This I Believe

Karen - Eagle River, Alaska
Entered on October 28, 2007

Working as a labor and delivery nurse, I am blessed daily in watching new families be born. The days do come however, when the baby’s life ends while still in utero, still within the mother. Guiding women though these heartbreaking labors without happy endings has been a grim duty over the years, but this I believe:

I believe, in watching these strong women cope with the impossible, that they are players in a greater plan. I believe that they, prior to their own birth, have made a plan to grow spiritually stronger. I imagine a meeting before the birth of the mother with a loved friend or family member. I imagine her planning this life event to work on her ability to handle grief and loss. I believe the mother spends the weeks of her pregnancy with a special person who has kindly agreed to help her soul’s growth.

The scientist in me says, be reasonable, fetal demise is purely a biological event: placental insufficiency, knot in the cord, or any of the other countless caprices of our genetics. It just happens.

I hush my scientist up, and choose to believe. I believe these still, quiet babies, warmly held in the arms of their mothers after the fear of death subsides, are part of a plan. Not a great cosmic plan, written on parchment scrolls, but a simple plan to grow better and stronger in this life or the next life. The tears of grief come first for these women and their families, but I believe that the tears of joy will come for this pair in another dimension. When they embrace and laugh and say. “It was great fun being with you for those months, swirling around in the water and kicking you in the ribs.” And the mother will say, “I missed you so much I thought I would die from the pain. But I didn’t. I grew stronger. And I have you to thank for that.” This I believe.