“Hi baby.” I wish I could say that to you every morning like I did with my daughters and still do with my son. One of my favorite things is walking into your brother’s bedroom in the morning and him looking at me through the crib slats with a huge smile as I say, “Hi baby.” That’s how we start our mornings.
You were our only perfectly timed child. We already had two kids and when we decided to try for a third, I wanted it to happen quickly so I could be done having kids by a certain age. And boy did you happen quickly. One month of trying to be exact, which had never happened for us before. We conceived you at the exact time to have a much-desired September baby. I really could not have planned it better if I tried.
Five weeks you were in me, but only five days did I know about you before we lost you.
Not even enough time to get used to the idea of actually having another child, but enough time to cry tears over knowing I would never get to meet you. I would never hear your heartbeat. I would never see your ultrasound picture. I would never even know your gender. I don’t even know what went wrong. I wanted a boy so badly and prayed for a boy so hard that I sometimes fear you were a girl and God took you away to give me what I prayed for. But if I think that way, the guilt is too much to bear. Maybe He knew I needed a guardian angel for a future event, and he chose you to be it. Or maybe there’s no deep reason for it at all; after all, you were only the size of an apple seed, preparing to double in size the next week to a sweet pea. I don’t even know if your heart had begun beating, yet mine was breaking. You will always be my mystery.
Fast forward 11 months to the day your brother was born. Now I understand. If you were here this little boy would not be and we can’t imagine our lives without him. I needed him. He completes our family and makes us whole. His sisters can’t get enough of him. He captures the hearts of his grandparents; he is what they never knew they needed. So, I thank you. I thank you for allowing your brother into our lives. I thank you for letting me have a healthy third baby. I thank you for showing me how precious and truly short life can be. I thank you for helping me understand what others feel who have lost a child they never got to meet. And I thank you for never leaving my mind. It’s crazy what an impact an embryo can have. And you have certainly left an impact on me. I don’t know if I’ll get to meet who you would have been in my afterlife. I don’t know if five-week gestation angels exist. And if they do, will you look like a tadpole, a little boy, an old man or something completely different? What I’ve read gives me faith that you still exist out there and that I will one day get to meet you. I really hope so, because I really want to know you and thank you and hug you and say, “Hi baby.”