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Saying Goodbye to Baby Tiny

23 Aug

The Art of Honoring a Miscarriage

I once heard it said that married people don’t just wake up one day and wonder if they’re really married.  A person might wake up and have all sorts of questions about being married to the person with morning breath laying next to them, but it’s a rare case to hear of a couple who woke up and felt the need to rush to the courthouse for fear that their wedding and subsequent marriage possibly didn’t count.  The argument goes, as I once heard it, that our culture celebrates weddings and marriage in such a way that it’s hard to doubt whether or not a couple’s wedding was good enough for the couple to count as being married.  We might not do a great job of fighting for those marriages to work, but most everyone loves a good wedding.

However, since my wife and I experienced a miscarriage last week, I’ve met many other couples who have also experienced a miscarriage – many of them who feel like a miscarriage is something that hides in the shadows of their family history and rarely gets talked about.  I’ve met moms and dads along the way who wonder if that little baby who once lived at the center of their lives actually counted for anything.  I was given a handwritten note from an anonymous couple at my church who have experienced over a dozen miscarriages during the last 3 years and are still struggling to tell their friends and family that they’re even beginning to try to have children.  Somehow, our culture has built a culture of shame and misinformation about miscarriages that has left many couples feeling as though they are alone and wondering if the life of their baby is something worth grieving and, if so, how they should go about honoring that child.

What I’m about to offer is not a how-to guide, it’s simply the story of how our family chose to say goodbye to Baby Tiny.  We felt like we needed to honor the child that God had given us, even if we never had the chance to hold her – I didn’t want to wake up one day, 7 years from now, and wonder if that baby counted.  It’s hard for a story to be redeemed if that story goes untold – and, because we hold fast to the belief in a God who writes a good story, we wanted to share this chapter of ours with you.

Because we live in Southern California, we made a drive down to a secluded little beach just north of San Diego for a chance to say goodbye to Baby Tiny.

Our friends, Jim and Yo, along with their children and my wife’s sister, joined us for a time to honor our baby and remember the hopes and dreams that we now had to let go of.

Each family member was given a handmade Lei to release into the ocean in remembrance of Baby Tiny.  (Kate, in true Kate fashion, didn’t want to let go of her Lei because it made her feel like a princess.  So, she wore it during our little makeshift ceremony)

 

The Lei represents “Aloha” and love – placing ours in the Pacific was a chance for us to say goodbye to our loved one until, as our 4-year-old Carter reminds us daily, we meet Baby Tiny one day in Heaven.

We watched in silence as the waves began to carry each of our flowers out to sea.

As a family, we each prayed for our little one and for each other.  That God would draw near to us and help us not forget how much we loved Baby Tiny.

As my wife and I have mourned the death of Baby Tiny, I’ve been surrounded with a community who is willing to mourn with us.  I cannot begin to put into words how grateful I am for the ways in which our local church community, as well as the global #kidmin community, has surrounded us in prayers and kind words – thanks, friends.

It’s good to know we’re not alone.

And it’s good to know that Baby Tiny isn’t alone either.

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17 Comments

Posted by on August 23, 2011 in Thoughts

 

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17 responses to “Saying Goodbye to Baby Tiny

  1. Katie

    August 23, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Wow, that was a beautiful way to honor that unborn baby. Thanks for sharing your struggle so openly. I know it touches people’s lives.

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    • Anthony Prince

      August 23, 2011 at 12:04 pm

      Thanks, Katie.
      The idea came from our friend, Yolanda. She’s kind of brilliant.

      Like

       
  2. cassbrannan

    August 23, 2011 at 10:08 am

    We two have experienced miscarriages (two of them), and it is never easy! Thanks for sharing your journey with us! WE remember our two losses with pieces of jewelry that my wife wears each day! We also hold on to the hope that one day we will meet them and be able to hold them, even though we know that they are being held with much bigger arms than we could ever provide.

    Praying for you and the many others who are going through this!

    Like

     
    • Anthony Prince

      August 23, 2011 at 12:05 pm

      Cass, buddy, what a beautiful way to remember your little ones.
      I (and we) appreciate your prayers.

      Like

       
  3. Elyse Nichole Wood

    August 23, 2011 at 10:40 am

    This is really beautiful Anthony. Thank you for sharing.There is a book called Motherhood Lost about one woman’s account of her miscarriage. She brings up a good point about how miscarriages are often hushed in even the most tight knit social circles.

    The author theorized that this was due to pro choice rhetoric….Which makes sense if a prochoicer argues that a fetus should not be counted as a life. But in Christian circles it is especially disconcerting because most Christians (I think) would say life starts at conception and if that’s true than absolutely a miscarriage “counts” as a life lost and is worth grieving for.

    These things need to be discussed and talked about openly. And I really admire your willingness to mourn as a community and say “Yes this is a big deal for our family and we don’t want to do this in secret” I hope other couple’s will feel less alone from your example and find the courage to be open about their losses as well. Because it matters.

    lots of love to your family.

    Like

     
    • Anthony Prince

      August 23, 2011 at 12:07 pm

      It is a big deal for us. I’m going to take a look at that book – I’m always looking for resources to point families to.

      And, thanks for commenting. I still pray for you often – you’re one of my favorite people and I’m blessed because of the time you spent working alongside me.

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  4. Jessica W

    August 23, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Thank you for sharing your journey. I have lost 4 babies through miscarriage and I believe in honoring those lives. I am so sorry for your loss. The way you chose to honor baby tiny is beautiful. I pray you and your wife will be comforted as you continue to walk the path God leads you on.

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  5. Patty

    August 23, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Thank you, Anthony for putting an importance on a child you’ve held in your hearts.
    I have not suffered a miscarriage, but have lost a son only 3 days old, who was born prematurely. Thirty years ago, while his birth was celebrated, and his death mourned, we were expected to just get up the next day and never speak of him again.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for letting others know they are not alone, that you can still rejoice in the life and children you have, and that although we are without our babies, we can rest assured they are in the comforting arms of a God who loves us.

    Like

     
    • Anthony Prince

      August 23, 2011 at 12:09 pm

      Patty – words can’t express the pain I feel for you and your family. Losing a son at 3 days has to be one of the hardest experiences I can imagine.

      Stories like yours remind me that we’re not alone – stories like yours and ours are redeemed when they provide strength and comfort to others. Thanks.

      Like

       
  6. Denice

    August 23, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Dan and I have lost four babies, and each miscarriage was difficult and different from the others. As a mother, I can vividly remember details from each one of my pregnancies, both with my living children and the ones we lost. The loss of each child has always left me wondering,”What if?” “What would he/she (we know one was a girl) have been like? What color hair, eyes? etc” I firmly believe that God has a plan for each of us and that the three girls he did give me were placed in our family for a special reason. Interestingly, I had not thought about meeting my unborn children in heaven until I read “Heaven is Real” and the author describes meeting his unborn sister and being greeted and recognized in heaven by her. The thought of one day meeting my ‘other’ four is such a comforting thought and has helped me with my “What ifs?” Someday in heaven, my family will be complete.
    Our family is praying for you, Anthony and Christine.

    Like

     
    • Anthony Prince

      August 23, 2011 at 2:50 pm

      Love you and your family.
      Our little ones are in good hands – of that I’m sure.

      Like

       
  7. Kim Slater

    August 23, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. I am so touched and honored to have read each word. And to see the photos… made it all the more personal. There is a book by Pastor Jack Hayford… called “I’ll Hold You In Heaven.” I read it after having eight miscarriages and it helped me process some long burning questions. I hope you and your family know that Tiny Baby is in the arms of Jesus and beyond loved! And the best gift is… you will see Tiny Baby and hold him or her yourself one day in Heaven! Blessings to you and yours…

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  8. Lisa Banks

    August 23, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    I can’t think of a better way to honor baby tiny! Thank you so much for sharing your story. I have 3 beautiful children but the journey was a bumpy one at best. 5 miscarriages and no answers… all we could depend upon was GOD, he works in mysterious ways. Love and light to you and your family.

    Like

     
  9. hotshot bald cop

    September 1, 2011 at 1:19 am

    Thank you for a great post.

    Like

     

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