Tuesday, June 11, 2013

From a Three Year Old's Eyes

Rightly or wrongly, we had told our children we were expecting another baby.  We aren't naïve, we have experienced loss before, but we were trying to push aside anxiety and make this an exciting family event.  Connor decided that in light of the upcoming addition that he was "THE baby" and that there are no other babies and that is that.  Forever and ever, Amen. He even started to pretend to cry like a baby sometimes.  It made me laugh to watch him crawl up on my lap, look at me and proclaim "I'm the baby, mommy!" and then say "waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!".  Thank God he didn't start asking for diapers again.

Kate, on the other hand, took a more serious approach.

Kate is a sweet, mature, and very considerate child.  She'll be 4 in a few weeks but amazes me with her empathy and loving nature on a daily basis.  She loves babies and even before we were expecting again had asked me on the playground if we could maybe have a baby in our house one day.  When I found out I was pregnant, she was so excited.  She would kiss my tummy and tell anyone that would listen that there were "three babies!!!".  Not exactly good for trying to be incognito about pregnancy, but sweet and heartwarming nonetheless.

Explaining loss to her has been very hard.  The best way I could try to describe it to her was that God gives us babies and that sometimes He has to take them back to heaven sooner than we would like.  I have been having trouble with her recent questions and conversations.   

Right after we found out about our loss:

Me: "Kate, sometimes God has to take babies back home before we want Him to.  I'm sorry, but mommy doesn't have a baby in her tummy anymore."

Kate:  **thinking for a few seconds** "God takes babies?  Did it hurt when God took the baby from your tummy?  How did He get it out?"

Me: "I'm fine honey.  My heart hurts, but I will be okay"

Kate:  "My heart hurts too".

Then this morning, I told her we were going to a play date and that there would be new friends for her to meet and play with:

Kate: "Will there be any babies there?"

Me:  "Maybe"

Kate: "I want a baby in our house"

Me: "I know, honey.  Maybe one day, God willing"

Kate:  **runs to the dining room, grabs her markers, asks for paper** 

Me:  "You want to draw?"

Kate:  "I am drawing a picture for God so that He will bring us a new baby"

The counselor in me feels horrible that I have dragged her into my own grief.  I feel like I have done a disservice to my young children (who really don't understand the concept of conception and miscarriage and birth) by getting them excited and then ripping it away.  However, I have been impressed by Kate's ability to ask questions and try to find her own three-year-old solutions.  It has certainly been a learning experience for me as a mother.

If we are lucky enough to get pregnant again one day I have no idea if we will share the news with them early again.  Probably not.  And that makes me sad. 


Kristin said...

Good for you for answering her questions directly. I have found that is the easiest way for little ones to understand, instead of trying to make up some other kind of story that isn't true. Big hugs to you guys. So sorry for your loss.

Karen said...

It's so heartbreaking. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and your family. I think in situations like this, there is no right or wrong answer. Bless your precious Kate. ((hugs))

Hi, I'm Jill!

Hi, I'm Jill!
Extrovert. Mom of two. Wife of a cute Naval Aviator. Lover of wine. When I'm not chasing my two kids around town you will find me writing, taking too many photos, and researching the ten future areas the Navy could potentially (but probably won't) PCS us. We are fish out of water, landlocked at 7,000 feet. For now.

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