Welcome to Mommies with Hope

Come and find solace as you get to know us who share in this journey of grief. We have been praying for you and extend our deepest and sincere sympathy. We “hope” you experience comfort and peace in this safe haven of love and support.

Hope Stories

Below are the "Hope Stories" of several courageous mommies who desire to share about their loss experience with you, as well as the hope they have. I pray that you will find comfort and know that you are not alone on this grief journey. If you would like to submit your "Hope Story" please email teske@mommieswithhope.com.

Sam, Mommy to four babies in heaven. Three whom were lost to miscarriage and one baby boy, James, who was born on May 19, 2010 and went to be with Jesus shortly after birth.

My husband, Adam, and I got married October 4, 2008. We always knew that we wanted children but I was insistent that I wanted us to wait a year before trying. I wanted that period of time of just us. Well, that wasn't in God's plan. We found out the Saturday after Thanksgiving that very next month that we were pregnant. It was a true miracle. I was on the pill. I hadn't told Adam but that weekend I hadn't been feeling well. So while he was at a gun show I ran to Target and bought a pregnancy test. I just "knew" it was going to be negative and I was taking it to reassure myself. Well the test line appeared before the constant line. I didn't believe it. So I ran downstairs and chugged some water so I would have to go to the bathroom again. Thank God for 2 tests in the package. Well low and behold the same thing happened. So when Adam got home I walked downstairs on my spaghetti legs and told him to sit down. His first question, "Am I in trouble?" So I told him, terrified. He was absolutely ecstatic. Being our naive selves we called both sets of parents and told them that they were going to grandparents. We told everybody right away. It was the best time in our lives. We were going to have a baby! We celebrated Christmas as the last Christmas with just us. We had our first appointment. I was measuring right on track. They couldn't find the heartbeat but said it was still pretty early to hear it as I was just 9 weeks at the time. That next week I woke up to spotting. Again, I didn't tell Adam. I figured it would go away and be fine. It didn't. I called and told Adam and we got into the OB that day. They did an ultrasound and told us that awful phrase, "I am sorry but your baby has died." We were devastated. They took us to a room and the doctor asked us if we wanted a d&c or to let it happen naturally. I chose naturally as I couldn't get passed the similarity to an abortion. So he sent us home. Without instruction or guidance despite us asking. I ended up taking the next week off of work. Each day it got a little heavier. Until Wednesday. Wednesday afternoon was spent having contractions, to the point that I could time them. That night I hemorrhaged for 6 hours. I was in extreme pain so bad it was making me sick. We called the OB on call who happened to be the same one we saw and he said it was normal and I was fine. I ended up passing out in the bathroom. We continued to have problems for 6 weeks total before another OB decided he had to do a d&c. He was mortified that our doctor had dismissed our concerns and had not monitored me properly. Come to find out I had never passed the placenta. He told us that we could try again in 2 months.

Those 2 months went by and we decided we wanted to try again. Our original plan had been a year but our first baby made us realize how badly we wanted a child. We were lucky enough to get pregnant our first month trying. We were excited but still very cautious. We went on vacation to Kansas City for my cousin's high school graduation when I was only 5 weeks along. My parents were going to be there. And since they live in Virginia we decided that God was giving us the opportunity to tell them in person. So we told them the day that we got there. And that afternoon we started miscarrying again. We called our OB back home and he told us with my history we needed to go to the emergency room to be monitored. So off we went. Only to be told that awful phrase again. "I am sorry but you are miscarrying." That miscarriage was hard but we were so cautious from our first one that we hadn't grown as attached. Our OB decided that two miscarriages was enough and he ran the MPL panel (multiple pregnancy loss panel). He said the chances of finding anything was rare. The test came back positive for Lupus Anticoagulant Syndrome. I have a blood clotting disorder. My blood clots too fast which created clots in the placenta which cut off blood supply to the baby. But we had a plan. I was going to take baby aspirin every day from now on. Okay that seems easy enough. He told us that we could start trying again whenever we wanted. So that is what we did.

At this point life just didn't seem fair. Everywhere I looked I saw baby bumps. That was supposed to be me. God took that away from. Or so I thought. I was angry and resentful. My sister in law and I were supposed to be due 2 months apart when I got pregnant the first time. Our relationship took a toll. A big one. I was jealous. She was having number 4. It just was not fair. Why did God give her 4 beautiful healthy children and I couldn't even have one. I'll never forget the first time I held Elijah. I sat in her living room and bawled holding him. That was supposed to be my child. Not my nephew. I don't think I ever really came to peace with either of those pregnancies. I was still resentful towards God and blamed Him. I didn't see the fault in my ways at the time. I was determined to have a child. So we tried again.

This time it took us 5 months. I got a positive home pregnancy test a week after our first anniversary. Ironic, huh? I started spotting early. Darn it, not again! My OB got me in early and did Betas. They were high, really high. Come to find out it was twins. However we lost one of them in the beginning. But the other baby, it was growing. It was growing nice and big. I had morning sickness like crazy. But I loved it. Every time I had to run to the bathroom it reminded me that it was growing nice and strong. Our ultrasounds were going great. Continual growth, strong heartbeat, active baby. All of the words that you want to hear. We finally told people that we were pregnant. Life was great. We were planning for the future, buying baby stuff. We schedule our anatomy scan and couldn't wait to find out if it was a he or a she. I was so nervous the day of the scan. I couldn't figure out why. We had had great ultrasounds before that. We went into the ultrasound room. It was the tech that had told us we had lost the first baby. She remembered us. But she was so happy to see us this far along. They started the ultrasound. Right away, IT'S A BOY! She started measuring everything, and then started getting really quiet. She called in the high risk OB. He told us the news. "We have some concerns. His heart isn't right. He has a spot on his spine. He has fluid on the brain." And off the cliff we went. The security, the confidence, it was ripped away from us. They called the perinatal specialist and told us to go straight upstairs. More ultrasound, more silence, more uncertainties. Because of all of the concerns they were convinced it was a genetic issue. They told us they were doing an amnio that day. Probably a good thing so I couldn't Google what it was. That was a HUGE needle. And of course, our son was bouncing off of the walls. They had to dodge him repeatedly. Once that was finished it was waiting. We got the FISH results back within 1 week. Great news. All results are negative. Next round, another week wait. Great news. The rest are negative. He has the right number of chromosomes. None missing, no extras. Now for the Degeorge test. Another week wait. More great news...its not genetic! So onto the pediatric cardiologist we went. He did an echocardiogram on James. Who mind you was NOT cooperative. He quickly learned to hate all ultrasounds. I guess I would too if you shoved a needle at me! They found 5 heart defects on the little man. The cardiologist brainstormed with his colleagues and they came up with a plan. They would be able to fix his heart. James would likely be a blue baby for the first year but he would be okay. Such great news! We can deal with that! My instructions, get to 37 weeks. James has the best chance for survival being full term. Okay, no problem! I can do that. So we had ultrasounds every month, and then every 2 weeks and then every week. My fluid levels kept going up. His nickname was Michael Phelps because of all of the fluid. He had an Olympic size pool to swim in. And because of that he flipped, a lot. Head down, side ways, butt down, feet down, head down. Every week was different. At my 34 week appointment I measured 40 weeks. Okay. I need to make it 6 more weeks. I can do it! God had other plans. I woke up at 4 am on May 19th. I was 34 weeks and 6 days. I got up to go the bathroom. No surprise there. Walking back to the bed I felt wet. I thought I had wet my pants! So back to the bathroom I go. For an hour. Convincing myself it was NOT my water. Debating whether or not to wake Adam up. Finally at 5 am I woke Adam up. We called the OB. He said I doubt its your water but come in anyways. Well by the time we got to the hospital my stomach had shrunk. It was half the size. They got me checked in and hooked up. Sure enough, it was my water. After laboring for about an hour (of very minor contractions) the OB came in and said that there was no way that James could make it through labor. With every minor contraction his heart rate was dropping into the 50's let alone with what a strong contraction could do. They were going to have to do an emergency c-section. At the start of my 2nd trimester they had started me on Lovenox injections (a blood thinner). But since I was so early they hadn't started weaning me down. Because of this they couldn't risk an epidural for fear of paralysis or emergency spinal surgery. So I got wheeled into the operating room leaving Adam to wait in my recovery room. They had to put me totally out for it so I don't even remember my baby being born. I don't know, that may be for the better as he never cried. They were prepared to intubate him so he was ready for heart surgery. The NICU team was ready and started trying and couldn't get it in. So they called for an ENT specialist, who called for more specialists. They just couldn't get the tube in. Since Adam was up in the NICU at this point they had him give permission to do a tracheotomy. As they were getting him prepped for surgery Adam had them call the hospital priest into baptize him. We had already decided that we wanted this done. They took him into surgery and that is where the end began. The doctors realized that James didn't have a trachea. His esophagus was connected to his lungs but apparently that is the wrong structure to be able to breath. I don't much about the details of the difference, all I know is there was nothing more they could do. At this point Adam had been sent back down to be with me. Two of the ENT specialists came in to talk to us. They came in with the somber faces that never equal good news. They said the worst words we have ever heard in our lives. "There is nothing else we can do for your son. He is not going to make it." At that point I felt like I was being run over by a train. Over and over and over again. According to Adam I just kept asking, "There is nothing? There has to be something! Do something!" I mean come on! We do brain surgeries. We do open heart surgeries. They just put a new face on a guy! How can they not simply put a tube in my son to make him breath??? They were supposed to be able to fix it! (Later on it was diagnosed as Tracheal Atresia. This is always fatal. If they survive, it is only for a few days.)
The next 36 hours are a blur. And how I wish they wouldn't have been. That was the 36 hours that we got to keep our son with us. He was brought to us around 11 am. They had stitched him up and cleaned him. He had a diaper on and was wrapped up. He looked perfect. How in the world could the inside of him be so wrong when the outside looked so right? My sister-in-law was truly led by God that day. For some reason that nobody knows, she decided to pack up all four kids and drive from Cedar Rapids to Des Moines. It truly was God's work as she is James' godmother. She got there just before they brought our son to us. Right about the same time, our Deacon from our church arrived. I had one simple request. Please baptize him again so Adam and I can participate? Thankfully he obliged with no questions. We spent the next 90 minutes cuddling, hugging and bathing our new son. The doctor came in at 12:25 and pronounced him. I barely remember that. We made the necessary phone calls. Adam's parents, my parents, Adam's other sister. Adam's parents were already on the way. My parents live in Virginia. Somehow (again this has to be God's work) they managed to get them and my sister on a plane that night. James' godfather drove from Cedar Rapids that night to see him. That was the shortest night of my life. It was the only night I got to spend with my son. I slept holding him all night.

The next day the funeral home came and took him. The priest and the nun came to help us plan the funeral. Our moms went and picked out the flowers. I worked my tail off to get discharged from the hospital. I couldn't stand to be in that place one second longer than I absolutely had to. I started the day off in bed and not moving and by the end of the day I was up and showering. Adam's aunt came and spent some time with us. She and her husband lost a little girl, McKayla, to SIDS. She was the first person who understood. She understood the pain. The anger. The guilt. The sadness. The emptiness. She understood it all. She said one thing that has helped me to get through this. While we may never understand why, there is a reason. God felt the need to protect them from something. For her she said "Who knows, maybe my daughter was going to raped. Maybe she was going to be in a horrific car accident and suffer. God prevented her from suffering." That rationale has helped me get through my darkest days. James had five heart defects. Even our cardiologist said the normal is two to three defects, not five. There was a possibility of James having to live his life with a one chamber heart. He would have had to endure several surgeries, numerous months of recovery, lifelong restrictions. But now, he is completely healthy. He can run and play with his brothers. As we now say, thunder is our boys playing. They are slamming their Tonka trucks into the walls as all boys do.

I have come a long way in a short time I feel. I still have reminders everywhere I look. Stretch marks on the stomach, weight that I am trying to lose, a fully stocked nursery, pictures, memories. I even have 2 nephews that remind me. My other sister in law had a baby 3 weeks before we had James. (Yes, I sobbed when I held Nathan for the first time too. These boys are going to be traumatized...I am going to be the crazy aunt who cried when I held them.) I spent a lot of days being angry. Being angry at God, at myself, at my family, at every pregnant woman I see, every infant I see, every baby bump I see. My sister-in-law (Elijah's mom) has truly been my saving grace. God absolutely planted her in my life to bring me closer to him. When I have been in my darkest places she has helped me to hear God's voice. She has listened to me cry, listened to my rants, listened to everything. Her and God.
I have gradually gotten over it. Don't get me wrong, I still have my days. But I have come to terms with it. God has protected my children. They will never know hurt. They will never know loss. They will never fall down and skin their knees. They will never be made fun. They are safe. I could never keep them that safe. I have finally learned to listen to that voice that I hear. Before I heard it and ignore it. Now, I listen and feel comfort. I know that is God. He is here with me. He hasn't left me despite all of my days of hating him. Someday He will bless us with a child on Earth. Until then He is going stay with me and guide me through the life He has laid out for me.


Sonya L., Mommy to two precious boys in heaven, Elijah and Zion.
Below is a link to her blog where she so tenderly shares her most recent story of the loss of her second son, Zion Thomas.

Zion's Story


Sandy C., Mommy to six precious children in heaven;
Angel Baby born July 1st, 1999, Angel Baby born August 31st, 2001, Baby Clark born March 1st, 2005, Baby Clark born March 19th, 2008, and Jonah Matthew who should have been born June 23rd, 2010, but instead was born into eternal life on December 29th, 2009.

My story began many years ago, and it is a long story. Many days I find it difficult to remain hopeful. But every time I tell my story, I find a little more peace in faith…and I believe faith is what has brought me to the place I am at today.

I was a senior in college in 1999, finally finishing my double degrees in business management and research psychology. I had no idea where my life was headed, but I was still trusting God to lead me in the right direction. I finally was confident enough in who I was that I had begun to date a young man who I felt might be “relationship material”. We had a very casual relationship that I insisted upon “taking slowly”, which I was assured was a good thing. However, this young man did enjoy drinking, and when he asked me to please go to a party with him so he had a “safe” ride home that night, I said yes. I didn’t know the party would be at a fraternity house…I didn’t know that my date was meeting another girl, that he intended to leave with…I didn’t know that his intention was to leave me alone in a house full of frat boys who knew I was a virgin and decided to take that from me. I left scared and already had decided NEVER to tell anyone what had happened…after all, who would possibly believe me if I told them I’d essentially been “gang raped” by a bunch of frat boys?

My life completely changed exactly 2 months following graduation. I was working full time already as a restaurant manager and had begun to feel like I was sick. I thought it was mono, or worse, feared that I had caught something from that terrible night. I finally caved on my promise to never tell anyone and confided in a friend, fearing that it was the worst. She convinced me to swallow my pride and see a doctor. Instead of telling me I was dying, he told me I was pregnant…almost 3 months to be exact. I was scared…scared and more scared. I feared what people would think, what my parents would think, and how in the world I would ever be a single mother. But from that first day that I knew, I always thought that I would be a mother…I wouldn’t abort the baby, nor would I give it away. I felt like this was part of God’s plan…and although I didn’t understand, I accepted it and embraced it. But again, I wanted to do it alone.

I still remember the day that I lost the baby…I still remember hearing the doctor in the ER tell me “your baby has no heart beat and you will miscarry”…I still remember not believing it. And then I remember asking God why. Why would you allow me to accept this situation under the most awful circumstances only to take it away from me? Why? Why me? And I remember the day that I told God that I was really going to do this whole thing on my own. I hadn’t received an answer to my prayers and I grew angry and bitter. The hurt enveloped my heart to a point where I decided that I didn’t need God anymore. The summer of 1999, I told God that if He wasn’t going to heal my hurting heart and answer my prayers, I would just do it alone. And I never got the answer I desired…so I set out on my own.

The next 5 years were a blur of ugliness and just chaos. I was lost, and I knew it. There were still times that I cried out to God, and asked to know that He was there. And even in those darkest moments, I felt Him. I knew that I wasn’t alone…but I wanted to believe that I was alone. My heart was broken, and I blamed God. I looked for anything to ease my pain, but nothing really did. I look back on five wasted years of angriness, sadness, bitterness and ugliness…ugliness caused by drugs. It was during this time that I experienced my second loss…in the summer of 2001. I had met Mr. Right, and his family was even planning a wedding, even though we weren’t engaged. I remember the day I told him I was pregnant…and I remember the look of both fear and excitement in his eyes. It was only 2 weeks later that I told him our baby was gone…only to see in his eyes the emptiness and pain that I felt in my own heart. I shut off, and decided to throw myself into my career. The next three years just sort of went by…but the whole time I knew I was walking down the wrong path.

It was the spring of 2004 that I met my husband. We didn’t actually start dating until the winter of that year, but part of me knew this was what I had been looking for. I knew the minute we started to date that this was the man I was meant to be with. I knew that he was the answer to my prayers…and although I still fought the idea, I knew that God had His hand in my life again. Deep down I knew He had never left me alone, even though I had asked Him to. It was during this time that the “I” in my life became a “we”…I started to view things as “we”, too. And it was in the March of 2005 that WE experienced our first loss, my third. We weren’t yet married and I anxiously told him that we were going to have a baby. I was still scared, but now I was excited. And so was Adam. We were going to be parents! We decided to tell my family as soon as I saw the doctor, and visit his family in Iowa shortly after that. We never got to tell our families. Two weeks after I saw the positive pregnancy test, a doctor visit confirmed that at 8 weeks, the baby would not live. We said goodbye shortly after that.

2006 was a good year. We had a wedding, a pregnancy, a healthy baby boy and a new sense of hope. Things were looking up. And I started to walk closer to God. I started to feel that tugging that was pulling me back to the right path…the path I had searched for so long. I asked God to please help me…to help us. But I didn’t know what else to ask for.

2007…well, not as good. I stopped working that summer to devote myself to being a stay at home mom, which I loved. But in December, Adam was “let go” from his job. We found ourselves completely broke and scared, and I found myself turn completely to God and ask Him to please take over…please just help us do what we were unable to do on our own. In late January, we found out we were having another baby, and although Adam had just started a new job, we were thrilled. Our happiness was crushed in March when we lost yet another child…our 2nd loss, and my fourth. I started to give up hope.

We decided about 2 months after losing that baby that we would try again immediately. I wanted a “big” family and wanted my children close together. And every month, despite the negative test result, I never gave up hope. My walk with God grew stronger and stronger over this time, and I kept faith that we would be parents to another child soon. We spent over a year and a half trying and finally, I told Adam that I was just exhausted from trying! I literally remember telling him “If God gives us another baby, great. And if not, I’m okay with that, too.” It was a month later, one day before our anniversary in 2009, that we watched another test show a positive result. And although there was so much excitement, the excitement was also tinged with a little fear. After all, I had lost 4 babies…WE had lost 2 already. We waited until 9 weeks to tell our families. At 12 weeks, we breathed a huge sigh of relief…we had made it through the first trimester! I thought all going to be okay. We saw the doctor at 13 weeks…we heard a heartbeat. We felt like this was the turning point.

On Tuesday, December 29th, I woke up early having contractions, which I knew was not a good sign at 16 weeks pregnant. We went to the doctor for an ultrasound, and found that the baby was alive and healthy! However, I had started to dilate. We were sent to a perinatal specialist in the hopes that we could stop dilation and stitch the cervix closed. By the time we saw the doctor, I had dilated to 4cm and the bag of waters had begun to slip through my cervix...this unfortunately meant there was no way to stop what had started. We were devastated...our baby was still alive! We were told we had two choices: go to the hospital immediately for a D&E, or go home and wait for my body to start labor naturally. There was really no choice in my mind or in Adam's...the baby was alive and we would not use any medical procedure. The doctor understood, and told us to go home and that I should spend the time in bed. He said within a day or two, my water would break and at that time we should go the hospital.

We got home about 4:30pm that day. By 4:45 pm my water broke and there was no time to get to the hospital. I had to deliver our son in our bathroom, which was just so difficult. I never passed the placenta which meant I had to cut the cord, and I knew that meant I was cutting the only lifeline our son had. We had to go the ER because I hadn't passed everything and spent the remainder of the night in the ER, then in surgery for a D&C, and finally in a room due to excessive bleeding and fear of hemorrhaging . Thankfully, the hospital staff was amazing and we were able to spend some wonderful time with our baby boy before he was sent to the funeral home. I was allowed to go home Wednesday afternoon, and we spent the afternoon making the final arrangements for our baby boy, Jonah Matthew. The next 2 days were spent trying to help our 3 year old son make sense out of "mommy had your baby brother but he's in Heaven with Jesus and can't be here with us".

One of the most difficult parts of this – our third and my fifth – loss has been how disconnected and distant from God I’ve felt. At a time in my life when I feel I need Him the most, I often feel like I did that very first time…alone and without the answers that I want so much. The difference this time is I remember what it felt like to turn away from God and try to live my life MY way. I remember how lost I was, and how difficult those 5 years were. And I decided in early January that although I felt like God was so far away, I would never turn my back again. Even through the losses, I never felt like God was telling me to stop trying. I believe there is a reason that we’ve experienced this so many times and I may never know that reason while I’m here on earth…but that’s okay. And now, not quite 3 months later, I’ve started to feel God’s presence more. At church one Sunday I knew from the moment I stepped through the doors that I had been brought there that day for a reason. And when the pastor started his message by saying “Sometimes, when life takes a turn for the worse, we wonder where God is, and why He doesn’t make sense”, I started to feel a bit overwhelmed. When he continued by giving examples and said “…maybe it’s that routine doctor visit where the doctor says something could be wrong with your baby, or that you’ll lose that baby…”, I seriously thought about getting up and leaving. I remember praying at that moment and saying “Really, God? I can’t hear this today. I’m just not ready!” And suddenly I felt a little peace. I was sad, hurt, anxious and really overwhelmed, but there was just a little peace. And it was enough to get me through that message…a message that I needed to hear that day to remind me that God hadn’t left me alone. When we stood to sing later, I really felt my knees start to buckle and thought I’d have to sit down. But somewhere deep within my being, I heard “You’re going to be okay, Sandy…I’m still here”. And I knew for the first time since Jonah’s death that I was going to be okay. I felt a little less crazy than I had in the past! And although I still struggle sometimes to feel God, I never doubt that He is indeed there.

I don’t know what God has planned for us in the future, but we haven’t lost hope, and we plan to continue trying to have more children. Sometimes God doesn’t make sense, but I’ve learned in the past 11 years that he will never leave us, nor forsake us. I’ve watched my life spiral completely out of control only for God to gently urge me to come back to Him, and when I did, He was there with open arms to accept me. I learned that even when I feel like God has left me alone, even for a moment that He hasn’t. I believe that part of this journey has been to teach me what true faith is. And although trusting in faith isn’t always easy, I know it’s the right road for me.