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Wrapped in Your Arms

A little over four years ago I experienced my first miscarriage.  It was the beginning of a dark time for me as I would go on to have two additional losses (a stillbirth and another miscarriage) over the next two and a half years.  But at the time I wasn’t aware of what the future held (thank goodness for that).  My mind was only on the present sadness enveloping me.

As I reflected on the month of May and honoring our Blessed Mother, I found myself returning to thoughts of that first miscarriage.  The thing is, at the time of that miscarriage, I didn’t really have much of a devotion to Mary.  I wasn’t hung up at all worrying that a devotion to her might detract from my devotion to Christ.  It wasn’t that.  I just hadn’t ever bothered.  But I had a desire to seek a deeper relationship with her knowing that through her I would also deepen my relationship with her Son.

So really it came as something of a shock to me when in the days following the miscarriage I often had thoughts of Mary holding my little baby for me.  There she was in my mind’s eye wrapping that precious child in her loving arms.

That image simultaneously brought me great grief and great comfort.  My heart broke seeing my child held so tenderly because I wanted to be the one holding him or her.  And yet, I took great comfort in it as well.  If I couldn’t hold my child who better than Jesus’ own mother.

Eventually, slowly, the comfort I took in that image became greater than the grief.  Even today, over four years later, the grief still lingers, but the comfort the Blessed Mother has given me in knowing my child is kept close to her, wrapped in her arms, brings a smile to my face.

For a long time, too, I kept this image to myself sharing it with no one.  It was one of the few things I kept private.

Four months after the miscarriage we had a Memorial Mass said for our child whom we had named Casey Marie.  Following the Mass a wonderfully holy woman who was there approached me to express her sympathies and give me a hug.

While still holding me closely she said, “During Mass I saw Mary on the altar and she was holding a little baby, wrapped up warmly and snuggly in her arms.  I know it was your little Casey.”

{Side note: that wonderfully, holy woman is now also a joyful religious sister.}

To say I was stunned is an understatement!  I hadn’t told anyone that this was what I had seen several months before.  I was shocked at how her vision was the same as the little image I had seen in my mind’s eye!!  All I could do was hug her back and tell her thank you.  I was truly at a loss for words.

I would like to say that my devotion to Mary has increased since that time, and it has gotten slightly better, but it is not what I thought it would be and know it can be.  It is a relationship I am still working on and will probably always be working on.  Losing Casey was one of the worst experiences I had ever gone through.  And yet I also grew spiritually from the experience.  I believe I was given a gift.  I did get to see my child and at the same time I caught a glimpse of what awaits me in heaven.

For that I am eternally gratefully.

As we honor you, Blessed Mother, during your special month, I just want to say thank you.  Thank you, Mama Mary, for the gift of seeing my child safely wrapped in your arms.  I pray that you bring all mothers who have suffered and are suffering the pain of pregnancy or infant loss comfort and consolation through your motherly intercession.  Blessed Virgin Mary, pray for us.

About Kerri Baunach

Kerri Baunach grew up in a Catholic family but really came to know and understand the Faith as an adult. She lives in central Kentucky with her husband with whom she is raising three boys (twins and a new baby). Kerri is also a member of Cursillo, passionately pro-life, and works as a music librarian at a local university. She loves to read, was a musician for over 20 years, can’t cook, and has lived in six states (one of them twice). You can also find Kerri blogging about pro-life issues, pregnancy loss, parenting twins, and other normal life activities at Journal of a Nobody (http://journalofnobody.blogspot.com).

May 7, 2012 - 5:45 am

Denise - I needed at read your post this morning. I recently converted and one of my reason was to know Mary better! This was a reason I had not shared with anyone and it is like what you wrote…I had a miscarriage almost 7 years ago and still think about the what ifs even though I have three other children. I truly believe that it was Mary along with the Holy Spirit that led me to convert at a time in my life that I needed it the most. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

May 7, 2012 - 7:57 am

Kerri - Denise: Welcome home! Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so sorry for your loss. I know your little one is also in heaven wrapped in Mary’s arm. It is such a great comfort to know that. :) I’m so glad my story touched you today.
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May 7, 2012 - 10:08 am

Brian K Kravec - Thank you, Kerri.

May 7, 2012 - 1:12 pm

Holly Rutchik - What a beautiful post. Mary was a great help to me whenwe lost a baby as well. I really liked what you said about if you can’t hold your baby, who better than the perfect mother? She’ll keep your babies warm and snuggled until you get there :)
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May 7, 2012 - 1:28 pm

Holly Murphy - That is such a comforting image..I know that when my sister experienced her still born baby, it was one we told her to hold on to to keep her going…
God Bless,
Holly
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May 7, 2012 - 1:55 pm

Kerri - Thank you all for your comments! I love knowing that Mary has brought comfort to so many during the periods of suffering that accompany any kind of pregnancy loss.
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May 7, 2012 - 2:26 pm

Rebecca Hoekstra - This is so beautiful, Kerri! It wasn’t until about a month ago that my priest presented me with the thought that Mary is holding my miscarried son. That has brought me so much comfort and strengthened my faith as well. Thank you for sharing your story of loss and healing.

May 7, 2012 - 2:28 pm

Kerri - Thanks, Rebecca!
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May 7, 2012 - 9:12 pm

Colleen - Beautiful, Kerri! Thank you so much for writing this.

May 7, 2012 - 9:16 pm

Kerri - Thanks, Colleen!
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May 8, 2012 - 5:11 am

Terence - Reading the statement of the woman who approached you gave me the creeps. However, it simply confirmed that your child is safe in your arms.
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May 8, 2012 - 3:14 pm

Megan@TruedaughterofMary - I have been blessed with a love for the Blessed Mother from an early age. My mother is a convert who fell hard and fast for Mary, and taught us to always beg Mary for her prayers when we needed them. She said Mary would be the best friend we ever had, and would always, always lead us to her Son. Throughout my life, and especially since we have had children, I have had images of her, one of her rushing to her Son, to watch over mine as he suffered a seizure as an infant. And recently when I lost my twin boys at 16 weeks, I knew in my heart that she welcomed them back to heaven and is holding them, waiting for me and the day I will hold them.
I think as you contemplate the role she plays in our lives, your love for her, and her Son will continue to grow. Thank you for a beautiful post.
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May 8, 2012 - 4:53 pm

Kerri - Mary: I am so, so sorry for the loss of your twin boys. :( How wonderful that you have such a great relationship with the Blessed Mother. I have no doubt that she is holding your boys close!! Prayers that God may bless you and your family with peace and comfort during this difficult time.
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May 8, 2012 - 4:54 pm

Kerri - Oh, sorry, Megan! Don’t know why I called you Mary. So sorry. Interesting slip of the fingers I guess. Once again, Megan, sorry for your loss. :(
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May 16, 2012 - 9:45 am

Ellen Gable Hrkach - Thanks for this beautiful post, Kerri. Like you, I’ve experienced more pregnancy losses than I would have liked to (I’ve lost seven babies through miscarriage and ectopic including one set of twins). Picturing my babies in the arms of Mary and in the arms of Jesus has been a great consolation especially in those weeks and months afterwards. I also found healing through writing in a journal (especially during the time when I had three miscarriages in a row) and that journal eventually became my first published article, which then served as the basis for my first novel. Another consolation is the knowledge that my babies are waiting for me in heaven and that one day we’ll be together again. God bless you…
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May 16, 2012 - 9:52 am

Kerri - Thanks, Ellen. You are so right, it is also comforting knowing that our babies are waiting for us in heaven. So sorry for your losses! I have your books on my Kindle just waiting for me to read them. I’m looking forward to getting a chance to dive in. Thanks for visiting and commenting!
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April 23, 2013 - 12:21 pm

Jill - Thank you Kerri. We recently held a memorial mass for our baby Agnes Rose that we lost in pregnancy. We held it in our church’s Blessed Virgin chapel because ever since we lost our child I have felt such kinship with Mary and such love and comfort from her though, much like you, I did not have a particularly strong relationship with her before. I have also reflected of the image in my mind and heart of Mary holding our little Agnes and it is why we chose the middle name of “Rose”. Thank you for your honesty and witness.

April 23, 2013 - 12:39 pm

Kerri - Thank you for your comment, Jill, and prayers for you and your family at this time. How beautiful to have a memorial Mass for your little one. I know she is in heaven praying for you and your family. It’s a beautiful image to know that our spiritual mother is mother to us all and can be there for our little ones when they precede Home. Blessings to you! Agnes Rose, pray for us.
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