On August 4, 2010 our hearts broke as we heard the Dr. say "she has anencephaly...these babies don't live" at our 19 wk ultrasound. The Dr. is wrong. Our precious daughter's time on earth may be short, but she will live for eternity with our Lord in heaven. During the few months we have her here with us, we intend to make the most of every second of it. Our hope is that she will leave behind more than a few short memories, but that she will leave a legacy of what it means to hope in Jesus.
I make these return address labels that have caricatures on them underneath our address. I started making them after Rachel died because I needed her to be included - and I make new ones as new little Aubes arrive. (I tend to need to add someone before I run out of labels!)
Yesterday, my new labels came in the mail.
Isaiah went down the line, counting our family members and when he got to the end, he said "That's everyone except Silas."
It's interesting to me how concerned he is with the baby I miscarried. He wasn't old enough to know or remember it happening and I hardly ever talk about it. And yet when someone talks to us in public and does 'the count' - my sweet Isaiah always feels the need to announce that we have 'two babies that died... one was Rachel and was we lost.' (it took me a LONG time to realize he literally thought we LOST that baby... like as in misplaced him...yikes!) But anyway... in the same mail delivery, I received the finished product I told you about that I was working with an artist on for Silas. My friend Lisa gave me a gift to get something in memory of him when we gave him a name and it finally came... And it is awesome.
I already had this stand for my Willow Tree Figurine... and the "Remember" Angel to go on it - so I wanted it to fit on it next to the angel. This is the size of an 8 week baby (how far along I was) - it's in a "tear drop" resin, but the shape reminded me of a womb. (you can get heart shaped too) I picked stars to be Silas' 'thing'... so I asked her to put a star in it with the baby - I was going to use the December birthstone since I was due in December, but I decided to go with May when I miscarried since that date was more significant in my memory. I looked up the May stone and it said it was Emerald and meant 'rebirth' - It felt perfect. To think of my loss as his rebirth into heaven as apposed to a miscarriage on earth. She also made a little star that I put next to it on the stand. The stand that says Silas was a custom order - I told her I didn't want the resin to just lay on the shelf and that I wanted Silas to be written to commemorate the fact that we finally named him - and she whipped this up - it's exactly what I was hoping for.
what it looks like on the stand.
So when Isaiah asked about Silas not being on the address label, I had a hard time finding words to explain why it's important to me that Rachel is, but that I don't want Silas on it. I don't want to tell him that one life is less valuable than another, but I'm not sure he can grasp the concept of holding a baby full term vs a miscarriage - heck a lot of adults can't. So, in an attempt to distract him from the labels, I showed him Silas' memorial...
Oh boy. I was NOT prepared for this...
"So where is Silas buried?" he asked.
A clear vision of me pushing the handle on the toilet and watching what I thought *might* be my baby swirl down the drain flashed through my mind. Hind sight would make that moment so clear, but I just didn't know.
"He's not buried, honey" I held up the package... "Isn't this nice?" I tried to distract, praying he'd just move on...
"What do you mean he isn't buried... where is he?"
"His soul is in heaven, but I'm not sure where his body is." I said.
"Well can we ask the doctors where they put him at your next appointment?"
"They don't know either." I told him.
"Well what did they do with him when they cut him out of your belly?" he said in a very concerned voice.
"They didn't cut him out, he just came out."
"He just came out?!?! He looked around to see if his siblings were catching this.
I explained to him that Rachel was the only one who was cut out of my belly. The rest came out naturally....
"Out of where?! Where do they come out of?" he sounded horrified. I felt horrified.
I had absolutely no idea how to explain what happened to the physical part of that baby. I never expected one of my kids to ask. And the conversation didn't go as I would have liked when all was said and done and he went back to playing.
Why didn't I just say I don't need Silas on the address labels? Just admit that he doesn't hold the same weight on my heart that Rachel does? I don't know. It's like I feel guilty about it - put pressure on myself to keep them at the same level - or just didn't want to let him down....yet instead I think I might have given him nightmares!
Losing babies is complicated all on its own, but having to walk young kids through it is something else. Honestly, I'm just really worn out from it all. He has never questioned how any of our living children got here. But something about a brother or sister he knows are somewhere, but not here, brings up a lot of questions as to where they are and where they came from. And I just don't have all the answers. I know "Where do babies come from?" is not anyone's favorite question to get from their kids... it's never been an overly comfortable topic, but I do so miss when it was a little easier to answer where my children are now.