A Loss Brings Courage
Updated: May 28, 2019
by Lori Lloyd
Almost 28 years ago my husband and I lived through the death of our only biological daughter. We had two sons ages 9 and 7 and they were excited to see who the new baby would be. Weeks and months of dreaming, planning and hoping for a baby sister filled their little lives. The day came that would be the big reveal, plans were set in motion, and the boys were cared for by loving friends who would then bring them to the hospital where she was being born.
It was a time of great trust. I had had two previous c-sections and this was a planned vaginal birth. I had to trust my body that it would not fail the process, and I had to trust my midwife to help me make the right decisions about the birth. I felt strong and confident in all the decisions we had made, and I greeted the work ahead with anticipation.
After a long day of laboring, moving about, being in sync with my husband, breathing, and working the time was finally upon us! It happened rather quickly towards the end and before I knew it I was pushing a baby out! I was elated that I had actually accomplished that! Then the elation turned to worry and wonder as they whisked her away. We were soon to learn that she had several anomalies that were incompatible with life. She would not live….
I never will forget looking into the faces of my boys and trying to explain how this perfect child we had longed for, would not have the opportunity to live past a few hours. My seven year old in all his little strength tried to understand, looked at me and innocently asked if the doctors could fix her. It was in the moment that I truly understood that I not only had to be strong for myself, but for these little boys that were getting a very harsh dish of reality. So I mustered all the courage within me and looked in his innocent face and quietly shook my head no, to which he replied, “Ok, let’s go see her, I’m ready”.
The next hours were spent pouring love and tears over our new addition to the family. We sang to her, we rocked her, we dedicated her to God and then after 23 and ½ hours, as family and friends surrounded us we held her as her heart stopped beating. I felt as though the very breath of me should die with her. Our hearts broke as our little Lauryn Autumn slipped on to Heaven.
The months and years that followed that day in August were hard, some harder than others. We became known as “The family that lost the baby.” Everywhere I went I wanted to talk about her; and I wanted people to ask me about her, so she would have purpose and wouldn’t be forgotten. But time has a way of leaving grief to lurk in the silent moments of our lives and it no longer rules our every movement. As time went on we met more and more people who had no idea of our loss or incomplete family.
We went onto to have two more boys and adopted a little girl. There were times that I would look at a family picture and realize that it wasn’t quite complete. Our lives were busy and taken over by schedules and activities. And as time passed it seemed as though Lauryn became a distant memory to everyone. I wanted her life to mean something.
Years later when that seven year old boy stood before his classroom of teenagers, now a teacher, he was asking his students if they could ask God any question, what would it be?
He started and said he would ask why his baby sister had to die. The tears flowed down his cheeks as he stood there very vulnerable before this group of teens. When I heard about this I realized that Lauryn was indeed touching people even though she had been gone many years. Those young people saw standing before them a person who was willing to share a very intense time in his life and show them what being real looked like. If her little life had never been, then my son wouldn’t have had that experience and perhaps that moment of authenticity might not have happened.
Another time I was attending someone at a hospital birth, one of the attending nurses said that she recognized me from somewhere. We talked about where that could be and finally came to that 11 years prior she was one of the nurses on the floor when our baby girl was born. We were over 60 miles from that hospital when she recognized me. I was taken aback as she explained that we changed their lives that day. I didn’t understand but she went on to say that the way we loved our baby and our boys said so much. The doctors that attended to us were all so amazed. We had no idea, we were just being us. But because of her tiny life, others were changed.
It takes a lot of courage to walk the road of losing a child. Many everyday walk it and it’s gut wrenching. The questions never end, and the wonderings are ever there. But God ordains each and every life for a purpose. The goal is to find that purpose, whether the life be short or long. Years of living without her creates a longing and a desire to be who we are meant to be. The courage is in the continuing to walk the journey.
**Lori Lloyd has been married to her loving husband Andy for 39 years, and have been together for 41! Together, they have 5 children (1 in Heaven) and 9 grandchildren. They both own their own businesses. Lori's is a beauty service applying eyelash extensions to women to help them feel more beautiful! She has done many jobs in her past one of which she was very passionate about. She was a midwife assistant and was privilege to witness many babies enter this world.
She is thankful that she has called Jesus her Savior for most of her life and is passionate about seeing her children and
their children walk out the purpose God has for them in their lives.