Hello, my name is Erin McGruder. My husband is Ryan, and we have two children: a 5½ year old, Owen, and our rainbow, Natalie, who is 2 years old.
The journey to start our family began smoothly with Owen, but took a sharp turn when we decided we were ready to add another. We struggled to get pregnant, and then when we finally did, I miscarried at six weeks. We knew it could happen, and were grateful it was early so we could move past it. We were lucky enough to get pregnant relatively quickly again after that, but unfortunately miscarried that pregnancy at 12 weeks. This loss was harder on my body and my soul, but slowly I healed and we began trying again after several tests showed everything was normal with me and the baby boy we had just lost.
We became pregnant, for now the fourth time, and knew the outcome had to be different. After all, how could this happen AGAIN? Because we were extremely nervous, we listened to the baby’s heartbeat at home every night until there wasn’t one at 18 weeks. Something was seen on ultrasound that suggested a chromosomal abnormality, but the testing for this baby girl was all normal, too. After meeting with specialists and having even more testing done, we decided we were willing to try one more time. It was then we got pregnant with our beautiful rainbow girl, Natalie Jo. She was born exactly 2 years to the date after our first miscarriage.
How we dealt with these losses was very different, medically, emotionally, and spiritually. My husband and I had our own distinct feelings. I experienced the importance of feeling my emotions, whether anger, sadness, hopelessness, confusion, doubt. Leaning into the hope-filled message of the gospel was what kept me afloat and moving forward. There were days I spent in bed, hurting and sad, but I trusted the Lord was grieving alongside me.
My fourth pregnancy was no secret, which meant we had to share the heartbreaking news of the miscarriage with a lot of people. Those were some of the hardest conversations I have ever had, but through the power of that community we also felt lifted up and pushed forward by the Holy Spirit – much more so than with any of the previous losses.
I cannot speak enough to those friends and family who were there for us, praying for us, bringing us food and notes. For us, it was in sharing our story that we truly found we were not alone.