When you have two babies, and one dies

You get things like this in the mail on the same day (yesterday):


A kind note from the Dragonfly Project whose mission is to comfort families who have lost a child, and an equally thoughtful note from the Elizabeth Ministries group at our church welcoming Valencia into the church after her baptism.


And that’s just the way it is.

On Sunday Anabella came upstairs with puffy red eyes and said so earnestly and with such great confusion, “I really don’t understand why God made her and gave her to us if he was just going to take her away so soon.”  She repeated it a few times and was genuinely perplexed.  It made no sense to her.  I talked to her for a while.  We talked about how God created Laurencia and how I don’t think it was God who caused her issues but she wasn’t healed perhaps for many reasons, some we may never know until we meet him face to face, some might be very profound and hard to comprehend at this time.  Some, I told her, might involve showing us a path to Heaven or giving us a reason to not be afraid to go there one day.  I talked about how our lives have spectacular value no matter how many minutes or years we live.  I wasn’t feeling particularly clear on the answers myself so I didn’t fake an answer.  Sometimes I just tell the kids, “I don’t know.”  Because I don’t.  I do know where Bella’s question came from though.  Part of it came from her basic understanding that babies are just beginning their lives.  And part of it came from that part of her that is innate, that part that caused her to snuggle and cuddle her baby dolls when she was a toddler.  It came from her instincts.  Babies belong with their mothers.

Today I read a blog post from a friend of mine (http://mycamokids.com/2013/12/the-truth.html) who adopted a child not long ago.  She was brave enough to speak her heart about orphans and adoption.  In essence, she talks of how every baby belongs with his or her mother and calls this the “Plan A”.  Every baby.  That is what God intended when we were created.  My friend, Lora, was talking about how after the terrible tragedy of a child being orphaned, adoption is the Plan B, a BEAUTIFUL, NOBLE, wonderful plan all in itself.  A plan God himself commissioned and sanctioned.  But it can never be Plan A.  While it isn’t exactly the same, a baby dying and a child being orphaned, both are great tragedies.  And when tragedy befalls us, Plan A doesn’t always work out.  I don’t know why Laurencia isn’t sleeping on my chest just as her sister is right now.  I don’t know why she only got to be here for 15 minutes.  We are told, however, that when she was formed she did not have anencephaly, in other words, it wasn’t Plan A.  That happened later and when it did I believe God allowed her come to him for many reasons.  Her Plan B is glorious, amazing, beautiful, she is with Jesus.  It all gets a bit confusing to me, what is God’s will and what things are the result of sin.  I agree with Lora, that God never intended for a mother to abandon her child or for circumstances to be such that a child should be or must be given up.  I also believe that God did not intend for my sweet Laurencia to have anencephaly.

I’m doing the best I can trying to answer the kids’ questions and trying to find peace myself.  Because I’m human and because I’m a momma, I will probably never fully understand or have a perfect answer for Bella.  It’s still true that focusing on Valencia’s good health keeps me going and likewise focusing on the beauty of Laurencia’s eternal life brings me comfort.  But there will always be a part of me that wishes she could have stayed here with me.  I know it’s different than what Lora was talking about and I hope she doesn’t mind my finding parallels.  Laurencia did in a way get to have her Plan A fulfilled.  I just wish it was for longer.  We must all leave this earth, dying is a part of our lives, not a separate plan or path, but it somehow doesn’t ever seem right that a tiny little baby, who just came from its mother, should be anywhere other than in her arms.


(Laurencia in my arms)

3 thoughts on “When you have two babies, and one dies

  1. I appreciate your truth Katrina, as always,thank you for sharing. Thinking of you with love, joy, and tenderness.

    “The true measure of character is what you chose to do when no one is watching”

  2. Hello Katrina, I worked in Antepartum this past weekend for the first time since returning from my maternity leave and I immediately thought of you. I was so happy to then discover the beautiful Christmas card from your family, as soon as I had a free moment I went to this blog. Within seconds I had tears running down my face and decided I’d have to wait to read more until I was at home. I’m home now and the tears have returned, my heart breaks for you Katrina. Your children are blessed to have an incredibly strong Mama with such a deep faith!
    *Christy (just one of the many nurses who was honored to meet you and your girls during your stay in the PSCU)

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to write. I absolutely remember you! You’re the one I said should not be allowed to work on a maternity floor while pregnant because you make normal people feel bad-you look too good!! So wonderful to hear you had the baby and are back at it :). Thank you again for caring for and about us. I stopped by recently and saw Carol and my old room, I brought Valencia. Maybe next time I’ll see you and give you a big hug. Take care and God bless.

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