Almost immediately after Jake’s birth and death I began to wonder more about Mary, the mother of Jesus. I felt a bond to her that I have never felt before. After all, we both lost our sons. So differently yes, but still tragic nonetheless.
I can relate to her pain. And I can relate to having to find the deepest strength you have deep inside of you to survive the death of your son and watch it unfold before your own eyes. I can relate to Mary not being able to help her son. She couldn’t save his life. She watched his dead body hang from a cross after being beaten and tormented for days. My stomach hurts when I think of her agony. I can’t help but wonder if Jake suffered. As his movement became weaker and weaker his last few days of life, my instinct kicked in that something was wrong. But I sadly received the “first time mom” reassurance from the triage nurses that he must have moved positions, that my placenta being in the front made it difficult to feel him, that because I could still hear his heartbeat on my home fetal doppler that he was fine. But my heart felt like something was wrong. So now I wonder if his faint kicks were struggles. Struggles to warn me, struggles to breathe. Struggles to get out of the umbilical cord he was so wrapped up in. When I was too scared to wait until my appointment that Friday, I went in Thursday morning. I took the glucose drink and felt nothing. I knew something wasn’t right but of course I held on to any ounce of hope I could muster.
I cried for months over this and even tonight as I type, I still wonder. Was he in pain? The guilt is relentless, unavoidable and inconsolable. Could I have saved him? What if I went to the emergency room? What if I demanded to come in sooner? Would they have performed an emergency c-section? What if, what if, what if? I believe these two words will haunt me forever.
I think about Mary birthing her son on that the quiet still night. Then I think of our quiet room, no newborn cries, just a still baby boy. You could feel the Lord’s presence unlike anything I have ever felt before. It was literally as if he was sitting in the room with us guiding us through the trenches of the most beautiful tragedy of my life. Mary must have felt the Lord in those hours of birthing Jesus. She entrusted him with this unexplainable child. I have no doubt he was there guiding her too.
I wonder what Mary was thinking as she walked by her son to his crucifixion. What if? What if? What if? Scripture only mentioned her one more time after the initial death of Christ. ONE TIME. Can you imagine how many tears she shed? How much she wept? How many sleepless nights she had? I can. I wonder what happened to Mary. Did she simply shut down forever as she grieved the most devastating loss a woman could face? Did she run away? Did she become depressed? Did she too awake in the middle of a dead sleep screaming for her child?
I want to hug her. Not like a holy-figure-praise-you kind of hug. But a mother to mother hug. I want to tell her that she is so brave. I want to read HER blog. I can only imagine the words she would have and the lessons she could teach. When I hear the song “Mary Did You Know” I am always blown away. I just never imagined that I would ever be able relate to it on such a personal level. I never knew the lyrics would one day soothe my heart the way they do now. Jake was not Jesus but his life has made a difference even in his tragic death. I get messages constantly from people who tell me his story is helping them. I think of how proud Mary must have been to be the mother of Jesus Christ. And I am just as proud to be the mother of Jake Edward.
“Mary did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new; that this child that you delivered, would soon deliver you? There are no other words to describe this. Jake is making me new and delivering me from my old self. He is making me a better person. I gave birth to a perfect pure angel, I’d say that’s as close to Jesus as you can get.
“When you kiss your little baby, you kiss the face of God.”