(Trigger Warning )
“In May of this year we found out we were expecting our second baby, due in February. We were ecstatic and a little scared…two kids, 16 months apart….it’s a lot for anyone. But the discovery came at a time when we had so many swirling storms around us, it was like a lighthouse to a ship – planted on a rock and giving hope.
In mid-August, we were just through the first trimester and “safe.” We heard the baby’s strong heartbeat, speculated at feeling him or her move. Until something was suddenly off. A quick visit from the midwife furthered our concerns with no heartbeat found. We had to wait for an ultrasound a few days later, and didn’t let ourselves assume the worst. But the ultrasound showed a still babe, no heartbeat, no movement in the tiny limbs we could see. Silence.
A few days later, after hours of labor and in the midst of tears, he was born. A little boy – yes, even at 13 weeks it is crystal clear. He had his daddy’s hands, long narrow feet, nose, lips, mouth, it was all so intricate. The next morning a funeral home came to pick up his body. All that previous night through the next day we talked about names, as the funeral home couldn’t do anything without a name. Eventually we fell upon Peter Lukas. Rock of Light. Our little lighthouse. It was perfect. We chose an urn. Jason signed the papers; one the hardest things a father could be asked to do. And we walked away, leaving our son’s body in the hands of strangers. Loving strangers, who took care of Peter without asking a thing from us. But strangers none-the-less. We cried all the way home.
A week later we had him back, and it felt like the grieving could actually start.
Grieving a miscarriage is a daily pain. Moment by moment. Never completely absent. Seeing what feels like dozens of mama friends expecting their second baby in the spring posting on social media, all their joy and excitement…it’s difficult. Watching friends with their own little boys, knowing it’s something we won’t experience with Peter. I don’t say that to guilt anyone – if anything we, more than some, understand just how precious life is. But the pain is present and real. Bless you mamas for celebrating, never stop.
I am so grateful for his memory. Grateful he was conceived. Grateful he lived. Grateful I had the privilege of carrying him, birthing him, holding him, seeing him. Some couples ache for even that. For the chance to create a life.
Peter’s death brought indescribable pain. But his life and his legacy….is Joy. Hope. Trust. He caused our faith to be stretched and grown in ways I could never have imagined. My walk with God will never be the same. There is a depth from it that I hope to treasure always. And a new reason to look forward to eternity.
Peter Lukas was a gift. Is a gift. Every child, no matter the age, the challenges, the victories, is a gift. Every single one has a unique voice and purpose that we may or may not ever know. But this I do know. His life changed me. It changed us. It has and will continue to affect lives for years to come – through his story, through his parents, and who knows how else. We hold even more dear our beautiful daughter, our sunshine baby. Cherish your babies. Cherish your friends who have experienced loss. Cherish those who haven’t even had someone to lose. Help give continued purpose to these stories – let it fuel gratitude and unity. Let it give beautiful new perspective. And let it further joy and dissolve the frustrations and petty obsessions that so easily consume us. If we could ask one thing as Peter’s parents, it would be this: Think bigger. Think beyond ourselves. Think towards eternity. Value every life, no matter how small, and every moment. And may we be grateful. Always grateful.”