On Being a Childless Mother

I’ve thought long and hard about whether or not to share this. It’s intensely personal and painful, and sometimes it can be dangerous to share those parts of ourselves. But I feel as if I cannot write anything more until I get this out.

On November 6, 2013, I found out I was pregnant. We had just started trying to grow our family and were so excited to have succeeded so quickly. Then, four days later, on November 10, I began to miscarry. This is my letter to our baby.

Dear Baby,

We knew from the start this could happen—
I with my “defect,” he the miracle child,
And yet, we dared to hope.

When I woke up that Wednesday morning, and I knew,
(It was early, but I knew you were there),
We dared to dream.
Later that day, the confirmation—
You were a faint pink line on a store-bought pregnancy test.
I could hardly wait to tell your daddy. We had hoped for you, prayed for you, and you were coming.
We started planning and dreaming—whom would we tell first? How would we tell them?
Would you have your daddy’s eyes? Your mommy’s hair?
Would we name you after your grammies or your grampas?
I was bursting to share our news.
We thought about practical things too, like diapers and baby clothes and what it would cost to raise you.
I read blogs and pregnancy sites and downloaded an app to track your progress.
“Next week Baby’s heart will start beating,” I told your daddy. He smiled.
We called you “Baby Bean,” “Baby J,” and “Junior.”
We hoped you would be a boy.

And yet, in the hope, there was fear.
The line was so faint,
And I thought maybe I was imagining it, but it seemed fainter still when I tested again three days later.
I started to hurt and hoped it was normal pregnancy symptoms.
But I was afraid.
And Sunday night, it started.
We were visiting friends, saying goodbye, when you began your goodbye to us.

Sunday night, Monday,
The pain in my body could not compare to the excruciating pain in my heart.
Did I lose you? Or did you let go?
Was there anything I could have done differently?
Would my body ever deliver a baby?

We told your family—grammies and grampas and aunts and uncles.
We had hoped for so much happier news.
“Cedar’s little cousin went to Heaven sometime yesterday or today,” I told your uncle Josh,
And I cried. Your daddy and I both cried. We missed you so much.
And our hearts broke and felt like they would not stop breaking.

It was four-and-a-half weeks.
And although you were in our lives just a few short days,
You will be in our hearts for a lifetime.


8 thoughts on “On Being a Childless Mother

  1. Jessica, I had no idea you guys were going through this. We found out we’re expecting just a couple days after you so this really hits home for me. I’m so sorry for the heartache you’re experiencing and I want you to know that I’m praying your heart and body will heal and that you’ll be able to have the family you hope for.
    We love you.

    • Thanks for the note, Kari. Yeah, it’s kind of hard to know how close in age our babies would be, but that doesn’t take away at all from the joy I have for you and Darren… I’m excited for you and wish you all the best in your new adventure. 🙂

      Thanks so much for your prayers. It’s been harder this month–for no apparent reason, really–so it means a lot to know people care and are praying.

    • Thank you for the lovely comment, Bianca. Since sharing our story, I’ve been amazed at how many other couples have been through a miscarriage. We’re still there too, waiting for God to bless us with children. Sending hugs and prayers your way!

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