Thursday, June 30, 2011

Spirit Baby

In November, 2007, I lost a baby for the first time. It's one thing to worry about it happening and quite another to have it happen. I had good, compassionate friends who knew to not say any of the hurtful platitudes that people tend to say in their helplessness (hint: no one wants to hear how it could have been prevented, that it was inevitable, that their baby was anything other than a baby or that a dead baby could ever be 'for the best' -- please don't say any of these things to a grieving parent).

One person was even kind enough to share a story that helped with her own miscarriage, which I'm going to share here, for all the moms who might find comfort in it.

Spirit Baby (excerpt from The Baby Catcher)

Colin, my twelve-year-old son, discovered me late one rainy afternoon sitting at the kitchen table, a damp Kleenex crumpled in my left hand, wiping my eyes as I tried to compose myself for his sake. It was the third week of January, two months after I’d miscarried a pregnancy, but I still found it impossible to get through a day without at least one meltdown into misery.


Colin asked, "Are you crying about the baby?" and when I nodded tearfully, he said, "Well, you just have to have another one, Mom, because it’s a Spirit Baby, and you should be its mother."

I must have looked puzzled because he said, "Don’t you know about Spirit Babies? How could I know about them if you don’t? I mean, you’re my mom!" But he could see my perplexity.

So my first child, this not-yet-teenaged boy, pulled a wooden chair to my side and draped his thin arm across my shoulders, saying, "Well, Mom, here’s how it is. See, I was one myself, so that must be how I know. Anyway, every woman has a circle of babies that goes around and around above her head, and those are all the possible babies she could have in her whole life. Every month, one of those babies is first in line. If she gets pregnant, then that’s the baby that’s born. If she doesn’t get pregnant, the baby goes back into the circle and keeps going around with all the others. If she gets pregnant but something bad happens before the baby’s born…now listen, Mom, because here’s the really cool part. It goes back into the circle, but it becomes a Spirit Baby, and all the other babies give it cuts. Each month, it’s always first in line. Isn’t that great?

"So you just have to get pregnant again, and you’ll have the same Spirit Baby. If you don’t, though, then the baby circle will just beam that little Spirit Baby over to some other woman’s circle, and it’ll be first in line for her. It keeps being first in line somewhere until it finally gets born.

"But it’d be a shame for you not to have it yourself, because I know how much you want it. So you just have to try again. Mom, remember that baby you lost before I was born?" I nodded wordlessly. "Well, that was me. Really. I’ve always known I was a Spirit Baby. I mean, I know what I’m talking about here, Mom."

(the story goes on that several months later, she did finally decide to try again and conceived her 'spirit baby', for 'the joy of it'--to quote her ' tweenage' children)

1 comment:

  1. ((hugs)) I'm so sorry for your loss. I have taken great comfort in this story myself and always appreciate its retelling.


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