No Heartbeat.

Grief is an odd thing. They say it comes in waves.

So true.

Today I had an ultrasound, the first ultrasound for this little #4.  And yet, it was very unlike my other three. The big black chasm on the screen that has always before encased a miniature beating heart, head oversized and limbs just forming… that big black space today on the screen was just that, a space.

No heartbeat. No baby.

The wave is coming again. A wave of tears and sadness and loss. An odd loss though, for can you lose something you never had? You never held? It is odd because nothing has changed and everything has changed.

But we held the dream, the hope, the expectation of another. Another little life that would make our family of five, six.  Summer plans were changing with a baby due in June; my middle, Bennett, was hugging my belly numerous times a day and telling me he was going to be so nice to the baby. He even told me he was planning for twins. {HA!}  We were thinking about rearranging rooms or moving or something…. a whole lot of ideas and dreams had been stirred… and today they were told to sit dormant for a time.

To be honest, ever since I walked with a mentor of mine through a miscarriage when I was just out of college, when I learned just how many women experience this sort of loss, how in her grief, women came out of the woodwork to comfort and identify with her who she never knew held this loss as a part of their story…well, I wondered if it would one day be part of my story. I have since walked alongside many who have experienced infertility, miscarriage, loss of so many kinds… and each time I am reminded of the gift my living boys are, and the fragility of life.

And so with each of my pregnancies, I have opened my hands and asked the Lord to protect and guard and grow that little person, but yet if it were to be part of my story that one of these little ones should not make it, that He would give me the courage to grieve, the faith to trust that He is still good, and the hope that He will never fail me.

And today when we walked into the room to have the ultrasound, I looked at my husband as a subtle wave of something washed over me ~ preparation? caution? ~ and I said softly, “I hope we see a heartbeat today.”

Something in me knew.

I should have been 12 weeks; I was measuring 6.5, and in the big black space only a small round circle, maybe a yolk sac, remained.

It was surreal, and is surreal to think that the story I wondered might be mine, became mine today.

I trust that there is no formula for how to grieve. Some might think I am crazy for sharing so publicly. Sharing in the midst of the mess. But for some reason, that seems right to me. I don’t have some beautiful lesson all tied up in a bow. Each time I say aloud that there was no heartbeat, tears climb up and tumble from my eyes, and my heart swells. And then at some point the sadness passes, and I know that I know that I know that God is good. That I am okay. That we are okay.

The initial shock and surprise of #4 has turned for both my husband and I into desire and excitement for another.  Whether our own or adopted… I don’t know.  And while I can surely say I hope FOR another child, I know with certainty that I do not know what my journey holds, how our story will unfold, and that my hope is not IN another child. My litmus test for God’s goodness is not found in my circumstances.

I think we often want to let our circumstances define God’s character, rather than letting God’s character define our circumstances.

What I know to be true right now, is that God is for me. That I am really sad. That He grieves with me. That I am hopeful somehow. That I love love love my family, and to some extent, they are all on loan for a time. And that heaven is waiting.


{She Reads Truth}

20 thoughts on “No Heartbeat.

  1. I am here thinking about you and all that you have learned today. Your words touch my heart and make me weep but those wonderful boys you have already been blessed with and the promise that HE has so much ahead for you gives me peace. I send you that peace and all my love. Mom


  2. Emily, I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you so much for sharing your story as it will bring so much comfort to others knowing they are not alone. I am praying God showers you with peace and love during your time of grief. Xoxo


  3. Oh Emily, I am so sorry to read this sad news. I’ll keep you in prayer and trust God to show you His goodness in the midst of heartbreak.


  4. Dear Emily, I’m amazed at your strength and courage and the way you are being so vulnerable to share your story with others. My heart is breaking. This news brought me to tears. The short time this little one was with you brought so much joy – remember that joy always. Prayers for your family as you grieve this loss. “Dear Lord, please wrap the Jamieson Family in your big arms of love and comfort them. Bring them peace as only you can, Lord. The peace that surpasses understanding. We love you Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen”


  5. Emily, we are praying for comfort and peace for y’all today. So sad for your loss, and blessed by the eternal perspective you share. -Hugs from the Willms


  6. I am sad with you. I am sad for you. Your words are well received and perfectly courageous. I don’t think you’re crazy for sharing; no, as a matter of fact I read this as a healthy exercise of your gifting and calling.
    By chance I was listening to a Christmas hymn as I read this that boasts of our coming king. The song speaks of his birth, but more appropriately that he has ransomed Isreal.
    All our love is shared with you today, Emily.


  7. Praying for you my dear friend… Your faith inspires me and challenges me. So thankful our HOPE is in Christ alone. May you feel Him near you today…


  8. I am sad with you as you process this loss! You did a beautiful job putting into words some of what this time feels like. I can identify since we lost 3 little ones before B came along. It is a strange grief indeed. A mother’s heart never forgets the souls that begin & end within.


  9. Thank you. You reminded me that I’m not alone in this – connected to strangers and to an awesome God that guards my hurting heart. So thank you. I will be praying for you.


  10. My dearest Emily, thank you for your post and writing some inspirational words. The ladies are praying for you at CBS and it delights me that this experience is drawing you closer to Jesus instead of the opposite. Big hugs, Tina Gu


  11. Dearest Emily, I am grieving with you in your loss, and inspired by the faith and trust in God that you also shared. You are all in my prayers.


  12. Emily, thank you for your transparent honesty during this heartache of a time. I’ve been there… May the Holy Spirit fill you with love and peace.


  13. Emily and Marshall (and your precious boys): I’m sad for all of you. You can grieve, and I love that you’re doing it in the open. Your story will weave with someone else’s-either their past story (like mine-I miscarried in the same way before we had Maryn), or their future story. I was grateful for women whose story included this kind of loss who came forward to walk with me. Praying for your hope. Thanks for being so transparent and authentic. xoxo


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