I have a job for you, baby.

I have a job for you, baby. August 20, 2014



Not the little guy who just kicked me for the first time, that I could feel, just yesterday (yay!). I mean the other one, the one I lost. I wrote about how hard it was not to have a body to bury. You want to be able to take care of your children with your own hands, but I couldn’t do that, and it hurt.

Now, as the months have gone by and the pain of loss has receded, I still find myself bewildered about what to do with the baby’s soul.

When I found out I was pregnant last time, I prayed for the baby’s protection constantly, and turned him over to God. So I have a strong hope that, whenever it was that he left us, he was already baptized through our desire and intention to do so, and he went straight into the arms of his loving Papa in heaven. This is a good thing! I am not worried.  I love him, but God loves him more.

But, what to do when I pray for my all children, one by one? I was never sure when I got to this child. It didn’t feel right to pray for him. Even though I know no prayer is wasted, it seemed like asking for something that was already given.

And I know that many parents pray to their lost unborn babies, and that seemed reasonable, but felt odd, too. Probably this shows that I have a poor understanding of the saints in heaven, but praying to him felt like turning him into a spiritual being, which made him foreign, elevated beyond the family, not really our kid; and at the same time, it felt like too much to ask of such a little guy. I’m not going to tell my five-year-old when Daddy is having a hard time at work or Mama is worried about school; so why would I spill the beans to a seven-week-old fetus, even if he is enjoying the Beatific Vision? I know, I’m over thinking it, but it just felt weird!

But yesterday, it came to me: Baby, you pray for the new baby. You two hold hands and be good to each other. Take care of each other while Mama is taking care of the rest of them. Aha! Everybody needs a job. We are at our best when we know what we are here for.

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  • Lydia

    Beautiful! I often ask the two babies I miscarried (one conditionally baptized, the other I hope for, like you do) to take care of the two who are here. It helps.

  • Kristin Quinby

    I’ve always pictured #s 1, 3, and 11 in the arms of the Blessed Mother or being passed among all of the other children saints, because everybody LOVES babies. And asking them to pray for us is always what I’ve done – they certainly don’t need my prayers. When we found out about #12 in January, I flooded all six of their little ears, begging for their prayers for the new little one – expected now in the next 5 weeks or so. 9 is a good number – three sets of three. Don’t think I’ll make it to #10 as I’m already pushing the age barrier (44) with this one. But who knows?

  • How lovely. The little one you lost is definitely still part of your family.

  • Anna

    That’s what I always do too. I just couldn’t ask the ones we lost to pray for me: I so badly wanted to take care of them, not the other way around. But siblings can watch out for each other.

  • Rebecca Rooney

    This is beautiful and so well put. I am so happy for you and your family, Simcha. I hope you’re feeling well!

  • richard

    In the early 1950s, after 5 children, my mom had a miscarriage. There were to be no more after that. Then, in 1957, my brother next to me in age died in an accident. I was studying out of state at the time so the impact was not as great on me as it was for the rest of the family.

    • June1111

      I’m so sorry for the loss of both your siblings. 🙁

  • Peter Holmes

    We regularly pray a short litany including all the name-saints of our family, and we include (in order) the name saints of those we lost unborn.

  • anna lisa

    I know what you mean. I generally don’t ask my little ones to do anything, but I know the loss of their company is a powerful prayer for humanity. I ask God to tell them that I love them all the time. I can’t help but say “bless us all” as I pray for all of my children. It’s not that I think that they are not in heaven. I think they are there like a whole rooting section, together, in that great web of humanity, which must be a community that would boggle our minds. I think of God scooping them up to plant a kiss on their foreheads when I pray that. Our predecessors must feel for us, that we don’t get to partake of their presence, but they must feel so blessed to be with them. Heaven just couldn’t be heaven without them.
    I’ve stopped feeling sad about the ones my husband and I make for heaven. There are eight that I know of, but there must be more.
    When I feel that stabbing little pain of ovulation, I actually smile now and think, “one more for heaven?”

  • Karen Dickerson Kuplack

    This may sound morbid and creepy to some but is truth. For decades, it was believed that is was best for mothers to not see their dead or dying newborns. They were just taken away to die alone and often buried before mothers ever left hospitals. It was also traditional for these babies to automatically be baptized even in non Catholic hospitals. My mother believes that my brother was baptized no less than 4 times by well meaning doctors and nurses who didn’t know if anyone had already done it. She never saw him, held him or even knows where he is buried but he is a little saint in heaven. So when you pray for or to your own little lost ones toss one up for/to those that never felt their mommas hands or heard their daddy’s voice or were ever touched by anyone that loved them. We are blessed that we understand the grieving process so much better now. Also this may help you understand and be a wee bit more patient with those older women who just won’t stop wanting touch or look at your baby. for just a moment think that they may have never gotten to touch their own.

  • I like that assignment “Baby, you pray for the new baby”
    Here is another take on the loss of a baby that I like…it really resonates with me: http://www.conversationwithwomen.org/2014/07/21/miscarriage-love-father/

    • anna lisa

      Thanks for posting that link.

  • dabhidh

    This is going to keep me on the verge of tears all day long, but I’m glad I read it.

  • Arden Abeille

    So lovely; just so.

  • irena mangone

    That is so beautiful thank you for sharing