Grace.

On November 9, 2013, we discovered that babyMat #2 was expected to join our family next year. The entire week before, I had been hyper-emotional. Like crying over the stupidest, most petty things, emotional. I figured that was a bit odd, but didn’t really think much of it. And as the week continued, I just continued to become more and more tired. Little did I know…

The day that we found out, Levi and I were heading to Frankfort, KY to attend a baby shower for one of my close friends from Florida. On the 1-hour drive home, I was exhausted. It was only 3 o’clock in the afternoon, yet I felt like I couldn’t stay awake. As soon as I got home, I crashed on our bed for almost 2 hours. When I woke up, I just knew I needed to take a pregnancy test.

Positive! Whoa.

Brian was surprised, but overjoyed when I showed him. I was happy, but also had a lot of other emotions floating around in my head. The baby was due to arrive on my mom’s birthday: July 14, 2014. That would put our two little ones 19-20 months apart. This excited me, but scared me all the same. As the days went on and I was able to talk to a few close friends, they encouraged me! I knew it would be hard those first few months, but what close friends Levi and his brother or sister would be! My apprehension turned into great anticipation as I thought about what this little guy or gal would add to our family.

Levi wasn’t so thrilled when we
first told him about the new baby…

As the days went on, I grew more nauseous and more hungry! Simultaneously. I found it strange that I was feeling nauseous so early on–when I was pregnant with Levi, I didn’t feel that way until at least 8 weeks. But I counted it a good sign! Our little babyMat was growing in there and taking everything out of mommy in order to do so! And maybe because I was so nauseous that meant it was a girl? Brian was hopeful–which was adorable to me!

I began daydreaming about baby names and about decorating a nursery for a sweet baby girl. I began thinking about how fun (albeit, crazy) it would be to have two little boys so close in age and I grew to love that idea too. Whatever the Lord blessed us with–boy or girl–we were excited for!

On November 21, I began to miscarry the little life we were so excited for. We had to schedule an emergency ultrasound that day to determine what was happening with the baby. The ultrasound wasn’t able to determine that I was actually having a miscarriage, but my doctor was able to determine that the baby was measuring at 5.5 weeks along. According to my date calculations, the baby should have been 6.5 weeks along at that point. This either meant that my dates were off or that the baby had died and stopped growing the week before.

I knew in my heart that the latter option was true.

We went home, trying to stay hopeful, but preparing for the worst. Physically, my condition did continue to grow worse and my body began to reject the baby. It has been an extremely emotional few days, to say the least.

I don’t write this to gain pity or for any condolences. I wanted to write about this experience for several reasons: to record my feelings, to reflect on all the details of this baby’s brief life, and to make the realities of miscarriage known.

One thing that I have read that helps with the grief of miscarriage is naming the baby. Doing this gives the baby an identity and keeps with the idea that no matter how tiny the life, the baby will never be forgotten.

Brian and I have decided to name this baby Grace.

Grace taught us about the brevity of life. Here one minute and gone the next. She taught us about God’s grace in giving us our next breath, our next minute, our next day. It’s not something we deserve, yet He sustains each of our lives. And He also ends life in His time.

Baby Grace has shown me that I should never take one day with her brother Levi for granted. Because as quickly as she was gone, he could’ve been gone as well.

Grace reminded me of the blessing I have in her daddy. Oh, what a blessing he has been through this entire experience–taking over all the Levi duties, the household duties, and still working so hard to pay our bills. God has shown His grace to me by gifting me with my husband.

God’s grace has been shown through our community group and close friends at Sojourn Community Church. They have provided meals, taken care of Levi everyday, and even just sat for hours and kept me company when Brian had to go to work. This has been such a gift so that I am able to rest and recover.

I’m sure in the coming days and years we will continue to learn from our losing of this sweet life. We may never understand why this has happened, but we certainly rest in the fact that God is in control of all things and we can have hope in His promises.

This post is a tribute to baby Grace. Never born, but never forgotten.

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2 thoughts on “Grace.

  1. Oh Ashley my heart is so heavy for all three of you as I read this. I will have you and Brian in my prayers as you guys heal physically and emotionally, and I pray for sweet baby Grace as Jesus holds her close in His arms. Please know that I'm always here if you need someone to talk to.
    All my love,
    Lauren

  2. Pingback: Today. | Fill Us Up & Send Us Out

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