For the month of May, I am choosing to take part in a project called “May We All Heal.” This project is a way to share your grief through sharing your story. For more information visit:


Anxiety is defined as a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.

I think I’ve always been a bit anxious. Change does not come easy for me, just ask a few of my close friends or my husband. Yeah, ask him. He will smile and nod; he might even roll his eyes because well, I HATE change. I hate not being in control. I hate not knowing things, even good things. Surprises stress me out. We jokingly refer to my aversion to going places or having people over as, “arrival anxiety.” I’ve even had anxiety all day just thinking about writing about anxiety. However, it is a real thing – a debilitating, life-altering, frustrating thing.

When you first find out that you’re pregnant, of course, there is apprehension and a bit of anxiety, but there is also excitement and anticipation. There is this newness about the whole world, and things just feel different. There is also morning sickness (all day sickness for some), mood swings, weight gain, cravings, body aches and an ever-expanding waistline. However, those things are looked on as a rite of passage. They are expected.

No one expects a baby to die. No one foresees going to an ultrasound appointment and being told a laundry list of things that will kill your unborn child, or not seeing their precious, perfect, chubby-cheeked profile on the screen as your tech slides the probe over your jelly-covered stomach. These things don’t happen until they do. They happened to me.

We were told that London Joy would most likely not make it to birth. That at some point her heart would simply stop beating, and I would experience a stillbirth. We were also told that if she did survive until birth, we would most likely have minutes. “Be ready to say goodbye” was the overarching, although never openly stated, message. I don’t blame our specialists; they were doing their job to the best of their ability. They were working in the knowledge and experience they had. Nevertheless, it was gut-wrenchingly painful.

Anxiety doesn’t even begin to describe what I lived through for the seventeen weeks after that appointment. All day long, almost every minute, I was convinced she was going to die. I would sneeze, and she would die. I would bump her, and she would die. If my husband and I were intimate, she would die. If I slept soundly, I would wake up, and she would be gone. It was so hard. My innocence was stripped away. Babies die. My baby was going to die.

Of course, I have my faith, and we clung to hope. We prayed; people fasted on her behalf. Prayer shawls were lovingly fashioned and worn in moments of sheer desperation. However, I knew, deep down, that she was not long for this world.

Please Lord, let her be born alive. I want to meet her. I want to hold her. I want to hear her cry, please Lord.

We did carry her to term. She was born alive. We met her. We held her. We heard her sweet peeps. We passed her around for loved ones to hold and meet. We bathed her. We sang to her. And then, she died. So peacefully, so gently. She slipped from this world to the next.

You would think that all the anxiety and fear, I had held during those 17 weeks would have dissipated. The worst of my fears came true. What was left to fear or worry about? It turns out everything was to fear and there was always something to worry about.

I was terrified every time Ron left the house, sometimes even the room, that he was going to die. If he didn’t text back right away, I would check his location to make sure if he needed to be found, I could send someone to him. If he was in the bathroom too long, I would check on him. I lost my innocence in such a traumatic way. Bad things happen to good people. I was no longer safe, nor were my loved ones, especially my Beloved.

This fear didn’t just apply to those I love. I would see horrible things happen to strangers around me, like an overlay to reality. I was in the grocery store by myself a few weeks after London Joy passed. There was a woman next to me, she was reaching for something on the shelf – suddenly she was clutching her chest and slumping to the floor. I watched the life leave her body. She turned gray and then purple before my eyes, but it wasn’t real. However, I saw it.

It feels like a claw of ice gripping your heart. You know these things aren’t real. You shake your head to clear the fog of panic and dread away, but it remains. You feel so helpless. You are frozen.

I still struggle with a bit of PTSD from everything that has happened. I meet with a counselor several times a month. I share openly with my husband and a few close friends about where I truly am. I know I am safe, and that I am loved. I also know that I am very afraid – all the time.

Anxiety is real. I live it every day, but I also know that I am getting stronger every day. Those crippling fears are not reality. That I can trust the God that I can’t see to take care of the things I also can’t see. He is bigger than my anxiety. Just because my innocence has been stripped away, it does not mean my faith has disappeared with it. If anything my faith is the tie that binds me to life. My Jesus is alive; my Jesus is my hope; my Jesus holds my London Joy until I reach heaven. When I think on those truths, my anxiety melts away, and I have peace.

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