Spirit Baby


I haven’t taken to my blog to write about my personal experience with pregnancy loss nearly 4 years ago, perhaps in time I will share my story.  A dear friend sent me the following excerpt from Part IV of “BabyCatcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife” by Peggy Vincent when I needed it most.  This story brought me tremendous comfort and encouragement on my journey toward emotional healing and still touches me to this day.

So for all my dear friends who have suffered a loss, this is for you.

Spirit Baby” Part IV of BabyCatcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife  by Peggy Vincent

Colin, my twelve-year-old son, discovered me late one rainy afternoon sitting at the kitchen table, a damp Kleenex crumpled in my left hand, wiping my eyes as I tried to compose myself for his sake. It was the third week of January, two months after I’d miscarried a pregnancy, but I still found it impossible to get through a day without at least one meltdown into misery.

Stunned when the test came back positive, Rog and I had stared at each other with doubt and ambivalence. At forty-one, my professional life consumed me. I’d just achieved what some had predicted was an impossibility: I’d been granted delivery privileges at Alta Bates, and as a consequence, my midwifery practice burgeoned. Some months I delivered twelve babies, and no one ever knew if or when I’d be home. Rog, too, felt stretched to his limits, keeping his business afloat while picking up the slack for my frequent unscheduled absences. Colin and Jill approached their challenging adolescent years. How could we fit an infant into our lives? But when I lost the pregnancy and all hope for resolution dissolved with my tears, I fell in love with the baby that was not to be.

Colin asked, “Are you crying about the baby?” and when I nodded tearfully, he said, “Well, you just have to have another one, Mom, because it’s a Spirit Baby, and you should be its mother.”

I must have looked puzzled because he said, “Don’t you know about Spirit Babies? How could I know about them if you don’t? I mean, you’re my mom!” But he could see my perplexity.

So my first child, this not-yet-teenaged boy, pulled a wooden chair to my side and draped his thin arm across my shoulders, saying, “Well, Mom, here’s how it is. See, I was one myself, so that must be how I know. Anyway, every woman has a circle of babies that goes around and around above her head, and those are all the possible babies she could have in her whole life. Every month, one of those babies is first in line. If she gets pregnant, then that’s the baby that’s born. If she doesn’t get pregnant, the baby goes back into the circle and keeps going around with all the others. If she gets pregnant but something bad happens before the baby’s born…now listen, Mom, because here’s the really cool part. It goes back into the circle, but it becomes a Spirit Baby, and all the other babies give it cuts. Each month, it’s always first in line. Isn’t that great?

“So you just have to get pregnant again, and you’ll have the same Spirit Baby. If you don’t, though, then the baby circle will just beam that little Spirit Baby over to some other woman’s circle, and it’ll be first in line for her. It keeps being first in line somewhere until it finally gets born.

“But it’d be a shame for you not to have it yourself, because I know how much you want it. So you just have to try again. Mom, remember that baby you lost before I was born?” I nodded wordlessly. “Well, that was me. Really. I’ve always known I was a Spirit Baby. I mean, I know what I’m talking about here, Mom.”

In spite of Colin’s certainty that our household, so often bordering on chaos, lacked only an infant to make things perfect, Rog and I demurred. But Colin didn’t give up and even enlisted his sister’s support. Driving with them in the car one evening, I looked at my son in the passenger seat beside me. He stared out the side window and tried to hide his tears, but I saw the flush on his face, the shaking of his shoulders, and the surreptitious swipe of hand across cheek.

Six months had passed since my miscarriage, and I had just finished yet another discussion in which I’d told my pleading son that having a third baby at my age was out of the question. I reached over the space between us and squeezed his fingers. “Colin, I don’t understand this passion you have for a baby. Why do you want one so much?”

He tore his gaze from the distant hills and looked at me with swimming eyes and trembling lips. In a choking voice, he put all of his twelve-year-old passion into his reply.

“Oh, Mom! Oh. Just for the joy of it!”

Jill stretched forward from the back seat and placed a hand on each of our shoulders. “Yeah, Mom, just for the joy of it.”

It was my turn to look out the side window and struggle with misty vision.  So, at a time when most women eye the empty nest at the end of their branch on the family tree with something approaching relief, I gave consideration to laying just one more egg. Several months of discussions peppered with doubt and disbelief followed. Although Rog and I made the final decision, there’s no denying that a big part of our decision to have a third child began with the insistence of our adolescent children that we “needed a baby in the house.” Rog and I took a deep breath, looked at each other across the blond heads of those two wishful children, swallowed – and made a giant leap of faith.

I conceived my Spirit Baby a week later. Just for the joy of it.


  1. EverHopeful says:

    Reblogged this on Epilepsy & Babies. and commented:
    This blog post is so beautiful I had to share, the concept of spirit babies has helped me through this past week.

  2. I’m Peggy Vincent, the author of Baby Catcher – and a birther of 2 spirit babies. Colin, my oldest, is 41 now, and about 2 years ago, he asked me where he’d learned that story! Dumbfounded, I just stared at him, then finally said, YOU taught ME that lesson…and you’re asking ME where it came from???? How could I know? Maybe the cosmos? I have no idea.

    • Oh Peggy, I am so honored that you took the time to comment. Your story gave me so much hope in a time when I was desperately hurting. Thank you so much XO.

  3. Wow, what a beautiful uplifting story, I too have lost a spirit baby about 15 weeks into gestation, I named him Millar and mourned him for so long, tears still flow freely for my little man. It has’nt been an easy fertility journey but by keeping the faith and believing I was going to be a Mummy I concieved a beautiful love of my life a Girl. Around Millar’s passing I was dealing with the aftermath of my beautiful dad’s passing of the cruel cancer, I like to think my one in spirit was of that because I was’nt prepared emotionally to commit like I truely wanted, I was still grieving and wanting my Daddy back. Our children choose us they decide when they want to enter into our lives. Seven years on now I am still facing the long hard road of secondary infertility I ache to give my little girl her brother or sister she so dear craves, But I am so thankful and blessed to have her. Time heals our wounds.

  4. Blubbering at he screen after reading tis story, id never heard of the baby spirit circle before but it makes sense to me, i mis carried this week at 5 weeks pregnant, i have two great teens already and it never entered my head this pregnancy would be any different, it has hit me harder then i like to admit, though ive always felt a young infant spirit with me, i’ll talk to hhim and sometimes them, i feel a strong sense of a small fun loving cheeky sensitive boy with me, with big brown eye (we both have blue eyes) i feel him playing and laying with my dog and close to me. Star (my dogs) been acting odd for a few days now too. ive been suseptable to child spirits in the past and feel very close to ‘Benn’ (as the name keeps coming to me), now. im hoping its not just my hightend emotions aking me crazy.

  5. yup… i guess this is true… as i have a spirit baby too 🙂 well, when i had a miscarriage to my 1st baby-to-be, i kept blaming myself for almost 2 years when then i was told by a sister that to heal myself, i have to pray for the unborn baby. so she asked me the baby’s name but i said no name. then she said must give a name so that we can pray for the baby. so at that second, i called my hubby and told him that the baby may be lost out there without a name and that is why i havent been in peace all the while. so we decided to call the baby ‘Angel’… after that moment, i felt much relieved and a few months later, i conceived a baby boy(now 3yo)- he’s not the spirit baby that i was talking about. after another 2yrs, ive conceived again and now have a 3mth yr old baby girl, who is the spirit baby. i oredy knew that i was going to hv a girl n oredy have a name but when it was time to give a name after she was born, i cudnt name her until i got the name ANGELANNE EVE 🙂 i guess she wanted to be called her name after all… n that’s y i say she is my spirit baby…

  6. what an amazing story.

  7. As you know I’ve also suffered a loss. I’ve never read this story before. Thank you so very much for sharing it here. Hugs to you Lori.

  8. I have nothing of value to add since I have never experienced this, but a very dear friend of mine lost her baby at 30 weeks about 8 years ago. You have to believe that these little angels had a higher calling.

    It breaks my heart – thanks for sharing this post.

  9. This was beautiful. I have had 10 miscarriages and I have just started to open up on my site about it.

    Thank you for sharing

    Devan @ Accustomed Chaos

  10. Makes me cry every time. My thoughts and prayers to all spirit babies and their mamas.

  11. Reading this post gave me the chills! When I was pregnant with baby #3 I had a miscarriage. I did take it very well considering I already had two beautiful boys but I thought a lot about the baby and wanted to get pregnant right away. Then the strangest thing happened. My sister-in-law got a call from her ex-husband. He asked if anyone in the family had a miscarriage. Then he went on to tell this story. He went with his mother while she had a session with a psychic. The psychic turned to him and said that a member of his wife’s family had just had a miscarriage. And to tell her that the baby has just gone back to be with it’s great grandmother for a while and will be back soon. I got pregnant again soon after that! I’m sure it was a little spirit baby.

  12. Beautiful story. Thanks for sharing. Sometimes children see things more clearly than we do as adults.

  13. Wow. I don’t even know what to say. I often think of the two little babies I lost before my first daughter. I have always thought about what happened to those “spirits” and I like the idea that maybe both of them are here with me now in my two daughters. That they found their home. Thanks for this.

  14. I just sat here trying desperately to read through my “misty” eyes. This is beautiful. I lost a baby 15 years ago and that ache is always there…even though it does dull a little as time goes by. I’d never heard about the “circle of babies’ before. It’s a beautiful thought. I imagine that I will get to hold her (I believe it was a girl) some day in Heaven and it will be wonderful. I’m SO sorry for your loss.


  1. […] I began this journey by reading a post about spirit babies sometime last year that touched me deeply.  I first read the excerpt from Peggy Vincent’s book, Baby Catcher: Chronicles of  a Modern Midwife on mommyfriend’s blog: https://mommyfriend.com/2010/04/30/spirit-baby/ […]

  2. […] story of spirit babies, I began to heal deeper than the stitches of time will allow. You see, that simple sweet story told by author and midwife, Peggy Vincent in her memoir titled Baby Catcher : A Modern Midwife […]

  3. […] Spirit Baby – Part IV of BabyCatcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife by Peggy Vincent  […]

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