Our day of waiting began. Contractions started slow and small and we had a lot of time to rest and think. A lot of time to wonder about the baby we’d so soon say hello and goodbye to. We cried off and on all day, but also smiled and laughed and remembered and imagined.
The physical labor was a completely different experience this time around. Instead of being the hard part leading up to the happy ending, we were very aware that this was the only time we would get to physically care for our baby. It was sweet in ways I wouldn’t have imagined, and we were not impatient to have it done. The end would come soon enough, and it would be harder than the beginning.
Sometime mid-afternoon I was dozing off and on and a simple thought came: I’m God’s little girl. God hasn’t left his little girl alone in this. He’s here, sitting beside me, holding my hand and sharing my sorrow. And right after that thought, I became aware of the music we’d put on softly in the background, a compilation of songs put together by a friend years before. And these lyrics were being sung: “Though I feel alone, I am never alone. You are with me. You are with me. Oh, my Lord.”
Kerry was also resting around the same time and into his mind came a glimpse (vision?) of a tall, strong man in heaven. A man bigger than men here. A man he would describe as “mighty.” The man’s features weren’t clear (that would have been neat), but Kerry got the sense he was our son. Our baby boy, alive, whole. Though we hadn’t delivered yet, Kerry felt pretty certain from that point that our baby was a boy.
Luke Allen (he shares Kerry’s middle name) was born a couple of hours later. He was tiny and beautiful. Not medically perfect — he had a cyst associated with possible chromosomal abnormalities — but perfectly beautiful to me. And so, so very real and human. His hands and feet were perfectly formed with fingernails and joints. Later, his prints would show that the tiniest of details — creases, even — were already there. He had an adorable round belly, shoulders with tiny bones clearly outlined, a sweet little nose, skinny little arms and legs. Our nurse had brought us a knit baby cap earlier in the day, and I cried when I saw how easily it fit into the palm of my hand. It was still far too big for our boy, who was five inches “tall” and weighed two-and-a-half ounces.
He was Luke the moment he was conceived. A boy whose days were already known to his perfect Creator. Yet, at fifteen weeks and five days old, when his body was already perfectly formed down to the smallest detail, he was still more than a month under the legal timeline for elective abortion in our state. It’s hard to wrap my mind around this. Our boy was precious and lovely and we will grieve our loss of him for the rest of our lives. And every day little bodies and lives like his are intentionally destroyed and thrown away. I have no words.