So we had a tiny little celebration for Molly’s christening last weekend.
Well it was tiny compared to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
OK so it was a little on the large side for a christening. But not without good reason.
Firstly, our pastor of more than ten years is leaving church in a couple of weeks, so it was a chance to invite back some of the church folk who have moved on in the last few years.
Secondly, we wanted to have a big celebration. There were many years where it was hard to find anything to celebrate.
When you’ve had a lot of losses, you have to celebrate your wins.
After so many losses, having Molly is the biggest win I’ve ever experienced. I think the people who were there understood that and that’s why they put in a big effort to be there.
It was a long journey to having Molly and it took place over quite a few years. Because of that, there were a lot of people who were part of that journey and I wanted to include as many of them as we could. For us, the point of having the party was to say, ‘Thankyou for sticking with us, for thinking of us, for praying for us, for being our friends, even though we’ve been a little absent during the past four years.’ Unfortunately, that never actually got said. My husband was intending to give a little speech to that effect, but he came down with laryngitis, was terribly unwell and had to leave the party early. As for me, I didn’t trust myself to speak without crying. That’s why I’m writing instead. I can cry as much as I want and nobody needs to know.
So we had a lot of people. And some people will no doubt think we went a bit OTT. (Over the top.)
But here’s why:
I invited you because you were the only person who’s been through what I went through and you showed me every time that you still cared about me.
I asked you because of that time you shared with me about your own miscarriage or infertility and made me feel like less of a freak.
I invited you because you told me that you believed I would have another baby one day and you because you cried with me when I told you about what happened to us.
I wanted you to be there because when I was completely alone in my bubble of grief you tried to understand what I was feeling and you because you sent me that card or gift to let me know you cared about my loss.
I asked you because you called up my husband and dragged him out even when he was in a slump of sadness and you because you kept calling me, even when I didn’t have the energy to call you back.
I wanted to share this day with you because you dropped everything to come and pray with us in our crisis and because you cared enough to tell us what you really thought, even though it wasn’t what we wanted to hear.
You had to be there because you cooked us those amazing meals when I was so weak and exhausted that I couldn’t walk across the room without feeling feint and you should have been there because even though you live far away you called to tell me you were thinking of me.
I thought of you because you’ve always been such a faithful friend to me.
I wanted you there because when I told you I was expecting Molly you were happy for me, even though it was inconvenient for you and you because I was touched by the joy you poured out on me when I told you my happy news.
I wanted you there because you always prayed so beautifully for me and for my unborn baby and spoke the very words my heart needed to hear.
I remembered you because you helped me so kindly after I fell and hurt myself when I was so worried about my little treasure.
I thought of you because when I arrived at work sleep deprived and anxious about another ultrasound, always expecting that this might be the last day of my fragile happiness, you asked me how I was feeling and listened when I answered.
I asked you because when I was scared your smile cheered me up and your laugh made me laugh.
I wanted you there because when I texted you to tell you that we’d just had the 20-week ultrasound and that everything was OK, you told me you had tears streaming down your face, thinking of all we’d been through.
And I thought of all of you because when our baby was born you were so happy for us, and you showered us with generous gifts and kind words, even though you may not ever have your own baby to cherish. Your generosity of spirit overwhelms me.
So while it might seem a little over the top to have so many people to celebrate one little baby, each of you is somebody that I wanted to be there, that I wanted to thank for being part of our journey. And it wasn’t just for one little baby – it was for six little babies who didn’t make it and the one who did called Molly Jean Macdonald Roe.
PS. A few people asked me about the song I sang at the baptism service. It’s a Waifs tune called ‘Eternity’. You can view it here. During one of my early pregnancies, there was a time when we knew the pregnancy wasn’t progressing as it should and the baby’s heartbeat wasn’t strong. We thought this baby was likely to miscarry but his or her heart was still beating. I felt torn. I wanted to grieve the baby I was likely to lose, but it didn’t feel right to grieve over someone that was still alive. This song gave me the strength I needed to keep loving that baby for as long as it lived. I sang this song to my baby over and over for a week. When we returned for the next ultrasound, I was devastated to discover that the baby’s heart was no longer beating. When my pastor asked me to perform a song at the christening I knew this was the song I had to sing. It was a joy to sing it to Molly on her christening day. Unfortunately I couldn’t share this story at the christening either, or I wouldn’t have been able to sing.