The abdominal cramping started less than an hour into the trip home from my girl’s weekend away. I figured I was experiencing indigestion from the exceedingly rich and creamy entrée I had devoured at lunch. As we continued down the road, however, I quickly realized this was more than just a stomach ache. Sweat formed on my brow as my abdominal muscles continued to contract with increasing intensity. Then the nausea set in.
“Can you pull over?”
I stumbled out of the truck and dropped to my knees. I could feel the rough roadside gravel digging into my jeans as I hunched over and prepared to expel everything from my insides. Instead, I curled into the fetal position as another wave of pain coursed through my body.
One of my friends urgently called my husband, Chad. It was decided that I should be taken to the nearest hospital where he promised to meet us as soon as he could.
Chad made it to the ER in time to hear the words: “exploratory surgery.” Being newly pregnant, an ultrasound had been ordered and revealed a large mass on my right ovary that needed to be dealt with immediately.
I tried my best to pay attention as the surgeon explained what was about to happen. My husband, a medical professional, seemed confident with the information provided. But I could feel the anxiety rising inside me.
Sensing my apprehension, Chad squeezed my hand and assured me that everything would be okay.
We said “I love you” and then it was time to go. They began wheeling me down the hall toward the operating room. With each step forward, I could feel that fear and uncertainty billowing up again.
My mind was swirling: What if I don’t make it? What will happen to my boys? I’m not ready to say goodbye!
Suddenly, my frazzled thoughts were interrupted by a gentle Holy Spirit whisper:
“Christy, I have not given you a spirit of fear… I am with you.”
Sigh of relief.
I honestly don’t remember much after that point. I think I had to count backwards from 10 as they administered the anesthesia, but it’s all a blur. I woke up a few hours later in another room, my husband by my side.
We were told that a cyst in my ovary had been bleeding uncontrollably. The doctor surmised that the mass was my unborn baby, a rare ectopic pregnancy. I had accumulated about a liter of blood in my abdomen, and they had no choice but to remove my ovary when the bleeding couldn’t be stopped.
That was that. Problem eliminated. And so, it would seem, was my baby.
It was late in the evening. Chad had gone home to be with our two young sons and would be back early in the morning to bring me home.
The on-call nurse came to check on me. She dimmed the lights, made sure I was comfortable, and then said goodnight. Suddenly, I was alone in a sterile, silent room with nothing but my thoughts to occupy me.
I lay in that bed, trying to process everything that had transpired in the previous ten hours. I thought, analyzed, questioned, and finally broke down and sobbed.
I cried for myself, for the confusing circumstances, but mostly I grieved for the baby that I would never meet.
As the tears cascaded down my cheeks, I murmured a prayer to God and entrusted my unborn tot into His care.
That’s when the miraculous happened. I was given a precious gift from my Heavenly ‘Abba.’
‘Abba’, a Greek word translated ‘daddy,’ was the name Jesus affectionately used to describe God. Our Heavenly Father who intimately understands the pain of losing a most beloved child.
The gift I received? A name.
This name that is engraved on my heart like a signature scrawled on stationary. A whisper to my soul, accompanied by an overwhelming sense of God’s presence, peace, and unconditional love.
But it was much more than that. It was a glimpse into the heart of my Creator and an impression of an eternal reality. The name revealed that the 7-week-old miracle that was budding inside me was a person who was worthy of a title. A person, who was not only known, but cherished by God.
“Emelia,” I breathed. My unborn daughter.
The next day at my follow-up appointment it was discovered that I was still pregnant. The mass that was removed wasn’t my baby after-all. A new ultrasound exposed a tiny heartbeat. But this glimmer of hope quickly faded when a couple of days later I really did lose my precious unborn baby.
In many ways, the entire experience felt almost dream-like. Was my hospital revelation just wishful thinking? The result of grief mixed with Vicodin? I’m ashamed to admit that shortly after one of the most intimate and profound encounters I have ever had with the Divine, I began to doubt. And aside from telling my husband, I kept the experience to myself.
I have come to believe that one of the most amazing things about God, is his longsuffering and patience. He knows how fickle humans are. He knows our tendency to question and doubt. And yet, He is faithful and kind to us, just the same. He doesn’t need us to validate him. Yet, sometimes, God chooses to remind us of how good He really is. Even in the midst of our skepticism.
About a week after my surgery, I got a phone call from my sister-in-law. Apparently my medical ordeal had triggered some old memories from her past.
She shared that years before, in the midst of a long struggle with infertility, she had lost a baby. She had never shared this with anyone because it was too painful. But as she was thinking about my experience, and grieving her own long-lost child, God suddenly gave her a name. The name was Isabelle.
Overcome with excitement, I couldn’t wait to tell her the similar experience I had just had, and the name that God had imparted to me. Maybe it wasn’t wishful thinking after all?!
Eagerly, I poured out the details of my hospital room revelation. When I finished speaking, my sister-in-law quietly asked: “What was the name you were given again?”
“It was Emelia.”
“I can’t believe this!” She said, her voice brimming with excitement.
“Christy! I was actually given two names: Isabelle and Emelia. I didn’t mention it at first, because somehow I knew that Isabelle was the name for my daughter. I didn’t know how Emelia fit in. But now it all makes sense!
Don’t you see?! We both have daughters together in Heaven!”
Tears filled my eyes. I was blown away by this beautiful confirmation. God had graciously squelched those nagging doubts, and solidified what I already knew in my heart.
I have a daughter in Heaven. Her name is Emelia. She’s the daughter that I haven’t met… at least, not yet.
“My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” John 14:2-3
15 thoughts on “The Daughter I Havent Met…Yet”
I have no words that can adequately describe how I feel. Thank you for sharing your heart and allowing me to see a glimpse of God’s heart too. This is profoundly beautiful and healing.
Kathleen, I’m so glad that this was meaningful and even healing for you. It was my hope that sharing my story would be a blessing and maybe even a comfort to others. Thanks for sharing your heart with me!
Thank you for sharing such a beautiful and transparent story Christy. I had a miscarriage years ago and I too am convinced that I have a baby in heaven who I will meet someday. Your story will bring healing to a lot of hurting women.
Thanks for your kind comment Lisa. I’m sorry for your loss, but grateful for the reality of heaven and a gracious God who loves our kids even more than us! Blessings to you.
You are so brave to tell your story and once again it gave me chills! There are so many women who share your struggle and grief! Love you!
Thank you so much Melissa! I love you too! 🙂
Oh, this is beautifully written. And, we have two more lovely granddaughters waiting for us. I can hardly wait to meet them. Thanks! Karen
It’s going to be a pretty special day! Glad you enjoyed reading this. 🙂
Christy, you have shared something very personal and very precious.
We have been so fortunate with our family, I can’t imagine the pain and grief you had to bear.
And what a beautiful confirmation with the name Emelia.
Thank you for sharing this. It was important for me to read this.
May the Lord continue to comfort and strengthen.
Thanks again for your kind words Carl. It was my pleasure to share this story. My hope is that it will be an encouragement to others who may have walked through similar circumstances. Blessings!
This post gave me shivers. Sending love your way! x
Thanks for the love! I can always use a little more of that. 🙂
Christy: I just read this blog and am so grateful. I, too lost a baby before I even met her, somewhere around 7 – 11 weeks. I was just preparing to announce to people my “glad” news when my world turned upside down. A family gathering turned into a nightmare, which only added to my pain and confusion as I dealt with the loss the next day. My parents were arriving, and Tom and I were heading to the hospital. Again, a story not easily shared and swallowed up as I couldn’t explain pain to people who didn’t even know.
But, like you .. I said girl … i don’t know her name but I met her. I was given a glimpse long before I was even married, a little girl who I walked with hand in hand in a dream. One I knew was important. I remembered that dream as I grieved.
I am so glad that women are now speaking up and sharing their pain. I lost this child the day after Thanksgiving, it was a long time until I could go through one without the sorrow hitting as well.
Thank you for sharing your story Pam! I’m so sorry for your loss, but am grateful that you were also given a gift (a glimpse) at your daughter through that dream. I’m sure it brought some comfort in the midst of the pain. Blessings to you!
Reblogged this on Christy Engelhart and commented:
In honor of Pregnancy and infant Loss Remembrance Day, I wanted to repost an article that I wrote a few years ago. I hope that my experience, will help to bring comfort and peace to someone who is grieving today.