My annual tribute to the baby I lost 23 years ago today, the baby I call Grace:
For the past few days I’ve been looking at the numbers on the calendar, growing more and more introspective as we inched closer to August 6. It was 23 years ago today that I learned the baby I was carrying, my second baby, had died 11 weeks into my pregnancy.
With a mother’s intuition, I had known something was wrong during that pregnancy from a couple of weeks before. The day Dennis and I — with Noah in tow — went to the midwife for my regular check up, I didn’t even take the little tape recorder with me to capture the sound of baby’s heartbeat, so convinced was I that I would hear only silence. I went back for the recorder only after Dennis insisted. But somehow I knew. Because when you are a mother sometimes you just know things about your children, even when there is no logical reason you should, even when they are still growing inside you.
When we went for the ultrasound to confirm the miscarriage, we saw the perfect form of our baby up on the screen. I remember Dennis looking so happy, thinking everything was okay after all, and me pointing out that the heart was still. No blinking blip. No more life.
With that same mother’s intuition, no matter how busy or stressed I am, no matter how many other things I seem to forget as I race through my life at breakneck speed, I never forget this anniversary. It is imprinted on my heart. As the date nears, I feel a stillness settling in, a quiet place amid the chaos, a space reserved just for this baby, the one I never to got hold, the one I call Grace.
In the past, I have talked about the ways Grace shaped our family by her absence rather than her presence, and that truth remains with me. I am very much aware of the fact that life would be very different had she lived. She managed to leave her mark on us, even without taking a breath. She lingers here, not only in my heart but around the edges of our lives — especially the lives of our two girls who followed her. I know them because I did not know Grace. What a sorrowful and yet beautiful impact she had on us.
So thank you, baby, for all that you were and all that you have given us without ever setting foot on this earth. The power of one small life.