His Name is Gabriel
And I like saying his name. I like talking about him. I like it when people acknowledge him. And it hurts me when you look away when I talk about him or his birth. It wounds me when you pretend I wasn’t pregnant. When you pretend he didn’t die. When you expect me to be ok. I know my memories and stories are tinged with tragedy, but they are the only stories I have. It hurts me when you don’t mention that time in my life. When you talk about no babies being born at work in 18 months, I feel a million knives in my heart.
We named him Gabriel for one of two named angels in the Bible. We wanted him to have an angel name when we found out he was going to be an Angel baby. The Anton was for his great grandfather, whom he never met on earth, but was surely there for his arrival in heaven.
His name is Gabriel, and I know that you didn’t know him. But for 26 weeks exactly, we were constant companions. He made me sick, but he brought us such joy. He taught us to have hope for the future. He taught us about taking advantage of the moment. In those rare times when I felt well, I took real joy in eating, for the first time in my life. He taught us to take each day as it comes.
I felt him move in me. I felt him kick and stretch and grow. I talked to him constantly. Told him how thankful I was. Introduced him to things. Told him how much we were looking forward to meeting him. We gave him a name – we called him the bun.
We developed a relationship. He would move and kick when Mr. Spit spoke to him. He liked Robert Munch stories and warm baths and when I ate. His Midwife knew his heart beat. I knew when he slept, until about noon. But he was very active in the afternoon. He didn’t like being poked to wake up, he would stretch and protest and fall back asleep. He didn’t like the doppler or the non stress tests, he would move away. We waved at him during ultrasounds. We told him to hang in there, that he should keep growing.
We know you never met him, but for a glorious 30 minutes we did. We marvelled at his perfection. He had such incredible fingers and toes. And so much hair. We knew that he got his long fingers from his Dad, and all his hair from me. He had the crooked ring finger that everyone in my family has. He didn’t open his eyes, but we saw into his soul.
We know that thirty minutes doesn’t seem like a real life, but it was long enough for him. Just long enough to say hello and not goodbye, but rather, we’ll see you again. Long enough to tell him that we would come, just not right away. Long enough to tell him to be brave and know that we loved him, even if he was going home without us. It was long enough to tell him that there was family in heaven waiting for him. That he wouldn’t be alone.
We know that thirty minutes isn’t much. But it was long enough to kiss him and sing to him and bathe him. It was long enough for a baptism, and long enough for our families to talk to him on the phone. It was long enough to tell him everything he needed to hear in his short life. That he was loved beyond all comprehension. That he will be loved until the end of time. That there is no place so far away from us that he wouldn’t still be in our hearts, his memory as close as our breath.
There are a lot of children in our family, in our community, in our workplace, in our church. There are those that are with us, and there is Gabriel. Who is not in sight, but he is the whole of our heart’s. As you talk about children being born, about mother’s day and father’s day and having babies, would you remember, Mr. Spit and I, we are parents. We had a baby boy, and he is still very much alive in our memory. And his name is Gabriel.
Somehow I never saw this post before, or those beautiful pictures. Gabriel took my breath away – he truly did. What an absolutely gorgeous boy you made.
Your tiny Gabriel is gorgeous Mama, thank you for sharing his pictures.
He is so beautiful. My heart is with you, Mama.
Oh, I’m sitting here with tears streaming down my face. Your little Gabriel was SO precious!! He was just a perfect little baby lying there in his little blanket. I’ve lost 4 babies to miscarriages, and sometimes I imagine how happy they must be with Jesus. It helps me to remember that they’re not hurting and that they surely have joy & happiness unspeakable. It’ll be just a little while….Then I’ll see them. What a reunion it will be! I’m so sorry for your loss of little Gabriel. And yes, you ARE a mom. And so am I. 🙂
Gabriel, may your beautiful spirit dance with Jeremy’s [God’s Gift] and may your loving parents find peace in their treasured memories. RIP Gabrielle
oh, this brings tears every time I read it.
thinking of you all tonight.
Your son is beautiful. I just found your blog tonight, and my heart hurts for you that you didn’t have more time with him on earth. I know you are a wonderful mother for your sweet Gabriel. He’s perfect.
Thank you for sharing this story! It is a precious reminder to not forget, as we all have friends or family who have lost a child. Gabriel is beautiful…
I just found your blog. This post was heart wrenching to read, so beautiful and so full of emotion. Your son is beautiful, and I know that you will be together again one day.
he is absolutely gorgeous. just perfect.
im so sorry
Your story took my breath away. I lost a daughter also, at 22 mths old. The pain doesn’t seem to get easier, just different. best wishes to you and your family.
They are all right. He is indeed beautiful. My heart jumps into my throat for the thought of the overwhelming love I know you feel for him.
Thank you for visiting my blog. Your little boy looks so peaceful. They did have a personality, eh? I don’t understand how anybody can think life only starts at birth, when in fact our babies were very much alive before being born. Good luck on your healing journey called the rest of your life! (and same to me I guess;)
I don’t think I ever read this section before, or saw Gabriel’s beautiful pictures. He is gorgeous. Simply gorgeous. Not that I doubted, but to see his tiny perfect makes me smile and cry in the same moment. Wishing beautiful Gabriel were with you both. xo
Oh, Mrs. Spit. Your Gabriel is beautiful. Thinking of you.
Thank you for having the courage to share these beautiful pictures of Gabriel. I know that he touched your heart deeply during his brief time here, but you should also know how much he has now touched others who never had the chance to meet him.
Sending hugs to you. xox
Hi Mrs Spit. I came over from LFCA. Your baby Gabriel is beautiful. I’m so glad I got to read about him and see his pictures. You sound like the most loving and devoted parents. I’m sorry he couldn’t stay with you longer. Good wishes for the next part of all of your journeys. It sounds like you are gradually finding your way.
For only being in this world for 30 minutes he has certainly had a very long impact on my life.
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I was familiar with Gabriel and your story before, but I have never read this summary about your son and the impact that his life has had on you and Mr. Spit. So beautifully written, especially for those who may not have lost a child and are trying to understand what that means for those of us who have. Holding you and Mr. Spit close in my thoughts and prayers and honoring Gabriel’s life and memory with you. (((HUGS)))
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Happy birthday Sweet Boy. I can’t get over how gorgeous you are. xoxo
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I’ve sobbed over this, for you and for Gabriel… Your strength is amazing. I can feel your love for Gabriel in every word you write. I’m so sorry about your little boy. He’s beautiful, just perfect. Thinking of you both.
So beautiful …I’m crying and so sorry for your loss.
I stumbled upon this post this evening and it took my breath away with the love and care of you have for your son. The love you lavished on him and how blessed he was to be born into your family. I can’t imagine the pain of not having him here. But today I stand with you in honoring his memory. Your little boy touched my heart.
Dear Mrs Spit
Gabriel – a beautiful name for your beautiful little boy – thank you for sharing your photos with us.
I thought that you might like to know of an organisation that are organising services of remembrance for lost babies – they’ve started here in the UK and are will be in the USA in 2013 – http://www.sayinggoodbye.org/
Here’s an article I wrote about Saying Goodbye’s work”
With a big hug to you
Throughout the weeks leading up to Christmas and thereafter, I will keep you and your Gabriel close to my heart and in my prayers. He was absolutely beautiful.
Here from Mel’s… oh what a moving post. I feel somehow a more whole person from having ‘met’ your son through your words. Gabriel Anton is a lovely lovely name. I hope us commenters can show a bit of love to counter such a hurtful thing to be said at work and the other slights of people not acknowledging your boy and his life and his place in yours. He is beautiful! and the detail about his finger — oh that just breaks my heart!
What a sweet baby boy you have, such an adorable little chin.
Gabriel is beautiful and I’m sure he is a beautiful angel. Reading about his personality (hating being prodded to wake up too early etc) made me smile. Hugs to you Mama.
What a glorious piece – about ‘peace’ of a different sort too. Courageous and beautiful, and so hard to write. I wrote a short about my boy on my blog and later in my book – and about my wife’s miscarriages – it won various plaudits, but that’s not why do this, is it. God bless – I’m glad I found this blog today.