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Sometimes amazing things happen to remind us that we really don’t understand the machinations of our world. I often think of the line to Josh Groban’s song “To Where You Are” that says:

Isn’t faith believing all powers can’t be seen?

Yesterday my almost-five-year-old (countdown to the big day–seven sleeps!) and I attended a baby shower for her preschool teacher.

One of the games involved each of the kids suggesting what Ms. Lindsay should name her baby boy.

The children mainly chose names of male classmates or dads or brothers. A few provided gigglers–Star, Sunshine, Happy Feet. One future class clown offered up “Poo.”

Elizabeth’s turn arrived. She seemed confused about this, and the teacher asked her if she needed more time. She shook her head, stood up, and said, “Matthew.”

My heart seized. She knew no Matthews. No cousins or classmates or friends. The only time she could have heard the name in her brief existence would be in Sunday School, where it would compete with the likes of Mark, Luke, and John.

But Matthew is a very important name to us. When we were told Emily was a boy at her sonogram, we chose Ryan Matthew as her name. Naturally she became Emily later when the high risk doctor told us–that’s an odd name for a girl!

When we got pregnant with Elizabeth, we decided we still liked Ryan Matthew but would prefer it flipped. So we called the baby Matthew early on when we referred to her in the womb, until her sonogram revealed she was also a girl.

But of course, Elizabeth was a twin. Her little sibling died and my water broke when I was only ten weeks pregnant. Elizabeth survived, although we had a week or two of uncertainty that the pregnancy would pull through.

We’ve named her twin Emma Hope, but after this baby shower, maybe we were wrong. Perhaps Elizabeth knows more than we do, and maybe, just maybe, some little presence whispered in her ear that morning, and for the first time, without even knowing it, she uttered a name she’d never before heard–her brother’s.


Sometimes as I go about life I stumble across something that brings my loss eight years ago flooding back. When I do, I tend to drown in it, obsess over it. Really dig in and let the grief and emotion wash over me again. It keeps Casey close, and even though it’s sad and hard, later I am glad I didn’t let life move on so fast that I don’t stop and devote a little time every once in a while just for him.

Yesterday I was randomly surfing Itunes for music and came across Josh Groban’s song “You Raise Me Up.” I loved his voice and today spent some time learning about this young singing sensation.

A few minutes ago I ran across this song and knew I had to post if for you ladies. I decided to link to this version of it rather than the actual video for the song as it features a woman as the subject, a lost love affair, but when he actually sings the song without images, well…you’ll understand.

Don’t do it at work, if you’re susceptible. Save it for a quiet moment…just you and your baby.

Josh Groban singing “To Where You Are” on Jay Leno:

More information about Josh’s debut CD with this song. He’s done many CDs since:
Josh Groban CD

Take time out for this. It’s sacred time. And it’s okay to grieve. For hours, days, months, and even all your life. It’s how we humans are designed–to mourn our loss in order to hold our love and hope all the closer to our hearts.

Life goes on even if your pregnancy doesn’t. I had to go back to work, face all those students, deal with questions.

I was in a bunko group, and four of us were pregnant. We all joked we’d have to forego the dice game for several meetings to have baby showers instead!

After losing Casey, I decided to quit the group. Some things I just couldn’t handle. I didn’t go to any of their baby showers either. I had no desire to torture myself.

Still, I couldn’t always be protected. A few months after the loss we went to a bar–a BAR–to meet up with some old college friends for homecoming. I felt it would be safe. No one brings babies to bars! (Remember Reese Witherspoon in Sweet Home Alabama? That’s a good movie about pregnancy loss, by the way, and how the couple didn’t cope, then figure things out…)

We’re standing in the parking lot just outside the patio as it is so crowded with UT alum. Everyone is laughing and talking. No one knows about the baby–these are people we haven’t seen in years, so I could escape a bit. We’re having fun!

Then up walks one of my bunko friends with her baby! I couldn’t believe it! Here was an infant, the same age as mine should have been, all gurgly and cooing and dressed up. They were showing him off!

I promptly began this horrible hysterical crying, sobs and hiccups and dry heaves, then threw up behind a car.

Let everyone think I was drunk. Fine by me. Stupid people bringing a baby to a bar.

Okay; still have some latent hostility. Deep breaths.

So, there are all sorts of these kinds of things that might happen in the weeks and months following a loss. I’m going to try in include as many of them in the book as I can, such as:

  • Baby shower invite
  • Going back to work
  • Seeing ex with a baby or pregnant new love
  • Sister is pregnant
  • Around pregnant women not taking care of themselves
  • Around parents who mistreat children
  • Baptisms at church

Did anything happen to you that you could share? Or can you think of other social situations I should include?

March 2023