Grief

Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 7.31.06 AMI’m sitting in an airport as I make my way back to NY for a perfect, white Christmas. Just a week ago, I was telling a co-worker how sincerely grateful I was to get to spend Christmas Day with our families. It was like a dream come true. In 7 years of marriage, the two of us have not been with our families together on Christmas morning even once. But now that the day is here, I don’t feel excitement, I feel numb. I feel incapable of being excited. I want that excitement back, but it’s been replaced with grief.

IMG_3959Four days ago, I woke up at a healthy 6 weeks pregnant. I excitedly got ready for church, took my first official pregnancy-belly picture, kissed my cold-ridden husband goodbye, and headed out the door. I remember standing in the back row during worship singing the song “Great Are You Lord”. I remember being so prompted by The Spirit and in the moment just kept singing “you give life and you take away, you create life and you know when it ends.” I just kept singing those words over my baby, feeling the Lord so near, and thinking I was singing those words to celebrate this life. But not even minutes later, I found myself in the bathroom stall starting to lose the baby. “Not again,” I thought. “This one was supposed to be it!” I rushed home to my husband, tears streaming down my face, hoping that if I just laid down for a few hours, everything would be OK. That I wouldn’t lose this baby too, two years after losing our first baby. For a little while, we both thought we were in the clear. The spotting had slowed, I didn’t feel intense cramps. But then, I lost it. Into the toilet that little baby fell, not even the size of a quarter, and yet so amazingly and perfectly formed already. I could see his little eyes starting to form, his head, his body, his limbs that didn’t quite look like limbs, but you could see where they were coming out. That amazing little life that lived for 6 weeks in my womb, had already flipped my world upside down. We were going to have a baby! And the timing was perfect, we were going to surprise both families at Christmas. But now, now I’m left with an empty heart, a confused mind, an empty womb that is still shedding it’s contents 4 days after, as if I needed the hourly reminder that my baby died. It just feels cruel.

My husband graciously sat with me on that bathroom floor and held me, a hot-mess of a grieving momma, staring at my lost baby, unable to do or say anything but ugly-cry. And now as the last few days have come and passed, I don’t know that I feel much different. I’m unpredictable. I’m hormonal. I’m grieving. In one moment I can simultaneously feel sad for the loss, angry that God didn’t protect my baby, empty with nothing to give to people, and yet not wanting to just dump this on a stranger who I feel is being ungracious to me in my hidden grief. They should just know, right? So I push through my day with a smile on my face and anger inside. All the feels. I’ll turn my back just for a moment so I can sneak in some tears, and then turn around and smile again. I feel cautious about spending the next 10 days in NY because I just don’t know what I will feel up to each day. I don’t know who I’m going to snap at next. I feel angry towards the people who haven’t been gracious with me in the last 48 hours, because they should just know better.

I sat with a sweet friend of mine over lunch the other day, and after listening to me cry and vent for a while, she reminded me that in every one of these awful grief situations I’ve experienced the last several years, God is giving me even more of a capacity to be gracious towards others. It’s not a bandaid to try to cover up the pain, it’s just the truth. Walking through grief and death and pain is something I will never choose. We don’t get the choice, right? But we get the choice on how to respond to it. How to respond IN it. I have to chose to see God’s goodness and mercy, even when it seems unreachable. I have to choose to speak God’s truth in my mind when all I want to do is scream at Him because I don’t understand why. And choosing that mindset isn’t because it makes us feel better. Believe me, I feel like crap. I just lost a baby, that’s going to take time to heal. But I know the importance of choosing to see God for who He is and to speak that truth over my heart. And when I don’t have the strength to do that, I have friends praying it over me. Praying that someday, God will give me understanding. That someday, when our home is filled with children, I will see His perfect timing in my story. But for now, it’s ok to let go of the expectations and just grieve. To be gracious with myself foremost, so that I can be gracious with others. It’s the only way to grow.

“For I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with the full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.”  ~Philippians 1:19-20

 

 

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Comments

  1. KATHY says

    Nicole, tears sweet Nicole of love from my grieving heart for you as I just read this! I will never forget Casey in that bathroom looking down at her perfectly formed baby either. You lost me in a flood right there! I love you and your truly amazing women of God! Thank you for sharing your life experience on grief! 😢❤️🙏🏻

  2. Bernadette Peace says

    Nicole, thank you for sharing. I was unaware of your loss. Please know that you are being prayed for. Before we adopted Chad, Matt and I had a devastating miscarriage ourselves. I never understood the true grief involved in such a loss until I experienced this myself. I’m so sorry you are grieving and my prayers are for you to feel the Lord carrying your burden and holding you tight.

  3. Donald says

    Very well written and full of the Spirit. I’m sorry for your loss and I pray you and your husband are carried through this.

  4. Beth says

    Oh Nicole, I am so astounded at the incredible bravery and vulnerability you show, and my heart grieves with you as I sit here crying. This, this is so hard, but you, you, are allowing God to show you more and you’re sharing it. I don’t even know what to say. I ache for your loss, I love you, and I am praying for you.

  5. Kerri says

    Love and hugs friend. I don’t know your pain. But your reliance on the One who does is inspiring. Praying for you this week.

  6. Natalie Kassis says

    Nicole I am praying for you and your husband. I am so sorry for your loss. Your clinging to God during this time is such a huge testimony and your love for God truly inspires me. Love you so much. -Natalie

  7. Heidi Likins says

    Praying that you will feel God’s loving arms hold you together this Christmas. I, too, held a little blip of life in my hands, born December 18th and only 10 weeks old. Even the Christmas songs stung when they talked about the baby boy being born, and all I could think was “Well, mines dead.” I wish I had words that would make it all go away, but I don’t. All I know is that God is good. Every moment. Every day. And he deeply, deeply loves that sweet little one you held in your hand.

  8. Traci Ferguson says

    Dear Nicole,
    I am so sorry that you and Andrew must go through this. Please know that I will keep you in my prayers and ask God to give you strength each day as you work through the grief of the loss of your child. I know that being with your families will allow you to find much needed comfort.
    I continue to be amazed by the strength in your writings. I know you wrote this not only for yourself, but also for others who have also lost a child. Your words are woven together to bring comfort to those who feel no one understands their pain. May the knowing of what you have done for the others that have also had this experience, bring you some peace of mind and soul.

    Hugs
    Love you,
    Aunt Traci

  9. Dawn Ryckman says

    Oh, Nicole, I don’t have words to express my sorrow. May the Lord comfort and carry you. I’m so sorry this isn’t going to be the joyous Christmas you anticipated with your family, yet grateful their love can surround you during this time of grief. Praying for you and your hubby.

  10. Judy Gardner says

    Praying for you Nicole and Andrew through this ordeal. I well know how you are feeling. The best place to be is surrounded by those who love you most . Don’t hold your emotions in, God understands , let them out. I pray Gods peace that surpasses our understanding embraces you. Hugs, Judy Gardner

  11. Billy Frick says

    Thank you so much for sharing having lived through this with my wife it brought back a flood of emotions. At that time blogging was not the norm however I found journaling for both of us to be an integral part of the healing process for us!!!

  12. Pam Burgo says

    My sweet friend–your heart is amazing, even in grief. Let yourself grieve as that is how you heal. Thank you for being such an example to me and our family. You’re on my heart. ❤️

  13. Heather Keeton says

    Oh, I’m so sorry to hear this. It’s such an incredible pain that not everyone experiences. We had 3 miscarriages between our first and second, each on equally devastating. People try to help and end up saying goofy things. Sometimes you’re fine, the next second you’re a huddled crying mess, it’s just so personal. If you ever want to talk, I’m very available. May you feel God’s presence so closely this Christmas. Hugs!

  14. Rach says

    I, too, just went through the same trial! I have a little girl that took us 5 years to have. I had a big sister shirt made and pictures printed with the positive pregnancy test in picture frames ready for Christmas with my family. I even bought the Big Sister book for my daughter to take pictures with. Then, my worst fear happened. Severe cramps and we lost the baby at 6 weeks. Only…my husband just couldn’t understand the way I hurt. He thought I was over reacting to all of it. This Christmas season is going to be very hard on me. I’m praying for you, even though I do not know you. We have hope that someday we will see them again! *hugs* maybe our children are in Heaven playing together!

  15. Letasia says

    Nicole i am sorry for your hurt. Although we live on opposite side of the earth i think all woman who has experienced this grieve have alot in common. Yes people dont get it. Especially if it happens before 3 months. Like it was never important. That makes the hurt more. Its also hard not to really have anything or anyone to blame. We tend to want to blame God first. The question WHY rolls around in our minds a million times. I wanted to share with you scriptures that help me make sence of it. Job 34:10 says its impossible for God to act wickedly. Then 1 John 5:19 says that the whole world is laying in the power of the wicked one… when i meditated on this i realised that God isnt responsible for the wickedness on earth. Which makes sense since the Bible says God is love. So my next question then was why would he allow it then? I found the answers to these questions and more by studying the Bible. There is a great website that aids Bible study and has helped me alot. Its http://www.jw.org. Time heals but the scars remain. I pray that God will comfort you in this heartbreaking time. Lots of fellow woman love from accros the world. Tasha

  16. says

    Nicole, I don’t know you but I wanted to tell you how very sorry I am. I am crying right along with you as I just lost our first baby two weeks ago at 13 weeks. Like your baby, my little girl was just beautiful and perfect. I have no words that can take away the hurt, but I do know the God of all comfort sees each one of our tears and the depth of the pain and He is here with us, holding us. This Christmas I have been focused on Hope. Christ was born, and then died so that we may have life, and life eternal. We names our little one Joy, because “Sorrow will last for the night but Joy comes in the morning”. It comforts me that our Babes have seen Christ from day one and will never know any other life. Thank you again for sharing your heart.

  17. Lyndsey says

    I just lost my baby yesterday at 10 weeks. Thank you for having the courage to post about your experience. I really needed to read this during such a difficult time. May the lord lift us up and heal our broken hearts.

  18. Lo says

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. It takes courage to speak out about miscarriage but I want you to know that it touched me on so many levels. My husband and I had our second miscarriage and lost our second baby at 8 weeks a month ago. We were supposed to be announcing our pregnancy with the world this Christmas and it was supposed to be the happiest time of our lives. Instead, it is difficult to find hope and joy through the grief we are experiencing. Thank you thank you thank you for this post. I am so terribly sorry for your loss. I never want anyone to experience the pain that losing your unborn child brings and I’m so sorry you and your husband are going through this.

  19. S says

    I saw your post through Facebook and am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing in your grief. Your words spoke exactly to how my heart is feeling. We just had our second miscarriage. Reading your words has brought me some peace. I can only imagine how hard this was to share I struggle to even say the words misscarriage again. However, your words were very needed this morning.

    Thank you!

  20. Ashley says

    Nicole,

    I’m so very sorry for your loss, it’s a heart wrenching pain that seems to never dull. I too lost a baby at 6 weeks and I would be due next week on the 27th. I battled with the emotions of why my Lord would have this be a part of my story, I was full of anger inside. I soon realized that it’s his plan, not mine and he will bless me with a child when it’s time. I pray for comfort for you, I pray that every day it gets a little less harder.

  21. Amber K. says

    Nicole,

    We’ve never met, but I so feel your pain. We miscarried our first at about 6 wks. along. Our story was very similar. We were so excited to be expecting, and then it heart wrenchingly ended. Our Pastor’s wife had a baby right afterwards, and it was so hard on me. I ended up with a double kidney infection where I was two days from losing both kidneys soon after. As far as I know we miscarried again too. Then in July, after about one year and three months of marriage, we had a healthy baby girl. We were blessed with two more girls in the next three years, but then in 2015, and again this year, we had two more miscarriages that were very emotionally draining for me. They were both about identical pregnancies, and very early along, so I never even managed to get a positive pregnancy test. The hardest part for me is we were going by the “Chinese birth calendar” and so wanting a boy..or at least I was. I’ve always wanted to hand my husband a son. I’m starting to wonder if it’s not meant to be. I so know the feeling of not wanting to, but wanting to talk to someone. With the third one two people acted so disinterested, and so with the fourth I only shared our grief with a handful of close friends. I just so wanted to be comforted and consoled. The biggest consolation we have though, is that all our babies are in Heaven. So yes, I really feel your pain and loss, and if I could, would give you a hug. I’ll be praying for you.

  22. Mary Packnick says

    Nicole and your husband, I am saddened by your loss! I can’t say I understand it but only God will reveal someday, but is still with you in the pain, I pray that the Holy Spirit will be that Comforter and wrap you in HIS love. Be open with your family and allow them into your heart to give you comfort as well.
    Father, You alone understand the loss that Nicole has experienced and I ask that you comfort her and her husband. We are all at a loss to understand why these things happen. We trust you still, even in the darkness of pain and grief. Send her family the glow of Christmas to lighten the way and the burden. Amen

  23. says

    I am right with you sister. I found out I lost my fourth baby in a year on Veteran’s Day at ten weeks. Only my body had no signs of giving up my precious little one so my Dr. had me do a DNC. I know the pain and the hurt and the confusion. There is no way to truly express the pain that goes through you like a river when you lose a child. I still can’t look at babies without my heart aching, but you are so right about it’s about we go through that matters. I want to curl up in a ball most days and be a victim for having my baby taken away, but I know that isn’t what my babies or God would want me to do. My little angels are in heaven and I can’t wait to meet them. So while I wait, I too am trying to grieve well and have the grace of God still shine through. But it’s definitely not easy. Prayers going for you and your husband.

  24. Jessica says

    Thank you , thank you, thank you. I needed to read this . My husband and I just had a second miscarriage beginning of this month. Some days you feel like giving up. But it is ok to grieve. Prayers and strength coming your way! ❤

  25. Joan Palmer says

    So sorry! I had 6 miscarriages before I had 3 healthy babies, so don’t give up, keep trying. There IS hope. It turned out that I had low thyroid, so it could be something simple like that. Good luck and God bless!

  26. Dilara says

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. I came across your post via Facebook and although I don’t know you, I feel your pain. I too lost an angel so close to Christmas. My story is similar to yours, it happened on December 18th of last year. I was 8 weeks pregnant & we were so excited to tell our family during Christmas. It was my 2nd miscarriage and the loss just gutted me. I am still grieving a year later, partly because I went through a 3rd miscarriage this past summer. I was almost 10 weeks along this time. It is easy to feel helpless & to lose hope at times. I admire your faith to get you through this difficult time, I also applaud you for being brave enough to put this out there; it is not an easy story to share & you’ve done it with such grace. I will keep you in my prayers and hope that you can find some peace this Christmas.

  27. Tina Watkins says

    My heart goes out to you and I’m crying with you! There are no words for me to say to make things better. Nothing stands in for a lost baby (we had 5 miscarriages) and it’s not only okay to grieve but it’s okay to be angry. You will never “get over it” so feel free to just smack anyone who tries to tell you to do that. You will always have the scars! Praying that you are able to let God comfort you as He carries you through this!

  28. Bri says

    Nicole, my broken heart beats with yours. I had my first pregnancy in September nd we never got to hear the heartbeat. I had to have a D&C October 25th. Christmas has been a mess of brokenness and loss -especially with all of the other pregnancy announcements and the ache of knowing I would’ve been opening presents for the baby. I know God is still good. But life still sucks sometimes. Know that I’m lifting you up in prayer during this time. Without the ones who kept lifting me up, I wouldn’t have made it even this far.

  29. Lina says

    Thank You for sharing. We lost our first child 7 months ago (after two and a half years of trying to conceive). Soon after that, my beloved grandfather passed away (with whom I had a “deal”- he had to live long enough to meet at least one of my children). This Christmas is the hardest, the saddest in my life. I’m so full of anger and despair. I just don’t know how to accept the way my own life is “happening” in front of me. And I feel God has completely abandoned me. I constantly blame Him for taking my child away and for not giving me the grace of parenthood. My younger brother and his wife are expecting, few of my friends too, and we’re supposed to be happy for them, but I just feel empty and frozen. I am fascinated with Your faith. I would love to be able to forgive God, but it seems impossible for me. I just don’t know how to be happy again, how to hope.. Please pray for me, I don’t even know how to pray anymore..

  30. Monica Goodnough says

    My Dearest Nicole,
    MY heart is filled with joy, pride and love for you my daughter in law. I grieve with you over the promise of holding our little one. I know one day we will, but my heart would have loved to have this precious one fill your home with music, laughter,cries, and sticky hands full of hugs. I am so thankful that you and Andrew turn your hearts to the Lord, to each other and trust him through the shadow of death. I am so thankful that you could hold each other and cry together. This Christmas has been special. I have always dreamed of how you and Andrew would surprise Dad and I with the news of our Grandchild, so I can only imagine the fun you and Andrew have been having laughing and planning the big reveal of your happy news. Through your openness you have allowed me to share in the life of my Grandchildren and I thank you for this. You shared your life with me and I love you. I am proud of you for sharing your life in a public way to bring glory to God. The verses at the end, Phillipians 1:19,20 have always been my life verses You are living it even when it hurts. We are comforted by the Spirit who gives us peace that passes all understanding even while we grieve together.

  31. Janet says

    Thankyou for sharing your heart as so many women can relating. I cried thru this post as I too found on on a Sunday morning before church and was overwhelmed in worship as I sang the words with all my heart. It took me a awhile to sing like that again.
    Cling to the words and reminders of your friend. I can’t tell you how many times those words rang true in my own story.
    I love you Nicole.
    -Janet

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