I gave birth today. Not 21 hours ago, I had a little one in my womb. Not 30 hours ago, I felt him moving around.
But, I gave birth today. At least 4 months, too soon. There would have been a small chance if only he had less than 2 more weeks inside of me.
So, I gave birth today. It had been a very scary 36 or so hours. Oh, I can’t tell you how I miss him. I gave birth today. To a little boy with his daddy’s face. To a little boy with the tiniest, softest fingernails your ever did see. To a little boy already loved, already a character, already named.

I never thought I would give birth today. It had been a picture perfect pregnancy. I had very few symptoms, and really enjoyed feeling his movements. I had recently taken to calling the baby “Thumper” because he would bump around so quick and strong that it felt like an adult thumping me.

I gave birth to a piece of my heart today. And it didn’t beat. And it didn’t respond to my kisses or my touch.
I gave birth to a part of me I didn’t know I could care for so much. Goodness, what a feeling. To see one of your greatest loves, and know that he was beyond your reach. It seems like such a simple thing to ask his heart to beat. If only it would beat.

So, I gave birth, this day, to my firstborn, precious son. And he is loved. And he is missed. And he is with Our Father in heaven. But what I wouldn’t give, this moment, to have seen his chest rise, just once. To know he knew my voice outside of the womb. To look at my husband and say, “That is so your nose.” with nothing but delight in my voice.

I gave birth today. It was not on my terms, my timeline or my birth plan, but I did it. What in the world is nearly as precious as a child living, growing, rolling inside of you? What joy has been ours, that he kicked Daddy’s hands and snuggled in Mommy’s pelvis. That he bounced around when hungry so much had became known by it.

I gave birth to such JOY. In the pushing, in the struggle, in that position, our family gave birth to so much more. We gave birth to hope, to faith, to trust. I have never felt stronger in my marriage. I have never been more secure in the love I have for my husband. I have never been more sure of God’s plan to make us one flesh.

In the wee hours of the morning, with my closest friend beside me, I birthed a marvelous creation. A son any father would be proud to have. A firstborn among his siblings. A first in this household. He will always be the one who taught us how to better pray for our family. He will always be the one who first captured my heart in those little (and big) thumps. He will always be our little man. Our Vroom, Vroom. Our CAR. Our Charlie.

It seems such a selfish thing, to want more than a heart has room for, to bring home the life that has been birthed through you. That life has always been on loan to you. Our children are never fully ours. They belong to God, just like us. And today, that wisdom was etched in our hearts,  my husband and I. We know, with a deep sorrow, what it means to hold with open hands. What it means to trust Him fully. What it means to balk, to weep, to moan, to grieve, when those open hands come back empty.

How strange to return home from delivery with an empty womb, empty arms and full heart. This little boy has stretched my understanding of love beyond what seems reasonable. His father has shown me how a faithful man conducts himself, when his wife is birthing a child with no heartbeat. He is gracious and he is loving and he is kind and he is patient. And I walked deeper in love with him after each deep breath he breathed with me, each moment the words, “I am so proud of you. You are doing such a good job. I love you so much. You are brave and strong. Thank you for being mine.” left his lips, every time something scary or messy or potentially embarrassing happened and he held me, and never turned away. This man leaves no room for fear. This man leaves no room for doubt.

I gave birth today. And though our home does not hold the sound of a tiny crying baby. Though our minds are weighted with understanding the next steps. Though our time with our son was shorter than we ever wanted. We are parents. We bore and bear the mark of loving someone so  small, society doesn’t deem them as important as larger humans. We know better. We agreed before, but we know now. Our little guy made us parents. Our fighting man brought us into a category of life unfathomable.

We gave birth today. We gave birth to the assurance that our home will always be one where we welcome children. Where we celebrate their every moment. Where we deposit and sprout and shout JOY and LOVE. There will be the joy of their life with us, the love of a Father who knows no limits when it comes to the good of His children, the love of family and the peace that surpasses all understanding.

May you know Him, as He desires to be known.