You know about the child I lost. 

It was 2007, and I was pregnant with my second. Everything seemed to be going well as far as pregnancy is concerned. I was throwing up regularly, felt like I could barely stand for an hour without needing a nap, and my stomach that had taken weeks to show signs of pregnancy with my first was already sticking out way further than I thought possible.

The heartbeat had been heard. And it was strong.

During a routine appointment when they went to find the heartbeat once again, it was discovered the heart once beating so strongly, was beating no more. I was crushed. Devastated.

I had a miscarriage.

You all know about this. All four of you. My children.

You have heard this story about the child your father and I lost between our first and second. We talk about how God intended for that child to live all his life in Heaven. And about how our second, who we have on earth, would never have been born if God had not chosen to take our child home. We talk about how it is all a part of His plan. And while it may have hurt us at the time, His plan is always perfect.

You know about this child—your sibling in Heaven.

But what you don’t know is you have another sibling in Heaven.

And that seems wrong.

It seems wrong that we talk so openly about one and not about the other.

But, you see, I don’t know how to tell you this story. I don’t know where to begin. Or if knowing it will hurt you.

How do I tell you I was pregnant once before you all were even a thoughtmany, many years ago?

I was 19 years young, a freshman in college, with a lifetime ahead of me. Your father and I had been dating for just over a year. He was a senior, with a lifetime ahead of him, when we found out we were pregnant.

I remember vividly staring at the two lines on the test in the bathroom of the home where he lived with his college friends. I had realized that day I was late. Very late. But I still didn’t think it was really possible. Purchasing the test was more of a “there’s no way, but just in case.” Until I saw the lines appear.

We went back and forth and back again trying to make up our minds. I spoke with doctors, and we met with a pastor. We wanted to be sure if we made this choice, this horrible choice, that we could be forgiven.

Does God forgive the choice to take the life of your first child?

I wasn’t so sure. For many, many years.

I wish I could say we made a different choice. I wish I could say this wasn’t part of our story. But we did. And it is.

I had an abortion.

And now I wonderhow will I tell you this? After giving birth and becoming parents, the reality of what we chose became even more apparent. Where there was the promise of life so beautiful, we chose death. We chose ashes over rubies. We chose to never hold, or comfort, or care for our child. 

And this is something we both have to live with.

RELATED: I Went in For An Abortion and Left With a Changed Life

But just like God had a plan for the child we lost in miscarriage, God had a plan for this child. He knew the choice we would make before either of us came to be. He knew this child would live his life forever with Him in Heaven.

He knew. And yet He still loved me. He still loved my husband.

He loved us then. He loves us now. And He has never stopped. 

I know I have been forgiven. Fully. Forgiven.

It took many years to come to terms with that. For a long, long time I lived under a heavy, weighted blanket of shame. Afraid of what would happen if someone lifted it and discovered what was underneath.

But God is faithful. He takes what is broken and makes it new again. He took my pain and my shame and replaced it with an understanding of who He is. And how He has always been with me. Even in that horrible, dark moment.

Do I want this to be part of my story? No. But it is. It is a choice I made many, many years ago.

It is a choice I have to live with. 

And someday I know I will tell you this. Someday, I will share with you about your sibling in Heaven. How will I tell you? I don’t know. When will I tell you? I’m not sure. But I do know when it’s time, God will give your father and me the wisdom and the words and the strength. 

You have another sibling, my children. One I have never told you about before. One who deserves to be acknowledged. 

One we will all meet one day. One we will all have the chance to embrace. 

One my heart longs to hold. To tell I am sorry. For the choice I made many, many years ago. 

One who is, and forever will be, a part of our family. 

In Heaven. 

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Jennifer Thompson

Jennifer Thompson is a freelance writer, preschool art teacher and mother of four with a heart for Jesus. Her work can be found on a number of blogs and parenting publications. Recently relocated from Indianapolis to Nashville, Tennessee. She is a passionate storyteller and believes every person has an important story to tell. We grow when we share. And even more when we listen.  

Worrying Is Part of the Job

In: Baby, Motherhood
Woman's hands holding baby head

My baby girl is four. How did four years go so fast? It blows my mind how much children develop in a short amount of time. One day they can’t lift their heads and then suddenly they’re shouting, “Go away, Mommy!” Lucy is my rainbow baby. She was born on a Wednesday evening in October. Our first day with her, we rested and gazed at our little creation. At midnight on Friday, we sent Lucy to the nursery so I could rest. At 2 a.m. a doctor rushed in. He flicked on the lights. Our tired eyes were blinded. “Lucy...

Keep Reading

I’m Sorry It Didn’t Come Naturally

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother holding newborn in hospital, color photo

I should have spent every waking moment with you. I should have been right there by your side through every difficult and challenging moment you faced. I should have moved hell and high water to make sure I was there. But I didn’t. And I should have. I’m sorry the first days of your precious little life were filled with strangers and wires and loud noises. I’m sorry you were being poked and prodded from the moment you finally opened those little eyes. I’m sorry that the angel nurses of the NICU were there for you when your mommy should...

Keep Reading

Dear Sophia’s Mama

In: Baby, Motherhood
Baby in isolette inside NICU

I think about you often. I noticed you on our second day in the NICU. I was in the hallway in front of your daughters’ room speaking with our nurse. You looked up from your chair and tried to smile. As I walked away, I looked at the nameplate on the door. Sophia. From where the rocking chair was in our room, I could see out our door to Sophia’s room. Over the next few days, I noticed your daughter’s door proudly displayed several milestones. “Off ventilator” and “first-time mommy held you” made me realize you were seasoned here. Your...

Keep Reading

The End of Maternity Leave Makes a Mother’s Heart Ache

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother holding infant on shoulder

As my last week of maternity leave begins, my heart feels heavier and heavier in my chest. I can’t fall asleep at night for fear that I haven’t fully appreciated this time with my sweet baby girl. I know plenty of moms who find joy in returning to their old routines. Mamas who feel peace in knowing they can unlock a part of themselves they haven’t used in 12 weeks.  As for me, I’m filled with an anxiety I’ve never felt before. I’ve waited my whole life to be someone’s mama. I’m doing it for the first time, and while...

Keep Reading

Hyper-what? The Toll of Hyperemesis Gravidarum

In: Baby, Motherhood
woman with morning sickness in bathroom

Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Hyper-what? It sounded like some fancy medical diagnosis that would never touch my life, but . . . alas, here I am several months deep. I remember briefly hearing about Kate Middleton’s battle with it, but I never thought it would affect my own life, especially after having four prior uncomplicated pregnancies and births. I want to share my personal story because I’ve been lucky enough to find a few fellow moms who shared their stories with me. Without the help of those who had experienced the diagnosis, been transparent about it, and made it out on the...

Keep Reading

Time Moves a Little Faster with You, My Last Baby

In: Baby, Motherhood, Toddler
Woman hugging toddler

Something about that last bottle of formula I made, it makes me wonder where did this last year go? I feel like I just brought you home from the hospital. In the middle of a pandemic. We had no visitors like we did with your brothers. No cards, no flowers, just me, you, and daddy. Those 2.5 days flew, and we were on our way home. Time moves a little faster with you. You’re our last baby, and I am about to make the last bottle of formula for you, the last everything. It all hits me at once. This...

Keep Reading

I Carry the Baby I Lost In My Heart

In: Baby, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Early sonogram image of baby

I ignored it at first, the pink on the tissue. It wasn’t anything to worry about. I’d known for three weeks at this point that I was expecting baby number three, and I was still giddy about it. In fact, I had just shared my news with people at work and told them when I was due.  I couldn’t wipe the smile from my face.  So, when I visited the bathroom, I ignored it.  Two healthy textbook pregnancies and births, why would this be any different?  But, looking back, there was a little nagging voice at the back of my...

Keep Reading

Don’t Fear the Gap

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood
Baby lying on mother's chest, black-and-white photo

I was afraid of the gap. You know, the one where you have some kids and then wait several years to have another? That gap. When we moved here, we kept all the baby things because we weren’t ready to say we were done but weren’t ready to start over. Moving to the farm brought wayyy more chores than our neighborhood home and adding a tiny human to that mix felt a bit crazy. RELATED: I’ll Always Want Another Baby There were months of back and forth . . . talk of barefoot baby feet stomping all over this place...

Keep Reading

Having a Late Preterm Baby Is Hard Too

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother holding infant, color photo

I see you, mama, who holds her breath while they bag your brand-new baby. Asking “is she okay?” and being met with “everything is fine” when you know that everything is not fine. The baby who was due in just a few weeks. The baby, who just a few hours earlier, you joked “wanted to surprise us early.” The baby who was fine on the monitors just minutes before. I see you, mama, when they tell you they are transporting your baby to the NICU. The baby you held for five minutes before they took her to the nursery for...

Keep Reading

Dear Loss Mom, Grieve Your Baby In Heaven Without Guilt

In: Baby, Grief, Loss

My third baby was due on October 19, 2019. Instead, she was born into heaven on March 24, 2019. Not only do I grieve her more in October than in other months because of her due date, but I also grieve for so many other parents who have also lost their children.  RELATED: A Letter To My Mama From Your Baby In Heaven Pregnancy loss is such a strange journey to walk through. I’m years into it, and there are still days when the grief hits and the tears come and I can’t breathe. On other days, I am so...

Keep Reading