Updated: Apr 4
December 12, 2020, will be a silent night in our home.
We were expecting a little boy, Jonathan Henrey, but lost him at 27 weeks on my 30th birthday, September 13, 2020.
Birthdays are supposed to be happy days, but our world was completely turned upside down that Sunday. There were no warning signs. All of the previous doctor appointments had gone so well. I had just felt Jonathan move in my wife's belly the week prior.
When we awoke Sunday morning, our little boy was not moving. As the day progressed our worry was building. We tried all the recommended things to get Jonathan to move. I had been out in our pasture later in the evening, and I saw my wife walking my direction. I was desperately hoping she came to tell me he was moving. This was not the case.
She had called the doctor and they recommended that we go to Labor and Delivery to get checked. We prayed together before we left, and I broke. I thought I was tough, but the next week would show me just how tough I was not.
We arrived at L&D, where the nurse tried to find a heartbeat. Minutes passed, another nurse joined us, then the doctor, and finally the Ultrasound Tech. Nobody had to say a word. The monitors couldn't pick up Jonathan's heartbeat, and the ultrasound showed no movement.
The young doctor struggled to find words. I offered a "It's in God's hands brother," though I'm not sure who I was trying to comfort more—myself or the doctor. My wife and I made the decision to go home for the night and process everything that had just happened. We were broken.
We had a follow up appointment on Monday, and were to be at L&D Tuesday morning to induce labor. We had no idea what the week ahead was going to look like.
The staff at the hospital showed an incredible amount of compassion to us and introduced us to Sweet Grace Ministries. They brought a basket into our room full of all sorts of items to comfort grieving parents. What an amazing act of kindness—complete strangers giving us a basket to help us through our loss. The labor process was slow, and our son was born on Thursday afternoon at 4:47. The same nurse that walked with us through our day on Tuesday, was with us when our son was born. A fellow believer and an amazing example of a human being. There is no doubt in our minds that God placed her with us to help us walk through this incredible trial.
Photo by Josh Weik
As I write this, we are three months out, on the eve of a day that was to bring much joy and excitement. Our first child, Christmas, family gatherings, the next step in life, but tonight the nursery is silent. The nursery is still. Everything is in place, ready to welcome the little boy we never got to bring home.
Some days I find myself sitting in the nursery. All is still, all is silent, and I reflect. Everything is fresh in my mind. The pain is very real. There is no rule book for this grieving process. Matthew 5:4 reminds us that "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."
The loss of our son has been an incredible faith building experience. As Christians we have a great hope. A hope that we will see our little boy again, and everything will be perfect. Revelation 21:4 "He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death, or sorrow, or crying, or pain. All these things are gone forever." We long for the day when we can hold Jonathan again, but for now we are comforted knowing that tonight he "sleeps in Heavenly peace."
Thank you Josh Weik for sharing your story with us. Shared with permission.