Sunday, December 2, 2012


When I learned that Gideon's parents had another litter of puppies and asked Ben if I could have one for Christmas, I didn't expect that he would concede.  After all, I had been asking to have another baby since June 21, 2011, the day after Gabriel died.  When I saw the puppies and set my heart on the one that was most affectionate towards me, the one with the darkest fur and the fewest markings, I assumed I wouldn't see her again because she would probably be going to a new home soon.  So, when on Christmas Eve last year Ben said to me, "We can go any time today to pick up your new puppy," I was shocked.  Noelle Marie joined our family that afternoon.

I later learned that Noelle had been given to me with a purpose:  To distract me from wanting another baby.  She was given to me in part to silence me.  She is my little hush puppy.

For a while, she served her intended purpose.  She was difficult to potty train, she was a bossy little dictator and a bit of a bully.  She wouldn't use her own bed and would either force Gideon from his, or would push her way onto it next to him.  She was unruly, independent, and refused to take the most basic commands that Gideon had responded to almost from the time we brought him home.  She's still unruly, independent, disobedient. . . And loving, sweet, and affectionate.

But she is not a child.

This month as I prepare to celebrate one year with my hush puppy, I also mourn the loss of my first child, Baby Cude, who was due to be born on December 19, 2010 before spontaneous and unexplained miscarriage ended my baby's life.


We're not supposed to talk about these things.

If talking about Gabriel makes people visibly uncomfortable, talking about Baby Cude and the miscarriage is even harder to do - Not because it's awkward, but because people seem to respond as though, especially after having lost my born son, that the miscarriage just isn't that big of a deal.  It's nature, right?  It's just one of those things that happens.  And it does just happen.  But it happened to my child.  Baby Cude was real, and alive, and we had dreams for him or her, and I longed for him or her, and I miss that child.

A day doesn't go by that I don't miss both of my children.When someone asks if I have children I routinely answer "I have a little boy, Gabriel," but the sentence doesn't escape my lips without me also thinking of the baby that I miscarried, who I know so little about.  Gabriel was supposed to be our rainbow, our sign after the storm of the miscarriage that God hadn't abandoned us and that God would never send such a storm again.  And in God's defense, I guess He hasn't; this storm, this grief I am experiencing now is like nothing I have ever known.

As mother after mother  in the anencephaly community announces the birth or impending birth of her rainbow baby or babies, I can't help but feel abandoned.  I can't help but feel angry.  I can't help but to recall that when Gabriel's diagnosis was confirmed I did not ask God to keep him, I did not get angry and demand that Gabriel should be mine after losing Baby Cude.  Instead, I tried to carry Gabriel with as much grace as I could muster, trusting that God would hold me close even after He took my son Home and that He would shortly grant me what I longed for most.  "They" say God never turns His back on us, but I can't help but wonder with human vanity if maybe I am the one person in the history of the world that God has left hanging out to dry.  I feel empty.  And when I try to heed the advice of my fellow Faithful and trust that God is there I feel even more hollow because I just don't believe that He's listening to me anymore.  I just don't believe He cares.  I think I'm on my own.

My hush puppy has grown into a beautiful adolescent dog.  Noelle and Gideon keep me busy and frustrated.  They help to fill some of the silence in my lonely home.  But they haven't been enough to silence the burning desire in my heart to fill my home with children of my own again someday.

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