Today I’m going to be real and raw. Today I don’t have the answers. Today, I am just a grieving mother. Before I delve in, please be aware of this disclaimer. What I am about to share doesn’t take away from the truth that I have long ago accepted God’s plan for my life and lives of my children. Please don’t feel the need to tell me that there all kinds of miracles…the kind we see this side of heaven and the kind that live in eternity. I know that. And, I’m grateful everyday for the beauty from ashes God has made from my life, and for the thousands of lives touched because Faith, Grace, and Thomas lived.
But, today, I am just a mother. Thomas’ mother, aching for the life of my boy, shattered into pieces, and staring deep into the face of what-if.
And, I am not alone.
This blow has taken me by surprise. It is not lessened by the fact that it has been fifteen years since I saw the beautiful face of my son, who was taken from us due to a condition called Potter’s Syndrome, after living for six hours. The passing of time does little to comfort this gaping wound that I keep hidden and covered and bound, but now oozes unbridled.
Today, I read about a miracle. A miracle I prayed for and longed for…for myself, and for so many others. Fifteen years ago, I prayed for a miracle while planning a funeral. I longed for an answer. I had already stood beside the grave of my twin daughters, and I needed to know that we did everything we could to save our son. I researched online for answers. I went to see specialists. Fifteen years ago, I asked doctors to do the very procedures that were recently done to save the life of baby Abigail, daughter to Senator Jaime Beutler. Her daughter is the first baby to ever live after being diagnosed with Potter’s Syndrome. I asked if we couldn’t just put fluid in there to help his lungs. I asked if they couldn’t just give my boy a kidney. I asked. I was desperate to save my son. They said those procedures couldn’t help.
But, I had to accept, surrender, trust when I couldn’t see. I did, I do, and I have.
I put away what-if, and realize it’s fruitless to go there. I can’t go back and save Thomas. But, today, what if is unavoidable. Because if they tried the procedures, he could’ve lived. I know the answer to what if. The medical technology to insert saline into the amniotic sac was there fifteen years ago. That isn’t the issue. The issue was finding someone willing to listen, willing to try. I am grateful the senator was able to find doctors who were willing. And, grateful that many lives may be saved because of her persistence.
But, I am straight up torn wide open and devastated to know that my boy’s life could’ve been saved.
Today, I am 23 years old again and feeling the desperation, feeling the devastation, feeling the deepest longing for my beautiful son. I rejoice for her miracle, but I ache unspeakably with an ache buried and hidden for fifteen years, an ache as raw and real as the day I stood in the hallway after hearing the words incompatible with life.
There are not words to describe this pain.
And, I know I’m not alone.
Hear this, mothers who are aching for your babies right now. It is still true that there are all types of miracles. It is still true that sometimes we see the miracle this side of heaven, and sometimes God works eternal miracles. But that does not take away the pain of today. Our babies were worth saving, too. And, our babies are worth grieving. So, just like we don’t begrudge the rejoicing over this miracle in the senator’s life, we do not begrudge the grief flowing freely today for what could’ve been. That doesn’t make us weak in our faith or our testimony. It doesn’t steal the glory of all God has done in carrying us.
It just make us mothers, longing for our babies. Babies who are worthy of the ache.
So much love and many prayers going out to the aching hearts today, to those weeping, even as we rejoice.