Friday, July 13, 2012

Spirit Babies

My husband and I have been talking about Love a lot lately.  Having Harrison here is a constant reminder of how very lucky we are, and how much we have lost.  We miss Love every day, and marvel in our love for Harrison as well.  He is just the sweetest, happiest, cutest little guy, and is just a friggin' joy to have around!  I love him so much it makes my heart hurt.

We were talking about Love's ashes too.  We haven't come to any conclusions yet about what to do with them.  I am not sure that I am ready to part with them yet, and if we do spread her ashes, where to spread them?  I have no idea.

In our last discussion, we started talking about Spirit Babies.  When I was in the hospital following my surgery that ended my second pregnancy, my sister recommended I read a book called "Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife", and said that I would really like the chapter called "Spirit Baby".  I wasn't sure this was something I wanted to read right away, but she was insistent so I got the book and started to read.  When I got to the Spirit Baby chapter, it was like a huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders.  It was exactly what I needed to hear/read.

I just did a quick search, and found the chapter excerpted which I will include (I have also edited it down a bit).  For context, the book is written by a midwife, and each chapter is about a different birth in her midwife practice, and also gives some background in how she came to be a midwife.  This particular chapter is about her experience with pregnancy loss:

Chapter Excerpt from Part IV of Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife

Spirit Baby

"Colin, my twelve-year-old son, discovered me late one rainy afternoon sitting at the kitchen table, a damp Kleenex crumpled in my left hand, wiping my eyes as I tried to compose myself for his sake. It was the third week of January, two months after I'd miscarried a pregnancy, but I still found it impossible to get through a day without at least one meltdown into misery.

Colin asked, "Are you crying about the baby?" and when I nodded tearfully, he said, "Well, you just have to have another one, Mom, because it's a Spirit Baby, and you should be its mother."

I must have looked puzzled because he said, "Don't you know about Spirit Babies? How could I know about them if you don't? I mean, you're my mom!" But he could see my perplexity.

So my first child, this not-yet-teen-aged boy, pulled a wooden chair to my side and draped his thin arm across my shoulders, saying, "Well, Mom, here's how it is. See, I was one myself, so that must be how I know. Anyway, every woman has a circle of babies that goes around and around above her head, and those are all the possible babies she could have in her whole life. Every month, one of those babies is first in line. If she gets pregnant, then that's the baby that's born. If she doesn't get pregnant, the baby goes back into the circle and keeps going around with all the others. If she gets pregnant but something bad happens before the baby's born…now listen, Mom, because here's the really cool part. It goes back into the circle, but it becomes a Spirit Baby, and all the other babies give it cuts. Each month, it's always first in line. Isn't that great?

"So you just have to get pregnant again, and you'll have the same Spirit Baby. If you don't, though, then the baby circle will just beam that little Spirit Baby over to some other woman's circle, and it'll be first in line for her. It keeps being first in line somewhere until it finally gets born.

"Colin, I don't understand this passion you have for a baby. Why do you want one so much?"

"Oh, Mom! Oh. Just for the joy of it!"

-A few weeks after this exchange with her son Colin, she and her husband conceived their Spirit Baby.  Just for the joy of it.

This story gave me so much comfort after the loss of my second pregnancy.  But it took on a whole new meaning after we lost Love.  Our Spirit Baby tried to be born with Love's arrival, but again, it went back up to my circle of babies to await our next try.  I just love the thought that Harrison has the same spirit of both my second pregnancy and Love.  It ties him to both of them. Andy and I were saying that we think he is such a happy baby because he is just so happy to FINALLY be here!!

And boy, are we happy he is here too!

Andy suggested that maybe we have Harrison spread Love's ashes when we are ready to take that step, and I really liked that idea.  It gave me comfort, which is quite a feat, considering that the thought of spreading her ashes usually fills me with dread and anxiety.  So we will see.

I hope that this story touches you as much as it did me.  I just had to share, and I hope we all get to hold our Spirit Babies in our arms one day.


  1. Tears. But good ones. I love the idea that Caro is as happy to be here as we are to have her here.

  2. I'm going to be burried with Kristen's ashes, I like the idea of keeping her with me always. I love the idea of a Spirit baby!

  3. Spirit babies are angels. How sad but at least you have an angel guiding your family. I have a blog for loving mothers like you. Hope you can visit my blog and if interested be my guest blogger. Thanks a lot...

  4. i just love this and have had this experience myself..i always knew i would have a big family and felt the babies following me around..had 6 amazing daughters..all whose names came first Many Mansions about Edgar Caye alignment with this.