Giving Birth to Death

The first thing I said when Chet was born and placed on my chest was “He’s ALIVE!” I now know what it feels like to give birth to life. It feels miraculous! I’ve heard people say that during childbirth the veil between heaven and earth feels paper-thin. I have to agree. That’s true whether you have a live birth or a stillbirth. But somehow during stillbirth, paper-thin still feels far too wide. Because during stillbirth your baby is on the other side. 

When I was pregnant with Ginny, I was always rubbing my belly. I loved feeling her move and react to my touch. I was always trying to figure out what position she was in. We would talk to her while rubbing my belly to bond with her. I remember when I showered, I would rub my belly and be blown away with the knowledge that my baby girl was growing in there. The morning after we got the news that Ginny had died, I showered before heading to the hospital. As if by muscle memory, I started rubbing my belly. My hands dropped and the first rush of anger fell over me. My baby girl was not growing in there. I felt foolish for rubbing a belly with no life – only death. How could I possible give birth to death? How could I possibly endure the physical and emotional pain? How could I carry the burden of death?

The doctor who confirmed Ginny had died told me that delivering her body was not an emergency. He said that some people want to deliver right away, some people wait a few days, and some people wait up to 2 weeks for their body to go into labor naturally. I chose to wait one day to give time for family to arrive. That one day was excruciating, and I have no idea how anyone could wait 2 weeks, knowing they carried death. What the doctor didn’t mention and what didn’t occur to me until the next day was that the longer  you wait, the more signs of death are present on your child’s body when they are born. During labor my wonderful nurse had to explain this to us. I know it had to be so hard for her to say, and I know it was hard for us to hear. She explained that stillborn babies are born in a variety of conditions depending on how long it has been and the delivery. We should expect her lips to be dark as blood has settled in her head. We should expect her skin to be very fragile, peeling, and easy to tear. As tough as it was to hear, it helped me to hear her describe it. I had no idea what to expect. I asked her to clean Ginny’s body and wrap her in a blanket before handing her to me. It was important to me for Ginny’s body to not be covered in blood when I first saw her. I wanted her to be as pristine as possible; these would be the only visual memories I have of her body.  

The moment Ginny was born – the moment I gave birth to death, I felt relief and heart-wrenching silence and peace and sorrow and love. God was very present in that moment. When the nurse placed Ginny in my arms, she did have dark lips and delicate skin. But I didn’t see only death, I saw her life! I saw physical proof of all those wiggles and kicks. Here was the person I had intimately known for the past 8 months. My heart burst with so much love! It burst again as I saw Daniel hold her. We treated her body so so gently; I didn’t want anything to damage her and my memory of her beautiful self. I wanted her to look as true to who she was alive as possible. Sometimes I wonder if we should have spent more time with her body, but I know each hour we spent with her she would look less and less like herself. I’m happy I have the memories I have. I do wish we would’ve gotten pictures of that moment though. The pictures we do have are from a couple hours after we gave her back to the nurse. The pictures don’t quite match my memory of her. I still deeply treasure them. 

In His nearness during Ginny’s birth, God reminded me that that I did not have to carry the burden of death. Jesus has already carried that burden for me and for Ginny. And when I held her beautiful body in my arms, I was reminded that I did in fact give birth to life. Although her life was short on earth, she is alive in heaven. She’s just on the other side of that paper-thin veil. 

Invisible Daughter

This morning Chet and I were standing among a small group of moms and toddlers whom I hadn’t met before. We were in a park at a playdate that was kindly coordinated by a mom leader in our community to give us something fun to do on a Monday morning. The topic of birthing came up. The moms were swapping stories of epidurals, home births, and whether or not it was actually true that you forget the pain. I could feel my pulse rising. Was I feeling triggered by the topic of birth? No, I don’t think so. I love talking about both Ginny and Chet’s birth stories. I searched my brain for why my body was reacting. I think I was  nervous because I had to decide whether I should drop the bomb of stillbirth on this perfectly pleasant morning. I really wanted to. For me, it wasn’t a bomb; it was my motherhood story. I wanted to talk about my beautiful but invisible daughter. When would be the right time? Maybe I should let everyone else share first. I knew that once I spoke, the faces of laughter would transform into faces of compassion and concern. No one else will want to share their birth stories after that. I could feel my heart beating as I was summoning the courage to drop the bomb. But before I was able, someone changed the subject to carseats or preschool or something else for which I have no Ginny story. I felt both relieved and disappointed. 

One of the hardest parts of leaving North Carolina for Alabama was leaving our friends who were with us when we lost Ginny. With those friends, there is an unspoken (and sometimes spoken) understanding of how our lives were impacted by Ginny’s life and death, and that is comforting. When our NC friends see me as a mother or Daniel as a father, they see as us the parents of both Ginny and Chet. People here in Alabama only see Chet.

Now with each new person we meet, we need to figure out the best way to share our story with them. I love talking about Ginny. I love sharing memories of her pregnancy and birth. I love sharing about how God was with us through our sorrow. I love including her as part of our family. She is such a huge part of who we are. But it is not always an easy topic to bring up. 

One of the first friends we met here has a daughter named Ginny. What a great segue! – “We have a daughter named Ginny too!….” Opportunities don’t normally present themselves that easily. One of the next friends we met was 33 weeks pregnant; that was trickier. Although I don’t believe my story should require a trigger warning, I also want to be sensitive to the heightened hormones and natural fears that pregnancy brings. We held off on telling that friend until after her baby was born. It was hard to wait and sort of felt like lying. 

Being a stay at home mom, I often find myself standing among groups of moms at the playground, in Chet’s nature class, or in our stroller group. The other moms may ask me, “Is he your only one?” or “Is he your first?” I usually hesitate, which is awkward because it shouldn’t be a difficult question. I may have literally met this woman just seconds ago. I try to make a quick assessment based on who else is around, how much time we have, the likelihood I will ever see her again, etc. I may answer a quick “yes” with a smile and return the question. In these moments, my heart breaks just a little more and I feel a tinge of guilt. I feel like I denied Ginny and a huge piece of myself for the sake of comfort or time. I try to give myself grace and remind myself that it is okay to answer this way. Other times I respond by saying, “He’s actually our second. We had a stillborn daughter before him. He has a big sister named Ginny in heaven. We talk about Ginny a lot.” I also deliver this reply with smile. I try to show that we are hopeful and comfortable talking about her. That is completely true, but it also helps minimize their discomfort or regret in asking a usually harmless question. 

The responses I get vary. Most people say, “Oh I’m so so sorry. How hard! I can’t imagine.” This is perfectly appropriate. Some others don’t say anything and might just nod, which is not ideal but understandable. It’s hard to know how to respond, and I am not offended. I love when I get follow up questions about Ginny or my experience. I also love when people share their own stories of loss or friends’ losses. It helps to talk about this to know we aren’t alone and to dampen the stigma.

It’s amazing how much I can tell about people by their response to my sharing Ginny. I can usually quickly tell if this is someone that I will be able to have a deep connection with or someone who may want to stay more surface-level. There’s a place for both types of friendships. I can usually also quickly tell if someone has experienced hardship or sorrow in their own lives. Most of the time, when someone has experienced grief, they receive the gift of empathy. You can sense the difference between true empathy and more common sympathy. When I sense the empathy, I wonder what sorrow that person has had to bear. Sometimes they share, and sometimes they don’t. When I receive sympathy, they remind me of myself four years ago. I’m happy for them that they haven’t had grief, but I also know it will eventually come to them. Maybe my story and the hope I share will help them when it does. 

The more time we spend with our new friends, the closer we get and the more they understand how much Ginny is a part of our lives and hearts. I’m seeing it already. This weekend we had a sweet friend and her little girl over to watch football and play with Chet. We were talking about pregnancy, and she asked me about my pregnancy with Ginny. It meant so much to me to be able to talk freely about my daughter. It made her (and me) feel much less invisible.  

Regret

There are two areas that are still really hard for me to talk about with regards to Ginny’s death and my grief. This shows I still have work to do to process my feelings. Both areas are related to regret. In grief, some of the darkest spirals come in the forms of “what if’s” and “should of’s”. Theres no way of knowing what would have happened if we had done something differently. In reality, we made the decisions that we thought were best based on the information we had at the time. With some of the hard decisions, we made the only decisions we could handle. 

The first of these hard topics is wishing we could’ve saved Ginny before it was too late. This starts at my 34 week prenatal appointment when the midwife said my belly was measuring small. She scheduled us for a growth ultrasound for 4 days later. Why didn’t she send us to get the ultrasound immediately? Why didn’t we insist on that? Knowing what we know now about how that ultrasound clinic works, we definitely could’ve gotten an ultrasound that day. Of course we don’t know if that ultrasound would’ve led to the doctors to induce me, send me for an emergency c-section, or do nothing. But if they did deliver her, Ginny could be here. 

I rack my brain over and over again thinking about the weekend after that 34 week appointment. Did her movement decrease and I didn’t realize? Did I even know what baby movement feels like compared to contractions? I remember thinking she had slowed down on that Friday night, so I did kick counts. She passed the kick count in 5 minutes, so I felt reassured. I remember feeling like maybe she wasn’t moving as much on Sunday morning, but we had to get to our childbirth class and I didn’t have time for a kick count. Daniel and I quickly listened to her heartbeat and went to the class (I felt her move while in the class and felt better). I should’ve taken the time to do the kick counts or just gone straight to labor and delivery if something felt off. But I convinced myself that I was just feeling paranoid because the midwife said I was measuring small. If I truly thought she was in danger, I would’ve gone to the hospital. I really believed that nothing bad would happen. I thought she was meant to live; I thought she would be fine and healthy. How I wish I could go back and rush to labor and delivery and give birth to her before it was too late! But again, there’s no way of knowing what would’ve happened. She may have died during delivery or in the NICU, or she could’ve lived. None of that’s what happened, and there is no way to change the past. I need to make peace with knowing we did what we thought was best with what we knew.  

The second tough area is related to decisions we made about Ginny’s body. While I was in labor with her, we had so many hard decisions to make. We had to decide if we wanted an autopsy, tests on her placenta, MRI, bloodwork. On top of those, we also had to decide what to do with her body. We could have her cremated by the hospital – it was the simplest option, but we wouldn’t get her ashes. We could coordinate for a funeral home to either cremate her or bury her. That would likely be expensive, or we might be able to get an organization or funeral home to help with the costs. Would we have a funeral or memorial service for her? I had to make all these decisions while in painful labor, knowing that birthing and holding my child’s dead body was ahead of me. The thought of coordinating anything was too much for me or Daniel to even fathom at that moment. As much as I would have wanted to give her a memorial, most all of our families were across the country, and it felt like too much to ask them to come. We knew we weren’t going to be in North Carolina forever, so burying her there didn’t seem right. Daniel and I had long before talked about how neither of us cared what happened to our bodies after we died. So we both agreed to have the hospital cremate her. We were both good with that decision. But as months went on and I heard more and more stories of stillbirths, I never heard of anyone who made that same decision. It seems everyone else has their baby’s ashes or a burial spot and headstone. Were we bad parents to make that decision? Would people think we didn’t love her? I’ve had people ask about what we did with her body, and some people seem shocked or sad to know we didn’t bury her. One person even questioned my decision, “Aww you don’t even have her ashes? It would be so good if you had her ashes.” – as if she would be able to change my mind. That was a terrible feeling. It’s too late to change my mind; there’s nothing I can do now! I did my best to justify our choice, “We aren’t our bodies. Ginny is in heaven.” I do believe that. Although I am so grateful we were able to hold Ginny’s body and others got to see the proof of her life, she was not in her body. I did not sense her presence while holding her; she was already gone. Daniel and I made the only decision we had the ability to make at the time, and when I think about it for more than a minute, I don’t regret it. It did help that Daniel’s grandma had a stone placed in their family cemetery for Ginny. I love that so much. Now we do have a physical place to go to honor and remember her, even if her body isn’t there. 

I hate that I have to wrestle with these thoughts. I hate that I have to question my decisions after it is too late. I hate that there’s no way of knowing what was best and I just have to face the facts of my reality. It takes a long time to deal with these things. It hurts. I need to lament the loss and pain. I bring it to God, open-palmed and open-hearted. He can take every bit of regret and replace it with hope. 

If you have things in life you wish you could go back and change, know that you are not alone. It does help to think through it, process it, and even talk about it. As part of that, we have to let go of what we can’t change and know there is hope. Jesus is with us in our regrets, sorrows, grief, and fear. He can lift the burdens and make our hearts light. We don’t have to carry regret.

“My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:20-23

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

“You have kept count of my tossing; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me. In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise, in God I trust I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Psalm 56:8-11

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:8

“Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.”  Proverbs 23:18

Parenting After Loss – The 2nd Year

In the baby loss community, you’ll often hear the phrase “My heart is fuller than my arms.” This is certainly true for me. Don’t get me wrong – one toddler keeps me very busy, but I’m definitely not as busy as I would be if Ginny were also here. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t take my time though. In fact, I spend way more time grieving Ginny three and half years out than I thought I would. She is still in my thoughts all throughout the day everyday, and I still devote hours a week to mourning her. What I’ve learned is that this is healthy and normal life after loss. 

Grief does not resolve on its own. Time itself does not heal. It takes work and devotion and Jesus to heal – and that does also take time. I think of it as tending a garden. If left ignored, the garden of grief will become overgrown with weeds and pests. Nothing fruitful will grow. For me when I ignore my grief, I feel very heavy with tension in my shoulders. I get irritable and irrational; I may lash out at those I love. I am not able to have as much fun or laugh as I normally would. In some others, neglected grief manifests itself in far worse ways such as addiction or violence. To prevent this, I must spend time “mothering Ginny” by mourning her. I tend to my grief garden by journalling, talking to those who care, praying, looking in her memory box, thinking of heaven, walking, reading passage of lament, listening to music or relevant podcasts, and crying. These activities are like pulling weeds, planting seeds, fertilizing, pruning, and watering. It is hard work but the result is peace, hope, and compassion for others. My heart is light and I can be my best for Chet, Daniel, and my community. 

A loss mama does not stop mothering her child once her child dies. So now I’m left trying to figure out how to balance parenting one living child and one child in heaven. As with all of parenting, it takes prioritization and intentionality. I do what I can to parent both kids at once. I tell Chet about Ginny, and we look through the special photo album from her pregnancy together. We thank God for Sister Ginny in our prayers. I think of her on our walks or in the car. I try to devote more time during Chet’s naps, after he is asleep for the night, and on the weekends with Daniel’s help. It’s hard to prioritize time to mourn over doing chores or errands that need to get done. It feels selfish to take this time. So occasionally I will put it on the back burner and focus on other things. Then slowly I feel the weight growing; I become weary and easily frustrated. Daniel sometimes reminds me that I need to take the time alone to mourn. I remember that this isn’t optional. This is a mandatory part of my life. I’m not sure it will require this much time forever, but it does now. It’s not selfish – it’s mothering my sweet Ginny and it is essential to be the mom I want to be for Chet. This is parenting after loss. 

Brain Struggles

Over the past couple months Daniel has been catching up on some of the latest Marvel movies. He mentioned something about Captain Marvel. I literally did not recognize that name. It sounded like a completely new superhero to me. No image popped in my brain. He saw the blank in my face. “You don’t remember Captain Marvel either, do you?” He explained that we went to see the Captain Marvel movie in theaters but he hardly remembered it. Suddenly the image of Bree Larson came of mind. I responded, “Oh yeah I very vaguely remember that.” I couldn’t tell you what it was about at all. We looked it up; it came out March 2019. That was probably the first movie we saw after Ginny died. 

That is not the only memory that is super fuzzy around the time of our loss. I have vivid memories of hearing the news, delivering Ginny’s body, and some moments in the days before and after, but generally the year surrounding Ginny’s death is kind of a blur. From the beginning, it was obvious our brains weren’t working normally.  Short term memory, concentration, and some basic skills and logic were lacking. It felt impossible to focus. Tasks that used to be easy took a ton of effort and were exhausting. I’m so glad I didn’t have to go back to work as an engineer because I’m not sure I could’ve done it. 

I felt for Daniel because he did quickly have to return to work in the lab. He would come home and tell me how he felt he was not at full capacity. It became difficult to follow along as grad students explained their problems. He struggled to give advice that would’ve been second nature before. It took twice the effort to get half as much done. He worked so so hard and quickly grew tired, but he persevered and had a very productive year scientifically. I’m not sure any of his coworkers noticed how much effort it took or if he even remembers all he did, but I admired his determination.  

Since then, I’ve learned that being forgetful and having difficulty focusing are very normal after a traumatic event. I’ve read that our brains automatically change when we experience trauma. These changes make it harder to store memories and to use the portions of our brains in charge of reason and concentration. I don’t know much about this, but I’d like to learn more.

My memory and focus have definitely improved since the early days of grief, but I still don’t think my brain is functioning the way it did before. I’m not sure if it ever will. And I sometimes wonder what other memories I might have forgotten. Have I forgotten any special moments during my pregnancy with Ginny? I want to remember all the time I had with her. I also want to be sure to remember all the love and support we received from family and friends after our loss. I’m happy that I kept all the cards and I journaled so much during those days. I can look back and remember what might have otherwise been forgotten. 

If you’ve experienced memory loss or feel your brain isn’t working at 100% after trauma, please know you are not alone. It is hard not to feel as sharp as you once were, but please give yourself loads of grace. 

Remembering Ginny’s 1st Birthday – Ash Wednesday

Ginny’s first heavenly birthday fell on Ash Wednesday in 2020. Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the season of Lent, was not something I had grown up observing. I usually remembered it was Ash Wednesday when I noticed a few people at work with ashes on their forehead. 

Daniel and I took the day off for Ginny’s 1st birthday. We knew we wanted to honor and celebrate her, but the only thing we had planned was to sing “happy birthday” and eat cake. What were we going to do for the rest of the day? How were we going to get through the day? We heard that a church in the Lakewood neighborhood of Durham, NC was having open sanctuary that morning for anyone to drop-in to receive ashes and pray. Why not? 

We pulled up to the unfamiliar building. It was an old and slightly run down classic church with pillars and stained glass. It was clear the building had seen better days and this congregation was just the most recent of a long history of worshipers here. The tension between the beauty of the stained glass and the worn carpet felt just right for this moment. We walked in to some solemn music playing on speakers and powerful art and words projected on a screen. The only other person there was a woman sitting in a back pew by herself. 

Daniel and I made our way toward the front. We sat in a pew in silence. My heart prayed, but I’m not sure I had any words. That entire past year had been marked with death. The brokenness of the world we live in had never been clearer. And God never felt nearer. It felt like He handed us life and death and then sat us in a pew to look straight at it. We were entering the season of Lent – when we take our grief, our brokenness, our sin, our pain, and we hold it, reflect, repent, and hand it all over to Christ on Good Friday. We could then look toward Easter. This season would not be forever.

After a while, Daniel and I went to the front alter. The woman from the back walked up to meet us. She dipped her finger in ashes and marked each of our heads. “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” We will remember. 

Happy 3rd Birthday, Ginny!

Happy 3rd Birthday to the girl who made us parents! You are so loved!

Thank you for making us better people. You are a huge part of our family, and that will never change. We cannot wait to give you the biggest hugs in heaven!

We celebrate your life today! We wish you could’ve stayed here with us longer, but we are grateful we had the time with you that we did. You are a very special girl! You deserve to be celebrated, and we are honored to celebrate you!

We miss you so so much! Our love for you grows and grows every single day!

Happy Birthday, Ginny!

Love, Mommy and Daddy and Chet

3 Years Ago – The Day of No Heartbeat

Psalm 6

O Lord, Deliver My Life

To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments; according to The Sheminith. A Psalm of David.

6 O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger,
nor discipline me in your wrath.
2 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing;
heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled.
3 My soul also is greatly troubled.
But you, O Lord—how long?

4 Turn, O Lord, deliver my life;
save me for the sake of your steadfast love.
5 For in death there is no remembrance of you;
in Sheol who will give you praise?

6 I am weary with my moaning;
every night I flood my bed with tears;
I drench my couch with my weeping.
7 My eye wastes away because of grief;
it grows weak because of all my foes.

8 Depart from me, all you workers of evil,
for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.
9 The Lord has heard my plea;
the Lord accepts my prayer.
10 All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled;
they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment.

Firstborn From the Dead

My heart breaks when I think that Ginny may have been struggling in my womb as she didn’t get enough nutrients or oxygen to survive. Was she in pain? Was she hungry – did she feel the lack? I was as physically near to her as I could possibly be, yet I was not there for her. I had no idea she was struggling. And when her spirit left, I could not go with her. I didn’t even know she had gone. A mother should see her child through all of life’s milestones and challenges. She should walk her into her first day of school or into the doctor’s office. She should be there to explain what to expect and to offer comfort and reassurance. I could not walk with Ginny through death. I could not explain or reassure her where I had never been. I didn’t even get a chance to try. 

Two things give me comfort when I have these thoughts. 1) I’m reminded of the peace I felt during Ginny’s birth. God was so near; it was palpable. I know if He offered that nearness to me during Ginny’s stillbirth, certainly He also offered it to her in her final days. 2) Scripture shows me that Ginny was not alone in passing into death. Jesus is the firstborn from the dead. He has passed into death, and He has been born back into life. He could walk with Ginny through that milestone in a way in which I never could. He walked her through death and into life in heaven by the power of His love and resurrection. She was never alone. None of us will ever be alone. 

Daniel’s grandmother graciously offered to place a memorial stone for Ginny in front of Great-Grandma Ginny’s gravestone. We have a place to go to remember Ginny alongside family members who have died before her. What a special honor! We got to see the stone for the first time in person during Christmas. It blessed us so much. 

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” Jeremiah 1:5

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood cross.” Colossians 1:15-18

“Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.” Revelation 1:4

“You have allowed me to suffer much hardship; but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth.” Psalm 71:20

Anticipation

No one is more excited than a child waiting for Christmas morning! I remember being so eager and impatient to open gifts and celebrate the day with family. I also remember that feeling fading as I got older and how sad that was. When I was pregnant with Ginny, I was so looking forward to reliving the magical Christmas excitement through her. That was one of the many things we lost after she died. She will always be missing from our Christmas mornings, but we are thrilled to share Christmas with Chet and see his anticipation. 

Anticipation for Christmas – that’s what advent is all about. We take this time to eagerly expect our savior. And while a child is excited to open gifts, we can be inspired by their sense of anticipation and wonder to reflect our hearts in expecting Jesus, the greatest gift.

Death reminds us of how broken our world is and how much we need Jesus. Jesus came to heal and restore. Because of His life, death, and resurrection we are reunited with God and have the hope of heaven. Because of Jesus, I will get to see Ginny again. This year I am sad that Ginny isn’t with us, but I also choose to celebrate that we are one year closer to seeing her again. 

I believe God gives us small examples or metaphors from our own lives to reveal to us His heart or allow His Word to “hit home” in a way we never understood before. Christmastime is chock-full of these metaphors if you look for them. A child’s excitement reflecting our anticipation of Christ is one example. 

For parents, experiencing the love for your child is a small glimpse of God’s love for us. For loss parents, the  aching for our children gone too soon shows us God’s aching to be near to us. Our desperation to spend even one more minute with our babies gives us a small insight into God’s heart. He is a Father separated from His children, tirelessly seeking after them, drawing near to them, and wanting them to know He loves them. He does that through Christ. And poetically, it is through Christ that we will also be reunited with our children. The aching will be satisfied thanks to Christmas. It is definitely worth anticipating.

“Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.” Jude 1:21