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