Baby News and Blues


We had a great time visiting family in Wisconsin last weekend. My brother Brett and his wife Natasha announced that they are expecting their 3rd baby. Surprise! 

Their news caught me off-guard. I wasn't expecting it nor had I really considered how I would feel or react upon such news. 

Don't get me wrong. I am excited for them. I am happy and want to rejoice with them. A new baby - any new baby - is a wonderful blessing. New life is a gift from God. 

As I mentioned last week, life and death are all around. My thoughts just keep returning to my two babies in heaven. My baby Hope would've been due in the next month or so. How different our lives would be right now if we were preparing for a new baby. But we're not. 

Honestly, the hardest part of hearing my brother and sister-in-law's baby news is a small thing - a silly thing, really. It was just the telling of the news. 

Back in December 2002, we shared our first-ever baby news in a very creative way. We wrote this poem from the baby's perspective and wrapped it up as a Christmas gift for my mom and dad to open. 

Hear ye! Hear ye!
This news is great.
You can soon expect
Grandchild number eight!
Number eight for you,
But a first child for my dear folks,
Who are new to morning sickness
And baby kicks and pokes.
But they just couldn't wait 
To share this news with you.
I'll appear next summer
August 1st is when I'm due.
-Itty Bitty

 I still remember the looks on their faces as they read the poem. I just loved getting to share the news! 

With my second child, it was the spring of 2007 and I was on a Girls Getaway Weekend with my mother and 3 sisters-in-law. I was sharing my testimony and story of infertility. I'd never shared the infertility struggle with them. They were all surprised to hear how hard it had been, as I shared it through many tears and losses of composure. At the end, though, I was able to shock them all by saying that after the years of struggling, I was pregnant! It was a story of God's faithfulness, of answered prayers, of victory. 
Again, I loved sharing the news!

Now tears fill my eyes again as I remember sharing the news of my other 2 pregnancies. Instead of creative ways, instead of happy announcements, I've called my parents to tell them all at once "Yesterday I was pregnant but today I lost the baby." I've made that phone call twice, through many tears and losses of composure. 
I hate sharing that news!

When I found out I was pregnant with baby #3 in June 2011, one of the first things I got excited about was the sharing of the news. How would we tell people? What creative way would I tell my mom? I started jotting down thoughts and writing another poem, this one for telling my mom that she now had a dozen grandchildren. That baby would be #12. But I miscarried the baby. That baby, Grant David, would never meet my mom nor be counted among the living grandchildren. 

When I became pregnant again in February 2012, I referred back to this poem. No other grandchildren had come along in the meantime. This baby, yes, this baby would be #12. I could still use the poem. I pulled it out and worked on it some more. But again, that baby went to heaven before ever being held in our arms. That baby, Hope, would never meet my mom nor be counted among the living grandchildren either. 

Now the story comes full circle, back to the recent news of a new baby. There will be no place for this poem, a poem sharing baby news for the 12th grandchild. My brother's wife is carrying that child and they've shared the news in their own way, as is only right.

And so I grieve, even though I rejoice at new life. 
I grieve, even though I praise God for a new niece or nephew in the family. 
I grieve simply for what might have been, for the babies that will not be counted on this earth, for dashed hopes, for how unfair life can sometimes be. 

This poem symbolizes all of that for me, so I share it here because there is no other time or place to share it.

A dozen. A dozen.
What's so special about a dozen?
Eggs come by the dozen, 
Cans of soda and roses too.
There are 12 days of Christmas -
the song we sing with you.
Dozens are cheaper
They sometimes say 
And dishes, pencils, socks
And cookies all come that way.
A dozen. A dozen.
What's so special about a dozen?
Kane, Brandon, Briannah, Danielle
 Zeke, Corban, Naomi and Isabelle 
Christa, Titus and Trinity
And now #12 - little old me!
A dozen is special, now you see!


marineof2 said...

(((HUGS))) My heart still aches for you, knowing the pain you still feel. Know that you are being prayed for and thought of often! Psalm 34:18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

NTMcMillan said...

I echo that. You are thought of and prayed for often, my friend. I love your creativity -- thank you for sharing the poem with us.

Post a Comment