On July 2, 1999, we lost our first child, whom we named Anastasia Innocent. The icon above is that of St. Anastasia.
Wifeofdadwithnoisykids was about 8 weeks along when she stopped having those nausea-filled days that indicate that another Noisykid is developing normally. An ultrasound confirmed what we feared.
We had a follow-up ultrasound later that week which showed the absence of the 'sac' which had been present a few days earlier. This sac is usually the first sign of a baby growing, and along with some blood tests, everything indicated that we had lost one of our little ones.
Because of constant bleeding, our obstetrician suggested a D & C. We were convinced, based on the ultrasound and the lab results, that our unborn child was dead, so we agreed to go ahead with the procedure.
Knowing our Faith - I had given him a copy of Humanae Vitae and both of us had explained the Church's teaching about abortion and contraception to him - he offered to have a priest present to 'do whatever could be done for us.'
I assumed he meant baptize the baby. We had already blessed my wife's belly, and earlier that day we conditionally baptized what turned out to be just a blood clot. I told him that no, it is obvious our baby is already dead, and so nothing more could be done for her.
Maybe it is wishful thinking, but we already thought of this child as a girl.
It was then that it hit me that I could not do anything more for this child. Unlike all my other children, this one had slipped away, unable to be held or caressed, or protected. This painful realization and the sorrow that accompanied it were too much to bear, and I recall crying like a baby.
Somehow I pulled myself together, and while my wife was in the operating room I went down to the hospital chapel. This was at the military hospital I was stationed at, and the chapel had a separate room for reservation of the Blessed Sacrament. I spent some time in prayer, then went to the gift shop and bought my wife a single yellow rose. I went to my office and waited.
My partner who anesthetized Wifeofdadwithnoisykids came to get me. He said very gently, "I think [she] needs you now." In the midst of her tears, my wife thanked my partner, and told him that she had offered up her suffering for him and his wife, since they were trying to have a baby at that time.
We have not forgotten our little lost Noisykid. We still have parts of that yellow rose, pressed into a picture frame along with her name. She is remembered at the Church of the Holy Innocents. We mention her name during Night Prayers when we ask God to bless each member of our family by name.
I think about her whenever I hear the song 'San Antonio Rose:'
"Moon in all your splendor,
know only my heart.
Call back my Rose,
Rose of San Antone."
But for us there is no calling her back.
For us this was a firm reminder that God truly is the Author of Life, and that even a couple who have had 8 healthy children are not guaranteed that children will just keep coming. We have tried to not take this gift God has given us for granted.
Three years later, we had another scare which landed us in the emergency room. This time, the ultrasound not only showed a little sac, but when color was added to the picture, we saw the beating heart of another little Noisykid. That Noisykid is the one who went on to inspire me to take the pseudonym 'dadwithnoisykids.'