My husband and I found out we were pregnant on November 29, 2009 and were over the moon with joy as we had tried to concieved for close to 2 years. My pregnancy was a normal one until my water broke for no reason at 18 weeks.
After being on strict bedrest and following ALL of my doctors orders, I made it to 26 weeks and my baby was still doing well. I went into labor on May 6, 2010 and after all attempts to stop contractions were unsuccessful, they took me in for an emergency c-section as my baby was in distress.
They took my daughter, Sarah Elizabeth, over to the area to work on her and the neonatologist told me that there was nothing they could do for her. All I could do was cry.
Sarah lived for 2 short hours and died in my ams. She weighed 1lb 9 oz, the day I left the hospital, I had a pink box with her hat and her first and only blanket.
I now have a beautiful little girl that is the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. My storm has slowly passed but I still struggle with my loss and it has been 3 years.
Posted November 2013
My husband Tim and I met in high school in Alabama when we were 17, and married when we were 23 while I was studying to earn a PhD in neuroscience at the University of Alabama–Birmingham. Because we both had jobs working with not-so-friendly laboratory chemicals, we decided to wait to start our family. We then relocated to Raleigh, North Carolina, and learned I was pregnant in late summer of 2006. After a relatively easy 9 months, we welcomed our daughter, Ella Marie, in April 2007.
Knowing what we considered to be the plan for our family, we assumed we would welcome another child soon. In summer of 2010, when Ella was 3, we decided it was time. I soon was pregnant with our second child, and because our first pregnancy was so easy, we started telling everyone, put the news on Facebook, and Ella’s grandparents even sent her an “I am the big sister” t-shirt that she wore proudly.
After I finished my first trimester, because I was 37, it was time for the appointment with the specialist to check for chromosomal disorders. I was a little nervous, but made the choice just to go by myself. Tim had attended every last doctor’s appointment with me when I was pregnant with Ella, but with this pregnancy, we figured we were no longer rookies, and just didn’t see the need for him to miss work for a routine appointment.
When it was time to check for the heartbeat, I heard the beautiful sound, and was immediately relaxed…until I saw the look on the ultrasound technician’s face. She awkwardly mumbled something I couldn’t understand and then ran to get the doctor. He walked in, slowly sat down, took my hand, and began to explain to me that although my baby’s heart was beating, the brain and skull did not form properly. My baby was anencephalic. The only reason the heart was still beating was because the baby was living inside of me. I looked up at the huge screen before me and saw the image that he had described – my beautiful baby missing most of its brain and skull. It was like something from a sci-fi movie (don’t google “anencephaly” if you are faint of heart). I ran to the bathroom, got on my knees, shaking and sobbing, and started praying for strength. I knew in my heart what came next, I just didn’t want to accept it.
After a long discussion with this doctor, a Godly man and follower of Jesus, Tim and I knew that we had no choice. We were going to either lose the baby now, or have a funeral on a birthday. The baby couldn’t survive outside of the womb, and for the very short time it might survive, the baby would suffer tremendously – not to mention the suffering of the rest of my family. Also, given my age, continuing to carry the baby was a significant risk to my health. Two days later, with Tim and Ella sitting in the hospital waiting room, we lost the baby.
Our grief was overwhelming – everywhere I went I saw babies with perfectly normal, beautiful heads and wanted to scream “why?!?” My guilt was overwhelming – I have a PhD in neuroscience! If anyone knows how to grow a baby with a healthy brain and skull, surely I do?? We grieved for a long time but then started to feel better, and then in February 2012, pregnant again, I suffered a miscarriage. At this point, through the counsel of family and friends, I finally began to realize that we had forgotten the point. Tim and I both believed in Jesus, and were both Christians, but through all of this time, we were selfishly focused on our plan for our family, when our plan wasn’t the one of significance. (If you read back through this, note the number of times I used “we” instead of “God”!) It was God’s plan that was coming into focus now. After many months, many tears, and many prayers, we realized that my sweet anencephalic angel was never meant to be born. That baby’s purpose was to push my family to put God first and strive to live our life in service for the Glory of God. Does that mean our lives are perfect? No! Accepting that Ella would be an only child wasn’t easy, but we rejoice in the miracle that she is to us! It is now our plan, with God’s direction, to raise her intentionally and biblically to be the beautiful, kind, strong-willed, follower of Christ that God intended her to be.
I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Big Daddy Weave, Bring Love to Life (song)
“Bring your love to life inside of me, why don’t you break my heart ‘til it moves my hands and feet?
For the hopeless and the broken – for the ones that don’t know that You love them – Bring your love to life inside of me.”
Josh McDowell, More Than A Carpenter (book)
“The work of God cannot be explained by coincidence.”
Posted November 2013
A silent suffering… That’s how I felt for a long time after I lost my children. No one could understand, so I suffered all alone. My first loss was my son; an identical twin. His brother is alive and well and living the normal life of a 13 year old boy, but deep down we both know that someone is missing. I got pregnant again a year after, and miscarried after 3 months… Heartbreaking to say the least. And then… When I thought I couldn’t take anymore, and that God had given me all that I could possibly handle, I got pregnant with my sweet baby boy Gabriel. I spent months hearing his heartbeat; counting his movements… Until one day they stopped. ‘Please God don’t do this to me. Please.’ The ultrasound proved what I already knew in my heart… My little angel would be held by Jesus, but never by me. I was 7 months pregnant. For seven months I carried that little boy. My life has never been the same, and it never will be. However, I know that God promises’ us that everything will work together for good, and that joy will come in the morning. I’m banking on those promises.
Posted June 2013
My husband and I have an almost 2 1/2 year old healthy, very energetic little girl named Emma. She was born January 01, 2011. We decided last April in 2012 to start trying again for another child. I assumed getting pregnant would happen very easily since Emma was unplanned but such a wonderful, unplanned little miracle. We got pregnant in September 2012 but a few days after finding out, we lost the baby. I was not quite 5 weeks. Since I wasn’t far enough along to have to have surgery and nothing got mess up in my body, then the doctors said I could start trying immediately. On December 21, 2012 I found out I was pregnant again. We were so very excited. I went for blood work every Wednesday, because my doctors wanted to be kept updated on my HCG and progesterone levels since I had the miscarriage in September. I was very sick from week 5 to week 9. My 8 week ultrasound looked great and heartbeat and growth were great as well. I started to feel a little uneasy after being so sick for so long and then it just stopping but my doctors reassured me that it was normal for me to stop being so sick since your HCG levels somewhat level out around the 10th week. On Wednesday, Feb 13, I was supposed to be going in for my regular blood work like I did every Wednesday, but for some reason that morning and the day before I had been worried sick thinking that something was wrong. I called my OB/GYN that morning at 8am when they opened and begged and pleaded for them to do an ultrasound on me after my blood work appointment which was at 10am. They told me that I was being too paranoid and that I was having no symptoms of a miscarriage and my levels had been coming back fine. They also reminded me that I had my 12 week appointment in 5 days on Feb 18th. After much determination, they finally put me in for an ultrasound after my blood work. The whole time waiting, I prayed and prayed that I was just being pa ranoid like they said and that my gut feeling or I guess you could say “motherly instinct” was wrong. The horrible truth was that I was right. My nightmare had come true. There was no longer a heartbeat. Two days later, I had to go have surgery to have my baby removed. Even though, it’s been a little over 2 months, I still constantly think about that baby. Wondering if it would have been a boy or girl, how he/she would have look, how Emma would have had a playmate, etc etc. I know deep down in my heart that God had a reason for not allowing either of my babies to make it. And even though I still struggle with it every day, I’m going to trust and have faith that God has great plans for my family and I. I’m just grateful that I have a very energetic 2 year old to keep me going every day. I never in my wildest dreams imagined I would have had 2 miscarriages in almost 6 months but at least I know one day when I die and go to heaven that I will be able to meet my other 2 babies. At least we can all rest assured that God has all of our children in his care.
Posted April 2013
My husband and I became pregnant shortly after we were married. We found out in August and then in September on the 19th at 6:00pm I was rushed to surgery because they found out that the baby was in my left fallopian tube 2cm away from my uterus and had ruptured! I was terrified! After the surgery it took a while for us to accept God’s will and then we decided to try again that following summer. We were not having great luck at all with it so we went to see a reproductive specialist to just see if there was a blockage or maybe some scar tissue from my “pelvic trauma”. They said everything looked ok and I just wasnt producing enough eggs so in September of 2012 we started fertility medicine with a “trigger shot” that would release the eggs. In February 2013 we found out that we were having a baby, oh we were so very excited! We went for our ultrasound at 6 weeks and saw a heartbeat and my heart just melted I was so hap py. Then at 7 weeks we went back for another ultrasound just for peace of mind and the heart rate was 62 and the baby was 1 week behind on development, my heart was torn. We had to wait 1 more week and pray like crazy for a miracle. Then on that next Wednesday our worst nightmare was back, no heartbeat. We had the D and C procedure done that Friday and today we are doing much better thanks to the prayer from our family and friends. We are going to continue to try but it is a very hard thing to go through alone and will be a tough journey the next time! Prayers would be very wonderful!
Posted April 2013
My husband and I became pregnant unexpectedly back in 2009 while we were engaged. We were excited about starting a family and always knew if it happened we would be ready to be parents.
At 12 weeks, I began getting very sick and cramping badly. I was told that I was having a miscarriage and sent home with pain meds. Unfortunately, I was under bad care and my obgyn misdiagnosed an ectopic pregnancy.
After three visits to the ER and an ovarian torsion, I transferred to a different hospital and a veteran obgyn where I had emergency surgery for internal bleeding because no one caught the ectopic at the previous hospital. I ended up with a tubal ligation and my chances to become pregnant again were cut in half.
The guilt that comes with losing a child does not leave you for some time. I consistently blamed myself because it was unplanned, I was working in a stressful job, not eating well… thinking of everything in an attempt to figure out why this happened and what I could have done to prevent it. I also felt that I let God down by not being able to carry full term.
I began faith based counseling to help to cope with the loss and guilt. My godfather, a mentor at my church, told me something that still stays with me to this day and brought a lot of peace to my heart. He said that when our children leave us, even before birth, we get to be re-united with their souls in Heaven. I had never considered this but began to own it as my truth.
At night, I would meditate in the tub and visualize myself meeting my child’s soul when we reunited. In time I was able to release my guilt and realized through my pain that doing things on God’s time would be better than on my own time. I practiced gratefulness each day and asked for God’s healing.
I know that there are many other women who suffer deeper tragedies than what I faced, who only get to hold their baby for hours after birth only to say goodbye, who lose them to accidents that were unforeseen. Loss is experienced at many different levels and at different stages in life. I am grateful to those around me who helped me through my grief by sharing their own experiences and how they healed as well.
When we do become parents for the first time, it will be the greatest blessing of our lives. It is something I will definitely prepare for and pray for God’s protection over the pregnancy. Even if we do go through another loss, I know that God has not abandoned me and I will not blame myself. Like many women out there who have been through the same, we will continue to persevere and never let our faith be shattered in tragedy.
In fact, my husband and I grew stronger as a couple and closer to God through all of it, which I am so grateful for. I know now that we can get through anything together.
Posted March 2013
My name is Kellie and I faced a HUGE loss Jan 6th, 2006 when our almost 9mth old (Katelyn) was in a car accident leaving her with severe brain injury that was unrepairable and she went to be with our Savior. This was our first and only child and I was left with empty arms but a heart that wanted to mother so bad. I had to submerge myself in God’s word and books that I thought would help me understand God’s goodness despite my loss and that He had a plan for our family. I then went on a few months later to get pregnant with our second child Madelyn and she is 5 today and such a joy!
In 2009 we found out we were pregnant again and expecting a little boy this time. We were so excited. My pregnancy went great but one day I stopped feeling him (Cole) move. I went to the hospital to find out that he no longer had a heartbeat. I couldn’t wrap my mind around why God chose to take another child from me. What was I doing to cause this I asked? I honestly was mad that this was happening again. Two of my fears had come true…burying a child and then having to give birth to a child that would not breath.
I had many emotions related to Cole’s loss that I didn’t have with Katelyn. I had to experience pain for no reason, have others that didn’t know me ask me if I was pregnant, deal with my milk coming in but no infant to help with engorgement and post pregnancy hormones. I also felt that with Cole I dealt with his loss more alone than Katelyn’s loss. Katelyn was known by everyone but I only knew Cole b/c I was carrying him with me every day. Once again I had to surround myself with friends, family and of course God’s word. Music and reading were so helpful in my healing process…oh and long hot baths were too! It took me 9 months to feel ready to try again to get pregnant and after medical testing and counseling I was told I could try but to know I was a high risk pregnancy. I am pleased to say we had a healthy baby girl and named her Ava. She will be 2 on 2/14/13!
It has not been an easy road by any means but I am reminded by scripture of many things…
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” James 1:2-3
But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel,
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name; you are Mine!
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,
Nor will the flame burn you.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Romans 8:18
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.
I Peter 4:11-13
I know that God loves me and has a plan for my life and my family. Whatever that may be I have a choice! I have to either chose to find joy in my circumstance or be miserable. I decided that I would chose joy and trust God for His plan-not mine but His. And that plan is perfect. I pray that you too can find this peace that I have found in your hardship. I can tell you that time helps. You never completely heal and you will always have a hole in your heart for your sweet child. I have several myself. But I am thankful God has helped me to move on and remember my sweet children and that He chose me to be there mother for no matter how long I had them. Ultimately they are HIS children and not mine.
I encourage you to find someone you can talk to about your child and share your feelings and memories. If you need to talk to me I would be more than happy to sit and listen. I also find it healing to speak to other grieving mothers and let them know you can have joy again. The Lord has allowed me to meet wonderful women and make lasting friendships through our sweet babies in heaven. Gods word says in 1 Corinthians 1:4…” who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” I pray my story has encouraged and comforted you to know you can get through this extremely difficult trial. To that I say come quickly Lord Jesus!
Posted December 2012
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