Thursday, December 6, 2012

Remembering Nicholas

Tony and Bear in 2009
Our baby (we refer to him as a boy) Nicholas was due 08/08/08.  I was barely along when we lost him on December 6th, Saint Nicholas Day.  Some people have not always understood why it was so hard on me, after all I was only pregnant for six weeks.  But I remember him every year.  When we pray our family rosary and do the litany of our patron saints, we always ask Saint Nicholas to pray for us in his honor.

When I called my obstetrician office, on that horrible December 6th, and told them what was happening, panicked and afraid, the nurse was cold and unfeeling.  I will never forget her saying to me that I was having a "spontaneous abortion."

Oh those words!  I was so shocked, so horrified.  I wanted to scream at her, to shake her, anything.  Instead I sat silent on the other end, weeping for my lost baby.

You see I could not equate the word abortion with what was happening to my baby.  I refused to.  I remember laying on my bed in the fetal position crying, "Not an abortion, not an abortion."

I wanted my baby.  I can not think of a more inappropriate word... an uglier word to say to a woman crying on the end of the phone - a woman who was loosing her baby.

You see an abortion is the act of getting rid of something unwanted.  That is the ugly truth.  You can't sugar coat it any other way.  That was not what was happening to me.  There is no doubt I am pro-life. I haven't always been, I admit that.  I was very liberal growing up.  No one ever told me any reason to not have an abortion.  I never reasoned through it, never was I challenged.  Until I became a Catholic.  I was one of those Catholics.  I told people, "Oh, not everyone who is Catholic believes all the teachings!  If the only people who followed the Church entirely went to mass there might be a nun in the front pew... the priest wouldn't even be there."

I did become challenged though.  And that changed everything I knew, everything I had fought all my life for.

So when I lay on that bed five years ago, I knew I was a different person.  I knew I would never question whether abortion was right or wrong again.  I would never judge anyone who felt they had to make that terrible decision.  But I would pray.  Pray for so much... but most especially LIFE.

The loss of my baby Nicholas was very hard on me.  My mom called our priest and after mass one Sunday, he gave us a special blessing and told us how he too had a sibling in heaven and how it was a special gift.  That baby would always be looking down on us, praying for us.  Our special little saint.

Those words helped make my healing possible.  I never told anyone other than my husband this, but I want to share this because perhaps you have lost a baby too and maybe you know the feeling and the pain too.  About a week after we lost Nicholas I had fallen asleep praying to God to help me understand.  That night I had a very special dream that I will never forget.  Jesus came to me holding my baby.  Without words he held him out to me and let me hold him.  I swear I could feel the weight of him in my arms and smell his precious baby perfume.  I got to hold him tight, cuddle him close to my breast, and just be with him for a few precious moments.  I knew I had to give him back.  And I did.  I handed my baby back to Jesus.  He smiled at me and I knew it was going to be all right.  That even though I didn't get to hold him in this world, I would get to someday.  And when I do I will never have to let him go again.

It was a few months later that I found out I was pregnant again.  I was so scared I would loose that baby, too.  I was so careful, constantly watching every sign.  On December 2, 2008, our Bear was born.  Only a few short days before the anniversary of our loss.  Bear was very special to us.  It was only a few months after he was born that I lost my mother.  I often said how thankful I was to have this small infant during that time.  I had him to hold every moment of that painful loss.  He was the constant embrace I needed.  I often wonder if I could have made it through that time without his precious little self so near me.

Every year on Saint Nicholas Day, we celebrate a great saint who loved children.  Who protected children.  And we remember our little Nicholas, the protector of our family, the baby who is waiting for us in heaven.

Miscarriage Prayer

 My Lord, the baby is dead!
 Why, my Lord—dare I ask why? It will not hear the whisper of the wind or see the beauty of its parents’ face—it will not see the beauty of Your creation or the flame of a sunrise. Why, my Lord?
 “Why, My child—do you ask ‘why’? Well, I will tell you why.
 You see, the child lives. Instead of the wind he hears the sound of angels singing before My throne. Instead of the beauty that passes he sees everlasting Beauty—he sees My face. He was created and lived a short time so the image of his parents imprinted on his face may stand before Me as their personal intercessor. He knows secrets of heaven unknown to men on earth. He laughs with a special joy that only the innocent possess. My ways are not the ways of man. I create for My Kingdom and each creature fills a place in that Kingdom that could not be filled by another. He was created for My joy and his parents’ merits. He has never seen pain or sin. He has never felt hunger or pain. I breathed a soul into a seed, made it grow and called it forth.”
 I am humbled before you, my Lord, for questioning Your wisdom, goodness, and love. I speak as a fool—forgive me. I acknowledge Your sovereign rights over life and death. I thank You for the life that began for so short a time to enjoy so long an Eternity.                                                                                              
~  Mother M. Angelica

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