Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Two years ago today, I was initiated into a club.  This was not something that I sought - not somewhere I ever expected to be.  But still, there I was - crushed and numb, mourning the loss of a child.  Two years ago today, I had a miscarriage.

The pregnancy was a surprise - Brian and I *thought * we were done.  But we've thought that before, too...  And, to both of our own shock and surprise, all Brian and I felt, once we saw those two lines, was pure joy.  No panic or angst - only elation.  Almost giddy.  Which is strange, considering what we *should* have been feeling.  On his salary, we could barely afford our 5, never mind one more.  And we'd need a new mode of transportation, since both of our current minivans each seat 7.  And who *has* six kids these days??? Seriously, who does that??!!??  But despite everything we knew in our heads, our hearts were rejoicing.

I knew, though, from the beginning.  I knew that it wasn't right.  I've been pregnant too many times to know what it is supposed to feel like.  And this one didn't.  I'd have fleeting symptoms from time to time, enough to give me hope, but deep  in my soul I knew that it wasn't going to last.  But I held out hope.  I even abstained from indulging in wine at Thanksgiving dinner.  Not even a sip.  I took my prenatals and folic acid.  But I knew...

And, as we were about to leave my brother's house, to drive the 2 and a half hours back to Davenport from Chicago, it began.  I think I cried the entire trip home.  Quietly, though, because we didn't want the kids to know.  We've had too many experiences with infant loss in our circle of close friends that they almost expect babies to die.  I wanted to spare them from this...

After a visit to the midwife, it was confirmed that the baby stopped growing around 4-5 weeks, but it took until 7.5 weeks for my body to catch on.  It was not painful, though, which was a blessing.  I know many women who have endured unbearable physical pain along with the loss of their babies, but I was given the gift of a peaceful passing.  And for that, I am grateful.

Brian and I are fortunate to be surrounded by people who had gone before us into this club, and they ushered us through the initiation rites with gentleness and understanding.  They helped us to grieve, not only in our own individual ways, but together, as a couple, mourning what could have been.  And by the grace of God, what could have torn us apart, brought us closer, giving a new dimension to our life together.  We talked, and cried, and held each other.  And we began to dare to think about the future.  We decided to give ourselves the holiday season to let things settle, and to process  just what had happened.  

And so, with the dawning of the new year, we began to pray and discern where God was leading us.  We were both so surprised with our own gut reactions to the prospect of adding another child to our family.  Apparently, we weren't as *done* as we thought we were.  *smile* So after much time on our knees, talking to God and to each other, we decided to go ahead and try for three months to conceive another child.  Since I was almost 39, we didn't want to prolong TTC if it wasn't going to happen.  But we also wanted to give it a try, because getting pregnant has always come easy for me.  So if it were going to happen, it would happen quickly.  If not, we were ok with that, too.  It was all in God's hands.

As it happened, the first month we really tried, we got our answer, in the form of two lines.  And nine months later, we welcomed that sweet baby girl whose birthday we celebrated just 5 days ago.  Without this loss, we would not know the joy that Hannah has brought into our lives, once again proving that God does, indeed, redeem all things.

Today, I remember.  I remember the child we lost, whose hands we never got to hold, whose toes we never got to count, whose head we never got to kiss.  But my heart overflows with gratefulness for the child who now nuzzles at my breast, who is because God opened our hearts one more time.  And I realize what a joy, and a blessing, that is, in a way that I never could have, before.  And I give thanks for all of it - the sorrow, the grief, and the joy.  And I will never again take for granted the gift of life.  But most of all, I long for the day I will gather all of my children together, at the feet of Jesus, and know that my joy will be complete.  Until that day, God bless you, Little One.  Mommy loves you, and Jesus loves you even more.


  1. Hugs, Karen...thanks for sharing this journey. I remember it too - grieving with you, then rejoicing with you later when we found out your sweet Hannah was on the way. But I've never seen the story from beginning to...well, now...since there's really no end, is there?

    Lots of love!

  2. I did not know about the member of your family whose life ended too soon until just now. I am sitting here crying after reading this beautiful entry. Much love to you today, Karen.

  3. *hugs* Thanks for sharing. Totally made my pregnant hormal self all weepy.

  4. Karen, I am weeping for you. I know how it is...I am glad Brian and you were able to grieve together, as it's something Ian could never do, strangely. I fell to pieces but he didn't want to talk about it.

    Sweet Hannah is such a blessing in so many ways! ((hugs))

  5. Thank you for trusting us with this insight into your loss. I remembered you saying how it didn't feel right from the beginning. It's amazing how God gives us grace just a step ahead of when we need it sometimes.

    This was such a beautiful reflection on that little one who awaits your embrace in heaven. Thank you again.

  6. As a card carrying member of this particular club, I send out my heartfelt condolences to you...our angels are singing in our Lord's Heavenly choir together.

    Blessings to you and your beautiful family here on earth and above.

  7. Karen: I just read this and I am crying. Esp. the ending. As I think about my own 2 miscarriages, I too look forward to meeting those two children. After the second m/c Daniel bought me a little baby figurine that is on my dresser. I think of those two babies whenever I see it and know they are sleeping peacefully with Jesus as this little figurine is on my dresser (even better in fact!). This is a hard club to be long to; thanks for sharing your membership story. Maybe your little baby and my two are playing together...now i'm crying more!