her decision was to make much of my baby. And it is every parent’s joy to have people make much of their child. So just having the courage to ask me for pics was worth more than I can put into words. She knew how disturbing the pictures would be to look at. But it didn’t matter to her. She knew that my stillborn was created in God’s image, and that I loved her. She instinctively caught on to the fact that I wanted to show off Ariana, but there was no way I could ever initiate such a thing. She took the first difficult step, and did the work for me.

One Reason You Don’t Ask

You may not ask us for pictures because you’re afraid of what you will see. You may not ask us questions about what our baby looked like because you’re afraid it’s going to conjure up horrible images in our mind. Both may be true. Depending on how soon after birth the photos were taken, they may be extremely difficult to look at. Especially for those who are a little squeamish. And yes, when you ask us about what our baby looked like, our brains may recall some of the more broken aspects of his or her physical appearance. But guess what? We wish you would ask anyway. It would mean more to us than all the money and gifts that could ever be sent. It would mean more than a thousand words of good counseling. Often times, it is the simple things that mean so much. Simply asking me if I had the chance to hold my baby would run circles around all the books on “how to grieve the loss of a stillborn baby.” 

We understand your hesitation. Really, we do.  Well……..at least to a point. I mean, when our loved ones die, we typically don’t walk around showing pictures of what they looked like after they died. We show them when they were vibrant and alive! But there is something unique about our situation. We don’t have any pictures of our babies when they were vibrant and alive. The day of their birth is also the day of their death. Parents of stillborns have such a hard time with this. The day of our baby’s birth is a joyous event and a tragic ending all at the same time. It is a cruel irony.

Don’t Be Shocked

We only had one day we could take pictures of our little one. That’s all. And not even a full day. We are talking hours here. Maybe not even that much in some cases. So, why wouldn’t we want to take pictures of our precious time with them? Why wouldn’t we want to preserve whatever memories we possibly could? And why would we not want to share our pictures of them? We understand if you can’t bear to look at them. We don’t want anyone to be uncomfortable. But please don’t be shocked that we love our baby’s pics. Don’t be shocked that we want people to bring up the subject. Remember, the only living pictures we have of them are ultrasound images from inside the womb. But who shows off their ultrasound pictures after the baby is born? No one that I know.

Grief Happens

There is another reason you don’t ask. It is because you think we will feel more hurt to be reminded of that fateful day of birth. Well, my response would be that we are already reminded of our babies every day. And we are ok with that! It is automatic. You don’t forget people you love. Nor do you ever want to. God has created such a beautiful bond between parent and child, that not even death can destroy it. As long as the memory centers of our brain are functioning, we will constantly remember our baby. That is why I believe Alzheimer’s is one of the most devastating of all diseases. To forget loved ones is such a heartbreaking thing to imagine for families.  So asking us to see pics isn’t going to create any more pain that isn’t already there. It may bring tears, but that is what grief does. Tears are healthy. In a fallen world, grief is essential. So remember this: what hurts far more than being reminded of our baby is not being reminded of our baby.

Daddy’s Hair Color

“She has dark hair just like her daddy” was the first thing my supervisor said after I showed her Ariana’s picture. But it was the way she said it that I remember more than anything. You know that kind of teasing voice that someone uses when they are trying to make you laugh? Especially when laughing is the furthest thing from your mind. She said it something like this, “Jamie, I see dark hair on Ariana, hmmmmmm……..(with a slight smile on her face)………….I wonder where she got that from??!!” (I actually still had some hair at that time!) It is a moment I will never forget. She knew that Ariana mattered to me. And she gave me some precious few moments that I cherish to this day. She asked for pictures. She made a reference to my baby’s hair color. She personalized Ariana for me. Priceless.

Wish We Had Cuter Pictures

People go crazy over cute pictures, especially baby pictures. And now that we live in the age of social media, it is easier than ever to satisfy everyone’s visual itch. And this quest for “cuteness” starts long before the baby is born. Mommies all over the internet are taking pictures of their baby-filled tummies. Tummies at 6 weeks, 10 weeks, 20 weeks, 30 weeks, and on and on. And it is completely innocent too. It is all about the baby, a little preview of what’s to come. These mommies are giving everyone an appetizer before the meal. They are simply displaying to the world that an adorable, tiny human being hides just beneath the surface.

The anticipation of birth increases with every picture of her growing tummy. The day inches ever closer. Family, friends, and co-workers are all getting excited for that special day when the baby will arrive. They can’t wait to see the baby pics. And when that day finally comes, all of the anticipation is so worth it. The joy is overwhelming. Except, that is, if you are the mommy of a stillborn baby. Now, every time you see those old pictures of you looking preggers, you feel the pain of loss. The pain of what could have been. You never thought your only pictures to show off now would be ones that people would quickly scroll past- in horror – if you put them on Facebook. Tragic. My heart goes out to all you mommies.

Conclusion

Society places way too much value on outer beauty. Beauty that contains perfect skin, with no blemishes. No defects are allowed for. Even little babies do not escape these cultural thought patterns. No, blood and bruises are not beautiful. They are disturbing. Especially when you are looking at a baby. But here’s the thing. The beauty comes when you look past the bruises and realize there is so much more to your baby. The beauty comes when you realize how much love you have for your baby despite the bruising. The bruises are temporary. Love is not.

I saw Ariana up close and personal. I held her flimsy body tight. I saw her placed in a casket. I saw people lower her into the ground. But she is not just a dead body buried in a grave. She, and all other stillborn babies, are with God as living souls. And one day, when Jesus Christ returns, they will have their physical bodies join their souls. But for now, they live in our memories with the physical traits that we saw them with. Even as damaged as they were, they are the memories we have. They are preserved in our hearts, our minds, and in pictures. Would you consider asking us about them?

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Your likes or comments are always appreciated! I will do my best to respond to each one. And if you enjoy my posts, I wouldn’t mind an extra subscriber either. (-:  God bless you, and thanks for stopping by!  – Jamie

A Simple Little Prayer When Thinking of Houston

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Dear Heavenly Father, cause us as the body of Christ…………

To remember the plight of our neighbor, and pray fervently for Houston,
To unite, join hands, pull together, seek the comfort of others, and pray,
For the devastation we see is for real; it is not made up and it is no illusion,
Cause us to approach Your throne boldly for Texas; there is so much to say.

Dear Heavenly Father, remind us as the body of Christ…………

That we must stop devouring one another and fighting over trivial matters,
That the city of Houston needs us, that they need us to give, pray, love, and serve,
For when God’s people stop loving and stop praying, all hope suddenly shatters,
Remind us to learn from the example of Jesus; let us watch Him and observe.

Dear Heavenly Father, motivate and inspire us as the body of Christ………….

To have compassion, to bear one another’s burdens, and redeem our precious time,
To take advantage of these critical moments; moments when others truly need us,
To remember the suffering; for if we neglect them it is just like committing a crime,
Inspire us to pray for hurting people; failure to pray is to throw them under the bus.

Dear Heavenly Father, teach and empower us as the body of Christ…………..

To serve wholeheartedly, sacrifice often, pray consistently, and love better,
To see the city of Houston as Jesus does; teach us to weep with those who weep,
To do good to our neighbor by the power of the Holy Spirit, and not the letter,
Empower us to love the city of Houston; this is what You command of your sheep.

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Your likes or comments are always appreciated! I will do my best to respond to each one. And if you enjoy my posts, I wouldn’t mind an extra subscriber either. (-:  God bless you, and thanks for stopping by!  – Jamie

Our Stillborn Baby’s Greatest Gain

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The next time you visit your stillborn, and you’re crying at the site of their grave,
Remember: your baby is more alive than ever; they have no crying, no tears, no pain.
He or she is now in perfect joy with all the saints, those whom Jesus came to save,
You must remember that the day of our greatest loss was our baby’s greatest gain.

Jesus has a special love for babies, and He knows each one by name,
Right now they are with Him in spirit, and one day with glorified bodies.
They can’t stop being near our Savior, for in heaven He is worth all the fame,
Our littles are well taken care of; no need to worry daddies and mommies.

So for those of you in Christ, you will one day join your baby at the throne,
And see for yourself the majesty, beauty, and wonder of His glorious Name.
At that moment all your heartache will be lifted, and you’ll finally be at home,
And you’ll realize that the day of your greatest loss was your baby’s greatest gain.

They are now with their Lord and Savior, far better than being here on earth,
God has many plans for them, and an infinite number of days to work with.
Our babies love to praise our God and King, for they have been doing so since birth,
You may or may not believe this, but I tell you the truth; heaven is no myth.

The joy of heaven is Jesus Christ; our babies know this and experience it every day,
They have just begun to enjoy His glory, and I hope one day you will do the same.
For when we finally see His face, shining like the sun with beams headed our way,
There will be no question, that the day of our greatest loss was our baby’s greatest gain!

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Your likes or comments are always appreciated! I will do my best to respond to each one. And if you enjoy my posts, I wouldn’t mind an extra subscriber either. (-:  God bless you, and thanks for stopping by!  – Jamie

 

10 Things Parents of Stillborn Babies Want You To Know (Part 5): Don’t Change the Subject

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“Hey, did you guys hear about Johnny??!!”
the proud father excitedly asks his fellow co-workers. “He hit 2 home runs, and he pitched a no hitter in Friday’s game!” “In fact, it was the first no hitter in the schools entire history! I can’t believe it!” The crew gives him a nod of acknowledgement, as if to say “We heard you just mouth a few words in our direction, so we are simply agreeing with what you said.” Then, it’s simply business as usual. No congratulatory words. No excitement. No further questions. Just a simple nod is all little Johnny gets from the crowd. Waiting for any kind of response turns into an agonizing silence. The father waits with annoyance. Nothing. Not a peep. Dead silence. And I mean a dead, awkward, rude, painful, you-gotta-be-kidding-me kind of silence. Apparently, this father’s excitement for his son’s athletic performance is not catchy. He is hurt, but there is nothing he can do about it. He can’t force them to be interested. By not hearing a word of congratulations in response to his son’s great story, the father feels like he was dissed……..treated with contempt. The hurt cuts deep. And the hurt isn’t primarily that he was dissed, but that his son was dissed.

As we continue on with my series on how to minister well to those who have suffered the loss of a stillborn baby, the next two points will be condensed into one overall point.

Parents of stillborn babies want you to know…………….

 

#6 We want you to become more comfortable in conversation, and not change the subject so quickly whenever we talk about our precious babies.

#7 When we bring up in conversation that we had a stillborn, we want you to know that simply saying “I’m sorry” is a much better option than total, dismissive silence.

 

Children Deserve Better

The poor, stressed out daddy now figures he can at least brag to the people who attend the same book club meeting he does. He’ll tell them about his son’s amazing performance. “Surely they won’t ignore my own flesh and blood son,” he thinks to himself. “After all the time we’ve spent together. After all the times I listened to their pathetic stories.” This one is a shoe-in, right? After he arrives at the meeting, he goes through the above scenario again. The father repeats, “My son Johnny hit 2 home runs today, and he pitched a no-hitter!!” But this time, things are different. There is a response. As the leader of the discussion group looks toward the others, he says “Oh ok, good for him. Hey, did any of you guys see how many passing yards Brady had last night? He is on my fantasy league ballot, and I missed the box score.” Ouch. The son is dissed yet again. This father may never get over this hurt. And he may hesitate to share anything valuable again. He feels like no one cares about his son. He is feeling the pain of rejection. Not for himself per say, but mostly for his child.

More Than a Baseball Game

As bad as the above example is, imagine that you were talking about more than a performance in a baseball game. Imagine you were talking about the day your child was born. Even more, imagine if you are talking to someone about the day your baby was born……..and died. No parent wants their child to be ignored, either in person or in conversation talking about your child. Especially when you are talking about the painful ordeal of seeing your baby come forth from the womb……….dead. No life. No breath. No smile. No crying. No anything. Then, imagine you try to talk about your baby with others, and instead of being given the gracious liberty to do this, you are shut down because someone had a “more important” topic to discuss. They don’t even give it a second thought. This is so disheartening to parents of stillborn babies. When you ignore our conversation so flippantly, you are communicating to us that our baby is second class. That our baby doesn’t matter. That our baby is too much of an inconvenience to even talk about, or listen to someone else talk about. You communicate to us that you believe that our baby is still born, but not still loved.

Babies Come From God

We all love to talk about things we love. I know……..I’m a genius to figure that out. And since parents love their kids, they also love to talk about their kids. Logical, isn’t it? And parents love for people to listen to them when they talk about their kids. And for good reason. Scripture says, “Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him” (Psalm 127:3). They are the fruit of a mommy’s womb. They have DNA of both mommy and daddy. They are the miraculous, beautiful result of the one flesh union the Bible talks about (Ephesians 5). And most importantly, babies are human beings created in the image of Almighty God. He has planned for the existence of each and every baby who is ever conceived. Notice I didn’t say born, but conceived. Scripture clearly teaches that life begins at conception, which means that every life of every baby began at conception……..not when the first breath was taken outside the womb.

Could this be why stillborn babies are ignored so much? Is it because he or she never breathed outside the womb? Is it because some people don’t consider them to have ever been fully human? I don’t want to get too far into the abortion issue on this post, but my point is worth considering. Here’s what the Scripture says about personhood in the womb……

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13).

King David’s personhood is spoken about long before he ever emerges from the womb. Notice the personal pronoun “my” repeated twice in the above verse. If you are the parent of a stillborn baby, remember that God says they were a person from the very moment of conception. It is a good thing to remind the people in your life of this fact as well.

Love Comes From God

God is the one who implants the love within us that we have for our babies.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God (1 John 4:7).

And even those who don’t know God savingly still have that parental instinct to love and care for their children, and to be zealous for their well-being and their reputation. No matter what the circumstances are of a baby being conceived, or what kind of physical and mental defects the baby may have, or what kind of problems they are born into, they are precious, beautiful, and always a gift from God. He gives the gift of children with the responsibility for parents to love them. And He is the One who empowers us to love them. The fact that parents of stillborns continue to love their babies many years after their death is a God-given emotion. And despite how painful it is sometimes to love a baby you never had the chance to play with, I still wouldn’t trade this pain in for anything. And I’m sure other parents would agree. The pain is evidence of the love we have for them. The memories are even more evidence. Dealing with the pain keeps our eyes focused on Jesus. He dealt with much worse pain. He can handle ours. And one day, He will completely heal our pain.

Sacred Ground

God knows His precious little ones. And the Bible clearly teaches that personhood begins the moment sperm and egg unite together. Remember, God is sovereign over this baby being conceived. He knows and loves the stillborn baby more than even the parents ever will. God is certainly not responsible for sins anyone commits in the conception of a baby, but He does decree the baby’s conception. In fact, He decrees all things that come to pass. No baby is ever a “mistake.” I was not a Christian when my precious Ariana was conceived. Having sex outside of marriage is clearly forbidden by God. But her birth was still known and decreed by Almighty God. This is a great mystery, of course. But it is the truth of Scripture. So, when a parent of a stillborn baby starts talking about how they had a baby who died during the birth process (or shortly before), remember that God knit this stillborn baby together in mommy’s womb (Psalm 139). Please regard this conversation highly. Not only to minister and show compassion to parents who are deeply hurting, but because the baby is the handiwork of the Almighty. When you listen to someone speak of how much they love and miss their own child, and how much pain they are suffering, you are standing on sacred ground.

We Sympathize With You

It may be uncomfortable for you (we know this). You may not know exactly what to say (and it’s ok, we understand). But other times, you may be thinking about that job promotion, or the fact that you really just want to go home and get something to eat. These things may be true to one degree or another. After all, we are all human and have needs. Conversational skill takes time, education, and effort. Ministering to others effectively takes lifetimes to learn. We don’t expect you to be perfect. But we want you to know that it is hurtful when you remain silent when we just want you to ask a question. Just one question about our baby. It doesn’t matter what it is. Just some type of acknowledgement would be worlds better than total silence, or changing the subject altogether. Little things like that mean so much to hurting people.

Saying “I’m Sorry”

If we bring it up in conversation, you can be absolutely certain that we want to talk about our babies. And we do not desire to have a one-way conversation. We are talking to you. We want you to be a part of the conversation. We are inviting you into our world to bear a little of the burden we have experienced, a tiny piece of our suffering in having a stillborn baby. At that moment, we are giving our hearts to you. We are sharing some of the most intimate, painful details of our life with you. It is a golden opportunity for us to vent our hurts, to take joy in bragging about our baby, to remember and cherish those moments we had with them. Please let us have that experience by listening and speaking words of compassion.

And if you don’t have a clue what to say, just look at us in the eyes softly with compassion and say “I’m so sorry that happened to you.” That’s all. Nothing more is needed. But anything less might be taken as dismissive silence. And that is not good either. As grieving parents, we do want some type of response. And if you simply make eye contact and say “I’m sorry”, you will minister more to us in those few seconds than you will ever know. We certainly don’t expect you to have the same raw emotions as we do. And we don’t even want you to pretend to have the same emotions either. We just want your ears, your eyes, your mouth, and most of all………..your heart. Even if only for a few moments.

We Can’t Help It

Parents of stillborn babies can’t help being hurt and upset when their baby is treated like a second rate conversational topic. No matter who you are, whether your children are living or dead, God has given parents such an immense love for them that we simply cannot help how we feel. We make no apologies for our hurts. Parents of stillborn babies cannot help the fact that blogs like this one have to be written. Everyone else in the world may change the topic, or remain silent. But you can bet your bottom dollar that’ll never be us. We will never stop talking about our babies. Despite all the awkwardness, we will keep trying………always. Our babies are worth it. They may have been stillborn, but they are still loved. And they always will be. So everyone might as well get used to it. Stillborn babies never had the chance to enter a human conversation. Hopefully, the parents are doing their best to make up for lost time.

Conclusion

David Platt once said……..

There is a unique pain that comes from preparing a place in your heart for a child that never comes.

Platt is right. And since the stillborn child never comes, the parents will work tirelessly to bring that child to others. And they do it through conversation. It is the only way for them to give others a glimpse into a life that ended way too soon. Don’t make parents regret that moment of opening themselves up to you. It is much too precious to them.

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