A brief but beautiful song: Cecilia Rose

April 27, 2018

 

These are words no one ever wants to be part of their family story, and these are words that will never quite express the sorrow that comes with losing a baby. It is an experience that I wish no one had to go through, and yet many women endure it. So for these women I write this….because no one should ever feel like they are walking this type of path alone.

Back in February, I woke up feeling nauseous one night. I just knew right then without a shadow of a doubt that I was expecting. A pregnancy test or two confirmed it, and despite feeling completely unprepared for another baby, I felt a wave of peace. Just as I had learned with Azelie Jane, no life is a mistake by God. Even though I knew Gabe wasn’t any more prepared than I was to add another baby to our family, he also took the news with peace. He has always given me so much love and support with every pregnancy, no matter what our circumstances. This time was no exception.


 

When the time came to hear the heartbeat for the first time, it had been a tough few weeks, and we were both eager to hear our little one. The heartbeat is that reassuring sound that everything you sacrifice for your child is worth it. I was 10 weeks. It was supposed to be just a check up, and the first midwife we saw did a bedside doppler on my stomach. She couldn’t find the heartbeat, but reassured us that it was probably still too early in the pregnancy to be able to. I immediately connected this to how I had suddenly stopped feeling icky the week before and in my gut I knew something was wrong. She suggested we just do an ultrasound. A nurse tech walked us into the room as I held my breath. She was so kind to us, and gave us only uplifting comments about how this was our 6th baby. (What an important role medical aids can have during these times.) We anxiously awaited to see our 10 week baby moving around on the screen, and as Gabe and I were marveling over all the little features that had already formed, I noticed the nurse go silent. She relayed news you never want to be your reality. There was no heartbeat. There was no longer life. Everything stood still in that moment. It was a feeling of immediate loss and devastation. A surreal moment that your baby, which had accompanied you throughout the last few months, was suddenly gone.

When you are told that baby will never be, it feels as though someone has taken the wind out of you. It feels right then and there that your heart is incomplete….a gaping hole that is left inside which will never be filled on this earth. I had never seen Gabe weep before. I think it is important to remember, the fathers hurt too. He held my hand in silence the whole way home, and we tried to process the news in between the hustle of our very busy home.

We decided to wait for the baby to pass naturally at home which happened a few weeks later. It was by far the hardest experiences of my life physically and emotionally. It opened my eyes to the excruciating physical pain, grief, and trauma women experience when they lose a child. You give your body over to your child when you are expecting. The nausea, fatigue, aches, and growing frame seem a small price to pay the moment that baby is in your arms. However, what about when that life doesn’t come to full bloom? It is something so difficult to process as you struggle to make sense of your empty arms. It is one thing to suffer physically for the sake of a new life, but it is another to suffer physically as a result of a death. Gabe never left my side through the labor pains and the tears. He physically and emotionally held me up when I was too weak to do it on my own.

I also felt God so near. He showed up for me in the past few weeks in such personal ways. Through letters from my sisters, words from my mother, meals, flowers, and messages from friends, kisses from my children, the kindness of the nurses, and the embrace of my spouse. Pain and suffering can drown us if we let it, but they can also be our teachers. Throughout the last few weeks I have never experienced the depth of the love of God as I did through this time.

 

Before we lost the baby, I had told Gabe I thought it was a girl. Just an instinct I had. I knew it would help me in the healing process to have a better semblance of who our baby was, and I fell asleep one night with a prayer to know if it was a boy or a girl. Right before I woke up the next morning, I had a very vivid dream that I was gazing at a tree with small green buds on it’s branches. It was covered in the most beautiful vivid pink ornaments that shimmered in the dawn of a grey-ish blue morning sky. I was trying to snap a picture of it to hold onto the memory. When I woke up, I knew it was a consolation from heaven that it was indeed a little girl. A little girl who wouldn’t come to full bloom here on earth, but was very much alive in the arms of her creator. We went out today to find a tree to create a memorial for her. Gabe spent so much time looking for just the right one. And wouldn’t you know, we found a magnolia that happens to bloom vivid pink blooms in the Spring.

Although she came unexpectedly and left us unexpectedly she was still a beautiful song in our lives. I learned more from this baby in a few short months than I have in my lifetime. I see my children with a renewed perspective of the miracles they are. For this reason, we chose the name Cecilia Rose. Cecilia after the patron saint of music, and Rose (mine and my daughter Veronica’s middle name) because she came to us in the spring. So we lift our heavy hearts to sing a song of thanksgiving for this little angel. I am so grateful to have been her first home.

“We shall find our little ones again up above.” – St. Marie Azelie

 

If you are going through this and need someone to talk to about it, please don’t ever hesitate to reach out. 

Leave a Comment

  • Anna, I’m so sorry for your loss… it’s hard to experience this.. I had twins from my first pregnancy before and the other one didn’t survive. Prayers for you, Gabe and your family.

  • Mary Grace

    I am not a mother (though I pray to be one someday if God wills it). I am a daughter, though. Thank you for your bravery and openness in writing this. Thank you for your faith – so plain and genuine – in God. The name Cecelia is a very special name in my family and I know your daughter is a special soul, too. I will pray for your continued peace and strength during this time and for your little one up above.

  • Oh Anna, I’m so very sorry for your loss. Sending so much love your way 💕

  • Anna I’m so very sorry for your loss. No words will ever change how devastated you and your family must feel, but please know you all are in our thoughts and prayers. May your openness be a blessing to another family suffering with grief. You have chosen a beautiful way to remember her here on earth.

  • Sweet Anna. Such beautiful and yet painfilled words. I have 2 babies in heaven. I pray they will stay little forever so I’ll always have a babe to rock and cuddle. Wouldn’t that be the perfect gift? Praying for you.

  • I am so so sorry! There are no words but I will say you are not alone and I will keep your sweet family in my prayers. I lost my identical twin boys this year. One was stillborn and his brother passed dues to complications from his passing. I wouldn’t wish a pain like that on anyone but I want to thank you for sharing your story! So much love and healing prayers to you!

    • Stephanie my heart breaks for you. It is devastating never to hold the babies we loved before they even made it into our arms. I will return the favor of prayers for healing for you. Much love.

  • Anna,

    Your words are so touching that they transport us to your home, your family and your life. You are so brave and beautiful for sharing…God will only
    Reward you for your complete selflessness, dedication and love as a mother, wife, and person! One really big hug to reach the entire clan of beautiful little ones and both of you.

  • Anna+Gabe,
    I am so sorry for your loss. My husband and I lost our very first child at 10 weeks as well. Like you we decided to let my body naturally let the baby pass and the physical, spiritual and emotional pain felt during that time was unlike anything I have ever experienced. My heart goes out to your whole family! Thank you so much for your bravery in speaking about this very personal experience. Thank you, thank you.
    I know your little one is happy in heaven & y’all will rejoice one day together. Much love!

    • It is definitely an experience you cannot fathom unless you have to walk through it. I wish no one had to, but also feel very grateful for the gifts her life brought to me. It definitely took everything out of me to hit publish knowing I was putting my very bruised heart on display, but I knew I needed to do it. Much love to you!

  • Oh Anna. I’m just so sorry for your loss. What a heart wrenching thing!!! And what a beautiful name you gave her. Praying for you all.

  • Anna and Gabe, I am so sorry for your pain and loss. I am not married and have never carried a child, but one of my college professors wrote a beautiful post about remembering the children he and his wife lost through miscarriage, and I found it to be so beautiful. I hope you find his words and thoughts to be a comfort to you in this time.

    https://baconfromacorns.com/remembering-miscarried-children/

    Be assured of my prayers for you both.

  • I know this same pain and loss. A first check at 13 weeks with my second pregnancy revealed a sweet babe waving from my womb. 2 weeks later, that wave became good bye, instead of hello. One of the difficulties of miscarriage it is such a silent grief in some ways, so I thank you for sharing your story, and I am glad you have such a wonderful support system. May Jesus continue to give you tender mercies.

    • Oh that is so hard. Yes, it’s a grief I would never be able to accurately describe. I hope to be able to help more women one day who go through this because it isn’t talked about, and I myself felt a little blindsided by the whole experience.

  • I am so sorry for your loss of Cecilia Rose. Praying for you all.

  • I just found your Instagram this week and I was so intrigued by your beautiful family and creative page. I Was saddened today to read your post & I am in awe of your courage to share something so Personal and raw. May you & Gabe continue to feel so loved in the times ahead. My heart hurts to hear Your words especially knowing first hand the suffering you feel with life still swirling around you. Hold strong to one another. Sending you much light & love.

  • Anna and Family,

    We lost our third child at 10 weeks as well. Like you, I just knew she was a girl (Elizabeth Marion Angel). Thank you for sharing your grief in such a public forum, miscarriage and infant loss can be such a lonely, scary feeling. It is so comforting to hear others speak of their experience with it. May God Bless you and your family during this difficult time.

  • I’m so sorry. Sending you all love ♡
    Take care of yourself.

  • I’m deeply sorry for your lost, Anna and Gabe. This is a beautifully written post, truly one of the best you’ve written! What a beautiful testament to your daughter who is so loved. This too puts beautiful words to the experience of this loss; thank you for helping others of us who have suffered this too. Heartfelt prayers for you and your family.

  • I’m so sorry for your loss, Anna. Reading this story put tears in my eyes. Thank you for being so personal with us. I wish the best for your family! πŸ™‚ ❤️

  • Oh Anna, what a beautiful testimony to the power of a single life. None of us know how long the road back to the Father’s arms will be. lifting up your sorrow in my prayers tonight. Thank you for your witness.

  • Oh Anna, I’m so sorry. Thank you for sharing these beautiful words. All the best to you and your family.

  • Anna, what an utterly beautiful tribute to little Cecilia. Thankyou for sharing with vulnerability your heartache at this time. Miscarriage is not a pain I have had to bear yet, but so many do, and they should not bear it in silence. This brought me to tears and helps me understand that I might better walk with others in their tears. God bless you x

  • Anna I am so devastated for you. Miscarriage and infertility have been more a part of my life than I ever thought they would be and my heart just breaks with you. I will be lifting you and your family up in prayer.

  • What a beautiful reflection, Anna. I love so much that God gave you that dream & you found a pink magnolia to plant for sweet Cecelia. Prayers for you and your family!

  • I’m so sorry to hear this. Our family will be praying for you and your family during this time.

  • Anna and Gabe- my eyes are filled with tears and my heart aches deeply for your family. I am praying for you and have asked my 4 sweet little souls in heaven to pray for you too. Our family has a mission to pray for those who have lost babies. We pray especially for the daddies because so often their grief is overlooked. So many people ask how their wife is doing but overlook how much they are grieving.

    Heather, Genevieve, Jude, Andrew and Cecelia Rose, pray for us.

  • I love you Anna! Thank you for sharing so much of your beautiful heart with the world. I’m so sorry you guys are going through this, but wow, you’re words are so beautiful and will comfort so many.

  • Colleen Harlan

    Many prayers for the 7 of you. We miscarried our 6th child in January, and her 5 siblings here speak of her so much. I have been struggling with what to DO to remember Gloria. The idea of a special memorial plant speaks volumes to my heart. Thank you for your openness to sharing so much of your life–hopefully you all feel uplifted and not alone in this path. Cecelia has a beautiful family, and she gets to know this perfectly. It’s the challenge for us who have to wait longer than we thought to meet our little ones.

    • Colleen, I am so sorry you have had to experience this kind of loss. Gloria is a beautiful name. I look forward to the day we get to hold our little ones. It motivates me to live my life with greater intention and depth! Much love to you!

  • Rose D'Angelo Designs

    I have been where you are, Anna. It changes you. Sending love and peace your way.

  • Unfortunately I know this feeling too well. I learned that my second pregnancy (the first one was an early miscarriage as well) won’t become a baby when I was six weeks pregnant and in my case it took my body 4 weeks to pass it naturally. I am so glad I waited because I passed it the night before I was scheduled for a d&c. My body knew what to do and I felt powerful even though it was an heartache. Thank you for sharing. So many women go silent and I chose not to stay silent because this too is womanhood and motherhood. Hope you will have another baby when/if you and Gabe want one.

  • I am so sorry for your loss. I, too, lost a baby at 12 weeks. I was sick the whole time. I felt like I was punched in the gut when I found out that our baby was gone. I always felt that our baby was a boy, so we named him Quinn Lael. Quinn would have turned 5 this month. Please know that I am holding you in my prayers as you in heal. It is certainly a difficult process.

    Also, thank you for talking about the labor pains that come with naturally letting this process happen. My doctor told me that I might have some mild cramps, but it would be nothing different than a usual monthly cycle. WRONG. It was so painful, exactly like labor. Because it IS labor.

  • Oh Anna, I am so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine the pain. I will be praying for you and Gabe as you process this experience. You are an amazing, strong woman. xx

  • Anna, I’m sorry for your lost, read this made me cry.

  • I’m so, so sorry for your loss. Your words brought me to tears. And I want to thank you for so beautifully putting into words what so many of us have felt, but for whatever reason, have not been able to share. For me, it was the fear of losing it. Composure, emotions, ability to function. I never let myself truly grieve because I wasn’t brave enough to enter into the pain. Your words have helped me begin my grieving process, even though it’s been 3 years since my last miscarriage. It feels good. It feels necessary. Thank you for sharing your pain and your love. May sweet St. Cecilia look down upon your family and intercede for you all with love. God bless you!

  • Prayers and love for you all during this difficult time.

  • Thank you for sharing your story. Your Beautiful words, your perspective and your experience will undoubtably comfort others. Much love to you and your family!

  • I am so sorry, Anna and Gabe. Thank you for sharing such a personal experience in the hopes of helping other grieving families. May the gift of Cecilia Rose be a lifelong blessing to you and those whose lives you touch with your words.

  • May God bless you and your sweet family as you go through this difficult time. Sending love and light to you and yours.

  • June Pumphrey

    Oh Anna. I remember your comforting me after the early loss of one of my grandchildren. You are wrapped in prayers.

  • Anna, I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your sweet baby girl. We just passed the year anniversary of our loss and sent up balloons with notes in them to our baby in Heaven. Our other two kids were a part of that with us, and it was special to remember the life that we’re missing. I resonate with looking at my children here on earth with a renewed sense of joy and gratitude. And I also miscarried at home naturally. No matter how it happens is horrible, but I do remember feeling so alone in that time. I’m so glad Gabe was there to support you in that. We ended up planting a tree as well that blooms every spring to see new life come out of our ashes. What a wonderful God to give you confirmation that that life growing in you was a girl and to be able to give her a name. That’s such a gift in the midst of the pain. Praying that God continues to comfort you and your family and envelops you in his loving arms.

  • So sorry for your loss. I’m encouraged by your faith through this big loss. Sending hugs and prayers

  • Bette Moreno

    Cecilia rose will live in your heart forever. God decided he needed her more. Fly baby angel you are loved

  • Crysta Halpin

    Such a beautiful testament of what it truly feels like to loose a child. Your words brought tears to my eyes , and brought up the memories of our little ones in heaven. Our little Joshua was born still at 22 weeks and our family was forever changed.
    When we are truly open to life , we Are accepting life on all of God’s terms. Thank you for sharing your story, and I’m sure that it will bring consolation to many.

  • Dear Anna, Thinking and saying prayers for you and your family. Is it weird to thank you for this post? It was raw, emotional and real. It takes a lot to be able to open up (especially to us internet strangers!) about something so personal and heartbreaking as the loss of a child. My first pregnancy ended in an early miscarriage. I never imagined how awful it would be physically and emotionally. I had a labor come on very abruptly and my body just could not handle it.
    I also had sort of an odd, real dream after losing our first baby. We became pregnant again shortly after. By now, I was heavily pregnant with my son (confirmed it was a boy and was a few weeks shy of delivering) and had a dream where my grandma (who had passed several months prior) grabbed my face, looked at me happily and said “it’s a girl!” I woke up the next morning sort of freaked out… was the ultrasound tech wrong this whole time?! After we went out and got all this boy stuff?!?! But then I realized- she was talking about our first baby. A calming light bulb went off in my head. She is ok and at peace with her family. God reveals things in special ways.
    Love, thoughts and prayers. – D.

  • kelly c mitchem

    Oh Anna, this post brought so much emotion to me to read. Sending so many good thoughts and prayers to you and your family right now.

  • Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful post. Its so important as women and moms that we share these stories so we can all connect. You and your lovely family are in my prayers and sending you love and light.

  • I am so sorry for your loss! The labor pains of a miscarriage is a truly unique suffering and my heart breaks for your family! May God comfort you all as you grieve your Cecilia Rose.

  • Anna, I am so so sorry. Your baby is an angel and I have no doubt that she is getting so much love from Jesus now. I understand what you are going thru. I had a still born baby boy…almost full term. Your faith. your loving husband and your beautiful babies will lift you up. And, you will see your angel again in heaven, there is no doubt in my heart.
    XO! Gina

  • Sending all the love! Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Anna,
    My heart felt so heavy reading this but than as you went on to explain I was just taken a back by how strong you and your husband are. Strong enough to be so vulnerable telling your story in hopes of reaching those who’ve experienced similar heart break and to just simply spread love and support. Many prayers for you, your family, and your sweet angel Cecilia Rose.
    Much Love and God Bless,
    Shauna

  • My eyes sting with tears right now, but if I let myself cry right now, I might not stop. I am so, so sorry for your loss. I relate to this so very much. I was 16 weeks along, at a regular check up, and even as the midwife stated, “Oh you’re past the danger zone now,” she couldn’t find a heart beat. I was then led to an ultrasound, and I remember lying there, staring at the screen and just praying for signs of life, even as I knew deep down, there wouldn’t be any. I did see a beautiful baby with an exquisite, well-defined profile with a formed, round little body, but no heart beat. My husband and children witnessed this, as we had no idea this could be the outcome. I elected to have a D&C for a “missed” miscarriage, and when I awoke from that, the nurse there ‘assured’ me, “Don’t worry. It doesn’t look like a baby. It looks like pumpkin goo.” (I’m sorry, but how the hell is that reassuring?!) I also believe mine was a little girl. Little Charlotte. We planted a tree in her honor that blooms the same month we lost her. I think of her all the time. I will never ever forget her. People never know what to say when I speak of this loss. It makes them uncomfortable. But please know that you are not alone. I feel a sad kind of comfort in that myself. I do know that Charlotte is my reminder that life is so, so precious. It is so sweet, and sometimes unbearably brief. I want to live in her honor and love my children as I wish I could have loved her, wholly and physically. God bless you and yours.

  • Gabe, Anna & family,
    I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your baby girl!! It’s hard to comfort someone with the right words, so I pray God comforts you in the ways you need it most! A few years ago, my Mom miscarried my baby brother at 5 months. So I know how painful it is to lose something so dear to our hearts. Your story is so beautiful, it made me tear up.
    Francis & Cecilia Rose, pray for us!
    God bless,
    Mary

  • Anna and Gabe, – we’ve never lost a child but to reading your post I was struck by the fullness of life you gave Cecilia Rose – the beautiful tribute you gave to her and the profound impact she has had on your life and family. What a gift! Thank you for sharing such intimate thoughts and moments; It has made me appreciate all the more my own family – God bless your family!

  • I just had my 3rd consecutive miscarriage a month ago. My first two pregnancies were smooth and I have two healthy little ones so each loss came as a sad shock. But you are right, in those short few months, all three have taught me something different and I never look at my children the same way. They are truly miracles. Thanks for sharing.

  • Thank you for sharing your heart. May you and your entire family continue to find comfort at the feet of Jesus through this difficult time.

  • Krista Schulze

    Hello, I am so sorry for your loss. I have lost a little boy at 14 weeks. When we went in for our ultrasound at 16 weeks they couldnt find a heartbeat. Those feelings rush back to me everytime I hear of someone who has been through a similiar situation. My dr. Induced labor a week later and I delivered a sweet tiny little boy. We named him Levi Nathaniel. When I delivered him it was as if Jesus was in the room with me. It was an amazingly peaceful and sad and joyful moment when he was placef in my hands. He was so intricately made by our creator. He was our fourth child. He would have been 3 in May. We had another baby boy a year later and he is such a sweetheart and he healed our hearts so much. We also were blessed with a little girl who was born 7 weeks ago. We named her Cecilia Rose. God bless you and your family and thankyou for sharing your story.

  • Rebecca Millette

    Oh, Anna! I’m so sorry.

    I could have written everything you just wrote, right now. We have 3 little ones and found out in February we were expecting. In March, something felt wrong and after and ultrasound we discovered we were expecting twins!! We felt so unprepared, but peaceful. Just three weeks later, we found our babies had already died. I waited and waited to miscarry naturally, but didn’t. Even medication didn’t work, so I had to have a D&C last week. Unbelievably, we have felt so peaceful, so close to God, and we have learned so much from the short lives of our little babies. Thank you for putting this into words! Know you are not alone. Prayers for your whole family.

  • Anonymous

    I am so, so sorry for your loss. We have three saints in heaven and nothing will ever wipe the memory of my husband weeping for our children.

  • I am so sorry for your loss! Thank you for sharing about your sweet daughter’s precious life.

  • Praying for your family. Thank you for being vunerable- this picture has brought tears to my eyes. This was not an easy read and I just wanted you to know I am lifting your family up and praying for y’all. I know kids tend to grieve in their own way so I am sending out prayers for all of them. A lot of my friends kids discuss their sibling being in heaven in a tender way and fairly often- it always amazes me because they have no stigma associated with it(that’s how it should be so no one suffers in silence). Kids have this gift of celebrating life. May you have the words and ears to bare any questions/ thoughts/ dreams they have while you and Gabe are grieving. I love her beautiful name- Cecilia Rose.
    “Because someone we love is in heaven there is a little heaven in our home.”

  • Grace Jaworski

    Today I read about your blog in an article written by Judy Roberts in Franciscan Spring 2018 magazine. In the blog I read about the heart felt experience you shared about Cecelia Rose. How timely, two of us co-ordinate and facilitate a prenatal support group called Caring Arms. I copied the article and this evening will share it with other parents who have also had to accept the fact that their little ones had to return to heaven to soon. It will help them process and share their own experiences. Thank you for being bold and trusting enough to write about Cecelia Rose. Anna, you and Gabe and family are in my daily prayers. Amen, Pax, GJ

  • Anna, I’m so deeply sorry for the loss of your sweet baby. I have lost three of my own and my first loss was so similar to yours. Although it’s been 10 years since I lost that first baby your post brought back the raw emotions I felt that day when I too saw my baby on a screen with no heartbeat. I admire your braveness in sharing your story and emotions. My prayers are with you. ❤️

  • What a beautifully written love note to your little girl. Thank you for sharing it. Blessings and love to you.

  • We are currently 22 weeks and have been told our baby seems to be going into cardiac failure and though I’m clinging to hope, the thought of what might come is just so devastating. Thank you for your honest and hopeful words! I so appreciate the connection of how devastating it is to be prepared for a life and a dream and to be faced with something so opposite! Xx

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