sharing your stories and remembering your children
Abigail's Little Brother
By Emily Carrington EPLA Founder and President
My four year old has recently started telling people about her baby brother. She talks about him candidly and fondly, foreseeing a future of all the things they are going to do together. This wouldn’t be so bad, except she doesn’t have a baby brother. She has a 14-month-old baby sister.
I smile, then cringe, before I announce: “No, this is not an announcement! There is no baby brother on the way!” She often calmly chimes in, “I have a baby brother!” and trails off.
Sometimes the conversation is less charming, though. She once told strangers, “I have a baby brother. But he died. He died in mommy’s tummy.” I sat silently, letting them take it in, and hoping the conversation would move on. I also felt a little like a fraud, and feared their assumptions about my experience. I wanted to chime in “it was a miscarriage!” But I stopped myself. “She has told them nothing untrue,” I thought. “She has a baby brother and he died in mommy’s tummy.” Shouldn’t I, of all people, know not to compare my loss with others?
Abigail knows so deeply what I struggle to know - and I carried him - that a little baby boy lived and died in my tummy. Why does it feel so distant now?
Abigail’s baby brother died nearly three years before Abigail was born. He would have been older than her, but because he died in my tummy in the first trimester, he is forever her baby.
Emily Carrington is a freelance writer, wife, mother, and founder of the EPLA.