{ happy } two
{ love } the healing quilt

{ missing } Darcy Jaye

This is a hard post to write. And it may be hard to read.  But I am at home today for the first time with all of my girls at school and I find myself alone.  Thinking.  Consumed and obsessed with needing to get this out and, at the very least, document this critical time for me and my family.

Just six weeks shy of our due date, heavy and miserable in the midwestern 100+ heat, I rolled over in bed one night and noticed someone didn't readjust herself with a few stretches and kicks in her little 'geez, momma, I was all comfy and now you flipped me over,' way like she usually did. 

And for the first time in 4 pregnancies, I got nervous. 

I got up and ate a spoonful of nutella.  Nothing.  Orange Juice.  Nothing.

What followed was a nightmarish visit to the hospital at 3am, panicked nurses and an ultrasound that revealed to parents their greatest fear.  No heartbeat.  At that point I lost it in a fit of what can only be described as primal screaming and sobbing. We had lost our baby girl with no warning.  Nothing.  Just the day before she had played with her sisters, kicking and punching them back as they tickled and poked at my belly.  She had danced a little jig with my morning half-caff coffee.  She stuck her little bottom up and out so I could really feel it with my palm.  She was head down and strong.

And then a stupid knot in her cord -- a knot no one knew about, and couldn't have --just got too tight.  And just like that, in one horrible accident, she was gone. 

I am not going to horrify you with the details of inducing a stillbirth when your cervix is not ready.  Or driving to the hospital with your husband knowing and not knowing what the next 24 hours will hold for you. She was born at nearly 5 pounds, with chubby pink cheeks and long fingers like her littlest big sister.  Short fuzzy blond hair and a button nose.  A perfect little angel taken much too soon.

I will tell you that the care and compassion that we were blessed to receive is beyond anything that we could have ever imagined. That the hospital staff at St Luke's provided the most gentle and respectful care imaginable. That my doctor showed such strength of character that I'd take her in to battle with me.  That my nurses grieved and prayed and struggled right along with us.  That our friends and family and total strangers stepped in as living, breathing, examples of true Grace and lifted us. 

It is during a tragedy like this when you see the beauty and generosity of the human heart and it is humbling.  We have not felt alone. We don't have anger.  Our hearts are heavy.  Explaining to a five year old that her baby sister is in Heaven isn't easy.  Getting back to school, emptying the dishwasher and doing laundry seem mundane and necessary and impossible all at the same time. 

We held a beautiful memorial service at our church and asked that no one wear black.  My daughters and I all wore white and the sanctuary was full of pinks and purples and blues and corals and light.  It was a 6:30pm service and the sun was beginning its descent through giant stained glass windows.  My amazing husband got up and poured his heart out in a beautiful message to our littlest lost daughter.  I don't know how he did that, but I love him even more now than I ever thought I could.

We sang 'On Eagle's Wings' and 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow', which is a song he has always sung to his little girls at night.

After the service, we asked everyone to join us on the hill above the church for a butterfly release.  There were a lot of children and it was wonderful.  We released 60 monarch and painted lady butterflies.  There were children everywhere -- trying to catch them, trying to release them, chasing after them.  It was a beautiful sight.  The day had been thundery and dark, but for that evening it had cooled.  The sky was turning pinkish and was glowing with that 7:30 glow that is happening this time of year.  Surrounded by family and friends and butterflies on that beautiful night, I felt a genuine Peace.  We all did.

(photo: Gina Ellerbee)

And now I sit.  My body is recovering from childbirth, but my heart is broken. I struggled with whether to post about Darcy, but I had to.  I have celebrated all of my girls here in this strange public journalish space.  My littlest deserves that, too.  We held our precious angel for 3 hours and kissed her fingers and toes and forehead and button nose.  She was beautiful and ours.  And someday I will hold her again.

Until then, we are comforted knowing that we have our own angel waiting for us. 


rachel | buttons magee

My heart just aches for you my friend. Thank you for sharing such an agonizingly difficult moment with us so we may keep you in our hearts and prayers. Much love, Rachel


I can't imagine the depth of your heartache but there are tears and prayers on behalf of your precious family today.

Thank you for sharing this.

Alicia A.

I send all the love I can muster to you and your beautiful family, Chris. I am so sorry I couldn't make it to the service. I think about you every day. xo.

Jennifer Pickett

My love to you. Prayers are a given.


Your loss is a loss no one should ever have to endure. I am praying for Darcy, you, and your family and sending strength to get through these difficult days.


Beautifully written. I love you. xo


I am so sorry for your heart rending loss. My thoughts are with you and your family.


I am so very sorry, Chris. Your pain and love have brought me to tears. As a mother, I have had friends who have had to endure similar losses. It is just so rotten. Please know you are thought of today and every year on August 3. She may be gone, but you will always be the mother of 4 girls. Lean on you friends as much as you need, and know that your friends far away think and hold you close as well.


oh chris, words cannot remotely express how much i think of you and your family and i know it doesn't even scratch the surface of what all of you are experiencing.

sweet darcy, she's beautiful. simply beautiful and perfect. she will always be just as much a part of you as C, I and A.



Chris, my heart has been so heavy for you and your family. I have been praying for your peace and comfort. Your words offer a beautiful tribute to a sweet angel baby.


There are no words that will make a difference. Just know you and your family are thought of and loved.

Sarah :: greenclogs

I love you, my friend, and I hold you and your family in my heart every day. You wrote the most difficult post in the world so beautifully. xoxo


Oh I am so sorry for your loss. I hope your heart finds some healing, although your little girl will always be with you. My sister has buried two small caskets for her two young babies (Justin was 3 days old, Clay was 5 months) in the last two years. Tiny white caskets are the saddest images, but also hold the hope of a loving God, who beckons us home. May you and your family be held in His arms at this time. Love and prayers in Virginia...


Sending so much love and hope for peace for you and your family. And Hugs. Lots and lots of hugs.


I can't imagine the heartache that you and your family are experiencing right now. Your words are beautiful and your little girl will be forever loved. Prayers for all of you.


In perfect tribute to sweet Darcy, your words are so beautiful. I think of her & you with all the fluttering butterflies... xox.


I love you.


Dear Chris,

So much love to you. I have no idea how difficult this must have been to write, but it's so beautiful that you were able to honor your littlest one in this way. You *will* see her again in heaven, and that gives me such hope. This life is just a tiny "blip" in our eternal lives. May the Lord bless you and keep you, may he make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you, may he lift up his countenance to shine upon you, and give you peace. God bless you, sweet Chris.

love, Grace


I haven't followed your blog for very long, but this post brought me to tears. I cannot imagine. You and yours are in my thoughts and prayers at this time.


Simply beautiful. I love you, Friend. xo

heather smith jones

Chris, you and your family are experiencing heartache like I've not known but I, like others here, are crying with you. Yes, this is indeed a beautiful post, one that expresses such tenderness and love. Thank you for writing and publishing it. Please know I am praying for you and your family and thinking about you throughout the days.


I am so very sorry for your loss. Your post is beautiful. Thoughts and prayers for you and your family.


Oh Chris. God, I am so sorry this happened.


I love you! I wish I could wrap my arms around you right now.


Oh Chris. Wow. You are a strong momma and what a very sweet post. Thank you for sharing with everyone. My heart goes out to you though I don't know how hard it truly is to go through something similar. My prayers are with you as I wipe tears from my eyes reading this. I'm glad you have your angel watching down on you.
- Dana

amy jupin

i have no words.
but if i knew you in real life, i would certainly give you a long, big, hug.
praying for your healing.
much love to you and your family.


Sis, I love you so much and hate that you are having to go through this pain and heartache. I think about you guys all the time and wish I was close enough to be able to come over and give you a hug everyday. Your little angel has touched so many hearts and is loved more than you know.

amy h

I know that must have been so, so hard to write, Chris. And I noticed you changed your bio up there in the corner, too. Simply who you are is different now, and I'm so sad you have to go through this. I think of you often.


I am so sorry to hear about your beautiful Darcy. My heart was breaking reading your post, and my thoughts are with you and your family.


I am a stranger and a lurker, but your family is in my prayers. May the Lord bless you and guide you all during this time and always. I am so, so terribly sorry for your loss.


God bless you & your family during this time


I am so sorry Chris. My heart is just broken for your family. Prayers going out to you from Savannah, GA.


i am thinking about you and praying for you all. please know that you are close to my heart and that i am crying with you. i love you. xo.


Beautifully written Chris, we love you.


Praying for you...


Crying as I read this post. I'm amazed by your strength and spirit. You wrote about your sweet angel so beautifully. Know that you and your family are in my prayers.

pretty momma

I love you,my friend.


What a wonderful love letter to your daughter. My heart aches for you and I will say a prayer for your family.

Lindsey R.

I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful daughter. Lifting you and your family in prayer. Matthew 11:28-30


your words are full of so much love and sorrow and beauty, yet sprinkled with hope. God's peace and grace to you. Much, much love. xo.


I am so, so sorry. I am a long time reader and currently 26 weeks pregnant with a daughter who will not live long after birth due to chromosome abnormalities. We found out 6 weeks ago. So in a way, I know what you are going through.

As I read this, I said, "NO!" out loud. My love to you in this horrible, difficult time.


I'm so sorry for your loss. Thinking of you and your whole family.


This post was really hard to read and brought tears to my eyes. The story is eerily familiar. Three years ago tomorrow my husband and I lost our 4th child, our little Isaac James. I was 36 weeks along and had no idea that even could happen. It was a cord accident for us, too. I remember just thinking that he was so still . . . something had to be wrong. On our way to the birthing center we heard the song "I Will Praise You In This Storm" on the radio. We just looked at each other and knew. But the confirmation was horrible, absolutely horrible. I don't even like to drive past the birthing center to this day.

A friend sent me link to your blog earlier today and told me what the post was about. She hoped I may have some words of comfort. I don't know what words could help, except that I have been praying for you throughout the day today and will continue to do so. I'm so sorry. I wish I could give you a hug, from one grieving mama to another. And I can promise that it gets easier. I was really helped by reading "Heaven" by Randy Alcott. It made me so excited for my little one.

If you need a friend to talk to at any time, you're welcome to write. My email is kimberlynwheeler(at)gmail(dot)com. Again, I'll be praying for comfort and God's blessing for all of you.

Lisa Clarke

I am glad you were able to share your heartbreak here. I hope it is a therapeutic release in some way. I've gone down the baby loss road myself, but not nearly so late in the game, and as difficult as my grief was for me, I can only imagine how dramatically yours is magnified. Many hugs to you!


Chris, I don't know you at all, and I have no words to say. But here is a great website with other mommas who have lost their babes. Perhaps the community will be of some help. May Christ sustain you in this. hopemommies.org


I just can't tell you how sorry I am. I once had a friend who had to go through something similar and I remember it was just terrible for her.

My heart is really going out to you and your family.


My heart aches for you, but I am so very proud of your grace and dignity and your ability to set down something so difficult in words. You are all in my thoughts.


Thinking about you. Sending strength.


Darlin', your strength in writing this post so beautifully matched that of your husband delivering his heartfelt message at Darcy's memorial. Love, strength and peace to you all, again and again.


Chris, hugs to you and your beautiful family. I'm so so sorry.

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