i lost a baby last year.

i want you to know a few things because chances are you have either had that experience or you will love someone who does.

when i was younger my sister miscarried and i remember calling her and asking if there was anything that i could do. she said there had been a death in the family and to treat it as such. and i knew she would never be the same again.

i didn’t fully understand it until about 10 years later when i went into our OB and was shown the baby, but informed that they were having trouble finding the heartbeat. i squeezed my husband’s hand so tight that i thought he might bleed, because i was unsure that i would be able to get through the next seconds, minutes or years without holding him that hard. i write this not to tell you of my own experience, but to explain why the women in your life who have experienced this are hurting so badly.

when i found out i was pregnant i was elated. it took me about a nanosecond to envision our family all together, to begin to daydream about how i would decorate their room and to remember the feeling when you get to meet the one who had been growing inside you. I could have been pregnant for one minute and it would have still been devastating to lose the baby.

so i was sad. really sad, but i pulled it together and got on with life. i refrained from pelting people who said “at least you have two kids” in the face with a close range paintball gun because i knew that they didn’t consider that this was a different human being. I can be thankful for what i have and i am! i am amazed at how blessed i am, but i can still fall to the floor and weep when i hear that the baby didn’t make it. go ahead, sit me down and explain to me that one in every four pregnancies ends this way, console me by pointing out how i wasn’t really that far along- that’s brilliant! tell me if you ever need a recommendation for counseling school because i have got some stuff to say. but whatever you do don’t let me mourn, right?

don’t let me weep that this child who already had my heart would not grasp my finger. don’t let me cry every time i walk by the room that would have been theirs. force me, out of your sheer inability to see someone else’s pain and trust that even this can create beauty on the other side, force me to carry on as if nothing really happened. then we will all be more comfortable…until other people that i was pregnant with start to have their babies and i end up needing a fair amount of therapy.

here’s what i want you to know- a cheat sheet if you will.
1) be quiet.
just be there and let them cry. cry with them. allow yourself to realize what a great loss it really is. if you don’t know what to say… then don’t say it.
2) acknowledge that it was somebody. that it was, in fact, a loss.
no matter how many children they do or do not have, there was a child who didn’t make it. i have three children; two are with me today.
3) help them when they are ready.
if a room was decorated, then when they say it is time, please redecorate it in a way that brings healing and great beauty to something that for now is simply a signpost to what was lost.
4) let them take the time they need and love them well.

i really wish that i could have met our third child. i would have loved to see what combination of matt and i had come to fruition this time. i would have loved to hold that sweet child and whispered words of love and kissed that sweet baby. but here’s what you need to know about me. i wept. i yelled. i fell down out of a sheer inability to muster up the strength to stand. i did a lot of things in this process, but one thing i did not do was actually LOSE the baby. that child is written on my heart and will be forever a part of who i am. that child was not lost. that child is held. missed. adored.

but never, ever lost.

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14 Responses to Lost

  1. Carrie Phipps-Banfi says:

    Beautifully stated……

  2. Oh friend. I guess I get the honor of being the first to comment here and say that you are are not alone. Our story sounds so much like yours. Went to the OB to see the first ultrasound.. was still joking with the nurses about the chances of having another set of twins win she turned her back to me and sniffed. My precious, precious doctor looked at us with those knowing eyes and explained that our baby had no heart beat and had probably stopped growing about two weeks earlier. But I just threw up my breakfast on the way over here? How can this be? Instant agony, right? The short version of the saga that followed includes scenes in which I had to assure the pharmacist filling my Rx that I was not using the pills for an elected abortion but that it was for a miscarriage.. talk about close range paint ball guns.. bang-o-rang. Lunch brought by beloved friends whom I could hear playing with Stephen and the kids while I laid upstairs and tried to sleep through what was about to happen.. and when it didn’t happen.. no less than 3 visits to the doctor to confirm that we would have to end our story with a D&C.. 3 visits = 3 times that I couldn’t tear my eyes from the screen.. 3 times that sobbed right there in the office. When the friends I was pregnant with (no less than 5 ) started to have their babies.. I visited the first in the hospital and failed so miserably at hiding my grief that I decided to just wait and see the others when they were bigger. This is getting too long .. sorry! Anyway.. I just wanted to say that no.. they are never, ever lost. Never. Ever. And the comfort that Jesus provides can be almost as equally overwhelming. We found out we were pregnant with Frankie on the day that our little pioneer (because they reached heaven before the rest of our family) would have been due. Hugs to you my sweet precious friend.

  3. .. and now that I posted this it feels like I missed my point entirely by going on my own story tangent. Sorry for that. The point is not how it all happened.. the point is that I miss my baby too and everything you said about how you felt and feel.. is right on the money in my own heart. Everything you wrote ministered to me… so thanks for that. The end.

  4. amycrouch says:

    The hardest part, i think, for me, was admitting that it wasn’t my fault. That it wasn’t a reflection of any brokenness that I found in myself or in our marriage that caused our baby to not make it. I’d also like to add that people should be aware of the emotional and spiritual burdens that this has on the Daddy’s of these little babies, too. I never really knew how to talk to Matt about our little baby because I didn’t know what I was even feeling myself, aside from grief. I didn’t know how to encourage or how to know where he was hurting.

    I praise Jesus every day for Enora and for the little boy growing in my womb right now, but there is no way to ever forget the little one that also was some sort of sign of not only God’s grace and abundance but also his sovereignty.

  5. lilkidthings says:

    Never ever lost. When our baby left us too soon in 2010, I didn’t know how to grieve beyond the first few weeks. Because I became pregnant so soon, it really wasn’t until I had Cal that I realized what I had missed out on. I think about our 3rd baby and wonder what it will be like to meet him or her in heaven. Thanks for sharing your heart.

  6. Cary says:

    Beautifully written and such a help to those of us who don’t get it, even though we think we do.

  7. Christa Groseclose says:

    Thanks for sharing your story and your heart. I pray God brings comfort and peace.

  8. Kimberly says:

    I love you, friend!

  9. neil says:

    Well written. We all deal with such pain in so many ways. Truly happy our void is filled by such wonderful nieces and nephews.

  10. Cathleen says:

    Yes. This.
    My loss was also profoundly lonely, since I didn’t have any other children (to serve as comfort or distraction or proof that my body is capable of doing this thing) and my husband had just jetted halfway around the world and would be gone for 6 weeks. Finding a few people to talk to helped, even though it felt weird telling them about the loss before I’d told them about the pregnancy. Something I heard during that time really rang true: It’s like joining a secret club that you never would want to be a part of, but once you are, you realize just how big it is and how many women you already know are also members. Hearing from so many other women who had experienced similar losses was extremely helpful and reinforced that I was not alone.

  11. Dee Dee says:

    I love your transparency and willingness to share your pain. I have avoided Mother’s Day at church for years, hating sitting there watching women stand up who are mothers and wanting to but couldn’t cause obviously I don’t have any kids. Actually it is only lately that I have realized that I am a mother. I have a son that I love and although I can’t hold or touch him he is truly in my heart.

  12. cindyasta says:

    This was so beautifully stated. It is hard to understand that kind of loss until you experience it. We were there twice and then were blessed with Alex…but I still think about the other 2 Asta babies. Thank you for putting into words what so many have felt. Love you 🙂

  13. mira says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. The pain is gut-wrenching. Confession-I can’t stand when people post ultrasound pics on fb.

  14. Pingback: On Motherhood - Links from Around the Web | HAVEN•DESIGNED

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