In episode 016, I get to spend some time talking with Mary McLeod. Mary lives in Uganda where she moved with her husband to adopt their oldest daughter. Shortly after moving to Uganda and adopting their oldest daughter she experienced a the loss of her first biological child. In this week’s episode, Mary gently and honestly leads us through her story of miscarriage. We talk openly about the physical reality of miscarriage, why she decided to name her baby, how to help a grieving friend and so many more things. I’m so grateful for Mary’s candid heart about her story of loss as I’m sure it will be helpful and encouraging to you. I pray this episode blesses you.
My name is Mary McLeod and I live in Uganda with my husband and two daughters. We moved here to grow our family beginning with adoption of our oldest and shortly after she came home we began growing our family biologically. Our first baby went to heaven at 10 weeks old and our baby girl was born almost a year later.
You can find Mary over on Instagram for beautiful inspiration for the eyes and heart.
Favorite Moments with Mary
[min. 11] I held on to hope. That’s what I do in the worst of times.
[min. 13] I knew from my friends (who had experienced miscarriage) what miscarrying seemed to be like, but I had no idea what was happening when it started.
[min. 14] I went from feeling so alone to feeling so loved.
Speaker 1: 00:00 You were listening to the joyful morning podcast, episode number 16. In today’s episode, I get to spend some time talking with Mary Macleod. Mary lives in Uganda, where she moved with her husband to adopt their oldest daughter shortly after moving to Uganda and adopting their daughter. She experienced the loss of her first biological child. In today’s episode, Mary gently and honestly leads us through her story of miscarriage. We talk openly about the fiscal reality of miscarriage, why she decided to name her baby. Oh, to help a grieving friend in so many more things, I’m so grateful for Mary’s candid heart about her story of loss, as I’m sure it will be helpful and encouraging to you. I pray this episode blesses you today. Friend,
Speaker 2: 00:49 you’re listening to the joyful morning podcast, a podcast about finding joy and healing. I’m it’s pregnancy or infant loss. I’m your host, Ashley profit in my goal is to remind you you are not alone in your grief and that there is joy to be had even amidst morning. I’m so grateful you’re here. Hello friends.
Speaker 1: 01:10 [inaudible] and welcome to this week’s episode on the joyful morning. This week’s guest is a woman who I’ve admired from afar for quite some time from her unique and powerful story of motherhood to the way that she captures the world around her with just such a beautiful I. I’m so excited to welcome my friend, my new friend, Mary Mcleod, to the joyful morning podcast. Hi Mary. Welcome to the joyful morning.
Speaker 3: 01:35 Hey Ashley. Thank you so much
Speaker 1: 01:37 for having me. Thank you so much for joining me and for being willing to just share your heart with us today. I’m just so excited to learn from you and to just get to spend some time with you so I have lots of things I want to talk about, but first, tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you spend your days doing?
Speaker 3: 01:57 Well, just like everyone else. Our family lives in Africa. So we moved here. My husband and I moved here in 2015 to pursue adoption. Um, and shortly after our ben four year old daughter came home to live with us. So when we became parents overnight, literally to a four year old was already potty trained and you know, eight her vegetables and stuff like that, which is really great. Um, but yeah, so we’ve been living here. Um, we had a baby girl in March of 2017, so we’re just living as a family of four. I do photography for nonprofits and organizations and my husband does videography, so we are the media teams for a lot of, um, just organizations ministries and Gos in the area, which there are a lot, a lot of amazing people doing amazing things. So we’re just so grateful we can use the gifts that God’s given us here. So we worked lot. Um, we just, we’re just navigating family. It still feels new. It still feels like it just started yesterday, but just navigating that and doing life just in Africa.
Speaker 1: 03:12 Yeah. That’s awesome. And you, I’m in the show notes. I will link to your work and your website and, but you, you and your husband are super talented and I’m grateful that you use your gifts and in that way it’s just really incredible. So, um, for any of you who is listening, who might not be familiar with your story, will you, um, and because this podcast is dedicated to women who are walking through miscarriage or infant loss, will you, um, share, uh, share with us your story?
Speaker 3: 03:46 Of course. Um, for everyone listening, I love you guys. Ashley, I love you. You are such a warrior. Oh my gosh. And the light shines through you so bright. So it’s amazing to see what the Holy Spirit’s doing in you and through you. So thank you. Um, so my story with miscarriage was um, so we moved here in 2015. It was Thanksgiving Day, about two days later, four year old daughter came home to live with us and it just felt like all our dreams came true. All our prayers were answered. It was just amazing. Like we had never felt joy like this before. Um, so that was like all of December. I think it was towards the end of January. It kind of hit us like, oh, she’s four. I mean, if we want to be conscious of age gaps and everything like this, maybe we should talk about what we want our family to look like.
Speaker 3: 04:43 Um, and I am actually adopted. I was adopted the day I was born and I always thought I would pursue adoption and our life, but more than anything I craved a biological child. I just wanted that so badly. I think just from the loss of not knowing that in my own life. And so we had a conversation and honestly it was like my deepest fear. I don’t know if you had that as well, like it was one of my deepest fears that I would never be able to. I think because it was my, one of my biggest desires. It was one of my deepest fears that we would never be able to have biological children. And Yeah. And it hadn’t happened for us. Not that we just hadn’t been. So we were like, well maybe you never know. Um, but in January of 2016, we decided, we had long conversation and we’re like, hey, let’s try.
Speaker 3: 05:41 And I like googled, how do you do this, like really try to do it like, you know, fertility trackers and all this stuff. And um, yeah, we ended up being pregnant, right? And that was wild and I think we thought in my mind I thought, oh, this will take a long time. We had a lot of friends who are struggling with infertility. So we were just thinking, oh, we’re just, we’re just planning ahead of time, like this is us just being proactive in our, in our dreams and our plans of course. But then it happened right away and when we were just in shock and in awe and I couldn’t believe that I was pregnant. And um, I think because it was one of my biggest desires, it was something I didn’t quite get myself fully experience because I was afraid it would be taken away from me.
Speaker 3: 06:34 My best friend had a miscarriage the year before. My sister in law had a miscarriage before, all with their first child. Um, so it. And we had a few other friends have miscarriages with their first biological child being pregnant. And so just like, as I was aware of this, I was aware that the one in four I was aware that it just seems so common and I had no idea until all these people were experiencing loss around me. Um, but now that I had this, I was pretty aware that it could happen to us too. But I do this weird thing in my mind where sometimes I think I have like, God probably laughed so hard at me sometimes I just think, oh, because I thought the worst it won’t happen. No, I definitely, I try to do you do that. Okay. So it’s just validating your beers and I’m like, okay.
Speaker 3: 07:24 So I thought it, it’s not going to happen. We’re going to be okay. So, um, so yeah, we, it was 10 weeks along, we had gone in for an ultrasound around like five weeks. I’m just, because here in Uganda you can walk into an ultrasound place and it’s like $7 to get an ultrasound and they’ll just see you. And it’s pretty awesome. Um, and so we went in at one point and I remember the guy, the man dealing gets way too soon, like go home, you’re just so anxious and excited. And I was like, yeah, see something. So then we scheduled our 10 week appointment and it was the day after Easter, 2016 and we live in a town called ginger and it’s about two hours away from Kim. Paula on a good day, um, and can, Paul is the big city in Uganda. So we kind of planned it out.
Speaker 3: 08:21 We were picking up our friend from the airport. She had just come back from the state but we picked her up and like, okay, we’re going to go hear the heartbeat and we’re so excited. And um, we ended up going to the ultrasounds and seeing our doctor that would have helped us throughout the whole season and she was so sweet. She took blood work and kind of did everything backwards. But she shoot at the end, she apologize. Um, but yeah, she did our blood work and we were really excited. We went into the ultrasound room and just quickly realized from what do you call the people who check your ultrasound, the ultrasound tech space missions. Yeah. We could just easily see like something was up. Um, and
Speaker 3: 09:13 so I remember him saying that there is no viable heartbeat. And my first thought was like, oh, well of course like this would have happened, but then my second thought was like, I mean some things in Uganda, like there’s old machines and some, I don’t know, things are just done a little differently. So I was like, it’s probably just a bad machine and I’m just kinda started making excuses for what was happening in the moment. Um, so then he went and got the doctor, but the doctor when we ended up seeing her, we were both crying and we didn’t know what to do with the news. And um, she just said, she said a few things. She said something like, um, you never know. It’s so early, there might still be a heartbeat. And I think that was just to give us the hope. But then something she said when we were leaving was, now that your heart knows your body will begin to let go.
Speaker 3: 10:11 And I remember thinking like, that’s so wise and profound for a doctor to say, but um, yeah, I, we got in the car to go home and thankfully our friend was there with us for our oldest daughter and was just a very emotional drive. It was a long drive back to ginger. It was very emotional sitting in the back seat and I could see my husband like losing it in the front seat in the, in like the reflection of the window. And um, I think that time for us just really, we mourn so differently. Like it pulled us apart in that moment. Like I just see how we just grieve so differently. Um, I held onto hope because, I don’t know, I guess that’s what I do. And like some of the worst times and um, went to bed. I still felt so pregnant and it’s like, this has to be, you know, nothing is happening.
Speaker 3: 11:08 This is just a machine that wasn’t working. So I had plans the next day to go somewhere local and check for the heartbeat. Um, and one of my close friends came over, came over in the morning and she just asked like, I like, we need to pray, I want to pray over you, what can I pray for? And I just said I just want God to move, like if it’s to hear a heartbeat or if it’s just to begin this process. Like I just want to see movement, I want to feel it, I want to know that he’s moving and I’ve never had,
Speaker 3: 11:45 I’ve never had God physically move mountains in my life. Like I’ve never actually seen a prayer answered. So physically I’m in the moment. So she prayed and I had to go to the bathroom anyway. So I went to the bathroom and I began miscarrying and it was just wild to me. I was like, oh my gosh. And it was just a moment where I felt God like you answer my personal as on this spiritual high of like what just happened. Like she literally just prayed and now I am bleeding and I was just kind of shocked and I felt this relief and this closeness to God. So it was a really, just a really bittersweet time for me because I felt so close to God and I know jp just felt so far away and so alone. Um, so yeah, that night I knew from my friends, like what miscarrying seemed to be like because they share like it’s heavier period and it’s a little bit more painful and you lose a lot.
Speaker 3: 12:49 But I had no idea what was happening when it started. I ended up going into labor and that was wild to me at like 10 weeks you could go into labor and I had 16 hours of contractions and I was weighing like right here in our bed and it was nighttime and it was just wild to me and we felt very confident that our baby was a boy. And um, through each contraction I just saw Jesus holding her baby. And it was like the most spiritual, most beautiful experience. And, um, I felt like between the contractions I went from feeling so alone to so loved throughout, like, you know, the height, heightened sense of it. So, um, that was pretty radical to me. I was googling everything because I had no idea what was happening if we lived in the states, I would have went to a hospital.
Speaker 3: 13:44 Um, we, there’s not really a reliable hospital here in our town. So I just trusted Google and entrusted women who had shared their experience and they, a lot of women had had that before, like gone into Labor as early as eight weeks that I had read. So this was not uncommon. Uncommon. Um, so yeah, that night was crazy. Um, I ended up not fully miscarrying like that night and it was just a week of finishing it. Um, but then again, crazy God and I am always like, is this too much information? Shares. But um, I like to say it because I didn’t know that this can happen this way. Like I didn’t know you could go into labor. So for me, I’m like, okay, if another woman is ever experiencing something, they’ll know that this is natural and you know, it’s a very hard process because of course like there’s not a baby at the end of it you can to hold. And um, but so I had scheduled, we went in on a Monday to hear the heartbeat and then the next Monday we scheduled to go see a doctor,
Speaker 1: 14:53 um, to make sure I
Speaker 3: 14:56 successfully miscarried. The terms are so awful.
Speaker 1: 15:01 So that Sunday I, from what I read on
Speaker 3: 15:06 Google, Google what I read online,
Speaker 1: 15:09 it seemed like I didn’t
Speaker 3: 15:11 ms.like I didn’t, the baby didn’t leave my body. So I literally prayed and I was like, God, I don’t want to surgery in Uganda. I just don’t want any. I don’t even know what that looks like, but the thought of what it might look like, I really don’t own it. Um, and I was so pleased, like complete this now.
Speaker 1: 15:31 Um, and my body completed it and yeah, or
Speaker 3: 15:39 the baby came and it wasn’t at all like what we would think it would look like.
Speaker 1: 15:44 Um, but,
Speaker 3: 15:47 well, you got to finish, I’m just, I got to finish that grieving process or that not that physical grieving process,
Speaker 1: 15:55 um, by just seeing
Speaker 3: 15:58 the baby come and getting to, we buried the baby in our backyard and we named him sky and it was just a beautiful, like a very bittersweet process, but I never felt closer to God through it.
Speaker 1: 16:14 Thank you for sharing. And I do think, um, I mean you’re, you have an incredible story and I’ve been grateful to, to kind of watch from afar just how you’ve processed through it and um, and the ways that you have said that God has met you and all of those hard places. And um, and I do think, you know, I hear a lot of women who experienced miscarriage say things like I just didn’t know what it would be like physically. And so I think it is helpful to say what it is like. And we experienced a miscarriage our first pregnancy. So before my oldest son and very similar. I mean, it was crazy because my, my mom, I went into, um, you know, marriage thinking that it would take us a long time to get pregnant because it had taken my mom, you know, five years and she had had multiple miscarriages and she had been really honest with me about that growing up.
Speaker 1: 17:20 So I didn’t have this naive view of pregnancy or having babies and I would even feel like it was my duty to educate other women my age who were like, I’m going to have two boys and a girl. And like work like that. I felt like it was my responsibility to communicate those things. But even then when with our first pregnancy and a very similar situation except that I wasn’t in Uganda, I just imagine that it does add this extra level of, like you said, if, if this had been happening to you in the states, you would have probably gone to the hospital. There’s just, you know, it adds an extra layer of hard things to it. But, um, I remember we went for our first ultrasound and there wasn’t a heartbeat and I just, I, I just, it was crushing and because it was our first pregnancy, I didn’t know what even what we were looking for on the ultrasound machine, you know, you just don’t know.
Speaker 1: 18:17 And so now I know it’s just different. Um, but even then, I don’t think the doctors explained to me very well what was gonna happen to my body. And um, I remember I had driven a loan to a wedding, to a friend’s wedding and my body began contracting and laboring very similar on the way home and it was like a four hour drive and I was by myself and it was just awful. I was so grateful. I made it home before my body before the worst of that. But again, I do think, um, it’s not talked about maybe, maybe because we feel uncomfortable sharing those details. I’m not sure. But I do think it’s helpful, um, because it is a, it, it’s not just this heart painful process where our hearts are broken and, and, um, you know, just so sorrowful. But also our bodies amidst loss go through so much.
Speaker 1: 19:13 I’m even losing my son. My, one of the things that is just like forever will be a hard thing of hard memory about when my son died was that my body, my body showed evidence of a baby. Like I had just breastfed him like 10 hours before then, you know, like there’s just, there’s this, I think we forget that the grief process also involves a physical element and we just don’t always talk about that. And so now I’m grateful that you shared, um, all of those things. So one thing that I don’t want anyone who interacts with the morning and this endeavor that I’m trying to do here to think that when I say joy comes in the morning that I’m talking about, you know, laughing our way through our sorrows because it’s not joy, doesn’t mean that. But I, I don’t want anyone who doesn’t, I don’t want anyone to be confused by that. Then I’m saying making light of their grief or I’m thinking that we’re supposed to be giggling our way through this [inaudible] that that isn’t what I mean at all. Um, but I’m curious for you, what do you, what do you feel like it means to find joy and sorrow?
Speaker 3: 20:26 Yeah. When I had read the name of your podcast, I started tearing up and at first I was like, join the morning and I saw, I saw morning how you spelled it, but I was like, no, I’m not seeing it like that. Like it must be morning, like morning time. And I went back. I’m like, Oh, this is so beautiful and so brilliant and just delivering truth because that’s, it can be like that. I’m join the morning, you know, I from my own personal experience, what that look like. I, I definitely went through a lot of emotional stuff after everything was sky and I didn’t fully start to grieve the loss of him in my heart. And so I was pregnant again three months later with her baby girl. And when that started happening I was like, oh my gosh, what? You know, first of all, I’m like so scared, so scared, like to move my body, not, you know, I was just terrified and um, but something throughout it, it was around I think six or seven weeks because of course I was just on top of everything and knew every move my body.
Speaker 3: 21:44 So I knew it like three or four weeks and it was just torture. I always pray like God just can I be surprised and be like 20 weeks pregnant the next year, the next time, like I just don’t want to know. And it’s just torture. Especially when it’s like your first, like, you know, not, she wasn’t our first biological but at the time it was still so brand new to me, all of it. Um, but through that I remember just feeling so depressed and so anxious and on the verge of panic attacks and just so just in the darkest of places. And something clicked in me where I was like, I don’t want to, don’t want to lose this opportunity to understand, um, the beauty of what is happening inside. I don’t want to lose the opportunity of what has happened in the past and I don’t want to ever put God in a box and say, because it happened in the past.
Speaker 3: 22:44 It’s going to happen again. And I know that you probably had to like, you’ve struggled with that before as well. And I’m with that. I just remember sitting in a rocking chair. I’m in our corner of our room and just sitting there and just calling upon him and saying, bring me joy. Bring me joy. Bring me joy. And I would just open my hands up and rock and just ask and call that upon him every single day. Because I knew that. I still know, like I know that’s possible. Nothing is impossible to God and he is close to the brokenhearted and I know that so much and I can push them away and try and control these kinds of seasons in my life. Or I can invite him in and know that whatever he has planned in our story, that there’s purpose and there’s love and he’s in it every single second. And I think to me, I don’t know. I, to me, I always look at it and the way that I’ve understood God and understood Jesus and my life is God is love and to me what was very much joy and that doesn’t always look like smiling and laughter or happy feelings. It’s just being appreciative of where you are and what God’s doing in you and around you. And it can be really hard when it’s, you know, in seasons and morning. But when I feel like when we call upon him, he does show up.
Speaker 1: 24:22 Yeah, I think so. That was great. I love that answer because you are in Uganda and I’m assuming away from family and your, I’m sure you’ve made close friends, but away from your maybe initial close friends. I don’t know how to your pre Uganda friends. I don’t know. What did it look like? Those Americans. What uh, what did it look like in those early days to find community? Um, while you were grieving and while you were going through this, is that something that was easy for you? Is that something that like, I know in my case I’m with our miscarriage, I, I just, I didn’t want, I don’t think I wanted to grieve and I didn’t want to be the sad girl and I didn’t, so I just like held people kind of at an arm’s length. Then when my son died, he, I mean he, he had lived here on earth for weeks and weeks and people knew him and so there was no chance at holding people at arm’s length. They, they, you know, forcefully and gracefully and beautifully interrupted my, you know, they just came on in. Um, but I’m wondering what, what did that look like for you? Was it helpful? Was it, you know, hard?
Speaker 3: 25:43 Um, I was just thinking, sorry when you were sharing that about your son and how people forcefully interrupted like [inaudible] and so you know, out of love us thinking you’ve probably heard it and I’m sorry to refer another podcast, but in this podcast or I don’t know why this was on my heart one day and this is still like, I don’t mean to bring this up to, I don’t know, a part of me, God just put it on my hair so I’m just going to share it, but I’m really, I don’t know, we’ll see where it goes. Um, I’ve always wondered like there’s, I don’t know, there’s a little bit of time. There were something in my heart was just praying for moms who have lost their babies. I’m here on earth and how you physically let go. Like,
Speaker 3: 26:31 I don’t know, I would hold our baby girl at night and just think about this. I’ve found you let go once you know that their souls are in heaven. Like they’re no longer with us. Like how do you let go? And she talked about the end, the podcast night. It was obviously God’s perfect timing and listening to it, but she said something, um, but she said something that was so amazing. She talks about this nurse who, you know, at the end, the doctor came in and said he’s not going to be with us much longer and he was um, you know, about to take a spinal breath and they were holding him after he had passed and a nurse came in and um, she just asked can I hold him? Like he looked so peaceful, can I hold him? And she was just sharing how, what like such a gift that was for somebody to come in, in such an intimate time.
Speaker 3: 27:24 And so often in our lives were like, this is too personal for them. We’re going to keep our distance and we’re like, why we have no place there. We have no place in like interrupting and you know, pushing her away in. And I remember just bawling my eyes out and just be like, that’s what life is about. Like when we’re grieving. I think there are moments of like, you can always excuse yourself and go to your bedroom and be like, I can’t right now, but I think it’s hard to ask for help. It’s hard to know what we need. It’s hard to know what you need in those situations, no matter what kind of warning you’re going through and grieving and trauma. And I love that example or that example that the nurse set for her and just gracefully just pushing her way in and just such a kind way.
Speaker 3: 28:10 And she said it’s one of the best gifts she’s ever been given. And I just thought like, okay, like that’s noted because I feel like through our miscarriage, um, it was so foreign for a lot of people. Um, there had been people here in this community who had experienced miscarriage but they didn’t really speak about it. So when we experienced ours, you know, there was, we could relate, but we didn’t know who to go to in that situation. Um, you know, I knew who to call on and of course like our, my sister in law and my best friend we’re sat in for us for what we were experiencing. Um, but I think there, I mean there definitely were times where I was like, I just wish somebody would just show up and come and people were so sweet. Like there were a few people who just did and showed up and watched.
Speaker 3: 29:04 I ended up starting grey’s anatomy. I don’t know why. Like that began a slow spiral. There’s just so much to work with then and that’s. And the sleeping out last soundtrack is all throughout grey’s anatomy and that was so healing for me. Like with sky, I have my whole skype playlist to heal and cope is sleeping out last and it was all because of me. But I had friends who, like my friend Ashley is the nurse that was with us when we found out the news. She was also the nurse who held my hand for my epidural with our baby in the hospital and she was there to hold her own. She was born and she was there to help me with my csection wounds. Scar was healing. She washed my hair the day I got home from the hospital and so she was so present in our life, so I feel like she was the most constant. But I did see friends back away because they weren’t quite sure what I needed,
Speaker 4: 30:03 um,
Speaker 3: 30:04 in what we needed. And then, you know, friends gave meals, which I thought was so sweet. I didn’t, I would have never expected that during that season. And
Speaker 4: 30:13 um,
Speaker 3: 30:15 yeah, there was, we definitely felt a lot of love. We felt an outpouring of love, but we also send like a lot of wrestle with, we’re not quite sure what to do in this situation.
Speaker 1: 30:28 How did you handle those friendships that you felt like they kind of backed away? Um, I think
Speaker 3: 30:34 good. I definitely didn’t have the energy in the moment to feel disappointed or
Speaker 3: 30:43 I didn’t really know what I needed. I do look back on some friendships and think like, you know, I really wish you would have been there. And I think it has taught me that some people can show up, enjoy, some people can show up in like the celebration more than they can show up in the loss of your life. And we’ve dealt with like, that was the beginning of a lot of stuff for us and we just noticed like when hard times came, some people leaned in more and some people lean like ran away in some people, you know, I think something like this and I’m sure you know definitely what you experienced as well,
Speaker 4: 31:25 um,
Speaker 3: 31:27 is those are people’s deepest fears. And I think when we’re faced with our fears through someone else’s story that’s so close to us, it, we don’t want to get too close. You know? So we, it was definitely a pull. I don’t, I was never mad at anyone. But I do look back at a couple of friendships and I see like I just see their reaction and I see just how they handle certain situations. And I’ve learned to love it and through, you know, becoming pregnant again. And then art, some personal stuff that happened in her life is just like, I can see who comes closer and who moves further away. But how did you, how did you experience that?
Speaker 1: 32:16 I’m similar, I think. I think you’re right about, there are people who were like the embodiment of their biggest fears. So when they look at us, it’s just hard to. It’s hard to deal with. Um, yeah. But you know, some of the most deepest and profound friendships that I have to this day are the ones who just dove in head first. And it was messy. I wasn’t always kind. I wasn’t always gracious. I didn’t always have energy and I wasn’t, you know, always coherent, you know, in those, those early days especially. Um, and they just stuck it out, you know? And so I, people ask a lot, you know, friends of somebody who’s grieving, um, you know, what can I do? And I just say, just dive in, you know, do the, what you were saying like interrupt, knock on their door. One of the sweetest memories I have.
Speaker 1: 33:17 So my husband and I and we were working with college students and so, you know, we had made some really great relationships with this whole group of freshmen so they’d only known us for a few months and then my son died and I just remember one of the girls, it just makes my heart just, I, you know, I was at my in laws house and I just remember opening the door and she just stand. She’s standing there, this young 18 year old girl just weeping. And I just, that was so, that must’ve been so hard for her and so awkward and so confusing and not even remotely in her life stage or season. And yet she just dove in, um, in that same. It was her and her boyfriend that came and they brought us, um, music. And to this day it was one of the most sweet soundtracks of my life.
Speaker 1: 34:08 Um, and so I just, you know, one of the questions that I ask people and you know, even in this podcast is, what, what is the most helpful thing that somebody has done for you? Um, it’s your loss. Because I think a lot of friends want to do the right thing, but they just get scared that they don’t have the right answers and they don’t know how to fix it. Um, same thing with spouses or partners. I think they want to dive in, but sometimes they don’t know how because we grieve so differently. Um, and I don’t think there’s one right thing to do, you know? And in my experience there were things that one person would do and it would feel very healing and another person will do the exact same thing. And I would be annoyed because grief is messy. And so one person bringing me a meal would be so awesome and I will be so grateful and another person I’m like so annoyed by it, you know, so it doesn’t, you know.
Speaker 1: 34:59 So I think, in my opinion, I think the most important thing is to just be willing to dive in and to ask questions like how are you and be okay with the response and to not be, you know, one thing that I was super grateful for, um, my friends weren’t scared of my crazy answers when they asked how I was doing, you know, they weren’t scared of my anger or my doubts of who God was and they, they, they just would pray pro, probably quietly, like they weren’t trying to like preach truth to me because I, they just knew my heart was real tender and they knew that God was big enough to draw me back in. And so anyway, I, I definitely can relate with. There were people who we would be at church and they would see me coming. They return and walk the other way and you know, 10 years later, there’s not bitterness towards that.
Speaker 1: 35:49 I think, um, I just feel sad for them because I honestly, I don’t think they could handle what I represented at the time and they just didn’t know how to. They didn’t know what to do. Um, yeah. So tell me about, I love that you named your baby sky. I think that that was really sweet and precious. And tell me how you came to that, um, to the, to that conclusion. Um, I have another friend here who, um, she named her baby when she miscarried and I thought that was just really sweet and precious and she said it was helpful to her to grieve and um, tell me about that decision making or what led you to that decision.
Speaker 3: 36:34 Yeah. Um, you know, we definitely had our list of names going already as soon as that positive test was showing. So
Speaker 3: 36:48 it was, yeah, it was one of those things that we didn’t have a name for him yet and of course we would wait and see it for some weird girl. Yeah. But I don’t know if you experienced this with your children, but I, I just felt 100 percent. He was a boy and then with our girl, as soon as I took the positive test or the test is positive, jp was like, it’s a girl. I knew her name already. And was like, this is the idea is, and I was like, you’re so right. And I think that gives me more confirmation on naming sky because like the moment we knew we were pregnant with our baby girl, like jp was like, it’s her. Like, you know, we already knew who it was a wild that, how it all played out. Um, but I’m trying to remember when I remember laying in this bed and this, that has so many memories. I don’t even know how I came up with the name. I think. I think throughout the whole labor process, my vision, like my actual, what I saw of Jesus every single time I was contracting was he was up word he wasn’t like in front of me. It was, I was looking up at him and he was holding our baby boy. So
Speaker 3: 38:12 I think there’s just something to that, like the elevation of it all and knowing that they were looking over us and as soon as I said sky and like sky and I’m so grateful that we did name him because our oldest daughter, she was our only child at the time. Like she knew probably right away sky, we waited a little bit next baby, but with Sky I think the day I told jp she knew too. So it was very, it was our family was in this together and it’s been so beautiful like her bond with the sky. So beautiful. And she talks about having all the time and how she can’t wait to see sky and um, she is just so amazing to hear her talk about her baby brother and she honors her and just as much as she honors her baby sister. And
Speaker 1: 39:08 um, so I’m grateful that we did. And yeah, I don’t know
Speaker 3: 39:13 if I had known anyone who had done it before. I think to me, I just,
Speaker 1: 39:17 I thought it’s, I
Speaker 3: 39:20 believe this was a life full of purpose.
Speaker 1: 39:24 Yeah. And
Speaker 3: 39:26 his intended length of time was 10 weeks.
Speaker 1: 39:30 Um,
Speaker 3: 39:31 you know, even when we were pregnant with our baby girl, it felt so weird to start at like, she’s one day old because I was like, no, she’s not like, she’s
Speaker 1: 39:38 uh Huh.
Speaker 3: 39:39 Nine months. She’s nine months
Speaker 1: 39:42 roll.
Speaker 3: 39:42 She went longer but.
Speaker 1: 39:46 So yeah. I don’t know.
Speaker 3: 39:47 No, to me it was just so purpose. There’s a lot of purpose.
Speaker 1: 39:51 Yeah. And I think, um, one thing that women who experienced miscarriage, there’s this just a desire to affirm life, you know, that there was life in, you know, in her and she carried life and there was life and it just wasn’t life that anybody around us got to see. And um, and I think that that’s a big need and I, and I think that I’m naming your baby it, it helps to affirm that life. And so, um, I think that that was really, really sweet. Um, and I, you know, it is really interesting about siblings honoring their babies that are in heaven. I just think, um, we have, it was one thing that I was a little, I was scared of, you know, when they were little and um, you know, my oldest son doesn’t remember his little brother. He was only 16 months old, 15 months old when he was born in, um, he doesn’t remember and yet we celebrate his birthday and we sell.
Speaker 1: 41:00 We, we more and on the day that he died and um, through, there probably isn’t a single day where somebody is not talking about aiden and um, it is this really unique gift to be able to talk to your kids about eternity and heaven and my daughter, I think maybe it’s like the innate mother in daughters, I don’t know, but my daughter is the littlest and she talks the most about baby aiden and you know, because we have pictures so it’s a little bit easier for her, um, to, under, you know, to, of grasp. And she’ll say he was so tiny and um, even though he wasn’t, he was a very, he’s a big baby and she just, you know, and she’ll ask questions because in they’re funny questions like, you know, she’s trying to understand. We have a lot of families at our church who have adopted.
Speaker 1: 41:51 And so she thinks that the baby that we miscarried, that we get that she said someone adopted it. And I said, well, Jesus in heaven. So she’s, you know, she’s, you can see that she’s wrestling with all of these things. Just trying to understand at her little, you know, as much as her little mind can, but it’s this really sweet opportunity that is probably really hard in the beginning because see, I didn’t have to have those conversations immediately because my, they were little at my oldest was super little and then I didn’t have kids being enough to talk about that for years. So my grief had, you know, it was different. Um, so I imagine that would be much harder to talk about those things in the early days. But I do think that as time goes there’s, it’s a sweet gift to be able to talk about hard things, you know, and um, you know, you’re giving your daughter both, you’ll give both daughters, but right now your oldest daughter.
Speaker 1: 42:47 Just this gift of being able to look at pregnancy and babies and see that as a gift that God gives and something that we don’t always get to. We don’t get to control and she’s just going to go into it with a different perspective than somebody whose mom had a different journey. And so it is a really sweet thing. You’re so right, this has been just really fun. Um, I have like a million questions that we can keep on talking about, but let’s end with, um, just tell it, tell another mom who’s walking through a similar story. What’s one piece of encouragement that you would give her today? Oh,
Speaker 3: 43:35 so similar story in the sense of focus on if this is your first
Speaker 1: 43:42 pregnancy and
Speaker 3: 43:47 first biologic like attempted, have like growing your biological family. He will use this experience for his good and there’s even good. Like this is so good what you’ve done actually. So good. And we can be quiet about our pain. We can be quiet about our grief. We can be quiet about our loss. You know, I’m, I’m so grateful. More people are talking about miscarriage. I’m so grateful people are speaking up and sharing the testimonies of their children who have gone to heaven because it’s, it’s powerful. I think that’s heaven on earth. Um, that’s when we’re really. I just think that’s when we really can see Jesus
Speaker 5: 44:32 in action and movement through the body of Christ. And
Speaker 3: 44:38 I just want to, um, yeah, just encourage you. If they’re not alone and it will, it definitely will get easier. It doesn’t have to be easy right away. It doesn’t have to be okay right away, like take the time you need and you know, I have friends all this time who just when I share my miscarriage story with them and I think I’ve heard it so many times now, I’m starting to believe it is that you will never fully grieved the loss of a child. You won’t. And um, it’ll be something that is with you forever. Like, and I think I feel like I’m sharing a lot of difference in Ben Starts. Not Eloquent, but also JP, like we’re, we’re both still grieving in different ways and for him it’s very, like he hasn’t processed it. So on Mother’s Day I had mentioned sky and he, I just saw him like tense up and choke up and start crying. And um, for me I was out of it like happiness, talking about sky. Um, and yeah, I think just being gracious to one another of the process is important to.
Speaker 1: 45:52 I think those were all really great to, um, yeah, I feel like we could have a whole nother podcast talking about each of those things, but I think that that was really great encouragement. Um, and yeah, I don’t, I don’t think that you ever fully grieve as if there’s like this finish line or a target. I’m here on earth. Right. But it does get easier not in this like, you know, that you’re numb to it. Not like that. It’s just a, uh, you know, every day is just a little bit easier. But um, I, and that’s okay. Every day’s a little bit easier if we take all the culmination of days, meaning, you know, today, if you’re new in this today might be okay and tomorrow really hard again. So don’t you think that that’s a setback? Um, just like Mary said, it doesn’t have to be easy right now and that right now can last for a little while and that’s okay. Um, but yeah, you aren’t alone. Those were really great encouragements. I’m Mary. It has been just a joy to hang out with you. I wish I were in Uganda. We would go. Do you have questions in Florida? It is pretty nice. Florida is pretty, pretty great. Do you guys drink coffee or tea? Do you do that? There is. I’m assuming there’s no starbucks.
Speaker 3: 47:15 No starbucks. There is. I mean most you’ll find you might see it more now. The old fine like you gone in roast at starbucks and like it’s very, uh, there’s a lot of coffee. I’m import here or
Speaker 1: 47:29 export here, but yeah, jps brewing cold brew right now. I’m not a coffee drinker. I drink green tea that I import and he, you bruise cold brews. So. Well in Uganda you could have some to. I would have some of that cold brew and we would talk about all of these things but I’m just, I’m grateful for you and thank you for taking the time to chat with us. And um, if somebody wants to find you, where would somebody be able to, and I’m going to include this in the show notes, but um, if somebody is listening, where would, where would you want somebody to be able to find you? I am mainly, well I’m only on instagram much. I don’t look at that blog or do, it’s just not updated for about a year now. Um, but my instagram is at wandering with Mary and I train shirt every day. Yeah. And it’s and friends who are listening, she is just a delight. So I would say right now go find her and follow her and I’m just be encouraged creatively and also in your soul. She’s just a sweet, sweet talent of a woman. So thank you friends for joining us. And until next time,
Speaker 2: 48:49 thank you for listening to the joyful morning podcast. If you loved this episode, let us know when the reviews in, share it with a friend for show notes. Head over to the joyful morning.com.
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