Thoughts on Mother’s Day 

I’ve relished every Mother’s Day since having my girls. The sweet homemade gifts, the flowers or gifts with help from daddy, the extra helpfulness the kids do. Nothing is different this year…except everything is different. I’m missing a child. Two in fact but one that I actually carried for a while and had a whole 5 months to fall in love with. I find myself not wanting to take a photo of myself and my children because you can’t see them all. When people ask how many children I have I freeze-not knowing how to answer. My heart races and I usually change the subject or just say I have two girls. It’s not a lie…but then I feel so guilty for not mentioning Gabriel. Or the baby we lost most recently.  How is it possible to feel so thankful and blessed and yet so broken and sad all at once? 


I feel like a walking contradiction. Like with each breath I might smile or I might cry…not sure which. It’s hard to look at holidays, especially one centered around mothers and children without thinking about who is missing. I sit here and stare at these beautiful little girls and I can’t fathom how blessed I am to be their momma. But then I think about the children I never got to meet. The ones born into heaven and it rips me to shreds. What I would give for one glance at my Gabriel. How is it possible for your heart to feel so full and so empty at the same time? 

Yes, I know everyone has struggles and mine are not unique. We all have our stories. Some are missing their moms. Some are longing to be a mother period. Some finally have gotten their miracle and can’t believe their luck. Some have estranged relationships. Some are like me and have children but have also lost a child. I’m not going to sit here and tell people not to share their joy and complaints about their pregnancy or feel that the world owes me something and they should be overly concerned about my pain. 

I went to church even though I knew I’d see all the pregnant bellies and newborns. Church is where I need to be. It’s where my soul feels at rest. Our preacher talked today about finding your place to serve. God has been impressing upon me pretty heavily that the grief and loss spectrum is where I’m needed….I just don’t know that I’m up to that challenge but I have a feeling I’m not alone in needing the support. Particularly on days like today. I refuse to live in bitterness. So even through my tears I will type congratulations many times today and the days to come to pregnancy announcements. I will smile and shed a tear with each friend I see give birth. I will try my best to remember God’s promises and that this is the valley…but He is working on my behalf. 

I realize this post doesn’t have much point so I apologize for the lack of wise and comforting words. Today I just needed to talk. 

Happy Mother’s Day to all out there. No matter your situation, I pray you find peace today. And for those of you who gave a child back to God…Mother’s Day is indeed still for you. You are more than worthy of this and every day. 

Oh, my soul. 

Some days I truly wonder when is it going to end? Will it ever let up? The physical pain. The emotional toll. All of it. This is going to be one of those posts that our preacher likes to call “ugly honest.”

I admit I had this mistaken understanding about miscarriage that you just lost a baby….a very sad occurrence but I never realized what it’s really like. That it’s not just an isolated event of losing a baby. It’s losing a baby, a child, all of the tomorrows, hopes and dreams you had for that little life. It’s losing trust in your own body. It’s losing faith in “things working out.” Its physically painful and that doesn’t always stop once the miscarriage is completed. It’s wholly devastating emotionally. It wears you down. 

Now, here I am-a year and some odd months later, 3 surgeries in and 2 miscarriages weighing down my heart and I find myself in the familiar position of being in near constant pain. My body isn’t responding like it should. Ultrasound is inconclusive so back to surgery we go to determine if my adhesions are back and see if there is a remote chance of becoming and sustaining a pregnancy. I’m tired. My soul is so weary. I’m exhausted from pretending to be stronger than I feel. This is not ok. I am not ok. I’m scared to do this again. I’m mad this is still happening. I feel like I have zero control over my own body. I feel like I’m letting so many people down yet I can’t muster the strength to defend myself.  

Here I go again with the song lyrics but this one is weighing heavily on me today because my soul is so weary and I feel like this song speaks to that because my flesh and the enemy tells me to just give up. No one will see it. Just cry. Admit defeat. Let it go. Stop believing completely. This is how things will be…pain, fear, the whole shebang. Just accept it. It’s so tempting. 

But my God…my God has promised more. He has promised to make beauty out of the ashes and I have to believe that. “Oh my soul” by Casting Crowns Give it a listen at https://youtu.be/Tn5aq54yu8A

Oh, my soul. Oh, how you worry
Oh, how you’re weary, from fearing you lost control. This was the one thing, you didn’t see coming And no one would blame you, though If you cried in private. If you tried to hide it away, so no one knows. No one will see, if you stop believing 

Oh, my soul, you are not alone

There’s a place where fear has to face the God you know. One more day, He will make a way. Let Him show you how, you can lay this down. Cause you’re not alone.

Here and now, You can be honest. I won’t try to promise that someday it all works out ‘Cause this is the valley And even now, He is breathing on your dry bones and there will be dancing

There will be beauty where beauty was ash and stone. This much I know.
I’m not strong enough, I can’t take anymore (You can lay it down, you can lay it down)

And my shipwrecked faith will never get me to shore (You can lay it down, you can lay it down)

Can He find me here? Can He keep me from going under?

Oh, my soul. You’re not alone. 

 

God, please take this. 

We’ve all heard that quote, “when you’re happy you enjoy the music but when you’re sad you understand the lyrics.” I’m finding that to be especially true these days…but I’m also finding that it’s not always mutually exclusive. I understand the lyrics more, yes. But I enjoy them more too. Because they’re showing me what a Savior I have. 

I don’t know if you’ve heard of this song but if you haven’t, it’s so good and it speaks to me in ways I’m not sure I’ll even be able to explain. You’ll find through this blog I relate often to music. It helps me find the words my heart desperately needs to say, but doesn’t know how. Here are the lyrics for “Need you now” by Plumb….read it then let’s talk. 


I can honestly say that I’ve sat here on many occasions and pleaded with God to take this pain away. It’s too hard to lose a baby. It hurts too badly to see the rest of the world move on with their babies. It is torture to think of the what ifs. Many times I’ve been so angry with God to ask why this is continuing to happen. Every time, His grace has been sufficient for the moment and just kept me breathing. Everyone knows about losing Gabriel but many don’t know that we lost another. Just a few months ago and it dredged up that pain all over again. It again had me begging God please put an end to this suffering. But somehow, He has kept me going…Putting one foot in front of the other. There is a reason for this pain. God is doing something within me for his Kingdom using Gabriel’s short life. That I know. Like we discussed in church today, Jesus doesn’t always calm the storm. Sometimes he calls you out into the stormy waters so you’ll put your faith in Him and his ability to be the great rescuer, instead of fearing the storm. 

Like the song says, I didn’t plan to be here. None of us did. I planned to be picking out themes for a one year old birthday party and teaching my son to walk right now…not writing a blog on loss and grief. But here I am. I have to believe there’s a purpose. That somewhere in all the pain and hurt, there’s beauty hidden. This entire song resonates in my being and I find myself singing it often. Especially on “bad days.” 

This is all harder than I ever imagined. I want my baby. I want this pain removed. I want to go back to “before.” I want to be able to become pregnant and sustain a pregnancy again. But thus far, the storm is still raging and none of that is a viable answer. On days like today when everything is just too heavy and I’m drowning in sorrow, I have to just keep crying out “God I need you. Oh I need you now” and trust that He will deliver me instead of begging him to remove the storm. 

Being still in the storm is the hardest thing we will ever endure….but rest assured, He hears my cries. And sweet friend, He hears yours too, so cry out to Him. Be honest. Be real. He knows the language of your heart anyway. ♥

My Best Friend’s Heart Was Breaking…And I Was Breaking It.

Erica and I have been friends for almost 20 years now. That in itself is a huge accomplishment, having someone who can put up with me for that long, but she’s done it ever so graciously. Sure we’ve had our ups and downs, we’ve been at each other’s throats, and held each other we cried. But when I sat down to write this there was one thing that stuck out to me the most. Throughout all our years together there have been many happy moments that we have missed, but we have always been there during our lowest, darkest moments. I missed Erica and Tyson’s wedding, Erica missed the birth of my first two children, and I missed the birth of her firstborn. However, when my mom died, when my Jaydyn died, when my dad died…she was right there. I guess God knew that we would need each other more in those dark times than we would in our happy times, and I sure am glad that she was by my side on those dark days, because I wouldn’t have made it out without her.

I thought our lucked had changed last year when, after 8 years, I found out I was pregnant. I was shocked and of course the first person I called was Erica. She helped calm my nerves and my fears and helped me see the good in everything. She helped me be excited. So imagine my giddiness and surprise when just a few weeks later, she sends me a picture of two onesies with the saying “This is my B.F.F.” on each one. I replied back to her about how cute they were and how I wish she could be pregnant with me. She replied back with, “Weeeellll”! I couldn’t even text her anymore, I immediately called her. Everyone dreams of being pregnant with their best friend. And we had joked about it, but it was coming true! We were going to be pregnant together!! Our babies would grow up together!! I was beyond excited!!

The weeks went by so fast and before we knew it I was finding out the gender of my baby. Erica was so excited for me. She was out of town during my ultrasound and texted me some sarcastic message about me forgetting about her, but then realizing she was an hour ahead. I reassured her I  would let her know first. So when it came time a few weeks later to find out the gender of Erica and Tyson’s baby, I almost couldn’t sleep the night before. I remember texting her that morning to call me immediately after and let me know! The hours that morning went by super slow. After a few hours I decided to text her the same sarcastic message she had texted me. I laughed when I did it, expecting her to say something like they were taking forever, but that’s not the message I received.

My phone immediately went off. Almost like her phone was in her hand and she already had the message typed out. All it read was, “It’s gone. There’s no heartbeat.” I felt like my life had just went into slow motion. I dropped my phone to my desk, and bent over. I ran to the bathroom, and cried and pleaded with God, “Please God! NO!! Not Erica… Please Not Erica!! Anybody but Erica!!”. I knew she was fixing to blame herself. I knew that her world was fixing to come falling down around her. I knew what hell she was fixing to face and I would not wish that on my worst enemy. I composed myself….but what do I text her back? Do I call her? Of course not! The only thought going through my mind at that exact moment was of two of my best friends sitting in a cold, dark room…all alone…crying. I wanted to leave and go be with them. I asked her, and she said she wanted to be alone. Ok….”I’m here.” That’s all I could muster up to say. Why was I so scared? After all, I had questioned God for years, why he took Jaydyn. Was this is it? To prepare me to be there for my best friend? I can’t do this…I had to! She needed me!! I was going to be there for her!!

Tyson texted me and told me she would be having surgery the next day. I let them know that I would bring them dinner. Erica agreed after surgery since she was feeling ok, and actually wanted to talk. I was so nervous. I was VERY surprised at how well she held herself together that night. She talked, and we cried, and she thanked me for letting her talk. Thank me?? No way! But why did I still feel so guilty? Because I was still pregnant. I tried to convince Erica that the time would come that she wouldn’t want to be around me. I experienced that, I hated pregnant women. But she reassured me that would never happen. And in Erica’s defense I truly believe she is strong enough to believe all that, had she not had the complications that she had. All the surgeries… I watched as it was like one punch to the gut after another. And she just stood there and took it. She was like a zombie for a while. All the medicines they had her on. I would come over and check on her, and night after night she would make cupcakes. I guess that was her coping mechanism. I’m pretty sure Tyson got to where he wouldn’t come home without cake mix. And just like I was so scared she would, she blamed herself. She took on all the blame for what had happened. I was so proud of her for naming Gabriel, and everytime she spoke his name, she would just tell him she was sorry. I didn’t have the words to tell her it wasn’t her fault. And what words I did have, she didn’t believe or wouldn’t listen to. She wanted him for so long, and he was snatched away from her. I would cry with her, especially late at night when she would text me. I would cry for her. I wanted so badly just to take her and hold her and look her in her face and tell her “sweet precious girl…this is not your fault!!!” But in that moment…I don’t think God himself could have told her that and she would have listened.

Slowly though, I saw how much her heart was breaking. I saw how much I was breaking her heart. We were 2 weeks apart in due dates. So she knew in each milestone of my pregnancy that I reached she was supposed to be reaching hers soon after. I hated myself for hurting her. I didn’t want to be around her because I was so scared of hurting her, just from my appearance. And I’m fairly certain she felt the same way. She would never tell me she didn’t want to be around me. But see that’s the thing when you’ve been best friends for as long as we have…you just know. When Nicholas was born, she did her best friend duty, and came to see us at the hospital. Can I just tell y’all the look on her face, the pain in her eyes…tore me to my soul. I remember looking at my husband that night and telling him, “I don’t know if she will ever be able to be around Nicholas…and that absolutely breaks my heart!”

During the past year, Erica has grown into such a beautiful soul. I’ve prayed for my best friend. I’ve prayed for Gabriel. I’ve prayed for Tyson. I’ve prayed for Abigail and Amelia. That is my family. Did I say and do all the right things? Probably not. But that is why we have grace and forgiveness. And I am SO glad Erica is gracious enough to forgive me. Losing a child is not something you will ever get over. It’s been almost 10 years for me and I still struggle daily. But I’m so glad that I can be there for her when she needs me. I’m glad that she is able to hold her head up and praise God now. I’m thankful that her heart is beginning to mend, even though she still hurts. She is a brave, beautiful soul…one that I admire so much. I hate she had to join me as an angel mommy, but I’m so blessed to have her as my best friend through this life.

I love you Erica!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grief feels like…

I’ve learned over the past year that grief isn’t a linear thing. It’s more circular than anything. Some days I truly feel ok. Some days I’m angry at the world and all of those who seem to effortlessly have babies. Some days I’m just sad and everything feels heavy for no reason. Judging by my past journal entries it appears some days I seem to cycle through every stage of grief in one day. What all of this has in common though, is it is all normal! No one can tell you how to feel about the loss. Not a single person can tell you how to cope with it, how long it will affect you, or how you should be acting. This is your journey. Don’t let anyone tell you how to survive it. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Some people will tell you to get over it. Some will marvel at how tough you must be (as if you have an option.) Some will ignore it all together.

Found this old journal entry and thought it still rings true today about what grief feels like on a bad day.

Grief feels a lot like swimming in the ocean. It ebbs and flows in a steady rhythm of emotions. You float for a little while, in gentle waves, not quite comfortable, but you’re easily afloat. At least your head is above water without a struggle.

Then out of seemingly nowhere, a huge wave hits and you’re pushed under the crushing force of the water. You’re fighting to come up. Fighting to breathe. It’s terrifying and it feels like the end, but you keep fighting even thought you’re so tired and want nothing more than to stop and succumb to the ocean.

Then, the water recedes. You’re able to resurface…or perhaps someone throws you a proverbial life raft. You’re physically safe now, but it still hurts to breathe. Your lungs burn, your eyes sting and you’re so exhausted. You’re alive…but just barely. You don’t want to fight anymore but you can’t seem to get yourself out of the water. You’re so scared of that next wave…and yet, you sit there…waiting to drown again.

That entry was written a little over a year ago, and while some days I definitely feel that wave of sorrow crushing down on me, I can honestly say that it’s less and less common now. Today, I am watching the ocean. I’m safe on the shore, but I’m close enough to dip my toes in and still allow myself to feel those emotions that I used to be so afraid of. Am I still broken? Of course. There’s a part of me that will never be the same. But you know what? I don’t want to be the same again.

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I’m not going to pretend I have all of the answers… but I can tell you the only way I have survived this is: God; A fiercely, honest yet loving support system; Proper treatment through counseling and medication therapy; and gaining back the will to survive for myself. Friend, it’s perfectly ok to say you’re not ok and to take the steps required (whatever they may be) to get yourself better. It took me way too long to reach that point. And now I realize I spent the better part of a year being so bitter and angry that I was hurting myself and everyone around me. As painful as this experience has been, it has taught me invaluable lessons about myself and my capabilities and it has shown me most of all, what a marvelous God I serve. Yes, I am going through the trial of a lifetime, but there is blessed assurance in His word, and I now truly understand who to lean on. ♥

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” -Peter 1:6-7

The physical aspect • surgeries, complications and more 

Most of the posts here will probably be centered around feelings. I mean, let’s be for real. Miscarriage and loss in general is a huge emotional ordeal. There’s so much involved in this-the emotional upheaval, yes, but I don’t think the physical aspect is discussed enough. This post is being written more on the physical toll it takes on your body. When I was going through it, I remember googling what was normal and what wasn’t. I’m someone with a medically inclined mind, so it helped me heal to understand the process of what was happening. Now, every single story will be different because this experience is so unique….but this is mine. This is rather long but I’d rather just get all the surgical stuff out of the way in one post, so y’all bear with me. 

I had a second trimester loss. Second trimester loss is considered “rare” as the chances of loss drop pretty significantly after 12 weeks, most sources citing less than 10%. Some sources even suggest an occurrence rate as low as 3-5%. There is differentiation between terminology depending when pregnancy loss occurs. Since my loss was just prior to 20 weeks it is classified as a miscarriage rather than stillbirth. In my particular case, it was a completely Missed Miscarriage. Meaning, my body showed no signs or symptoms like you’d imagine a traditional miscarriage. No cramping. No bleeding. Pregnancy symptoms were still present. There was not a single thing amiss. Until the heartbeat wasn’t detectable on ultrasound. I’m told the occurrence rate of a missed miscarriage that far along is a rather low number but it can happen. It happened to me. I don’t say all that to scare anyone. But to just share my personal experience. I always felt this sense of comfort in making it past that first 12 weeks and with every passing week felt reassured and thought “if something was wrong, I’d know.” Friends, unfortunately that isn’t always the case. 

Because of the fact that I had a missed miscarriage and my body wasn’t realizing I wasn’t pregnant anymore, I had to undergo surgery. The initial surgery (D&E) was more emotionally painful than anything. I remember waking up sore and uncomfortable but more devastated that I knew my baby was really gone now. It made it so real. I remember being heavily drugged in recovery and weeping uncontrollably holding my stomach. Thank God for caring staff at the hospital who made this horrid time bearable. I experienced quite a bit of cramping afterwards. Honestly, it felt like I had been punched in the stomach multiple times. Just an internal soreness. But then the pain started getting worse and it felt so intense like spasms. I tried going back to work and made it through the day and collapsed in tears. I knew something was wrong. 

I went back to the doctor for Ultrasound and discovered that apparently my cervix closed back off immediately after surgery and led to complications including a large blood clot in the uterus and a bladder infection. This also put me at risk for uterine infection and after taking Methergine (helps you contract to pass the clots) and it being unsuccessful, I had to be taken back to surgery for a (D&C) about a week and half after the first. This surgery was much the same except I believe I recovered a little easier. Again, no bleeding afterwards. Just soreness and crampy pain that never seemed to go away. I wrote the following excerpt in my journal during that time. 

I probably won’t ever know for sure what went wrong. Dr. B seems to think it was a placental issue since there weren’t signs of chromosomal abnormalities or other obvious reasons for fetal death. This makes sense I suppose since if the placenta wasn’t implanted correctly, it wasn’t able to get blood flow to keep up with the growth of the baby. So baby stopped growing and died. Thanks placenta. 😞

I also discovered my cervix is abnormal. It closes off like immediately so after the procedures I had so much pain and lower abdomen and pelvic pressure it was unbearable. That landed me back in surgery. 

I mean, 1 in 4 chance of miscarriage. Ok. Like 1 in 1000 chance of miscarriage after 14 weeks AND a completely missed miscarriage…I don’t even know the stats on that but my luck is awful. My body is a traitor and I don’t think I’ll ever trust it again. My back still feels like back labor. Why does it hurt so bad? Is this normal? What is normal anymore? 

This point of pain is basically where I stayed for months. I honestly just learned to live with the discomfort. I kept waiting for periods to return. They never did. I tried rounds of hormones to stimulate a period. It didn’t work. Finally, 6 months to the day after the first surgery, I went into surgery for a third time to find the cause of the constant pain and lack of periods. My doctor is a rockstar and somehow managed to not have to cut me open, but did a hysteroscopy instead. I’m fuzzy on the details but from what I understand, he encountered so much scar tissue my uterus was inaccessible. It was surrounding my tubes and cervix. I’m told this is Asherman’s Syndrome. http://www.ashermans.org/home/

Guys, this is a rare thing but it’s REAL. And it hurts. This surgery was very carefully done and took longer and ultimately he had to clear my uterus of as many adhesions as possible. He had to apply estrogen intrauterine to heal the walls of the uterus but also put an inflated balloon in to hold my cervix open to promote proper healing.  He told my husband he got most of them and I should be able to get pregnant again eventually. Maybe. When I say it was painful…there aren’t words to express how painful. I remember waking up in recovery crying and begging for pain medicine and Morphine not touching it. I’ve never felt pain like that before. It required an overnight stay at the hospital and I writhed in pain for a majority of the day after surgery. I finally got a little relief with some Toradol and a sweet nurse that gave me baby heel warmers to make a makeshift heating pad on my belly. I did get to go home the next day but kept that lovely balloon catheter in my cervix for a week. That is not fun at all. But it was rather successful, and seems to have gotten my body back on track….for the most part. But that’s another post, for another time. 

For anyone out there wondering if what you’re experiencing is normal, talk to your doctor. Get it checked. Don’t let it keep going and going like I did. But also, understand that this can be a long process. It’s not always a quick procedure and it’s over. If anyone has any more in depth questions, feel free to message me! My Facebook page is www.facebook.com/wherefearmeetsfaith

The tiniest soul

I’ve spent so many days and countless sleepless nights trying to make sense of this loss. To understand how I lost my baby…especially that far along. It didn’t make sense. It still doesn’t make sense. But my faith, as small as it seems some days, tells me there is a purpose for the pain. 

I’ve been planning something called the Hope Project through my photography business. A project to help others who have suffered loss share their stories and find a community of women to support one another through this journey we never intended to be on. (More coming soon on that topic!) Through that project, a sweet momma sent me this anonymous poem and it touched me so deeply. As much as I would love to say that I would’ve found my way back to redemption on my own, I think my precious Gabriel was sent here for, ever so briefly, for a grand purpose. I hope this poem comforts someone else who is grieving like I have been. If anyone knows who the author is please let me know, I can’t find a proper source. 

The Tiniest Soul by Unknown

Once upon a special day in Heaven up above, the tiniest souls sat at God’s feet, surrounded by His love. ‘The time is coming, very soon’, God said, ‘Do not be scared. Your family awaits your arrival, now let us get prepared’.

 And so God looked upon these souls, in mute consideration. He knew the life each one would live, He weighed each situation.

 The souls chatted amongst themselves, and wondered who they’d be. They knew the day grew closer; soon, they’d meet their family.

 ‘How would you like to change the world?’ God asked each soul in fun. The chance to change a soul, a heart, is held by only one.

 ‘I’m going to make the world laugh’, one soul said with a smile, ‘for laughter heals a broken heart, and helps us through each trial’.‘Then take with you the brightest smile, and share your laughter well’. The soul thanked God immensely, and down to earth he fell.

 ‘And I’ll remind the world to sing’, a sweet little soul told the Lord. ‘I have the gift of a beautiful voice; I can hit every note and every chord’.‘You’ll have the gift of music then, a voice, lovely and strong. Share your gift with others, and let them hear your song’.

 ‘I will show compassion’, the next little soul raised her hand. ‘Some people only need a friend, someone to understand’.‘Compassion is a good thing’, God said with much delight. ‘To you, I will give mercy. You’ll perceive wrong from right’.

 And so each soul shared every thought, their plans, their hopes, their dreams. And God explained that life, it is, much harder than it seems.

And as each soul began to leave in a scurry of laughter and fun, Heaven became quiet and still, for left was only one.

 ‘Come sit with me my little child’, God said with just a sigh. ‘Do you know how many you will touch, in a world left wondering why? Before your life comes to an end, you will know much strife, but you’ll teach those who know you, to cherish the smallest things in life.’

 And some may only know you through a simple photograph, they’ll never hold you in their arms, or memorize your laugh. Some may only know you through the words they read each day, but you’ll do something wonderful, you’ll make them stop and pray’.

 The tiniest soul raised her head up, to touch God’s firm, strong hand. ‘Father, I am ready for the life that you have planned. And I will do the best I can without a word or deed. For you Lord, are the planter, and I will be your seed’.

 She could already hear many praying, and although they had not seen her face, they were praying for her safe arrival, they were asking for mercy and grace.

 ‘What talent do I leave with Lord? What gift do you impart?’

 ‘All that you will need’, God said, ‘I’ve placed within your heart’. And so God kissed this tiny child, knowing all that she would be, and whispered as he watched her go…’You’ll teach them . . . to love me’.

If nothing else. Gabriel has taught me how to truly love the Lord. Even through my pain, and hopelessness, and anger (which is totally normal to feel by the way). I know that my cries are heard and this precious baby that I never got to lay eyes on, can be credited with renewing my faith by breaking me apart. I’m unfinished….but there is a plan for me. And friend, if you’re in a similar spot, there is a plan for you as well. We don’t know why. Or when it’ll make sense. Or how we will survive. But we  will. 

“My soul continually thinks of it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” -Lamentations 3:20-23

I’m sorry.

“I’m sorry.”

Two words. It took a grand total of two words to shatter my entire being and make me question everything I thought I knew about myself, my faith…everything. Here I am, over a year later, and those words still have a sting to them. It was the moment I learned that my baby no longer had a heartbeat and the moment that everything in life became categorized into “before” and “after”. A couple days after our loss, I wrote some journal entries and a letter to our baby so I wouldn’t lose any details in the rawness of the moment. No one but me has seen it until now, but it is the best account I have of the beginning of our story. Our story is still unfolding, so there is much more to share.


1/30/2016—My dear sweet baby, please know you were so wanted. So very loved in the short time we had with you. We discussed having another baby…planned and prayed and to our surprise, we found out we were pregnant on October 23, 2015. We kept it a secret for a little while just to enjoy the moment ourselves. On Thanksgiving day we shared the news with our family. Everyone was so overjoyed to add another baby to our midst. Especially your sister. Oh, how she wanted you…loved you already, little baby. Every day she asked to feel you kick and how big you were. We told the world that you existed on Christmas Eve. The best gift imaginable. I was over the moon excited and daydreaming about you.

The pregnancy was easy. Much easier than your sisters. I felt good and was in pretty good health and spirits. I’m a worrier by nature, so I was so scared something was wrong from the beginning. With each doctor visit, my fears subsided a little more as I was reassured that you were perfect. We were both growing right on schedule and you had a perfectly normal healthy heartbeat. You wiggled so much on every ultrasound, it was hard to get a good picture, but thank goodness, we have some. Even better, my best friend was pregnant also, about 2 weeks ahead of me, so we were finally sharing the journey together like we always joked we would. I just didn’t know my journey would end like it did. We often talked about how you two would grow up along side each other. God, it breaks my heart into knowing that won’t happen.

On January 26, 2016, the day after returning from a wonderful vacation, we went to the doctor for our anatomy scan. We were so excited to find out whether you were a boy or a girl and see your sweet profile again. I was 17 weeks and 5 days. I woke up that morning feeling “off.” Nothing was wrong at all. No sickness, no symptoms, no bleeding or pain. Just that feeling that something is off kilter in your soul. We went on to the doctor and I nervously waited for the ultrasound and tried to reassure myself that everything was fine this time too. After all, I had just felt flutters of movement in the days before. We went into the sonogram room and settled in as the US tech began to move the wand around on my belly. There you were on the screen, but immediately, I knew. She asked how many weeks I was and muttered something like “I’m going to check with your doctor and see if we should wait to do the scan…” Her voice trailed off. Or I stopped listening. I’m not sure which. I had seen that flicker of your image on the screen and you weren’t moving. There was no heartbeat. I knew you were gone. I remember looking at your dad and telling him this was it. We lost you. But I wanted so badly to be wrong. Then the doctor came in, gently placed the wand back on my belly, searching for what I’m sure was seconds, but felt like an eternity, and said those two words that broke my heart into a million pieces. “I’m sorry.”

I know he said other things to console me and to explain what was happening, but I couldn’t hear them. The US tech spoke. I just stared. Your daddy hugged me, but I couldn’t feel it. I couldn’t hear anything over the deafening roar of my own thoughts. The only thing I could manage to say was “Will I have to…” and the doctor shook his head and said he would have to do surgery that I wouldn’t go into labor. I went through the motions and scheduled surgery for the next morning. I cried the whole way home. I never knew it was possible to hurt so deeply. To feel a pain so empty that it shakes you to your core.  That day I learned what it meant to have a baby born into heaven and I hated myself for it. I hated God. I hated the world. I couldn’t stand the thought of anything related to a baby. I cried more tears than I thought humanly possible. I asked why. I begged God to give you back. I demanded to know what I had done wrong. I needed answers. The rest of the day is a blur. I slept and cried and that’s about it.

My dear baby, you were ARE so loved. So wanted. If love could bring you back, you’d be in my arms now. It’s only been 3 days since we learned you were gone. I don’t know if I’ll ever be “ok” again. I hope somehow, you will help me with that.

We never did find out for sure what gender you were, but in my heart, I feel like you were my little boy. Also, your sister swears she has a brother in Heaven. I hear kids just “know” these things, so I’m taking her word for it. You now have a name. You existed. You were real. I have to tell myself that often. We chose the name Gabriel for symbolic meaning. Gabriel is an angel of mercy, joy, dreams and love. A fierce messenger of God that governs over the month of January. You are all of that and more to us.

I am so sorry I couldn’t keep you safe. It shatters my heart to know that you were dying and I didn’t even know it. I saw a quote that broke me into a million pieces, but it was perfect. “To think, when your tiny eyes first opened, they were on Jesus.” That sentence is so huge to me. Since I can’t hold you and tell you about God, I hope He holds you and tells you about me. I promise I’ll try to be the kind of person He wants to tell you about.

Please watch over your sisters and daddy, as I know they feel this pain too. We love you so much…More than words can express.

Love, Momma