A Story of Beauty in the Midst of Loss


A Story of

1 in 4 pregnancies end in a miscarriage. As of a few weeks ago, I can now count myself as part of this statistic.

While I’ve struggled with several chemical pregnancies, I had yet to experience a miscarriage and had two uneventful pregnancies that resulted in two beautiful, healthy daughters. We found out we were expecting our third little one at the beginning of September and we were so excited. We knew that we wanted more children, and although we weren’t necessarily “trying”, we were thrilled at the idea of adding a new little one to our family.

I was so excited to tell my husband that I made the mistake of blurting it out when our three year old was standing close by. What ensued after that was a lengthy little chat about how mommy had a baby in her belly and how she would have a brother or sister. And then I started thinking about how it was going to be tough to keep anything a secret with our talkative little girl knowing, who was now so excited to be a big sister again. She comes by the terrible secret-keeping abilities honestly. I could NEVER keep a secret.

We slowly started telling close friends and family over the next few days. Some may frown upon this decision and wonder why we would choose to tell people before it was “safe”.

But here’s the thing- we should never have to suffer alone.

If the worst case scenario were to happen and we were to loose this baby, I wanted the people I cared about most to know. I wanted to have people I could lean on and who could help me through the pain. I wanted that little life to be known, because they mattered. They mattered to us, they mattered to those that we love. They mattered and they were worth knowing.

And I have to say, I’m so glad I made this decision. The outpouring of love and support that we received, when just a few weeks later I miscarried our little one, was overwhelming. I firmly believe it was one of the few things that got me through that time.

I even went one step further and announced the loss of our baby on a very public forum- Facebook. Now some of you may wonder, why would she do that? She was only 7 weeks along. She could have not told anyone and no one would have really noticed otherwise.

But here’s the thing- why would I not say something?

That was our baby, a part of our family. And even though I never had the chance to hold my precious little one on this side of Heaven, they existed. They mattered. They will forever be one of my children. I will always wonder what they would have been like. If they would have looked like their sisters and if it would have been a boy or a girl. I will always grieve when May rolls around and I reflect on the due date that never happened. And I think it’s OK for others to know that they were there, that they existed, no matter how brief their existence may have been, and that there is a deep void now that they are gone.

There are two moments from this whole experience that speak profoundly to the grief and the healing that can take place. The first was when I received our family photos back from our photographer. We had decided to go ahead and squeeze in a pregnancy announcement photo into our session since we already knew we were expecting. By the time I received the photos back I had already miscarried, and seeing this photo brought back all of the grief and pain that I had been feeling the last few weeks.

pg announcement

But you know what it also did? It caused me to be thankful. Wait, what? Thankful? Yes, thankful. Thankful that I will forever have a physical reminder of this little one. I don’t have a sonogram or a baby to hold in my arms, but I do have this small reminder that they existed and that they will forever be a part of our family.


The second moment was a week or so after I had miscarried. We had already had the difficult conversation with Nora about how there was no longer a baby in mommy’s tummy, and that sometimes these things happen. She knew that mommy hadn’t been feeling well and that my “tummy had been hurting” as my body felt the physical effects of the miscarriage. A week or so later I was laying on the couch and Nora came over and laid a blanket over my tummy so that it would help it feel better. She then asked if the baby was back in my tummy and if we could see it. I once again had to explain to her all that had gone on (as best as I could) and why we wouldn’t be meeting this baby here on earth. After I was done explaining again she wrapped her arms around me and said she was so sorry and that she wanted to make me feel better and she was sad she wouldn’t be able to meet the baby. Robin and I just looked at each other, tearing up at the sadness of the situation. But there was also another emotion in the mix. Thankfulness was creeping in again. I was thankful that I had allowed my daughter to have a glimpse into what was going on. That I allowed her to experience this pain along with us. Not that I want my daughter to experience pain, but I was thankful for the fruit that was being born out of that pain; compassion for those that are hurting, love for this little one even if she couldn’t meet them, the ability to ask the tough questions even if there aren’t great answers to be had.

Beauty out of the ashes.

For those of you that have lost a baby through miscarriage or infant loss, please know…

They mattered.

We don’t need to be afraid to give these precious little ones a voice. And we don’t need to be afraid to give people a glimpse into our pain and grief.

Also know…

There can be beauty in the midst of the ashes.

It may not happen tomorrow. It may take quite some time. But there can be beauty in the midst of the ashes. There will be moments of thankfulness that will creep in and mingle with the moments of grief and sadness. They may be unexpected at first, but soon you will learn to look for them.

Below is a graphic that we made to give a voice to all of the precious babies of mommas in our community whose lives mattered. We hope that by coming together to honor these little ones, that we continue to remove the taboo of discussing miscarriage and infant loss, and take active steps to create space for beauty in the midst of ashes.


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Nissa Sutphen
Nissa is the Large Events Coordinator for Twin Cities Moms Blog. She was the previous owner of BurlingtonVT Moms Blog before moving back to Minnesota with her family in November 2015. She loves spending time with her husband Robin and her two daughters, Nora and Maggie, and is excited to welcome some testosterone into the mix with the impending arrival of her first son in March 2016. She loves traveling and exploring new places with those she loves, getting lost in a great novel, and dance parties in her living room.


  1. My child (for some reason I always saw a him) would have been 25 next month. I was only 6 weeks along, but Iin my mind I had already held that baby in my arms. We had 2 children, a 9 year old and a 6 year old. We were all so excited, then we weren’t having a baby any longer. No reasons, no explanations we just weren’t. It was devastating, especially the people who didn’t understand and said things like ,well it was only a few weeks -not really pregnant. The thing that held me together we’re all the women who suddenly came forward to share their stories. I am so glad we had shared our wonderful news or I would have had to suffer alone. Our daughter asked again and again why I had let that baby come out of my belly too early. We explained as best we could, but I don’t think she ever really forgave me. The sweet smells of fall and the changing of the season always make my arms ache. Thanks for sharing your story. He was on my mind today.

  2. Thank you for sharing. The stigma and beliefs around keeping a new pregnancy secret can sometimes leave a grieving mother isolated. I’m happy that you had the love and support you needed.

  3. When I was 18 I was told that I could not concieve due to not having cycles or ovulating. I was heartbroken. A few years later I met my wonderful husband and we fell in love immediately. I told him from day one that if he wanted children of his own then I couldn’t be with him. We agreed to adopt when the time came. We married 2 years later. A few months later I got my cycle. This was very strange. Like I said I didn’t get cycles. I knew something was wrong. I found out that I was having a miscarriage. I was crushed. Here I thought I would never have a baby of my own and then I find out that I lost one. About 6 months later a friend encouraged me to take a test. When I saw the faint line I cried. I retested several times and still didn’t believe it till the doctor confirmed it. This time things went perfect. In 2012 we welcomed our miracle girl via emergency c-section due to her being breech. 6 months later I was pregnant again. Once again I felt the sting of loss. This time was worse then the 1st. I knew I was pregnant and knew that I could carry a baby to term. I felt like something was wrong with me. Luckily I have an amazing husband who helped me with the loss. One year later my mom convinced me to take a test and it was positive. I was so scared of what would happen. This time was tough. I had a difficult pregnancy with high blood sugar levels and severe back pain. I would do it all again. This June we welcomed our 2nd miracle daughter via emergency c-section again. Let’s just say if we have anymore I will schedule the c-section. Still thinks about my 2 babies I lost but my heart is full from my 2 beautiful girls. I use to question why I lost the babies but now I know that it was God’s plan and I celebrate my family just as God intends us to be.


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