His name is Emannuel

This has been a more eventful Advent and Christmastide than usual in the Peperkorn household. As you may have heard, we were (surprised and) overjoyed at the end of October to discover that Kathryn was pregnant. Our joy was turned to sorrow in mid-December as we learned that she had lost the baby.

It’s really hard to even describe this experience. The span of emotions, the sorrow, guilt, anger, frustration, and strange relief all rush together in one big glob of pain that is almost overwhelming. Miscarriages are so odd in our culture, because there is a sense where A) We shouldn’t talk about it; B) If we do talk about it, to try and minimize it; or C) To OVER engage the whole process, as though this is an opportunity to make some religious or political statement about abortion.

Kathryn and I lost a child (Nadia) four years ago, and so I thought this would ease the pain, or at least our understanding of the pain. But that is just not the case. Each grief is its own. Just as each child is different, so the loss of each child is different, even a child only eight weeks old.

Part of Kathryn’s fear I think is that I will fall into another depression. Nadia’s death was the beginning of a long downward slope for me last time, so that’s a pretty reasonable fear on her part. It is so easy in this life to take one tragic event and allow it to escalate into a holocaust.

But it does not have to be so. Past history does not guarantee future events. While it may be a decent predictor sometimes, it can also serve to create self-fulfilling prophecies. There are a lot of things different from four years ago for us:

1. We are much more aware of God’s mercy in taking are of our family. He has seen us through this and more.

2. We are both more aware of our medical needs, moods, and the “signs” when things aren’t going quite right.

3. Our support group(s) of family, friends, church, etc., has been wonderful. They were all good last time, too, but I think everyone is a little more aware of what’s happening now.

So be at peace, friends! The Lord is with you. I will be back in the swing of writing again soon.

-DMR

18 thoughts on “His name is Emannuel”

  1. Having had one 8 week little one go to heaven all too soon, too, I must send my condolences to you and your family. God be with you as you grieve, and may your comfort come from the promise that God will never leave you nor forsake you (Deut. 31:6) in your time of need.

  2. Thank you for your courage and leadership and for sharing your journey with us. When I go out to congregations to talk about MH issues, I tell folks that 100% of us have issues. Just as all of us have physical health issues, it is a matter of degrees. As Martin Luther says, join the fellowship stay in community for recovery. My thoughts and prayers are with you

  3. Thank you for your courage and leadership and for sharing your journey with us. When I go out to congregations to talk about MH issues, I tell folks that 100% of us have issues. Just as all of us have physical health issues, it is a matter of degrees. As Martin Luther says, join the fellowship stay in community for recovery. My thoughts and prayers are with you

  4. I'm sorry for the loss of your child. We, too, lost a baby at about 10.5 weeks in August. I rejoice that our Lord entrusted that child to my care as long as He did, and I look forward to meeting that baby (and another) one day in heaven. My prayer has been a constant, "I don't understand – I probably won't ever understand… but I don't have to. Be with us in our sorrow." I pray the same for you and your family.

  5. I lost a baby (and yes, "it" was a baby even though we were so very early into the pregnancy that many women would have just been suspecting they were pregnant) on Ash Wednesday, 2001.

    You never forget. Ever. But the immediacy of the hurt does fade.

    The Lord comfort you and your wife until you hold that sweet child in the presence of our Lord.

  6. I'm so sorry for your loss and the mass of conflicting emotions that accompany it. I understand Kathryn's anxiety — I am working right now not to assume that events that have caused me to fall off an emotional precipice will necessarily always have the same effect in the future. It is hard to do.

    God be with you.

  7. Dear Todd and Kathryn, my thoughts and prayers have been with you since I read this post. I wish I would've commented sooner. I pray that our God of grace has brought you his comfort and peace during these difficult weeks and may he keep you close to his heart.

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