Although I told bits and pieces of Scarlett’s story in my recently released book, Grace Like Scarlett, I actually didn’t tell much of her story there. Not because I didn’t want to, but because when I was finished writing the manuscript it didn’t seem to fit. So I removed it. Of course the whole title and theme are tied to her name so in some ways, Scarlett is on each page in the spaces between the black ink. But I wanted to share a version of her story here too because I love it—the pain and sorrow intermixed with joy and hope in all it’s ordinary glory. So this is Scarlett’s story—our first baby lost to miscarriage. I miss her still.
The Story of Scarlett Grace
For days I felt empty. But afraid to articulate my feelings, I dismissed them instead—searching for comfort in the possibility that the sudden change I felt was really just the mark between trimesters.
They say that once you’ve seen your baby’s heartbeat, your chances of losing her diminish to between 3-5%.
We had seen her through an ultrasound only weeks before—healthy, strong, growing right on track.
I knew the statistics. I knew the probability. But we had seen her heart beating. We had seen life. (We were safe, right?)
Two days after sharing my anxious thoughts about the feeling of “emptiness” with my husband we sat in the small, dark room. Fear gripped me while the sonographer worked silently over my belly, measuring and recording.
It’s amazing how five little words can feel so heavy and so big: Your baby has no heartbeat.
Since that day I’ve often wondered if those halls had ever witnessed the kind of wailing that came after my mama-heart had been shattered. But I didn’t care. I let my emotion unleash—it was far too big to swallow and I didn’t even try. I was devastated and broken and grief-stricken immediately as my worst fears were confirmed.
Our unborn baby was 13 weeks old—tiny and vulnerable— yet when we prayed about her we had felt a sense of strength and might surrounding her life and destiny.
How do you fit those contradictory pieces together once you’re told your baby is dead?
The next day I was admitted to the hospital to have a D & C. I was exhausted and spent as I curled up on a couch in the corner of the waiting room, my back to the rest of the patients waiting for their names to be called for various procedures.
Out of the quiet a newborn baby cried down the corridor and again I erupted into sobs, shaking under the weight of my broken-heartedness.
How could this be happening to me?
Though aware of the statistics and the “normalcy” of pregnancy loss, nothing could prepare me to be the one joining—against my will—the awful secret society of bereaved parents with empty arms and deflated dreams. We were so in love with this baby, so committed to care for her and teach her the ways of God, so willing to sacrifice anything for her. But there I was waiting to be dressed in a gown, wheeled down sterile hallways by strangers, and have my dead child scraped from my womb. (Wasn’t she supposed to be safe there?)
This was not the way a woman dreams of delivering her baby… continue reading at the She Is Project>>>
For resources to navigate grief after miscarriage and pregnancy loss, or to learn how to best support a friend experiencing loss, please visit my Miscarriage Stories and Resources page or download my free grief journal and free 7-day devotional.
If you’d like to go deeper in exploring how to grieve with hope, I’ve written a whole book for you: Grace Like Scarlett: Grieving with Hope after Miscarriage and Loss (available at all major retailers).