Deafening Silence 

It’s in the quiet moments that I hear it the most. The soft pop and hiss of tiny fractures spreading across my aching heart. It reminds me of that first step you take onto thin ice. You feel the millimeter of give beneath your boot, and hear the thick crack as the ice groans in protest under your weight. Your stomach plunges, your heart races, your breath rushes out in rapid steamy gasps. Frozen, you wait, knowing that at any minute you may plunge into the icy depths unsure if you will resurface. 

It’s in those quiet moments that I know it’s coming and right now there is nothing I can do to stop it. I know as time goes on I will be able to slowly ease back from the edge, creeping ever so lightly to a different and stronger path. But for now, I fall, over and over into that frigid painful water, struggling for breath, tears blurring my vision, fighting against myself while I attempt to gain my footing in flailing failure.


I know I’m not alone in this; a myriad of women have been exactly where I am. Many others are still here with me, picking up the pieces of their hearts, attempting to mend them. To put them back together as they were before. But, hearts can’t go back as seamless and as perfect as they were before a miscarriage. There will always be little chips, cracks and craters that remain. Little pieces of yourself that were lost along with your child. 

Miscarriage is never an easy word to say. It’s a word that brings nothing good with it. It’s a word that makes people uncomfortable. One that is spoken in hushed whispers and with solemn expressions. A word that carries pain and sorrow; a life changing word. It’s a word that steals away the innocence and bliss of pregnancy and leaves in its place fear and questions. It’s a word that thrusts you into an unfamiliar and scary new world; one you don’t want to be in. It’s a word that is often hard to say, even by those who have endured it.

Why is it so hard for us to speak freely about this? Not just for myself but for other women as well? Why is there such a hesitation to share our loss, our grief? Miscarriages are not uncommon, they’re not new and they’re not going away. So why do so many women feel like they have to suffer in silence, only sharing with a handful of family members and close friends? Why do we feel we can we only find solace within the secret groups of other mothers whose hearts are chipped and cracked like ours?


Maybe it’s because we’re subconsciously afraid that we will rub off on someone. That our bad luck can spread from person to person like a nasty unseen virus. Maybe it’s because we know how much it hurts. And we’re afraid that if we say the words out loud to someone who has been there as well that their heart, despite all the repairs, will begin to crack and creak as they are reminded again of their loss. 

Maybe it’s because hardly anyone knew that we were pregnant? Most women wait until it’s “safe” to share the news of the secret new life growing inside of them. Having been a Labor and Delivery nurse, I know that no one is safe. Ever. But if we haven’t told anyone about the baby, how do I tell them when its gone? Because that’s a really easy conversation to have. Do you say “So last week I was pregnant, and this week I am not” or “Please excuse my pallor and mascara runs, I lost my baby, the one you didn’t know about”. 


Maybe it’s because, right now we have near constant physical reminders of our loss that we can’t bear to see sad eyes, or hear “I’m so sorry” or “It wasn’t meant to be” or “there was probably something wrong with it anyway” or “you can always try again”. Maybe it’s because we want just one place where we can go and play pretend. Imagine that we are not shattered, pretend that we’re whole and perfect; that we’re not holding ourselves together with sheer will and Oreo cookies.

Maybe it’s because in a society that is so centered around choice that a determination of actual “life” has yet to have been made and that we are afraid our baby “doesn’t count”. That our loss is no real loss, our heartbreak is just our own making. Or maybe it’s the fear of being blamed. That somewhere deep inside that person who we have just told, is thinking it must be our fault someway or somehow. We had to have done something wrong, or definitely didn’t do everything right to be where we are. 

Maybe it’s none of those things. Maybe it’s just fear. That saying the words out loud will send us plunging through that thin ice again to drown again in our tears. Or a fear that talking about will make it easier and that easiness will mean we are forgetting. Not forgetting the hurt or sorrow, but forgetting the baby that flew away from this earth before we did.  

Maybe it’s because it really just sucks. And it hurts. And because we can’t say the words without crying. And because maybe we’re tired of crying, but feel guilty if we aren’t. It’s a crummy roller coaster ride full of ups and downs, that leave us feeling dizzy and disoriented.


It’s in the quiet moments that I know, regardless if I talk about it or not, say the words aloud or not, that I will slowly pick up the pieces of my heart and fit them back together. They won’t be seamless, it may be hard to get them to stick together, and there will always be gaps, but it’s in those places that I will tuck the little life that was a part of me for too short a time. It’s in those places that I will place the lifetimes of hopes and dreams formed during the too few moments we were together.  

It’s in the quiet moments, that I hear it the most. That soft hiss and pop of breaking hearts. It’s because of those moments that I know the silence must be broken. I have had a miscarriage and it hurts. I am slowly putting the pieces back together and while I do I remind myself that “He consoles us as we endure the pain and hardship of life so that we may draw from His comfort and share it with others in their own struggles”. You don’t have to be alone in those quiet moments, I am here if you need me. We can heal together. 

I Couldn’t Fathom Losing Him

Continued from: I Didn’t Want Him

We shared the news with family and began moving forward; however my anger at God had not dissipated and I reminded Him often. Just over six month pregnant, I was taking a moment to mentally glare and grumble at God. I was suddenly so overwhelmed with such a fierce love, a severe longing and desire to have my baby that it brought me to my knees, sobbing. I wasn’t frightened by his movement anymore; I was terrified of never feeling it again. I wasn’t overwhelmed at the possibility of difficulties in the future but overcome with the absolute want and need to have a future with this baby. For Abi to hold her brother, for josh to meet his son, to hold him in his arms and tuck my nose into his neck and breathe in the scent that would be so uniquely Gabe. I WANTED my baby. I knelt begging for forgiveness and praying for my son. I was no longer angry, but I still wanted to understand why? The answer that I FELT was clear, Lazarus. I found a bible and began to read.

Lazarus and his two sisters; Mary and Martha were beloved friends of Jesus and he often stayed with the family when his travels brought him through Bethany. Martha often served as hostess and Mary spent time listening and learning from Jesus. Mary even acted with extravagant abandon and devotion, when she used perfume, costing a year’s worth of wages, to wash Jesus’ feet, unknowingly anointing and preparing him for his upcoming burial.

In John chapter 11 we discover that Lazarus has fallen ill, his condition is so concerning that the sisters send word, imploring Jesus to return and heal their brother. Despite the fact that Jesus loved the family very much, he remained where he was for two additional days stating in verse 4 that “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death, no, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this”.

When Jesus decided the time was right for him to return to Bethany, the disciples attempted to dissuade him, expressing their concern over the risk that he was taking traveling through the area where so many were scheming for his destruction. Jesus was unmoved and shared with them in verse 11 “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but now I will go and wake him up” seeing the disciples confusion he continued “Lazarus is dead. And for your sakes I am glad I wasn’t there, for now you will really believe. Come let’s go see him.” When Jesus arrived in Bethany he was told that Lazarus had been in the grave for four days; by all appearances he was too late.

I stopped and reread; Jesus loved this family, but didn’t go to them, he let Lazarus die. I didn’t understand, Jesus had SAID that his sickness wouldn’t end in death. I could understand why leaving the work God had given him might not have been possible, but I couldn’t understand why he couldn’t have healed Lazarus anyway. In Matthew chapter 8 a centurion came to Jesus requesting he heal his servant, who was in bed at home. He knew that Jesus had the authority to just speak and it would be done. If Jesus did it for the centurion’s servant why didn’t He do it for Lazarus?

I kept reading; understandably Mary and Martha were devastated. Not only had they lost their brother, but I imagine that they may have felt a loss of hope. If they believed that their brother would not perish due to the awesome authority of Jesus, it must have come as an even bigger shock when he did succumb to his illness. Mary, Martha, their family and the community were grieving the loss of their loved one when Jesus arrived. Martha and Mary, each in turn, went to him saying “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died”. To them, the chance for a miracle had passed away when their brother breathed his last breath. It must have been so difficult for them to understand, why a man who had performed countless miracles and had the authority to make the lame walk, give sight to the blind and a voice to the mute, let someone he loved perish.

Jesus knew Mary and Martha’s hearts; he knew that they believed the time had passed to heal Lazarus. Mary, Martha and the entire community stood wailing and grieving over the loss of their loved one. As Jesus stood witnessing this overwhelming grief, he was deeply moved and became very troubled in his spirit. John 11:33 describes his feelings as “a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled”. I couldn’t understand why Jesus could be angry with Mary and Martha, he was the one who let Lazarus die. I am sure that he felt some frustration over the disbelief that he was witnessing in Mary and Martha, but maybe His feelings weren’t directed only towards those that were present. I believe that it was toward death itself; the pain and sorrow that had to be caused to ultimately bring glory to God.

Jesus was so troubled within his spirit over the situation that Verse 35 says that He wept. Jesus wasn’t weeping over the death of Lazarus, he KNEW that Lazarus had to die and be raised from the dead. He was weeping with and for those that he loved. Understanding the way Jesus felt standing outside Lazarus’s tomb, I was able to understand the grief that He must have felt when we received Gabe’s diagnosis; the sorrow that he had to have had over my devastation and anger when my prayer hadn’t been answered. How wrong I had been that day when I turned my eyes towards Heaven imagining a heartless and detached God, His heart had to be aching as much or more than mine at my sorrow and despair. It didn’t bring God any joy to not send the answer we were expecting.

Verse 39 finds Jesus going to the tomb and demanding that the stone be rolled away. His request met resistance from a concerned Martha, who still didn’t understand what was about to occur. She responded “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible”. Jesus must have been further troubled knowing Martha was almost unknowingly refusing a miracle because she was concerned about the smell. Jesus could only respond to Martha by saying “didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believed”. In verse 41 Jesus turned his face towards heaven and said “Father, thank you for hearing me. You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.” Verse 43 then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out”.

Lazarus was dead; his heart had stopped pumping blood to his organs causing them to shut down and stop working all together, the blood pooled in his body becoming thick and stagnant. He was not breathing; no oxygen was being shuttled to and from the lungs. Lazarus had been taken and prepared according to Jewish customs. His body cold and firm, wrapped from head to toe in burial cloth, laid inside a cave, covered with a large rock and left to decay for four days. Jesus called out to him, called him to draw breath and life back into body, for his heart to beat again; Lazarus stood and exited the tomb.

I don’t know why Gabe has Down syndrome; I don’t know why God chose this path for my family. I don’t know why bad things happen or why sometimes God doesn’t heed our call for help or rapidly answer our prayers. But I do that know Lazarus died. Jesus didn’t heal him from his illness; he grieved with and for those he loved. I also know that Jesus made an opportunity by not healing Lazarus; He had an opportunity to bring Glory to God.

Gabe is perfect; he is smart, strong and so sweet. He is joyous, inquisitive and gentle. He was born without complication and has had none of the medical issues and conditions that are so common for individuals with Down syndrome. He is growing and meeting his milestones. God didn’t miss an opportunity, he made one. When I look at Gabe I am reminded of Lazarus, I am reminded each day that of the opportunity that God has given us; one that has strengthened our faith, taught us unconditional love, and has brought Him Glory.

…I don’t know what your thoughts are, that’s a blessing and a curse. Maybe you’re in a similar situation, maybe you’re facing a prenatal or birth diagnosis of Down syndrome, or any situation that you just can’t seem to understand. You may not be the only one thinking the things your thinking, no matter how bad they may sound in your head. You know my thoughts now, and I hope you know that you’re not alone…

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