Sunday, 7 July 2013

Violet May

a word that stirs huge emotion.
I always felt sad whenever I heard it... grateful that I had never had to experience it for myself but achy for those that had.

We had called time on our baby having days and I was so relieved that despite a few 'heart in mouth' moments in the early weeks of some of my pregnancies we had never  had to deal with the pain of losing any of our babies.

2010 was a very painful year for us in so many many ways. A year of loss. Financial, emotional and material loss. We lost our home....our business... our lifestyle... our confidence.  

And we lost our baby.

A baby we were not expecting but delighted in just the same. A baby we thought would take our minds off the trauma of the past two years and the trauma we knew was still coming.

I had returned to full time work for the first time in 13 years out of necessity and while it was extremely difficult balancing my priorities it was a great time of learning and growing. I hated being away from my children and not being there when they were sick and sad but it made me extremely grateful for the many years I had been privileged to be with them all day every day.

Five months into my job I unexpectedly fell pregnant. And got very very sick. Sicker than I had ever been with any of my babies before. I put it down to working full time and my heavier stress load and tried to soldier on. It didn't work. I was forced to give up my job  and for the next three months I could barely move. Scans were done to rule out twins and everything was deemed fine.
 I breathed a sigh of relief and moved into my next trimester with a happy heart.

My four month checkup came around and I remember the morning so clearly. I woke feeling fantastic and rejoicing that the worst was over and ecstatic that we would hear a teeny weeny heartbeat today. My 4 year old and I went out for coffee and fluffy and talked excitedly about seeing the midwife and hearing our baby... and off we went to that much anticipated appointment. 

Except there was no heartbeat. Nothing but the sound of my own heart and an eerily quiet womb.

My heart stopped. 

I prayed and begged and prayed that miraculously we would hear the sound we had longed for. Our midwife tried again and again but there was silence.
We arranged to meet at the hospital later that day and it was the longest day of my life.
We were heartbroken when the ultrasound revealed that our baby had passed away a couple of weeks earlier. Our unexpected, darling, cherished baby was safe in the arms of Jesus and I rejoiced knowing I would see her again one day but my arms ached literally knowing I would never feel her dear wee body this side of heaven.

We named our baby Violet May 

I never knew the pain of losing a baby from a miscarriage could be so utterly devastating. I had imagined it would be hard but I never would have believed just how hard... 

I learnt so much from those early weeks of grieving. I became completely dependent on my Saviour.. I knew that He had a purpose in this even though I had no idea what it could be. His ways are perfect even when we can't make sense of them. His love is infinite and overwhelming in it's goodness. 
I learnt that I could praise Him in this storm.
That I would not drown... or be left to tread water... His hand would constantly uphold me and I would be ok.

Hard lessons.
Painful lessons.
But... vitally important lessons.

It took another 6 months before we were told it was safe to try for another baby if we wanted to - we had subsequently  found out that the reason we had lost her was because I had suffered from a partial molar pregnancy - she would never have made it full term. 
{This condition is considered a pre-cancerous which meant over the next six months I had to have constant blood tests to check my hormone levels and make sure I was safe}
We prayed a lot about whether we should try again and sought His wisdom and guidance. We eventually decided that we would and were so happy when a year to the day of that last positive test ~ another test revealed new life once again.

This wee baby went to Jesus at only 7 weeks.
Five months later another dear babe at 8 weeks.

Such pain... such grief... but throughout it all... such dependence on our Saviour,  that His ways are perfect. Again we trusted in His sovereign will in our lives and in the lives of our dear children.

I am so thankful for this chapter in our lives... a time of growth and maturing in our faith... a strengthening and cementing of our marriage... a teaching and growing time for our children who were deeply affected  throughout this journey... and an opportunity to learn just how precious and fragile life is. 
Not one day should ever be taken for granted.

My daily source of inspiration and wisdom over this period came in the form of a book I was gifted by a dear friend. Ann Voscamp taught me so much  about contentment, about grace, about happiness regardless of circumstance, about Gratitude.
Choosing to daily fill my heart with ALL that He freely gives and to live Fully.
 This verse became my mantra.

'Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything with prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your heart and your minds in Christ Jesus..... For I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content'
Philippians 4:6-7 and 11

I found this prayer I wrote after our third baby passed away;

Hold me today Father in your everlasting arms, calm the aching grief of my heart as I once again hand over a tiny babe into Your arms.
Help me Father to redeem my time wisely and to hold to what is truly valuable in life.
Thank you for this heartbreaking but vital reminder to cherish my beautiful family, to hold this precious life as a fragile bubble and to remain thankful of every moment. To slow down.
Cradle my babes in Your arms Jesus until I can hold them myself.
Thank you for teaching me, holding me and for loving me with unconditional love.
In Your name.



  1. Your story sounds a lot like mine. I was 18 weeks and had found out the baby died about 2 weeks earlier. one of the worst moments of my life, worst seasons. then I went on to lose one at 10 was Gods grace that carried me through. I went on to have my three I have now, but just had a very early miscarriage this week. :( Very Sad, but I know Gods faithfulness and promises are true

  2. So well written Kate, such a lovely tribute to little violet and I'm sure this will be a great encouragement to others going through the same thing or something similar. x

  3. Our children are so precious, all of them. Beautiful post and tribute. Miscarriage is so hard and often a lonely time. I don't know how anyone would get though without knowing God's grace and comfort. Cx

  4. What a gorgeous post. A very personal account that you have bravely shared. I did shed some tears as I read. Your response in these hard times is very inspiring and encouraging.

  5. love you - and ALL of your babies xx

  6. Blessings and hugs to you xxx