mt_gooseberry, my DD is 31 months, and it's amazing what a difference those past 10 months have made. At 21 months, I couldn't have dreamed that DD would be handling things so well. I'm sure that we'll go through some more ups and downs. We do have good days and bad days, but it's neat to see DD starting to join in a lot of the time. I'm really amazed that it's happening already, but DD really is an amazing kid. I think it's really helped that she goes to Mass on Sundays and sometimes to daily Mass, Adoration almost every week, etc. She knows that there's a time to run and play and a time to sit quietly, and her self-control to be able to do it is increasing. I think we go in waves. Things have gotten really difficult with her at Mass, and it seems like the times just after things get really bad (It was just about a month ago that she was spitting on the people in front of us every chance she got, and between DH and me, we spent almost the whole Mass outside the Sanctuary.), then she makes amazing strides toward her ability to pay attention and participate. I'm sorry to hear things are so difficult right now, though.
P&L, it's good to know that I have many more years of this to prepare for.
Theboysmama, we believe that the Sacrament of Baptism IS necessary for salvation, but there are two things to consider when a child dies before Baptism. First, the Church acknowledges a "Baptism of Desire," that if it a person intends to be baptized (for example going through RCIA) or if a child's parents intend to have them baptized, then God acknowledges this, though this is not an excuse to delay baptism. Second, we do not know the depth of God's mercy, and we would never judge that a person is not going to be in heaven. We always entrust them to God's mercy.
Actually, in that vein, I would love to hear some thoughts and get some prayers for something that I am struggling with a lot in this month of prayers for the dead. DH and I track NFP very carefully. We conceived our daughter and this baby that I am currently carrying, both on our first try to get pregnant. There was only one other time that we TTCed. Because of ecological breastfeeding, last December was my first ovulation since having DD. The signs that I was fertile were all there, and we were charting carefully, though we weren't sure I would actually ovulate since I still hadn't had a PPAF yet. We tried for that baby whole-heartedly, hoping that God would bless us with a child as soon as He was ready. We got all the right days to catch that ovulation. My luteal phase was 8 days, not long enough to sustain a pregnancy. I took a pregnancy test on the day I started to bleed, the second day of Christmas, and I could see the line where a line was supposed to be, but not really any color. 3 days later, we just really wanted to know, and we got a blood HCG test, and the level was 2, at the high end of the range for someone who is not pregnant, but definitely too low for somebody to be pregnant. It was exactly in the range where I would guess my HCG would be for an 8 day old baby who was miscarried 3 days before.
In my heart, I believe that I lost a child then. DH is more practical and doesn't want to jump to conclusions, though he knows it's a possibility. I'm just really struggling with how to mourn, how to pray. My church has had Masses before for couples who have miscarried, but I don't know if I'm included. We added the names of other family members who have died in the past year to our Church's book of remembrance, and I wish I could add our (possibly?) child, but I wouldn't know what to put for the entry. If I had a miscarriage that I knew about, we would ask for the support of our clergy. We would have Masses said for the child, we would probably name the child, and we would know how to pray. It's just so much more difficult for me to not know. It seems rediculous to pray for/to someone who may not even exist and terrible to ignore someone who might be there with such a close connection to me. I go back and forth between thinking I'm crazy for even being concerned about it because there are so many children who die without anybody ever knowing they were there, and we did nothing wrong by seeking to get pregnant when we did, and then I mourn for all the children who never had anyone to love them and pray for them to get into heaven. And yes, theboysmama, one of the things that hurts the most is that we never got a chance to baptize that little one, though it is a great comfort to us that we stayed up late the night before I started bleeding, having a discussion about Baptism.
I guess I'd just like to hear anyone who wants to share their thoughts on this and invite any and all of you to pray for (possibly?) my baby and all the other children who we can't know that they are there until we get to heaven, in this month of November.