For those who don’t know, earlier this year I was seventeen weeks pregnant when we discovered that the precious little child I’d been carrying had been called to heaven. We didn’t even know if the baby was a boy or a girl at that point. Two days, nearly forty hours of induced labor later, I gave birth to our son, Matthew. My body didn’t want to give him up.
I didn’t want to give him up.
This week on Saturday (the 15th) was Matthew’s due date. He should have been born then, healthy and whole. But God chose to take Matty to live with Him instead.
Matthew is buried next to my husband Justin’s youngest sister, Isabella, who passed away two days after being born. I become very close friends with Justin shortly after Isabella passed away…and little did I know that he already had plans in place to ask to court me. We loved little Bell, and I remember thinking, when I first became pregnant, that I did not want to put Justin through another little one’s passing.
God, for some reason that we cannot yet understand (and that I still sometimes get angry about), chose to do so.
Bell is only four years older than Matthew, and she was born September 22nd, just week later than Matthew’s due date. Sometimes, when Justin and I are quietly thinking and talking about our sweet baby, we think of how Aunt Bell is with Matthew. Just having Jesus would be sufficient enough, but we smile to think of Belle and Matty playing together. We laugh about how much havoc those two rambunctious Titus kids are probably causing and how many angels are going gray because of their antics. Silly, I know, but it helps.
I miss my little boy so much. It still hurts to write about this, even though I am now carrying our second child. I thought that having another baby might help with healing, but it hasn’t yet. Instead I’m on pins and needles. I can only pray that my body will be a safer place for this little baby than it was for Matthew. That prayer hurts in so many ways.
Yet, I don’t want to forget. I want to remember Matthew. Not the way that he was when he was born, perhaps, or how painful that whole time was. I want to remember him like I think he would have been born…with a mass of curly black hair and a mischievous personality, just like his daddy. After all, even at seventeen weeks, he already had his daddy’s big knuckles and long toes. I don’t think its a stretch to imagine that he would have been just like Justin.
It’s funny how someone you’ve never met can wrap such tenacious little fingers around your heart. That’s what Matthew did to me from the first pregnancy test, the first ultrasound, the first time I felt a tickle of movement. We loved him and waited for him.
I guess it’s not a lot different than now, really. We just have to wait a little longer.