The Baby I Never Held
The God of all comfort knows how to soothe our grief.
by Eva C. Maddox
A wave of nausea swept over me as I prepared breakfast. Simultaneously, a troubling thought soared through my brain. I couldn’t be pregnant! Not now — when my toddler is finally into big boy underwear. No!
I had spent the last few months dieting and could finally fit into my clothes. I was enjoying my job, and we were paying bills on time. It’s probably a touch of the flu.
With two small children to care for and a full-time job, I had little time to dwell on myself. I dropped the kids at the sitter’s and drove to work. I felt fine all day and did not give the flu a second thought.
The following morning, as soon as I lifted my head, I choked on the nausea roaring in my stomach. My husband suggested I go to the doctor. Staggering to the bathroom, I assured him I would be fine.
The nausea continued off and on all day, and I toyed with the idea of going to the doctor, but hoped I would feel better as the day wore on. After all, how long can a flu bug last?
For several weeks we had been planning a trip to Indiana to visit our families. From our home in Florida, the trip would take about twenty hours. We had planned to leave that night, driving while the kids slept.
Seven o’clock rolled around, and we were packed and ready to go. It didn’t take long for the children to fall fast asleep, lulled by the hum of the tires.
By ten o’clock, I felt feverish, and a dull pain gnawed at my belly. My husband suggested I take two aspirin and try to nap. The aspirin helped, but in a few hours, I felt worse. I should have seen a doctor before I left.
When we stopped for gas, I headed for the ladies’ room. There I received confirmation that I wasn’t pregnant. Whew! What a relief! I ached all over, though, and felt so weak, I hoped I could make it back to the car.
My husband had a soda waiting for me, and I held the cold can against my hot forehead. I hope the kids don’t catch this.
The rest of the night remains a blur. We stopped for breakfast, but I couldn’t summon the strength to go inside. I do recall arriving at my in-laws’ feeling sicker than I had ever felt before.
My mother-in-law took one look at me and helped me into bed. She gave me sips of something cold to drink and two aspirin. I overheard her admonishing her son for not taking me to the doctor.
I don’t know how long I slept, but when I awoke, I was lying in a pool of blood and realized I didn’t have the flu. I was obviously having a miscarriage.
After receiving medical care, I began feeling better, and I enjoyed the rest of our visit. However, as the time drew near for us to leave, sadness edged its way into my thoughts. I attributed it to leaving family, knowing it would be a long while before we saw them again.
As our car sped along I-75 toward Florida, the sadness deepened. You were expecting a baby. A baby!
I hugged my arms and remembered the feel of our newborn son when we brought him home from the hospital. You didn’t want your baby. You didn’t want your own baby! Tears flowed down my cheeks and dripped on to my empty arms. You are so selfish! No wonder God took your baby.
“Why is Mommy crying, Daddy?” I felt a little hand patting my back and smoothing my hair, but I couldn’t stop crying.
Guilt and grief overwhelmed me in the days following our trip. Despair became my constant companion. The Bible says that Satan is an accuser of believers. He certainly had lots of practice on me.
I plodded through each day with a heavy heart, taking little interest in my husband and children.
Gifts from God
One afternoon I stood at the kitchen window and watched my children playing on their swing set. The Florida sun had bleached their blond hair white. Suddenly, I had an overwhelming urge to gather them to me and hug them.
I pecked on the window and waved to them. My little girl waved from atop the sliding board. Thank you, Father, for such beautiful gifts.
God uses many ways to reach his children. That day, He used the brilliant sunshine showering down on my children to get my attention.
Comfort from God
The first hint of warmth invaded my cold heart. I retreated to my bedroom and knelt in prayer, asking God to forgive my selfishness, to help me forgive myself, and to mend my broken heart.
God answered my prayer, using these verses to speak to my heart: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4, NIV).
In the following weeks, God’s Spirit gently coaxed me out of my self-loathing and grief. He truly is the God of comfort.
God blessed me with two more babies after that, but I have never forgotten the baby I never held, not for one single minute. Sometimes I wonder what he would have looked like. Would he have those big brown eyes, that shocking blond-white hair, and those amazing eyelashes?
God chose to take my baby before he ever breathed a single breath. I don’t know why and will never know why until I reach eternity. One thing I do know: God is sovereign and knows what is best for my baby and for me. Until I see Him and my little one some day, I will trust His heart.