When Parents Experience Crushing Loss

It was almost 15 years ago when Sara and I began our journey into parenthood. We had been married for over five years and I was more than ready to become a dad. The moment I saw that first positive pregnancy, my life would never be the same again. From that moment, I began a journey of overwhelming joy and crushing loss.

When we got pregnant for the first time, we were so excited. We told everyone. We began dreaming of who this child would become. Then one night when hanging out with a neighbor, I received a panicked call from Sara. Something was wrong and it was the longest night of my life. The next morning we would discover that our precious little baby was no longer alive. We were in shock. No one had prepared us for this outcome.

We named him Peter. We lost him in October of 2005.

What we didn’t know is that this would become a pattern for us. A few months later, we would become pregnant again. A few weeks into our second pregnancy, we lost another child.

We named her Bella. We lost her in April of 2006.

We named our third child Trey. We lost him in July of 2006.

How could it be that the very thing that we wanted most in this life was being held just out of reach? Where was the sense in each of these losses. The doctors had no explanation other than these things just happen.

However, everything changed in late 2006. We got pregnant again and we made it past the first trimester. The pregnancy wasn’t easy, but in June of 2007, we were blessed beyond belief to hold Titus in our arms. Our situation had finally changed.

A few years later, we decided to try again. With hope and excitement, be began another journey that took us back down a familiar road.

In February 2009, we lost Quinn, our 5th child.

In April 2010, we lost Noah, our 6th child.

In November 2010, we lost Wren, our 7th child.

In January 2011, we lost Vesper, our 8th child.

The loss of Vesper was absolutely crushing. We had lost seven children and I figured that this would be the point where we called it quits. We were beyond grateful for Titus and maybe our journey was to be a family of three.

If you know my family, you know that our journey didn’t end there. We decided to try one more time.

In November of 2011, we had Genevieve Pearl.

Four years later, we’d wrap up this ten year journey.

In December of 2015, we had Helen Abigail. She was our 10th child.

It was a 10-year journey of unbelievable joy and crushing loss and I’m thankful for every moment. Somehow, this journey of loss made our family who we are and how we see the world around us.

Here are a few things we didn’t know before we began this parenting journey:

  • Most estimates say that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. 
  • Of women who know they are pregnant, 1 in 6 will likely end in miscarriage
  • Three out of every four miscarriages happen in the first trimester.
  • The reason for most miscarriages are chromosomal abnormalities.
  • Stillbirth, when a child dies after 20 weeks affects just 1% of all babies, accounting for about 26,000 babies every year (in the US).
  • Essentially, about 1 in every 160 pregnancies end in stillbirth.

If you know someone who has experienced the pain of miscarriage or infant loss, love them well. There are no words to express the loss of a tiny hand they will never hold. They don’t need you to fix anything or suggestions on what they should do, think or feel. They just need the consistency of your love and presence.

If you have experienced the pay of miscarriage or infant loss, you are not alone. The silent pain of loss is a pain that few people will understand and is very real. Don’t minimize your loss. Create appropriate space to process your pain and grieve. God’s love and grace are enough to see you through.

Sign up for updates from Mission Parents.

Mission Parents is a resource provided by Mission Community Church