Residual Grief

Residual Grief

Early in my grief journey, I discovered that most people assumed we had packed up and moved on, so to speak, not long after our son, Jonathan, was stillborn. They thought our sorrow was behind us, not to be thought of much again just because months had passed, and we had managed to pick up some of the pieces of our brokenness and had begun to live a little again. And honestly, I may have naively assumed that to some degree as well. I thought once I got through most of the “firsts,” I’d be much better emotionally.

Carrying to Term

Carrying to term. This is a phrase I had never really heard of, and never really understood the significance of it until seven years ago. December 13, 2007, at 10:30 a.m., I lay on the table in a dark room waiting to find out the sex of our first child. The ultrasound technician was moving my belly and trying to get a good look at our active baby. She said she ran out of paper to print the pictures on and went to get more. She came back pretty quickly with Dr. Peet, my ob/gyn, … and no paper. Still, at this point, I did not realize this was a huge red flag of “WARNING WARNING—something is wrong.”

Rollercoaster of Infertility

Rollercoaster of Infertility

Having infertility made me feel like less of a woman. I couldn’t get pregnant. I couldn’t keep my babies. We had infertility for many years. We lost a baby through miscarriage and our son, Gideon, was stillborn at 33 weeks, 4 days pregnant. What kind of woman can’t do the one thing her body was designed to do? Isn’t that the purpose of being born with a uterus, so we can bear the children we so desire to have? I grew up wanting to be a wife and mommy. After we had been married for five years, my husband and I decided we really wanted to try to have children. We sought after what God wanted for our lives, and we knew He would want us to grow our family.

Never Regretting His Life

Never Regretting His Life

After ruling out all other options, the doctor finally said, “It’s probably the pregnancy.“ Eight hours after feeling the most horrible pain I have ever felt, and five hours of prodding and tests, this was the conclusion.

A few weeks before, I had been sitting in my bathroom anxiously looking at my watch, so sure that I was pregnant and that I would be bounding out into the living room with a smile on my face. Instead I came out confused. If these weren’t pregnancy symptoms, then what where they? A few days later I tried again. Nothing. A week after that, more nothing. I took five negative tests before deciding I would set an appointment anyway. By then, I was six weeks pregnant.

Six Tips to Cope with Grief during the Holidays

Six Tips to Cope with Grief during the Holidays

The holidays can be an especially difficult time for parents who have lost their children. So many holiday routines and activities revolve around the gathering of family and friends. Yet, bereaved parents may not feel up for celebrating as usual or embracing holiday traditions that they have in the past. Instead of feeling a sense of loss over what the holidays were supposed to be, we can take this as an opportunity to recreate what they will be for our families from now on. The following are tips for enjoying your holidays in the face of grief:

I know my Daughter

I know my daughter.…I held her for hours, but I never saw her breathe, I never saw her move, she never crawled, took her first steps, had a first day in kindergarten, graduated from college or got married. I didn’t just lose a baby, I lost all my hopes and dreams and memories that I would never have for a child that I loved. However, just because I did not get to experience any of these things doesn’t mean I don’t know a lot about my daughter; not as much as I want to, but enough in this lifetime until I get to spend eternity with her. Everything I know about her I found in the Bible, and some of the following text is adapted from Safe in the Arms of God, by John MacArthur.

My almost Life: The Dreams That Never Were

My almost Life: The Dreams That Never Were

I have had to give up many things on my journey to motherhood. I had to grieve what should have been, what could have been, and what never was. One of the biggest things I had to grieve, in addition to the loss of my babies, is that my family will never look the way I dreamed it would. I come from a family of five children. When I was a young child, I dreamed I would have 18 children, and my husband and I would make a nice even 20. And I wanted to name them all Rainbow. Now, as silly as that is, it shows how deep inside me I always wanted a large family. As I grew older, I imagined myself and my future husband having five kids like my parents, or six kids. I thought it would be fun to have one more than what I grew up with because if five is good, six is even better.

20 years of M.E.N.D.

20 years of M.E.N.D.

Like many of you, I prayed for my babies before they were even conceived. I earnestly sought the Lord for His will for my husband Byron’s and my family before any of our three babies were given life. Because each of our three children were conceived within the first month of trying to become pregnant, I assumed our quick success of baby making was always a sign from God we were on track with His ordained plan for our lives. Our first son was born full term and healthy. Sadly, my Jonathan and Baby Mitchell did not survive.