We will be having BB baptised over the Easter holiday. It will be an important milestone for me. Something that didn't happen with C.
As I was labouring with C., the nurses kept asking us if we wanted to call our families. We kept saying "no" - we needed time to assimilate the information that our baby was dead for a few hours before we called our parents to tell them their grandchild was dead. Also, it was a work day and my labour was not progressing really quickly, so it seemed silly to pull them out of work to sit outside L&D and cry. We called them just after suppertime. They were all there when C. was born.
The other question that was put to us was if we wanted to call our clergy. We gave the nurses the information and our priest was called. When C. was born, it was my request that he be baptised. It was then that I was informed that stillborn babies are not baptised. Essentially, the thought is that the soul has already left the body so it isn't possible to commit the soul of the baby to a life with Jesus Christ.
I understand the theology. But that was one of the hardest pieces of information that I had to digest (after "there is no heartbeat", of course). I don't believe in the concept of limbo (and I know that many theologists abandoned the notion long ago), but it niggles at the corner of my mind even now. I just wanted someone from the clergy to splash some water on my son's head and commit him to God. So that I could have some hope of being with him again in the future*.
What I do know is that there is a whole lot of theology that is poorly understood by lay people (me), and it gets watered down in a way that makes it scary and hurtful for a parent of a child who "died within the womb".
So, as we seriously and hopefully take the vows of baptism on behalf of BB this weekend, I know that my thoughts will likely stray to the vows we didn't take on behalf of his brother.
*following this line of theological thinking, as a baptised adult, I will either go to heaven or hell... or even (the also abandoned) purgatory