Mom to Michael Jeremiah
February 13, 2016
Dear Michael Jeremiah,
On October 30, 2015, Daddy and I found out we were 5 weeks pregnant with you. We were so surprised and excited! Your due date was July 3, 2016. We had family photos taken in November so we could make a special Christmas card announcing you! On December 14, 2015 we went to your 11 week ultrasound and got to see you for the first time. We loved listening to your strong heartbeat. Afterwards, we told our families about you and everyone was excited. We gave your grandparents Christmas ornaments announcing you and we let your brothers each hold an ultrasound picture. I will never forget your oldest brother’s love for you. When we told him we were pregnant, he jumped up and down and pumped his arms in the air saying “Yes! Yes! Yes!” Then he said “I hope it’s a GIRL!” I later told him I was pretty sure you would be a boy but he never believed me. Your oldest brother hugged and kissed my belly EVERY NIGHT before bed. He was so excited about you!
On January 5th, 2016 I went to your 14 week check up. The younger two of your older brothers were with me and we got to hear your heartbeat again. It was your second oldest brother’s 4th birthday so I thought that was a special treat for him. He liked to say “the baby is behind your pocket” because I often wore sweatshirts and had a big pocket over the lower part of my belly. I was craving lots of carbohydrates with you (some favorites were tortilla chips and potato skins). On January 16, 2015 I felt the tiny flutter of first movement. Daddy and I were on the way to Logan’s for dinner and I said to Daddy, “I feel the baby moving! I thought I felt the baby earlier today but wasn’t sure until now.” I will cherish the time I had with you growing inside me. As my belly grew and grew, I kept imagining who you would be. We had no idea we would have to say goodbye so soon.
On February 12, 2016 we went to your 19 week ultrasound, excited to find out what gender you were. But instead we found out you went to Heaven. We arrived at the hospital around 11:30 a.m. on February 13, 2016 to be induced. It was a cold day but it was beautiful and sunny with blue skies. Labor started around 3:30 p.m. and the nurses there were so kind to me. I asked for a half dose of IV pain medication around 5 p.m. and then another half dose at 6:30 p.m. The contractions were getting stronger and more painful but the IV medication took the edge off of them. I ate some yummy cherry popsicles and one of your aunts stopped by to bring Zaxby’s for dinner. I didn’t eat but did enjoy the Coke that your aunt gave me! After she left, I dozed off a little. Around 8:00 p.m. I was pretty sure you were coming and asked the nurses to check me. They insisted I still had a while but I knew from the pain that I didn’t! Then at 8:20 p.m., you were born.
My doula arrived right as you were being born and took pictures of you, which I will cherish always. I was unsure of what you would look like since you were born 21 weeks early but when the nurses put you in a tiny blanket and handed you to me, Daddy and I stared in awe because God created you so perfectly. We touched your stomach and head and counted your ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes. We looked at your eyes, ears, mouth and nose and we marveled at your features. But my favorite feature of yours was your ribs. They were so delicate and perfect. My midwife arrived and checked you out and told us you looked perfect.
Daddy and I helped to get your tiny footprints on the keepsake birth certificate. Daddy got to cut your tiny umbilical cord and it was such a sad but special moment. The nurses made a little bed for you where you could rest and we received a beautiful white keepsake box with items to remind us of you. The nurses also gave us a teddy bear made from one of the hospital receiving blankets. When I hold this “Michael bear” I will think of holding you my precious one. I slept with this bear when we stayed the night in the hospital and it brought me great comfort. I am sure I will sleep with it for months to come.
The next morning we wrote your name, weight, length and time of birth on the keepsake birth certificate. Daddy very carefully wrote “Michael Jeremiah” while I was getting some blood work done. I looked over and smiled when I saw the precision he was using to write your name and I could see how much he loved you. We had carefully picked your name two days before. I had wanted your name to be something angelic and Daddy suggested Michael because he was the archangel in the Bible. “Michael” also means “Who is like God.” Daddy also suggested “Jeremiah” for your middle name. One of our favorite verses in the Bible reminds us of you: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…” Jeremiah 1:5. And oh sweet boy, how true this verse is for you… He knew you before you were in my womb and He did set you apart. You have made such an impact on our lives. “Jeremiah” also means “appointed by God.” Our love for you is so great, but God loves you even more than we do. And you are in His arms now, precious baby.
As we left the hospital on the morning of Valentine’s Day it was gently snowing. The flakes were light and beautiful. When we arrived home the sadness overwhelmed me because I thought of all the things we would miss with you. But then I reminded myself that you are in Heaven and you are not missing out on a single thing. We are experiencing great loss but you are experiencing great gain. The snow continued to fall throughout the day and by night time the ground was covered with white, pure snow. I looked out the window and thought of you in Heaven, as pure and beautiful as the snow before me. As I sit here writing this letter, your second oldest brother is singing “He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands” while he is in bed and it is soothing to my broken heart. It is so true, sweet Michael, God has the whole world in His hands and you are right there with Him.
Daddy bought me flowers for Valentine ’s Day. He wanted to buy violets because violets are the flower for February and we were going to name you Violet if you were a girl. Violets represent faithfulness and hope. We have faith that God has a plan and even though we don’t know how everything will work out, we have an enduring hope in Christ. Daddy couldn’t find violets but since violets are usually purple, he bought a beautiful bouquet of purple freesias and a type of purple aster for me. Whenever I see purple flowers I will remember you, sweet boy.
My milk came in the next day. This was very hard because I wanted so badly to nurse you and hold you. I pumped a tiny bottle of milk so we could bury you with it. I felt it was a way I could take care of you. I also wrote the words to “Jesus Loves Me” on a piece of paper to be buried with you. I sing those words to your brothers every night and wanted you to have that too. Three weeks later my milk was completely gone and even though I knew it was coming, it made me sad. It felt like it was one more step away from you.
You have so many people who love you my sweet Michael. You have Daddy, Mommy, and your three brothers. I pray you will get to meet them in Heaven one day. You have all your aunts and uncles and cousins. They love you too and we pray they will meet you in Heaven one day as well. You have some very loving grandparents and you will be remembered by everyone! I feel blessed to have carried you and am thankful for every second of life you had inside of me. I love you my precious Michael Jeremiah and I look forward to the day when I can hold you once more.
You can email Ashley at firstname.lastname@example.org.