Personal Post: loving a baby after losing a baby

Those of you who follow the blog closely may have noticed a gap in last year’s posts. When I write, I write from the heart – I share about sessions, travels, and thoughts on photography and life in general. But during those months there was only one thing on my mind, and it wasn’t something I was ready to share.

As most of our readers know, Ben and I are expecting a baby in October. I am seven months along and typing this blog as the baby flutters in my belly and I agonize over how much more water I should be drinking. I feel good and capable in my body – an incredible gift. This baby has given me a bigger reason to share what I had gathered up in my heart last year, and now I feel ready to talk about our first pregnancy.

In February of last year, Ben and I learned we were going to be parents. We were overjoyed and reveled in the magic of it all. We fantasized about baby moccasins and sharing the news with our families. I dreamt of nurseries and family traditions. It amazed me how much we loved that baby right from the start, surrounding it with our dreams for a future together.

But at our first ultrasound appointment, eight weeks into the pregnancy, the baby was small. We watched the heartbeat flutter on the screen like a tiny, flickering light, but the doctor said it was measuring at six weeks instead of eight. Two weeks later our little baby still hadn’t grown and our doctor confirmed what we had been hoping and praying against; that baby wouldn’t make it.

We shared the news with our closest family without ever having the opportunity to celebrate our initial joy. I sunk into depression. In my dreams each night I was still pregnant, and when I woke in the morning I felt empty. I had spent the past few months caring for my body with new purpose, seeing everything I consumed as fuel for the baby; so with the baby gone, treatment of my body bordered on destructive. There were complications to my miscarriage that resulted in a physical reminder for days, weeks, months. I couldn’t find myself or the things I was passionate about.

It was easy to feel alone in the loss because I couldn’t explain what I was feeling. There was no memorial service or official goodbye, just a slow, agonizing loss. Family and friends told me over and again “just because this happened once, doesn’t mean it will happen again”. They were trying to console what they imagined was worry about my future. It wasn’t worry; I wasn’t even in a place to consider my future. It was mourning. I was mourning the loss of that baby – that individual whom I already loved.

Months passed by and little by little I fell into my normal routines. Slowly I was able to find moments of joy and reflect with bittersweetness on the memories. There were still days when I couldn’t make it out of bed, but in between I was getting better. It was as though I was reassembling myself from old and new parts. The last feeling to fall into place was anticipation – something I thought I had lost for good.

And now, here we are. Almost exactly one year later we conceived this baby. Doctor appointments have us terrified, and the weeks between them are nearly intolerable. We guarded our hearts, yearning for that golden “12 week mark” and when we hit it, I was still fearful and newly desperate to make it to 20 weeks when we would see an ultrasound. People have asked why we waited so long to announce and why we adamantly held off on celebrating. This is why. When we made plans to announce our pregnancy, I already knew I couldn’t share news of this new life and find perfect joy in it without also sharing our history.

I know this perspective may be foreign to some (even those who have experienced similar circumstances), and I honestly believe there is no right or wrong way to feel about anything – especially something so complex as parenthood. I am simply writing my experience because I need it out in the world. We’ve shared with you our love and anticipation, but my heart yearned to honor our first baby as well.


Above photos taken by KL Creative at 20 weeks pregnant.
Read More: I am Thankful – Pain for Pain, Joy for Joy
See More from our Announcement Session: Baby On Board

22 Comments on Personal Post: loving a baby after losing a baby

  1. Michael
    August 15, 2017 at 6:16 pm (4 months ago)

    This is a lovely essay.

    Reply
    • Kasey Hock
      August 15, 2017 at 6:28 pm (4 months ago)

      Thank you, Mike. <3

      Reply
  2. Ashley V
    August 15, 2017 at 6:18 pm (4 months ago)

    Thank you for helping me and others understand how you feel. Love you so much.

    Reply
    • Kasey Hock
      August 15, 2017 at 6:28 pm (4 months ago)

      Love you back!

      Reply
  3. Jacqulyn
    August 15, 2017 at 7:03 pm (4 months ago)

    Even with 5 successful pregnancies I was always reluctant to share the news too early – I never took for granted the miracle of creating new life. I am so very happy for both of you. It doesn’t matter if your friends and relatives never got to hold your first child. The child will always exist in your being and is part of you forever. Thank you for sharing. Enjoy every minute of being a parent – the time is fleeting between when you are an intricate part of their life and when they go off on their own. Best Wishes to you and Ben

    Reply
    • Kasey Hock
      August 15, 2017 at 7:39 pm (4 months ago)

      I love the way you think about it. Thank you for the well wishes, Jacqulyn.

      Reply
  4. Maggie
    August 15, 2017 at 7:15 pm (4 months ago)

    I also had a miscarriage… At about 12 weeks, many years ago. I still have moments of sadness, wondering. It happened after I had already given birth and had a lovely almost two year old. There is no farewell, or public grieving, or sharing grief ad in other losses. Often you and your partner carry it alone. Thanks Casey and Ben for sharing such a vulnerable part of your journey. I helps others know what they are feeling is on some continuum of “normal”. Blessings as this baby grows, births and file you’re hearts with unimaginable love.

    Reply
    • Kasey Hock
      August 15, 2017 at 7:37 pm (4 months ago)

      Thank you, Maggie.

      Reply
  5. Lori B
    August 15, 2017 at 8:22 pm (4 months ago)

    What a sweet, beautiful way to share this very personal journey into parenthood. I also miscarried a baby at 12 weeks, under very different circumstances. Yet the grief is all very similar. I have recently been pondering how few years we have a direct influence on our children, maybe 20 years before they launch and fly on their own for 60 or 70 more years!! On 8/23, we’ll have a loved one who will turn 99 years young, yet I have lost siblings at 2, 19, 21 and 52 years old!! I’ve learned that LIFE is so very precious each and every day. Thank you for sharing your experience with us so eloquently.

    Reply
    • Kasey Hock
      August 16, 2017 at 12:36 am (4 months ago)

      Thanks, Lori.

      Reply
      • Lori B
        August 16, 2017 at 6:33 pm (4 months ago)

        This baby is so blessed to have you both as parents!!

        Reply
  6. Name*
    August 15, 2017 at 9:02 pm (4 months ago)

    This is beautiful Casey. Not enough people talk about the missed love ones. Its not easy because of the painful memories but its important to know that when ur going through that ur not alone and others experienced the same hurt. Im happy you were able to over come. You and Ben will amazing parents!

    Reply
    • Kasey Hock
      August 16, 2017 at 12:35 am (4 months ago)

      Thank you, Missy.

      Reply
  7. JoAnn Baumann
    August 15, 2017 at 9:02 pm (4 months ago)

    So sorry for your loss, Kasey and Ben. Thank you for sharing this. After having just lost a granddaughter at 27 weeks, it is encouraging to hear how you are healing. God bless you and your little ones. You have one waiting in heaven for you, just as two of our sons do.

    Reply
    • Kasey Hock
      August 16, 2017 at 12:35 am (4 months ago)

      I saw news of your recent loss and can only imagine how your family is feeling. I’m glad to know you have each other to lean on.

      Reply
  8. Morgan
    August 16, 2017 at 12:14 am (4 months ago)

    This is a touching post to read. We don’t often share such a loss with more than a few closest to us. I know myself it’s possible to feel an inexplicable love for a baby that you never held or never even saw a heartbeat. They are forever a part of you. I was so excited to hear the news of your pregnancy & wish you every joy that comes with the blessing of parenthood. In that moment you see your little one’s face & hold them the 1st time you will experience a love deeper than you knew was possible. Enjoy every second! And thank you for sharing your story with us all.

    Reply
    • Kasey Hock
      August 16, 2017 at 12:34 am (4 months ago)

      Thank you so much, Morgan. So many people go through it and have no outlet for their feelings. I’m glad I was able to share.

      Reply
  9. Breanna Kuhlmann
    August 16, 2017 at 2:24 pm (4 months ago)

    This is Beautiful, I am so sorry for your loss. I see much happiness ahead 😉

    Reply
    • Kasey Hock
      August 16, 2017 at 2:28 pm (4 months ago)

      Thank you, Breanna. <3

      Reply
  10. Kris Husby- Nelson
    August 16, 2017 at 9:19 pm (4 months ago)

    Rest In Peace little one and God Bless your Mommy and Daddy for sharing their love for you with us

    Reply

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