A Stillborn Heart

October 31, 2010 by Audreys · 1 Comment 

There was a time recently when I looked back to the day Katelyn Grace died and felt numb inside. It started on August 15th; 2 years to the day from when Katelyn was born still. Without knowing it, my grieving of her changed and my own heart became stillborn. I lost my joy and started to withdraw from my quiet time with the Lord. This might sound elementary, but it is more damaging than you realize.  Believe me when I say that there is no worse feeling than when you lose your joy. Joy is pure, innocent delight and happiness. It is the feeling that you just want to start rejoicing for the utter beauty of what you feel. It is knowing you have a savior that loves you with an everlasting love.  The opposite is misery, sorrow, and utter despair. It is really grief without hope.  And it is not a feeling I ever want to experience again. 

I couldn’t wait to get my joy back. I knew that all I had to do was ask and God would answer my need. But instead, I waited a while. I was afraid my memories of spending those few hours with Katelyn would grow more distant as time passes, and in doing so I lost sight of the big picture.  But God brought me back to Him and once again graced me with the joy I needed to truly trust in Him.   I remember reading this verse from Psalms and being comforted by the promise that He will hear me when I cry out to Him.  “I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, and he will hear me.”Psalm 77:1

Whether we think we need it or not, we do need God’s grace every minute of every day.  It is very easy to lose sight of that when everything in our lives is going exactly how we want it to. But when things go awry, we quickly realize that without God’s grace we would not be able to get through each of these seasons. Looking back to the months before Katelyn was born still, I admit that I lost sight of that. I wasn’t looking forward to Katelyn’s birth as a gift from God; rather I was looking forward to her birth since that was what I expected. I was expecting her to be born healthy, strong and beautiful. It never even crossed my mind that anything tragic would happen to her. I was expecting everything to work out as planned.  We call it ‘expecting a child’ because that is exactly what mothers and fathers everywhere are doing.  They are expecting a child. They are expecting the dream of becoming a parent to come true. They are not giving any thought to something happening outside of their expectations.  So when a baby dies, it is common to go through a period of time where you feel completely lost. And for those of you like us who have no medical answers as to why your baby died, it is even more difficult to keep your thoughts on the path to healing. But it is even more difficult to grieve without joy, without knowing deep down that God is crying with you. So if you feel you have lost your joy, just say a simple prayer and ask God to make your heart fruitful again, to bring the joy of being with Him back into your heart. And He will…

When Katelyn was born without life, I was reminded of God’s comfort, of God’s compassion, of His presence with us everywhere we go. It also became clearer to me that there is a bigger picture. We might not be planners, but God is. Sometimes it is hard to believe that the same God who spoke the universe into being chose us to spread His word through Baby Angel Grace. Even though Katelyn had to be born in Heaven for God to fulfill His purpose for us, I am ever thankful for His grace and the pure joy in knowing she is in His arms and we will see her again.

I leave you with a verse that made me smile after I finished writing this post. I pray it does the same for you. “This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.” Psalm 119:50




Luke - Bringer of Light and Truth

July 20, 2010 by Audreys · 3 Comments 

Luke - Bringer of Light and Truth


Here is the story of baby Luke, born in Heaven on May 24, 2010.  I am thankful that his mom Lindy was willing to share him with us.  Her testimony reminds me of how much we need to lean on Jesus to get us through the loss of an infant.  It has been almost 2 years since we lost Katelyn Grace, but the only thing that keeps us going is the knowledge that we will see our little girl again, just like through their strong faith Luke’s family will be able to see him again. I am reminded again of 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.” (ESV)

“Luke Braedan Cummings was born on May 24, 2010 @ 10:22pm weighing 8 lbs. & 14 oz and was 21 1/4 in. long. I was 38 wks & 5 days and scheduled to be induced in 2 days. At my regular visit I was sent for observation. All labs came back normal & an ultrasound revealed no problems. Luke came off the monitor & it was a while before they came in to find him. That’s when everything changed. They put oxygen on me & said they found his heart rate but his baseline dropped…again they said he was fine. The doctor on call said Luke probably wouldn’t tolerate labor but we’d try.  I watched the monitor but his heart rate was not coming up. When the dr. came in a couple of minutes later I told her to do a c-section. I just wanted him here & safe. I was in the operating room within 10 min. but the atmosphere was very lighthearted and they weren’t in a hurry. My husband was brought in with the camera ready but I knew the minute he was born something was wrong. I asked why he wasn’t crying and the doctor told me it would take a minute. The last thing I remember saying is “God please let my baby cry”  When I came to in a room I kept telling my mom “He’s gone; my baby’s gone”. As a mother I just knew. My worst fears were confirmed when my husband came in with the NICU dr. She looked at me and said “Mrs. Cummings Luke didn’t make it”. My mother says at night she can still see my face and hear me repeating over and over “My baby, my baby”. NILMDTS came in the next day & provided us with the only memories we’ll have with Luke. We buried our little boy on 6/1/10. The doctors have no idea what happened & had no idea it was going to happen. I went into the operating room thinking I was doing what was best for him but my efforts were useless.

We have 2 beautiful children with us: Bryleigh is almost 7 & Ethan is almost 6. I’m not sure we will try again. That is something I’m torn over. Anyone who has been through this suffers from what I call “Empty Arm Syndrome”. We know God knows what is right for us & in His time it will be revealed to us. I just want Luke’s story out there so maybe it can help others. His life had meaning and purpose and it is up to me to be his voice! I tell my kids that Luke was so special that Jesus decided to bring him home but that we are just as special because Jesus doesn’t give everybody their own special ‘angel’. I tell them this because I don’t want them to grow up feeling like a victim of some random tragedy. I also tell them this to reassure myself that I’m not a victim of some random tragedy but sometimes that is what I feel like. “He knows the plans He has for me” and I have to cling to that. I am so blessed to have been given the chance to carry Luke in my womb & I rest in knowing that he knew me. He never saw me but he knew my voice; he knew his mommy. Thank you so much for taking the time to read about my angel. If there is one thing I can ask it is please pray for my husband. Sometimes I think we forget how much daddy’s hurt & how hard it is for other men to reach out to comfort a friend.

Luke means “bringer of light and truth” and God has used that little man’s 35 minutes to heal this hardened heart and bring my husband Tommy & I closer than we have ever been. Luke has already fulfilled so much more than 35 minutes worth of purpose and God uses Luke every day to draw me closer to Him.   Sometimes God draws our children into His arms so every time we look to our child we see Him. What a powerful statement! I just thought you should know that Luke has brought the light and truth of God back into my life and I will forever be changed.

Pray for Parents of Stillborn Babies on Facebook

November 10, 2009 by Audreys · Leave a Comment 

 As each day passes, we are amazed at the amount of people who visit this website.  More often than not it is because they have also lost a child.  Whether it is due to a miscarriage, a stillbirth, or an early infant death, we all have one thing in common – we are living without at least one of our children. 

There are so many websites out there that claim to “research stillbirth” and, of course, want financial donations.  There are others that claim their products can actually “prevent stillbirth”.  Interesting, to say the least.

My prayer is that you avoid these websites as we have.  A majority of the time, there is no medical reason for babies who are stillborn.  All the research in the world would not have prevented Katelyn’s death, and millions of others.  There are so many wonderful people that we have met through Katelyn’s site, and in my heart I know they believe the same about their sweet little babies. 

I was on Facebook the other day and it hit me; why don’t we start a cause for parents of stillborn babies.  Our mission is absolutely, positively not to request donations.  We just want to demonstrate our faith in the power of prayer, and make everyone aware that parents of stillborn children need prayer.  I have to admit that there have been more days than not when I relied on prayer to get me through them. 

There is also one other reason why we started a cause on Facebook.  There are so many mothers and fathers all over the world that have lost a child and yet have not been on our website.  For those who are gracious enough to share the stories of their little babies with us, we want to post their stories of faith and healing on our site.  After all, the site is not just about Katelyn and stillbirth – it is about every other baby who was either born in Heaven, or left us before we were ready to let them go. 

God Bless everyone who joins our cause and shares the message of hope and healing that we can only receive through Jesus Christ.   It is only through prayer that we can truly help parents who have lost children.  Besides, in Matthew Chapter 18, verses 19 and 20, Jesus promised, “Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”   What more could we ask for?

We would be blessed if you could join our Cause on Facebook via the following link:

 Pray for Parents of Stillborn Babies on Facebook

Joy of One, Loss of Another

August 20, 2009 by Audreys · Leave a Comment 

On August 6, 2009 we celebrated the birth of our son Blake Alexander.  9 days later we remembered the one year anniversary of the loss of our daughter Katelyn Grace. 

I have to admit, those were a tough couple of weeks.  The excitement and pure joy of looking into the eyes of my beautiful, healthy newborn son was a feeling I never imagined.  I felt even more blessed because I know how a loss can impact you and how the gift of life becomes more precious than ever.  Katelyn’s memory was so close to the surface that I spent a lot of time crying because a part of my heart is still (and always will be) empty.  I also spent a lot of time crying for pure joy because Jesus gave Scott and I a gift like no other in our little boy.      

As Blake was about to come into this world, I was given another very special gift; I suddenly had an image of Jesus holding Katelyn’s hand, standing and waiting.  As soon as Blake was born, I saw Katelyn jumping up and down in excitement.  Her dark curls bounced up and down as she clapped her hands.  Jesus stood calmly beside her, laughing with her excitement.  As Jesus took her by the hand and led her away, she turned, put her tiny hand on her lips and blew me a kiss before skipping off into the distance.

Now I don’t want to mislead anyone into thinking that there is a way we can communicate with our loved ones who have passed, or that they can somehow communicate with us.  There is nothing further from the truth.  The image in my mind was no doubt a gift from Jesus.  It was His way of letting me know that Katelyn would be excited about having a younger brother and that she knows that she will always be a part of our family.  She will always be our firstborn daughter and WE WILL meet her again someday. 

Katelyn will never be forgotten.  She was born in Heaven so to bring her Daddy and I closer to Jesus and so that we could be a resource to other parents of stillborn children.  I know and believe that without a doubt.      

As I held Blake for the first time I remember that I almost felt guilty for my happiness.  He so closely resembled Katelyn with his little apple cheeks, his dark wavy hair, and his cute little button nose.  That guilt quickly disappeared as I hugged my little boy close to my heart.  He is not a replacement for Katelyn; he is just a beautiful little boy that we will treasure forever. 

As each day passes I see more and more of Katelyn Grace in Blake, and I thank God every day for this precious little bundle that did not take Katelyn’s place, but rather gave us the hope that not only will we see Katelyn again but that we are blessed because we have turned her loss into a way to help other families with similar losses. 

My prayer is that every family who has suffered an infant loss will place their trust in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Without Him, we would be lost in our grief.  By putting our trust in Him we have been given a new life that we will dedicate to Him.          

“I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, and he will hear me.”Psalm 77:1

Jesus heard our prayer and he answered it with a little boy named Blake.

Jayden Allen - Jehovah has Heard

June 23, 2009 by Audreys · Leave a Comment 

I feel blessed when I meet other women who have lost their babies and are a wonderful testimony of how God can get us through our losses and guide us through.  After you read Cindy’s story below, I hope you are as encouraged as I was (even through my tears) at the awesome power of our Lord Jesus.   We continue to pray for Cindy, her husband Glenn, and their beautiful little girl Emma.   This is the story of baby Jayden Allen, born in Heaven on Febriuary 10, 2009. He was stillborn, but he was Still Born.


…Our story begins in July 2008.  My husband and I were so busy preparing for our daughter’s first birthday, that I didn’t notice I was late.  On August 2nd, I had a dentist appointment.  Something inside of me told me to take a pregnancy test … “just to be sure”.  Sure enough, it was positive!  I was pregnant!  The pregnancy was a complete surprise, but once the shock wore off and the news settled in, we became so excited.  We knew this baby must have been a gift from God because we were not trying to conceive at all!  So I set up my first prenatal visit and began our journey through my second pregnancy. 


In my first pregnancy, I was so nervous every time I went to the doctor’s office.  For some reason, this pregnancy, I was much less nervous.   I did experience some morning sickness and fatigue, but it was not as bad as my first pregnancy.  Once we passed the first trimester, I breathed a sigh of relief.  We were having a baby!  My due date was March 22nd, just one week after my birthday (which I also shared with my mom!) The possibility of three generations being born on the same date was exciting to me. What a blessing it would be!  Each night, we would pray together as a family.  We prayed for the safety and health of our daughter, and we prayed for our unborn child - that God would help the baby grow and develop perfectly.  We prayed that God would watch over our children and protect them… we prayed for a healthy baby. 


October rolled around, and we went for our 18 week anatomy scan.  The ultrasound tech recognized us from our previous pregnancy (it hadn’t been that long before!) and was excited to see us back.  She took all her measurements - and said everything looked good.  Then she asked if we wanted to know the sex of our child.  Yes!  So she moved the probe back over to the side of my tummy, and pointed to the screen and said “there is your little boy!”.  My eyes filled with tears and I cried with joy.  Our family was complete!  We had a beautiful girl, and now we would have a beautiful boy!  God has truly blessed us!   We left the doctor’s appointments with smiles on our faces that were from ear to ear.  We couldn’t believe it… we were going to have a little boy!


We began to think of names.  We had several from our first pregnancy, but none seemed right for our little boy.  Then one day as I was coming home from music class with our daughter, a name popped into my head.  Jayden.  I loved it! But would my husband?  That night when he got home, I asked him “What do you think about Jayden?”.  He liked it but wanted to know what it meant.  So we went online and looked up it’s meaning.  It means “Jehovah has heard”.  Perfect!  God had heard our desire to have a son and was answering our prayers.  We felt for sure that He had dropped the name in my heart for a reason.  So from that day forward, we referred to our little boy by his God given name “Jayden Allen”. 


January 6th, my father went in for a routine procedure.  I had just begun my third trimester, and because I was considered high risk, I had an ultrasound scheduled each month during the last trimester.  So I dropped my father off, and rushed to my ultrasound appointment.  I saw Jayden and heard his heart beat and everything looked good. He was growing beautifully!  The doctor joked that he was going to be a much bigger baby than my first!  But boys were supposed to be bigger and huskier!  What I didn’t know was that this would be the last time that I would see my baby alive.  My father ended up having an allergic reaction to a medication he was given during the procedure which caused him to bleed extensively internally.  He nearly lost his life.  I was so scared that my son would never meet his grandpa and wanted my daughter to have memories with him as well. For a week, it was touch and go.  We didn’t know if he would make it.  I was terribly stressed and worried. Well, after 20 days in the hospital, my father did in fact come home.  We were so relieved, but the stress had taken its toll on my body.  I told my husband that I felt worse than I had my entire pregnancy with our daughter.  In one month, I went from having a relatively pain free, fairly healthy pregnancy to feeling pains in places I didn’t know existed.


The last week of January, my daughter contracted a virus and was throwing up for three days.  It was awful to watch her so sick.  A few days passed, and she was on the mend - but not before sharing the virus with me.  I woke up on Friday morning, January 31st throwing up.  It was terrible, being eight plus months pregnant, and throwing up!  I contacted my OBGYN, and she told me that if I couldn’t hold fluid down by the evening, I would have to go to the emergency room and have IV fluids.  Well, that evening, I was able to hold some fluids down so we were saved from a trip to the ER.  Looking back now, I wish I would have gone - perhaps they would have seen something to tell us that Jayden was having trouble. 


The following week, I had the first of my weekly non stress tests.  It was Thursday, February 5th.  They strapped the monitors to my belly, which typically prompted a kick or two from Jayden - but not this time.  I thought it was odd, but also had heard that as they get bigger, they don’t move as much.  The test was reactive, my OB was satisfied and off I went.  My brother was getting married that Saturday, and I had so much to do! 


The weekend was filled with activities, and out of town guests.  I was busy and did not have time to check kick counts.  It wasn’t until the following Monday that I realized I had not felt Jayden move in a while.  I thought he was always active in the evening and after my meal.  So I waited.  We had dinner that night, and I laid on my left side.  Nothing.  I rubbed my tummy and talked to him.  I became nervous, but tried to reassure myself that he didn’t have much room to move.  But I had always felt him kick in the middle of the night.  That night I waited up.  I rubbed my tummy, drank juice. Nothing.  I grew concerned, and at 2am, I woke up my husband.  He told me to call the doctor right away.  I was so scared, so I began pushing my belly harder to wake him up.  I thought I felt him move, so I told my husband I would call first thing in the morning. 


The next day, I called as soon as the office opened.  They scheduled me a late morning appointment to come in and make sure all was ok.  I sat nervously throughout the morning but tried to keep myself busy with my daughter.  So I dropped her off at my father’s and drove to the OB.  They brought me in to the room and tried to find the heartbeat with the monitor.  The tech was having trouble, so she said she was going to have the doctor check.  She told me not to worry, the baby was hiding.  But deep down inside, I knew something wasn’t right.  They brought me down to the ultrasound room and my doctor came in.  There was no small talk.  She said “let’s see what’s going on with this baby”.  The minute she put the probe to my belly, I knew something wasn’t right.  There was no red blood flow, no beating heart.  Just the image of a very still baby.  I asked her if everything was ok.  She looked at me, and with very sad eyes she said “No, I’m so sorry.  There is no heart beat”.  With those words, my world shattered, my dreams were crushed. I was numb, and in shock, and scared, and sad all at once.  How could this be?  What happened?  What did I do wrong?  Will my husband blame me?  How could he not?  How could I tell him that our precious little boy, our gift from God, the answers to our prayers … was gone?  My doctor suggested that I call Glenn, but I couldn’t.  I asked her to call him and just have him come.  She did.  The next 45 minutes were the longest moments of my life.  When he walked in the room, I could tell he had been crying.  He hugged me, and held me and we cried together.  I must have said “I’m so sorry” a thousand times that day.  I felt like I was to blame.  Jayden relied on me for life, and I failed him.  How could my husband forgive me. 


The doctor came back in, and began to discuss our options.  Since I had a previous cesarean with my daughter, I had decided early on that we would do another section rather than chance a problem during delivery.  I felt like a walking tomb.  I wanted to deliver that day.  She accommodated my request, and arranged for the delivery that evening.  We left the office empty, left with only phone calls to make to notify our family of our loss.


One by one, we called them.  We cried, they cried.  How could this have happened?  We drove to my father’s house to pick up our daughter.  He was feeding her when we walked in.  We were so broken.  We told him Jayden was gone.  He was shocked.  Everyone was.  We sat around his house that afternoon.  My sister asked my permission to arrange a Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep photographer to come to the hospital.  I told her that was fine, but I didn’t know at that point if I would be able to hold him or see him.  I was so devastated.  She understood, and said she would take care of the details for me. 


We left my father’s house and headed to the hospital.  We felt so empty as we walked into the Labor and Delivery floor.  There was no excitement this time.  Only pain. The nurses were already aware that we were coming, and brought us quickly to a room they had prepared for us at the back of labor and delivery.  The following hour and a half is a blur as nurses and staff came in to prepare me for the cesarean.  I asked to be heavily medicated during the procedure.  I didn’t want to be awake as they took my dead baby from me.  The next I remember, I was coming to, and the anesthesiologist told me they were just about finished.  They wheeled me back to the L&D room where my husband was waiting.  I could tell that he had been crying.  He told me that he held Jayden and that he was beautiful.  The doctor came in and encouraged me to see Jayden. She told me that it would be healing.  After a few moments, I was ready.   The doctor wheeled him into the room in the plastic bucket that all newborns call their crib for their hospital stays.  He was beautiful.  They were right, he was perfect.  He was my son.  My husband and I spent the next two hours with him.  We cried, and held him.  We looked at his toes, his fingers, his nose, his ears, his hair… examining every detail of our boy.  The photographer came in and took a few pictures… pictures that are my cherished treasures now.  I look at them daily, and think of the boy that I will get to know in heaven.  We know that we will have eternity with him, and at that time, God will restore all the years that we missed with him on earth.  We know that if we just trust the Lord, and hold onto His promises, we will see Jayden again.  That brings us some comfort. 


And so it was, on February 10th, 2009, our son Jayden Allen was born into the hands of Jesus.  He was 5 lbs, 2 ozs, and was 19 inches long.  We have been on our grief journey for just over four months now.  I have forgiven myself for feeling like I failed our son.  I know that I did everything that I knew I could to take care of myself during my pregnancy.  My husband has never once blamed me.  He has been so supportive, and I love him more than ever for it. I still struggle with anger sometimes.  Angry that there are people who disregard their children, mistreat them, abuse or even abandon them - but they were given healthy children.  Angry that my husband and I wanted our son from the moment we found out that we were pregnant.  We planned for him and loved him with all our hearts, and we don’t have him here with us.  But our anger is not directed at God, rather its directed at this fallen world that we live in.  Here, there is sickness, pain, disappointment, hurt.  But we hold onto the assurance that one day, in heaven, there will be no more pain, no more sorrow, no more tears.  The bible says that he’ll wipe away the tears from our eyes.  I know he will restore my heart, and heal the deep pain that has penetrated it when we lost Jayden. 


Since Jayden passed, we have met some wonderful people who walk the same road that we do.  People we would have never met if it hadn’t been for our son, or their loss of their sweet baby.  We still miss Jayden terribly, and some days it feels as though my heart has been ripped out of my chest all over again.  We wish we knew why he had to go so soon, but are trusting in God that His ways are beyond our comprehension.  Our goal now is to make his life matter.  Bring change to someone else’s life as a result of Jayden.  Our prayer is that other parents who are experiencing the same pain as us, will also come to experience the same hope that we have.  The hope that one day, we will be reunited with our children in heaven.  There is a piece of us that will always be missing, a small void that can never be filled - because it is with our son.  But God understands our pain, and cries when we cry - and can mend our broken hearts.  My prayer for anyone reading this story is that you will understand one thing - that while we hurt deeper than I could have ever imagined, we are trusting the Lord to heal our wounded hearts.  The bible promises us that he will bind up the broken hearted.  We daily pray that God would take our burden, and give us peace.  Thank you for reading our story.  We pray that God would bless you deeply and bring you comfort.




Mother’s Day

May 10, 2009 by Audreys · Leave a Comment 

Just thinking about Mother’s Day brought some sadness with it because Katelyn was not here to spend the day with us.  At the same time I felt some joy in my heart because I was given the gift to become a Mom.  Sure we lost Katelyn, but we had the joy of meeting her, and were given the promise from our Father in Heaven that we will see her again. 

Never forget that you became a Mother when you first found out you were having a baby. 

Never forget that you became a Mom when you shed your first tear in excitement as you watched your baby move on an ultrasound, or heard his heartbeat.

No matter what anyone tells you to the contrary, you are a mother and a mom and you will always be.

So I pray that all Mothers whose babies were born in Heaven have a wonderful Mother’s Day.  I pray that when people ask you if you have children, that you respond similarly to how I have (based on your situation).  “Yes, I have a daughter, but she did not make it home from the hospital.”  I will always be a Mom, so will you.


Katelyn was stillborn but she was Still Born.  Whether your babies were considered a miscarriage, stillborn, or went to Heaven soon after birth, they are all precious in Jesus’ sight.  They were all Still Born.  Never forget that.