For My Child Who Was Never Born

Liz, Flickr / ChurchPOP

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

(From the song Beautiful Things, by Gungor)

I lost a baby in the Spring.

I found out on Good Friday that my unborn baby had stopped growing, that he had passed away inside me. But he was still inside me. I carried him inside me for twelve more days, knowing that this would be the last time I had physical contact with this child. Though I knew that he was no longer with me.

It was hard for me. It was hard for my husband. It was hard for my children. They said things like, “I wish that the new baby had not died.”

Then one day the baby came out of me. The experience of delivering my own baby and the after birth was so similar to a real birth, even though the baby was smaller than the tip of my finger. I found the body of our tiny baby in all that passed out of me. We buried the baby in a special part of a cemetery for miscarried babies with our priest praying the Rite of Burial for the Unbaptized Child.

We did all that we could for our baby. We prayed for our baby and his soul, which bore the same original sin that we all had before baptism. We entrusted the baby to the mercy of God.

And through the short existence of our baby, we were changed.

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us
(Beautiful Things by Gungor)

I was driving my three young girls in our van the day after seeing our newest baby alive and kicking at 20 weeks gestation. My seatbelt rested under my swollen belly, and my children were singing along to Beautiful Things by Gungor. Above their voices I heard my two year old, “Beautiful things out of dust!” In the review mirror, I saw a beautiful thing, made out of dust, made out of us, singing. She was so beautiful with her smile on her face, singing happily with a song that she barely knew the meaning of. She was singing a song, which had been written by a mother after she had lost a baby to miscarriage.

If we give the babies a chance, if we love them, we will see that they are beautiful things made out of us.

Susanna Spencer
Susanna, after earning her MA in Theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville, lives in St. Paul, MN with her husband and four children. She spends her time going to beautiful liturgies, cooking, reading literature, home schooling her children, and writing all about it at her blog Living With Lady Philosophy.