The baby is not so "baby" anymore

His birth was fast and crazy and downright shocking.
I remember my friend crying on the phone because we had a boy at last.

They came to get me for my tubal just 2 hours after he was born.
I just couldn't leave him, and there was a niggling doubt somewhere,
deep in my subconscious: was he meant to be our last?

Six weeks later, I had the surgery anyway.
A month after that, I was diagnosed with cancer.
And we praised God for His direction 
as I couldn't get pregnant while in treatment.

After my first clean cancer scan in March, 2009, Aaron came to me with an adoption dream. From what I read, it's unusual for the husband to be the one dreaming of adoption instead of the wife. We started paperwork and announced our plans to our friends and family.

But cancer came back, and paperwork stalled, and adoption 
is a far distant dream instead of one that will be realized quickly.

And in the autumn of 2009, I prayed for that next baby, 
Caleb's little brother or sister,and God answered in crazy ways, 
and I got pregnant, even after the sterilization.

I gave in, heart and soul, to the dream of another baby. 
It didn't feel like a dream at all, because it was so God-sent.
But it withered, and died, and I had 3 surgeries, and no baby to hold.
My abdomen filled with blood and my heart filled with grief.
We buried our baby, all 14 weeks of him, on the hillside in a silver urn.

The kids still count Theodore when people ask them how many siblings they have. I feel embarrassed. Who grieves a baby one never met? Yet another thing in my life I should "just get over".

Two more years pass, and I still have cancer.
No adoption.
And I don't have any more babies.
He is still my "baby".

Our family is growing up, and new vistas open before us.
An overnight date this weekend with my husband
(can't do that with a nursling).
Trips are easier to take.
Little hands learn chores and daily life gets easier.
We revel in new stages, having little readers,
children who play outside for hours.

Happy birthday, my sweet baby boy.
(February 21st, I'm a little late with this)

I don't know what the future holds,
whether or not you will ever have a baby brother,
but for this moment, I love whispering in your ear,
"You are my favorite boy in the whole world."

The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied;
those who seek him shall praise the Lord.
Psalm 22:26