A Mother’s Heartache

A Mother’s Heartache


Two years ago, Jennifer’s baby daughter died in her womb. To help her as she was grieving, she wrote about what it’s like to lose your baby. So many people have a difficult time talking about losing a baby, or letting other people talk about it. We share with her the hope that her courage in telling this story will help other families who have endured this grief. May the Lord have mercy and bring you strength.

I’m in a darkened room holding the phone to my ear and sobbing as my husband helplessly listens on the other end. Unfortunately, this is not the first time he’s on the phone with me and wishing he was by my side instead. His job has him traveling often, forcing him to be supportive through the tender words of encouragement he offers me. He feels guilty. He yearns to be home – but he’s stuck planted right where his job has left him until he comes running back to us. As much as I always long for him to be home with us, he has always done a phenomenal job of helping me cope and make it to the other side in our difficult moments even if it has had to be over the phone – whether it has been for our son’s seizures in the middle of the night, problems during the foster care years, or dealing with our power outage for four days by myself with our then six kids after a wind storm.

This particular phone call left me wordless with only the ability to cry and nothing more. I was having a miscarriage. It was just a short time ago that a long awaited gift was bestowed upon us. I found out I was pregnant not long before Christmas and with ever increasing joy planned how I would tell my husband. My intent was to tell him Christmas morning before anyone else in the house was stirring – but that soon proved to be an impossible wait for me. Instead, I immediately wrapped his gift in tissue paper and neatly placed it in a festive tin gift box. As soon as our kids were occupied for a few minutes, I nudged my husband into the other room and handed him his gift. He stood there with a bewildered look on his face.

I whispered softly, “Open it. It’s an early Christmas present.”

Slightly confused because we both had an unspoken understanding that we would not be getting each other a gift this year, he opened the present. I stood anxiously awaiting his reaction as his face turned from even more confusion to shock to disbelief then elation as he realized he was holding a positive pregnancy test.

It’s hard to understand how God can grant life to a baby only to let this same baby literally slip away from me. I cradled my tiny child completely in the palm of my hand as I repeatedly apologized to a lifeless body for not being able to protect and save her.

It’s not always easy to accept the path of God’s will when your own will dominates your desires. Rejecting the fixation on oneself and turning it toward another is much harder than it seems. What was God’s plan in all of this? What am I supposed to learn from this experience? Clearly, this is not an easily defined answer. Oh, how I wish it was though!

Although I may or may not ever know the reason why our child did not cry with joyous life after her birth, I do know that my husband and I have grown ever closer through the comfort we have lovingly shared with each other. We both reached out a hand to one another and helped each other stand back up to continue down our path together. We may limp for a little while and lean on each other for support as we continue on our journey of life but we are confident that whatever comes our way, we will be there to support and care for one another. We are also left with peace and comfort that we are blessed to have four beautiful children in our home. This experience has left us in awe of the gifts we do have in our lives and how thankful we are for these blessings. Maybe that is the point – to appreciate what we do have and not covet what we don’t. I don’t know…

[To be continued]

Posted by the Orthodox Christian Network.  You can find the Orthodox Christian Network on Google+.

About author

Jennifer Hock

I’m a mom with stories…many, many stories. Most of these adventures write themselves through the experiences my husband and myself have with our children. We have five children ranging in age from infant to 17. Our middle three were adopted through our local foster care system. The majority of our stories originate here through the intricate weavings of family, infertility, attachment, grief, adoption, and the seemingly endless energy of our boys.

My life has taken me on many unexpected journeys but all of these experiences have shaped me. They have strengthened my faith in God and my relationship with those who are dearest to me – especially with my husband.

As an Orthodox Christian family, stories about religious education, homeschooling, and traditions also find their way into my writings as well. Join me on this journey as we venture into all too familiar territory as well as the unknown as our family strives to grow closer to God with each step we take along the way.

You can also find me on Illumination Learning which was created to be a hub for finding Orthodox Christian education resources.