Hope After Loss

Sitting on the exam table for the ultrasound, J and I could see our precious babe: heart pounding, hands waving and legs kicking – a perfect little miracle. At 20 weeks we were hopeful that maybe this impromptu ultrasound would result in a gender reveal. But as the tech continued to move the wand she paused and asked us to wait while she called for the doctor. A person I had never met before – but who has since become precious to me – walked in. Dr. Abarca, one of six doctors in my OB/GYN practice, looked at the ultrasound and in silent agreement dismissed the tech from the room.

She calmly and compassionately explained that I was dilated to 4cm. She then put me in a wheelchair and pushed me across the parking lot to the hospital where they would attempt to keep me pregnant. However, as soon as they got me settled, my water broke.

Twelve hours later, Samuel Evan was born. Stillborn.


I went home later that day to a quiet house and an empty womb. I would stare into the bathroom mirror with a hand on my abdomen and wish/beg/cry to feel my baby’s – my Samuel’s – movements. In the beginning I thought I would never be “normal” again. How could life go back to the way it had been before such a loss?

But hours turned into days and days to weeks, and slowly the pain numbed and I didn’t cry as much. Local friends brought meals, my Bible study girls, my co-workers and even my doctor’s office sent flowers, Facebook “friends” I didn’t know well or hadn’t seen in years sent cards. I felt so loved in the midst of my deep pain. {Check out my post on the Hello, Darling blog for ways to love on a hurting mom.}

You never “recover” from losing a child, but life does return to a new semblance of normal. God has graciously blessed us with another child {my sweet baby girl Reagan} who takes up much of my waking hours. But little things remind me of Samuel – a song on the radio, a holiday {we found out we were expecting him the day after Thanksgiving two years ago}, even fast food {which I craved during his pregnancy}. Although I can only hold one of my babies in my arms, my heart is full of love for each of my children.

*This article originally appeared in The Fridge Door, a weekly e-newsletter from MOPS International.

One comment

  1. Dear Rachel,
    It was on July 4, 1974 that we lost our 5th child at less than 4 months. It was a “cord accident”, and we still celebrate him or her (we never knew the gender) as part of our family. The worst part was trying to console our older four children, which actually helped us realize even more deeply how precious life is, and how gifted we are with faith in eternal life. When we found that we were to be blessed with our 6th child, again it was the older ones who were concerned, so we talked a lot, and tried to reassure them of the probability that all would be well…but 6 months is a long time to live on hope for children (9-15 at the time). Now adults with their own children, they still treasure their “baby” brother who has two children of his own. I share this with you only that you may find comfort in knowing that the emptiness is eventually filled with the joy of knowing that your Samuel is rejoicing in the glory of the Lord.

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