Our Thanksgiving Loss

(I wrote this yesterday, but it didn’t feel like the right day to post it, so I’m posting it today)

This was not the post I wanted to write.

Last Thursday, we went in for a 6 week ultrasound. Our PGS tested embryo had implanted and the blood tests had been perfect. Though we were nervous, we felt confident because we had so many things in our favor. There was only about a 5% chance things wouldn’t look good.

But as soon as the ultrasound wand was in and the tech started looking around, I knew. Before the doctor could say a word, I said “shit”.

Yes I was early, yes things could change, but I know these things never do for us. I knew she was gone.

We waited a week and found a place in Texas that would give us an ultrasound to confirm. It confirmed the worst.

And so today, on Thanksgiving day, I am losing our baby.


At times like this, I am thankful that our journey has helped me to find my home in grief. It is no stranger to me. I know how to sit in it, and I know how to stand up in the midst of it and be strong.

I am thankful, too, that my theology makes room for this. There is nothing in me that blames God for our loss. And I know he makes his home in my grief. Those who mourn are uniquely blessed, and I have experienced that blessing time and time again.

I have spent time reading this post that I wrote after our first miscarriage, reminding myself that God is not a spectator in this tragedy and putting myself back with him in the garden to grieve and receive his comfort.

And oh, how thankful I am for the miracle that calls me mama. If it weren’t for her, I would think I wasn’t meant to be a mother. But because of her, I am one. And I know that I’m a good one, because the road that led me to her made me strong and deepened my capacity to love her well.


This IVF road was supposed to be “easier”. We had Abbie via an IUI, so of course putting a tested embryo inside of me would make this a more simple process. It has not been simple. I feel foolish for even thinking it would be. Having a child will never be easy for us.

But we have four more embryos waiting for us. So in a couple of months, we will dust ourselves off and try again. And I am eternally grateful that we even have that option. 30 years ago, we wouldn’t have. Because of the time we live in, we get a chance at parenthood. Abbie gets a chance at having a sister. And so I pray that at least one of our four embryos would be the sibling our sweet girl deserves.


This is a horrible time to be losing a baby, on Thanksgiving day. But in a few days it is Advent, and as my friend Kari told me, advent is a great time for darkness. And so I will spend this advent season in the darkness and know that light will soon find us. It always does.



  1. Holly Anderson says

    I’m so sorry you are going through this right now. Now. During our time of supposed gratefulness. Be thankful.

    Well, Thanksgiving arrives the same time each year, but the things to be most thankful for don’t.

    I could come here and offer you words of encouragement; but today, I’m choosing to climb down into the pit with you. I know how dark it can be down here – even though it’s sunny at the top.

    I know how dusty it is – so dusty that it’s hard to breathe and your eyes burn.

    I know how slippery the sides are. It’s so easy to fall in, but like trying to climb a flame of fire to get out again.

    Grief is hell on top of blackness on top of crap covered in shit gravy. And you don’t have to post a day late to smooth over other people’s feelings.

    Yeah – you have a daighter to be thankful for. And you ARE thankful for her. But she is not the child you lost. Just like I am thankful for my mom and the rest of my family, but they are not my DAD. And no one ever will be again.

    Along with the loss, you are also grieving being able to simply have fun with your husband and produce another child. I am grieving not only the loss of my dad, but the way in which we endured his loss. I dreamed of my parents dying of old age after a long, long life – where I would miss them, but know it was the right time. Not what we went through. Not what he went through. Not only 126 days from perfectly healthy to gone.

    We grieve many aspects of loss, and that is our GOD-GIVEN right.

    So grieve. Sit in the pit for awhile and feel what you feel. Because what you are feeling has nothing at all in this earthly realm to do with what others are feeling or think you should be feeling. Or not feeling.

    I am home at Mom & Dad’s for Thanksgiving with the rest of the family, and just now came into the bathroom to bawl after – with a twinkle in her eye a and smile on her face – my mom said, “I saved yesterday’s big Thanksgiving Day crossword for you,” and handed it to me. “I thought you and Joel [middle son] would like to do it together. I still see you and your dad pouring over that thing every year.”

    Dad and I would work at their kitchen table on that crossword every Thanksgiving and the day after together. She was loving on me by saving it for me. It hit me hard, so I came in here to cry so I wouldn’t bring anyone else down with me. And opened my phone and saw your blog.

    Grieve on, mama. I’m down here with you.

  2. Boots Howard says

    Praying that God will keep His BIG loving arms around you during this time and will never let you go. And of course we know He won’t.

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