Sunday, July 1, 2012

Loving & Losing

I’m finding it very difficult to write the words I am feeling tonight.  I’m doing it though because I know that this pain will never be as fresh and as raw as it is now.  I’ve been very open in the past several months about sharing my struggles with other women.   I don’t like the thought of walking alone through my struggles, and I just as equally don’t want other women walking alone.  I don’t believe that God intended us to privately suffer through life’s hardships.  And so, even though this in itself is a very private struggle, I’m going to look for the words to share and to express my heart tonight because I believe other women might need to hear it. 

After Mackenzie was born, I said I was done having babies.  I swore I was done.  The idea of bringing another baby home after having postpartum depression the first time just seemed foolish.  I had one beautiful little girl and that seemed like it could be enough. But in my gut, I never felt like our family was complete.  This past winter I really began to go back and forth about having another baby.  And when I say I went back and forth, I mean I wrestled.  Hard.  Some nights I didn’t sleep.  Some days I cried over the decision.  A close friend advised me to give the decision over to the Lord.  So I did.  I began to pray.  I prayed he would give me the desire for more children.  Some days I prayed that He would intervene and give us a “surprise” baby so that the decision would be less of my own and completely a “God thing”.

This spring, a reoccurring theme seemed to begin playing out in our lives.  The theme revolved around fear and letting fear control us.  As a couple, we decided that ultimately, it was fear that was keeping us from choosing to expand our family.  And we decided that God did not design us to live in fear. 

And now, it’s summer. And while I would love to share with you the news that we are pregnant and expecting our second baby, I can’t.  I do however, have several positive pregnancy tests lined up on our dresser and a stack of pregnancy books nearby.  And each of them I want to burn.  Or hurl into the nearest lake.  This past week we experienced one of the most gut wrenching and painful things to go through.  We lost our sweet second baby.  To say we are heartbroken would be an understatement. 
There are many things that keep running through my head.  Feeling sorry for myself tops the list.  I’m working on moving past that one.  And, as you can tell by the, “hurling my pregnancy books in the lake” comment, I’m definitely moving right along into the angry camp. 

But most of all, I’m just so incredibly sad.  I am grieving the loss of a life that will never be lived. I am grieving for the son my husband will never get to play basketball with.  I am grieving a daughter I will never get to read bedtime stories to or snuggle and kiss goodnight.  I’m grieving for the little brother or sister that Mackenzie prayed for every night as she wrapped her little arms around my belly and gave kisses.

Practically speaking, I know that miscarriages happen.  They happen fairly often and they happen for a reason. I know that this isn’t an experience I am going through alone.  But emotionally speaking, this is just so incredibly hard.  We envisioned a life with this child.  We were planning for a future as a family of four.  We already had names picked out and were mentally rearranging our furniture to make room for this new life.  We were ready for this baby. 

It is a little bit ironic to me, to look back on the journey I have been on as a mother.  After Mackenzie was born I went through a big identity crisis.  I struggled with knowing exactly what my new role in life was.  Was I now “just” a mother?  Could I still be a runner?  Could I still go out with friends and enjoy life even though there was a little person at home depending on me?  Eventually I came to a place of realizing that my identity was not lost but just expanded.  I gained a part of my identity when my daughter was born.  I write all of this to say that that moment I conceived this second baby, my identity expanded even more.  I am not just the mother of Mackenzie.  Now I am a mother of two children.  One of whom I have the privilege of raising here on earth, the other, I believe is waiting for me in the arms of Jesus.  For whatever reason, God chose to bring that baby home to Him.  And it is painful.  This pain I feel, this longing for that baby, is so great and cuts so deep to my heart. And yet, I know that eventually I will be okay.  Not today. Probably not for a long time.  But eventually, I will be okay.

This week was hard.  Probably the hardest week we've had as a family.  And yet, it was a week of bonding.  A week of praying and cuddling and crying.  A week of saying goodbye.
I'm not really sure where we go from here. I can say that fear has once again crept back into the realm of defining my thoughts and future plans.  The idea of trying for another baby and possibly losing that baby too just seems like it would be too much to handle.  And yet, I was reminded today by a friend that ultimately we must choose whether taking certain risks in life are worth it.  If we want to expand our family we are going to have to take that risk.  I believe the risk would be worth it to expand my identity even more.  To become a momma to a third baby would be such a privilege and a risk worth taking.  And someday down the road, I hope to be able to share that happy news with all of our friends and family.


  1. Good to hear you grew closer as a family. What a brave step forward you took in your grief by sharing on your blog. We are here for you, friend.

  2. Britt, we had no idea. I am so sorry for the loss you guys suffered! Please know you aren't alone in the grief, we are grieving with you! If you or Jer ever need to talk, you know you can call Caleb and me. I think you are incredibly brave. We're praying for your healing!

  3. I am so very sorry for your loss--- sending much love.

  4. I'm so sorry for your gut-wrenching loss. I'm praying for your family today. Love you. -Mer

  5. I'm very sorry for your loss. I know how hard and gut wrenching it truly is. I pray for peace and comfort for you during this time.

  6. Hurting with you, and praying for God's sovereign peace. Love ya girl.

  7. My heart aches for you and your family. My prayers go out to you