God was present as we held our boy in a silent delivery room
Last fall I came home from a position in education to homeschool our daughters, support my husband in ministry, be intentional with our time and hopefully add to our family.
We learned we were pregnant with baby number three in February and for the next thirty-eight weeks, we prepared to meet our first son, Hudson Daniel.
We decorated his nursery, sorted through all the boy hand-me-downs, made plans for maternity leave and his arrival. He was so much a part of our lives as his big sisters, Rowan and Cora, loved to feel him kick and turn, hugged my belly, and dreamt of a life with their brother.
I went to all my appointments, Hudson was always very active, his growth appeared typical,
I had no reason to question if my son would be coming home – until he wasn’t.
At 37 weeks, I noticed he wasn’t as active as normal and became concerned. I went in for an NST – and we passed – with flying colorings. The moment they strapped the monitor to my belly, Hudson danced non-stop with a strong heartbeat. I told the office, I must have been an over-anxious mom and went home, feeling reassured my boy was ready to come soon. He continued to move and groove throughout the week, contractions picked up some nights and we geared up for delivery.
The following week, his movement stopped. At first, I thought he was just being stubborn like the week before. Maybe he was lower in the birth canal and I couldn’t feel it. Maybe he was resting. I tried all the things.
An ultrasound confirmed our worst nightmare. Our son’s heart had stopped beating. I wasn’t an anxious mom, something was wrong.
Our walls came crumbling down. The entire office heard as I screamed for my husband, as I sobbed in my doctor's arms, as I tried to come to grips with going to deliver my son but never bring him home. I was gutted to the core, vulnerable in a way I never knew before.
Somewhere in the blur between hearing the news and getting to my car, God grabbed ahold of my heart. He sustained me in a way I can’t truly describe through a lot of places we didn’t want to be in the days ahead.
He was present as we sobbed through calls to friends and family trying to process what we had just been told.
He was present as we told Hudson’s sisters that their precious brother wasn’t coming home.
He was present as we drove to the hospital terrified of what the days ahead would hold.
He was present as our nurse shared her own suffering through stillbirth.
He was present as I frantically searched online to hear from other moms who walked this road.
He was present as the hours ticked by and we waited for the time to push.
He was present as we held our boy in a silent delivery room.
He was present as our pastor and another dear friend came to meet our boy, take pictures and pray with us.
He was present as I looked my doctor in the eye, while clinging to my son, with tenacity in my voice that I didn’t know I had, to make sure he knew were serving a big God and that my son’s life was not in vain.
He was present as I handed my boy to the nurse for the last time and shook uncontrollably as she left the room.
He was present as we came home empty-handed to two heartbroken sisters, a Mimi and an aunt who missed him deeply.
He was present as my body bled, my milk came in, and my arms longed for a baby.
He was present as we stumbled through those early weeks of grief, clinging to Him.
We alone were being sustained by our Savior, and by the prayers of the army that surrounded us in every tangible way.
He’s here today, two months from the last time I held my boy, sustaining me still.
Friends, I need you to know, that God was there - in our deepest pain, and He showed us His mighty hand again and again. He alone is carrying us through what I can only hope are the worst moments of my life. If the God of the universe showed up in my weakest moment – I promise you that he is there in yours too. Call out to Him. He sees you. He knows your hurt. He will sustain you.
Another mama described the death of her child as “the deepest pit of hell and the closest I’ve ever felt to Jesus” and I hit the floor as her words explained the paradox in my life.
I’m breathing a little easier these days, but if I knew where the clouds might fully part, I would grab my babies and sprint there as fast I could. So often in our pain or suffering, we grieve quietly, and we wait for the pretty bow to share our story, our testimony, and our big aha, the Romans 8:28, God has redeemed this story moment. But - let’s be honest, we don’t have that right now. We have a lot of hurt and brokenness. We have some really empty arms. Why God? How does a merciful God allow such heartache? Why does God allow bad things to happen?
The answer that our human nature so desperately seeks may not come on this side of eternity.
I can’t explain the why today and I may not be able to tomorrow. We don’t always get the pretty little bows on our pain here earthside, sometimes we do and Praise God for those moments, but sometimes, we might be waiting for when God has that final word over evil.
Revelation 21:4 tells us that one day, God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.
What a beautiful day that will be. In our culture, it is easy to fall into the "we love you, God, we serve you, God, we trust you, God, so surely our lives will be easy and beautiful and blessed" mindset. But - I’ve been looking - and the word of God doesn’t promise Christians life of butterflies and roses.
Yes – His word may tell us that we will have straight paths, a bright hope in Christ, and a beautiful future in heaven, but we aren’t promised “the American dream”, the good health, the beautiful home, the perfect kids, that we can so easily seek to obtain. I’ll be honest – His word does quite the opposite.
His word tells us:
John 16:33 – I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you WILL have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world.
Psalm 91:15 When they call on me, I will answer, I will be with them in trouble.
Isaiah 43:2 reads – WHEN you pass through the waters, I will be with you. (Not if, but when)
Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present her in trouble.
Over and over in Scripture, I see a God graciously preparing us for the troubles we will face in this broken world and telling us he will be there.
Hudson was stillborn on October 13th, 2021 and we have missed him every day since.
God was there. He knew. He carried us. He will carry you too.
He is faithful and ever-present in our suffering. We long for heaven, and we will do our best to carry the cup we have been given to bring glory to God and honor Hudson’s life. Amen.
Click here to read more of our blogs for child loss, miscarriage, and stillbirth. This blog was written by Alexa Gearhart. Alexa lives in Aberdeen, North Carolina, and is married to her husband, Brad. Together they have two daughters and a son - Rowan, Cora, and Hudson, who was born into heaven.