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.

A Loss is a Loss

March 16, 2009 by Audreys · Leave a Comment 

I finally made it to the point where I was beginning to heal enough so that I could talk about Katelyn without crying and bring her up in ordinary conversation with a smile on my face.  I would try to imagine how much fun she was having with all of the other babies that were born in Heaven, and try to imagine how Jesus was holding each of them at once.  I was healing.  But yesterday morning, for the first time in a long time, a wave of grief hit me so unexpectedly that I was unable to cope with it on my own.

Yesterday marked 7 months since Katelyn went to Heaven to meet Jesus.  To be completely honest, I wasn’t paying much attention to the dates until it hit me right in the middle of a church service yesterday morning.  It was a family-centered service where the children who normally went off to classes stayed with their parents for the service. Surrounded by children, and watching some of them run up to the stage to volunteer to sing in a special ‘volunteer choir’ and listening as they sang their hearts out brought tears to my eyes.

Toward the end of the service, there were a few guests who spoke about adoption and how God placed a desire on their hearts to adopt one or more special needs children.  The one couple spoke of a very early miscarriage (after just a few weeks) and how devastating that was for them.  I then thought to myself, how can a loss that early on be nearly as devastating as losing a child who is within days of being born. I admit I was ashamed at my thoughts, because a loss is a loss, but I have trouble relating their situation to ours since we were within days of holding our newborn baby girl and then her little heart stopped for no medical reason at all.

I just sat for the remainder of the service weeping.  I was emotionally spent and feeling very guilty about my thoughts about the other couples’ loss.  I took one look at Katelyn’s picture that was in my Bible and tears started to stream down my face.  I honestly could not have stopped them on my own.  Sometimes people may say I am too sensitive and emotional, but I would rather be able to show my emotions than keep them to myself.

So what helped? Praying for God to forgive me for my thoughts and asking one of the pastors at Harvest to pray for Scott and me.  I felt as if we just lost Katelyn yesterday; the sadness was that overpowering.  After he prayed with us, I felt completely covered with such a peace that I can’t even describe it.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because even though Scott and I launched this website to help other parents of stillborn babies, we still struggle ourselves.  After all, we are only human.  Our strength comes from the Lord.  The only way we will get through this is through Him.  He loves us so much, and holding on to His promises keeps us going every day.   

So, for those parents who have suffered early miscarriages, late miscarriages, stillbirths, and early infant death, I want you to know that God loves you so much that He was there with open arms when our babies took their last breaths.  And I learned a valuable lesson yesterday; no matter when our babies died, we all suffered, and one loss is not greater than another.  Know that my prayers are with you, even though we have never met.         

By God’s Grace…we are able to celebrate Christmas without Katelyn

December 22, 2008 by Audreys · Leave a Comment 

Christmas is a time to be joyful, to spend time with your family, to tuck your children in at night while you read the story of Jesus’ birth to them and shadows from the Christmas lights dance along the walls.  It is not a time for sorrow, it is a time to celebrate the gift of God’s son born that night so many years ago.  So, how are we coping, when our plans for spending our first Christmas with Katelyn have been changed?  It’s not easy, we will tell you that.  But, we pray each day for Jesus to give us enough grace to get through each minute of each day without her. 

Some of the things we are struggling with the most during this Christmas season are:

1.     Hearing a small infant cry

2.     Passing by countless children of all ages as they run around in outdoor play areas

3.     Listening to the giggles of small children as they make angels in the snow 

4.     Thinking back to how we imagined our first Christmas would be with Katelyn

5.     Remembering that Christmas Day marks 19 weeks since we lost our little girl. 

Some of the things we are doing to avoid these struggles are:

1.     Picturing Katelyn making snow angels in Heaven

2.     Knowing that Katelyn is spending Christmas with Jesus and the angels

3.     Remembering that although we lost Katelyn, she went straight into the arms of Jesus

We hold onto the verse in Ecclesiastes 3:1 “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven”.  There is a season for grief, and there is a season for joy.  We are choosing to let Jesus fill our hearts with joy this Christmas.    Sure we still grieve, but it is for us, not for Katelyn.  She was stillborn, but she was Still Born.  She is in Heaven with Jesus.  What more could a little girl ask for? 

Ways that You Can Help

December 17, 2008 by Audreys · Leave a Comment 

1. Pray that God uses us beyond our human capabilities to share His saving grace with others who are grieving the loss of an infant

2. Pray that the brokenhearted turn to God so that He will rain down His grace on them

3. Share Jesus’ unconditional love to each grieving family, whether it is a child who lost a sibling, a grandparent who is grieving for their son or daughter who lost a baby, or even other close relatives.

4. Pray for peace for those couples trying to conceive.  Pray that God grants them patience, knowing that everything happens in His time, not ours.  

5. Pray that we continue to put God’s will before our own.

6. Forward this website link to anyone else you know who is grieving the loss of a child

7. Let us know if you have found any other information useful that we can add to