Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Choice. A Poem in Honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Like (at least) 25% of women, I lost a baby I wanted and loved.

I was 35 when Niels and I married, so we knew we didn't want to wait to start our family. Still, we were surprised to find out we conceived on our honeymoon. A week later, I miscarried. Two months later, I was rushed to the ER when I learned that not only was I pregnant again, but I was also losing that baby, too. I had complications after my second miscarriage and I was crushed, thinking I would never carry a child to full term. Three months later, after many tests and with the help of an OB who both encouraged and cried with me, I conceived again. It was Easter Sunday. I was put on medicine to help my child stay put, but it wasn't until my third ultrasound that I started to believe this baby might be the one God wanted me to raise. 

Last year, for my birthday, my mom wrote a poem that eloquently captures both the sorrow of our loss and our gratitude to God for our son He deemed perfect for us.

The Choice 

 Angel Gertrude had recently been advanced to become the Selector of Babies. Her new position had her finding the perfect match of a new baby to expectant parents. Her first assignment was for a newly married couple who had waited long to find each other, and who were eager to start their family. 

They were honeymooning on a beautiful Caribbean island full of color, fragrant blossoms and exotic cuisine. Gertrude thought she had the perfect active dark-haired boy who was full of the passion and percussion of this island. He would be one to bang out his rhythms on anything and everything. His joy would be his drum set, which he would practice on for hours on end. Every time the couple would hear him, they would be reminded of their wonderful days in the Caribbean. Her pleasure in her choice was soon squelched as God shook His head at her list. 

“He is a delightful boy, but this is a very special couple with unique needs. I think we can do better."  And God welcomed the little soul back to join Him in Heaven. 

Gertrude's brow puckered. She wanted so much to please her beloved God, so she tried again. This time she selected a perky little full of life and activity. She would be one to run and skip all day outdoors, who would stop napping at 9 months, and would be difficult to get to come indoors, and even then would be dancing and running about until the late hours. 

God checked her list again, and slowly shook His head. A lovely girl, but not the perfect choice for this couple. And He blessed the little soul and welcomed her with open arms back to join him in Paradise. 

Now Gertrude was becoming nervous. She loved her new position, and really didn't want to go back to shining halos. She looked at the sad couple below who wanted so desperately to have a child of their own, and she felt so badly that she had not yet given them the perfect match that would please God. 

 She studied the couple, and watched as they sat at their computers for hours on end. She saw the woman wander through bookstores looking and reading the books. She saw them cuddle together on their couch as they watched favorite movies and recorded television programs. She observed their love, their intelligence and their kindness. 

Suddenly, she felt a tug on her gown. She looked down at a little soul with beautiful blue eyes staring up at her. “I want them”, he pleaded. She gazed at him with a thoughtful look. This is a boy who will love to read and collect books. He will cuddle with them to watch his favorite CDs and television shows. His love of trains will have him quietly playing with them for hours at end. He will love his bedroom and his nap times, and will continue to nap into his fourth year. He will love to spend time learning computer skills with his father. 

Gertrude reached down and picked up the little soul. “I think they will be the perfect parents for you, my boy. And as a Christmas gift to God and these parents, I will let you become a part of their lives in the month of His son's birth”. And she made the arrangements. 

As she showed God her choice, He smiled and kissed her gently on her brow. She whispered “All in your good time and wisdom”. And God smiled.

-- Eileen Manthei, January 15, 2013

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  1. So proud of you for sharing your story! I know it will be such an encouragement to others...including me. And what a beautiful poem your Mom wrote. There were tears in my eyes to read it. There was something very "It's a Wonderful Life-esque" about it.... So thankful that little boy is yours! ;-) Hugs to you, friends.

    1. Thanks, Lauren! And you can see where my writing ability came from!


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