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Joy's Story




Recently, I had an experience in meditation where I felt the spirit of my angel baby, Joy. She came through and requested that I finish her story and share it. I began writing this narrative for myself months ago and it had been sitting in the files of my computer waiting for me to return. Once I did complete the wiritng, I felt a new sense of closure. It's like because I wrote it out, I no longer have to fear forgetting the sacred process that changed the essence of who I am forever. The following post is a detailed account of my miscarriage experience and might not be for you. That's ok. If this is a topic that feels triggering, please take care of yourself and skip it. I am sharing this simply because she asked me to.


On Christmas Eve 2020 we sat our children down and shared the news that we would be expecting our 4th baby in the summer. After almost a full year of pandemic life with three small children at home, the news was filled with hope and expansive joy. Alongside many others living through this time in history, my partner and I had been contemplating what really mattered to us, how we wished to spend our time on the earth, and what our life’s contributions might entail. Our children are a huge part of where we find divine purpose: supporting the souls who have come to be with us, bringing their unique goodness to the world, all the while being the most brilliant teachers for us. This reciprocal relationship is the calling that led us to invite another baby earth-side. The call was so loud, I felt a sense of urgency around getting pregnant that I hadn’t with my previous pregnancy experiences. After a dozen or so pregnancy tests over several months, I decided to take one on my birthday hoping for a special birthday gift from above. A couple of minutes later when it didn’t show the 2 blue lines I had longed for, I sighed and forged forward continuing to hope. The next morning, I glanced in the bathroom and saw the pregnancy test still lying on the back of the toilet. When I went to throw the test away, I looked one last time. I squinted as I brought the test close to my eyes and saw the faintest hint of a second blue line, the one I yearned for. A huge inhale filled my chest and my eyes filled with tears. Our baby was coming.


Over the next few weeks, my morning sickness came to a head and I spent the mornings lying on the couch before my husband headed into the office, leaving me to the virtual learning, toddler raising, and household tasking. When we shared the news with our kids, our youngest, Lucy, cried out with a, “YESSSSSS!” She was never meant to be a youngest child. Our oldest was happy, yet a bit confused, and our middle son was disappointed before getting on board with the excitement this meant for all of us. We moved forward and announced the good news with our close family members as a Christmas surprise, unaware of the heartache we would have to share only weeks later.


I’ll never forget the clear sense of knowing that came to me when I began to bleed. The morning sickness that had subsided a couple weeks before had come back and I was resting in bed as my husband and girls were setting up their new bunkbed. We had recently purchased it as they would be sharing a room now that we would need to make one of their rooms a nursery. Help was needed in carrying a large piece of the bed board up the stairs and I came to support. Being as tender as I could, I lifted with my legs and halfway up the stairs I could feel the blood begin to seep into my underwear. When we reached the top of the stairs, I went to the bathroom in my bedroom and closed the door. I sat and watched the slow drip, drip, drip of bright red diffuse into the toilet water. My heart leapt into my throat, signaling “danger” with every quickened beat. With shaky hands I texted my midwife. I cleaned up, flushed, and led myself to a lounge chair right outside the door of our bedroom. It was an unseasonably sunny day with light, puffy clouds and a gentle breeze blowing through the palm trees in our backyard. Before my midwife called to check in with me, a knowing washed over me. It was the first of these knowings, which have carried on quite regularly since. With difficulty in describing this knowing, I’d say that rather than a lightbulb being turned on, it felt more grounded, as if I was soaking it up from the wisdom of Mother Earth herself. In that moment I knew: my baby was gone.


My midwife worked with me to find an ultrasound center open on a Sunday. Between messages passed back and forth, I laid upon the soft cushion of the lounge chair and as I closed my eyes, they pressed the tears that had been welling out. I felt the cool wetness on my cheek with an understanding this would be the first of thousands of tears I would release in the days to come. “Be with me,” I prayed. I reached for comfort through a guided meditation series I had been using to find connection to my heart. As the words washed over me, it felt as though God was speaking through the meditation teacher’s voice right into my soul. It was the medicine needed to keep me present in my trauma. It allowed me a choice to stay. It was a choice I would make again, because I believe it was my ability to be present through the process of losing her that helped me feel connected to her short life. I can look back at the experience now with clear recognition that my baby’s soul was the guiding force in allowing me to expand my capacity to hold the challenge of loss in a way that would never have been possible before that exact moment.


Within minutes, we had confirmation of a facility that could offer me an ultrasound so my parents rushed to our house to be with our other children and my husband and I drove to go see our little one for the first time. My hands were so shaky I couldn’t fill out the paperwork so I handed it over to my husband and I took time to practice the things that help me be present. I slowed my breath and looked around the room for comfort. The pictures of little baby toes and snuggly newborns grew the ache in my belly and tears flowed down my cheeks. The wait felt like an eternity. Once we were in the room, it was a matter of seconds before I knew. There was no heartbeat, but a lifeless form at rest in the bottom of my uterus. The ultrasound technician was straightforward and kind but nonemotional as she relayed our new reality to us: our baby was gone along with the dreams we had already begun to make with her. 


I sat in the passenger seat in a trance as I considered what to tell my other children. It would be their first experience of death and I didn’t know if I would be capable of holding it all at once. When we arrived home, we sat down outside and let our children into the world of grief we had entered. Our son immediately went over to a nearby tree and placed his hand upon it and cried. We weren’t entirely sure why he went to the tree, but it seemed to make sense in some odd way, like a need to ground into something still here on earth. As we held one another and wept, we talked about naming her and decided on the name Joy. In a season of such darkness her short life offered us an immense amount of joy. I can’t remember what happened after that except the cramping with no evidence of her arrival.


The following morning my husband took the day off work and we took the kids to my moms so we could have some space to feel the big waves of sadness next to the big waves at the beach. It was there I felt the blood flow through me. I remember sitting in the public bathrooms in the throws of miscarriage not believing what I was experiencing was real life. I was glad to stay, though. When I emerged from the restroom, my husband took my hand and we walked to the ocean. I sat on a rock while he continued to wade in the water and I felt her soul return home. I wish I had clearer words to describe the experience but it was almost as if a little flicker of light moved from the reflection of the sun on the water at my feet, across the vast sea and over the horizon back to the heavens and she was gone. I was empty.


Over the next several weeks, my mood was as heavy as my aching breasts as my milk came and went with no baby to nurse. It took everything I had to continue on mothering my children and navigating the daily tasks of life. Little by little we found hope in a new start, and a possibility of a big move. As I sit here in our new life, I can’t imagine any other possibility but that Joy led us here. She was our guide to so much freedom. Her life was not small at all. It has been the driving force behind deep healing work for both my husband and I. She still meets me in the garden, through music, and in moments where the family is gathered together making memories. I can feel her there. She comes and goes freely now, knowing she always has a home in each of our hearts. 


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