a very sad day for our family :: a balloon & notes for Micah :: God’s great care

“I miss our baby,” Lizzy sobbed at bedtime Thursday night.

“I know. I do, too,” I replied. My lips are cracked and my heart is so very sad. 10 weeks is such a short time, yet lifetime, to start loving someone.

Scott and I went in that morning for an ultrasound because I had severe cramping the day before and some spotting. After a call to our OB, Dr. John Adams (no joke!), and texting our beloved midwife in the U.S., Cathy, as well as doing some online research, it seemed not totally abnormal. I’d taught the intense 30-min Jazzercise class that morning, showered and then took my progesterone.

We learned that intense exercise can cause severe cramping (in addition, also that progesterone can cause irritation to the uterus lining and cause spotting). Seemed like the perfect storm. Dr. Adams was calm and not worried; neither was Cathy. That put me at ease. But Adams encouraged us to go in for ultrasound this morning.

We called and there was only 1 appointment in all 6 locations that was before next week. The one appt was 5 minutes away from preschool and seemingly saved just for us. A dear friend, Alyssa, offered to watch Joshua while Lizzy was at kinder so Scott could go with me.

Our appt was 9:30am and the tech, Suzanne, couldn’t have been more compassionate. At first, we couldn’t read the reality of what was going on. But, as she progressed with the scan, she wasn’t mentioning a heartbeat and the baby was measuring small.

Once we found the baby, he/she looked like a kidney bean, which surprised me a little because the baby should be bigger at 10 weeks. (We’d just watched the National Geographic week-by-week DVD we love about what’s going on with the baby and what’s growing, ultrasounds, etc. Looking at week 10, the DVD had showed that the baby was looking less like a dolphin–as Lizzy cutely pointed out–and more with arms, legs, and looked baby like.)

Another tech came in and measured, and then they slipped out to confer with the dr. (All done very tenderly, telling us what they were doing and quickly, so we didn’t have to wait and spin any longer than necessary).

Suzanne came back with the news. No heartbeat, which should be detected by now. And the baby only measured like it was 6 weeks. A miscarriage.

Oh, we are sad but not without hope. God is good and, although we have no idea why we won’t hold our baby this side of Heaven, we know we can trust Him and cling tightly to Him.

As I first journaled this, I sat looking at a bouquet of beautiful Easter lilies a friend brought Wednesday night when she and her kids came for dinner, before all the sadness. The Lord knew I’d need a visual reminder and planted “Because He Lives” in my heart and it’s come to mind all day long. I can’t remember the last time I thought of this hymn, which makes it all the sweeter.

Because He lives,
I can face tomorrow
Because He lives
all fear is gone
Because I know
Who holds the future
Life is worth the living
just because He lives.

Scott and I got until noon to cry and process together, and walk a nearby park while Alyssa picked up Lizzy and her 2 and our 2 got to play before we picked them up. Scott picked up the kids and brought them to the car and then I went in to hug and cry with Alyssa.

Grief comes in waves as we think of what is and what won’t be. Random thoughts. Christmas will be hard, as that would have been about when he/she would have been born. The kids don’t “have” to share a room now. I won’t have a little one snuggled on my chest. I’m at what is likely the end of the window to have another biological child. Sad. (All the while thinking about dear friends who haven’t held their own babies in their arms.)

Scott took the afternoon off of work. While the kids were down for naps he shooed me to get a neck and shoulder massage (woke up with yet another pulled muscle).

While at the shopping center, I bought green heart balloon for $12(!) and the sweet girl asked, “what’s the occasion?” I silently sobbed. “It’s just fresh.” She was taken back and said tenderly said, “I’m so sorry.”

We bought the balloon in hopes that, the next day, God would give us a name for this little one and we can celebrate his/her life by releasing a balloon with notes and drawing taped to it.

I thought, The pain will be for a long time, won’t it, Lord? 

And I now know that’s ok. This was a life-changing, family-altering new life. Our hearts will never be the same — because of the joy and grief.

I came home and Scott and I told tender-hearted Lizzy the news. Our little 4-year-old sobbed with a heart and understanding of a 85-year-old woman who loves deeply.

She has asked really good questions throughout the night and it’s almost as if I can see the wheels in her brain spinning and trying to comprehend just what happened to the baby. As we explain (attempt to, at least), fresh tears fall for Scott and I. At bedtime that night, she asked how the baby got to Heaven.

I said something like, “Jesus said, ‘baby, why don’t you come with Me?'”

She was very concerned. “Did He say it kindly?”

“Oh yes, sweet heart. Do you remember the story about how the children came to Jesus but His friends said no, He doesn’t have time for you? What did the Bible say next? ‘But they were…”

“Wrong,” she tearfully smiled.

“Jesus always had time for the kids. He loved them.”

“How did Jesus take the baby to Heaven?”

“I can just see Him carrying the baby in His arms, can’t you?” Fresh sobs from me as I picture Him tenderly doing that.

On Thursday Scott proposed Micah as a name for our baby. Micah means, “Who is like God?” I loved it. I immediately thought it reminded me of the book of John, chapter 6, when lots of people chose to stop following Jesus and He asked the disciples if they would go, too. Peter answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

Who is like God? To whom shall I go? You are the One who is good and is to be worshiped. I trust You even as my heart breaks.

Scott and I talked again Friday afternoon and agreed to name the baby Micah since it could be a girl or boy name, as well. Oh, someday we’ll know! We wrote notes and drew pictures, and walked to the park.

It was a beautiful sunset.

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This was a sweet moment. Scott is reading from the book of Mark about how Jesus called the children to come to Him and rebuked the disciples from inhibiting them in coming. Lizzy asked,
This was a sweet moment. Scott is reading from the book of Mark about how Jesus called the children to come to Him and rebuked the disciples from inhibiting them in coming. Lizzy asked, “Did Jesus read off of His phone?” What delight her perspective and questions are!

Screen shot 2015-06-12 at 9.22.13 PM

Screen shot 2015-06-12 at 9.22.22 PM

Screen shot 2015-06-12 at 9.22.29 PM

Screen shot 2015-06-12 at 9.22.35 PM

I’m not sad we’ve told friends or family. We need a community of people who love us all the more now. God gave us life and we celebrate that life for the time we had the baby.

Thursday night we had dinner with beloved friends — a dinner set up earlier that week. God knew we’d need it. I think I’ve been surprised how loved we are here. With each day comes fresh grace from the Lord and tangible ways God is caring for us through others, all over the world.

I wake to texts and emails from the States. Then, while American friends sleep, Aussie friends display care through their tears, texts or stop by with freshly-made banana bread. (Only the Lord knew Lizzy asked to make banana bread today and I told her we didn’t have bananas and would have to wait to make it. And the friends remembered we’re still in our dairy-free month trial for Lizzy’s health. How detailed God is in His care!)

Oh, Jesus. You see us. I trust You. Thank You for loving us in these ways, small and big ways.

Our big prayer request is for my body to realize the baby’s gone (now that I’ve stopped taking the high-level doses of progesterone), that my body would progress in the natural miscarriage and that I would not fear in the unknown but, rather, wait well and with trust in God’s perfect timing and His care for me and our family.


24 thoughts on “a very sad day for our family :: a balloon & notes for Micah :: God’s great care

  1. Susan Noakes June 15, 2015 / 9:59 pm

    Our prayers are with you all. Unfortunately it is not completely over. I’m thankful for your strong faith and trust and love in the Lord. It will not magically make it better, but it will certainly sustain you as you rest in Gods arms. I too will look for Micah some day. All our love, Aunt Sue and Uncle Wilbur.

  2. Don June 15, 2015 / 10:08 pm

    We are fervently praying for the precious Bentley family!

  3. Karina Toro June 15, 2015 / 11:16 pm

    You are a strong woman and family! I know this time is hard and sad but boy did my heart rejoice to see (read) the strength, faith, love, and unity your family held during this time. Be encouraged Angie that God knew and God is still on your side! My prayers to you for your body in these next stages…. HE will heal.

  4. Vanessa McKenna June 16, 2015 / 12:02 am

    Bentleys, I am deeply sorry to read your news, we will be praying your all of you. While I read your post I couldn’t stop thinking about that Sunday when you opened your house and fed us just to talk and comfort me after my miscarriage. I wish you were here to give back the same kindness and love that you show to us at that time. May God give the peace and rest you need at this time and I also pray that the unknown that is about to come, comes smoothly and easy for you and your heart. God bless you, We love you.
    The McKenna’s

  5. Michelle Blanco June 16, 2015 / 12:16 am

    I’m so sorry, Angie. We know that pain. Right at 10 weeks as well for our first pregnancy. Praying that you would feel Jesus’ presence very near to you. He weeps with you.

  6. Andi June 16, 2015 / 12:58 am

    awww…. so sorry. love how you’ve processed with your kids and let people into the sadness. Your faith and way of doing life is such an example. Love, Andi

  7. Linda Horton June 16, 2015 / 1:24 am

    So Sorry to hear this sad news and that you are still in the midst of this. Love is a flame that doesn’t change with the weeks of pregnancy. I never understand people thinking they can have a miscarriage and will be able to carry on as if nothing happened so no need to tell family about the pregnancy until months have passed.

    Perhaps God will send a sign to try again. If anyone is attuned to his messages, it is you two. We will be praying that your hearts have the strength to get through this.

    Just in case you fear that the jazzercize had any connection, one of my OB Drs. told me when I was having a pregnancy problem that if all it took to halt a pregnancy was scrubbing a floor (or doing a class of jazzercize) to end a pregnancy, there would be no such thing as abortion. I always took comfort in that. He also said you can’t shake a good apple off a tree until it’s ripe and ready to pick.

    Linda and Emery

  8. Janice Trierweiler June 16, 2015 / 2:11 am

    I’m so sorry to hear this, Scott and Angie. May you continue to experience the goodness of our God in the midst of your pain.

    We saw your video greeting in church yesterday. Thanks for taking the time to make the video. It was great for our church to “see” you! We sure love you guys!

  9. Melody Copenny June 16, 2015 / 2:16 am

    Sweet and beautiful Angie. I am very sorry for this precious loss that you, Scott and your little ones are walking through. Your precious Lizzie sounds like an amazing little person. I marvel to see how she will continue to grow into the unique personality, soul and deep heart God has already given her at such a young age. To have that level of understanding, compassion and empathy as a 4 year old is simply on something God could have put into place. I love you and I pray healing, rest and space to walk with the Lord in this experience and the grace to let yourself be who you need to be in each moment of the journey. So much love sending your way. ~ m

  10. Lynn Koehn June 16, 2015 / 2:21 am

    Thank you for letting us join you on your journey and love you and be with you. May you sense God’s presence and nearness in the moments and days. Lizzie’s mind, heart and questions are disarming and deep. Love to you all.

  11. Melissa McManus June 16, 2015 / 2:32 am

    Angie, I am so sorry to hear the news. I am praying for you and your family. I pray for both emotional and physical healing. While I know the grief will never completely go away, I pray your joy is renewed each day.

    Blessings, Melissa

  12. Kathy London June 16, 2015 / 2:51 am

    Scott , Angie and family I am so very, very sorry for your loss. I will be praying for healing for you. I wanted to let you know my son, Todd passed away May 8th from a sudden unexcepted heart attach. My heart aches so. Even though I know he is with the Lord it’s so very hard. There’s forever a hole in my heart. Love you, Kathy

  13. bunnyfabulous June 16, 2015 / 3:38 am

    Oh Angie, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your dear Micah. So true though, as you said, he is not lost from Jesus’ arms at all. Quite the opposite. However, I know firsthand the pain of not getting to hold a precious child in this life and the heartbreak of having to tell an older sibling. Praying for all of you, and so glad that you have people around you to be the hands and feet of Jesus to you.

  14. Ellen Cox June 16, 2015 / 4:31 am

    Angie, Scott and family……………..Words fall short to describe our sympathy. Love and prayers for you all. Terry and Ellen

    /*Jeremiah 1:5*/ //”Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.”


  15. MaryJo June 16, 2015 / 5:11 am

    Angie – I am so sorry. I am glad you are able to process this with your kids. We had a very similar experience, and were told at the Dr office there was no heartbeat. We even released a balloon like you did. It’s tough, but we know Jesus has you in his care. Yes, he is detailed in all the ways he cared for you. I have seen it in ours lives as well. Bless you.

  16. Christine Mathews June 16, 2015 / 7:15 am

    The Mathews are so sorry to hear about your loss, and are praying for your whole family. The way you have included your children in the grieving process is so sweet. We love you all.

    Christine, Todd, Mandi, Trenton and Aaron

  17. Christina Marquis June 16, 2015 / 7:26 am

    Bentley’s I’m so sorry you are going through this, and pray for great comfort and peace in the midst of the pain. Allowing your body, mind, and emotions to grieve is so difficult, but so necessary. I love that you named him/her Micah, and what meaning that has and will have forever. Your family is precious, and I thank you for your transparency. You are all well loved.

  18. Shawna Smith June 16, 2015 / 8:31 am

    Praying for you! Thankful that God is giving you grace and peace. Praying in the coming days.

  19. Karin Dewey June 16, 2015 / 11:26 am

    Our thoughts and prayers (and yes, right now, my tears) are with you. God bless!

  20. Barb Dilworth June 18, 2015 / 5:54 am

    Angie and Scott, praying for you and your kids as you go through this sad time and so far away from biological family. I thank God for your witness to others in the way you have dealt with and shared about going through a miscarriage. In Christian Love , Barb

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