Just over 13 years ago my world changed drastically with the tragic death of our sweet baby. She was our first child and we lost her unexpectedly.
After 9 months of dreaming, planning, and counting down the days until she was born, my pregnancy ended in a full term stillbirth. I was in labor and during childbirth she suddenly died. There was no possible way to save her through an emergency c-section and after delivering my baby, I was in complete shock and denial.
Stillbirth is defined as the death of a baby before or during delivery, after 20 weeks of pregnancy. In about half of stillbirths the cause is not known.
Ours was caused by an abnormally short umbilical cord which then caused placental abruption. Something we wouldn’t have known. A quick, unpredictable, unpreventable complication that arose during the time her sweet soul was to meet the world, instead her sweet life went to be with Jesus. The only truth that comforted me that moment.
We were devastated. We were lost.
Although we heard many times everything happens for a reason. God has a plan for you and he only gives you what you can handle. I know it’s meant well because honestly what do you say to a mother who just lost her child. It’s a situation that is heartbreaking for everyone and we are left wondering why?
Through out my journey of grief the why was questioned from pain, but for my heart, mind and soul to heal, was to stop asking why and just allow God to comfort me through my grief. He was hurting just like we were.
Part of my healing was creating a memory of her life to share with others. Sharing my pregnancy memories, honoring her and living her legacy. Her life meant everything to me and was a gift. She expanded my heart more than ever, taught me endlessly about loving others and compassion for all in all. Jesus changed me in every way possible through grief. She taught me to love in a way I have never known, and her death taught me a way to grieve in a way I have never imagined.
Grief hurts and hurt people hurt people. This was so hard because the grief was unbearable most days. When hurt people hurt people, it creates a pattern that needs to be broken. I had to face my anger with sympathy and compassion towards my very own grief and loss.
Honestly, there are days it still hurts. There were days it hurt our marriage. There are days I was so hurt that I didn’t think I could move on. But chasing joy and facing grief head on taught me so much more about life. I shared above but it also taught me a lot compassion and love for others. It strengthened my faith and trust in Jesus. I didn’t want to create ripples of hurt and the cycle didn’t need to continue what I was seeing in the world of grief.
If we want to heal the world, we first have to heal ourselves. We have to overcome. We have to mend the broken hearted because we were called to carry that calling when others are faced with devastation. Jesus showed me compassion through him and others. Jesus healed my heart.
I still miss her everyday and her loss is still very real no matter the time. My daughter is rooted deep in my soul. I will share her story the rest of my life to bring awareness to stillbirth, baby loss, grief and healing. To bring the comfort and love of Jesus to the world. To shine the light of Jesus for others through compassion and joy in the midst of trials and heartache. The most comfort of all is to know that when she opened her eyes for the very first time she saw the face of Jesus.
Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones. (NIV)