November 22, 2009 the unthinkable happened. I was 24 years old and 23 weeks pregnant, almost halfway through my second trimester. I had felt the baby move for a few weeks and I remember the moment when my husband felt the first kick just a week before. It can only be explained as pure joy. We were long past the first trimester when you’re taught to have your guard up, knowing that a miscarriage was a possibility. No one tells you that after 12 weeks things still go wrong, until they do.

Twelve years have gone by since the birth of Isaac. A stillbirth, though some say it was a miscarriage. Nonetheless he was a child for whom we had prayed. Despite so much time passing, the memories are still raw and vivid. By the grace of God there are parts I’ve forgotten but the impact of his life will last forever. In my anguish in my hospital bed I had never felt closer and further away from God. I was scared, confused, and so angry. All of my questions going unanswered. I knew that God could handle my anger and so I held nothing back. Fighting through the anger my heart cried, “God I know you’ve got this. I need you to have this.” While I was barely hanging on, barely believing the words in my heart; somehow my soul was still planted firmly on God’s promises.

Struggling to Find Hope

In the weeks and months that followed I was numb, a literal and figurative empty shell. I couldn’t keep control of my emotions and remember days at work where I would calmly excuse myself after being triggered by something unexpected and crying uncontrollably in my car. Christmas was exceptionally hard and church became an unsafe place. Everywhere there were pictures of the baby Jesus, talk of his birth and hope. We would come late and leave early just to avoid more tears. I believed that if I could just be pregnant again I could get back what I lost and be free of my pain. I tried relying on my own strength instead of turning to our great healer. I had no hope, I was broken. But God saw me in my brokenness. God made a way for me in my wilderness. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…

I started meeting with a social worker from the maternity and infant loss program at the hospital. I met with her weekly and just poured out all the ugly things that had made their home in my heart. I learned to not feel guilty for my intense emotions. I learned to not hold onto the anger that consumed me, anger at God, at those trying to help (but instead making me sad), anger at others who were happy and having healthy pregnancies. The social worker became a guiding light through my darkness and very slowly I started to heal. When I was ready, God led me to others in my church family who had also experienced the same loss, who cried with me, understanding my pain in a way no one else did, and slowly my hope was restored. I started to believe the words in my heart. “God I know you’ve got this.” Maybe it was true.

The path forward was everything except linear. Just when I thought I had reigned in my emotions, someone would say something, or a television show would have a storyline with infant loss; unexpected blows to remind me the hurt was still there. Even now, 12 years later, with two healthy and vibrant sons to love, the hurt remains. But God is rich in love and mercy for me and for you and I am confident that he’s got this. He has taken this loss and has turned it into something beautiful over and over. He’s given me the opportunity to share about my hope in heaven. I’m excited to see Jesus someday but he knows my heart longs to see my son too. A friend once told me that she imagines all these children playing on a big playground in heaven. What a beautiful image.

Ashlee Homewood

A Way Forward

For those of you reading this who have not experienced this type of loss, be prayer warriors for those who are. Know that pregnancy and infant loss is much more prevalent than we realize. If you have experienced this loss, my heart aches for you, no matter if the loss was years ago or recent. I pray that you experience God’s perfect peace. I have found healing in sharing our journey with others. It’s been empowering and has given purpose to our loss. God is continuing to show his faithfulness and turning what was broken into something beautiful. You can claim this hope and stand on the promises of God. In your weakness his strength is made perfect; his grace is sufficient.

Ashlee Homewood attends Calgary Glenmore Temple, Alberta and Northern Territories Division. 

Photo: Getty Images Pro


On Thursday, November 25, 2021, Evangeline said:

What a brave and beautiful thing to share.

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