Book Review: Loved Baby, 31 Devotions Helping You Grieve and Cherish Your Child After Pregnancy Loss

Book: Loved Baby, 31 Devotions Helping You Grieve and Cherish Your Child After Pregnancy Loss

Author: Sarah Philpott, PhD

Publisher: Broadstreet

This 31 Day devotional was sent to me from a friend who too recently suffered a miscarriage. I found this book so incredibly helpful in my healing process. This book is full of real life stories, bible verses, and moments of faith that many women have experienced. I love how the author wrote this book as she was not only real with her emotions, but also sensitive with her words and advice to other Angel Mommies. This devotional is separated into various sections, and provides many topics including searching for reasons why and how to honor your due date. I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it!

This book is available at Barnes Noble and Amazon.

Making Peace with God

So I’m gonna be honest… I have been dreading writing this post. It’s not because it’s hard, I’m lazy or I just don’t want to talk about being restored in Jesus. I mostly think, my hesitation for writing this post is because I am so humbled and gracious for all God has provided for me. I am also feeling somewhat guilty for how I have treated Him.


Before I really dive into this post, I should give you a little background of my beliefs and faith. I grew up going occasionally to a white nondenominational church. I did this off and on with my aunt until I was about 10 years old. When I was 11 I started attending a weekly bible study with my friend and even attended Lake Ann Camp for a week. It was here that I asked Jesus into my heart and to forgive all my sins. I was born again. When I was 12 I started going with my best friends to a larger white baptist church. I faithfully went to that church for about 6 years. At this church I attended many church camps, found growth and strength in my relationship with Jesus as well as wonderful fellowship with friends. I also was baptized and learned how to be a God fearing, woman of God. When I was 19 I attended my first mission trip. I knew of many people who had been on mission trips and claimed they were life changing, but I didn’t believe it until I experienced it. I traveled to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic where I met so many children, created food packages, clothing bundles and even helped build houses for widows and their children. This trip changed my life. At 19 I also started teaching 2 and 3 year olds in children’s church. Even though I felt lost in the church, I was slowly starting to discover my purpose.

When I was 19 almost 20, I decided to start attending my husband’s black nondenominational church (we were only dating at the time). Part of the reason I made the switch to a new church again is simply because, I just felt lost not knowing my identity in church or feeling like I had much of a church family. At this church it was smaller and I felt more at home and accepted. It was here my relationship with Jesus really took off. I was able to grow in skills of faithfulness, trust and even obedience.


“We got married in the same church my grandparents were married in 50+ years ago.”


Before meeting my husband, I had developed boundaries, and goals of what and how I would like to be pursued by a man, how I wanted to engage in a courtship instead of a dating relationship, and what I would like as far as values and characteristics of my future husband. When I met Charles, he wasn’t totally familiar with courtship, but he completely valued a Christian based relationship. We courted for two years, and were engaged for three months. We got married in the same church my grandparents got married in 50+ years ago. Our wedding was beautiful with traditional vows, our first kiss at the alter, and the moment I gave my purity ring to my groom. I wouldn’t change a thing.


Fast forward to January 2019, when I became pregnant. Charles and I had been married for two years and two months. Both still faithful Christians, going to church at least every other week, and thanking God for all that we have. I was content and even excited in where I was. I was pregnant, about to be a mom. We shared this news with my church family, and they rejoiced with us. Everything was great, not perfect but pretty close.

My heart and all my hopes and dreams shattered when we lost MacKenzie. Since there was no concrete reason for such a terrible loss, who could we blame? Well… unfortunately, I chose to blame God. The one being who is In charge of the whole universe, I assumed He had control over this situation and He let me down. I would even go so far to say at the time I hated Him. I cringe at even admitting that. But it’s true. My anger and my hatred was so strong at myself and at God.


“My anger and my hatred was so strong at myself and at God.”


The time between my ultrasound and by surgery, I didn’t really pray much. I think if I did it was just asking things like “Why God?” and “How could you?” I know I worried I would end up miscarrying naturally, before my surgery, but I don’t think I prayed about it. I had hundreds of people praying for me, which was comforting because at the time I just didn’t have the strength. The only time I remember praying was as I was getting rolled to the operating room. I was so sad. I wanted to die. However, I didn’t want to die and hurt other people. I couldn’t bare imagining dying and leaving my friends and family behind to grieve and mourn my loss. So, I prayed. I asked God to get me through. When I woke up from surgery I cried, screaming and told God I hated Him. It was awful. I was still under anaesthesia but I felt like I was watching myself scream from outside my body. I’m ashamed at how I was acting. But honestly, this is what heartbreak looked like.

The weeks following the miscarriage, I continued to fall into depression and blame God. It really hurt my husband to see me like this. I refused to go to church for over a month. I didn’t want anyone to say anything to set me off. I also just didn’t want to come to Jesus and praise His name. So I didn’t. I cried at home, and journaled instead.

By about 5 weeks after the miscarriage, I decided to go back. It wasn’t because I wanted to find comfort in Jesus, it was because I missed my church family. When we went back we were greeted by some kind words as well as some not so helpful words. Most people at the church knew what had happen, but still didn’t know how to react. Once I was there, I was ready to leave. I didn’t want to be there anymore, I came to church but that’s it. That was enough for me at the time.


” I don’t really think I had one ‘Come to Jesus’ moment, but rather a bunch of little moments…”


So, looking back I don’t really think I had one Come to Jesus moment, but rather a bunch of little moments that helped me. After many conversations with my mom, she helped me see that having a baby in Heaven who is perfect, living joyfully and without pain is sometimes better than having a baby here on earth who is sick and in pain all their life. Seeing various rainbows in the sky, gave me peace. It was like a spiritual humbling peace, that showed me that my baby was okay up in Heaven. Going to church and having my sister-in-law pray over me was also so powerful. She just kept saying something good would come out of this, double for my trouble so to speak. But the most surprising moment that happen, was more about Charles grief than mine. As we were praying at church one day, he just burst out crying. He was crying in anguish and devastation that mirrored my own devastation and heart break. This was a side of him I had never seen before.


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Through all of these moments and more, I realized yet again there is an all powerful and loving God. He is the creator of the universe, the planets and the stars… and yet He cares for me! He loves me. I am just a spec on this large planet, but to Him I am everything. I am His daughter. i was wounded, I was angry, and I was broken… and He still loved me. My baby died, but it wasn’t His fault. He allowed it to happen for a reason. The reason being she would have been in pain here on earth, and he knew if I had to watch her in pain everyday, that would have destroyed me more than miscarrying her. He is a gracious and good God.

It has taken me a really long time to get here, but I have. I’ve made peace with God. Even though it hurt, and it still hurts I know it happened for a reason. I know I have a little baby up in Heaven watching over me. I know she is living her best life probably chasing a butterfly. I know she’s okay.

I cry as I write this because I was so awful. I was wrong. Jesus took my baby home, for everyone’s best interest, and for that I am grateful. He is good. I’ve made my peace. I’ve said I’m sorry and I’m trying to do better. I can’t believe I’m saying this but, I am thankful for this lesson of grief and love. I am so thankful I was able to carry my baby, if only for a short time. And I am so thankful that even though I constantly pushed Him away, Jesus never left me, and when I came running back to Him… He welcomed me with love and open arms.

“Be Still and KNOW that I am God.” – Psalms 46:10

Mother’s Day Part 3: The Flowers

On the way home from the beach, Charles and I stopped by my parents house. We ate dinner with my parents and gave my Mom and Grandma Mother’s Day gifts. It was a bittersweet day, but I was thankful to celebrate it with my family. Before leaving my mom let me go into her flower garden and pick a few flowers to take home.

On the drive back home, I admired and appreciated the beautiful flowers that rested in the vase on my lap. I cherished their beauty and reminisced the day. I thought about how I celebrated Mother’s Day. I also reflected back to that January evening when I found out I was pregnant… and all the many memories that led me to this moment. As I reflected back I became overwhelmed with emotion. All of the feelings of this day had hit me and I sobbed on the way home. Rain hit the windows of the car, and it was as if God was crying with me. As I continued crying, I looked down at the flowers in my lap, and was simply amazed by what I saw. The beautiful flowers I had picked out of my Mother’s garden were now opening and blooming right before my eyes. In between tears I watched in amazement and pointed it out to Charles. Even through my grief and sadness of this day, I was still able to find a little joy. ❤️

Abortion: A Topic That is Triggering to Women Who Have Miscarried

With all the talk of abortion lately… I decided to write this post. I was quite hesitant in that this topic is so controversial. Now my intention is not to turn this post into a debate or to push my views on to other people. My goal for this post is to simply offer a new perspective to many who may not have considered it. I’m also not going to clearly state whether or not I am pro life or pro choice. I am simply offering a perspective that I believe others have experienced too.

After having my miscarriage, the topic of abortion became very triggering to me. This was mostly because I was a different person and I looked at things differently. I watched many people have debates over social and news media. I saw graphic pictures throughout my campus. All of these things were very upsetting, but the one thing that set me off the most was my medical bills. When I received my medical bills I was not only trigged by the reminder of my miscarriage, but I was also triggered by the medical lingo that was used. Spontaneous Abortion. I looked at those two words and felt sick to my stomach. Home alone, I screamed at the top of my lungs “I did not have an abortion!” I was heated.

After doing some research it seems this is the proper terminology that is used when it is recorded that a woman has a D & C after a miscarriage. Despite that I still had uneasy feelings about it. Did I really have an abortion? I didn’t have a choice if my baby would live or die. Did I do something wrong? Should I have opted to have my miscarriage naturally? It took me weeks before I found the answers to these questions, and strangely enough I stumbled upon them in a devotional I received from a friend. In the devotional it states that yes, according to medical terminology I did have a spontaneous abortion. I could choose to look at it from that perspective, or I could choose to look at it another way. My baby physically left my body like any other women who has a natural vaginal delivery. There were tools used to help remove my baby yes, but my cervix still dilated. So, instead of looking at it like an abortion, I choose to look at it like labor. I labored my baby who sadly was born sleeping.

If you are reading this and you haven’t had a miscarriage, first thank you for reading, and secondly keep in mind there is likely a woman in your life that has had a miscarriage. I would also like us all to keep that in mind the next time we discuss or debate the topic of abortion. Always consider your audience and who might be listening. Abortion is a very touchy topic and just because I find it triggering doesn’t mean other women will. However I will leave it at this. I did everything right, and my baby died. I didn’t have a choice… and it hurts.

Trying a New Job

On Wednesday April 10th, I had a job interview at the child care center on campus. I had applied for the assistant GSRP position for the fall, but received a response rather quickly. I was asked if I would be around this summer and was invited in for an interview. Before going into the interview I was slightly nervous, as I wasn’t sure if emotionally I could handle it. Since my miscarriage, I had struggled to be around kids, besides my three year old nephew. I hoped and prayed that whatever happens would be okay.

At the interview I tried to show confidence, enthusiasm, and willingness to learn. I was asked many questions about my experience, how I feel about working with children, and what I hoped to get out of this job. I was honest with the child care director about my love for children, but I chose not to disclose my recent miscarriage. I didn’t feel it was relevant and or appropriate to discuss at that time. I was given a tour of the child care center, and I honestly wasn’t very impressed. It was very small, cluttered and kind of concerning as I felt the space didn’t have a lot of fire exits… but who was I to judge. After the tour I was offered the job on the spot and accepted.


On Wednesday April 17th, a week later I started at the child care center. My shift started at 8am and I walked in excited and ready to start this new journey. I was excited to work with kids again. When I walked in, I met with the director. She had just finished talking with some parents and came over to me.

“Hi, so I have some bad news.” She said to me with a stern face. Oh no, my stomach instantly turned into knots. No, I don’t need another bad thing to happen.

“Okay.” I said confused and concerned. Did she change her mind? Did she not want me to work here anymore? Did I do something wrong?

“So, we just got news this week that the university is cutting our funding and we are closing June 14th.” She said sternly. My heart broke. This would happen. I got excited for something and again it was torn away from me. This sucked.

“Oh.” I said plainly. I didn’t know what else to say. I was in a bit of shock and selfishly wanted to know what this meant for me.

“So, we are glad you are here and I am hoping you will stay with us until we close. And I am willing to help you try and find a job.” She said reassuring me. “Our staff found out this week, and parents were notified last night via email.” She said. She then told me how to clock in and directed me to the classroom I would be working in. As I met with the teachers I would be working with for the next two months, my head was still spinning. I wasn’t happy for this job anymore. I didn’t want to be here anymore.

As I went about my day working in the preschool room, there was a really weird vibe. It was a vibe of anger, depression and confusion. I could tell all the staff members were upset because the center was closing. As I interacted with the kids, I too felt sad. But I was sad for other reasons besides the center closing, I looked at these children, and I had the sad realization that my little Mackenzie is never going to be in preschool. She will never be able to build with blocks or run around the playground. She will never be able to get spaghetti sauce all over her face or sing songs at circle time. It was a heart breaking realization, but I tried my best to keep it together. I found myself distancing away from the kids. I didn’t want to love and attach to these kids. I didn’t want to create relationships with these children or families if in two months I would have to say goodbye anyway. I faked my way through the rest of the morning.

On my break I called my mom. I tried my best to play it cool… it didn’t work. I was upset. I told her how the minute I walked in, I was told the center was closing. My mom was now upset. She didn’t think it was fair that my director let all of the staff know on Monday, but neglected to tell me until I came into work on Wednesday. She made a good point. I explained to my mom how hard it was for me to be there, and how I honestly just didn’t like it. My mom helped me talk through my emotions and made me realize I didn’t want this job anymore, and that’s okay. Even though the center was going to be open for another two months, it was likely that since I was the last one hired I would be the first one fired. I may not be there until June anyway.

I finished out the rest of the day, and sent an email to my director telling her I quit. She understood as the center closing was unexpected and not an ideal situation. It was hard but I knew I made the right decision to quit. I got my old job back at the dining hall. Through this experience, I learned I wasn’t ready to be around kids yet. I also learned I was still slightly unstable when it came to unexpected things happening. I still had some things to work on.

The People Who Reached Out to Me

The days, weeks and even months after we lost our baby; I had many people reach out to us and show us support. The topic of miscarriage is such a taboo topic. People don’t know how to talk about it. People don’t know how to handle it. It’s sad, especially since it’s so common. I believe one reason people don’t know how to deal with it, is because it boils down to beliefs and when we as people believe when life begins. Now, I’m not about to turn this post into a discussion of abortion… or at least that’s not my intention. But I do want to point out that since some people believe life begins at conception, while others believe life begins when a heart starts beating, and still others believe life begins once a baby is born; then that may be why people don’t know how to handle the topic of miscarriage. They don’t believe miscarriage is a big deal because they don’t believe a woman has lost a baby. They believe a woman has lost a ball of cells or tissue that was turning into a baby. Coming from someone who has had a miscarriage, that makes me feel like my experience, my loss and trauma was insignificant, and that’s not fair. Now, this is just my opinion and coming from my perspective but I believe life begins at conception. Whether I lost my baby at 8 weeks or 8 months… it still hurts. It’s still a loss. I will forever grieve that loss.


Despite the fact that miscarriage has a stigma and is such a taboo topic, I was definitely greeted by many woman who gave both me and my husband love and support through one of the most challenging times in our lives. My friend Alli was a major support for me. She came to the hospital when I had my D & C, she messaged me and checked on me everyday for weeks just to make sure I was still breathing and getting through each day. She would come over at a moments notice or take me out when I just needed to get out of the house. She would listen to me vent, give me advice and just find ways to make me smile even when I didn’t think I would be able to smile again. I have been friends with Alli for over ten years and I am eternally grateful for her friendship and all she’s done for me in my life.

My friend Christa was very kind as well. She would send me funny videos of her lip syncing songs and just goofing around with Snapchat filters… anything to make me laugh. She also sent me encouraging videos, telling me it was okay to be sad and it was okay to grieve any way I needed to. I talked to her on the phone a few days after my surgery and it was so comforting to talk with someone who just listened. She is a great listener.

My friend Reaghan was also a really good listener and empathetic. I tell Reaghan all the time she should be a counselor. She literally has a good sense of when to speak up and when to be silent and just listen. There were days I needed that. There were days I would go through every emotion of sadness, anger, depression, joy and everything in between. Reaghan would never interrupt me through my cyclone of emotions. She would sit and listen but also jump in and remind me that this miscarriage was not my fault. I’m so grateful for her.

My friend Andrea was also very helpful. When I told her the news about my baby, she was devastated. With her being a new mom herself, she couldn’t imagine the pain I was going through, and was also heartbroken for me. When talking to Andrea, I knew I could be brutally honest with her. I told her I didn’t want to feel this pain anymore. I told her I wanted to die. She was very supportive and encouraging, even though I wasn’t very accepting of her encouragement at the time. She said she would walk through this journey with me, and she sure has. She also reminded me it’s okay to be angry at God. We can be angry and we can be confused of His reasons why. It’s okay. I’m very thankful for her and her encouragement.

My mom… she has been my biggest support from my pregnancy all the way until now as I write this. After losing a child herself, she knew all too well the pain and loss I would go through when we found out my baby had died. Even though she didn’t have a miscarriage, and my brother died as an infant, she understood the loss of a baby, loss of control, and the loss of the dreams when losing a little life. She has understood and helped me navigate through every phase of the grief process. When I was little, I remember asking her “What if I lose a baby too?” It was a question I was scared to ask, but couldn’t help that it crossed my mind. My mom said “Well, I guess it just means we were both meant to go through it.” This answer scared me, and I hoped and prayed I never would have to go through it… but unfortunately I did. It sucks. Death is awful and apart of life. Grief takes a lot out of us. Trauma makes us remember we are not in control. So, through this experience even though it sucks, my mom and I have been able to bond and grow closer than we ever have. I thank God for her every single day.

My friend Jeanie also helped me navigate the grief process. She recently lost her uncle and knew all too well how grief can feel never ending and hit you when you least expect it. There were many times I would become triggered or simply fall apart, and she was almost always right there to hold me and tell me to feel what ever I was feeling. It was nice to know I wasn’t alone and she made it safe for me to let out my emotions. I’m thankful for her.

My internship coordinator Danielle was also very supportive to me. She believes self care is super important, and helped me not to feel guilty when I needed to take care of myself after my loss. She has been so incredibly understanding through everything. She has helped me through triggers and panic attacks. She reminded me the importance of being gentle and taking care of myself. She encouraged me on every little accomplishment I’ve made and helped me reach my goals. Lastly she has encouraged and educated me on how to be an advocate for miscarriage and infant loss. She has helped me reach my dreams.

All of my professors this past spring semester were also helpful and understanding through my loss and miscarriage. Without me even asking, they offered me incompletes, extensions on assignments and everything I needed to succeed this past semester. It was hard at times to be open with both of them about what I was going through, but because I left that line of communication open, they were willing and able to work with me and help me succeed.

My friends Maryanne and Ally offered me many prayers through my grief along with so many others. I didn’t truly realize how strong the power of prayer can be, until my husband and I experienced this loss. I didn’t understand how a loss can bring people together and encourage people to support each other. I am so thankful to everyone who sent good thoughts and prayers to me and my husband.


Another thing that surprised me when I decided to share my story, is how many people came forward and told me they too had had a miscarriage. They too understood the pain and loss that I was experiencing. They too knew just what to say in order to help me in this difficult season in my life. I had one friend who messaged me and told me she thought I was very brave for sharing my story. She said she herself her suffered a miscarriage with her first pregnancy and suffered in silence. She now has her beautiful rainbow baby. She has been such an inspiration to me. I had another friend reach out to me and send me bible verses, gospel songs and words of encouragement as she too experienced a miscarriage a few months prior. I had another women private message me and tell me they had had miscarriages many years ago, and now they have other living children of whom are healthy and doing well. But they all told me they never forget the babies they lost and how they can’t help but wonder who those children would be if they weren’t called home so soon. I also had another woman message me who has suffered many miscarriages, and now has two children whom she has adopted.

All these women who reached out to me, have truly inspired me and helped me as I grieve and heal after my miscarriage. I never in a million years thought I would become a part of this club that has babies in Heaven. It’s not a club you ever wish to be a part of. But there’s something about all these women, as well as myself that we all have in common. I firmly believe we have an angel in Heaven watching over us. Through the loss of losing our babies, we look at life differently. We learn to appreciate the little moments, and even find some strength in our short comings. I personally, also have found comfort in God, and how yes He called my baby home and it hurts, but I find comfort in knowing she never felt pain. She is in a beautiful place where she is living her best life and watching over me.

“There is a unique pain that comes from preparing a place in your heart for a child who never comes.” – David Platt

Presenting on Trauma

On Monday April 1st, I had to give a presentation on trauma on the brain for my internship. I originally picked this topic when I transferred to my new internship site. The topic of trauma and how it affects the brain and development really interests me. I spent a lot of time working on this project through my recovery time at home. I decided to create this presentation using a trifold presentation board. Not only was it therapeutic for me to understand the affects of trauma, but I also enjoyed being creative and assembling this presentation.

When it was time for me to present at 12:30pm, I was a little nervous. I don’t enjoy public speaking, but at the same time I was up to the challenge and wanted to do well in this internship. The presentation was only going to be about 30 minutes and I was presenting to about an audience of 10 peer educators. When I started the presentation, I did okay. I tried sounding enthusiastic as well as professional when presenting on my topic. Towards the middle of the presentation, I remember reading my notes and feeling a lump in my throat. I wasn’t really sure why. I had practiced this presentation many times, and yet I was getting choked up. My voice started to crack as I read to the audience different traumatic events that can affect people

“Car accidents, natural disasters, losing a child, including miscarriage, infant loss or still birth…..” Then I involuntarily stopped talking. My mouth could open but no words were coming out. It was the same problem that happen when I tried talking to the receptionist at my OB’s office. “Um…” I said trying to talk. My mind was blank. Why couldn’t I talk. Why did I feel like I was about to cry. I felt humiliated standing up there not being able to talk. I had practiced this and I was fine, but now that I was presenting I was being triggered by my own presentation. Eventually, I was able to start talking again. I don’t know how but I did. I don’t remember much more after that. I know I finished the presentation but I’m pretty sure I rushed through it and didn’t make a lot of sense.

Once I was done I was ready to get out of there. I left all my stuff and stepped into the hallway. I broke down and started crying. I felt humiliated I couldn’t keep it together. My friend Jeanie came out in the hallway and held my while I cried. She could tell I was triggered too. We both went to a different room where we could cry and calm down. My coordinator Danielle told me I did a good job even though she could tell I was having a really hard time. Despite the fact that I was triggered while presenting on trauma, I was still proud of myself for coming as far as I had and for getting through the presentation. I was also very thankful for the opportunity to research and present on the topic of trauma, and hope to have the opportunity again someday.

One Month Later…

The last week of March wasn’t easy. I didn’t realize it until later, but since the month of February only has 28 days, the month of February as well as March fall on the exact same days of the week. For instance I had my ultrasound and was given the worst news of my life on Monday February 25th, and I had my D & C on Thursday February 28th. Since February has 28 days instead of 30 or 31, March 25th also fell on a Monday and March 28th also fell on a Thursday. I found this really interesting as I approached the one month mark of having my miscarriage. It almost felt like déja vu. The 25th of March wasn’t as bad as I expected. Sure I was sad and I reflected a lot on what had happen a month ago, but since I was in so much shock that day, I think that’s why it didn’t affect me as much. Thursday March 28th however, was rough to say the least.

I woke up that morning feeling the heaviness of fresh grieve once again. It was as if I was under a weighted blanket and I honestly did not have the strength to get up. I called in sick to my internship, and my coordinator understood. My husband was worried about me. He had to go to class and work, but he was hesitant to leave me alone. I told him I would be okay and I was just gonna get some rest.

I remember laying in bed and pulling out my phone. I started scrolling through social media pages, which I now know was a big mistake. Within minutes I saw two pregnancy announcements for babies who would be due in September and October…. I lost it. I laid in bed and sobbed. The pain, the grief, the sorrow it all flooded back as if the miscarriage had just happen yesterday. From that point on everything set me off. My arms ached again as I longed for my baby. I grew angry and started yelling at God again for taking my baby. I was also still lactating and it was becoming unbearable. Every time I cried, I would lactate. It was ridiculous. It was a constant reminder that I no longer had a baby. It wasn’t fair.


That afternoon I became very emotionally unstable. I decided to call my doctor. She had mentioned at my last appointment that if I am not doing well emotionally, or physically then I need to call her. When a nurse at the office answered I was already crying. I tried holding back my tears so she could understand me. I told her how frustrated I was that I had been lactating for over three weeks. I also explained to her that my surgeon had told me to give the office a call if I wasn’t doing well… and I obviously wasn’t. She asked me if I wanted to speak with a social worker. I paused and said “Yeah, it would have been nice if you had offered that to me a month ago!” I probably shouldn’t have yelled at her, but I was so frustrated. I was still angry the social worker was too busy to see me the day of my surgery. I had so much support when I was pregnant, but once I miscarried, I slowly felt the support dwindle away. She ended up transferring me. I left a message for the social worker stating I wanted to talk, I wasn’t doing well and I would like some resources to help me cope through my miscarriage. When I hung up the phone, I felt like nothing was accomplished. All I did really was cry and leave a message.

After that intense meltdown on the phone with the nurse, I took a nap. I was emotionally drained. When I woke up about an hour later I got a text from my best friend. I unlocked my phone and read it. I instantly got a pit in my stomach and tears started to well up in my eyes again. My best friend was 5 weeks pregnant… and I started crying again. Part of me wanted to fake it and say congratulations, but since I was so unstable I knew it wasn’t a good idea. I had already yelled at the nurse over the phone, I didn’t also want to yell at my best friend. This was a happy thing, and I didn’t want to be selfish and make it all about me. So, I decided not to respond.

I ended up calling my mom and crying to her, as well as reaching out to my online support group. I talked about how challenging it is to see pregnancy announcements. On the one hand I wanted to be happy for them, but I wasn’t…. I was jealous. I was suppose to be pregnant! I was suppose to be showing and getting congratulated. Secondly, it’s challenging because I instantly had anxiety for everyone else who was pregnant. What happen to me was awful, and I wouldn’t ever wish it on anyone else. Even though I was jealous and angry, I still prayed for those women and that their babies would be okay. After this emotional day of seeing three different pregnancy announcements, and the fact that it landed on one month since my surgery; I decided to unfollow some of the pregnant and young moms on social media. It wasn’t going to be forever, but just for the meantime until I reached a place where I could handle it better.

That evening I went to dinner at the dining hall with Reaghan. I wasn’t hungry for anything except ice cream. I ate three bowls of it. I had no shame. I needed comfort food that day. Reaghan was so supportive and such a good listener as I talked, cried and stuffed my face with ice cream. After being quiet for a moment I remember telling her “I miss my baby.” as I silently cried over my ice cream. She said with compassion “I know… and it’s okay to be sad Kaylee. It’s okay to feel everything you’re feeling” she knew exactly what I needed to hear.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” – Matthew 5:4

Cutting Ties

The interesting thing about trauma, is we lose control. An absolute terrible event occurs and we are powerless with no way to stop it. Trauma effects everyone differently depending on what the event is and how we as people react. My personal trauma of suffering a miscarriage affected me in a very emotional way. I naturally am an emotional person. I am very in touch with my feelings. So, when something awful happens in my life I may cry, I may get depressed, I may get angry and I may just shut down. After I shared my story of my miscarriage, many people reached out to me. I was very thankful for their compassion, but I didn’t really have much to say in return… except thank you. This could have come off to people as stand offish, but honestly that was never my intention.

The day I lost the baby, I told one of my friends. This friend was very sad and sorry for our loss. Throughout the evening she kept asking me questions about my pregnancy. Questions that I had either already told her or didn’t really think were important to talk about that day. She asked me questions like Were you trying? Did you use protection? Were you on birth control? How did you get pregnant? It was question after question. I was still in a state of shock and was beginning to get frustrated. Why was she interrogating me with questions? I didn’t owe her anything. I’m sure she probably had good intentions, but it didn’t help. It hurt. After so many questions, I couldn’t take it anymore, I felt like through all the questions she was trying to imply either the miscarriage is my fault because I accidentally got pregnant or that I shouldn’t be sad I lost my baby because it was an unplanned pregnancy. I finally said “Why’s it matter now, my baby’s dead!” She apologized and after that we didn’t talk.

A month went by and I didn’t hear from her. I get that I yelled at her but I thought it was weird and somewhat hurtful she didn’t bother to check in on me. And who knows, maybe she did and I just never got the messages. She reached out to me again a month later and said she wanted to hang out. I was still really angry about our previous conversation and still wasn’t in a good place. We started fighting and I realized we were just going to continue to go back and forth. She herself wasn’t in a good place either for other personal reasons. So, even though it wasn’t easy, I made the hard decision of putting our friendship on hold. I told her, right now I did not want to be friends, and I still to this day think it was the best decision for our emotional and mental health.

Part of the reason I made this decision is because the blind can’t lead the blind. Two depressed people can’t take care of each other. We would end up destroying each other. Neither one of us had the strength to hold each other up. As much as I wanted to remain friends, I could feel myself resent her the more we would talk. I wanted to stop the bolder of my crazy emotions before I said something I regretted. Maybe in time we will be friends again, but for now I am going to work on myself so I remember the person I once was, let go of what I need to let go and take control of what I need to get a hold of.

Seeking Counseling

Last October I started seeing a counselor at my university. I decided to start seeking a counselor to help me get a handle on my anxiety as well as getting help in dealing with the daily struggles of college. In the spring semester I didn’t have any appointments scheduled at the beginning. In December my counselor and I decided I was on the right track, but if I ever needed to come back I could always make an appointment. When I found out I was pregnant, I realized I should definitely make an appointment as this was an added stress to my life… in a good way. Unfortunately, due to the many snow days and OB appointments, I didn’t actually get in to see my counselor until I was 10 weeks. At that appointment I was stressed but so excited. My counselor helped me talk things out.


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After I had my miscarriage, I didn’t get in to see my counselor until about three weeks after. I hardly ever cry in counseling. It’s almost like I think it’s more important to talk since I have the opportunity so I just don’t feel like I need to. However, at the appointment after my miscarriage I sat in silence for awhile. I stared at my counselor. I wanted to speak but I couldn’t. My mouth wasn’t working. After ten minutes I ended up finally saying “I had my 11 week ultrasound and there was no heartbeat. My baby died” and that was it. I cried for the rest of the hour long session. I was able to say a few sentences here and there, but overall I just cried.

From that point on I have had a weekly appointment with my counselor. She has been incredibly helpful. I absolutely love counseling and would recommend it to anyone. I realize there’s a lot of stigma and shame when it comes to counseling, but honesty I think it’s just nice to word vomit all my problems, and someone is obligated to listen. I am also someone who loves hearing about different strategies and coping skills, however I am usually too stubborn to try them. For example, I have signed up for a yoga class three times… and still have yet to go. Regardless, I know I still have things I need to work on and I’m so thankful I am able to get the help I need.

The Birthstone Ring

On Saturday March 16th, I was still doing my best to rest and recover from surgery. By now I had noticed a drastic drop in my pregnancy symptoms including losing my strong sense of smell and my gagging reflex. I still felt bloated and fatigued but not nearly as much as before. On this day, I remember reading posts on my online support group. I remember hearing about how angel mommies find different ways to remember their babies who have gone to Heaven. In a poem I had read online, it had mentioned how a mom had had a ring of her baby’s birthstone on her hand. This was a symbol of two things. 1) the birthstone represented the month the baby was born and or was called home and 2) the momma had the ring on her finger to symbolize her baby holding her hand. I loved this idea! I told Charles what I read and he thought it was neat too. In fact, with him being the amazing husband he is, he decided to take me to the jewelry store to pick out a ring. ❤️

On the way to the store we tried to decide what birthstone I would want for my ring. Should we choose sapphire since my due date was in September or should we choose amethyst since we lost our baby in February? We pondered this on the car ride there and ended up deciding on February. We chose February because that was the month everything happen. That was the month I had both my ultrasounds as well as my D & C . It was also the month my morning sickness was the worst and we decided on the name Mackenzie. I also took into consideration that once I have my ring, I would not only be reminded of Mackenzie but also when I was pregnant, which was for the whole month of February.

When we got to the jewelry store we asked if we could see birthstone rings for the month of February. The cashier took us over to the counter where they kept the rings. Charles and I could both tell she didn’t seem to be in a good mood. She showed us the four different options for the amethyst birthstone.

“Is this ring for you?” The cashier asked me.

“Yes, but it’s not my birthstone… but I will be wearing it. Can I try on that one.” I said pointing to the ring with three hearts.

“So, it’s not for you.” She said looking confused, and handing me the ring to try on. I was conflicted on if I wanted to tell her it was in memory of our baby. I didn’t know if I was prepared for her reaction… what ever it was. She kept staring at me as if she wanted an answer. I tried on the ring.

“It’s for our baby.” I said. She stared at me.

“Oh, so you need a kids size ring?” She really didn’t understand and I was starting to get frustrated.

“No, it’s in memory of our baby. We had a miscarriage in February.” I really didn’t want to share this much with a stranger, especially since I was still sensitive about the topic. But, I still felt obligated to give it to her.

“Oh, well… you’re young you’ll have more.” She said. She had absolutely no emotion. No compassion. I looked at my husband with hurt and rage in my eyes. Did she really just say that to me? He looked back at me with empathy as if trying to say I know you really want to slap her, but please don’t do it. “So you were due in November?” She asked as if not sure what to say.

“I was due in September.” I didn’t look at her. I was done with this conversation. I was done talking to her. I was really hurt by what she said. I told Charles I wanted the ring I had tried on and we bought it. The cashier tried to get me to sign up for a credit card. I sternly told her no and walked away. I was done.

When we got to the car I cried. I cried with happiness because I got my ring but I also cried with sadness and anger by what she said. It was so hurtful. I think what made it hurt the worst is the fact that she acted like she did nothing wrong. It broke my heart. Why would you say that to someone? You don’t know if I will ever be able to have another kid, and also if you don’t know what to say when another human tells you something sad, at the very least try and be humane and say I’m sorry.

Regardless of the fact that the cashier hurt my feelings that day, I was very happy and thankful for my ring. It really meant a lot to me that Charles wanted to get one for me. It’s not even the fact that he bought me jewelry, but it’s the fact that he was trying to be there for me and understand what I was going through.

The Effects of Miscarriage on My Marriage

After Charles returned from Washington D.C. and I returned home… things were different. Since I hadn’t seen Charles since the day before my procedure, I guess I didn’t really know what to do or say. Sure, we had talked on the phone and stuff… but it still seemed awkward to talk in person after something so tragic happened.

I tried talking to him like we used to, but it wasn’t working. I wasn’t the same person I was. In fact I didn’t know who I was. I was confused, lost and broken. This some how made me want to put a wall up between me and my husband. This may have been because I was still trying to protect him, or it may have been because I somehow resented him for going on a trip that I told him to go on… who knows.

Through a few days of tip toeing around each other, awkwardness and short tempers, we finally hit our breaking point. We fought. It was tension that had been boiling for awhile. It was pretty intense and a level of fighting we hadn’t had in a long time. Despite the fact it was intense and stressful, it was necessary. We needed that fight. That fight helped us move forward.

I had come to a point that I didn’t want to ask for what I needed, I just wanted Charles to know what I needed. What was really cruel was the fact that Charles would try to help and be there for me, and I would constantly shoot him down if it wasn’t exactly what I wanted or needed at the time. Looking back, I feel absolutely terrible. That wasn’t fair to Charles. In the end, I had to swallow my pride and ask for what I needed. It wasn’t easy but in the end it helped both our mental health and our marriage.

The Hurtful Things People Say… and What NOT to Say After a Woman has a Miscarriage

When Charles and I shared the news with people that we had lost our baby, we had a variety of many different reactions. A majority of people meant well, however that didn’t make their words hurt any less. Miscarriage is a trauma, and unfortunately our society doesn’t fully understand how to help people who have endured trauma. Now, I’m no expert…. but I would like to share with you my experience of things people said to me and what not to say to a woman or couple who have experienced a miscarriage.

1. Trying to Make Them Feel Better…”It will be okay.” “It happen for a reason.”

Many, many, many people told me this. I wouldn’t necessarily consider this phrase bad as much as unhelpful. Yes, it is true that after a traumatic event happens, with time and healing, life goes on and things are somewhat “okay”, However, if someone is in shock, crisis, depressed or unstable…. saying this phrase can make them feel that their situation doesn’t matter, isn’t a big deal or they are overreacting. I never found this phrase helpful, and it only made me angry instead of making me feel better.

2. You’re Not Too Old to Try Again… “You’re young… you’ll have more.”

A cashier at a store said this to me when my husband was buying me a gift in remembrance of our baby. For the record… being young doesn’t not necessarily mean you’ll be able to have more kids, and secondly being young does not make it hurt any less.

3. Asking Too Many Questions and Over Analyzing… “Were you trying?” “Was it a planned pregnancy?” “How did you get pregnant?”

It’s okay to want to help a friend and know information, however take your cues from the other person. More often than not if someone is disclosing that they’ve had a miscarriage they are looking for comfort and support, not for you to analyze them and find a reason why. When it comes to miscarriage, we often never find a reason why. It takes a lot of trust for people to open up and share something very personal with another person.

4. Trying to be Positive… “Stop wallowing.” “It could be worse.” “Cheer up” “Don’t be sad.” “Just be happy already.” “It’s not that bad.”

When someone is in the stages of grief, especially in shock, anger, and depression it’s extremely difficult to be happy. So many women who have suffered a miscarriage feel like their world just came crashing down. Not only did their baby die, but so did all the dreams they had for that baby. So, it’s okay for them to be sad. It’s okay for them to not be okay for awhile. I understand it’s hard to see someone so incredibly heartbroken, but by telling someone not to be sad, is not helpful and may also hinder their healing process.

5. “I understand, my Grandma died.”

I know we may mean well by saying we understand because we’ve lost someone too. However, unless you’ve actually experienced pregnancy loss, or the death of a child, we won’t truly understand. When a woman has a miscarriage, she is not only grieving over the baby she lost, but she is also often blaming herself and her body for failing her. It’s a very complex type of grief. It’s also important to keep in mind that every individual’s situation is different. Even if you and someone else you know has had a miscarriage… it is their own individual loss and individual story.

6. Rushing Them to Get Over the Loss… “When can you start trying again?” “When are you going to have more kids?”

It’s not your place to ask these questions, especially if a miscarriage recently happen. In my personal experience, this is one of the last questions I wanted to be asked. I was grieving for my baby. Allow others to do the same.

7. At least…. “You had a miscarriage… at least you know you can get pregnant.” “At least you only had one miscarriage.” “At least the baby died early so you didn’t have time to bond with them that long.” “At least you weren’t that far along.” “At least it wasn’t a planned pregnancy.” “At least you already have a baby.” “At least it happen quick.”

This is my personal favorite!… that was sarcasm if you couldn’t tell. After having a miscarriage I could not believe how many people use this phrase to try and cheer people up, and not just with miscarriage but pretty much with any bad and uncomfortable situation. I talked about this phrase with my counselor. She explained to me that even though people have good intentions, they don’t realize how hurtful a phrase starting with the words at least really is. The reason people use it is 1) because it’s commonly used, and 2) because when an individual hears of a sad, terrible, uncomfortable event or situation they too feel uncomfortable. As humans we don’t like feeling uncomfortable, and will often try and not stay in that situation. We often do this by looking at silver-linings and the bright side of things. This seems like a good idea to us, because we are turning a sad conversation into something pleasant and taking the uncomfortableness off of us. Good idea right?… Wrong! By doing this, we are ultimately disregarding someone’s feelings and what they have gone through, and that’s not fair. If they are trusting us to hear something very personal about themselves, then instead of feeling uncomfortable and avoiding it, we should just listen.

8. Reactions and Being Over Emotional

It’s understandable that when hearing of something sad and heartbreaking such as a miscarriage, we might be sad for that person. However, we shouldn’t be overly sad, and dramatic for that person and their situation. What I mean is, if someone tells you they have had a miscarriage, don’t be hysterical and more upset than they are. They are the ones that lost the baby, not you. Don’t make it about you.


Again, I’m not a professional but I am 1 in 4 women who have experienced a miscarriage. I am a woman and angel mommy who was hurt by many of these phrases. This is just my personal advice I’d like to offer to others.

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Why?

I remember being rolled to the recovery room. I remember not feeling any physical pain. I remember thinking the lights were way too bright. I remember feeling really confused, not sure where I was or why I felt so incredibly out of it. Then… I remembered everything.

Bargaining

I felt the weight of my broken heart throughout my entire body. My baby was gone… spiritually, emotionally, mentally and now physically. She was gone forever. I began crying, screaming, and yelling. In my head I didn’t think I was that loud, but apparently I was because the people in recovery continuously told me I was being too loud. I felt my nurses trying to comfort me by holding my hand and rubbing my arm. I remember a nurse trying to have me take some pills and a sip of water. I think the pills were for anxiety. I remember I would hear a beeping noise every time I would hold my breath, my nurses would remind me to breathe.

“Why God Why!? God killed my baby! God took her away!” I continued thrashing in the bed. I was so overcome by emotion and heartbreak. “God how could you do this to me!? I want my baby! I want Mackenzie! I hate you God! How could you do this to me!? Oh Mackenzie!” I continued screaming this in recovery. I remember hearing the nurses talk about bringing my mom back.

When my mom came back, I was still a heart broken mess. My mom did her best to calm me down. I know it was hard for her to see me like that. My mom ended up giving me my bear and I held on to it tight. My arms ached. I needed something to hold. I came into the hospital pregnant, but I didn’t get to leave the hospital with a baby.

“Why? Why did my baby have to die? What did I do wrong? I’m her mom, I should have known!” I was entering in the stage of bargaining. I pleaded with God and couldn’t fathom why God chose to take my baby. As I pleaded with God, a nurse came over to me. She told me not to do this to myself. She said not to beat myself up and go down this dark road. She told me I did nothing wrong. It wasn’t fair. There’s so many moms in the world who don’t take care of their babies, and their babies live and have rough lives. Where as I would have done anything to be the best mom I could be and take care of my baby. It wasn’t fair.

Eventually, the drugs kicked in and I settled down. I ended up staying in recovery 2 hours longer than expected because I was so emotionally unstable. My nurses and parents got me ready and took me home. Everything from that day after this point is a blur. I’m assuming I just slept the rest of the day but I don’t know for sure. All I know is that by the end of the day, I was no longer pregnant and I was heartbroken.

“I have heard your prayers and seen your fears; I will heal you.” – 2 Kings 20:5

Saying Goodbye…

The minute I arrived at the hospital on Thursday February 28th, I started to cry. It was going to be a long day. When we walked into the building I called Charles. He was at the airport and at a lost for words. He so badly wanted to be here for me, but also wanted to respect my wishes by going on his trip. He was very gentle and comforted me over the phone as best he could. I tried my best to be strong for him. I didn’t want him to beat himself up for going on the trip even though I told him to go.

Since we arrived to the hospital early, my parents decided to go downstairs to the cafeteria to eat breakfast. I wasn’t allowed to eat since midnight the night before. I wasn’t hungry anyway. While in the cafeteria, I sat at the table waiting for Alli. She promised she would come visit me on her way to work before my procedure. I sat there snuggling my quilt trying to keep it together. I felt my tears start to well up again in my eyes. When I looked up I saw Alli walking towards me. Her face of sadness and compassion told me it was safe to fall apart. I stood up and ran over to Alli. I hugged her and began to sob. I felt my body collapse into her embrace. I could feel Alli crying too. She was heartbroken. We stood there in the middle of the cafeteria of the hospital sobbing. Some might say it was an inappropriate place to fall apart. But considering it was a hospital, I’m sure they see it all the time. In that moment, I didn’t care who might be staring or judging us. All I cared about is that my friend was here. She was the first person to know I was pregnant and she had been a huge support for me since day one. I’m so glad she came.


When I went to the Out Patient Surgery Department they got me registered and asked me for a urine sample. I asked them why they would need it. I mean…. they already knew I was pregnant. I had no energy to argue with them so I did what they said. Later a nurse named Sara came back to the waiting room to help me get prepped. She apologized that they made me give a urine sample. The system does not allow them to see what surgery I am scheduled for, therefore they didn’t know I was pregnant.

She brought me back to a small pre-op room. She asked me questions and we talked about medications and standard health information. I told her that I had a lot of questions to ask my doctor about what to expect following the D & C. Sara told me she was happy to answer any questions I may have. I asked all my questions of anything from a decrease in pregnancy symptoms, to pain, to bleeding to mental health. She was very open and honest in answering all of my questions. She also disclosed to me that she could only share from her own experience as she had suffered from 5 miscarriages. When she told me this, my heart broke for her. How are you still standing? I thought. Before leaving she saw I began to cry as I knew my procedure was quickly approaching. She looked at me and said “I know Sweetie… I know.” She then opened her arms and gave me a hug. Sara was absolutely amazing, and to this day I feel so blessed that God allowed me to meet her before my procedure.

My mom helped me undress and get into my hospital gown. I laid on the bed and covered up with a blanket. More surgical nurses and techs came in to ask me questions, start my IV and prepare me for my procedure. Alli and my dad joined us in the room about an hour and a half before I had to go back to surgery. The room was very small and crowded, but it was comforting knowing they were all there. At about 11:30am Charles texted me and told me his plane landed. I was able to sigh with relief. I was very stressed and emotional with the procedure, but knowing that Charles had landed safely before my procedure made me feel a lot better. My anesthesiologist and surgeon came into the room. They both asked me questions and prepared me for the procedure. I had peace and good vibes from both of them. I knew anything could go wrong, but I was confident I was in good hands.


My surgery was pushed back to 12:30pm. I was told that the social worker was too busy to come see me but I was still able to visit with the Chaplin. When the Chaplin came in I was kind of stunned. He looked just like my husband! The only real difference was his accent and long beard. It was so uncanny. The Chaplin introduced himself to my parents, Alli and I. He gave me some sympathy cards, a book about miscarriage, and a praying bear. He talked with me about my story, our baby’s name and my faith. He led my family in prayer, and prayed over me that I would be safe through the surgery. He prayed that the doctors would have wisdom during the procedure and that I would be able to find God again through this grief and sadness. As he continued praying my dad suddenly burst into tears. He had sadness in his face since my ultrasound, but I had yet to see him cry. Maybe he was trying to be strong for me. He cried hard, and I could tell he was trying to fight it. He held my hand. It broke my heart but also gave me joy. He loved this baby too.

After the prayer the Chaplin left and Alli left for work. The nurses came in and said it was time to say good bye to mom and dad. I squeezed my prayer bear one more time and handed it to my mom. My parents both kissed me on the head and started to cry. I tried to be brave and told them I was gonna be fine. I felt the surgical people pull my hair into a hair net and put booties on my feet, I started to panic as my parents walked away. I wasn’t ready for this. I wasn’t ready to not be pregnant anymore. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. Just then it all hit me. The drugs… the wonderful, feels like you’re flying and floating on a cloud drugs. I wasn’t panicked anymore. I felt GREAT!

They rolled me to the operating room. I remember thinking my arm hurt. It was the arm with my IV. I kept saying something to the nurse and they kept trying to adjust it. When I got to the room I had to move onto the table. I laid down and tried to relax. Then I felt my other arm hurt. They kept asking me what hurts. Turns out it was just the blood pressure cuff. Then my calves tickled. I began giggling. I was loopy. I remember my surgeon getting concerned. I tried telling her something was tickling my calves. She told me it was the compressor that helps you not to get blood clots. That’s a relief. I looked up at the ceiling and realized it was all about to change. When I wake up I won’t be pregnant. This gave me sadness. I prayed to God one more time. Please God, forgive me of my sins and keep me safe in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Then I was out.