How much time are we going to get with our sweet little girl?

We have no idea. Our doctor has no idea. It could be a few minutes, hours, days, maybe weeks. Then there’s the option I can hardly think about- she might not even be live born. I am going to carry a baby for possibly 9 months, deliver her, and yet I don’t even know if I will be able to spend much time with her. This is so unfair. I am angry. I am sad. I’m in shock. How can this be?

As cradle Catholics, Wayne and I believe our sweet little girl will go to heaven when she passes. We have too many family members in heaven currently- Wayne’s mom, all 4 of his grandparents, 2 of his uncles, his cousin, all 4 of my grandparents, 3 of my uncles, and a cousin of mine.

In all of my sadness, I became extremely concerned with insuring our baby gets to heaven where she can be cared for by Jesus and all of our loved ones already there. My mind became almost obsessed with this idea. How do I know she is OK and well cared for after she passes? What if there isn’t time to baptize her? Will this affect my baby getting into heaven? I have to know she is safe and happy and being loved.

My mind knows when she passes she won’t have the needs in heaven she would have had on earth- diaper changes, feedings, nose wiped, hugs, kisses, snuggles, tears wiped away, and the list goes on and on. But try telling my heart this. All of these needs are supposed to be taken care of by Wayne and me. And all of these responsibilities are being taken from us. We won’t be able to do all of these things for her or if we do, it won’t be for very long. It is this thought that crushes me. It is this thought that makes me burst into tears. Being a mom is my most favorite job I’ve ever had. I won’t have long enough with this precious baby to carry out my end of the bargain.

I could not find any peace when it came to all of these questions and concerns about baptism and care for our baby in heaven. I wasn’t sleeping and I wasn’t too terribly interested in eating. So I reached out to a dear priest friend of mine, Fr Mike, with all of my concerns. I warned him I wasn’t being logical. I was being extremely emotional. I shared with him my need to find peace with this as I know this will be our reality at some point. Fr Mike had a huge task in front of him.

Fr Mike shared with me that if there isn’t time for a priest or hospital chaplain to baptize our baby we could do it. He told me to pour water over her head and say, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.” Then he shared a belief in Catholicism I had never heard about before- baptism by desire. If our precious baby is stillborn and we do not have an opportunity to baptize her, the mere fact that our desire is to baptize her, she is considered baptized. Baptism by desire- so either way, our baby will be considered baptized. I was starting to find some peace.

But Fr Mike did not stop there. He continued to comfort us. He so eloquently wrote:

Snuggling Infant
Drawing By Jean Keaton Art

“Before she became your daughter she was first and remains always God’s daughter. Rest assured she will be okay for our true life and destiny ahead. Her journey in getting there, for reasons only her Father can know, will be much shorter in length of time than either of ours; but, it is her journey and her pathway in getting there. You have been chosen to carry her to the doorway of our eternal Home. She will go before you. You will bid her farewell. You will say goodbye. But remember that doorway. One day by the will and mercy of God you will walk through that door and she will be there to say hello and welcome you home. Remember she is God’s daughter. He knows her and will welcome her.”

You have been chosen to carry her to the doorway of our eternal Home.

You have been chosen.

This is our job, our responsibility. This is by far the hardest thing I have ever been asked to do, and for whatever reason our God has chosen us to do this. He has chosen us. And as sad and as in pain as we are, God has given this precious baby to us to care for and love even though this is not the way we want it all to play out.

We have been chosen.

And we will see her again. She will be there to greet us when we arrive in Heaven someday. I hadn’t even thought of this. We will meet again. We will be reunited.

Fr Mike’s words have been so comforting to us.  It doesn’t take the pain away, but we do take comfort in knowing we are implementing God’s plan and that He will be with us throughout the entire journey no matter how hard it becomes.

I slept pretty well that night…finally.

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