In today’s episode I have the privilege of talking with Meg Walker. Listen in as Meg shares her story of finding joy amidst the mourning as she tells us about her son Jacob, what it was like carrying a baby with a terminal diagnosis, giving birth to him and then coming home from the hospital without him and then experiencing a miscarriage only months later. Meg gives an incredible amount of wisdom and hope in this episode, sharing how she has learned that there can be beauty even in the sorrow. I am sure this episode will bless you.
MEET MEG WALKER
Hi, I’m Meg – I’m a mom of two with babies in Heaven, a fan of warm weather and the beach, and a lover of meaningful conversations with family and friends. I spend my days with my baby girl and college students in Richmond, VA, sharing with them the grace and truth that Jesus offers as he transforms their lives – and mine!
You can find Meg over on her website and also on her Instagram account @megawalker.
Ashlee: 01:04 Today’s guest has been such a blessing to me over the past year or so, and I’m sure she is going to be a blessing to you as well. I’m so excited to welcome Meg Walker to the joyful morning podcast. Hi Meg. Thank you so much for joining me and for just being willing to spend some time with me and sharing your story with me and with the listeners. So welcome. Thank you. I’m happy to be here. Yeah, we’re, I’m super glad to meet you via the Internet. Um, so meg, what do you spend your days doing? What, what, what season of life are you in right now? What, what does a normal day in the life of Meg Walker look like?
Meg Walker: 01:45 Yeah, everyday looks different. So, um, I live in Richmond, Virginia with my husband and we have a baby girl at home right now. She’s almost five months, so most of my days are spent trying to help her learn how to sleep on her own, taking care of her and all of that. Um, but we also are a missionaries to college students and so I spend most of my time otherwise with women on college campuses, enrichment, talking about Jesus helping build enough in their faith and sending them out in the world with the message of hope that, that the gospel brings. So that’s literally everyday. It has always looked different for me because it’s unpredictable. Right now it’s technically summer and it’s the beginning of May. So we’re celebrating that.
New Speaker: 02:37 That is awesome. So the joy for podcast is specifically a podcast for women who have walked through grief, um, specifically the loss of a baby through miscarriage or infant loss. I know it’s so hard to communicate our story sometimes. So, um, thank you for being willing to share with us. Would you tell us your story?
Meg Walker: 03:00 Yeah. So, um, my husband on Mike and I, we got married in 2014 and October and then about six or seven months later we were actually on the other side of the world. That’s another story for another time, but the first day we were there we found out we were pregnant with a baby. Um, and we were excited, uh, it was a little bit crazy cause you were gone for six weeks. Um, and so that was, I think in May. And then in August, um, I was just kind of on a whim at one of my doctor’s appointments. My doctor asked if I wanted to do this blood work test and I had declined all other genetic screening at this point. And so kind of what I say, it’s on a whim, but really I think it was the Holy Spirit lead me. I decided to do this screening tests for some reason and that Friday afternoon I had a missed call from my doctor and I learned that a Friday evening phone call directly from your doctor is never something I hope to have a kid.
Meg Walker: 04:03 And so she, yeah, she told me that my levels had been flagged for some reason and she had already scheduled us an ultrasound for the following Wednesday. And so that started kind of, uh, that that’s really where I feel like I jumped into grieving really for the first time. Um, I wasn’t sure what would come, you know, she was saying words that I had never heard over the phone to me. Um, I didn’t know what would come of our ultrasound, but we on that Wednesday morning, the following Wednesday, John Mark and I sat and we watched on the ultrasound screen the thought we were having a boy, they couldn’t confirm but I thought so we watched him kick and flip and I’m spin all around and he was very much alive and this is about an hour, an hour and a half ultrasound. And we thought everything was great. You know, I’m, one of the things she had mentioned was there could be an issue with his spine and his spine looked perfect.
Meg Walker: 04:59 And so we were like, oh, you know, we’re so excited and will get to bring a baby boy home. And the doctor came in and she kinda looked tenderly into my eyes after a few minutes and she just said, we’re seeing some problems. Um, and that’s, you know, tears started rolling down my cheeks and um, our son was diagnosed with a neural tube defect. And so very early on, his skull, um, did not develop properly. And so as you continued to grow, his brain couldn’t develop properly either. Um, and she told us, you know, I, I may be able to carry him to term ’em. He may survive childbirth, he may not. And if he did that, we would only have a brief time, a couple of hours, maybe 24 hours with him before he passed away. And so, um, so yeah, obviously we were totally shocked and devastated, you know, I, I didn’t know before this ain’t no, I didn’t ever really think about infant loss every once in awhile, you know, I knew about steroids and I knew about like other special needs, but I didn’t realize that you could have a birth defect like this.
Meg Walker: 06:14 And so I was totally shocked. I mean, I just remember driving home, we were sobbing, you know, I’m just kept saying, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I thought almost like I had failed, you know, my body. It’s like, did he not, did I not give enough care because it’s something I did or ate or didn’t do or you know, we were traveling his whole that whole first six weeks, so we knew he was alive, you know, there’s so much there. Um, I just remember my husband and I just sitting on our couch, like looking at our TV. It was off and we were just like staring into the silo and into the silence, into the darkness, just so overwhelmed. And so, so that was late August of 2015 and that’s when I started to walk this road of anticipatory grief that I had never heard that term.
Meg Walker: 07:06 I didn’t know what that was, but just waiting, you know, is he going to live? And so you’re not going to live. Am I going to wake up one day and he’s not going to kick or am I going to go to a doctor’s appointment and these hearts going to be that beating. And I learned through that time that babies with neural tube defect that Jacob had actually want to stay in their warm, cozy home. I’m like, it’s cool how God creates them, how God creates all of us. But it was like he knew he was safe with me and so I actually carried him past term. My sensing is Jacob, uh, and he was born February ninth, 2016 and the wee hours of the morning really fast and unexpectedly. Um, and we had seven hours with him, which was so many more hours than I think I, I don’t know what I expected when he was born.
Meg Walker: 07:59 He actually wasn’t breathing. And so the room was silent and you know, like the nurses and the doctors and I just kept saying to John, mark, he’s not breathing, he’s not breathing. And he’s like, yeah, he’s not in the nurse, put them off on my chest. And he took his first breath and yeah, it was just this. I mean, that, that moment, you know, I’m waterworks crying. I’m like, this is my son, it’s Jacob’s birthday, you know, we had, we had prepared for this day and um, and then every hour that followed I just turned it on where I can say, oh, we’ve kind of, you know, it’s been four hours, can you believe that we have four hours with him, or five hours, you know, um, my family got to meet him for a couple of friends, get to meet him. We got to just kiss his sweet cheeks and yeah, it was such a joy to have him with us that day.
Meg Walker: 08:50 And then I’m also on my test again. He breathed his last breath on earth around 9:00 AM and he opened his eyes for the first time in the presence of Jesus. And um, you know, I was so joyful still for the life. Obviously. I was devastated that we lost him. But I think the worst day for me was the next day when I got home in the hospital, I walked back in the doors without him and that, you know, that was really the darkest, darkest time. I think in the next few months just my house felt empty and quiet, um, without him. And, um, you know, we’ve met, we realized during Jacob’s life that we loved so much, our hearts had grown so much, um, and we knew we wanted more children and we found out we were pregnant. I get in about eight months after he died and, uh, I walked back into an ultrasound room two months later and turn more words that I was not expecting, which was this time, it was that, there was no heartbeat.
Meg Walker: 09:52 And so our next baby lived about nine or 10 weeks. And then we lost. I think it was a girl. I was like all her, her, um, we lost her at that point and that again was, it was utter shock, just the miscarriage that soon following an infant loss felt like so cruel to me, um, and so painful. And that was the end of 2016. So we experienced two losses that tobacco. Um, and yeah, I think it’s been a slow road of recovery and healing. Um, I’m very much still healing. Jacob would be not even two and a half yet at this point, so I’m still a new mom, um, in that respect and planning how to care for him. But um, I looked back on his life with such joy and I am able to do that, but now it’s not only aching because, you know, remembering his personality and who he was. So he definitely changed me. Maybe a mom.
New Speaker: 10:50 Yeah, he did. Yeah. He’s a special special baby boy. Yeah. And so beautiful. It’s so good. Okay.
Meg Walker: 11:01 He’s very sweet. He had the best cheeks ever. There were these huge
New Speaker: 11:05 circles. Best little. Yeah. He was chunky telling me, tell me when does it. So, my, my grief experience, my loss is very, very different than yours.
Meg Walker: 11:22 I’ll say you’re right. I mean,
New Speaker: 11:25 so my, my second son, um, and there was no anticipation. So I don’t know. I don’t know the anticipation of grief. Yes. I only know. I only know death. Yes. Um, so what would you tell a mom who has just had that Friday afternoon phone call from a doctor? Like what, what, or is sitting in ultrasound room
Meg Walker: 11:54 and getting that kind of news? Yeah. What would you. I mean, my first instinct is if I was sitting with somebody in a room like that, I would probably just sleep with them. Um, I think you’re never prepared for news, uh, like that you’re never prepared for loss either. You can’t prepare yourself. Um, but it’s hard. Like it was so hard to walk the road of my son is alive and with me and yet they say it’s gonna die. So barring a miracle from God, like we knew we were like, we’re in, we’re not going to get to watch him come up. And we watched on the ultrasounds and stuff. Um, and it was just, it was. I tried to figure out how I could kind of put my emotions like in little boxes. So, okay, well today I’m feeling excited about him that he is alive and tomorrow I’m going to feel sad or whatever, you know, whatever the day was.
Meg Walker: 12:56 And I learned. And I think I would tell this to somebody who was in that position, like you just kinda gotta let all the emotions happen and sometimes you’re going to have these 10 tenths emotions pulling at each other back and forth because you can’t separate, you can’t separate your emotions. And so you know, you, you can. It’s okay to be celebrate Tori and joyful about your child’s life. Like that is a good thing for me. Jacob was still alive. He was still with me. I didn’t know much about him, but I was able to slow down and kind of pick up on things in my pregnancy that I probably would have wanted to like rush through. I got to know him, you know, I found out like, oh, he loves kicking when music is on. He must love music or anything like that. We would kind of pay attention to more.
Meg Walker: 13:43 And so I allowed myself the freedom to truly love him and to truly embrace that he was who god created him to be. And he gave him to us and we could love him. Still the same. And at the same time I gave myself the freedom to be really upset and sad and heartbroken. Um, and those things don’t seem like they can go hand in hand, like joy and sorrow just seem like they’re so opposite. And I think in our culture we want them to be opposite. And yet I found that they can go together and it doesn’t diminish one or the other. So just because I was really sad that he was going to die. It didn’t mean I didn’t love him. Actually. It, man, I loved him more, you know, so sad because I loved him so much. It’s like a balance almost.
Meg Walker: 14:29 And so, um, so yeah, I would just encourage someone who’s in a position to let yourself experience the myriad of emotions because there’s so many. Um, and then just practically, I think there’s things, you know, it’s heavy and hard and it takes a village and that saying that they say about raising children. But, um, you know, we couldn’t have gotten through those few months carrying Jacob by ourselves. We needed to have the people to help us, you know, our doctors and our medical team, we had a hospice care group that actually took care of us really well and helped us prepare and make decisions and I didn’t know how to do any of that. And so I think you also have to allow yourself to be open to letting other people help you and take care of you. We just got it.
New Speaker: 15:18 I think that’s really helpful. Um, in my, in my experience, I, um, I’ve shared this before. I’m not on here, I don’t think, but in other places maybe in the facebook, in our facebook community group, the morning, my brain isn’t working. I’ve shared that before, that, um, it took me a long time to reach out for help. Um, I think I was in, I’m, I’m guessing a counselor would say I was in denial, but I didn’t want that new normal. So I didn’t, I didn’t want to accept. I never went to a support group. I never went to see a counselor. It took years for me to say, Oh, I probably should deal with some of the pain. So I think that is such good advice, but it is so hard when you don’t want to accept that new reality and yeah, for me it was just, it was an instant shift from into this new reality.
New Speaker: 16:22 Um, and I just didn’t, I didn’t want to be the sad girl. I didn’t want it. Even the day he, my son died, we were in my, in laws house and um, all these people from our church were there and it was, everyone was just quiet and whispering and I remember just how much I hated that. I hated that they were there because of me and, and our grief and our loss. Like I just couldn’t deal with it. So for years I just was like, I don’t want to ask for help in that way. Tell me. So, um, I am so grateful that there was a team of people who helped you. You said there was a hospice care team. I don’t know if that is normal everywhere. I would hope so. But I’m wondering what it would look like. Like what were some of the things that they helped you work through that maybe if there’s a mom listening who doesn’t know those things, what would be some things that you would, um, like practically speaking would be helpful for her to know or to think about or two questions to ask?
Meg Walker: 17:28 Yeah. Well one I would say they’re at the time, they may be more now. There are about 250 a, they call it perinatal hospice and palliative care groups around the United States. And so I would encourage people to look and just see. I had no idea that this existed. Um, my doctor, my doctor happened to um, connect me with them and they care for families who are preparing to lose children up to the age of 18. And so some of them have like long term special needs or you know, long term medical needs. Maybe they’re, some of them are in the Nicu for their whole lives or you know, some of them are children like teenagers. And so, um, at least the one in Richmond is. And so I would encourage people to actually look up and see if there’s one in their area because there might be, um, but what they offered us in our group, and I don’t know if every group is the same, but we had, we called them, my husband likes a marble and so we called him like, our team of superheroes are like the avengers.
Meg Walker: 18:27 I love that. Yeah. Because they all have different roles. And so one was a pediatrician who started it and how do we needed care for Jacob after he was born, he would have been his pediatrician and cared for him because he knows, oh my gosh, she’s amazing. Um, we had a social worker and so she helped us with things like insurance. What happens if, you know, how do we add here that short amount of time or what happens if he ends up doing better than we expected them to take him home for a few days and we have all this in home health care, you know, how do we do that? Um, I know nothing about that kind of stuff. And so she was, yeah, she helped me process through some of that. Uh, so social workers are amazing. Um, Netapp. She was a medical social worker.
Meg Walker: 19:14 She was on our team. We had a counselor, um, who was, uh, she offered us counseling services for us in any of our family or friends who wanted to talk with her for after three years after we lost him in their care for free of charge. It was amazing. Um, there was a chaplain. So he really helps, especially when you go through loss, began to really question things like, do I really believe this, this God who I think he is, do I believe in God? You know, there’s so many questions people ask because he was there to help with that. And then I also had a nurse, um, who became a sweet good friend of mine and she went to appointments with me and helps me to learn how to advocate for my child. And that was the most helpful thing. Um, I don’t know how you find that, just like on your own.
Meg Walker: 20:01 But she helped me, you know, like, this is what I’m hoping for for his birth or these are the things that I’m, you know, once he is born, do we want any medical intervention or not, are we going to choose comfort care we can to choose Nicu, you know, like she helps me process through a lot of those things. She came actually to post of my appointments with me, with my ob so she knew or she knew Jacob before he was born with me and she, she answered tons of questions afterwards. She came and helped as I process through some of the physical healing. Um, and uh, I ended up donating my milk after Jacob was born and she helped me with that as well. And so, um, that was super helpful. Practically speaking, they also helped with funeral, um, and that kind of thing, like the, any cremation or burial services that people would want.
Meg Walker: 20:55 Um, so I would encourage you, if you don’t have a team like that to ask, you know, people always ask us what can we do to help? I never knew. I was like, I don’t know. I mean, I can’t those, but maybe if you have like close friends or family who can, who can say, Hey, can you help me just where you look up all the funeral home staff and how did your thought because that we couldn’t even processed that until after Jacob died and we knew that we were going to be planning for this. Um, or those are details that was too hard. Details like how to get the death certificates in order and all of that were really hard. Um, we also were able to schedule meetings with our hospital. I’m anticipating where he was being born. They helped us to schedule meetings with our nursing team and doctor so that we would all be on the same page, which was amazing.
Meg Walker: 21:46 And that is normal. Like you can do that. Um, there are usually, I’ve learned that most hospitals have a bereavement specialist as a nurse or they have doctors. I mean we had nurses that literally asked to be there when Jacob was born because they loved caring for families that are going through situations like that. There’s all sorts of special things they do that, um, at our hospital, they put butterflies, stickers on the doors that families that are going through a unique situation so that anybody who walks in the door and knows this isn’t a normal birth or you know, um, I wrote a cover letter on my when I walked, I, you know, I had, I had a million birth plans, we didn’t know how it was going to go and I had a cover letter that just kind of explained our story and our wishes and this is who Jacob is and we’re excited to celebrate his birthday.
Meg Walker: 22:29 This is a celebration for us, you know, things like that. So I think practically speaking, I was a lot that you can do to prepare, but it does, it’s a lot of unknowns. You don’t know it until you go through it. So I think bringing someone in, asking someone, there’s one book called the gift of time, they get to time. That one was recommended to me and it was great. My family friends read it. And then there’s also, um, different resources online. I know of one group called carrying to term and they provide resources for people who are carrying to term and chosen to carry their babies. So yeah, there’s so much. So many decisions you have to make. It’s horrible. I love what you said about just involving a friend. Most of us, I feel like in today’s world, most of us have a friend who is in the medical field. Some, you know, a nurse or a doctor. I’m an involving them I think would be. I think that that is so wise because they want to know things and know questions to ask that we just don’t know. And even if I would, I would venture to say even if you were a nurse and when it’s happening to you, you don’t the questions
New Speaker: 23:45 anymore in your mind, you know, you don’t know what to ask because now it’s a personal. It’s happening to you. So involving. I’m bringing someone alongside who can objectively but with so much love and care because they love you and they love your baby. I think that there’s so much wisdom in that and I, I, I’m, I’m really grateful in our experience. I recently asked my husband, um, what happened at the hospital, like did a social worker come ask us if we wanted help because we didn’t receive any, um, and neither of us can remember. And so that’s why I have just, um, I think that what you just, the information you just provided is really helpful. There’s so many details that go into, um, even just like the funeral planning and there’s just, nobody knows. We, we’ve never gone through this before and we haven’t planned and um, there’s no, you know, pinterest sports for this and we don’t know how to get death certificates and all of those things.
New Speaker: 24:49 So finding employing people to help, um, in those very logistical things immediately after would be very helpful. So my encouragement to anyone who’s listening, who is maybe a friend of someone who is grieving or I’m someone who, if you’re a friend of someone who’s grieving or your family member, this would be a very practical way to help. Um, most likely if you’re listening, the grief is probably, you know, we’re a few days in or a few months in, so it may be a little bit late for that, but don’t overlook the practical help in the practical needs that somebody’s grieving has. Um, because there are many, what do you think it means to find joy? And it’s morning, and you kind of alluded to this earlier when you were talking about in our culture, we don’t really understand what it’s like to have joy and sorrow simultaneously. Um, but maybe expound upon that a little bit more because I think often we can mistake joy for momentary happiness or I’m laughing and I’m, what I don’t want, you know, the joyful morning to come across as is that, oh, I’m supposed to be happy right now that I’m going through this horrific tragedy because that’s not what I mean when I talk about finding joy amidst morning.
New Speaker: 26:14 So what do, what does it mean to you to find joy amidst suffering and grief? What does it not mean?
Meg Walker: 26:23 Yeah, I mean the first thing that popped in my head when you asked that question was, it doesn’t just meet, I’m happy, you know, it does. It doesn’t mean I have to conjure up these feelings inside of me to think a certain way or act a certain way or feel a certain way or say certain things. I remember really early on in my grief kind of looking around at other people that I hadn’t met all the sudden you had lost children because that’s what happens when you’re in this world. And I was like, well, I’m not like her or I’m not going to be like her. I’m me like her. Um, and I saw some of their steadfastness and I thought, you know, something was wrong with me because I wasn’t able to smile about things yet. And it just, it took time. So it’s, I, I totally agree.
Meg Walker: 27:08 It’s not just that I can be happy now and everything’s, I’ve moved past it. I think that’s what people think is eventually graduate from grief and you can be happy again. But what I found instead was that, um, that you can experience, you know, we have the capacity to experience emotions and um, it doesn’t, how do I say this? Being in sorrow, you know, there’s like, there’s such heartache and I don’t. I’m a person, like I don’t like being sad. You don’t want to just sit in my sadness. I want to move on and just get to the happy parts of life. And I began to see over the last two and a half years that there actually can be beauty found in the sorrow and there can be good there. Um, and even though maybe, you know, some days it’s not as easy for me to laugh at my husband’s jokes, you know, I’m not like happy in that sense.
Meg Walker: 28:04 I learned that I could have joy in the sense of I could rest in what God had given me and the things that you know, I longed for and the things that I did have rather than only looking at what I didn’t have. Like I could see life differently. It was like I almost began to see it in a deeper, richer way. And so like when I say I had joy and sorrow he had in hand, um, I think what happened was pregnancy is such, you know, normally supposed to be really joyful time. It’s like you’ve literally physically see your body grow, you’re going through all these changes and that had always wanted to be a mom. And so that was something I was excited about and even though my baby wasn’t going to live as long as I thought he was, it didn’t take away from the fact that he still was my baby and I, I still could love him.
Meg Walker: 28:51 And like God gave him purpose and life and he chose him still. I mean we could have lost him at any point, but God chose to give him the hours that he gave him. And I could rejoice in that, that the Lord saw fit to still create life in Jacob. That Jacob had a purpose. Like I could find joy in that. It was a depth of like a contentment in who he was. I could rejoice that I knew that God was with me. As hard as that felt, it wasn’t always easy like to go to the grocery store and people see you and they expect that you’re about to have a baby. And inside you’re like, yeah, but you have no idea it’s dying, you know? That was really painful. And at the same time people would say, oh, are you having a boy or girl?
Meg Walker: 29:39 So I’m having a boy to see them celebrate a value Jacob’s life because they didn’t know that he wasn’t going to live long. That brought me even just this momentary like smiles and laughter. So, um, I don’t know, I think, I think I was surprised every time to see if that grief can become beautiful. And I used to think that that meant like, I used to think that, that, that, that people were, you know, it was worth it to lose her child because now you’ve experienced all these new things. And I was like, you’re crazy. Like, you’re already. Um, and I, but now I can see even just two years, two and a half years down the road, like it, it was beautiful for me to be able to be given a sign with such a special purpose and he had such a short life and yet I got to be there for every moment of it and I got to see him and that’s not the case for everybody and I understand that too. But, um, I think I was able to rejoice in things that otherwise I would’ve just skipped on past in life, you know, I was able to and that I don’t think that that was anything about me especially. I think that that was a grace in my life from the Lord that he allowed me to enjoy my pregnancy and he allowed me to have that time with Jacob. You know, I couldn’t control any of that. So, um, yeah, I don’t know if that really answers the question.
New Speaker: 31:00 It doesn’t answer the question. I think there is. It can feel messy to have joy and it’s morning. I remember the first time I laughed after my son died and I felt like I had done something wrong. It just felt so wrong yet to still experience joy in that way. And um, that took time, you know. But joy and suffering can happen at the same time. And, um, yeah, but it’s messy, you know, it’s like I’m crying while smiling. It’s that. But I do think there is that for my whole life. I, I definitely understand it. My whole life. I didn’t want to feel hard things. I wanted everything to be fun and lighthearted and God, God allowed grief to show me a, you know, a new depth and value in, in sorrow that there’s much to be learned and, um, much to be experienced in others and in him.
New Speaker: 32:15 Um, so yeah, but it is messy, you know, it’s not a, it’s not a perfect thing that, um, and I don’t think for those who might be listening who are in the middle of that and maybe you don’t see or feel joy, um, keep fighting and praying for God to just continue to reveal like small of, um, piece that would lead to joy. And, and for those of you who are listening, who are feeling guilty over those first laughs, just know that that is something to praise God for the healing that comes, that he can bring after loss. I had two more questions I was thinking about while you were talking. One thing that I get asked a lot is how, what was it like and how did you know, um, you were ready to try again to have another baby because you have a five month old baby girls. Um, tell us what that was like because you lost Jacob and then you experienced a miscarriage. I think I, I mean, I look at you and I’m like, she’s super brave, you know, and, and you’re strong to say, let’s. Okay, let’s, let’s try again. Yeah. Um, I think, yeah, tell, tell us about that. Yeah, I think um,
Meg Walker: 33:43 yeah, after. So after we lost Jacob know, even while I was still pregnant with him, my husband and I had so many more conversations for more things around the table than we had thought of in the past and we learned because of Jacob’s life and the gifts that God gave us of like really enjoying him while he was still inside me. Like we were like, wow, our hearts can grow so much for a human being. Like I had no idea. That’s what I’m really like. He made me a mom because I heart grew so much in those, even those nine months before I saw his face. And um, and so I knew I’m like, Oh man, I’m going to want to have more kids. So we didn’t know, you know, Jacob’s condition wasn’t genetic. They don’t really know much about it so we could have more kids with this condition.
Meg Walker: 34:28 It’s really rare. But it could happen. And um, so we were like, man, we kept losing another child. I don’t know, like, well, like, you know, I don’t want to think about that if that happens, but if it does, God will be with us. He’ll walk through it with us, we know that it’ll be so painful, but we’ll, we’ll, you know, we’ll have to, we have to try again. Like we left, we left him so much and we have so much love all the sudden you want to give to somebody. And so I’m pretty much as soon as our doctor said he could, you know, have another baby. We, we wanted to. Um, and that’s a couple months later is when I experienced, when I was pregnant again, I remember looking at my pregnancy tests and my first instinct when I saw the positive with another baby to love, like Jacob, like that feeling of like, Yay.
Meg Walker: 35:15 And then the excitement that help. Um, and then when we lost that baby, I was so hurt and upset and had a lot of complications. And so, um, I, we still had to have those honest conversations between Tom, mark and I, do we want to do this again? You know, we could lose again. Um, we could have another baby with this condition, we could, you know, we could never get pregnant again with a healthy child. I remember wrestling with am I able to carry children like that are healthy because all I had experience with pregnancy was death. Um, as like literally all I had experienced when I was, that was how my brain then wired pregnancy is pregnancy death. And so, um, so yeah, I think we just decided we knew we wanted to have another child. We knew we wanted to grow a family.
Meg Walker: 36:05 We knew we had the slug to give and we needed to take that risk and take the step and trust God in that way. Um, that’s not to say that I think everybody who has gone through loss shared even quickly decide they want to have another one. For us, honestly, I expected to have another baby. Jacob and our daughter Eden would be about two years apart and I thought for sure we’d have a baby like a year after he was born. But it just took a lot longer than that. And I’m so thankful for that time. I was so stressed in that moment, I was like, oh my gosh, there’s something wrong with me. It’s like we can’t get pregnant, you know, blah, blah blah. And really the, the honest truth was God was giving us that time and looking back now and painful, but I was terrified from the moment I found out I was pregnant with Eden until, you know, maybe after she was born that something was gonna happen to her and I still have those moments where we’re gonna, you know, I’m so afraid I’m going to lose her or what if God takes her from us too and I have to come back to, to the truth that he might and that’s a gun might take her from us and I can still look to him and I can still trust him and I can wrestle with that.
Meg Walker: 37:15 And why is that hard for me to imagine? And like who is God? Who do I really believe God to be? Is he going to be with me if we lose another baby? I have to say yes. Like I just know that to be true. Would it be hard? Yes. If we lost one of the baby, I don’t know what I would do. I can’t really don’t know what I would do. Um, but yeah, walking through that pain after having another after losing two in a row, right. It was kind of like a last ditch effort was like, well, might as well try it again. You know, we, we just felt really felt from the Lord that it wasn’t time to try something different, you know, it wasn’t time yet to pursue adoption. It wasn’t time yet to proceed. Different options, but it was time to try and that was terrifying. It really felt like a big step of faith because I was like, my heart’s going to get broken. I just knew it. I knew this pregnancy was going to end in death and it didn’t, it’s not everybody’s story, but that was ours for eating. So.
New Speaker: 38:11 And that’s it. It’s just, yeah, it’s one of those joyful sorrow full, you know, stories. Oh yeah. Um, but I definitely understand that leap of faith to try again. Yeah. And I also understand the, after you lose a baby, all you want is a baby. Right now, yes. And really for, for us and our experience, it was just I wanted my son back, that’s exactly how we can do, but the problem was, is that I was trying to get pregnant a week later because it wasn’t because I was trying to replace him, I just wanted him. I want my body had just had a baby, my body had just been feeding a baby and suddenly there was no baby. And so all I knew my heart just needed a baby. So. But by God’s grace it took, it took a few months. And so the, and I remember the same feelings, like there’s something wrong with us.
New Speaker: 39:12 We’re not going to have a baby again. I remember just almost grieving again every month that we weren’t pregnant are grieving over the death of my son because I just, I wanted him, you know, it wasn’t. So in God’s perfect timing, he gave us my third son, which was Asher. And so, um, I am too grateful for that time and I’m grateful that pregnancy is nine months. There was like nine months of more healing that needed to take place. Um, I, I think to the, there might be a misnomer, I don’t know if that’s the right word, but I’m just, I misunderstanding that,
New Speaker: 40:00 what, when another baby comes, you’re just healed completely. And when Asher, when my third son was born, I was crazy. I was a crazy person, you know, I thought I could, I could never check on him in the night, I could never because I just assumed he was dead and um, my, and the same thing with when my daughter was born. So, um, even, you know, years later it still was hard and I say that not to discourage women who are walking through that, but to say I’m a baby, a new baby, your next baby, whatever that might look like, won’t fix the grief that only God can heal. And you know, those places in your heart that are still, you need him to do some mending.
New Speaker: 40:52 I can’t say, you know, it’s been, um, my daughter will be six soon, which is crazy. My son, um, aiden who passed away when he was a baby, he, um, he would be 10 this year, this fall. And, um, I can’t say with full assurance that if we had another baby, I wouldn’t respond the same way, you know, with that fear. And it’s just a con. It is a constant fight for truth, a fight that God is the author of life in God holds life. And um, there’s nothing that these babies aren’t ours. They’re his, you know, that battle that doesn’t make that easier to know. Um, I was wondering, um, and we’ll finish up soon. This has been amazing though. Um, I was wondering what you think, um, or were there any moments after Jacob died or after the miscarriage where you were frustrated with God or angry with God? I know your faith is so strong and evident and the words that you use and communicate with are just so powerful and encouraging us to look to God in our grief. Um, were there any moments where your faith felt weak or humbly?
Meg Walker: 42:17 Yeah, all the time. I think the only reason I can say some of these things with confidence, like God is going to be with you. It’s because I really wrestled with that on my own there. You know, uh, I used to, I still do that sometimes for some reason when I’m really grieving and upset and crying and a mess, I just want to be in the bathroom sitting on the floor locked door for some reason. It’s like this place for me. It sounds so strange because bathroom of all places, but seriously, I think God has given me more time sitting on my bathroom floor, crying my eyes out, wiping my chest with toilet paper. It’s like, so not glamorous. Then he has at any other point in my life, like there were, there have been so many moments where I’ve, I’ve literally locked myself in that room and, and out loud physically said to like, why would you do this?
Meg Walker: 43:14 Babies aren’t supposed to die. I would always come back to that. I still do. Sometimes babies aren’t supposed to die, like they’re just not. And I would get. So, you know, where are you, God, what are you doing here? This is not what I thought my life was gonna be like, I mean so many things over and over and over again. I felt so faithless. Like, I had other women tell me, you know, this scripture really, okay. Con to it all the time and, or reading God’s word really opened my eyes during my grief. And I’m like, I was hard to read my Bible. I don’t want to. I don’t want to hear what God has to say. He took my baby from me. I don’t care. Or um, you know, my prayer life, I had prayed during Jacob’s life and I prayed after he died, but it wasn’t the theme.
Meg Walker: 44:00 And um, and I think I just had to come to a place of understanding that like I could be totally honest with God and my pain and, and that it was okay. Like he almost, he welcomed that because he knew what was going on in my heart. He saw me. He wasn’t like surprised, like, oh, what you’re mad at me. I had no idea he saw me. And um, it was after my miscarriage that this all really clicked for me because I remember sitting in my counselor’s office and talking to her and I just, just like, I just can’t keep it together anymore. Like, I can’t hold it all together. I thought I had to present a certain way to people, especially because we’re in full time ministry. I thought, you know, I had to have the right look the right way, or I thought people had these expectations of me to have moved on already, which is crazy.
Meg Walker: 44:49 It was expectations I was putting on myself and I just told her, I was like, I can’t, I can’t hold onto this anymore. And she’s like, she’s like, okay. She was like, then don’t. And I was like, as like honestly though, I just feel like I’m free falling. Like I was terrified. It was the first have in my life where I just couldn’t keep it all together really. And I was like, I just, I can’t. And she was like, you know what? This free falling feeling that you have is probably the most honest reality of your life. Like if you look at your life, you have thought this whole time you were holding onto God, but really he was holding onto you and he just has you in the palm of his hands. You know, she’s speaking this truth over me and I’m like, yes, like the freedom that it felt to say I can let go and guide will still hold me.
Meg Walker: 45:31 Like he will still love me. That feels I’m such a performer. I’m like, no, I have to be good and then cover left me. I have to be, you know, reacting to my grief a certain way. And then he’ll left me and she’s like, just be messy. Like let yourself fall. He’s, he’s got you. And I think God showed me that because I really felt like I did. I felt like I asked those questions and I felt like he would remind me, you know, I do see you mag or I do love you or the rest in my grace. Like I learned what it meant to rest in his grace. It wasn’t working anymore, you know, I was, I couldn’t, I can have it in me. And so, um, so yeah, I, I would still say I’m still wrestling with a lot of those things.
Meg Walker: 46:15 Um, even now, like even with the unions life, it’s like just because I’m afraid you’re going to say no or you know, you’re going to take her from me or whatever and yet, um, but I, I know more, it’s kind of anchored my heart more. God’s with me in it and he, he says he’s not going to leave me nor forsake me. Like he’s not going to let me go and I can trust him in that. I kind of took it to the bit, you know, I was, like, you say I can trust you again. Are like, okay, God, I, I believe you can. I believe you. Okay God, I’m trusting you. Can I trust you? It was kind of a simultaneous thing for me. So. So yeah, many, many times literally locked in my bathroom sobbing on the floor, right? Bathroom. And God met me there. So weird place. But he met me there. So he meets us everywhere and all those, all those funny places. And I think there’s so much freedom to be had in knowing that even those people who know the truth and know God’s word and have walked with him for a long time, that um, the loss of a baby you can rattle even the strongest of you know, face. And it’s okay.
New Speaker: 47:30 I think that’s the, like you said, you aren’t holding onto God. He’s holding onto you and your faith feeling like it’s crumbling isn’t going to change that. And so, um, I think I wish someone would have told me that, you know, it’s okay for you to be angry right now. It’s okay for you to feel all these feelings that feel confusing when you’ve believed something for so long and now you’re just a little bit confused about why this good God would let this happen. And you know, often because our definitions of good or a little bit twisted, um, babies should live though that’s not a, that’s not a twisted good thing. So that’s what I’m saying. But um, yeah, I do think there’s much freedom to be had when we just see the confusion. We experience it, we, and we say, God, just meet me in the mess, meet me Ims and show me truth and show me grace and um, but I do think, yeah, I understand not wanting to open, open your Bible, like I understand not wanting to pray and I imagine there will be a lot of women who listen to this who are experiencing the same thing.
New Speaker: 48:50 And I think there’s a lot of encouragement to be had and knowing that they’re not alone in that because I, I think when the expectation is that we should automatically be okay to dive back into the word or to be able to pray then now not only are we coupling this grief, but we also are experiencing guilt and shame that we’ve let God down somehow. Um, a lot of women are also experiencing this. We think it’s our fault that our babies have died. So we’re just all of these emotions and um, it’s so heavy and so understanding that man, God doesn’t have. He has no expectations of you in this. When he looks at you, if you are a believer, he looks at you. He sees Jesus, which means Jesus met all those expectations for us, and that’s why you’re not holding onto him. He’s holding onto you. So I just think there’s a lot of, a lot of grace to be had for those moms who are new in this grieving journey. It’s okay if you don’t want to talk to God right now. He’s not mad at you for that. Um, so yeah. Okay. Let’s finish up with what is just one encouragement that you would give to a another mom who’s grieving? Gosh, I think so much. I think
Meg Walker: 50:13 honestly, my encouragement would be to tell somebody who’s in the midst of grief, like you are seen and loved and cared for, and you’re cared for by God like he sees you. He’s with. I think to encouragement is that no matter where you are in your grief or pain, no matter what part of the journey or in, um, you aren’t alone in grief is so lonely. It is loneliness. And yet God still says he’s with you in it. And so that has brought so much comfort and encouragement to me just to see when no one else remembers the anniversary of something when even my husband, I have to remind him, hey, next Tuesday is going to be a really hard day for me. And then I have to say the next day here, remember on Tuesday, you know, even when he doesn’t remember those dates like I do, God does.
Meg Walker: 50:59 And he sees me in it. He knows and he’s with me and I don’t, I can rest in that and find actual comfort in that. And so my hope also be that people in grief would also feel that other people are with them too. Of course. Um, and that’s my encouragement to people who are friends of those grieving. It’s like show up for people and be there with them, but that’s not even going to satisfy them. Like they have to know you. We have to know as women, we have to know as Moms, God is with us, he’s going to be with us. And so he is, even when he feels like he’s distant, you know, when you, when you feel like you’re talking to a brick wall, like he’s still there and he’s, he’s weeping with you and he’s carrying you through it. So. So yeah, that’s my. That’s awesome. Thank you so much meg, for being with us today. This was so encouraging to my heart and I’m so grateful for you
Ashlee: 51:49 and for those listening. Thank you so much for joining in today. I hope that this episode blessed you as well. Until next time, know that you are not alone in your grief and you are loved more than you can ever imagine.
The full transcript is provided by an online app and while I do my best to catch any transcription mistakes it is highly possible that a few may have been missed. If something is not clear please refer back to the audio for reference.