Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Held for a Moment, Loved Forever - Our Miscarriage Story

This is a difficult post to write.

Because miscarriage is a sensitive subject. People don't talk about it much. And honestly, there's part of me that really doesn't want the whole world to know it happened to me. But God has been teaching me this year about being real and vulnerable, and this situation should be no exception.  There's also a part of me that feels our story needs to be told; that believes that somehow, in sharing this, I'll do my part in breaking the awkward, painful silence that surrounds the subject of miscarriage in our culture.

I knew I was pregnant within a few days after it happened. We weren't trying to get pregnant, but we hadn't been very diligent in preventing it that month, either. Obviously, there were no definitive physical signs yet, but I just had that intuitive feeling. Before it was possible to know...I knew.

For a week and a half, I meticulously recorded all my little symptoms and counted the days until I could take a home pregnancy test. Sometime during those 12 days, a friend came out to visit for an afternoon with her 6-week-old son. I cuddled baby Elias, mesmerized by his tiny handsome features, and was in awe of the two babies I held at that moment. It was like a sweet secret between God, baby Elias, my baby, and me. No one else knew yet.

Finally, the day came, and there were two pink lines on the test -- positive! My heart pounded with adrenaline, excitement, and joy as I tiptoed back into the bedroom, woke my husband, and told him the news. We laughed, cried, hugged, prayed, and laughed some more. What a surprise blessing from God! For the next few days, we tried to let this big life change sink in and become real to us. One of my favorite memories from that week is lying on our bed one afternoon during our off time, talking about what we would name our baby. That weekend, we called our parents and siblings to share the news with them, and the following week, we announced our pregnancy at the weekly camp staff meeting.

The announcement photo we made to tell my family about our baby.
On Friday, June 26th, we went for my first prenatal appointment. I was six weeks pregnant, so it was too early for an ultrasound, but the midwife talked to me about how I was feeling, gave me advice about my diet, and took blood for the standard prenatal blood testing. We were given a due date of February 18th. We scheduled a physical and another meeting with the midwife, and planned for the first ultrasound in mid-July.

And then Saturday came. I was bleeding when I got up that morning, and the cramps began soon after. Realizing what was happening, I stood over the bathroom sink, forehead against the mirror, and sobbed. I told Brett, and he prayed with me. I called the midwife. By 1:00 that afternoon, all the horror was over. My baby was gone, and I was left physically and emotionally empty.

In the days since then, I have experienced a full range of emotions, from overwhelming sadness to anger to hopelessness, including at times feeling completely void of emotion. Tears come at random, unexpected moments. I feel like I don't know who I am anymore.

Because as any mother can tell you, from the moment you know you're pregnant, you are a mom. And it changes you. It changes your heart, your thinking, your priorities, your identity.

I became a mom at the end of May. And at the end of June, I became a mom whose baby died. That one month has changed my life.

Brett made this little memory box, where I can keep our announcement
photo, our baby names list, etc. It's a good tangible piece of closure for me. 
Yet God is carrying me through. In the midst of all the grief, there is hope because of Jesus. Scripture has been comforting, especially the Psalms, and so have certain songs. Our first dance song from our wedding was "You Are Mine" by Enter the Worship Circle, and the words of that chorus have been echoing in my mind the last couple of days. I think of it as our for better or for worse song -- no matter what happens, we're together and God's got us. My husband has truly been Jesus to me during this time, and it's amazing to see how God is growing both of us and our faith through this trial.

And although suffering a miscarriage can be a very lonely and isolating experience -- many people are uncomfortable and don't know what to say, so they simply avoid or ignore the situation -- still, God provided a handful of people who have been a great help, a comfort, and sometimes simply a breath of fresh air to my hurting heart. I am thankful for those people who aren't scared away by the pain but are there to embrace me in the midst of it.

I rest assured that -- as one sweet friend reminded me -- death isn't God's plan. We're not meant to understand or accept death, she told me, because it was never how God wanted the world to be. Death and heartache happen because the enemy is in the world, and someday Jesus will redeem it and wipe all of our tears away. In the meantime, I can continue to trust that He is good...and trust that He will use this story and our baby's short life for His glory.


  1. Thank you for sharing. Your baby and your transparency will certainly make a difference in this world...... A good difference. May you continue to find comfort and strength in Jesus. I will be praying for you in the days to come.

  2. I'm so sorry, Ashley! Thanks for sharing your story. It's definitely a special bond between women who have been there and understand. I've had at least one miscarriage (that I know of), and experienced a tubal pregnancy as well. I know that range of emotions that you go through. Praying for you and Brett through this difficult time.

  3. The tears have poured all over again, as I read this, even though I pray for you continuously. Seeing all of your heart in print..... We love you, and we love that baby, and we greive with you.
    The box Brett made is precious. I am thankful you have that to treasure.
    I know sharing was so hard, but I'm thankful you did..for yourself and for others. You have God's strength with you, and your story will glorify Him.

  4. Ashley I have experienced several miscarriages and am so deeply sorry for your immeasurable loss and deep sorrow. I understand. God bless you for your giving expression of faith and soul purging to those who are unable to do that through such beautiful words as you have shared. Hugs to you and Brett from me and uncle bob

  5. Your words have touched my heart, you and Brett are so precious to God, He will be your strength through this. As I have shared with you, about my own miscarriages (3),I understand so well what you are going through. Your story will help not only yourself but others who are going through same thing.
    God is there for you, He will comfort you! The special box Brett made for you is awesome, what a treasure for you to keep. Praying for you both

  6. Ashley, I wish I could just hug you and be of more support to you. Camp seems worlds away... I'm so sorry that you and Brett are hurting and for the loss. Mark and I know your pain and are praying for you. We have had 3 miscarriages and 2 of them were this year and some days I still have rollercoasywr emotions and I'm just starting to feel like myself again. I honestly mean it when I tell you if you need anything I'm here to love and support you. I'm so very proud of you for putting your heart, soul and emotions into print here and being so transparent. You are so strong.

  7. Praying for you....I know what its like to have a miscarriage and be so far away from family. I know your mom wishes she could just drive to you and take you in her arms and tell you it will all be ok. Just remember God is with you always even when your Mom cant be....Lean on Him and He will get you through this.

  8. Thanks so much for sharing, dear friend. I've known so many that have experienced this sort of loss and are grieving this year. And I'm grateful that you are walking in the light in order that many can be encouraged. Much love!


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