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




There Are No ‘Maybes’

May 24, 2010 by Audreys · 13 Comments 

Each of us who has experienced the loss of a child found out in a different way. Some of us knew ahead of time that our baby would not survive life outside the womb, others were told the baby’s heart just stopped and he/she would be born without life; still others gave birth to a living baby whose heart stopped during birth, or minutes or even hours after birth.  Whenever the news came, though, our own hearts stopped beating for a moment.  As mothers, many of us were quick to blame ourselves. Recounting those long, restless days right after we lost Katelyn, we desperately searched for a reason; something we did or didn’t do that caused our baby to die. 

At times I struggle with thinking that if I listened hard enough, and spent more quiet time with Katelyn, maybe I would have been able to tell something was wrong.  Maybe there was a sign, something that I missed.  Maybe, just maybe, her death could have been prevented if I had done something differently.  That begs the question, what could have been done differently? 

By far, the worst ‘maybe’ of them all that I must confess crept into my thoughts on more than one occasion was that maybe her death was a consequence of a past sin.  It is when thoughts such as this come to mind that I remember 1John1:9 “If we confess our sins, He (Jesus) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” It is that promise that I keep close to my heart.      

Remember that God sent Jesus, His Only Son, to die on the cross for our sins.  If we believe in Him, accept His will for us, and repent of our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us. 

Coming to terms with a loss does not always mean thoughts of ‘what ifs’ and ‘maybes’ just disappear.  So for any of you who struggle with the belief that your baby’s death was a judgment from God, I encourage you to pray and ask God to guide your thoughts back to Him.  His grace will comfort you and give you a peace you will never be able to find anywhere else.

Father’s Day

June 21, 2009 by Audreys · Leave a Comment 

I can only imagine how difficult it must be for fathers who have lost a child to celebrate Father’s Day.  They are all Fathers who wanted to be Dads, but were not given the chance with the child that they lost.  They wanted to wake up to a laugh, a hug or even just a smile from that child today.  They can have that chance one day, but not here on earth.

The loss of a child before they took their first breath outside of the womb is devastating for both moms and dads.  I know this because both my husband and I still grieve the loss of Katelyn Grace.  We will never stop missing her.  The loss may be different for fathers, but it is no less painful.  From talking with other moms who have lost children, there seem to be two very different ways that their husbands have grieved.  Some feel that since they were never given the chance to be a dad, they are not fathers and often discount their loss.  Others, like my husband, embrace the knowledge that they are fathers.  They are fathers who will never get the chance to watch their child grow up, but they rest in the knowledge that their Father in Heaven is taking care of their little one.     

As the psalmist writes: 

As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. Psalm 103:13

The fathers who are without children here on earth should rejoice in the promise that by calling on Jesus to be their Lord and Savior and living their lives for Him they WILL see their babies again.  When they do, they will receive that hug.  Only Jesus can offer this peace and this promise.  They will be with Jesus and their child forever and ever!

My prayer for this Father’s Day  is that all fathers who have lost a child will (if they have not already) turn towards Jesus and rest in His promises.  His compassion is unending and is offered freely if only they will accept Him. 

I also pray that these fathers will celebrate Father’s Day.  Even though their children are in Heaven, they are still Fathers to them and always will be.

Whether your baby was miscarried, stillborn, or took his/her last breath shortly after birth, by God’s grace they are all resting in His arms.     

Isaac and Hannah - 2 precious gifts

May 14, 2009 by Audreys · Leave a Comment 

I would like to thank Tina Jensen for sharing her tearful yet beautiful story of losing her son Isaac and then her daughter Hannah.  What a blessing to read her testimony of how she continues to trust God even through her losses.  We keep Tina, her husband Dan, and her 3 precious daughters in our prayers.   Here is Tina’s story…

In December of 2007 I found out I was expecting my 4th child. Dan & I had 3 girls, Angie, Lana, & Naomi. All wonderful gifts from God. I felt differently about this baby, I felt so honored & blessed that God would give me another child. I was truly elated. But then I got so sick, I was queasy at every turn, I was in bed most of the time or just tryin to function through the day. I remember going in to my Doc appointment at about 12 weeks & hearing that sweet heartbeat, & I didn’t care how sick I was! There was my baby! That beautiful beautiful “swish swish” sound. Again, I  had that feeling of ” God, you love me so much, thank you”
So, the nausea passed & I was back to my old self. At 18 weeks I came down with a cold. I felt terrible & went into see the doc & went home with a script. He didn’t check the heartbeat & I remember thinkin how odd, but now I know it was Gods grace.
The following night I started having some spotting, I remember havin that moment where I could hear my heart thudding in my chest. I was so scared, I told Dan & we called the Dr who was not alarmed. He asked if I was having any cramping or fever, I said no & in fact the spotting had stopped. So he told me to come in the next day for an ultrasound. I remember praying that night with Dan & the kids, I asked God to please let this baby be OK.
The next day Dan & I went into to see our Dr. He started the ultrasound & I saw right away there was no “flutter” no movement. Nothing, the Dr was asking questions & I just knew, I just thought “why isn’t he sayin everything is OK???”
He said “I’m sorry, I’m not seeing what I want to see here, I’m sorry, there is no heartbeat”
I laid there & cried & cried, Dan took my face as he cried & said “we did nothing wrong, you did nothing wrong, God wants you to know you did nothing wrong”
The Dr turned & said “you know the Lord right” I am so thankful God put him in our path for this trial. The Dr led us in prayer, I really don’t remember much of what he prayed, or Dan, I just know I kept saying over & over ” I won’t stop loving you God, I won’t quit, I won’t stop loving you.
This was Friday Feb 22.
I had to wait to be admitted in the hospital until Monday, we were planning a home-birth, so I had to go to the hospital with a different Dr.
We had an ultrasound to confirm our sweet baby was gone, he had been gone about 2 weeks. I was induced & waited several hours before any contractions started. Those were very difficult hours. I was so broken. I wanted to run from there, I wanted my child. Dan & I sat there & tried to figure out names, we didn’t know yet if we had a boy or girl. At one point I began to sincerely freak out. I started telling Dan I wanted to bring the baby home until the funeral, It wasn’t fair! They shouldn’t be able to keep my baby from me, I can’t do this I can’t leave my baby here, I can’t do this. He prayed that God would bring me peace quickly & give me the strength to let go when it came time. The nurse came in & i told her how I felt, she looked at me & said “you’re baby isn’t here, you’re baby is in heaven being loved on by God, this is the body, but you’re baby isn’t here”
I know that may sound harsh to some, but it’s exactly what I needed to here.
My son, Isaac Jeremiah, was delivered into Jesus arms February 26th, 2008 at 3:46 am.
He was completely beautiful & amazing. So tiny yet so fearfully & wonderfully made. Praise God.
I held him & asked God to make these moments last a lifetime. I know I only held him a short time but it felt like forever.
We had a small service for my son the following Thursday. I never knew I would be the person up at the front, the long line of people waiting to express their sympathy. It was surreal.
I wish I could say that’s the end of my story but it’s not. There’s my sweet Hannah Joy.
We found out we were pregnant again, I was shocked but happy. I felt God knew we were ready & He was blessing us again so quickly. I was so scared most of the time, there were so many times I wept at the alter. Asking God to help me trust & let go. I prayed & cried all the time. When I went to the first appointment I was excited & nervous. The Dr said everything looked fine & he didn’t foresee any problems with this pregnancy. So things moved along as they should. I felt Hannah move early on & heard her hear beating at 12 weeks! Dan prayed every night for her, he would lean in to mu tummy & talk to her. He’d tell her about his day & how much he loved her. She would kick at him from time to time. It is one of my best memories of her. She loved her daddy.
At 18 weeks I had an appointment, I was so terrified. We found out at 18 weeks about our sweet Isaac. I remember sitting in the parking lot crying & crying. I knew I couldn’t walk in there without first letting go. I had to lay Hannah at the Lords feet once again. And trust Him with my heart. So, God & I had a long talk & once again He gave me the courage to move. To trust.
At this appointment I heard my Hannah’s heart beat for the last time. We had no idea that only a few days later she would die.
I went in for an ultrasound & my sweet princess had gone home. We endured the same pain & heartache as when we lost Isaac. But 100 times over.
There is no words to express the shock of hearing that another child of yours has died. There are no words to convey what it’s like to endure another funeral. To explain to your lil ones that they’re baby sister is in Heaven. To see those sweet little faces droop & hear the question “why”
Wanting to shake your fist up at the heavens & scream “WHY! How could you??? WHY?!!”
I had many days of living in darkness, of living in hopelessness. I lived in death for a long time. But God never changes, I can change upside down & inside out. But He, stays the same. You see, He was there every step, every scream, every tear. He never left my side, in fact He carried me the entire time.
I have a new found love & passion for Him, I still hurt & even get ticked sometimes. But when those emotions come I run to Him. I plead with Him for my heart & my sanity to not allow me back into that pit. He has been faithful, as He always is. And ever so patient.
I have yet to know “why” my children died. But I do know that they are in His presence & completely filled with His perfect love. And that brings me peace.

Thanks for letting me share my Isaac & Hannah with you.


Pray For Those Left Behind

March 21, 2009 by Audreys · Leave a Comment 

After Katelyn went to Heaven, we received many cards and letters from family members, friends, church members, pastors and even people we barely knew.  Just simply knowing that so many people had us in their prayers made each day a little easier.  We could never have endured our loss without the prayerful support of those close to us.

We also received more than a few cards from people with notices that money was donated so that Katelyn would be part of a Mass or a Service conducted to pray for the dead.  There are many groups and churches that claim to be Bible-based and Christian, but I can say with true certainty that Katelyn doesn’t need our prayers, and neither do any of the other babies who were born without life.  They are with Jesus, so what prayers could they possibly need?

Growing up in a strict Catholic church and school, I remember days when as a class we would pray for our loved ones who had passed since they were supposedly in a place called Purgatory.  We were taught that when people die, they go to this place and are basically there waiting for enough people to ‘pray’ for them so that they can gain passage into Heaven.  So what about the people who choose Jesus and yet have no family or loved ones to pray for them?  Do they just stay in limbo for all of eternity?  Absolutely not. Why? The answer can be found in the Bible.  Simply put, there is no mention of ‘Purgatory’ in the Bible.  Jesus never taught about a place such as this.  He did not offer us the gift of eternal life with the stipulation that we would only see Him if enough people ‘prayed us in’.  We either choose Jesus and follow Him, or we don’t.  There is no gray area.  If you need confirmation, read John 3:16: “For God so Loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Jesus died for our sins so that we could be forgiven if only we ask this of Him and repent.  Again, we have a choice – choose Jesus or choose the world. Period. 

Have faith that our babies are with our Heavenly Father.  It is only through God’s grace that we have the choice to follow Jesus and live for Him, knowing that we will see Him one day and our babies too.

 So, though we appreciate the gestures of these kind souls, we want them and everyone else to know the truth.  Heaven is the only place these babies ever knew or will ever know.  They are with our Heavenly Father.  So do they need our prayers? Absolutely not.  Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 18:3 “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven.”  

So who needs prayer? The families of these babies.  They are the ones feeling the loss.  Their babies were Still Born, just in Heaven, not on earth.