Our son, Victor, was born into eternal life on Sept. 11, 2010. He never breathed a breath in this world. This is his story.
My entire life can now be labeled pre-Victor and post-Victor. Miscarrying our son is a dagger in my timeline. It is a break in the chain. It was the kind of thing that changes you forever. The crazy thing is that, unless we’ve shared our story with you (and we are pretty open about it), you wouldn’t know. When someone is physically injured or maimed in some way, people can SEE that something is different about them. They bear physical scars. Nobody can see the scars on my or my husband’s hearts that tell a big part of our family’s story.
Life and death is messy stuff. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually messy. Originally I thought I’d share the specifics and mechanics of our brief time with Victor but that isn’t really the important stuff. That isn’t his legacy. Believe it, my son, who had been in existence for just over 9 weeks, who could not survive outside of my womb, has a legacy. This isn’t about our experience with thoughtless ninnies at the hospital, who ran the gamut from simple thoughtlessness to idiocy to near cruelty. This isn’t about them. It is about Victor. Our son. Our first baby and our daughter’s big brother. Our family’s little saint.
We are Catholic and we believe that God has a hand in everything. Things happen via his specific will (i.e. It was His specific will that Christ die on the cross in atonement for our sins, in order to save us and open the gates of Heaven.) or his permissive will (i.e. He doesn’t specifically will for me to catch your cold but He doesn’t prevent it from happening, either.) It is so easy to say those words. We believe things happen for a reason. We trust in God’s will. We WANT God’s will for our lives. (Although, when you think about what He willed His only son to suffer in order to save us – sheesh – sometimes I think we’re crazy for wanting His will in our lives, but then again, this is all temporary and we have an eternity in Heaven to look forward to.) It is SO. MUCH. HARDER. to live those words. Victor taught us how.
With Victor, we were given the gift of participating in creation. Our love begat. Our love created. With REAL love (not what our society often defines as love…that’s another post), there is always a possibility that it will overflow into creating new life. We were given the gift of parenthood and the responsibility to help our child get to Heaven. With Victor, we were given LIFE. We enjoyed life with him for something like 2 – 3 weeks. We loved him. We loved him more than anyone who isn’t a parent might be able to understand, considering we hadn’t even met him, yet. We hadn’t met him, seen his face, heard his voice, or held his body but we KNEW him and we loved him.
Our son gave us the opportunity to grow closer together, closer to God, and stronger in our faith. We learned so much because of him. We learned that what you would imagine as being the worst possible thing ever, losing a child, isn’t really. We learned how closely intertwined blessing and suffering is. They always come hand in hand. It is through and because of the bitter that we should more fully appreciate the sweet. We learned that, as parents, we will always be called to suffer in some ways for our children. Daily we joyfully accept that suffering, for love of them. It is not pointless for me to suffer lost sleep if it means I am comforting my sick baby and helping her feel better, or if it means I am feeding her & providing nourishment for her to grow. Our suffering a miscarriage was not pointless, as our son was blessed to go straight to Heaven. We learned to TRUST God with EVERYTHING. He always provides what we need and takes care of us.
Through this, I’ve also grown closer to our Blessed Mother, Mary, and understand her sacrifice just a little more. I know she understands my mother’s heart and sorrow. I also knew, when Victor passed, that he would be cradled in her arms. The Queen of Heaven, our spiritual mother, would wrap her arms around my son. He was okay. No, he was more than okay, he was perfect.
Our son’s legacy is us. His life has a profound continuing effect on our marriage and family. He is up in Heaven praying for us and interceding on our behalf. We’ve learned to appreciate what we are given, when we are given it. To cherish times as they come and not to fear anything. We no longer fear death, not for ourselves or our children. “Oh, Death, where is your sting? Oh, Death, where is your victory?” We are trying to live a life of humility & love, joyfully accepting whatever crosses we are blessed with, offering up suffering to participate in redemption, and gratefully relishing every little bit. We don’t always succeed. We are the family of saints. We’ve been blessed with holy children. We will gladly accept the blessings of more little saints. No matter if they ever live one day on this earth outside of my womb – we will joyfully accept all the blessing and suffering that comes with being parents, with being open to love overflowing. We hope and pray that we will all be reunited in the communion of saints, whenever God calls us.
In 2010 our lives changed forever as we were married, blessed with our first child, and suffered through our first loss. We held close to each other, close to our son, and close to God. It was the most difficult year of my life but I am so grateful for everything that happened that year. We learned that life is life – life on earth or life in Heaven – no matter where our children are, they are alive and we were blessed to participate in that. <3 This is what Victor taught us. <3
After I wrote this, I shared it with my husband. He said I make us sound like a couple of saints, which we aren’t. We’ve been walking in this for three years. It is still very difficult at times. We both struggled with anger after losing Victor. If you’ve read my Pregnancy Guilt post, then you know I really struggled with jealousy, too. This isn’t an easy road. It isn’t a road I’d ever wish on anyone. It isn’t a road that I want to journey down again BUT it also isn’t a road that I am afraid of. I do not fear losing another pregnancy to miscarriage & birthing another baby to Heaven. Satan can not use that fear to rob my joy or hold me captive. There are plenty of other things he can use but fear of losing my babies isn’t one of them. It may not immediately sound like I’m talking about our son but without him, without being blessed with him and without the miscarriage – I do not think I would have learned any of these things. Fear is not of God. Love, peace in your soul, and joy…these are of God. I am so thankful that I am blessed to be able to walk through future pregnancies with a spirit of peace, love, and joy – even if it may also be surrounded by sorrow. God loves my children more than I do and I know He will always take care of them.