Archives For Loss + Miscarriage

Three months have passed since Gideon’s birth, and I am now ready and excited to share his Birth Story with you. This post is a long one, but it contains a story that is near and dear to my heart, and I feel led to share it with you. My hope is that this encourages you, no matter what you may be facing in your life.


When I saw those two pink lines on that stick on November 13, 2013, I was filled with one of the greatest joys imaginable. I ran into our bedroom, jumped onto the bed, hugged Jonathan, and told him, “We’re having a baby!” And then he held me as I cried. Tears of happiness mixed with tears of worry. I loved this baby so much already, and I didn’t want to lose him.

Within the four months before the beginning of this pregnancy, we had experienced two miscarriages. Those losses were two of the hardest times of our lives. It is difficult to put into words the kind of grief we experienced (as I know so many who deal with miscarriages do.)

But God had promised us more children. He had promised us that He would turn our mourning into great joy. So, even though my mind wanted to think “Don’t get your hopes up”, I knew that was exactly what God wanted me to do…to get my hopes up. To put my hope in Him and trust Him with this baby.

So that is what we did. I won’t pretend like it was easy. Any time I felt a twinge of pain in my abdomen, tears would fill my eyes and fear threatened to take over. That is when I had to close my eyes, push aside the thoughts of worry and doubt, and whisper, “God, I trust you.” And then allow my heart to be filled with hope, joy, and peace again.

When I was 8 weeks pregnant and we went to our first OB appointment, it was amazing to see our baby on that ultrasound screen and to see that heartbeat. This was farther than we had made it with our last two pregnancies. And our precious baby was looking so healthy. I sighed a deep sigh of relief.

In the weeks and then months that followed, I had to continue trusting God. At our 16 week appointment, we were surprised to find out early that we were having a boy! We had felt all along that this was another boy, and it was wonderful to finally be able to call him by name…our precious Gideon James.

When I reached 18 weeks in this pregnancy, my trust was tried more than ever. I started having contractions. Not just the normal Braxton Hicks contractions that you expect at this point in pregnancy, but very painful ones…and a lot of them close together…every day. We were dealing with some difficult situations as a family at this time, and my doctor told me she believed the contractions were brought on because of the stress associated with this. I needed to relax and rest…and trust God.

For the remaining 5 months, there were multiple trips to the doctor, many weeks of bed rest, a lot of tests and monitoring, and numerous contractions. It was scary. There were days I just spent crying because of the pain and the uncertainty. But in the midst of it all, I felt God there saying, “I am with you. I’ve got this.” And so I continued to hope and trust.

Even though I was having contractions nearly non-stop for months, our baby continued to be healthy. I was healthy. This pregnancy was a healthy one. And for that, I was so thankful.

On June 25th, things started to get crazier. The contractions got even stronger, and got to be about 2-3 minutes apart for a long time. We went to the hospital. They admitted me, and then tried to slow the contractions down. I was only 35 weeks along, and they really wanted him to stay in there until at least 37 weeks. They gave me some medicine through an IV, the contractions slowed to 10 minutes apart, and I was sent home.

Contractions continued to be close together, I went in to the doctor’s office a couple times in the following days for monitoring, but I wasn’t progressing fast enough to be admitted. On June 29th (Liam’s 2nd Birthday!), the contractions got extremely painful, and again, they were 2-3 minutes apart. Back to the hospital we went! (Thankfully, we had celebrated Liam’s Birthday the day before). I had progressed more, so they wanted to keep me overnight for monitoring. These contractions were very painful. They were the worst I had experienced yet, and really felt like it could be time for him to come. They told me that it was very likely that I would have to have a c-section that night, because Gideon was still in the breech position. I was given some pain medication so that I could try and rest, but the contractions were so strong that I still felt them all night long. However, by morning, the contractions (although still painful), had eased up and were now only 10 minutes apart again. I was then sent home to continue to wait things out.

In the 11 days that followed, contractions continued. They normally stayed about 5 minutes apart (and many times even closer), but never got further than 10 minutes apart. The intensity would vary from uncomfortable ramping up to very painful. We made many more trips to the doctor’s for monitoring, and although I was still in these early stages of labor, it wasn’t time for Gideon to come yet.

I began to feel like he was never going to come. The uncertainty of “Is he coming now? How about now? No? Now?” really wore on me. But again, I was reminded…Trust God. He’s got this. Gideon will come in the perfect time. Don’t worry.

On July 10th, after being monitored for more painful and very close together contractions, I saw my doctor again…and she said that it was time. I was at 4cm and was progressing at a faster rate now. Gideon was measuring large, and didn’t have much space (or amniotic fluid) in order to turn from his breech position, so we needed to have a c-section. We went ahead and scheduled it for early the next morning, and the doctor sent me home to hopefully get some rest before the big day…with instructions to come in before that if things got more severe.

I left that appointment on cloud 9! I was SO excited to finally meet our boy the next day.

We went home that night filled with excited anticipation. I was still having contractions, but it felt easier because there was an end in sight. My dear friend, Cyndi, picked up Liam to stay with them that night and the following day. That way, my Mom (who was visiting) could be with us at the hospital for the birth. We ate dinner, got everything ready to go for the morning (although it didn’t take long because our bags had been packed for months anyways), and Jonathan went and got us Ben & Jerry’s ice cream for dessert (I had Peanut Butter Cup Yum!!). I went to bed at 8, and got several hours of good sleep. I woke up at 2am because my contractions were very painful again, and about 4 minutes apart.

My waking thought was of the promise that God had given us all through the past year:

“You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!” – Psalm 30:11-12

My eyes welled up with tears, because I knew that today was the day that we would see this promise fulfilled.

At 5am on Friday, July 11th 2014, we loaded our van and drove to Williamson Medical Center here in Franklin, Tennessee. We checked in, and then the nurse brought us to our room. They hooked me up to monitors, an IV, and asked me all the questions they needed answered before surgery. Jonathan then got into his scrubs so that he could be in the Operation Room with me.


The thought of having a c-section made me nervous. It was completely different from what I had experienced before. But I had a peace about it. I knew that God was with us, and would help me every step of the way.

My doctor came in and answered any other questions we had. She was very encouraging and positive and really set my nerves at ease. What a blessing she is! The anesthesiologist nurse came in as well and talked to me some more about what was going to happen.

At about 7:15am it was time to head to the OR! The nurses wheeled me back, and at the door I said goodbye to Jonathan, and he sat right outside in “the black chair” until after my spinal was taken care of.


Once I was in the room, things started to happen pretty quickly. I got onto the operating table, they did my spinal block, I laid down, and they made final preparations for surgery. My lower body was completely numb, but I was very alert and able to move my head and arms. I was so thankful that I would be able to be alert for the entire experience. I didn’t want to miss a thing! There was a curtain up though, so that I couldn’t see the surgery itself taking place. I was very grateful for that. :)

As soon as they were ready to start, Jonathan was able to come in and sit right next to me holding my hand. What an exciting and special moment this was! I was smiling ear to ear, excited to meet our little guy so soon.

They started the operation, and within minutes I heard that first cry and my heart leaped for joy! Our Gideon James Zajas was born at 8:04am on July 11th, 2014 weighing 7lbs 10oz and was 20′ inches long. My eyes filled with happy tears as they lifted him up so we could see his face.

They quickly checked his vitals and made sure he was doing well (and he was!), and then they brought him over for me to hold. Words cannot express the kind of joy I experienced when they placed him in my arms for the first time. I loved this child before we even knew he existed, and when I held him it felt like my heart grew in size.



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After a few minutes, they needed to finish my surgery and sew me up. So Jonathan went with the nurses as they brought Gideon to the nursery to be evaluated and cleaned up. This was the part of the morning that seemed to take a long time (even though it didn’t). I couldn’t wait to be reunited with my baby again!


Once they were finished, I was brought back to my room where Jonathan met me. And shortly after, Gideon was brought to us. When I held him, I never wanted to let go. What a blessing this boy is. What a great demonstration of God’s love for us. I am so thankful.



I was on cloud nine for the rest of the day. We were just soaking in the sweetness of the moment.


My mom, who had been in the waiting room, came in to meet Gideon. What a blessing it was to have her there with us to share in the excitement of the day.


Liam was so excited to meet his baby brother! He had been looking forward to this moment for a long time.

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The rest of our stay at the hospital was wonderful. We were incredibly blessed by the entire staff at Williamson. They took such wonderful care of us!

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Since I had a c-section, our hospital stay was longer (3 nights), so we had a lot of time to rest and enjoy this time with our newest family member. It was a very peaceful time that I am incredibly thankful that we had. When Monday morning came around, we were excited to get home and start settling in as a family of four.

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Over three months have passed, and we are more in love than ever! I cannot believe how fast time has flown by. The past fifteen weeks have been filled to overflowing with such love and joy. We had many friends come to visit and bring us meals and gifts, which blessed us greatly. Thank you to everyone who has celebrated with us!

This is such an exciting new chapter in our family’s life, and it has only just begun! We are loving every moment with our precious boy, and cannot wait to see all that God has in store for our little man Gideon.

Today marks the date of when our second child was due to be born. When approaching days like these, it is tempting to distract myself and push aside any thought of our losses. But there is such value in remembering.

Our baby’s life, though shortly lived in my womb, was a gift. Many might say that it’s existence was useless, but I wholeheartedly disagree. Although we didn’t get to hold our baby, or see it’s face, we were greatly impacted by it.

Losing two babies in miscarriage last year was not a good thing. I’m not thankful that it happened. But I am grateful that God helped us through it and kept his promise by bringing good from it. I am constantly amazed by how he’s able to do that. What a blessing!

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28

Because of last year and the season of loss and grief we went through, I now know God deeper than I ever have before. I now know what it is like to entirely lean on and depend on him, because I had no strength left in me to continue on my own. And since I’ve experienced that, I realize how important it is to live every day like that…in the valleys but also on the mountaintops. I always want to be consistent in my desperate need for Him. And because of that, I have been changed for the better.

We did not get to name our babies, because we never had the chance of finding out their gender. But I look forward to the day that we are all reunited in heaven as a family. I am thankful that they are in the best possible care. I am thankful that they will never know hurt or pain or heartache. I am thankful that if even for a moment, they were a part of my life here on earth, and will forever be a part of my heart.

And now, we have this new baby on the way, who is as healthy as ever. What a tremendous blessing! I do not understand why things happen the way they do, but I trust that God always has good in store for his children.

When I was still walking through that difficult season of grief and sadness, one of my dear friends gave me this necklace as a wonderful reminder of hope.

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It’s says, “Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, faith looks up.”

When we are going through a hard time, it can be so easy to look back and be consumed with sorrow. Or to look around and be overcome with worry. But I want to always look up in faith to the One who is able to help me through it all.

I am happy to say that God has done a great work in me this past year. He has brought more healing and joy than I even knew was possible.

Whatever hurt or loss you may have experienced in your past, I pray that you will experience the same place of hope and joy that God has brought me to.

“You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!” – Psalms 30:11-12

Before last year, I don’t think I fully understood what it was like to truly grieve a loss. And because of that, I never really knew how to comfort those who were dealing with loss and grief. I would do my best, but now that we have experienced our own losses, I am thankful that I have better insight in how to help others when they face grief of their own.

I wish I had known these things sooner, but I am thankful to understand them now. It is so valuable to be able to learn from each other’s experiences, so with that in mind, I feel like I should share some of what I’ve learned with you.

None of this is meant to be accusatory in any way. If you have or haven’t done these things when helping someone, please don’t beat yourself up. Life is filled with lessons that we all learn together, and I share this in love and hope that it will help you help someone in return. Also, I am not a grief counselor…I am only speaking from my personal experience and what did and didn’t help me when I was dealing with loss.


8 ways to help someone who is grieving…

  1. Be there for them. When I was grieving, it was so helpful to know that I wasn’t alone. When you are dealing with deep sadness, it can be easy to feel isolated, so when I had friends and family who were constantly letting me know they were there for me, it helped so much. You don’t have to be invasive, just check in on your friend periodically…let them know you love them and are there for them. Ask if they want to get together and talk. If they don’t take you up on that, that’s perfectly fine…at least they know that you are there and they are not alone.
  2. Be proactive in helping in practical ways. When we see someone going through a hard time, I think it’s almost habit for us to say “Let me know if you need anything.” And while we often say it sincerely, the person going through a hard time will rarely take you up on that. I know for me, I didn’t want to burden anyone by asking for something specific. But I had a few friends who plainly stated they were going to help me and they did just that. For example, one friend said she was going to bring us dinner that week, and simply asked which night would be best for me. That was such a blessing! After our second miscarriage, I came down with a stomach virus just days after we got the bad news…it was terrible. One of my dear friends texted me that morning asking how I was doing, and as soon as I told her, she said she was coming over to pick up my son, Liam, for the day. And when she did, she brought crackers, soup, and ginger ale with her. When you help a friend in a practical way like that, you may never fully realize the great impact you have on them.
  3. Don’t use clichés. This is a tricky one. We as a culture (Christians especially) tend to have these clichés that we say when someone is going through a hard time. We seem to think that they work as a little bandaid and will suddenly make that person feel better. Usually, they don’t. For example… “Everything is going to be okay.” “God is in control.” “This is just a part of God’s plan.” “God will bring good from this.” “This is all for a reason.” “Just trust in God.” I could go on writing about how each of these phrases usually aren’t helpful for someone who is deeply hurting, but I won’t. Instead of using clichés to comfort someone, just let them know you care, pray with them, and love them. They don’t need you to fix their hurt, because you won’t be able to (only God can do that). But you can love them through it, and that will make all the difference in the world.
  4. Mourn with them. This is biblical. “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” (Romans 12:15) There were a few people who would come see me or call and talk with me, and would just be there as I cried, and would even cry with me. They were okay with my emotions and didn’t make me feel bad for being sad. Mourning isn’t a bad thing. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4) We are supposed to mourn when we have experienced loss, it’s how we were created. And it is so helpful when you have friends who will mourn with you, and let you know that it’s okay for you to experience those emotions.
  5. Don’t try to cheer them up. This sounds weird, I know. Haha. When I say this, I don’t mean to not try and bring joy into their life. What I mean is, don’t dismiss their sadness and try to make them suddenly be happy. Don’t say, “Chin up! Cheer up! Life’s not all that bad.” Like I mentioned before, it’s important that they go through mourning and experience those emotions. There’s nothing wrong with that. DO love them, make them smile, and bring joy into their lives, but don’t dismiss their sadness like it’s not important.
  6. Express your love for them through cards and gifts. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, but can be so simple and thoughtful. I received some cards and letters that truly touched my heart. They were just expressing their love for me and their sympathy for our loss. I also had a friend come and bring me flowers, and a couple friends sent simple gifts. It may not seem like much, but it can truly brighten someone’s day and bring a little joy back into their life knowing that people care.
  7. Don’t compare or belittle their loss. Comparison is the thief of joy, and when you belittle someone’s loss it can be truly hurtful. Saying, “Well, at least you have a child already.” or “It’s good you lost your baby during early pregnancy, and not later.” doesn’t help. Realize that whatever it is this person lost and is grieving, even though it may not have been as big of a loss as someone else’s in your eyes, it is still important to them and no amount of belittling or comparing will take away the hurt (but can instead add to it).
  8. Pray for them. Really pray for them. We say “I’m praying for you!”, but how often do we actually do it? This is something God convicted me of a few years ago, and I now truly make an effort to always pray for someone when I say I’m going to. If you see this person face-to-face, pray with them right then and there. If you can call them, pray with them over the phone. Pray for them even when they don’t know you’re praying for them. All of these other things I’ve listed above are very helpful, yes, but the thing you can do that will truly make a lasting impact is prayer. Because we cannot heal someone’s hurt, but we can pray to the God who is able to, and that will make all the difference in the world.

Also, keep in mind that people grieve for a variety of reasons, not just because of death. A feeling of great loss can occur because someone was fired, a failed relationship, infertility, sickness and health problems, moving to an unfamiliar place, or a myriad of other things. Understanding this will help us be sensitive and understanding when our friends go through these difficult transitions in life.

In addition to all of these things, I learned as the one who was grieving to be gracious and understanding when a person didn’t help me the way I needed. Most people mean well, but they don’t always know the right way to express it. And you never know what that person may be facing themselves. So many fight their battles in silence, and they don’t always have the capacity to minister to you in your own hurt.

If you have made it to the end of this post, I applaud you. :) I hope that this is helpful to you. I truly desire to help and encourage those who are hurting, and I hope this helps you do the same. We were not meant to go through life’s struggles alone, but with others by our side. Let’s work together to be like family to the community of people we are placed in.

Now, I would love to hear from your perspective…what are some things that helped you when you have faced loss or grief?

You are so loved!