Amidst all the joy of welcoming Matthew into our family it hasn't left my mind a bit that we should celebrate every little person that comes into our life for however brief a time.
Two years ago Thomas was born quietly into our world and our family. We still talk about him quite a bit. He left that much of an impression on us. He touched Anthony in a very special way that will stay with him his whole life. I know with time Anthony will continue to grow and understand the situation more. He still feels, I think, that something unfair happened and his brother was "taken" from him. I remind him that they will always be brothers, and he'll be there waiting for him when Anthony gets to heaven. It helps a little.
When we were talking with the doctor about inducing me with Matthew, she mentioned that usually the hospital likes a weeks notice before inductions because of how busy they are. I would have been more than 42 weeks. I can't imagine! But the other thing that crossed my mind was that Matthew would have been born on the anniversary of Thomas' "birthday". It would have been bitter-sweet and odd for me, so I said a little prayer and asked for sooner. God heard me! Well, of course He did. I just hoped he would work things out for me and give me the strength I would need should I have had to wait until today to give birth. He's a merciful God.
The words of the nurse who tended to me when I went to the hospital with Thomas still stick with me and I find myself still feeling the same as I did then (slightly shocked and heartbroken at her words)...but with a little more clarity and understanding. She told me that I was young and beautiful and could have more babies. And as true as that was and still is, even with the birth of a beautiful new baby my heart still aches with that loss. We've added to our family. We haven't replaced anyone. I know she was trying to console me in some way, and I can appreciate that. I couldn't be happier to have Matthew! He's truly wonderful. I think perhaps I appreciate each of my children even more because of the loss of Thomas. And so in thankfulness to his life having drawn out in me a more grateful and appreciative outlook...I celebrate his little brief life today.