Widened Circle of Love

Content warning: emotionally difficult stuff. Just because I am compelled to write it does not mean you should feel compelled to read it.

Two weeks before Bill left, I realized I was pregnant. I was angry at God. This was not my plan.

Three days later, I had names and Godparents picked out. I was mentally rearranging the car seats in the van, thinking ahead to bedroom assignments, and wondering if I should spend time and effort to fix and paint the crib or if I should just get a new one. I wouldn’t say that I was joyful, but I was definitely making room in my heart for another.

Three days before Bill left, I started bleeding. The day he left, I had an ultrasound and confirmed the miscarriage, the “abnormal pregnancy.”

The night before, Bill asked me, “You said you were angry at God when you found out you were pregnant…did you ever wish you weren’t?”

“Yes. And you?”


And there it was, our collective guilt. We wished we weren’t having a baby, and now our baby was dead. And we were grieving.

I do not know how a man feels when he has to leave his family for six months. I know that Bill’s eyes were moist and his jaw was clenched as four children clung to him, wailing and begging for him not to go. They were hurting, and it was his fault. It’s a heavy burden. I didn’t want to add to it, but I could not change the reality that I was having a miscarriage. How helpless he must have felt.

When I got back from the doctor’s, I tried to comfort him and myself as well. “God does not grant the impetuous wishes of someone if they are not also His will.” He was leaving so soon, and we had not a moment to ourselves. Our every conversation, our every embrace had many little witnesses who often wedged themselves between us. It was important to me that the kids not know. I could not add to their grief. This was just between Bill and I, but we could not talk about it. We could not work through our loss together.

Two days after Bill left, I passed the baby. It was unexpected, in the shower. I held it in my hands and then it was gone the very second I realized what it was. Not only was the baby gone, it was washed into the public sewer system. That was when I first really cried.

I am reminded that these are not our children. They belong to God, and He decides how long they are in our care. This one was with me so briefly, but, nonetheless, I feel that our family dynamic has changed. In my head, my family litany goes from oldest to youngest and ends with the baby, as yet unnamed. “God has given us a saint in Heaven to watch over us,” I told Bill, pointing out that we might be concerned that He feels we need one.

Bill and I have been in phone contact while he is down South getting equipment. But our opportunities for intimate conversations have been limited. I was finally able to voice to him my concern that this would be something that happened to me, and that it would not be a shared memory. He assured me that the wound was a deep one, and that I was not alone in my sorrow.

This pregnancy was not the first unexpected and unwelcome child to enter my life. But always my passion for the child grew with the circumference of my waist. Never have I birthed an unloved and unwanted child, and always have I been able to make up for my initial resentment with years of kisses and caresses and nurturing. I am sad I lost the baby, but I am also sad that I will have to wait a lifetime to prove to him or her and to God that my heart did, in fact, have room to love this child.

36 thoughts on “Widened Circle of Love

  1. Oh Michelle, I am so sorry for your loss and the hard, hard, hard circumstances surrounding it. But really, God knows your heart through and through right now at this very moment without you having to prove anything. His mercies are new every day and I pray He is a comfort to your wounded, hurting heart. May Our Lady hold you close and keep you safe as well.

  2. Oh Michelle! I don't know what to say other than I will say a prayer for both of you. What a difficult loss to bear.

  3. I'm so sorry for your loss. It's times like this when I think our Catholic faith is so important. I had a similar experience when my husband and I were first married and for a long time, my only consolation was that there was a Saint praying for us. I comforted myself with a mental image of Our Lady welcoming unborn, unbaptized babies into her arms and carrying them off to Heaven, because I can't believe that they'd be anywhere else. Do pray to that new saint, s/he will hear you. God love you.

  4. I'm so sorry, Michelle. What a tough time this has been for all of you. And I know that “widening circle of love.” How quickly it widens, hu? You don't need to prove anything. It is clear from this post alone that that little one has made your heart grow and also your courage. With love and prayers,

  5. You have wonderful, caring blogging friends. I hope you take their messages to heart.

    Of course, you are in our prayers too, and we will give you extra big hugs when we see you on Friday.



  6. I'm praying for you Michelle. God me with you in this time of grief and need. Sending you a big hug!

  7. Dear Michelle,
    I am so very sorry.

    “God is with you in everything you do.” — Genesis 21:22

    He always knows what is in your heart, even when you think otherwise.

  8. Oh Michelle, how my heart breaks for you and Bill! What a horrible loss to suffer, and under such difficult circumstances. Kimberlee's right, though: God knows your heart; you've nothing to prove. My prayers are with you and your family!

  9. Oh Michelle, I am so sorry for you loss. I am saying extra prayers for you and Bill.

  10. So sorry for your loss and for the loneliness and sadness of carrying the burden without Bill at your side. Your family is in our prayers.

  11. You have my sincerest of prayers. Mary, Mother of Grace, comfort them in their loss. St. Joseph, guard them on their journey.

  12. Your story is so compelling. I know that God and your baby in heaven know your love for the baby. Prayers for you and your family.

  13. Peace and prayers…

  14. I'm so SORRY Michelle! I will be praying for you and Bill!

  15. Michelle,
    I'm so glad to have found you here! And now I'm sharing your heartbreak. Peace be with you, my friend. To you and you dear husband. Sending you a long-distance hug. Do not beat yourself up too severely… emotions are unpredictable, and they do not always reflect our hearts accurately. They are fleeting, passionate, irrational, and fickle. The fact is, you love God, you love life, and you love your children. All of them, even this one.

    I'll be stopping by frequently now that I know you're here!


  16. Augh! No, it's not been a good week for you at all! I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your baby. (((HUGS)))

  17. Oh Michelle. I'm so so sorry. May that sweet baby's Memory be Eternal.

  18. Michelle,

    Just wanted to let you know that I'm praying even more for your family. Make it easy on yourself the next few days and weeks, get takeout, do the minimum, don't worry about nutrition too much, just try to get past this low valley. I'll be praying for your guardian angel to be close by to you and Bill.

  19. Michelle, May God bring peace to your heart and mind as you grieve. He is with you. He knows the desire of your heart and that you loved this little one. My prayers are with you.

  20. I am so very sorry. Take good care of yourself, rest, forgive, and let the waves roll on through. Your love for your baby is not wasted, and anyone open to life knows the first panicked feelings are only just feeling. The action and will of love always wins, as
    it did with this wee one. My prayers are with you as you grieve. My your baby's memory be eternal!

  21. Michelle, I'm so sorry. And, wow, Kimberlee's words are amazingly comforting. Continued prayers for you guys.

  22. I'm so sorry for your (both of your) loss. So, so very sorry.

    And I am sure God knows that you would have welcomed and loved that baby, just as you cherish each one that came before. He's God, after all. 🙂

  23. Oh Michelle….
    I'm so very sorry. May you feel God's love throughout all of this. I pray that you and Bill will feel God's peace and let it ease your minds and soothe your hearts.

    I'm out of town for a few days…but when I get back, I'll be sure to give you a call.

    Take care-

  24. (((hugs)))

    So sorry for your loss and the pain of experiencing this without your dh by your side. Please know I will be thinking of you and sending up many prayers for the both of you.

  25. Dear Michelle,

    I don't know what you are going through – but I'm so sorry for you and Bill. You are not alone! God is standing next to you – holding you and loving you. Only He is the reader of our hearts and He knows before anyone else … even you how you feel. He's given you and Bill such beautiful children to love and care for. We will keep you, Bill and your children in our prayers. God's blessing upon you and your family.

  26. I am so sorry to hear of the loss. You both are in my prayers, especially with this extra cross. I admire that you have put up something that was very difficult to say, to feel and to realize, but your acceptance and love of God's will is very apparent.

    Prayers for you and yours.

  27. Michelle –

    I am sorry for your loss. I cannot even begin to imagine what you are going through with this and with Bill gone. Our prayers are with you.

    – Deb S

  28. Oh Michelle. I will be keeping you in my prayers even more. I felt the same after we lost our baby. And the guilt of it lasted through my next pregnancy. I was so sure it was my fault that we miscarried, that I wouldn't allow myself any negative thought for our new baby. I realize that that's not how things work, but my guilt laden mind wouldn't allow logic and faith to work. Ask your little one in heaven to pray for you as you grieve for him or her. You really do have a saint in heaven watching over your family. God bless you.

  29. Oh Honey, I'm so sorry. Do you have chocolate on hand? A good movie? These little things do much to help in the short term…but in the long term, it's grace you need.

    You are in my prayers. I wish I were there.

  30. It's very sad and I'm sorry SEVEN couldn't play with the others.

    Perhaps He wanted to remind you to always keep room in your heart for more love, which has been done.

    Perhaps your story was meant to touch and inspire others, perhaps one specific person that doesn't have your strength.

    Perhaps He knew you will love the child forever. Another person would not and He knew you could handle it.

    I don't know, but He never gives us more than we can handle and there is always a purpose. There is always good that can be squeezed from sadness. It's looking for it in times like this that is most difficult.

  31. Oh Michelle, I am so sorry! Prayers with you guys during these difficult times.

  32. Michelle, you have been in my prayers, but now you are in them in a special way.

    Many hugs and many prayers, my friend. May Mary, Mother of Sorrows, hold you so close to her Son.

  33. Dear Michelle and family, we are so sorry for your loss.

  34. Oh….I am not reading this until today and I am just in tears for you here. I am so sorry for your loss, and will pray for you and Bill as you grieve for your precious little one. May the Blessed Mother hold you close.

  35. Michelle, I am so sorry for your loss and your pain. He knows your heart was growing and making room for that little one. He knows! You and your family continue to be in my prayers. May God bless you and give you all the grace you need …

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