Her Name was Elinor

The first, and last, time we heard her heart beat.

A little more than two weeks ago, our baby’s tiny body was removed from mine, four weeks after the tiny soul had already flown. While I’ve recovered well physically, the emotional impact will last much longer. If you ran into me at the grocery store, I would tell you I’m fine. And I am. Some days are better than others. Some minutes are better than others. But overall, I’m faring well. I’m focusing on my earthly children, full of life and love and sparkle, and leaning in to my strong, steady husband. Friends and family have given amazing support, and I am blessed.

There are moments, though, that unexpectedly sting. Like yesterday. I was sifting through my closet, in search of something to wear, …

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When. She used the word when, not if. “When you deliver your third child, we’ll need to be prepared for a possible transfusion. You lost a lot of blood with that surgery, and we need to be ready if that’s going to be an ongoing issue.” My mind stuck on the “when,” rather than on the large blood loss and possible future complications. I appreciated her optimism. My OB, reassuringly cheerful but professionally somber when appropriate, has always advocated for me to have more children. We enjoy each other’s company, and she knows that when everything gets off to a good start, my body handles pregnancy and childbearing beautifully.

Except this time. This time, I lost my baby at 8.5 weeks, and continued carrying completely unaware, hormones still in full …

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When the sun goes down, the loneliness rises.

I kept wondering when I would cry. From emotional pain, not from physical. The surgery went perfectly. I’m surrounded by family and friends who’ve brought meals, desserts, flowers, cards, and even offers to clean my home. My husband has been my rock and comforter, tending to me with such a gentle nature. I am blessed. And for a long time, from yesterday morning before the surgery, until just half an hour ago, not one tear fell. I felt at peace, and I knew God’s grace was allowing me to focus on physical healing, before licking my raw emotional wounds.

I was not expecting my body to feel this rough. A D&C and laproscopic cystectomy aren’t fun to recover from separately, but together they …

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Two sisters dancing. One momma smiling.

Brown Eyed Girl pulsed from the band shell while my two little blue and green eyed girls spun around the dance floor with their daddy. As darkness descended on my hometown, swirling, patterned lights bounced off the towering trees above the concrete slab in front of the stage. I sat on a bench, just 10 feet from the action, mesmerized and peaceful just taking it all in. I relaxed my shoulders, and set the half-eaten plate of funnel cake down beside me. I smiled, as a tear threatened to find its way to my eye. I felt the beat throb and bounce and jump, letting it pass through my body, the rhythm settling in my belly, that full yet empty space where our lost …

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You Won’t Regret This

Father and daughter discuss the delights of The Sizzler. She wanted to ride SO badly, but will have to wait until next year.

He put the van in reverse, and I watched my little family begin to back out of the driveway. My girls waved vigorously from their car seats, giddy with joy that daddy was taking them to the carnival. I stepped out onto the porch, and motioned for my husband to stop. He rolled down the window.

“I’m coming. Just give me a minute.”

That moment, that split decision, was probably one of the best I’ve ever made. Fresh from hearing our sweet baby had died in utero, my heart was swollen and achy, much like my abdomen where our child still rests. I didn’t want to go. To face …

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The Sorrow is Silent

When it comes to preparing us for the moment of tragedy’s impact, the movies really do us a disservice. Foreshadowing, strategic camera angles and carefully orchestrated suspenseful music lead you to a logical conclusion. Something bad is about to happen.

But it doesn’t happen that way in real life. In real life, the room is quiet, the view is singular, the fluorescent lights blare overhead, and the moment of impact comes softly through an ultrasound tech’s whispered, “I’m sorry.” There was no foreshadowing in the plot, no indication that a sudden and life-altering blow would be delivered. Our baby was gone. Slipped away some time ago. No heartbeat. No movement. The sorrow is silent.

I’m still wrapping my mind around what happened yesterday. A happy, belly-bulging mother-to-be entered the OB’s office for a routine exam, and a …

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