Tag Archive: losing a child


Taboo Topics is a series dedicated to sharing stories from real live people [mostly who i know] on real life issues, situations or experiences that are seldom spoken about for various reasons. So far the topics that have been addressed [with links to all the stories] are the following:

Abortion

Adoption

Eating Disorders

Infertility

Losing a Baby

Pornography and Masturbation

Singleness

I hope these will be of encouragement to you and to friends and family who you know who have been through similar things – please feel free to share the stories or send links to people who you think might appreciate them.

love brett “fish” [brettfish@hotmail.com]

one imagines that once you are pregnant all goes well and a perfect offspring is born. that’s how i felt cos i’d had an easy 1st pregnancy and my daughter(Ro-anne) was perfect.

so when i was pregnant again i was soo shocked when i started bleeding, the doc told me to go to bed but nothing helped i lost the baby. i was devastated especially as i did not have a DnC but flushed my baby down the toilet. we are talking 30 yrs ago. also these things were not spoken about then and you had to muddle through by yourself.

the same story happened with the next baby.

praise God baby number 4 (Bronwyn)was full term and healthy.

again two more miscarriages. the hours of silent weeping in the middle of the night, blaming myself for doing something wrong. in the 3rd miscarriage i went to the doc and was lying on the examination bed, i was alone in the room and there was only one door which i could see. all of a sudden i felt a presence in the room, i calmed down and suddenly i felt that it didn’t matter why i lost the babies, God knew the full story and He is sovereign. the doc came and gave an ultra sound – i saw the baby in the middle of the womb but not attached, but this time i was comforted although i still cried. it was a peace that passes understanding.

another beautiful daughter arrived (Valerie)

after that i had 2 more miscarriages. the last 1 the baby had reached 4 months and we could all feel it moving and then it died, i had to have a DnC. i had a battle with myself cos i did not feel i had the emotional ability to face another miscarriage, but felt i could not leave my 3 daughters with such a negative view of pregnancies so i tried again. the baby went full term and was another beautiful daughter (Shana meaning Blessing) I felt that was an appropriate name considering the miscarriages.

how did i stay sane through all this? by the grace off God: he said my strength is sufficient for you. i go on without a shadow of doubt that i will see 6 children in heaven that i have not had the privilege of holding here. the 4 daughters i have have been an untold blessing to me. ‘all things work to the good of those who are called according to His purpose’. sandra.

when i have walked this road with people and they have had a stillbirth i have encouraged them to take a photo of the baby and hand and feet prints. they have all said it has helped them.

To God be the Glory Great things He Hath done.

[Sandra and Shane Duffield]

Itʼs July, Mauri phones to tell me the news, weʼre pregnant again. Whoohoo! We had been trying and Mauri had had a dream in which a date for a birth of a baby was given. So the news was, well, wow perhaps God had spoken to us about the actual birthday! We did a calculation and due date was in the ʻdate proximityʼ. Sure it was very early days, but God had spoken hadnʼt he, and so we started dreaming: is it a boy or a girl? What will they look like, be like? And how will they play with Kristen?

A couple of weeks later Mauri comes into the lounge with an anxious, slightly panicked look on her face, she is spotting and the bleeding was getting heavier. The next day we are in our doctorʼs surgery and he confirms our fears. A miscarriage.

Itʼs only a miscarriage, just a miscarriage, we carry on with life, right? Hey in the old days no one would have even known, and the bleed put down as a late period. Thatʼs what some have said. I begin thinking along those lines too: itʼs not like weʼve lost a baby. Or have we? Almost as if right there and then i have the wrestle of our time: when does life begin? Iʼm struggling to know what i should be feeling in the midst of Mauriʼs emotions, strengthened by hormonal changes in her body. I write to a mentor of mine and his wisdom to us is that we need to name the baby and say goodbye. That shouldnʼt be too difficult? Mauriʼs instinct was that it was a girl. We had a name we were going to use if we had another girl, and so we named her Bethany, had to name her Bethany because to choose any other name would be to discount the life that had been there. It was at that point that Mauri and I wept together. I was so surprised by how pained i felt, how disappointed I was.
It was so much harder to say goodbye that i had imagined.

Itʼs so easy for me to delegitimize my feelings because otherʼs have had it much harder. Which is true. But thatʼs not right either. When life is formed it is only right for us to expect that, that ultimately life will be birthed. When it doesnʼt there is the sense of something stolen, of an incompletion. I sometimes still cry when i have to think about or share that experience (like now) and know the deeper pain of many others who have lost their babies.

Mauri fell pregnant, quite unexpectedly, not long after that and our little boy, Jesse is about to turn 2. I canʼt imagine life without him but sometimes wonder how Bethany would have fitted into our family.

a little while ago [well, a month it seems] i started a series called Taboo Topics where i wanted to look at some serious issues in life that deeply affect people but that rarely get spoken about. The first one, losing a baby, was something that had been on my heart for a long, long time because of knowing some friends who had been through it and having a glimpse of how devastating it must be, especially if you are carrying it along and feeling like you are the only one… an old friend of mine, Graeme, boldly stepped forward and shared their story from his perspective and a lot of people read it and were encouraged and it is now my privilege to share the same story, but from his wife Nicole’s perspective. Thank you, Nicole, for the strength you show in sharing this with us:

As you can see, it’s taken me a whole month to work up the courage to read this blog…. When Graeme told me that Brett had asked if he could post our story, I was not in a good head space, so told Graeme to go ahead, but that I couldn’t do it. Now, with Zoe’s 5th anniversary behind me, I feel I’m in a better space now, so I thought I’d head on over here and read all the stories he’s posted so far. Each of them broke my heart…. I know the pain hidden under the words each of them uses.

As with all couples, even having experienced the same event, my journey has been different to Graeme’s. As a mother, you connect with your child physically and emotionally long before it’s born. When I heard the news initially, that the doc couldn’t find a heartbeat, I was so sure it was just faulty equipment. I went into denial immediately. But after half an hour, the reality finally hit me. I was so devastated, and crying so hard, I nearly vomited on the floor. When the doc told me that it would be better for me physically, as well as emotionally, to go through natural labour (Zoe was 37 weeks), I wanted to hit her. I thought for sure she was joking. Yet, in retrospect, she was absolutely right.

We were given a private labour ward, with a dedicated mid-wife (so no extraneous staff wandering in and out, or noise from other labour wards to bother us), and at the end, our minister and his wife were allowed to join us, so we could wash Zoe, dress her, and hold a short ceremony for her immediately. I still remember the sound her body made as it slipped from me…. a dull thud followed by silence….

We didn’t find out until later that the name Zoe means life.

Something that gave me (and continues to give me) tremendous comfort was a vision that one of my friends had in which she saw Jesus take Zoe into heaven cuddled in his arms. To know that she’s loved, and cared for, and is in the best possible place…that is a great source of comfort to me.

I don’t believe that God made this happen. I don’t believe that God even allowed this to happen. Something as evil as killing an innocent, unborn child on the cusp of life could only come from the pit of hell itself. For the longest time though, I blamed God for failing to take action, for failing to save Zoe’s life.

Now though, I have Nathan (his name means ‘Gift of God’). There’s no way he will ever replace Zoe – not in a million years. But I know that if she had not died, he would not have been born. Right from the get-go, when we dedicated him, we asked that God would use him to heal and bless, and to bring joy into the lives of those he touches. God has honoured our prayer, and Nathan has already brought such healing and joy into ours.

I still don’t know ‘why’ Zoe died. I don’t know why we were targeted in this way. I don’t for one minute believe that Zoe’s death was part of God’s plan. Yet, I know that God has redeemed what Satan intended for evil. For both Graeme and I, our faith has been tested in the fire. The dross has been (and is being) burned away. Although we’ve still got a-ways to walk, I know that now our faith is real in a way that it never was before. We’ve also been able to comfort others with the comfort we have received – through Born Sleeping (our support group). Plus there is the blessing of the child who would not have been – Nathan – if not for his sister’s death.

As Graeme said, the grief is never far from the surface, but that doesn’t mean our lives are joyless. We have simply learnt how to tolerate indescribable pain, to allow it to wash over and through us, until we can breathe again. We have learnt how to live and love and laugh despite our pain. Having said that, please don’t think I’ve got grief taped, or that I have all the answers. If I were to go through this again, as Sandi & Mike, and Debbie & Bruce, have had to do I think I’d probably fall apart just as much, just as quickly, and take just as long to be put back together.

Losing a child…. it really is one of the hardest things any parent can go through, and unless you’ve been through it yourself, with the greatest respect, I don’t think you have a clue what it’s like…. which is probably why so many people don’t like to talk about it: everyone else says such banal things, insensitive things, the platitudes that are like a dagger in your heart and a slap through the face. Which is why Brett’s blog is so important. We need spaces to talk openly about our pain, and about how the pain makes us re-evaluate our lives, our values, our beliefs, our faith, our hopes, our dreams, our plans. And others need to hear it, to learn how to deal with us, and to help us grapple with issues of faith.

So thanks, Brett, for having the courage to open the lid on on this can. I just hope the worms turn into butterflies sooner rather than later.

Nicole [Nicole Masureik and Graeme Broster]

Born Sleeping Website – http://bornsleeping.wordpress.com/
Born Sleeping Facebook Page – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Born-Sleeping/150344014978601

if you would like to read the other stories that were shared, click here.

this series of blog posts has been on my heart and mind for well over a year and i am excited to finally be at the point of getting started on it.

there are a number of incredibly important, life-transforming, heart-breaking life events that happen to huge numbers of people that no-one, or very few people, ever seem to talk publically about – and so for the most part there are hundreds or thousands of people living quietly and alone with their pain or confusion, struggling along as if they are the only ones that have gone through that thing and as if help or advice or at the very least understanding is not freely available.

my hope with ‘Taboo Topics’ is to be able to deal with one of those topics at a time by finding people who have experienced the very thing in question and are brave enough to share their stories and hopefully also offer some insight and advice as to how they managed to get up again, dust themselves off and keep going…

and the first one that i am wanting to look at is a hectic topic – that of losing a child and i am specifically wanting to look at miscarriage or stillbirth so a baby that has died before it has been given birth to, or very soon after, before the parents concerned really get a decent chance to build relationship. i heard a while back that this is a lot more frequent than most people would expect and i know that i have hardly ever heard about it and so there must be a lot of people silently suffering alone [or alone as a couple] with something that is either too painful or shameful to speak about.

i really hope this blog series will be a light at the end of that dark tunnel for a lot of you. by simply writing my intentions as a facebook status i was inundated with responses from a number of very brave people who want to share their stories and so i am wanting to create a space for them to do so. if you know of someone who you think will benefit from hearing the stories that follow, please feel free to cut and paste/tweet/share/link/email, whatever it takes to let them know that these stories are here.

you are not alone. there is a light. and there are many people who have walked this road and are walking it and will offer you support where you are on it.

click here to read an amazing series by Christa Black on losing her daughter titled ‘How I know God didn’t kill my baby girl.’

click here to read the story of Graeme and Nicole

click here to read the story of Heidi and Shaun

click here to read the story of Sandi and Mike

Jennifer (and Allyn) Harris Dault has shared a whole series of blog posts with us as she walks through this difficult time.

click here to read the story of Debbie and Bruce [infertility and losing a child]

click here to read the mother’s side of the first story we shared as we hear from Nicole, Graeme’s wife

click here to read the story of Grant and Mauri

click here to read the story of Sandra and Shane

five more stories and links to resources including those of David and Sarah Seabrook, Cath, Margaret Ann and Adam Schaaf, Rory and Debbi Windell and Adrian and Benita Wright

and finally a rather more hardcore, in your face, pull-no-punches, commentary specifically for those who have not gone through it, from someone who is still living through the pain

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