Pregnancy, Loss and Love – part 3

I’m so pleased to share with you a post by my amazing friend Kristen.  She is one of the kindest and most gentle souls I’ve ever met who always has a kind word .  Often in our society, we don’t talk openly about trouble conceiving, miscarriages and infant loss.  Kristen has weathered such an experience, and she has some wonderful advice and perspective to offer.  Here is part two of Kristen’s experience.

You can read part 1 HERE & 2 HERE

Pregnancy, Loss and Love

The loss of a pregnancy is not an easy thing. For me, there was pain for the loss of the baby and also for the uncertainty of the future.  I wasn’t sure where I stood in the grand scheme of Motherhood anymore.  With four children already, I knew I was closer to being finished having babies than just getting started.  I wasn’t sure if there were more children for our family or if the four we had made our family complete.


I felt like I was at a crossroads.  I knew I wasn’t ready to try again just then. I wondered if I would ever be.  A part of me couldn’t bear to think my that my time of having babies was over in such a pull-the-rug-out-from-under-you kind of way.  But if that phase of my life was over, I wanted to be able to mourn the loss of my baby, mourn the end of the “birthing” phase of life and jump with both feet into a new stage of life.  Oh, how I wanted more children!  I wanted  this to be the right thing.  Yet it was terrifying to even imagine having more.

As time passed, making the decision to have another baby became another trial of faith.  Although I always wanted another baby, it was terrifying to think of putting that into reality.  As women and mothers, we know the dangers and risks of pregnancy. However, I felt that I knew even more intimately the risk I would be taking.  I knew the heartbreak of things not coming to fruition and so I knew that before I could try again, I had to be willing to accept the chance of a loss again.  And for a long time, I just wasn’t ready to take that chance.  My heart and my spirit needed time to heal.  I prayed.  I pondered.  I searched. In time, I finally felt ready to try again.

Only my husband, Cory, wasn’t quite ready.  A loss like that takes its toll on the whole family.  Cory showed such love, support and strength toward me during the days, weeks, months and even years after our loss, even though it was his loss, too.  I could not imagine having a more loving partner who really stood by me and loved me through it all.  There really just aren’t enough words to express the depth of love and gratitude I feel for him.  He was there in times and ways that make my jaw drop with awe at the wonderful, beautiful person he is.


{Image Credit Tree Photography}

Making the decision to have a baby is a big one anyway, and even more so in our situation, so I knew I needed to give him the love and respect to honor his “not yet” vote without pushing.  But that required another act of faith on my part.  I didn’t know for sure if he would ever come to different decision.  Knowing the kind of man he is, I knew he would go forward prayerfully and faithfully, but it still was a challenge for me to accept.  Eventually, I made peace with waiting a while longer.  Sometime in the Spring of 2012 we came to the realization that we were both ready and the time was now.

Getting pregnant has always come easy for us–a blessing I have not ever taken for granted. This time getting pregnant took a few months.  The one thing about pregnancy that I had expressed was that I didn’t want to have a baby in April, the same month the baby we had lost was due.  After getting that positive test result I calculated my due date–April 18th.  Five days before the due date I had with the baby I lost.   But what I came to see was that the Lord helped soften that loss with the blessing of a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.  The Lord blessed me with something I didn’t even know I needed.

For me, a pregnancy after a loss was something completely different.  Such pure joy, elation and terrifying anxiety I felt at seeing those two lines on the pregnancy test.  I felt more like a first time mom than the seasoned Mother I was.  I was anxious and worried quite frequently.  There were moments I felt sure it was not meant to be.  The night before my many ultrasounds (I had 6 altogether), were agony.  In my head, I knew this was a different pregnancy under different circumstances.  But I couldn’t shake the dread I now felt about having ultrasounds, given that was how we found out the complications in our other pregnancy.  It took much faith and many prayers to get me through.

As great as the moments of doubt and anguish were, the moments of faith and clarity were even greater.  There were countless times when a quote, a facebook post or a song would provide just the message I needed to hear.  There were scriptures that were brought to my remembrance in my time of need.  Sometimes I wondered if Heavenly Father would grow impatient with my imperfect faith and pleadings.  Why couldn’t I just trust that everything would be ok? What I came to see and feel was His infinite and perfect love and  patience as I honestly tried to be faithful amidst heartache and doubt. One of the sweetest experiences came after enduring the nerve-wracking experience of my first two ultrasounds.  As I sat waiting for my third ultrasound, I silently prayed that all would be well.  And I felt the baby kick!  Almost without fail as I would anxiously wait at each doctor’s appointment, I would feel the baby move and kick.  I felt like he was saying, “I’m here, Mom.  It’s going to be OK.”  It was a beautiful gift.

Although I didn’t have complications, the pregnancy was not easy.  It was difficult taking care of the responsibilities I already had while growing a baby inside my body.  It was a sacrifice of time and energy.  It was a sacrifice on the family as we worked together to get “everything” done.  Pregnancy was not easy.  But it was worth every single bit of sacrifice it took.  It was worth that and more.

Having a baby after a loss is an experience unlike any other.  It has been a deep, soul-searching experience all along the way.  It has been one that is both so painful and so beautiful that I don’t know that I can ever capture the thoughts and feelings in my heart.

All I know is that it was worth it.  So worth it.



At 5:47pm on April 13, 2013, Jay Ammon Rich Barnett was born into the world.  Immediately the nurses laid him on my chest.  That moment when a baby is born, that moment you lay eyes on your baby for the first time…there are no words.  I wish I could capture that feeling in a bottle.  It is pure joy.  Pure love.  Pure happiness.  Pure, Pure, Pure. He was beautiful. Perfect. Amazing.  He began crying and I stroked his little face, talked to him and cooed softly.  Almost instantly he settled down and just lay there peacefully.  I thought how jarring and shocking birth must be for a baby.  I have to think he wondered where he was and what was happening.  And then he heard his Mommy’s voice–the one he already knew so well.  And somehow he knew it was ok.

Getting a baby here is no easy task.  This time was definitely a greater challenge both emotionally and physically and even spiritually.  But the incomprehensible joy of holding a brand new baby, fresh from Heaven is worth it.  Each time I have cradled a newborn baby in my arms, I have known I was holding  a piece of heaven in them.  The awe and wonder of it never cease to both amaze and surprise me, each and every time.  In fact, maybe I appreciate it even more as time goes on.

As I sit here and contemplate those feelings again, I am overwhelmed at the blessing it is to be a Mother.  To be the mother of those five precious, beautiful children of mine.  My heart is filled to the point of overflowing and the only thing I can think of are the lines from a hymn I love, “My God, how great Thou art!”


{Image Credit Tree Photography}

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