When you were about the size of a blueberry, newly growing inside me, your dad nicknamed you Mo. He imagined that you’d be spunky, with a sense of humor, maybe even a little mischievous. I don’t question him on these things anymore—somehow he just knows.
We’d been hoping for you and dreaming about you for a while, but we first met you at the doctor’s office. Your tiny heart was beating wildly on the ultrasound screen. For the next three weeks, we walked an inch off the ground, fairly bursting with this secret of new life.
The morning of our nine-week ultrasound, I felt a lump of fear lodge in my throat. We’d gotten difficult news at an ultrasound once before, and it was hard to swallow my anxiety. I tried to be rational, to remind myself that the past does not dictate the future. Besides, hadn’t we learned a thing or two about trusting God the last time around?
And so I followed the doctor’s instructions, drinking copious amounts of water in the space of an hour to ensure that my bladder would be sufficiently full for the procedure.
“I’ll show you the screen once I start the next test,” the technician promised me.
She didn’t show me the screen.
Two hours later, the doctor called to confirm what I already knew.
“Your baby stopped growing,” she said. “There is no heartbeat.”
Your big brother was taking a nap when I got the call. At just a year and a half old, he doesn’t yet appreciate the concept of a little sibling. But he does know about you. On principle, if not practicality, we made sure he was the first to find out we were expecting. For the past several days, he’s been showing off his newfound ability to say your name.
As I lifted him out of his crib, he rewarded me with his trademark cheeky grin. Then he promptly pointed to my belly. “Mo!” he exclaimed.
I put one hand on his head and the other on you, tiny as you are. And in that brief moment I was given to hold you both, I baptized the two of you in the saltwater fountain of my tears.
Baby of mine, I don’t weep for you. You are in a place with no tears and no pain and no loss and no death. Best of all, you are with Jesus. I weep for us, because there are so many things we’ll miss. We’ll miss seeing your smile light up a room. We’ll miss hearing your contagious giggle. We’ll miss finding out your favorite color or if you like cherries or if you have an affinity for knock-knock jokes. We’ll miss holding you in our arms and smelling the top of your baby-fresh head.
Your dad says he pictures God’s love like a nest. It’s hard for me to imagine what heaven is like, but I suppose that’s as good a picture as any. Heaven must be the ultimate nest—where we’re covered, protected, hemmed in by Love himself.
I wish you could have stayed in our nest a little longer. There is a Mo-shaped spot we saved just for you.
But maybe I have this backwards. Maybe you are the one who has arrived in the nest already. Maybe you’re the one who’s saving a spot just for us.
He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.Psalm 91:4
Alice Teisan says
Oh Rische’s, my heart weeps with yours. Thanks for sharing this raw, vulnerable and grief filled post in such an eloquent masterful way. My prayer is that he would give strength to your weary souls and power in your weakness. This is taken from Is. 40:28-29 “Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.” (NIV)
AT, this verse is perfect. Thank you for the reminder that he is strong when we are weak.
Shannon Faust says
I wish I had words of wisdom. I don’t. I wish I could say that I know how you feel, but honestly, no one does. We all experience these things differently. But what I can promise is a Father who knows your heart and who knows your hurt. He is loving your little Mo even better than you could imagine. And I can also assure you, she is in good company. I have my own little group up there.
1 Peter 5:10b
So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.
Oh Shannon, thanks for sharing about your sweet ones too. Mo must have gotten a wonderful welcome!
Such beautiful words out of such a heartbreaking loss. I know you must’ve baptized this post with your own tears even as that same saltwater fountain baptized Graham and Mo. You speak with painful eloquence for everyone who has experienced such an intimate loss. Mine was in 1988 but we never forget. I have been praying for your family and will continue to do so, dear dear friend.
Thank you so much, Maggie. A mother never forgets!
Barb Erickson says
Oh my friends I weep with you and also hold you up in prayer. The only thing that makes any sense is that God knew how fragile little Mo was. Hugs, prayers and love
Thank you for the prayers and hugs and love, Barb.
I’m so sorry to hear this and devastated with you Stephanie! I love to hear his name. I always say loosing a child (at any stage) is loosing an entire lifetime of memories. I’m so sorry!
Yes, what a wonderful way to put it…losing a lifetime of memories. Thank you for walking this road so faithfully.
Allison Bland says
Stephanie, I am so sorry. I struggle to use words to honor this loss. My heart aches with you, with Daniel and dear Graham. The way you share your heart to those who read, in the middle of your pain, speaks to the power, strength, never changing, beautiful, soul reaching God who speaks and ministers through you. I am humbled and nourished by your offering. May God fill you, comfort you, and sustain you. xoxo
Thank you for your kind words of support and love, Allison. God is showing us so much love through his people!
Kristen Joy Wilks says
Oh, Stephanie, I am so so sorry. You have my prayers and my tears.
Thank you, my friend.
I am so sorry. How brave you are to share so vulnerably, and I can’t help but think that this kind of storytelling makes the world a better place for others who will go through the same kind of wrenching loss.
Thank you so much, Lindy. I appreciate you!
Denise Kohlmeyer says
I’m so sorry, Stephanie, Daniel, and Graham. I’m so sorry.
Thank you, Denise.
Michelle Klisares says
Oh Stephanie, I am so very, very sorry. I teared up as I read your words SO hoping the story that was unfolding would change. Love you. Praying for you all. Hugs.
Thanks for the prayers and hugs, Michelle.
Connie Beckett says
You are first a child of God as we all are His. Some of us get to taste the world, some of us do not, some of us are “taken too soon.” It doesn’t change the fact of who we first are and where we will ultimately be together. With our Father. Grieve for your little one, then live. I grieve with you.
Thank you, Connie…you are so right that this world is only a blip compared to eternity!
Sharen Mcmillan says
Such a beautiful spirit…..put into words. Love.
Thank you, Sharen. You were one of the first to know about Mo!
Theresa Smith says
Oh Stephanie, I am so sorry for your families loss. Thank you for sharing with us. What a beautifully written post. Don’t ever give up on having more. I know it is every hard and heart wrenching when you get news like that. I have lost 4 and some were twins. Both Kara and Andy were supposed to have a twin. We are blessed with our earthly children and also we have our heavenly children waiting for us when we get there one day. I am praying for all of you.
I’m so sorry for your loss, Theresa. Thank you for holding us up.
Kathy Bostrom says
We weep with you, pray for you, love you and your whole family: Stephanie, Daniel, Graham, and Mo. We cannot walk the path for you, but we walk with you.
Thank you for walking with us, Kathy. I appreciate your friendship and empathy so much.
My tears comingle with yours.
Thank you for sharing this tender joy and hope.
With love and prayer.
You are such a gift, Char. Thanks for loving us well.
Brittany Bergman says
Stephanie, thank you for sharing this part of baby Mo’s precious life with us. I’m grieving with you over all this loss and all the missed opportunities it represents. Continuing to hold you in my heart as you process. Too often miscarriage is a silent weight, and I’m so thankful you’ve invited us to carry it with you–not to mention, you’ve done so beautifully. I’ll be returning to your words here again and again.
Thank you, my friend. It is a joy to share the motherhood journey with you.
Stephanie, I grieve with you the pain of this loss. I know how difficult it is. Keep holding onto His promises. Love, Annie
Thank you, Annie. Your mother’s heart is an inspiration to me.
Katie Dodillet says
What a beautiful expression of pure heartbreak. We’ve been to this place, and it’s painful. Holding your family closely in prayer, sweet friend.
Thank you for understanding, Katie, and for your prayers and support.
Dandi Daley Mackall says
Stephanie, no one else could have written this beautiful letter. Mo has had more love on earth than most children reap in a lifetime. And we’ll all meet that eternal LOVE in the wink of an eye.
I love you, Daniel, Graham, and Mo–all gifts from God.
Eternal love–what a wonderful way to put it. Hugs back to you, Dandi.