Madonna mit Kind by Egger-LienzI’ve wondered for a long time whether I should ever share this with anyone. I told my husband, of course; but I didn’t know whether anyone else would understand or even believe me.

So I’ll put it out there. If it helps someone, I’ll be happy. If anyone thinks I’m crazy, that’s their right. But this is my experience, a gift I received and will always carry with me.

I mentioned in my conversion story that my second pregnancy ended in a miscarriage at about nine weeks. I was heartbroken. I quit my part-time job to stay home with my toddler. She and the new baby would have been 22 months apart.

About a year and a half later, a few months after the birth of our second daughter, I started on the road to conversion to Catholicism. The Church teaches that life begins at conception. I had believed that before, but I wasn’t sure if that included babies like the one I had miscarried so early. It was a great comfort to me that I could pray for the baby. Even though the baby had left us before we could even hold it, we had brought another soul into the world for God. A real soul.

We didn’t know whether the baby had been a boy or a girl. I decided that since the baby had a unique identity, the baby ought to have a name, so I gave the baby a gender-neutral name: Jordan.

Early in 2010, I was praying late one night to know, somehow, whether Jordan had been a boy or a girl. That didn’t ultimately matter, of course, but I still wanted to know. I thought it would help.

As I was praying, right in the middle of a sentence, very abruptly, an image popped into my head and I was instantly speechless. My brain was humming quietly. What I was seeing was not flat like a photograph. It was like a slice of actual memory, with depth, but it was still, paused. It was a little girl with curly blonde hair, in my living room, in front of my sofa. She was smiling. She resembled my oldest daughter but was not my oldest daughter. She looked frail.

The image, the moment, the memory I never actually got to live… it stayed with me for about a minute. I desperately wished I had my husband’s artistic abilities. I wanted to draw her. I got up and grabbed a pencil and piece of paper and tried, but I couldn’t. I’ve never been able to get pictures from my head down through my fingers and onto paper.

The intensity faded and I tearfully thanked Jesus. My baby had been a girl.

Not that night, but later, I gave Jordan a feminine middle name, Marie, after my late great-grandmother.

I have asked the Blessed Mother many times to hold my Jordan Marie for me and give her the motherly comforts I never could. I have asked St. Martha to take her under her wing. I have thanked God for allowing me to be pregnant with Jordan Marie, even for so short a time. Even though I still cry for her, am crying right now, I know she’s with Jesus in heaven and one day we’ll get to see each other face to face and do together the work that God has for us there.

I’m okay most of the time, but some days I’m reminded of her, of what might have been, and it all comes back.

Today, October 15th, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day (website, Facebook). I will light a candle for the Wave of Light at 7pm for my baby Jordan Marie and for the babies my friends have lost, especially losses later in pregnancy and after birth. And I’ll be praying for peace and comfort for us all.

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You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb.¬†I praise you, so wonderfully you made me; wonderful are your works! My very self you knew; my bones were not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, fashioned as in the depths of the earth. Psalm 139:13-15 NAB



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