Tag Archive: parents


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.

some more quotes from ‘Prayer: Does it make any difference?’ by Philip Yancey, which i am really enjoying at the moment:

‘In Jesus’ day tax collectors, prostitutes and unclean persons reached out their hands to receive God’s grace while religious professionals closed theirs into tight fists. In receiving a free gift, having open hands is the only requirement.’ [pg. 23]

‘Most parents feel a pang when the child outgrows dependence, even while knowing the growth to be healthy and normal. With God, the rules change. I never outgrow dependence, and to the extent I think I do, I delude myself. Asking for help lies at the root of prayer: the Lord’s Prayer itself consists of a string of such requests. Prayer is a declaration of dependence upon God.

A character in one of Henry Adam’s novels cries out in frustration, “Why must the church always appeal to my weakness and never to my strength!” I can think of several reasons. In a world that glorifies success, an admission of weakness disarms pride at the same time that it prepares us to receive grace. Meanwhile, the very weakness that drives us to pray becomes an invitation for God to respond with compassion and power.’ [pg. 27]

‘We must lay before Him what is in us, not what ought to be in us,’ wrote C.S.Lewis. To put it another way, we must trust God with what God already knows.’ [pg. 32]

for more thoughts from Philip Yancey on prayer, 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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