There it was. I saw the white fluffy top peaking out from behind the Christmas boxes and a bunch of tangled lights. I pulled out the tiny, white stocking and tears came to my eyes. I shouldn’t be surprised by this as every year when it comes time to pull out the Christmas decorations it happens.
Today I’m going to let you a little bit into my life. In 2005, we lost our first pregnancy. The tiny white stocking that I pull out every year was the stocking I bought before I knew we lost the baby and it was the stocking I bought to hang on our mantle for our first Christmas pregnant.
It is the stocking that was never hung.
My husband and I had been married for nearly 3 years. We knew we wanted children and had been praying about when the right time was to start trying. We got pregnant very quickly, however, I immediately had an uneasy spirit about it. I had no real reason to feel this way. After all, I was young and healthy but I just couldn’t shake it.
9 weeks into it I had some complications and called the doctor. I remember waiting that day until the ultrasound appointment. Trying to rest in God, knowing that He had everything under control, but that sense of uneasiness came back.
We went to our appointment and I could tell right away things weren’t right. Sure enough, we got word from my nurse. There was no heartbeat. The ultrasound showed that the baby had passed quickly (at around 6.5 weeks) even though I was almost 10 weeks along. (A missed miscarriage is the technical term)
Of course I cried and my heart broke, but oddly enough, I sensed peace for the first time in a while. With the confirmation that the baby was indeed gone, we scheduled a D&C. I’ll never forget laying on that hospital bed and crying as I was being pulled into the OR.
Why, God? We have sought Your will! We waited for Your timing!
After the surgery, the wonderful staff at my hospital told me that what they got from me would be buried at a tombstone with a verse. They also gave me some brochures and one of them referenced Psalm 139. I read that passage many times before but it took new light for me that day. That passage gave me the strength to press on over the dark, lonely days that were ahead of me.
I remember being at a crossroads. I had 2 choices; to let this bring me closer to God or to draw me further away from Him. God had never failed me before that point in my life, so I had no reason to think He would at that moment, so I chose Him.
I’ve been able to use my story as encouragement to many other women since then. I’ve cried and prayed with many women who have gone through the same thing and have been able to share my hope that got me through it. My wonderful sister in law had her 2nd son just days after our miscarriage and had some complications that ended up taking away the chance to have children again. Here we were. 2 sisters (who married brothers) each struggling with loss, but in different ways. Our hearts were able to bond quickly and share in our pain of loss.
My nephew and sister-in law, Sue, a week after my miscarriage.
You know the rest of my story. I have 2 wonderful children! But this doesn’t take away the memory of my little one in heaven. Every Christmas I am reminded of this painful time in my life but I’m also reminded of how God graced us with 2 more! I am reminded of how God gives each one of us a story and that He wants it to glorify Him.
I’m also reminded of the crossroads I approached. I shudder to think if I would have turned my back on the Lord at that time and I’m thankful that He drew me to Him in those tender moments. Dear Sister, are you at a crossroads now? Turn to HIM. He will not fail you!
So the stocking? Well, the stocking will always be a part of our family. It may never have been hung, but it’s never going away. It’s a representation of the blessing that God gave to us and then took away, but, Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Clare, Thank you for sharing your story! Your story is my story without Christmas! After trying for 1 1/2 years to conceive, we finally did. We, too, had a missed miscarriage and it broke my heart but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to move on without God by my side. He has blessed us with two great boys and every fall I think about our sweet little angel in heaven, who is also loved!!! God is good!!!
Thank you for sharing this story with us. I know it is going to minister to many. My first and fifth pregnancies ended in missed miscarriages as well. I also struggled with the same thoughts as you. I had a choice to make – to either push God away or draw closer to Him. I am thankful He is the God of all comfort and His love never ends.
You are such an inspiration to our family. I remember how excited you were to be pregnant for the first time. My heart broke for you when you had the miscarriage. God is so good – he gave you two perfect healthy children ( of course I am not prejudiced) but there will always be a place in our hearts for the little one that is in heaven waiting for us.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Clare. That story touched my heart. I wasn’t aware that you experienced that. I’m so sorry for your loss, but so happy to hear how God drew near to you during that time. My first pregnancy also ended in miscarriage at 10 weeks. It broke my heart as well. Up until that time, I was terrified that if I experienced any type of tragedy that it would shake my faith in God. However, it did the opposite. I felt Him in a way I never had before. He truly does comfort the broken-hearted.
*tear* That was such an emotional week…bad and good. Are bond did grow that day pictured above, it was nice to have someone to talk to and cry with that really understood. (I should also note just bc the baby looks 3 months old in that pic he was only a few days old, he was just born large:) xoxo ~ YFSIL
Love you Claire!
I knew you had a miscarriage, but never knew the whole story. I’m sure you appreciate your other two precious gifts all the more after that experience.
Hugs and tears here, Clare. This must have been so difficult for you, and so difficult to share today, yet you selflessly glorify God in all you do. You are such a blessing!
Dear Clare, thank you for sharing your story! I had a miscarriage with my first pregnancy in August of this year. It is a difficult thing to go through, but it is comforting to know that you are not alone! May God continue to bless you in your ministry on this blog!
Thank you for sharing this. It is so comforting to hear your story, and the faith you carried with you. I really love that even though you know God has a plan, you allow yourself to feel grief- and I think that is so healthy, real, and important. I love your blog so much, thank you for sharing this.
Thank you for having the courage to share this. I have two babies in Heaven, one that was the exact time as yours (6wks, but we didn’t find out until 10wks) back in 2006, and then just this past August, we lost our little boy at 14.5 weeks. Losing these two has made me realize what a precious miracle our daughter (2.5 yrs old) is. God has given us strength in our weakness to accept His will for our lives, even when we can’t understand. Again, thank you for sharing, and thank you for your blog.
This made me cry thank you for sharing your story
Ahhh, my dear friend. I remember this time still clearly for you as well. I remember Barrett’s wife (there’s no way I will spell it correctly, so here we go = Sajpan??) being pregnant with Noah at the time, but didn’t know your sisinlaw also had a baby. You have been so wonderful through all of this. And you were such an inspiration when we went through our long journey to get pregnant with Brandt. The McClungs love you and your sweet family so much. We cherish your friendship.
I can hardly believe you posted this tonight! I just heard a song that I haven’t heard in years that reminded me of our angel in heaven~ Anika. I like to think our children are playing together. I’m sure they hit it off like their mommies. Thank you for sharing Clare. ((HUGS)) :*)
We also lost our first baby. I have no stocking, but do have several other things with memories attached in a box. We also have a special Christmas ornament to remember. Many blessings to you this season. I agree with the person above that all of our babies are probably great friends in Heaven.
You are so encouraging. May you be blessed with holiday season sister!!!
It is also my story, but not at Christmas. Ours was discovered at 11 weeks, and had passed at 7.5 weeks but was missed. I understand the heartbreak. We saved all of our early ultrasound pictures and i keep them locked away with a note I wrote to our little angel. But now, I have two handsome boys and I take so much joy in every moment with them. Around the time of year of the loss I always do get emotional, and I keep a stuffed frog we had gotten for the nursery in my room on my dresser. <3 Thanks so much for sharing your story.
Many thoughts to you!
Beautiful, I love this idea! I had a miscarriage very early on as well.
I had 2 miscarriages at around the 10/11 week mark when I was just 22. I had no clue about the first loss, I never thought it would happen to me. When we got pg again, I was not at peace. I had a feeling it wasn’t going to work out. I keep the ultrasound pictures in a heart-shaped Godiva box along with a few cards. I belong to a “secret” FB group, just for those who have been through this. We pray for each other and help others get through this by encouraging them, It’s also a place where you can be honest about how you feel. I wish I’d have had it back then.
We now have 2 boys, 10 & 5. The 5 yr old is Autistic/Non-Verbal. Our life is challenging and stressful (just like everyone else’s), but I wouldn’t trade it.Our life is not perfect by far, but I’m so glad God has blessed us with our sons. ~Jessica
P.S. Thanks for sharing! ~Jess
Thank you for sharing your story. It always makes me happy when women are strong enough to share a painful event, but I think it is important that we do, as it is a part of God’s story.
I’m just now going through my second miscarriage and this time around it was just like your story-a missed miscarriage. We had made it all the way to 10 weeks only to find out that the baby stopped growing at 6 weeks. A day later I ended up in the hospital with low platelet counts and was later diagnosed in the week with a blood disorder called ITP. I’m very thankful to God for his perfect timing, because had he not given me a feeling that something was wrong with the pregnancy, I could have died if I had not insisted on seeing the doctor early.
With both miscarriages, my initial reaction was fear that it was going to destroy my relationship with God. Each time, I’ve only grown closer to God. I thought for sure with everything I went through this time, that I might feel angry with God, but the only feeling I have is that He is faithful and He loves me, and I feel 100% sure that someday I will see His face and he will make everything better.
Although I am extremely sad to have lost my baby, I’m also happy to know that there is nothing – absolutely nothing – the evil one can do to try to break my relationship with God. He can take away everything from me, but he can’t take away my God. I take comfort in this scripture: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -Romans 8:38-39
Thank you for your story. I have experienced three miscarriages (first, third and fouth pregnancies). I now have three beautiful children. During my first miscarriage, I tell others that that is when I read through the book of Job and realized God is always there. My best friend gave birth to her first son just 10 days after that and it only made us closer. I don’t think you truly understand something like that until you go through it. Thank you again for your story.
Thank you for sharing your story. It is so, so difficult. I know, I’ve been there. I had a miscarriage this past summer. I was almost 10 weeks along, only I no idea than anything was wrong. I went to the doctor for my first ultrasound and found out that the baby had no heartbeat. I wrote a little about it here on my blog:
Hi Clare. Thank you for sharing this story. I am 27 years old. In 2008, my first pregnancy was your exact story. It’s amazing how God can work to bring a sense of peace and “hey I know what you went through” to remind us that we are all in this together as sisters in Christ and sharing our stories of heartbreak can really be a blessing. I had a second miscarriage before I successfully carried my son, Jacob, who is now 20 months old. Blessed be the name of the Lord, indeed. Merry Christmas!
Thank you for sharing your heart. You will touch many women. I m so for the pain you experienced. My mother had 4 miscarriages and I remember her pain, the pain she still has at not knowing her children, but knows she will see them again. I hvave never experienced a miscarriage, only being told we would never had children, being blessed with 2 sons,and infertility again for 8 years. I pray that God will bless you this Christmas richly! Thank you for blessing others.
Your story really touched me. God is good. So glad he blessed you with 2 children. I’ve had 2 miscarriages and 2 healthy children.
Thanks for sharing this….I too, know that pain of miscarriage as I have had 5. I had 3 children and have now adopted 4 more. God has blessed us! I struggled with the first miscarriage and came so close to harboring anger towards God for allowing this pain and loss into my life. Ultimately, He was my lifeline to surviving such a great sorrow. He knows my heart and comforts in ways beyond my earthly explanation.
Boy, am I right there.
Struggle with infertility. Have 2 children now. Miscarried a few months ago. I’m still broken, struggling, grieving, depressed, asking why. Needing God’s comfort. Thanks for sharing.
As I read your story, I thought I was reading my own. Although some of the details were slightly different, our miscarriage was almost identical-no heartbeat, praying for God’s will, the D&C, coming to a crossroad in my faith. I believe that it is because I (like yourself) chose to cling to the cross instead of run from it that has allowed me to not only move on peace, but also be an encouragement & testimony of how gracious and loving our Heavenly Father is to his children. Thank you for sharing your story. Glory to Him!
I am bawling my brains out right now Miss Clare. Thank you for this window into your life and your heart and your FAITH! You are a precious woman. Love you.
God bless you to all have posted. We lost our 1st just days after finding out we were expecting. Our 4th at 10 wks, blighted ovum, everything developed except the baby with that one. Three months later we were pregnant again with #5, I carried him to 36wks 6 days. He was diagnosed with T18 at 15wks gestation and told he would not probably survive the pregnancy. God granted us an amazing gift of 40 1/2 days with him and used that journey to draw us closer to HIM and trust in his grace and mercy. My heart goes out for anyone who has lost a child at any stage. We serve an amazing God and will be reunited with HIM and our children when we get to Heaven! (sorry for such a long entry)
Thank you for sharing this story. This was also my journey with our second baby. I tucked that pain away and didn’t let God help me begin to heal until recently, and I am so thankful that He was faithful, and kept gently wooing me back to His loving arms.
Oh Clare! You are so brave to share that with the world. Thank you for your honesty! Your faith to cling to the Lord at that time is inspiring. I love Psalm 139.
Hugs to you.
Claire! I almost could have written this story. The timing is exact to my own miscarriage. Although it was my second pregnancy, I lost the baby around 6-7 weeks but didn’t find out until about 9 weeks.
It was so hard, but it was the most peace I’d ever felt in my life. God showed up and comforted me in a way I had never known.
God has since healed my heart and blessed me with more children. But it has equipped me to know what to pray for others when they are going through this difficult time: peace that surpasses all understanding.
Blessings to you my friend and may that same peace be over you this Christmas. ((Hugs))
Oh, how this blessed my heart! I, too, have been affected by 3 miscarriages since having a perfectly healthy baby girl in 2008. I lost 2 other babies years prior to her conception! The last baby lost was this past March, and 3 days after I found out I lost the baby, my best friend delivered a perfectly, healthy baby boy! I was ECSTATIC for her, and I wanted to visit her in the hospital. (She and I were both pregnant at the SAME time, with our girls, and our girls are 2 weeks apart in age, we both were present at the birth for them and they are best friends.) I knew I should be there for her, but I was sad…I DIDN’T want to go and hold this precious baby, I wanted to stay home and cry! But PRAISE THE LORD (by God’s grace ONLY) I pushed myself to go visit her the evening of his birth! She was so happy to have me there, and I, too, felt great to be there! I didn’t talk about me, nor my loss! I wanted to make HER and her baby feel special! Thankfully, I went! Her family went home, and her husband went home and she was left all alone with this precious baby, so I was able to stay and keep her company during this time! I left there thinking Thank you Lord for helping me forget about me for a little while and love someone else! This dear, sweet friend had been there for me, with another one of my miscarriages, sent me a package of my favorite things and even a funny, singing card! FRIENDS, the best thing you can do, as Claire said, is keep going, and DO let your pain draw you closer to God, and to people, because the tendency is to curl up and want to handle it all alone! Seek God, and friendly, godly ladies to aid in your sorrow and pain! GOD BLESS, and thanks again for this article!
Thanks for being so transparent. Your words are so tender and very encouraging I’m sure to many women. My prayer is that God will bless you abundantly during this holiday season as we celebrate His birth. You are a very important vessel and He will continue to use you in a mighty way.
Merry Christmas and God Bless,
I never knew this my friend….but, what a story to share with other aching women. I, an only child, have a brother in heaven that someday I will get to meet…that will be a glorious day. Love you, Nelle
Thank you for sharing this story. Like so many women, I have a similar story. 6 years ago I lost a baby almost 13 weeks into my pregnancy. I still have the gifts we bought for that angel and take them out of a memory box every now and then. It is such a heart breaking moment to live through, I will never forget my angel in Heaven.
Like so many other women, I too have several little ones resting in the arms of our perfect, loving Father. We lost 9 little ones before being blessed with two beautiful boys through adoption. 15 years later, I still feel that pain, esp at Christmas and Mother’s Day. Thank you for sharing your story. It’s always good to hear other’s stories and remember you’re not alone.
Thankyou for sharing your story. Two years ago I miscarried under similar circumstances to yours, no heartbeat at 10 weeks, child was size of seven weeks. I miscarried on Christmas Day, and the baby would have been the youngest with 5 older siblings. It was very difficult to be happy for my other kids, when I just wanted to curl up and mourn the little one whom I would never meet in this life.
Every Christmas since, I have mixed feelings, it is a bitter-sweet time for me. I love Christmas and remembering Christ, the whole purpose of the season, but the missing family member is conspicuous by their absence.
I’m just now seeing this; I had no idea but I’m glad you shared your story. Psalm 139 is the verse I kept being led to after my losses. Our curly haired kids are in heaven together 🙂 I’ve started a support group at the GriefCare Place in Stow for infant loss and miscarriage (some good that can come from loss, right?) and I’ve found joy in helping others work through the grief process. It is such a process and can especially be difficult during the holidays. 🙂 Merry Christmas!
I definitely know how you feel when you find that little stocking. My husband and I lost our first baby at 8 short weeks, and now 10 months later we have our little angel girl. But The pain is there and doesn’t go away but I know God has us in His hands. Thanks for sharing your story.
Very interesting and that you could re-live ur experience/challenges with us…My wife had to have the D&C…. thanks.
my english is not so good, but i know your pain.I had five misscariages(hope i find the right word).
One of them was in 17ssw.I trust in Jesus an know hi hold my babys.
The first time i lost a baby, god shows me Psalm 56,9.
Between i was crying ,i read this.
God bless you
Love you sister 🙂 We also lost our baby at 9 weeks. Such a profound loss, and such great comfort in our savior.
I just wrote my own story about stockings sharpening the pain of miscarriage just a few days ago. We just had our fourth miscarriage in a row. (We are also blessed to have a healthy 3 year old.) It was uncanny to see your story pop up in my pinterest feed. http://ablogaboutmiscarriage.blogspot.com/2014/12/when-christmas-stocking-brings-you-to.html