As a mother who has experienced miscarriage, I can assure you that the child who passed is always with you — even if you eventually do give birth to a healthy child(ren). There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about our first child in some way. Whether it’s the conversation of miscarriage, a mention of an April birthday or general “what if” thoughts, our beloved Spike crosses my mind often.
I love E with my whole heart, mind and soul. I would give my own life to keep her healthy, strong and to have every chance at a long life. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t think about what my life would be like if our first child would have made it.
While we saw our nugget twice through ultrasound, we were never given the option of a photo – no mementos. Maybe our doctor thought he was “saving us” from future heartbreak, but I would give anything for the ability to see that little jellybean with the flitter-flutter heartbeat from our first ultrasound one more time. While the image is burned forever in my mind, something tangible is all I wanted.
Spike’s first birthday would have been April 10 of this year. With the date approaching, this baby has been on my mind a lot lately. Last year I toasted our Spike with a Birthday Shake from Holsteins while I was in Las Vegas for a work convention (and pregnant with baby E). Often when I pray, I ask Spike to keep a close watch over our family and especially their little sister, E. I pray that the baby keep her safe from harm and comfort her when she needs a helping hand.
Last night, I think Spike heard my prayers.
Call me crazy, tell me I’m hallucinating (from the obvious lack of sleep), but I know what I saw and I know how everything felt.
E woke crying around 10:45 PM. This is nothing new, so I headed down to her room to nurse her. As we settled in the rocking chair in her room, I spoke softly to her. I happened to glance up towards the door in the opposite corner of her room. The light from the hallway nightlight was entering the room just slightly. Out of the corner of my eye I happened upon the shape of a small person standing between the halfway open door and her crib (which is against the wall running up to the door). I squinted, made out the shape of a head with light hair and shoulders, but the face was too dark to see. This lasted only 2-3 seconds before I looked down at E to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. I quickly glanced back up and the shape was gone.
I, of course, kept looking at this spot to see if the light from the hallway was casting the shadow. I could not for the life of me recreate the shape or reflection of the light. I had chills, but I felt calm. I looked down at E and she was looking back at me. She finished and peacefully went back to sleep. I couldn’t shake what I saw, but convinced myself that I was just delirious.
E has taken to sleeping on her belly now that she can roll. As a nervous nelly mom, I find myself checking on her a bit more often than usual, especially now that she has a cold. I often notice she rolls close to the edge of the crib as there isn’t much room, so she regularly pins her arms against the side rails.
She woke me via the monitor around 3 AM. I went in to check on her and noticed her left arm was popped through the crib slat and it had awoken her. I picked her up to calm her back down and she quickly fell back asleep. I laid her back down to sleep and as I was walking out of the room, I stepped on something in the middle of the walkway out of the room.
I bent down and noticed that one of E’s pacifiers was lying in the middle of the open doorway, almost EXACTLY where I saw the shape of the toddler. Now, I close E’s door to almost completely shut when I leave her room — every time, no exceptions. She did not have a pacifier around her when I picked her up so there isn’t a chance that she had it on her and dropped it near the door when I picked her up. It is possible that she kicked it in her sleep, but that would mean that she would have had to have scooted all the way to the back of her crib, kicked it straight through the slat to land perfectly between the open door. And even if she did, when I opened the door to come back in, the pacifier would have been pushed behind the door, not in front of it.
I again had chills, but I felt safe. I went back to our room and slept peacefully, restfully until my alarm went off at 5:30. I looked at the monitor and sweet E was propped up, looking around her room quietly.
I’m a spiritual person and I love hearing stories about special visits from loved ones. I have always wished that our baby would let me know they were safe, that they were with us and that they hear my prayers. So again, maybe it’s wishful thinking that this happened. Maybe it’s a forced hallucination. But it didn’t feel that way. The night felt warm, safe, and loving. I truly want to believe that baby Spike was visiting our sick little E and I, on a night when we were SURE to be up all hours (but weren’t), to tell us they were there.
I’ll continue to pray for my babies and feel blessed to know that they’re always with me – both here on earth and in heaven.
If you’ve been visited or touched by a loved one, I’d love to hear your story!