Dear baby,

We discovered that you were growing inside of me nearly straightaway, all because I wanted homemade spaghetti bolognaise for dinner. As soon as I said that, your daddy made me take a pregnancy test – he knows that I’m rarely so specific about what I feel like.

We were so thrilled to discover that you existed! We loved you straightaway. For the last nine weeks we have thought of you every day; prayed for you every day. And in the last few weeks especially we have worried about you too, after finding out that I had some bleeding in my womb. Bleeding that some women have throughout a pregnancy and still deliver safely – but for us, it was not meant to be.

Because two days ago, you left my womb.

We may not know the shape of your nose, the curve of your lips, how it feels to look into your eyes. Would you have looked like me or daddy, or been a perfect mix of us both? We do not know if you were a boy or a girl; whether you would have been creative or analytical, sporty or musical. We don’t know whether you would have arrived on your Christmas Eve due date; maybe you would have made us wait until the New Year. And we do not know why we couldn’t keep you here with us, like we really really wanted to.

But we do know that we are still your parents, and that Emma is still your big sister. We know that we love you so immensely – we loved you before you were conceived, whilst you were in my womb, now, and forever. We feel blessed to have two children: one who we are looking after on earth, and one who looks after us from heaven. And we know that, even though we have to be very patient, we’ll meet you one day and learn all about you, when we get to heaven.

I am comforted to think about you cradled in the arms of God. I imagine you look like Emma did as a baby, with a chubby face and cuddly like a koala. You look happy surrounded by angels and our loved ones who have passed. Other friends who have lost a child in the womb have offered their sorely missed babies as your playmates, and I am sure you are enjoying their company.

Although my womb feels empty compared to a few days ago, my heart is full. Full of an even deeper love for you, as we begin a lifetime of waiting to meet you. Full of the love of a husband who is suffering as much as I, but who has been true to me in this worst of times; the best support in the world. Full of the love of our baby girl who makes us laugh and remember that life is still good. Full of the love of our family and friends, who share the burden and make it easier to bear – oh how they love you too, precious baby! Full of the love of everyone who has hugged us and prayed for us and cried with us; everyone who has sent us comforting words and flowers and food and good thoughts.

You are so loved, my beautiful second child, so loved. And you are with us all the time. Perhaps not as we would have chosen, but with us all the same. 

Tamara El-Rahi is an associate editor of MercatorNet. A Journalism graduate from the University of Technology Sydney, she lives in Australia with her husband and two daughters.