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Among the fields of gold (Losing my baby in Italy)

July 5, 2014: The following is an account of my second miscarriage, which began in Italy and was completed in America. It happened after what was perhaps the most dreamy week of my life while on a writers retreat in Tuscany. (I don’t use the term “dreamy” loosely – Tuscany was an incredibly romantic experience, and can only be described with excessive use of words like beautiful and heavenly and breathtaking, and of course. . . dreamy. Maybe even words that aren’t actually words: fairytaleish?) I’ve written this account during one sitting (mostly), and am publishing it without the thorough editing it needs. (I did, however, run spell check and delete a few sections that didn’t make much sense when I re-read it – you’re welcome?) It’s raw and unpolished and far too long, but I needed to waste no time in getting my story to paper to help me begin processing the tangled up mess of what just happened. (I did the same thing last year after losing our first child to miscarriage, and it was a healing balm to my battered soul. But wow, are these two stories different.) Please understand, should you choose to read this, that I’ve sugar-coated nothing and my descriptions might sound crude, especially to those who’ve never experienced this type of loss and grief before. My perspective and my faith are wound up tightly together, and my theology might sound very experiential to some. (Frankly, I don’t care, because I’m writing exactly where I’m at – convictions and doubts and all the gray in-between.) And to be perfectly honest, this probably should be edited down to a few separate posts, but at this point I’m not interested in the “rules” of writing and blogging. I’m only interested in the personal rules of writing to process and writing to keep breathing (of which, there are none – hallelujah). In saying all that, thanks for reading with eyes of grace. I hope you can find something for your heart buried among these words, too. Because somehow, that makes the pain a little more bearable.

 ”She is clothed in strength and dignity, and laughs without fear of the future.” Proverbs 31:25

This was the last photo I took before the spotting began. Later that night, as I thought of this photo, I sensed God whispering this verse to me. I certainly didn’t feel it at the time (and still don’t), but I chose to receive it anyway.

The story of my second miscarriage cannot be told without also telling the story of my time in Italia. And so we begin in Rome. . .

 

Written July 3, 2014:

Years ago she explained to me her vocation. She had always wanted to become a wife and a mother so it shocked me when she became a nun instead.

But then she began explaining how she realized that all along her heart had yearned to be married to Christ and to mother the church; she only needed to discover what the depths of her soul were crying out for.

To me it sounded romantic and beautiful and fitting for a woman as faithful as she. And yet still, it was hard to wrap my young brain around. In my early twenties myself, I also longed to get married and have children. I found a vocation void of those things incomprehensible. Admirable, yes, but also a little bit. . . crazy?

We lived on different continents and sporadically kept in touch by email and sometimes letters. I smiled when I received her notes signed “May God bless you and Mary keep you, Sister Maximillian Marie” and cheered with her when she met the Pope and was invited to give a reading at a special mass at the Vatican.

I was proud of her, and not a little in awe of her dedication. She had followed her dream and God himself was truly leading her – it was clear to see how much she loved Jesus and loved her vocation. The habit she wore, she likened to a wedding ring: a sign for the world to see who she belonged to.

I planned to visit her in Rome after a writing retreat I attended in Tuscany. She worked near the Vatican and was helping to disciple young seminarians in their spiritual formation and studies, as well as provide a feminine presence in the largely male community.

Following what was, perhaps, the most idyllic week of my life with a group of writers-turned-friends in Tuscany, I landed in Rome excited to see my high school friend. We were twenty years removed from jazz choir and our afterschool jobs at a near-by day care center, but I had the excitement of a young freshmen, nonetheless. I was bursting with anticipation about learning church history and tradition through the Catholic eyes of my devoted friend, and after our transformative week in Tuscany I was still pinching myself, amazed and grateful that this was my real life.

What I was not expecting during my brief two-day visit to the Holy City was that after joining in with the masses as Saint Peter’s Square to hear the noonday Angeles and blessing from Pope Francis, I’d be waiving down a taxi knowing something was drastically wrong, even despite my very full heart. Within the hour I’d be labeled patient #788 in the emergency department of Gemali Hospital while bleeding my dreams and my 11-week-old baby down the toilet.

Perhaps that sounds coarse. . . and it should because it was.

Stuffed into a narrow hallway in the obstetrics area of the emergency department I waited for my number to be called. All around me swollen bellies attached to hopeful mothers reminded me that I didn’t belong to them any more. When I was finally invited to see the doctor she took me into the examination room and instructed me in broken English to drop my pants.

From the other side of the curtain I heard the loud whoosh-whoosh-whoosh of a baby’s heartbeat on the fetal monitor of a young, anxious mother – a magnificent melody turned to taunting, the rhythm of a slow, quiet torture I had no way of escaping.

The obstetrician scanned my uterus and I recognized the black, empty screen. I’ve seen it before – the kind of nothing that’s enough to simultaneously set the eyes ablaze and extinguish the brightest hope. I hated that cursed technology – mocking my emptiness, leaving no room for possibility.

I couldn’t believe this was happening. Not here. Not now.

Not again.

The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
forever. -Psalm 23


(photo by @tshoxenreider)

When the examination was finished I was told I’d need to wait two or three hours for my blood results to come back so they could determine the best course of action. I asked to lay down and was put on a roll-away cot in the hallway. Turning my back to the row of expectant mothers behind me—so close they were within arm’s reach—I began to sob. I tried to hold it in, knowing the last thing these hormonal women needed was a reason to be afraid or sad. (Sad seems too small a word. Despair?) But there was no holding back the avalanche and as soon as I started, a few of them followed suit.

Sometimes tears are the only answer when the questions loom so heavy. They knew what was happening. Maybe we were more alike than I thought.

Tucked away in Tuscany.

It was in that moment when I might have finally understood Sister’s vocation. Her hand rested gently on my back until my weeping slowed to whimpering. I was mothered by her – mothered by my friend who saw her very calling in life as a mother to God’s holy people. Being separated from my husband and children was excruciating but she cared for me and loved me as I needed in that desperate hour. (This, the work of Jesus; the work we are all invited to be a part of among those who are suffering.)

Notes from an orange bike.

For a few days leading up to that unwanted hospital stay I had been spotting off and on. It was the tiniest bit and I knew it was a normal occurrence for women near the end of the first trimester as hormones fluctuate and the body works hard manufacturing the placenta. Sometimes it can help to know the stuff, but from those first few unwelcome drops I was terrified. Paralyzed. When you’ve lost a baby before, no amount of logic can shoo away the fear when the first sign of death creeps quietly onto your radar. Surely this wasn’t happening again. Not like this. Not while I’m a world away from my family. Not during my fairytale. . .

At home in Tuscany - the villa of delight.

My writers group had been dining in a monastery that evening and we’d eaten ourselves happy on another four course meal. My wine glass sat untouched – ever attentive to the little one I carried – as we swapped stories and shook our heads, recounting the ways Tuscany had swept us off our feet.

All things beautiful point to heaven.

Before the drive back to our villa I visited the restroom and it was there I first saw the blood. Tucked away in the tiny stall under the stairs where monks had once hushed their way to vespers and to lonely rooms for solitary study and quiet communion with the God of the hidden places, I broke the silence with groans of terror and a flailing of spirit as two of my friends came rushing to my side.

The wine flows constant.

No, no, no, no, no….. I can’t remember saying anything else. All I can remember is wanting to rage against the darkness around me. If I could have torn down those ancient stone walls with my trembling fingers I would have.

This tiny band of writers whom I had fallen in love with gathered around me and held me and prayed for me and all I can recall is one laying hands on my head and another praying to the God “who holds all things together.”

It was enough to break me. (Is this God still holding me together? I wanted to believe.)

The cross anchors suffering and beauty.

I tried to rationalize what was happening (this is common, a little spotting is no big deal) but I couldn’t deny that for several days I had felt much more “normal” than I had before the trip. Where was the mild undercurrent of nausea? Where was the debilitating fatigue I had been experiencing for weeks? Why were my breasts no longer so tender? Why did my fleshy belly feel less swollen and more “squishy”?

The truth is, I didn’t want to know the answers to those questions. If my worst fear was materializing, I wanted to deny it until I was home with my family. I wanted to stay in the dreamland of Tuscany where everything shone with the illusion of perfection and this understated magnificence that seemed too good to be true. And yet it was – true, real, touching on glory.

Fresh and slow in Pienza.

Under the magic Tuscan sky, we joked that we had stumbled into heaven on earth. We made our home in a luxury villa overlooking the painted countryside where our towels came wrapped in satin ribbon and fresh pastries were delivered by Carlo before we woke each morning. We shared a walled-in village built in the 1300’s with 250 townsfolk who took pride in their slow pace and their windows lined in linen and doorposts adorned in flowers. We soaked in the scent of jasmine and lavender and feasted our eyes on rows of cypress trees and vineyards swelling with what would become the finest of wines.

The yogurt that ruined me forever.

These were gifts of pleasure for no other reason than to usher in delight and remind us to taste and see that the Lord is good. We ate four and five course meals and walked among masterpiece landscapes that seemed too serene to be real. And yet they were real – it all was. And we were convinced it was created for us (and a thousand others just like us).

Under the Tuscan sun.

Our retreat was filled with rich conversation and deep spiritual encounters. The artist spirit among us was nurtured and inspired and we learned to relax into the generosity of God as he invited us to go deeper, to see wider, to listen closer. Loosening our grip on our undeservedness* and embracing his extravagance became the work of our rest. We took our work seriously, with solemn vows to receive it wholeheartedly. (Especially when it involved a hefty portion of glory—also known as gelato—on the side.)

I felt like I was floating on fields of gold the entire week, the beauty bringing me to tears daily, in intervals like a liturgy. Dressed in white linen, I was surrounded by the glow of a smiling God – wholly pure in his motivation to saturate us with excessive goodness. I felt it – utterly unworthy and entirely worthy to receive all that was offered. (All is grace.)


(photo by @nishweiseth)

When my dream jolted into a nightmare there in the crowded emergency department hallway in Rome, I was confronted with another reality: I really hadn’t found heaven on earth. No matter how wonderful our surrounds, now matter how perfect it all seems, we will never know and experience heaven on earth until the Christ himself makes all things new. All that we see and taste and touch, though being redeemed, is still flawed – deeply, desperately.

Heaven is still coming.

A Tuscan farmhouse - as dreamy as it sounds.

I wanted to linger in my fairytale, wanted to believe perfection was within my reach, but seeing the lifeless ultrasound screen was a stark reminder that we still live in the tension between the Now and the Not Yet. Jesus has come, but he is still coming to rescue us and take us home. Restoration has drawn near, but it is still approaching. Heaven is at hand, but it is still descending. Every tear will be wiped away, but for now we still sow the hard ground with tears of suffering.

My hospitalization in Rome left me suspended – neither pregnant nor unpregnant* – with a day of limbo before my flight home. I wasn’t able to change my flights without inviting more drama into the story so I spent Monday trying my best to blend in with the throngs of tourists in Rome. I marveled at the wonders of Saint Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel – surrounded by manmade beauty (clearly inspired by God himself) while carrying death in my womb. The significance and the irony wasn’t completely lost on me, though there’s probably much more to the story than what I can now see.

I left Rome wondering what the hell happened during the soaring highs and crushing lows that had swirled into the jumbled mess of my Italy experience. I was a hurricane of emotions in search of a shore that would tame and downgrade the storm and untangle the currents that pulled me in opposing directions, threatening to drown my lungs from the inside out. I knew my refuge could be found in Jesus and yet I wished to find it somewhere else – in something concrete that could hold me and reassure me in words I could hear with my physical ears. (I needed my husband.)

At times your convictions and your feelings feel at war with one another and I’m convinced nothing highlights that war more than staring face-to-face with your worst fears and pain and grief.

The David.

I wondered how I could feel so angry and so overcome with sadness, while also feeling almost numb and outside of myself, as if I was watching someone else stand in the middle of the script of my life story. And yet even in the turmoil there was this peace that ran deeper like an untapped well and again and again the lines of the old hymn turned over in my head It is well . . . It is well with my soul. (Shock and sorrow mixed with faith is a peculiar and spectacular concoction.)

All is grace. (Have I said that already? Because it is.)

A pinic as it should be - with good company in Tuscany.

After long flights I was delivered safely into the arms of my beloved three, collapsing into tears of relief and a heavy love that outweighed my sadness, if only for a moment.

Twenty-four hours after landing I labored and birthed our lifeless child with Ryan by my side. The process sideswiped me, each contraction inviting the rush of pain and injustice and agony all over again. It was a misery unparallel and unsolicited – no endorphins or adrenaline or promise of holding a child on the other side of the pain. (I certainly wasn’t expecting a physical pain like that.)

Tuscan ceramics.

My mind spun with the thought of laboring death and I wished I could take those hours back and readmit myself to the hospital for the surgical procedure the Italian doctor had recommended. I realize every woman handles this sort of thing differently but I hated every second of it and longed for the familiarity of waking up from the anesthesia with someone whispering, “don’t worry, it’s all over now.” At least when they scraped Scarlett from my womb I could blame them for taking her. This time I couldn’t shift that awful burden to anyone else – I was the one who delivered this child to his grave.

We're all going somewhere - though a pilgrim's progress seems slow at times.

Losing one child felt like a tragedy that happened to me. Losing a second felt like something happened through me. Despite the “right” answers and the science and statistics and the order of the universe in which we live. . . I’m still left wondering what I have done for my body to betray us so?

How could this happen and how could I ever risk letting it happen again? (Questions I shouldn’t be asking.)

It’s been hard for me to see God’s grace these last few days, it has. (Though perhaps I haven’t been looking very hard.) But if I recognize an ounce of Grace it’s in the timing of the onset of this labor of death. Had I gone into labor in a tiny Lufthansa stall over the Atlantic Ocean I may have wanted to flush myself down the toilet. That call button would have done me no good. If there’s a sliver of gratitude in my heart it’s because the bleeding didn’t pick up until I was safely back on American soil – the home of my own birth.

Tell me this is not a fairytale.

I feel confused and sad and angry and numb. I don’t know how to pray, so again – writing becomes my prayer and I offer it hastily and freely and perhaps without much of a filter.

Italy has changed me in a thousand ways and charged my heart with lament for a beauty just beyond my reach. In these quiet early morning hours I listen for God but only hear the roar of my wall clock, ticking steady and strong. It mocks my jetlag and reminds me that I still live in the time-space continuum of flesh on earth. This place, not my true home. And I – beloved dust.**

In the quiet I cling to the truth that he draws near to the broken-hearted. I don’t feel it, but I believe it, and I’ll find my peace there.

Tuscany - a creative's paradise.

I’m quite sure I’ll be unpacking all that I learned and experienced in Tuscany for months to come as I peel back the layers and read between the lines of my journals, and as I study the images burned into my memory and my hard drive from a thousand photos grasping like a madwoman to record the crushing beauty of it all. (So many times I cried tears fueled by a heart overwhelmed – have you glimpsed a beauty that just seems “too much”? Perhaps it was conceived there in Tuscany.)

Tuscany - where even (especially?) a door is a work of art.

And I probably don’t know much but I have come to absolutely know this: heartache and agony don’t have to erase beauty and grace; they will amplify it if we are willing to see. My nightmare ending in Italy doesn’t render the dreamy beginning exempt. I suppose one makes the other a little more complete, though I swallow hard to admit that.

I’d give anything to be able to delete and rewrite this latest dark turn of my story. But since I can’t, I instead choose to offer it to the One who keeps promising to author my life – the One Who Holds All Things Together. (Yes, even my broken heart. Amen.)

Rainbow after the storm at Creteoli Farm.

Friends, I’ve shattered all the blogging rules with this long and rambling stream-of-consciousness unpolished, uncensored post. (No doubt I’ve written more for myself than for you; I think I had to – and you get that, right?) But I’ve learned by now that if life is not shared it’s not lived so I share mine with you in hopes it helps us both to be a little more alive.

(Besides, I can’t do brokenness alone.)

Losing a child is excruciating but not shameful and I have nothing to hide as I pour my blood and guts onto the screen and maybe even into your heart. I’m not brave, I’m desperate, and I write candidly while still very much navigating the waves of grief because I wish more people understood that miscarriage (and stillbirth) is more than just “pregnancy loss” or a “failed pregnancy.” Miscarriage is the loss of a child, a future, a dream. There are too many here in the sisterhood of the bereaved – too many mothers and mothers-in-waiting with empty arms and broken hearts. There are too many fathers and brothers and sisters and grandparents and lonely souls grieving the loss of what was meant to be. (Don’t you dare tell me these children weren’t meant to be.) We need our people to rally and to try and understand how much it hurts, maybe even to the extent that they have the courage to enter into the pain along with us and sit beside us there for a while.

We need our stories to count for something. Because together we heal each other through the fellowship of suffering and the offering of vulnerability and the gift of a Hope that never, ever fails. (Right? He never fails, right? Remind me again as I remind myself and remind you and remind him. . . please don’t fail us, Jesus.)

“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you. –Isaiah 54:10

Grief is unsettling and too often swept under the rug for lack of cultural protocol to help us in knowing how to respond. (If you want to help a family grieving the loss of a baby, I’ve written some ideas here. Though not an exhaustive list, it may help trigger your heart and hands into compassionate action that could help make the difference between a friend grieving with hope, or grieving quietly without. And oh friends – how vast the difference! Grief without hope just might bury you alive.) But as I write openly, please let this chapter of my story serve as a siren call to remember and proclaim that these children – though not born into life as we know it – they matter, they lived, they nestled quickly right into the depths of our hearts and took residence there, even as they now take residence in the arms of Jesus.

 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
 all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. –Psalm 139:15-16

Assuming you made it through these several thousand (*gulp*) words, I realize your first instinct after reading a post like this is to bring offerings of condolence and solidarity and prayer. I sincerely appreciate those precious gifts (yes! write them!) and speak from experience when I say I will read and re-read every comforting word you leave in the comments or send in an email a hundred times in the days to come. But may you also be compelled to examine the way you think about life and death and friendship and community and suffering and rejoicing and the heart of God himself. May you think about your faith (and your humanity) and the way it defines your response to heartache – your own, and (maybe more importantly) the heartache of others.

We need each other. We belong to each other. And you know I write this with love,

Adriel x

 

Fields of Gold by Sting

You’ll remember me when the west wind moves
Upon the fields of barley
You’ll forget the sun in his jealous sky
As we walk in fields of gold
So she took her love for to gaze awhile
Upon the fields of barley
In his arms she fell as her hair came down
Among the fields of gold
Will you stay with me, will you be my love
Among the fields of barley?
We’ll forget the sun in his jealous sky
As we lie in fields of gold
See the west wind move like a lover so
Upon the fields of barley
Feel her body rise when you kiss her mouth
Among the fields of gold

I never made promises lightly
And there have been some that I’ve broken
But I swear in the days still left
We’ll walk in fields of gold
We’ll walk in fields of gold

Many years have passed since those summer days
Among the fields of barley
See the children run as the sun goes down
Among the fields of gold
You’ll remember me when the west wind moves
Upon the fields of barley
You can tell the sun in his jealous sky
When we walked in fields of gold
When we walked in fields of gold
When we walked in fields of gold

p.s. All these pretty little phone pics (and so many more) can be found on instagram under the hashtag #tuscanywritersretreat. They tell the story of a small group of writer-pilgrims lost and found and feasting on cheese.

* I realize I’ve made up a few words here, but it’s my blog, my rules.

** Thanks to my friend Jamin for such a poignantly beautiful phrase: “beloved dust.” (I can’t wait to read more.) And thank you to my dear friends in the Tuscany writers group and to Sister Maximillian for loving me so well through this story until (and beyond) the time I could be safely reunited with my husband and family. I’m so glad you’re a part of my story, and I’m convinced you were written in at exactly the right moment in time. #gelatoculture forever and ever amen.

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About Adriel

Adriel Booker is a writer, speaker, and difference-maker living Down Under with her Aussie love and littles where they serve in full-time ministry (and full-time parenting) together. She writes about celebrating motherhood, building families, strengthening faith, enjoying life, empowering women, changing the world, and telling the story.

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77 Responses to Among the fields of gold (Losing my baby in Italy)

  1. Carey July 5, 2014 at 8:09 pm #

    I’ve experienced two losses myself and I am so sorry for yours.

    I found comfort in this quote during my losses:

    “An angel in the book of life wrote down my baby’s birth. And when she closed the book she whispered ‘too beautiful for earth’”

  2. Jessica Wolstenholm July 5, 2014 at 8:16 pm #

    Oh friend. There is so much beauty in the way you share your brokenness. You quoted Colossians 1:16-17 a few times. That was my verse…in believing he would hold my pregnancies together after losing so many babies. But to turn that truth inward, towards yourself…so powerful. He is holding you together as you wrestle with all the beauty and the loss you experienced. I am so so sorry you lost your precious child. I am grieving with you and wrestling along side you. Oh I don’t understand. It makes me mad wondering why. But I trust his heart and I trust his hand on your life. Your grief filled words are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever read in this space. He will bring life to others through your experience. Love you friend.

    • Adriel July 5, 2014 at 8:40 pm #

      thanks jess. i don’t feel very held together. and yet i have to believe…

      i appreciate your friendship so much. it’s jesus to me. xo
      Adriel recently posted..Giving birth to hope (and a baby)My Profile

  3. Rachel July 5, 2014 at 8:16 pm #

    Adrial,

    My sincerest condolences on the loss of your beloved baby. Jesus is with such a sweet angel now. When you have, and are ready to share, please tell us what you’ve decided to call your beloved child born to heaven.
    Bless you Adrial

    Hugs

  4. Jessica Wolstenholm July 5, 2014 at 8:23 pm #

    Oh friend. I am so so sorry for the loss of your precious child. I’m sorry that the beauty of your experience in Italy was robbed by this loss. You mention Colossians 1:16-17 a few times. That was my verse during pregnancy after losing so many babies. But you took that truth and turned it inward towards yourself. Oh how I love that. He is holding you together as you grieve and wrestle. Know that I am grieving and wrestling along side you. I don’t understand him. It’s maddening to wonder why. But I trust his heart. And I trust that his hand is on your life. Your grief-filled words are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever read in this space. And so I know he will redeem the beauty you lost both in your child’s life and your time in Italy. He will bring life to others through all your experiences. Love you friend.
    Jessica Wolstenholm recently posted..Freedom from Entitlement: A July 4th ManifestoMy Profile

  5. Melissa July 5, 2014 at 8:23 pm #

    I truly don’t have words right now. Please know that I’m praying for you, that God’s peace will surpass all your understanding. And please know that I’m praying for your precious little one who is being rocked by Jesus right now. I’m sorry if these aren’t the right words, but I need to keep processing this. xox

    • Adriel July 5, 2014 at 8:42 pm #

      oh melissa – rest assured, there are no “right” words. thank you for offering some, from your heart. those are the ones that count.

  6. Ally Ferguson July 5, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

    Oh sweet Adriel, my heart breaks for you. Tears fill my eyes as I read these words, and my heart just breaks. I have never experienced the loss of a child, and I pray I never do, and I wish you didn’t have to either…I don’t have the words to say or the right thing to do. But oh do I know a God who does. A God who can handle the anger, the hurt, the confusion, the why did you let this happen, the I just don’t understand. He takes it all and He holds you. And He doesn’t let go, and right now I do all I know to do and say a prayer. A prayer for peace. A prayer for healing. And a prayer that He holds just a little bit tighter tonight. I am so, so, sorry.
    Ally Ferguson recently posted..You Are Super-MomMy Profile

  7. Annie July 5, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

    I have to admit this was difficult to read, as it brought up so many memories of my own miscarriage and loss of our sweet first little one. However as hard as it was, it was also encouraging, and filled with hope, and your words were comforting. We are so saddened for you and your family, and will continue to pray for extra peace and grace during the days to come. We love you all so much!

  8. Leah July 5, 2014 at 8:41 pm #

    I loved reading your account of what turned into a horrible experience for you. I am so sorry for your loss & I know how it feels. I try to forget it & sometimes I even do but I also lost 2 babies around 8 weeks & it was sad. I had a daughter before those miscarriages so she helped me through them & I have gone on now to have a healthy little boy who is 3 months old now. He is the light of my life & I am so thankful he was able to hang on in their (I always picture him gripping onto my uterus & not allowing to be shed out lol) I wish you all the best & just wanted to offer my story for some light at the end of the tunnel (because after 2 miscarriages I know you wonder if you can ever carry a child full term again) but it is possible & probable & again I wish you all the best!

    • Adriel July 5, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

      thanks for sharing your story leah. i’m sorry for your loss and glad for your joy.

  9. Alicia LaBeau July 5, 2014 at 8:41 pm #

    This is a difficult place to be, living in the tension between the Kingdom of God has come, and the Kingdom of God is coming. It can be so painful. I remember well, after my second miscarriage, being in a place of not even feeling I had the strength to lift open the cover of my bible, let alone the words to pray. But there was a day when the Lord reminded me of the story of the paralyzed man whose friends carried him to Jesus, and when they couldn’t get through the crowds, they carried their friend up onto the roof and cut a hole and lowered their friend down into Jesus’ presence where he received healing. It’s in these times of loss, pain and grief when we don’t have the strength (or perhaps even the desire) to carry ourselves into His presence, that the Lord puts people in place in our lives to be the friends who will carry us to the feet of Jesus. I’m carrying you in prayer during this painful season, as I know many others are too. Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for honoring your precious baby in this way. Thank you for loving enough to hit “publish”.

    • Adriel July 5, 2014 at 8:45 pm #

      oh gracious. you have read my mail alicia. i always say that there are no “right words” for things like this, but now i stand corrected. you have just found them. THANK YOU for helping me to feel so normal. you have no idea. so glad for those willing to lower me through the roof. xoxoxo
      Adriel recently posted..Giving birth to hope (and a baby)My Profile

      • Anna July 6, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

        Alicia – i’ve never thought of this story like you shared it before, how powerful.
        Adriel – I’ve thought of you lots these past few days, just read your blog. I can’t understand what you are feeling, but if I was there I’d hug you, make a cup of tea, sit, go for a walk, listen. Lower you through the roof.
        And I agree with Alicia – thank you for honouring your baby (babies) and those of countless others and for being vulnerable in publishing your story so we can walk alongside you.
        xx

  10. Stacey J July 5, 2014 at 9:09 pm #

    Adriel –

    I just recently started following your blog (a few days before the writer’s retreat). I felt a dear kinship with you quickly. As I saw the picture appear on Facebook of your wristband and then again while reading this blog, my heart truly aches for you. I’m crying with you and praying for you and your family. I pray that you rest in His peace that passes any understanding even when your heart and soul is wrecked with grief. I pray that you are surrounded by people who love and support you.

    • Adriel Booker July 12, 2014 at 9:48 pm #

      Thanks Stacey. And thanks for introducing yourself. Appreciate your willingness to enter into the pain a little with me. It’s a lonely place.

  11. mandy@ a sorta fairytale July 5, 2014 at 9:23 pm #

    Oh friend, I cannot even begin to imagine what you went through… what you are going through. I wish there was something I could say to make things better. But all I can do is send my love and prayers to you and give you the biggest virtual hug in the world. I applaud and admire you for sharing your story — I am sure that there are so many others that can relate and needed to hear what you have to say. xoxoxo
    mandy@ a sorta fairytale recently posted..Seven Years Together & What I’ve Learned.My Profile

    • Adriel Booker July 12, 2014 at 9:49 pm #

      i wish there was something you could say to make it better, too. i really do. *sigh* :)

  12. Jennifer July 5, 2014 at 9:34 pm #

    Thank you for being so honest and real. I lost a baby. At the time I really didn’t have any friends to lean on. My husband was there for me but I think it was different for him. We weren’t very far along and the realization was just sinking in that were were pregnant with our second child. I had never heard anyone’s miscarriage story. It was seemed to me it was something that you just didn’t talk about. Keeping it all in was rough. I don’t think I ever really grieved the loss fully. Sometimes I catch myself wondering why. But then I look at my second born child and think if things had be different I may not have had him. I can’t imagine my life without him. I don’t know why things happen as they do but He does. I have to trust that He is in control and that He will make beautiful things out of the dust. Thank you so much for sharing. Several of the raw words really struck a cord in my heart. Praying for you and your family as you deal with your loss.

    • Adriel Booker July 12, 2014 at 9:52 pm #

      Hi Jennifer. Thank you for sharing some of your story. I’m sorry that you’ve “been there” too. I suppose in some way, we’ll always “be there” and yet, yes, we have Hope for the future. Thanks for your prayers. It’s a hard season to land in.

  13. Summer-Lea Rivito July 5, 2014 at 9:40 pm #

    Adriel,

    I am so sorry for your loss. I have never had a miscarriage, so I have no idea what you are going through. I do although know that if I were in your position, it would be hard for me to keep my everlasting faith in God! Just know everything happens for a reason and with every tragedy we get stronger and God helps us to prepare for our next mission he has planned for us. You are stronger now then you were yesterday through God you will prevail. I’m sending prayers your way for you and your family.

    Summer-Lea Rivito

  14. Lisha Epperson July 5, 2014 at 10:19 pm #

    Only these words…sister, I’ve heard your heart. Peace, like a river, rush in. Come quick.

    • Adriel July 6, 2014 at 6:29 pm #

      thanks lisha. you know, of all the torrent of emotions i’ve felt this last week or two, the only constant has been peace – undergirding it all. (though perhaps that’s not actually an emotion?) peace has been my lifeline and i gladly welcome that river to keep rushing. appreciate your prayers. xo

  15. Beth July 5, 2014 at 11:10 pm #

    Oh, Adriel. Oh, how my heart aches for you and your loss!

    As a mother to one on earth and 4 in heaven, I understand some of these thoughts going through your head. I’m so so very sorry that you have to experience this again.
    Beth recently posted..Sharing (Part 2)My Profile

    • Adriel Booker July 12, 2014 at 9:58 pm #

      thank you beth. it’s a hard road to walk – loss and grief. i’m sorry you know it so well.

  16. Samantha July 5, 2014 at 11:47 pm #

    Thinking of and praying for your family.

  17. Naomi July 6, 2014 at 2:45 am #

    Dear Adriel
    I’m so sorry for the loss of your precious child. I found the back to back losses particularly heartrenching and also understand the disappointment when incredible experiences are tainted by great loss. Be kind to yourself as much as you can. God’s grace is so big for you right now. Hugs from a sister in your loss

  18. Emma July 6, 2014 at 3:21 am #

    There are no words, nor right words, to be the healing balm. So instead I lift you up in prayer and ask for the Lord himself to be the healing balm for you and your family. It is him who you need more than words.
    Thank you for being brave enough to hit ‘publish’. I have suffered two miscarriages also, though not the same way you have shared but no story is the same. But in my heartache my friend gave me a verse, and I would like to encourage you with it, it speaks of the hope I needed to cling to and so may they breathe hope to you too.
    Habakkuk 2:3
    For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false.
    Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.
    God be with you and your family xo

    • Adriel Booker July 12, 2014 at 10:01 pm #

      thank you emma. i feel like i need All The Words, but also that God is trying to show me that what i actually need is him.

      i appreciate your prayer and encouragement. only wish you didn’t have to offer them from a place of knowing this same loss. bless.

  19. Jody Lee Collins July 6, 2014 at 7:26 am #

    Adriel, I am encouraged (if that’s possible) by the way your confidence in Jesus and the plan of God to be good…. These lines are so true, “heartache and agony don’t have to erase beauty and grace; they will amplify it if we are willing to see.”
    It is all glory, it is all God, it is all grace.

    Praying for you.
    xxoo
    Jody Lee Collins recently posted..Surface QuestionsMy Profile

  20. Amber C Haines July 6, 2014 at 8:07 am #

    You are beautiful.

    • Adriel July 6, 2014 at 6:26 pm #

      missing you and your ‘perfect’ smile and slow southern accent. x

  21. Ashley N Lopez July 6, 2014 at 10:01 am #

    Dear Adriel, I am so sorry to read about your loss. I am praying for God to provide exactly what you need at this most difficult time. Our minds and hearts can produce unbearable thoughts and feelings but through it all he knows our hearts better than we do. So I will pray for you and your family. You are much braver than you know and I thank you for sharing your life with us. (I never got to thank you for your response to my comment on your gender disappointment post. Your time and thoughts offered to me, a complete stranger, is deeply appreciated as I couldn’t share my thoughts and feelings with anyone else in my life. You give yourself away and I know the Lord is using you. Thank you.) I hope all the words of comments you read and prayers offered give you hope and strength to get through the grief and many more emotions you’re feeling. Let us hold each other up as we await the promise of Heaven where we will be with our children. Amen.

    • Adriel Booker July 12, 2014 at 10:03 pm #

      thank you for such a beautiful and encouraging comment ashley. i am truly blessed and encouraged. xo

  22. Mindy July 6, 2014 at 10:11 am #

    Oh Adriel – you have broken my heart with your loss and filled it up again with your faith. Praying you continue to be surrounded by family and friends as you walk through your grief and that you are ever held in God’s arms, surrounded by His peace.
    Mindy recently posted..30 Day Photo Challenge-ishMy Profile

    • Adriel Booker July 12, 2014 at 10:05 pm #

      thank you mindy. your comment made me smile. shaking my head a little… but smiling. thank you.

  23. marla July 6, 2014 at 10:45 am #

    Oh sweet Adriel, my heart and prayers go out to you and your family. You have said some things that really have hit home and helped me heal from a stillbirth a year ago…. thank you for your amazing ability to speak to my heart. I am so sorry for your loss.. many many hugs from a friend..

    • Adriel Booker July 12, 2014 at 10:06 pm #

      hi marla. i’m so sorry you lost your child last year. nothing can be more heartbreaking. sharing the pain with you, and receiving that much-needed hug. x

  24. Logan Wolfram July 6, 2014 at 10:49 am #

    Adriel,
    I don’t know you, but I call some of those men & women with you in Italy dear friends. I followed your trip and prayed prayers of thanks for the rest and renewal you all were able to experience while there. And I read this whole entire post because I’ve walked this road too. Four times. My heart aches for you and I am just so sorry. There are no words that help because some things on this earth just won’t ever make sense. When I lost my last baby at 16 weeks, I wrote raw too. Just thought you might find comfort I. The raw words of another to know that your sisters in Christ who know this pain can hold your hands and pray prayers from the depth of despaired understanding on your behalf. Hang in there sister. http://loganwolfram.com/2012/03/21/raw-life-unedited/ much love, Logan

    • Adriel Booker July 12, 2014 at 10:09 pm #

      thanks for being willing to hold my hand logan. it feels weak and weary, but i’m willing to offer it anyway. i’m so sorry you’ve walked this road, too. the injustice of it makes me stand up and rage, and then the sadness brings me back to my knees. we so need jesus. we so, so need him. and each other. we really do need each other, too. xo

  25. Lindsey Whitney July 6, 2014 at 11:35 am #

    On Friday, we went to our town’s fourth of July parade. As we were watching the fire engines go by, my husband remembered that I wasn’t at the parade the year before. Instead, I was in my bed, crying and mourning for the child we just lost. We were told her (his?) heart stopped beating when we went to our 12 week check out. It’s a horrible feeling and to have it happen in such a setting must have been so overwhelming to you. I’m glad you shared your story and I’ll be praying for you as you heal…..
    Lindsey Whitney recently posted..The Woman and the Dragon: Revelation 12 & Children’s MinistryMy Profile

    • Adriel Booker July 12, 2014 at 10:12 pm #

      thank you lindsey. i so appreciate your prayers.

      and i know how hard those anniversaries/birthdays are. how is your heart, dear one? i hate that you’ve experienced this loss too.

  26. Bethany Dickinson July 6, 2014 at 1:44 pm #

    Hi Adriel. My friend Jodi Winger directed me to your blog/story. I am without words. I experienced my second miscarriage at 11 wks on June 11th. So similar is so many ways. You expressed what I am feeling so beautifully( really not the right word for what your wrote, astoundingly potent maybe?). All I can say is thank you. And I want to meet you someday. love- Bethany

    • Adriel Booker July 12, 2014 at 10:13 pm #

      hi bethany. thank you for introducing yourself. i’m so sorry for your loss, sweet sister. it is just too hard, too unfair, too heartbreaking. i’m whispering a prayer for your heart right now too. xo

  27. Michaela Evanow July 6, 2014 at 5:23 pm #

    Adriel, thank you for sharing this all. I’m so glad you let it be–the length, the beauty of Italy mixed with with grief, the pushing through, the flight home.
    Praying for you in all the hard things, when that heart of yours feels ready to burst…know that this mama is holding space in her little corner, speckled with a different grief.

    • Adriel July 6, 2014 at 6:24 pm #

      Gosh, I have such a love for you. Knowing where you sit, your words bring a depth of comfort that can’t be fabricated by sheer will power or good intentions. Thank you for your friendship and solidarity, sister. You truly are a gem – bright and sparkly to me. ;)

  28. Jennifer July 6, 2014 at 9:16 pm #

    I grieve for the losses that you’ve had! I am so sorry that you have had to endure yet another debilitating loss! I will be praying for you and for hope! I pray that you will find healing and peace in the Father’s arms!

    I wish I could hug you right now! My prayers will be with you!

  29. Melanie Elliott July 7, 2014 at 12:49 am #

    Even though I can’t imagine what you and Ryan are going through, I thank you for still writing and sharing, especially your vulnerability and rawness. Xx

  30. Ben McClure July 7, 2014 at 6:13 am #

    So sorry to hear your story, Adriel, as beautifully and honestly expressed as it was. Lies and I have been down this road together a few times, and so like many who are commenting, empathize over it all. You are right – it’s the loss of a life and of dreams for the future, even as we continue to enjoy so many other blessings. Probably the biggest lesson for me personally after our experiences was just how tenderly God would remind me that in him, I had not lost my reasons to hope. And also how important it was to be honest with him. I know he will meet you in his kindness and his love even as I pray comfort and grace over you and your family.

    • Adriel Booker July 12, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

      thank you ben. appreciate your friendship and encouragement. i hate being here again, but am trying to lean into jesus and cling to that hope. i know it’s there, even though it sometimes feels hard to grasp.

  31. Lindsay Stevenson July 7, 2014 at 11:03 am #

    Adriel, since I saw your Instagram several days ago sharing what had happened, I have thought about you so much. I am praying over this pain and hurt you are experiencing right now. A few months ago when I went through a miscarriage, the words and prayers of others (including you!), helped carry me through. Thank you for sharing your story. While written for your own healing and processing, I know that it will help someone else with their own pain. You are loved Adriel!
    Lindsay Stevenson recently posted..To Share or Not to Share?: 3 Questions I Ask MyselfMy Profile

  32. Rachel J. July 7, 2014 at 1:41 pm #

    “Maybe we were more alike than I thought.” – This is a beautiful moment in your experience. It is often our heartaches that we share with each other most deeply. You and I may never meet in this lifetime, but I believe I have a friend in you in the words we have shared with each other, in our stories. I am so very sorry you are going through this again. I pray for your comfort and peace and for you to be surrounded by love, and that even though we seem to have more questions than answers in this life, you can cling to the hope of the beauty that is to come. <3

  33. Kristi July 7, 2014 at 8:39 pm #

    Adriel, my heart sank when I saw your Facebook post about this, knowing that you had so recently experienced this. I am so sorry. Loss upon loss tears at the already-fragile soul and does make us doubt our bodies. I have walked this road three times and know well what you describe about living between Now and That Which Will Be. I am praying for you. Hugs….

  34. Adriel Booker July 12, 2014 at 10:33 pm #

    thanks for your prayers kristi. i appreciate how heartfelt they must be, knowing where you stand. thank you. x

  35. Al Ferguson July 13, 2014 at 3:56 am #

    Hi,

    What an amazing post. I’m sorry to hear about your loss. I’ve included a link to a post about my experience of miscarriage. It’s not a shameful plug, but just an opportunity for people to know, that like you, it’s important to share when we experience difficult times.

    http://www.thedadnetwork.co.uk/2014/06/the-story-of-dads-miscarriage_6.html

    Thanks

    Al
    Al Ferguson recently posted..The Story of a Gay GrandadMy Profile

    • Adriel July 19, 2014 at 1:51 pm #

      Hi Al. I’m so glad you left your link. That is a heartbreaking, and yet beautiful story. My husband and I have talked a few times about how men never speak of this sort of thing, and it really does leave a void. Thank you for sharing your story here.
      Adriel recently posted..Why I share about the hard stuff (And the power of story)My Profile

  36. Lisa @bitesforbabies July 13, 2014 at 5:07 am #

    Adriel, my prayers are with you and your family! This was such an eloquently written post, about your loss as well as your experience in Italy. It will obviously be a moment in time you will never forget.

  37. Kris July 13, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

    You should check out hopemommies.org. It is a beautiful organization to help mommies who’ve lost babies encounter a God of hope.

  38. Lee July 14, 2014 at 11:09 pm #

    Adriel, I have read and enjoyed so much of your blog that I feel compelled to return the favor. You asked for our words of encouragement and thoughts, so you shall receive. First, I am so sorry for your loss. I have never known this kind of loss, and I cannot fathom how hard it is. I only know that I am a mother, and understand the love you hold in your heart. All the hopes and dreams you have for your unborn child were surely not wasted. That baby felt every bit of your love. Know that you have been such an inspiration to many and you are loved by those that you know nothing about. Sometimes we forget that the balancing act of life we play everyday is so fragile. Unfortunately, it is in these moments that we learn who we truly are. Everything that we encounter in our lives makes us stronger and wiser. I truly hope you can find “something” new and it will be sweeter and more beautiful than you could have ever imagined. Again, so sorry for your loss. My heart is with yours. Thank you for all you have done and the inspiration you have consistently provided.
    Lee recently posted..Among the fields of gold (Losing my baby in Italy)My Profile

  39. Jill July 19, 2014 at 7:01 am #

    We have never met, but when I read this yesterday I felt sad and horrified. Over the past couple years, your words helped validate my own experience with miscarriage and certainly inspired me to VBAC my second baby. Please know that so many people, like me, have been touched by your blog and are sending up prayers for you, even though we’re total strangers. I pray you find comfort and strength in the days ahead, and I pray you are able to process everything you need to process. God bless you.

  40. Sandi Hull July 23, 2014 at 11:50 am #

    Adriel,

    As if I didn’t already love your heart and passion for the life God has called you to live before others. One trait that I truly love in people is when they are bold enough to live their lives out loud. Without apology, with transparency and such raw honesty. Too many of us hide behind the “rules” and fear of judgment, creating a false portrayal of our true selves.

    I too know the pain of this kind of loss twice over. Before our “Treasure” came into our lives I miscarried twice. Your pain is my pain. I understand. You are loved by this momma’s heart.

    Whatever beauty comes out of these ashes I will rejoice with you, yet during this time I will keep you and your sweet family in my prayers.

    Love,
    Sandi

  41. Alexis August 18, 2014 at 11:12 pm #

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Losing a child is the hardest thing to ever go through :( you will be in my prayers. A very good friend of mine lost her toddler son not too long ago. He fell out a high building window and didn’t make it. As I scrolled through the comments I noticed a support group website that was mentioned by a commenter. What was the name of that website? I want to pass it along to my friend

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