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The Batterson Tribe

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A Letter to our Eldest Son

18 Nov 2019

Our Dearest Obear,

I've been meaning to write this letter for nearly three months now, but haven't because I can't seem to find the right words. They still escape me but I know I have to get them down. Because I want you to understand the depth and power of your miracle-making faith at 8 years old. I know you've believed in the power of prayer and miracles since you were just in preschool. I love that you've grown up knowing God is bigger than anything we can imagine. 

At just four years old you experienced your first real sense of loss, when your little sibling stopped developing and went to be with Jesus at just 12 weeks old. It astonished me how much you processed this devastating event.

After seeing you process that loss so deeply and profoundly at four years old, we knew we wouldn't tell you if/when we got pregnant again until we were far along, in the 'all clear' stage. 
Then we got pregnant with our little Bean, almost a year later. And a few short weeks after sharing the news with you, everything came crashing down around us, in a way we never even imagined. This was the first time we lied to you. And I hated every minute of living that lie, but we just couldn't bear to put you through the pain of every detail. I almost died that day little bear, and in order to keep me alive we had to take that perfect, healthy little baby out before it was ready to live on this earth. So little Bean went up to heaven too, at just over 14 weeks old. 

Every time you re-lived these devastating losses, or brought up being a sibling, or mentioned how you didn't want other peoples' babies to die, it broke my heart. I thought you may forget about it as time went on, but each year something would spark that memory in you and we would talk about it again. Even just late last year, after finding out a good friend of ours was pregnant, one of the first things you said to me was, "I hope her baby doesn't die." 

But it broke my heart more than you even know, because what we haven't been able to tell you quite yet, is that you've actually got three little siblings already little bear, they're just up in heaven waiting to meet you. You know about little peanut and Bean, but what we haven't brought ourselves to tell you yet, is that you've got a brother named Malachi up there too. When we got pregnant with Malachi, I was so very sick. This was the second time we lied to you. It was the hardest thing that we've done, lying to you little bear. But we just knew, without a doubt, that we could not risk your heart breaking into a thousand pieces again. So we passed off my illness as kidney issues, as I've had them in the past. And when I kept going into the hospital, it was my kidneys acting up to you, but what it really was-  was us trying to do everything we possibly could to keep your little brother in my belly so he could grow and develop before coming into the world. Unfortunately, my body didn't cooperate, and my water broke prematurely, forcing me into labor when he was just over 14 weeks. I know, we assured you (as the doctors assured us) that the last time this happened, with Bean, was a once-in-a-lifetime thing, a fluke, a medical mystery no one could solve. The chances of it happening again were like the chances of getting struck by lightening twice. But it did happen again. I gave birth to your baby brother while surrounded by the prayers of our friends and pastor. They prayed over his sweet, still body, and prayed for you, your papa and me too. We came home from the hospital with a little white box, tied with a satin bow. Inside were Malachi's footprints, and photos of him too. But we hid it inside of an Amazon box because we didn't want you to ask questions. As far as you knew, I had a kidney infection and was on all that bedrest and meds because of that. 

Several months after losing Malachi, we got pregnant again - or so we thought. We had planned a camping trip to the mountains and we were determined not to let this pregnancy slow us down. We were going to keep doing life, not worry or stress out about anything and enjoy the summer with you. But shortly after we returned from that camping trip, where I believed I had miscarried in the campground toilet, we discovered the pregnancy wasn't where it was meant to be, so I went in for surgery while you got to have a sleepover with Nina. 

A few months after this, your papa and I came to peace with the fact that we would not be getting pregnant again. It was too much for my body to handle, and we were perfectly happy to look into adopting down the road, as we'd always planned to do. You kept asking us about a sibling and we would pass it off and say, "Someday," or "pray about it". 

Then we saw that plus sign on the pregnancy test in July we couldn't believe our eyes. We were absolutely dumbfounded that we could be pregnant again. The odds were SO low. Again, we decided to wait until we were 'in the clear' before telling you. When we finally got past the 14 week mark, we started breathing a little easier. Then when we'd had three good scans in a row, we couldn't hold the news back any longer. This was your reaction: 

 

When you told us that - that you had prayed for one - your papa and I looked at each other and knew. We just knew. YOU were the reason we were pregnant. YOUR prayers, your faith had put this little baby in my belly and kept him healthy and whole and snug for this long. You, our little bear, are a miracle-worker. With all of the losses and trauma my body has gone through in the past, only a miracle could bring your little brother this far along - and YOU are the reason for that miracle. I didn't tell you all those sad things about your other siblings to make you sad, but to help you understand just how BIG of a miracle it is that your little brother has been thriving and growing in my belly for nearly six months now. Your prayers did that. Your faith did that. 


We pray that you may never, ever lose hope in God, our amazing, always good father. We pray that this will be one of the many pillars you can look back on and say, "God did THAT" because I prayed for it when I was 8 years old." We pray that when times get tough for you, no matter what stage of life you may be in, that you will remember that God is bigger than medical histories, he's bigger than any circumstance or situation you will find yourself in. We pray that you can understand that he cries with you and his heart breaks with yours when you think about those three siblings in heaven you haven't been able to meet yet. We hope that we've taught you our God is always good, he never desires us to be in pain, but is in pain right along with us when we face devastation and loss. We pray that you remember that and lean in even closer to him during those hard times. Never lose the desire you have to seek him, learn his ways and his word and rely on him for the miraculous. 

We love you little bear, to the moon and back. 
Nakupenda. 
- Mama & Papa

 

 

 

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