I had such a nice surprise yesterday. Bethany sent me this beautiful picture she drew of Isabel. Bethany has a blog I follow and is obviously a talented artist. You can see her work at http://www.sketchesbybethany.net/. A drawing like this would be a great gift for someone who is grieving or even for your own family to remember your own baby.
This is the note she sent along:
After hearing about your loss of Isabel, I wanted to do something for you...so I drew this picture of her for you. I hope that you will have comfort in this time of grief. This drawing isn't much, but it is the least I can do to try to help. I remember reading your blog while you were pregnant with her, and seeing you use beans to show what size she was at the time, and getting larger beans, and larger beans, and I thought it was so sweet, and such a good way to teach your children about the development of the baby. It really made me sad the other day when I heard that you had lost her. I know that regardless of how strong in faith you are, it still hurts, and I hope that you will be able to heal very quickly. You are being such an inspiration to others through this, and God is definitely using you to encourage others during their times of grief. I hope you won't mind the angel wing. Like you, I don't believe that babies become angels when they die, but in memorial drawings, I like to use Angel wings, because the portrait is instantly recognized as a memorial, and I think it reminds people that the baby is now in Heaven, with the angels.
Here are a couple of the pictures and text from my old blog that Bethany was talking about. It's sad to see them. It makes me think of my great joy at having another child. The anticipation of what the next year would hold. In this sesame seed picture, it was at this stage her kidneys should have been formed, but did not. Such a critical process. So miraculous. How could anyone doubt we were made by a loving God?
5 Weeks - Deep in your uterus your embryo is growing at a furious pace. At this point she's about the size of a sesame seed. She's now made up of three layers — the ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm — that will later form her organs and tissues. The cells are forming for her major organs, including his kidneys and liver, and her neural tube is beginning to develop. This neural tube — from which your baby's brain, spinal cord, nerves, and backbone will sprout — develops in the top layer, called the ectoderm. This layer will also give rise to her skin, hair, nails, mammary and sweat glands, and tooth enamel. Her heart and circulatory system begin to form in the middle layer, or mesoderm. (This week, in fact, her tiny heart begins to divide into chambers and beat and pump blood.) The mesoderm will also form your baby's muscles, cartilage, bone, and subcutaneous (under skin) tissue. The third layer, or endoderm, will house her lungs, intestines, and rudimentary urinary system, as well as her thyroid, liver, and pancreas. In the meantime, the primitive placenta and umbilical cord, which deliver nourishment and oxygen to your baby, are already on the job.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful, I know them full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
When I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
Your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
Were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Psalm 139: 13-17
6 Weeks: Your baby's heart is growing and dividing into the right and left chambers. But the most exciting part is that her tiny heart is now beating (at a speedy 100 to 130 beats a minute) and pumping blood throughout her body. The cells that will make up all of your baby's body parts and systems are dividing furiously as her body begins to take shape. Right now she's about the size of a small lentil bean (4 to 5 millimeters across).
It's so cute, after I took this picture, I showed the kids that our baby is this big. We were all saying, "Oh, baby" and petting the lentil bean with our finger saying "baby". My daughter wanted to see the baby. She would softly caress the 'baby'. Later she saw the bean sitting on the table and called out "Baby!" She wanted the baby to hold.