Reader’s Note – This piece is a follow-up story detailing the unexpected loss of an unborn child.
September 2nd I delivered a 1.97 oz. little boy. Gabriel Nehemiah…my strength and comfort are in the Lord. I didn’t realize at the time how true the meaning of his name would become for me.
As the week progressed after his birth, my emotions had their peaks and valleys. All those questions that the doctor in the ultrasound room said I’d wrestle with came flowing through my mind. I did question all the tiny decisions that I’d made since finding out I was pregnant and wonder if any of them had caused his death. There’s no answer to any of those questions and I have slowly learned to let them go.
There have been times that I knew were going to be difficult, and then there were times that things were unexpectedly difficult. I knew it would be hard going to a niece’s baby shower and seeing her child be born when her due date was two months before mine. I didn’t know it would be hard seeing other pregnant women in public. I didn’t think it would be hard seeing pictures of friends’ newborn babies or holding a baby months later. It’s still hard and that’s something I don’t know how to fix – if it can be fixed. I didn’t know it would be hard hearing one of my best friends tell me she was pregnant and then to offer her my maternity clothes.
However, despite all the difficulties, there are an uncountable number of blessings that have fallen upon my life that I would not have been able to receive if Gabriel had not been stillborn. I wouldn’t have been able to go skiing with my older son for the first time. I wouldn’t have been able to help lead a women’s conference at my church, which helped me figure out God’s path for my life. Losing Gabriel caused me to become a better, more patient parent for my older son (most of the time). If I hadn’t lost Gabriel, I wouldn’t have gained closer relationships with some amazing women from my church. Most importantly, I wouldn’t have gained a closer relationship with God and become more aware and purposeful about his plans for me.
You’ll notice I refer to my “older son.” When you walk into my house, there are signs of Gabriel in almost every room. There are pictures in the bedrooms; his name is on a pillow in the living room; there’s a lilac bush planted in his memory in the front yard. My son often refers to his brother, “Gabe,” and how he’d be if he were with us. Today, if he were born on his due date, February 4th, he’d be 25 days old. The days leading up to this I’ve been thinking, “I should have a baby 1 week old … 2 weeks old … 3 weeks old. But, I shouldn’t. My life is turning out the way God intended, with one child living with me and one living with Him.