Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Thoughts on Suffering

After reading a comment by an angry Anonymous reader (see half way through Glorious Day comments), I have a few thoughts to share. These thoughts are for all who suffer.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is one of restoration. Just as the fullness of the Gospel that Jesus Christ taught while he was here on the earth has been restored in this day and age, so shall all losses be restored to us in due time. The quote on my last post by Elder Maxwell illustrates this point. Any suffering we do in this life creates a cavity in our soul. The Lord will restore wholeness to our soul and fill that cavity with joy in His time table. 

I don't know the Lord's time table. I don't know what happens to miscarriages and still born babies. I can't imagine a baby who dies in the womb at 40 weeks before being officially "born" is any less of a loss than the baby who dies after taking one breath. And man's definition on what is "stillborn" and what is miscarriage is only some decision made by a bunch of men. What do they know about life in the womb?

Part of the reason we are opposed to abortion in the church is because we don't know when life begins. As far as I know, there has been no revelation to inform us exactly when "life" begins. Because we don't know, we err on the side of caution and oppose abortion except in extreme circumstances. 

My point here is that the gospel is a gospel of restoration. Think about the word RESTORE. Any pain we suffer, any loss, any heartache, they all will be made up to us if we live faithful and turn to the Lord. We must consciously choose to follow the Savior in order to secure these blessings. If we suffer, we must suffer in humility and patience submitting our will to the Lord even as Jesus did in Gethsemene. 

If we have sinned or just screwed up, we must seek the Lord's forgiveness through the Atonement and bear the consequences of our mistake. He can make those consequences easier to bear if we turn our heart fully to Him. Trust me. I know on that one. 

Some consequences we can't change. Sin can be wiped away and made totally clean but consequences often stay with us a lifetime. We live the rest of our lives bearing the burden of our consequences and helping others to avoid similar mistakes. Then one day the Lord will remove that burden and restore us to whole. 

Who knows? Maybe those of us who have lost babies in the womb will be pregnant in the millennium and able to birth our children and them raise then. I don't know. I just know that all the sorrows of this world will be made up to us if we live faithful and follow the Savior. 

I trust the Lord implicitly and know that he only allows us to suffer the minimum amount of pain essential to bring about His great Work. See Elder Scott's talk HERE

I also know that even when it feels like no one is there for us, if we ask, the Lord will always send us help. Most of the time that comes in the form of other people. When other people are unavailable or insufficient, unseen hosts of heavenly beings will be rallying around us to help us though our most personal pains.

To that anonymous commenter: I send you my love and sympathy. You are not alone. Countless number of women have, do, and will suffer the same feelings of loss that you are now experiencing. This club of women support you and know your pain even without knowing your name. 

Your ancestors before you know your loss. They know your heartache. If you will allow yourself to feel the hurt rather than the anger, they will be able to attend to you more fully. Angels are best able to soothe the wounded soul that is submissive.

As for your husband situation--Be the best example possible of the Love of our Savior and the hope that He gives us. Find that hope and then let it emanate though you. Live worthy of the Spirit and follow it. The Lord will make all things right in the eternities. If we live up to our own temple covenants, we will not be held back by the choices of others.

I recommend reading THIS STORY.  I ran across it years ago while preparing for a Relief Society lesson. It illustrates the fact that anytime we suffer we literally become more like our Savior.

If you want to talk more privately, you can email Molly and she can get you my email address.

May you feel the love and prayers of those who DO stand by you both on Earth and in Heaven, including mine.

43 comments:

Kelli said...

Hi Stephanie. I found your blog through a friend who recommended that I go back to your older posts and begin reading from where you lost your sweet Camille. Her suggestion to read it came because she found herself thinking of me and the trials that I was experiencing myself with my 16 year old daughter. Although I cannot begin to comprehend the pain that one experiences from the death of a child, I have to admit that I had recently begun wondering if the physical death of a child would be easier to handle somehow, than the threat of their spiritual death. Your wisdom and knowledge of the gospel have brought me so much comfort as I have read your posts, and have given me strength. It saddens me though, to know that sometimes we find comfort through others grief. Thank you for sharing your testimony. Thank you for sharing your heart.

Kelli said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steph Brackett said...

Hi Stephanie. I am a good friend of LaRae Wallace and Janet Zobrist. I really appreciate your blog (have stayed up many a nights till the weee hours of the morning reading it and bawling), and especially your latest post. My older sister lost a baby at 20 weeks and has never really gotten over it. My family is LDS and was raised in the church. She strayed at a young age and has never come back. When we lost out mother just 2 years ago and then our younger brother this past January, I thought she might turn back to the church to find comfort. We had some lengthly discussions and I thought there may be hope. She is still struggling over the loss of her child and with no testimony to lean back on, she only has grief, sorrow, blame, and hopelessness. I am forwarding your blog to her and hoping that it may touch her in a way I have not been able to. She is now moving here to live just a half mile from me. I am praying that I can be a good example to her, and that your words might just be the inspiration she needs to get back on the right track. I want her to feel hope, not sorrow and have faith, not anger. Thank you for what you are doing. You have touched my life also and made me change for the better.

Caragirl said...

Thank you for your wisdom! You are so right on and I think you are such a great person, even though I have never met you, you are such an awesome friend I just know it!
Thank you for your words to the unnamed commentor...I have been thinking about her since I read her comment, my heart breaks for her. You are so blessed with words of faith and hope. You continue to inspire me to be a better person. Thank you. Your family and your unnamed commentor are in my prayers.

Mrs. Dub said...

Six months ago, I gave birth to a baby girl at only 19 weeks. Obviously, she didn't make it. I'm shocked at how much I love her, miss her and grieve for her loss, even though I never got to know her in life.

I understand and sympathize with anonymous' comment, but I've also been blessed to accept that others don't get it. Not everyone can comprehend the loss of an unborn child - only an expectant mother can really understand, and even then it's hard. But there are lots of us out there who have lost babies before life, so there is a huge community of understanding. You might have to search, but we're out there.

And I know that these babies will be ours eternally. There is revelation on this matter, and there is a burning in my heart that tells me its true.

It sucks. Life sucks. What has happened to you, Stephanie, sucks. But there is a purpose to our pain. We just have to be open to it, share it and let it soften over time.

Anonymous said...

Well said Stephanie. One thing that I know is that we will not pass through this life without some sort of suffering. I see it in my husband's family law practice. I see it in my friends' lives. I see it in my life and my children's lives. There is going to be suffering, nothing you can do about it. But the Lord does restore us. The gospel is true. I have felt like your commenter did when I had many miscarriages and all of the ladies at church seemed to be able to have one baby after another. All pregnant whenever I miscarried. It is a very lonely, bitter feeling. I still see children at the ages at church who were born when my children would have been born and it still twinges sometimes. It is a lonely twinge. I don't understand what happens to miscarriages or stillborns either. But the Gospel does restore. We are human. We do feel bitterness and dissappointment and unhappiness. But we do have the blessing that all losses will be restored to us. Not sure how that happens or exactly when, just that it does. Stephanie, I have been tempted to come over for your Wednesday night parties but now I am YW Pres in our ward so not available. The treats and the company sound like alot of fun. Take care. I am always thinking of you. My YW girls often mention your blogs and things that they learned in your blogs so know that you are influencing a younger generation also. Your former visiting teacher, Vicki

tharker said...

What beautiful words anyone who has suffered a loss. Thank you Stephanie.

I would say to anonymous, that you are NOT alone. Even if we don't know you, I hope that you are able to feel the love and the SISTERHOOD that we share for you. Your daughter is YOURS and you have every right to grieve for her. I love what Stephanie said about allowing yourself to feel the hurt and not the anger. I know that it is probably much easier said than done, but I also know that when we are finally able to rely on the Lord and submit ourselves to His will, then and only then will we be able to feel that burden being lifted. You should not have to go through this alone. I have had two miscarriages. They were very early on, but I still grieved for the loss of those babies, however insignificant science would claim they were.

Please know that there are many, many women out there who care about what you are going through. You are a mother. Whether your child is here with you or not, you ARE a mother. The Lord loves you, and knows who you are.

Texas MacLeans said...

Stephanie
I am so grateful to you and your heart felt writings. It has had made me ponder more about life and Heavenly Father's plan for us. I contiue to read your blog everyday and find great strength and perspective. I am also especially thankful for your words, for last Sunday a sweet sister in our ward lost her only daughther to drowning while visiting her parents in Las Vegas. As I have thought about her, I have felt that
in some very small way I might be able to undersand her sorrow because of your sorrow and peace that you have written about. I know that before I probably would have felt so much more despair for her, and though my heart aches for her as it does for you, I am grateful to know of the great love of Heavenly Father and the Savior that will surround her and her family, as it did for you. I hope that I can somehow be a strength to her even though we were not close friends, but I feel that you have helped me so I can now in some way help her. I pray that I will have the opportunity to share your blog with her.
I know that she would gain comfort and strength from your words.
Stacey (Bradshaw) MacLean

Megan Dougherty said...

My sister just lost a baby last year at 28 weeks. Watching her go through this experience at times broke my heart. We were pregnant at the same time and were supposed to have babies together. When my baby was born I was so torn between the joy of being a new parent and the sadness I felt knowing the birth of this healthy child was so HARD for my sister. Please know that my prayers are with you and and you are in my thoughts. Loosing a child at any age is hard. Although I personally have never experienced it my closest friend (my sister) has and I wanted sooo much to take that pain away from her. Here is a blog that was sent to me that upon watching it this morning made me think of you. ldsetc.blogspot.com/

Sue B. said...

Stephanie, 38 years ago this last June after not getting the chance to get to know my father because of divorce he came back into our lives so for 3 months I was able to have a chance to get close or as close as he wanted us to get. Then he was killed I will never forget the pain and questions that I had but wanted to go to the chapel of our church to pray and have a feeling that no mater what happened it was God's will, but still it hurt so much and left a big hole in side of me. I was not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints then. It was like being lost in a vast forest so dark and with no one being able to answer my questions, like where do we come from, why are we here, and most of all what happens when we die? Then when my husband and I had been married for almost 4 years, to make a very long story short we had the missionaries into our home the spirit was so strong and I knew that this was what I had been looking for. We have been members for 31 years now, we have had our ups and downs of course and it took me about another 25 years to finally deal with my fathers death. I know that things happen for a reason and at the time of the worst pain we sometimes can't see past our grief. Now there have been many times when I have felt my dad around me and am at peace with things now. I love the times we live in when the world can be allowed to be able to share in our lives by way of a blog or e-mail. Your story has made me cry and laugh, but also wishing that back that long ago I had the testimony that I have now. Our extended family members are not members of our church so we did not know. Thank you for sharing with all who find this blog and letting us help to heal ourselves with your faith and with the memory of your child. My daughter in Iowa passed on the link and now I to will pass it on as I have several friends who are going through some very very hard times now. Much LOVE and HUGS to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to take a minute and say THANK YOU! I have been reading your blog for a couple of weeks now and have cried tons, held my children tighter and really learned more about the love our Savior has for us. I finally had to post a comment after reading the Anonymous readers comment and then the way that you responded. I hope that she knows that there are a whole lot of us out here that have felt the same; we feel your loss and love you!! We wish we could be there for you. I was pregnant with twins without even knowing it, I thought that I had lost my one baby and went to the doctors in tears not knowing what to think. The doctor put the machine on and we heard the heart beat and he sent me home telling me that everything was fine. Only to find out after my son was born that I had in fact lost a baby earlier on. Every day I wonder about this little guy (I was told they would have been identical) that didn’t make it. Does it make it easier that I have my son? No and do people understand the loss that I feel? No they think that because I have my one son I should be ok with everything, the only thing that does make anything easier is knowing that everything will be made better in the next life. And knowing that our Brother Jesus Christ suffered our pain! And every day I try to be a good person and do what I should be doing so that I will be able to raise this little one if that is what is suppose to happen. Anonymous you are in our thoughts and prayers and we hope that your heart will lighten and you will see through this loss and grow from it. Stephanie thank you again for being such an amazing example to all of us and for letting your dear little one show us what Jesus Christ would want us to from all of this! You are an amazing example to all of us!!!

Allie said...

I too just "happened" upon your blog and have been mesmerized by your strength and you honesty. I have cried over the grief I can feel just from your words. I have watched your videos of Camille and I too have a 3 year old daughter who wanted to watch it twice! The song you posted by Shelly has been playing over and over on my computer as well as in my head. Your words are uplifting and though everyday you may not feel like you want to go on or can take another step, you-your sweet camille, and your family have already helped so many! Thank you and we will continue to pray for your family.

Jonathan Waite said...

Hey anonymous, thought I'd provide a male perspective. I, along with most men out there (likely), did not mourn when my wife miscarried. I felt very bad for the pain my wife went through and tried to help her out in any way emotionally/physically/spiritually i could. I've thought about this a while because I have a hard time empathizing with the women who are pained by this -- but that's most likely the key: that I CANNOT empathize. I made zero connection with the 2 unborn children in stephanie before they were rejected by her body for reasons i think only God knows. For babies that are further along the process, even feeling/hearing the baby move doesn't even come close to matching the connection that a woman has with the baby. It helps me out to see the pain that women go through, so i can better sympathize and comfort those in need. In the end, you can chalk it up to us being "dumb men": we need to be told how important it is that a miscarriage is painful not just physically but emotionally as well. I hope you make use of the wonderful women on this site that are more than willing to reach out and lend a shoulder to cry on or just lend an empathic ear.

kathryn_m said...

This is a very kind and thoughtful post, Stephanie.

I hadn't read anonymous' post until now. I hope she is still reading. To her I say "I truly feel your pain". My third pregnancy ended in a miscarriage during my first trimester. Of course I grieved the loss of that sweet child and all the dreams I had attached to him or her. Sadly, with the exception of my dear husband, I too grieved alone. I came to realize that to most other people, your child does not become real to them until they can actually see their sweet face. To me, that child was real from the moment I knew I was pregnant. Even now, many years later, whenever we have a family picture taken, I always see an empty spot where that child would have been. Anonymous, we love you but, more importantly, Heavenly Father loves you. He too grieves and He feels your pain. I will pray that you can share your whole heart with Him and feel His peace and comfort.

Stephanie, hubby and I personally believe that life begins at the moment of conception. At that point, all the child requires is time and sustainance to grow and develop - all the key "ingrediants" are already in place. When you realy think about it, it is no different than a newborn baby whose requirements for growth are the same - time & sustainance.

Your post, again, gave me pause for thought. I now wonder if we will someday have the opportunity to carry that pregnancy and obliterate that empty space in our Eternal family photos.

That thought gives me hope.

Katie said...

Hi Stephanie, I don't know you. I found you off of Molly's blog. Keep on holding tight. Just know that Camille is watching over you. I have a lot of angels watching over me. My cousin, Janeale. My cousin, Mia. My Grandpa Herbie, My mom's sister, Rachelle. And probably more. All I know is that they are watching over me. And I always get angel kisses from them. I keep them in my hearts. I will pray for you.

www.littlekdbug.blogspot.com

-Katie

kathryn_m said...

Since reading Jonathon's post, I asked hubby to think back to the time of our miscarriage.

I was a little surprised to learn that he grieved more for me than with me. He recalled that none of our babies seemed real to him until he could feel the kicks but, even then, it was only upon seeing their faces did it completely become revealed to him. In his own words: "I rode along on your excitement". Interesting.

I grinned when Jonathon called it a "dumb men" thing but I think there is some truth in that. Men don't have the opportunity to feel new life develop under their heart so I don't think they can fully grasp the concept of its' loss -- perhaps moreso if the loss if early.

Thanks for that perspective, Jonathon!

Catherine said...

To Anonymous, I have never been a mother, but I would like to say that I related completely when you wrote about the pain of grieving alone, with no shared celebration for the life of your child. The isolation is an agony unto itself. I work in the inner city, where grief is mostly a solitary affair. I sometimes feel tremendous anger – even vicariously – when I dip into the blog world and note what a supportive community other women have compared to the invisible women I love in my adopted community. The contrast is almost too much for me to bear as a mere observer sometimes … how much more for you, I am pained even to think. If you should ever want an e-mail pen-pal, I would be so happy to serve, and I need never know who and where you are.

Love across the way,
catelloyd@att.net

Chelsea said...

last year, i searched the archives on lds.org to see what has been said regarding stillbirths and miscarriages. i came away with two conclusions. 1-if you felt the baby move, it's your in the eternities. 2-if the mother feels she will have this baby with her in the next life, she will.

hopefully that brings some comfort. there hasn't been much said on the matter over the pulpit, but i dug deep and took my information from talks given by members of the quorum of the 12 and the prophets.

ultimately, God wants only to make us happy. our losses will turn to joys. hang in there, keep the faith, and all will be well.

Marylin and Jimmy said...

So right, so true. To the sweet women who is hurting and left the anonymous comment, know that you are in my thoughts and prayers, know that the Lord loves you. Also, your loss is real, there are many whom understand the pain of losing a child through miscarriage and we will hold you up with our prayers and love that is sent your way.

Shanan said...

Steph, what an appropriate post. And Jon - I love your 2 cents that you shared.

Anonymous - may you feel the expressions of love and understanding from Stephanie, those who have commented to this post, and the Lord - He is here to help us bear our burdens if only we will turn to him.

Marlena said...

Stephanie I am a friend of Carolyn's and I too am grateful for your words and the changes I have felt within myself because of you and Camille. I thank you.
I would like to share one of my very favorite scriptures, especially for Anonymous.
Alma 7:11-12
And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he wil take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

It is so comforting to know that not only did Christ suffer for our sins but also for EVERY pain, sickness, sorrow that we have or will ever feel. Even if you feel you are alone, please know that the Savior does understand because he has been there. I know that is true. I hope you feel it too.

Anonymous said...

Hello all, anonymous here.

I feel ashamed that I have, with my selfishness, derailed the purpose of Stephanie's blog. This blog isn't about me and my loss, this is about Stephanie and Camille and I feel badly that I have taken away from that.

I do want to say a heartfelt thank you for each and every response. I have felt your love and it has chipped away at this wall I have built around my heart. My daughter's birthday is this coming wednesday and this week has been very hard and very emotional for me. It has been many years now but the pain is still so fresh and at times I think it will drag me under if I let it.

I spent a lot of yesterday walking the streets of my neighborhood and crying because someone mentioned yesterday that sunshine and fresh air can be very restoring. I am feeling better today, not quite so fragile. Tomorrow may be different, who is to say, but today I feel stronger. I feel so many arms wrapped around me lifting me up and giving me the strength and the courage to get through this week that is so very hard for me.

Thank you also for all the testimonies shared. I have felt your pain, your love, and your support through your words and I am very grateful for the time you took to share them. They have made me a better person. You have blessed my life today.

There are so many things I want to say, but I can't find the words. I hope someday to find the peace that other's feel, I am searching. Until then thank you, with everything that I have in me, for giving me your peace to borrow until then.

Thank you Johnathon for the male perspective. I really appreciate it and it makes sense to me to think my DH would be thinking that way. I think I may have had an even deeper connection with my daughter than I normally would have with a miscarriage, because I knew from very early on that she would not be with us long. She had many problems and the doctors encouraged us to terminate the pregnancy and move on, we refused. I think my DH stopped being invested in this child at that point, knowing that she would never live. I on the other hand gave her my entire heart and poured myself into my pregnancy knowing it would be the only time I ever got to spend with my child. I also spent that time praying for a miracle, that somehow they would be wrong and that she would live, even for a time, so that we could know her, and see her, and touch her. Sadly it wasn't meant to be, and she slipped away even faster than they predicted.

I can't wait for the day when I have all the answers. When everything is clear and makes sense. Most of all I live for the day when I will see my daughter for the first time.

I am trying very had to wait patiently.

Stephanie, thank you for your eloquent words. Thank you for this blog and the comfort it brings to me and so many others. Thank you for opening your heart to me and soothing my hurts with your words. My thoughts and prayers are, as always, with your sweet family.

Shelly, if you by any chance see this, and if it's ok with Stephanie, is there any way I could have a copy of your beautiful song? I would like to play it on my daughter's birthday and on days when I am sad. I would be so grateful.

J

gma dibb said...

Stephanie,
Again I am in awe of your ability to put beautiful thoughts into words. I suffered three miscarriages and one of my daughters has had six. It was more of an emotional strain than I would have ever imagined.
As has been stated, we who have had this experience will be thinking of and praying for each woman who goes through this kind of heartache.
May the Lord bless your family and your anonymous writer with his comfort and love.

Samantha said...

Stephanie,

I also found your blog through a friend of mine & have read your tender posts from the time of your loss until now. With every new post, I found myself sitting at my computer desk sobbing for a total stranger. Your words truly touched me. While I cannot even imagine experiencing such tragedy, what really amazes me is your faith. You are an incredibly inspiring woman and I consider myself honored to have read your story. Thank you your testimony with me & so many others.

janalee said...

It is much easier for me to grieve for my own loss, knowing that you and so many others who have posted here understand and feel that same grief. I'm grateful for your blog, and for all those who comment. You're living the 'mourn with those who mourn' that Alma talked about in Mosiah.

Rachel said...

Thank you again, for sharing your wisdom. A few weeks ago I was asked to give a talk in church on the 23rd Psalm. I found this quote by Jeffrey R Holland that illustrates a part of the psalm I'd never understood,
"And when we hunger and thirst in the effort (of following the path the Lord has set for us), He will prepare a feast before us, a table spread even in the presence of our enemies, which might include fear or family worries, sickness, or personal sorrow of a hundred different kinds."
I can guess that you'd probably rather still be just an ordinary mom of four girls rather than a shining example of how to handle tragedy, but I am grateful that you have chosen to feast at the table the Lord has spread for you in this time. I, personally, as well as many others, have been blessed because you've held to your faith, stayed open to inspiration, and shared it, daily.
Thank you,
Rachel Merrill

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous J,
I hope you're still here reading. My heart was so broken and burdened by your pain, and I wanted to encourage you with God's Word, the precious words of Jesus.

"I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand." John 10:28-29

That verse is true for your precious little daughter, whose life, I firmly believe, began at the moment of conception. God loved her and knew everything about her from the moment she was conceived.

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:13-16

I also believe that, through God's mercy and grace, your little girl is now enjoying His presence for eternity, and that you can join her.

I am praying for you, J, that God will reveal Himself powerfully to you -- that He will show you His infinite love for you, His glory and His grace, and that He will rescue you from the darkness and pain that you're struggling in. May God bless you and guide you.

W

kathryn_m said...

Dear Anonymous:

Please do not feel ashamed.

Much good has come from your post - both for yourself and others. It's been a while since I've spoken about my own loss and it felt good to do that.

On your daugher's birthday, I hope you feel the sweetness of her spirit all around you.

Hugs to you!

www.adorn-jewelry.blogspot.com said...

Steph,
We seem to need a message board to go along with this blog! IT seems that there are many people who need support. "hugs" to you all!
emily

Kaitlyn said...

My grandma sharded this blog with me and told me to read it when I had some time on my hands. I have just spent the past seven hours reading from April to this point not knowing why but crying after everything. My sister is ten months old and looks a lot like Camille did. Your story has inspired me and for these long hours I haven't let her out of my arms...and she is loving it. When she saw a picture of Camille she started pointing to her and smiling. They must have been friends in heaven. I think you have amazing strength and you have strengthened my testimony so much. I love the picture of Camille with the food all over her face, classic. I have never met you and though I live three hours from you but I feel like we are friends, sisters, connected as we all go through hard times leaning on each other for comfort and building our testimonies through it all. Thank you again and again. My prayers are with you and your family.

Brand N' Kys said...

Stephanie,
I look at your blog almost everyday. reading and rereading posts. your amazing simply put. but then again you would have to be to be blessed with such a special little girl. my sweet sister lost her son Carson almost 16 months ago. she too is amazing. our family was devastated by the loss. but now we are happy to say that we have had three healthy babies the past three months. my daughter was born first and then my oldest sister had her daughter a month ago and finally my grieving sister gave birth to another girl earlier this week. Truly what a blessing little children are. I just want to say how much i love your attitude. God loves his children and through him there is hope in all things. i believe in the gospel and the atonement with all of me. some days it's all i have. thank you for
your words. they are beautiful!

Alisha said...

Anonymous J, I don't think you should feel like you hijacked Stephanie's blog, I think part of her reason for doing the blog is helping others. I thank you for your post, because it helped me understand someone I know who lost her baby at 23 week pregnant just last November. I don't think I was a very good friend at the time, not understanding the impact of her loss, even as a mother of 3 myself. Anyway, I was crying after listening to the song, but then I read your comment and that made me cry harder, your pain just seemed so real. Also, if Catherine reads this...you mentioned the 'invisible' mom's who don't have support...Honestly Yes, I think this blog helps Stephanie to get support but truly just being a member of our church gives you support in and of itself...I don't know if you're a member, but we really do just all help eachother out, especially in times of crisis.

Cairen said...

What an amazing thing that has happened on this blog! As I was reading your post and the comments I could feel the Saviors love so strong for each and every person who has or will ever be faced with a challenge or sorrow. I think that what you have started with your blog is amazing. It is a place for people to feel of His love through others. I can not express how touched I was by the love that so many feel for your family and for the anonymous women. I know that God lives and that He loves us!

Anonymous said...

I hope that your reader reads this. I was there once about 8 years ago. My son was born at 21 weeks and I saw that pity in peoples eyes. Like they were just humoring me letting me acknowledge him. It was awful and the bottom of hell for me. But through time the anger does fade. I even came to find years later that their was a reason for his death and the way that it allowed the path on my life to follow. It's ok to be angry to let yourself feel the emotions and they will fade over time I promise. Never let anyone tell you not to talk about him. I was able to find a small bear about the same size and weight he was at birth and I slept with that for years. I also since I didn't get a "birth" certificate I found a place online that made them it said his name dob and date he went to heaven. I proudly desplayed that right along with all my family pictures. I also have a small box that I keep his hospital blanket and any trinckets that remind me of him. It's special and it's mine and I treasure it. Do what soothes you and you alone!

Huishes said...

To the anonymous writer who is angry: I lost 6 of my 9 babies (between 4 to 5 1/2 months) It was so hard and many insensitive comments were made to me. I was finally given a blessing in which I was told that I had been privileged to provide bodies for spirits that had been so valiant in the preexistance that they did not need to be tested in this life. The spirit bore witness that this was true and it helped me through the many years of watching others bringing babies into the world when I couldn't. I know that you have been privileged to perform this same act of service for your daughter and you will know her some day. Heavenly Father is a just and loving God who will make sure you & your daughter can be reunited through your faithfulness. Take the time to feel the pain, grieve your loss and reach out serve others. As time goes by, you can reach the point that you can feel blessed to have served your daughter.

Just me! said...

Anonymous J
You have been on my mind all day today. I am so glad you made that first post. Now we know you are hurting and need us to help. We are ALL sisters and what are sisters for? Yep....we are here 24/7.
Write all these wonderful suggestions and little 'helpers' down. Let's work together to help you focus on being proud to be her mom, excited to be with her again, and find a sweet place in your heart that is all about her that you will want to visit often. I believe she was too special to be on this earth. She just needed a body. That's all. And you did that for her.
Im so glad you are still reading. Stephanie's blog is the perfect place to be. Thousands and thousands of viewers gain strength from her powerful testimony and from her amazing sacrifice of her sweet Camille. Although Camille has only been gone a short amount of time, she is already doing amazing work. And that is the work that we can see!
Please know...even though I don't know you....you are in my prayers and thoughts, and I am cheering for you.
Wednesday is going to be a great day! A day that we ALL will celebrate the birth of your little angel. How old will she be this year? Let us know and we will get that number of balloons and we will let them go just for her. Her celebration of life. Keep in touch.

Tiffany Robinson said...

So I have been following your blog as well...it may be a little early but I was curious if you were planning on having another child? I have two daughters of my own and was debating on trying for another. After seeing your blog I was hoping to get pregnant soon. Thanks for the inspiration!

Anonymous said...

Hello Anonymous... I wanted to let you know that there are many people who feel your loss, obviously from all the comments.

I have a dear friend who has had 6 miscarriages, 1 child, then an ectopic pregnancy. Her child was born 5 weeks early due to preeclampsia. When she was pregnant with the one that ended ectopic, she could feel his spirit so strong. She didn't need a pregnancy test, she knew he was there. She could feel when something went wrong. Her doctor didn't listen to her concerns, told her the baby was fine.

When she started to lose him, she could feel his spirit leave. She knew then that was why she could feel him so strongly. She lost her fallopian tube. She was worried she might never get pregnant again, her chances were cut in half. Each and every one of her miscarriages were hard. She was in so much pain, and knows that Heavenly Father will allow her to raise these children someday. She is still their Mother.

She is pregnant again! She is having more problems with this pregnancy than her other child. She is at 32 weeks and will probably have the baby soon. She believes that her body is not designed for pregnancy like some peoples are, but she KNOWS that her Heavenly Father loves her enough to bless her with these children.... some she will raise here, others she will raise in another place and time.

At first it was hard for me to comfort her in her losses. I then had a miscarriage of my own. Then and only then... did I realize what she had been going through. After hearing your child's heartbeat and even seeing them in the womb and maybe feeling them for the first time, you are their mother. Those motherly tendencies kick in, and you love nothing more than your child. No matter at what age you lose a child, weeks, months or years... it is hard.

I hope that you are not afraid to try again. People like you who have THAT MUCH LOVE for a child, will be the best Mother's on the earth. We need more thoughtful and caring mother's in this world today.

Jessica said...

Hi Stephanie. I am a friend of Britt's and she referred me to your blog after my miscarriage two weeks ago. We have tried for three years to get pregnant. After much prayer we felt we should try in vitro and after two attempts it worked. I was 11 weeks pregnant when I discovered that the baby had died several weeks earlier.

I want to thank you for sharing your testimony with all of us. I can't imagine how you are coping so beautifully with your loss but your words have helped me to cope with mine. I pray for you and your family. Thank you for sharing with each of us.

Suzanne said...

I have just come to your blog and have been reading for the last 2 hours. You are a wonderful person and your family is beautiful. My thoughts and prayers are with you and what an inspiration you are for others around the globe.

LaRae said...

Stephanie - I appreciated reading your words & insights today. The suffering and sadness we experience in different ways does create a cavity that can be filled with wholeness through the atonement. I had never thought of this concept in such a concrete way and it makes a lot of sense to me. I loved that quote from Elder Maxwell. The things that you share through your blog strike a chord with so many of your readers, including myself, and even though many of us have not experienced the degree of suffering that you have had to endure through the loss of Camille, many have experienced other losses or have lost babies through failed pregnancies and fetal demise. I am sure that your anonymous reader can feel the sisterhood of many who have had similar losses.

I want you to know that your blog posts over these past several weeks have inspired me tremendously! Your posts have made me want to be a better mother, have helped me to work at living "in the moment" of mothering and enjoying those moments, and have also caused my mind to drifted to thoughts of my own failed pregnancies. As you described in one of your posts, each of your miscarriages brought about different emotions. I found this to be the case for me with each of my 5 failed pregnancies. Some of my losses occurred in the spring and I remember emotions erupting at the sight of a struggling baby bird that had fallen from its nest, alone without its mom. I remember calling your sister when I received the news of another loss, and at the time, she was the new mom of twins. I wanted, and desparately needed, to hold a baby. I went straight to her house to hold and feed newborn baby boys and what a comfort that brought to my soul. I remember feeling alone upon returning home from the hospital after my first loss and not wanting my husband to go to work or my other children to go to school the next day. I remember feeling overprotective and not wanting my children to leave my side of my sight. I remember feeling angels attend to my needs and guide me through difficult times.

Over time I have seen the beauty of the atonement and the filling of the cavity with joy. One day I was playing with 2-year-old Ben and I was thinking about one of your posts (can't even remember which one). I was thinking about how much I loved him and how thankful I was to be his mom and I felt so much joy and in the same instant I thought of the pregnancies that I had lost and simultaneously cried tears of sadness for my loss and tears of joy and gladness for my son. I wondered how it was that I could cry tears of sadness and great joy at the same time. It was actually pretty amazing. Stephanie - thank you for your posts that make me think more thoughtfully and feel more deeply. Though your sadness is so much greater than mine, I know that one day you will cry tears of sadness and tears of gladness simultaneously, and the cavity of suffering will fill with joy - in the Lord's time, as you have said. Until then, I know angels will attend and you will be uplifted through your sorrows. Bless you for sharing!

Harris Family said...

To Anonymous J,

I know somewhat what you are going through. I too had a miscarriage, but earlier in the pregnancy. It was painful, physically and emotionally. The posts that are on here are incredibly powerful and helpful. I know that what has been said is true, that we will be with these dear children for eternity.

My husband was similar to what you described your husband, as far as church goes. My husband was not raised in the church. He was baptized, but that's it. We were married for time, which was incredibly difficult for me knowing that we could have been sealed for all eternity. I never gave up on him though. He finally came around and we were sealed in the temple with our two little children. We have since had two more children. My husband still struggles with going to church at times. Do not give up. Be an example and encourage, but don't push. I had tried being pushy, but it just sends them farther away from the church. Be supportive and loving and you never know, he may come around. It may not happen in this life. He will remember your example and keep it in his heart. Have faith and know that you are not alone.

To Stephanie,

I know that you get so many posts on your blog, so to add mine is just one more, but your words are inspiring. Know that you are making a difference in the world. Not even a small difference, but to many thousands of people. Thank you for your faith and your testimony. I feel love radiating through your blog. I know that our Heavenly Father is watching and is happy with this blog. It brings people together and furthers His work. Camille is so blessed to have you for a mother. I pray for you and your family through your difficult time. Thank you again.

**tif** said...

Anoymous J-
I just want to thank you for being so raw in your emotions! You desereved to get that out and I needed to hear it. I need to be more sensitive and I'm so grateful you were willing to share so openly even if it was in pain. A while back a dear friend lost her baby at about the same amount of weeks. It took some time for me to be able to understand her pain. After giving it serious thought I wrote this little poem for her and hopefully you will like it as well...assuming anyone still reads these comments :)
Baby Mine

Baby Mine
Sweet and tender and dear
You warmed my heart
I felt you near
You passed through me as a graceful tear
A part of me you'll always be
You are mine forever
One day I'll hold you again in my arms
Eternally, my treasure

We knew you were to come
We were meant to bring you here
We doubted not the Lord in His wisdom
Neither then, nor now do fear
We know His love is true
Trust in His divinity
We will hold hands together as one
In a time more brief for Thee

You are our babe
Gentle and pure
Take care our little one
Watch over our family and remind us of the time to come
When tender mercies soft and sweet have great rewards to pay
In our arms you will be ours forever
One sweet, Glorious day