Tag Archives: sarah

a decade

10 years ago at this time i was lying in a hospital bed near Nashville, TN. I was surrounded by my friends and family and we were waiting.

My parents and sister drove in from St. Louis.  My sister was getting ready to run the Country Music Marathon the next weekend.

My brother rented a car and drove in from college.

My mother-in-law and sisters-in-law drove 7 hours from Springfield.

My teacher friends came straight from school.

We were laughing but it wasn’t real laughter.  I was in a fog and I was heavily medicated. 

We were waiting. Waiting for the nightmare to be over. Waiting for news that there had been a mistake. Waiting to hear that our baby was going to be born alive and healthy.

We never heard that.

We continued to wait while the medication worked to induce labor.  We waited through back labor.  We waited through a botched epidural.  We waited for more than 24 hours for Sarah to finally be born.   Born still on April 23, 2004.

I remember when she finally started coming how hard I was crying.  Not because I was in pain but because I experienced a deep sadness that I had never felt.  I remember announcing to everyone (I don’t know why but there were a ton of doctors and nurses) in the room that I was crying because I was “just really sad.”  I remember how much the grief hurt (emotionally and physically) in the weeks following.

It has been 10 years since Sarah left us. Life has continued and we have been blessed but today, suddenly I feel lost.  I know that I will never get over it, but I have gotten through it.  Yet some days I fall back into that sadness.  

When Bubba and Dude talk about wishing their older sister were still here so they could pester her. When I see my sister and sisters in law with their girls. When I think about my baby girl finishing up 4th grade. When the hubs and I decided we weren’t going to have anymore children. That whole in my heart opens up big and cold.  I hurt and feel sadness.  Sometimes briefly.  Sometimes it lasts a little longer.

But I somehow I make through.   

10 years ago I started making it through because I was surrounded by people that love me and were hurting for me.  They helped carry my burden.  My husband, my parents, my sister, my brother, my mother in law and my sisters in law, my team of teachers- each held a piece of my life together until I could walk on my own again. I cannot express enough gratitude for them.

Today I am hurting. I had a good cleansing cry in the bathroom after school.  But I am making it through because I have Bubba and Dude wrestling at my feet and performing armpit fart songs for me.

Say a prayer for me today, please.

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remembrance

Today is October 15th.  For most this is just another day on the calendar.  For others, it is a day of remembrance.  Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

A few years ago I wrote this and shared our story.  Feel free to read but please don’t feel sorry for us.  God has blessed us in so many ways.  I know that one day we will be reunited with our baby girl.  There will always be a hole in my heart but that hole has shaped who I am as a wife, mom, teacher, friend, and person.

Instead, love the families that have lost.  Listen to the mom that wants to talk about her child that was lost.  Support and pray for those experience the pain.  Remember the babies.

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sucker punch

Remember my post from earlier this week?  The one about how I have survived and been blessed over the last 9 years?

yeah well… just because I am okay these days, I am not over it.

I realized that tonight when I went to the grocery store.  While visiting with a former student she told me her aunt had had a still born baby girl today.  Immediately, I started crying.  It was like I had been sucker punched.  As the student shared her aunt’s story, I began hurt for a mom I have never met, for the family of this student that I love and know will be forever impacted in a way my family can relate.

I appreciate that my former student trusted me enough to share her sadness.  I hope that I can support her and love her (and her sister, whom I have in class now) in a real and relate-able way.  I hope I am able to reach her aunt and minister to her as well.

I pray for the family of baby Brightleigh Skye tonight.

By the way, before now, this student did not know about  Sarah- I am completely honest about her but I don’t freely share this information with my students.

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9 years

Today would have been Sarah’s 9th birthday.  I have spent a little bit of time this week thinking about what she would have been doing as a 9 year old…learning to write in cursive, how to multiply, how to play softball, and she probably would have started water skiing this summer.

I am a sad that I don’t get to experience those things with her but those feelings don’t overwhelm me anymore.  Today, for Sarah’s birthday, I want to encourage friends that have lost children.

About 6 weeks after Sarah died, my grandma took me to lunch to see how I was doing.  She shared her story of loss and was very encouraging to me.  She told me to cry when I wanted.  She told me to be happy without guilt.  She also told me that I might cry everyday and then one day I would realize I hadn’t cried. And then I would cry because I felt guilty.  She was right.

Grandma also told me that over time the tears would dry up and I would be okay. She was right again.

Grandma encouraged me to look for God in my life.  I decided to not lose sight of God in the loss of Sarah.  I have continually tried look for how Sarah has changed our lives for the better. She is the angel that watches over us.  She is waiting for us to be reunited in heaven.

After 9 years, the tears and the hurt have subsided.  I will always hold her close to my heart.  I still ache when I hold infant baby girls.  I mourn in a personal when friend loses a baby.

But I have survived.

And I promise, to my friends dealing with a loss, you will too.

One day, you will realize that you didn’t cry.  One day it won’t hurt so bad.  One day you will smile at the memories rather than ache with the loss.  One day it might make sense.

Until that day, it is okay to cry.  I love you and I will continue to pray for you.

Have you experienced the loss of a child?  Tell me your story.

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heartbreak

tonight i read that an old friend is hurting.

she gave birth 2 weeks ago to a baby girl when she was only 28 weeks along.   i don’t know the details surrounding it but i do know that we have been praying hard for sweet baby clare.

tonight, clare went to heaven and i am shedding tears for her amazing mom, andrea.  

it has been almost 9 years since sarah left us and our wounds have healed.  but tonight that pain is raw. I remember exactly how i felt when we were told we wouldn’t be bringing our baby home. when all we had hoped for and prepared for was ripped out of our hands.

we felt so alone.  we felt so hurt.  we felt so sad.  we felt so empty.
Tonight i feel those things for Andrea.
Tonight I shed tears for all those babies taken too soon.
Tonight I pray that heaven holds them close and that they are having a party with the angels.
Tonight I mourn the loss our baby clare and hope that sarah welcomes her home.

Please pray for my friend tonight.  

you can read sarah’s story here.

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sudden tears

Tonight we had two meetings at church.

The first was an organizational/information meeting for our summer mission trip.  The Campbell family is going to Canada in July to work with native groups and  help with church planting.  We are feeling a strong call to go and are really excited.  (However, Bubba is pretty concerned about the 18 hour car ride.)

The second meeting was a leader debriefing following our spring semester of the Alpha course.  This is a ministry that the Hubs and I head up at our church.  We have seen some really great things happen through our involvement in the Alpha course over the last 7+ years.  Our lives were transformed through the Alpha course flowing the death of our baby.

It has been a little over 8 years since Sarah went to be with Jesus.  This year I made it through her birthday on April 23rd with no tears.  The boys made it easier to celebrate her because they love talking about their sister the angel.

Tonight however, it was mentioned that a financial gift was given to our church that was designated specifically for the Alpha ministry.  Our pastor said it was from someone that is not affiliated with our church.  He then said the name.  I lost it immediately.

On April 23rd someone very close to the Hubs and I made a donation in memory of Sarah to a ministry that means so much to us.

I have recently been connected another family that has lost a baby in a similar manner.  As I read their blog, my emotions are raw.  My heart is breaking for them and my wounds are reopening.  After 8 years my tears are fewer and further between but tonight they flowed easily.

Tonight I encourage you to pray for families that have dealt with infant loss.  I also encourage you to explore where God is leading you to serve.  Then take the risk and serve Him.

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8 years

This would be the year that Sarah would have been in 2nd grade.  April 23 marks 8 yrs since I delivered our stillborn baby girl.  I can’t believe how much time has passed and how much life has been lived since that day.

I remember the ultrasound where we saw that she had stopped growing.  That her heart was no longer beating.  I remember the doctor giving us the news.  I remember the waiting in Stones River Hospital.  Waiting for labor to progress.  Waiting for the pain to be over.  Waiting for an answer.

I remember the feeling of being hit by a truck- the pain of mourning.  I remember the tears.  I remember feeling like I would never be able to move on.  I remember all of the love, support, and encouragement from all of my family, friends, and coworkers.  I remember feeling so alone in our crowed little apartment.

I remember her first birthday and the fear that I was the only one that would think of Sarah.  I remember the fear that my pregnancy with Bubba (and later Dude) would end the same way Sarah’s did.  I remember being afraid of how I would tell people.

8 years later all of that seems so small in comparison to God’s grace.  In the last 8 years, we have been more than blessed.  We have been loved, encouraged, and supported.

Sarah is a part of our family.  When the boys draw pictures of all of us, they always include Sarah with angel wings.  When people ask about our family, I think about how I explain Sarah.  The boys freely tell about their sister in heaven- about their personal angel.

God has used this tragedy to shape and direct our lives.  We know that every second is a blessing.  The hope in meeting our baby in heaven is great.  God is good and we are so lucky to have so much even in such a loss.

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