It looked like an egg dissected down the middle. But instead of a slimy and shapeless center, the yolk was beating.

Hump. Hump. Hump.

“Fast and healthy!” said Katie as she moved the ultrasound baton over Lucy’s belly.

My baby had a male appendage, and Lucy’s had a heartbeat. All was well at the doctor’s office that winter afternoon.

Until later that night when Lucy called me crying,

“I’m bleeding.”

She bled all that night, and for weeks after. That lively, beating yolk disseminated into tissue and left her body via labor-like cramping.

Her baby was gone and her was heart broken.

For weeks I wondered why I felt so strongly that Lucy should come with me to find out the gender of my baby. My husband was out-of-town and our cousin Katie had an opening in her schedule. It didn’t seem right to find out the news all alone, there in a dark basement room, and the thought of inviting my little sister reoccurred in my mind. She was eight weeks pregnant, sick and worried. Normal.

“Call Lucy.” I heard all morning.

I called. She came. Katie had time to check both of us. Our babies were alert and strong. We celebrated at dinner that night. Japanese food with our father. Her miscarriage started a short time later.

This experience shocked not only Lucy and me, but Katie as well. For some time after we traded theories, all viable, all plausible. Miscarriage is common, we understood, but the timing perplexed us. Finally, I knew of no other way to satisfy Lucy’s grief and my confusion then to ask my Heavenly Father why?

Why were we supposed to see her baby alive only hours before she lost it?

I wasn’t given an answer, but another question. The same question every mother has ever asked since the beginning of this earth.

When does life begin?

Peace would come in the answering, I was assured. Not only peace for the given situation, but requisite for my own baby whose secure entry into this world was not guaranteed either.

One night, in a state of insomnia induced by pregnancy, I searched the doctrines of the Church for an answer. They ranged from Brigham Young’s insistence that life begins when the mother feels the baby move, to ideas that–just like Adam–life is not received into the body until there is a breath. From the Church’s Public Issue’s website it is declared that, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has no official position on the moment that human life begins.”

In answering this question I was left with my own resource, the promise that prayer and study would resolve my concerns. So I began to ask that I might receive.

My answer came in three parts as I meditated on this unpublished doctrine:

The remembrance of my Nana who died years ago of Alzheimer’s.

At first Nana was just confused. I’d sit in the living room with her and listen as she told the same story three, sometimes four times in a row. Then she’d ask,

“Did I already tell you that story?”

As my mother had already rehearsed me for this moment, I’d reply,

“No! What a funny story!”

To which she’d reply,

“Well, it reminds me of another story . . .”

And the tale would start again.

As the disease conquered more of her brain, she became less amiable. Part of her soul was missing. She’d have panic attacks and ask us,

“Where am I?”

And I’d wonder too, where was she?

Later, she was moved to a home where she could get twenty-four hour care. We’d visit and surround Nana’s beside. The nurse would enter the room telling my mother,

“She was talking to Angus last night. She was laughing.”

“Ah yes.” Mother would explain,

“Angus is her father. He’s already gone. She’s starting to go.”

On Thanksgiving night we received the phone call. Nana was gone.

I also recalled another memory.

One of walking on the frozen Utah lake with my mother last year. I was almost thirty. Almost five years invested into wanting a baby. Almost five years of no return.

“I feel that I should tell you about when you were born,” my mother said as the dogs chased out on the white lake before us.

“I wanted another daughter. Poor Page, stuck in the middle of four brothers. You can’t imagine how excited I was to find out that I was pregnant again!”

Really? I thought. Even after five babies? Is it never just routine?

“One night, when I was about twelve weeks along, I started to cramp and bleed. I knew I was miscarrying. Your dad took me to the hospital where I stayed for awhile. I sat in the hospital bed, overwhelmed by sadness. I prayed and prayed for hope, and it came. I was visited by you. You didn’t say anything, but I knew it was you, and I knew that you had decided to leave, but you promised to come back.”

Then she added,

“When you came, a year later, I saw that you had such a fickle personality. I was assured that we had met before.”

I awoke one morning with a vision.

It was an hourglass. The top sand was slipping through the skinny waist into the bottom.

And I knew my answer.

Perhaps life doesn’t begin or end at a single moment. Maybe, if given normal, natural causes, our souls slip from one side to the other until we are all here, or we are all there. My Nana spent time dwelling on both sides until heaven pulled stronger. Similarly, I started out in my mother’s womb partially there, but cognizant enough to pull the plug when I wasn’t thrilled about the body being created for my spirit.

I thought about a heaven full of spirits yearning for bodies, and an earth full of bodies longing to be spirits.

This was peace for me. I liked the residual emotion of transition, better than the harshness of finality. It made enough sense to ease my confusion and offered hope into my heart. Lucy’s baby would come again.

But perhaps most importantly, I learned that the Church’s absence of an official position regarding this doctrine has a purpose. Each mother is allowed to search for herself the enlightenment that is promised to those who seek. And for each mother there is an interpretation. An answer that transcends official positions and public discourse to reside only in a quiet, maternal heart.


  1. Breanne

    March 26, 2008

    I have carried 11 babies and miscarried 7 of them. This spoke directly to my heart. Thank you.

  2. AJ

    March 26, 2008

    I had a similar beginning. My mom had a stillborn daughter a year before I was born. She has always felt that it was me and I decided to wait a little longer to make my arrival. Your memories of your grandmother also touch a personal chord. Life is such an adventure!

  3. Eve

    March 26, 2008

    I love this. It makes me cry for the baby I lost, but feel hopeful at the same time. This feels like an answered question to me, thank you.

  4. Michelle Glauser

    March 26, 2008


  5. Mary

    March 26, 2008

    My mother had 2 miscarriages in her early child-bearing years. Despite giving birth to six other children afterwards she feels very strongly that those two babies were my brother and I who weren’t born unil about 15 years later, in her “late” child-bearing years. It begs the question of Heavenly Father’s timing in when we come to earth.

  6. Jennie W.

    March 26, 2008

    After having six children, two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the thing that amazes me most is the incredible spirituality that comes with pregnancy (if we let it). I think the veil can be thin, and it’s the time when we can most be one with Heavenly Father. We are partners in creating a person, whether that person has a chance to live or not.

  7. Sarah

    March 26, 2008

    Thanks for this post. I had my doctor’s appointment today that told me I am not pregnant leaving me feeling so empty. I appreciate this perspective giving me a glimpse of enternity and allowing myself some comfort.

  8. Dalene

    March 26, 2008


    Thank you.

  9. Amy

    March 26, 2008

    I had the blessing of getting pregnant when I wanted and having a healthy baby girl, also what I wanted. Now that she has been around for nearly two years I am finally learning this same lesson. Thank you for sharing your perspective.

  10. Kalli

    March 26, 2008

    I love this so much.


  11. liz

    March 26, 2008

    I’m four for nine on pregnancies, and this topic has been discussed many, many times ’round here. Two of my miscarriages have been in the second trimester, and while they were too early to be considered stillbirths, there was a fully-formed baby boy each time. (It has made me think a lot about abortions, and wonder whether those who feel right about aborting a fetus, especially after the early weeks, have ever seen one at 16 weeks development.) Are there two boys waiting for me in heaven? Or did they somehow get another chance at life? I won’t know for sure until the other side, but what I do know for sure is that our Father in Heaven loves us and wants us to be happy. That sounds a little trite, but it is true and all will be made right.

  12. Angela

    March 26, 2008

    Thanks for a lovely morning cry. This was beautiful. One of the most amazing things, I think, about newborns is how they’re not quite here yet. It seems to me that the first two months or so of their lives, they’re still getting all the way here. (Maybe that’s why they cry so much? So hard to leave for good?)

  13. Patti

    March 26, 2008

    I so remember doing this research. Thank you.

  14. Heathermommy

    March 26, 2008

    I have had 3 miscarriages recently and one of the things that really struck me with 2 of them is the strength of these babies. There is obviously something going on with my body but these babies seem to fight for so long to live. Even though my babies were so young, they had strong heartbeats and I really felt a connection to them. I hope I will be able to be with them again.

  15. Sharlee

    March 26, 2008

    Absolutely beautiful.

    This, especially, was exactly what I needed to read this morning:

    “An answer that transcends official positions and public discourse to reside only in a quiet, maternal heart.”

    Thank you, CJane.

  16. Tasha

    March 26, 2008

    It’s tricky business to ache terribly for a baby and somehow manage to bump into every teenage, smoking girl with a toddler this side of the Mississippi. The key is to remember that there is sorrow hidden in those teenage hearts too. It is all part of the design, no one is exempt. We have different kinds of ache, different levels of it at different times. The moments I truly rejoice in the happiness of others are the same moments I feel closer to my lost babies.

  17. Becca

    March 26, 2008

    What a great post. I had a miscarriage 5 1/2 years ago after seeing the baby in an ultrasound with a beautiful heartbeat. It was one of the most difficult and painful things to go thru. The following years of infertility issues were also difficult. 4 years later and an unhealthy pregnancy which also ended in miscarriage made me wonder if I would ever have a healthy, full term baby. And now, here I am holding my 6 week old in my sling while she sleeps. Over the last 6 1/2 years I have often pondered and questioned about when a embryo is inhabited with it’s spirit, what happened to my babies, will they come to me on this earth or only be mine in the spirit world? SO many questions and no clear answers. Your post gave me some great insight to think about and ponder. THANK YOU!

  18. cheryl

    March 26, 2008

    Oh, my. Thank you so much for this post! I had never thought of it in this way before, and yet, it seems to make so much sense to me.

    When I miscarried 2 years ago, many people told me I would see that baby in the next world. But I didn’t feel that way. I didn’t feel like I would. When I got pregnant again, I knew that this was the same soul that had left my womb months earlier. I don’t believe I have five children –I have four. Five attempts, but four finalities.

    After reading this, I now know why. I now know why I always felt that way. Of course, that’s not to say it would be different for other children and mothers, but this really makes the most sense to me and matches my experience perfectly.

    Thank you for sharing this with all of us.

  19. mequeen

    March 26, 2008

    A perfect word!
    We are always in transition whether we are coming to earth, living on the earth, leaving the earth, or going through the eternities.
    Not a beginning and not an ending, but an eternal round. Time as we know it on earth is how we measure our sadness or gladness and can come and go very quick.
    When we lay these mortals by we shall see as God sees,
    all the transitions!
    Thanks cjane for the soothing you ministered today.

  20. KellyC

    March 26, 2008

    … which reminds me of Mary. No, she certainly did not miscarry but she kept all these things – all her thoughts on life, the birth of the Savior, and her role, perhaps – and pondered them in hear heart. What a blessing to not have a definite on maybe just this one point of doctrine so that we can take it, apply it, and personalize it to every situation we need to and know it’s right for that time. Thank you.

  21. Leisha

    March 26, 2008

    That was really deep and touching. I am really kind of speechless except to say that something in me said “true! true! true!” after reading that.

    I had a very similar experience to your Mother’s, except that I didn’t carry the child. This is how I have a testimony that the spirits of the children meant to be ours get to us no matter what.

  22. rynell

    March 26, 2008

    I love the way you explain and discover things. I do believe moms are left to their own enlightened interpretation. After three miscarriages and after giving birth to two premature babies that died, I have had to find my own peace.

    Transition. That is simply beautiful.

  23. Creole Wisdom

    March 26, 2008

    This is so well written, and poignent. Thank you CJane, thank you.

  24. Christine

    March 26, 2008

    That was a wonderful take on the question of life. Thank you for giving me a new idea to ponder on the subject. And how thankful your friend Lucy must feel that you listened to the Spirit that day and introduced her to her baby before he/she was called back for whatever reason our Heavenly Father had planned. I wish I had had the oppertunity.

  25. nanajan

    March 26, 2008

    I felt my first baby’s spirit in the room at quickening so I’ve leaned toward that being the time of the spirit entering the body, but subsequent experiences,conversations and now your post make so much more sense than just one moment of life/death. Thanks for your pondering and studying and for sharing your insights. Thanks for your example of “working” to find peace in difficult questions. I had a similar experience on the “Mother in heaven” issue. It’s great to know that we can find peace in our questioning.

  26. Kristen

    March 26, 2008

    Thanks CJane–
    I miscarried for the first time almost one year ago. It was Mother’s Day 2007. Now, I am going to deliver a child this Mother’s Day, 2008. I do not know if the small girl I am carrying was the one I carried last year. I hope that someday, I am able to know one way or another.

    But what did resonate for me, from your comments, is that the space between this world and the next is not far; in fact it is right here with us. When Heavenly Father decides to let me know, he will tell me.

  27. Justine

    March 26, 2008

    love you honey.

  28. Heidi

    March 26, 2008

    How do you do this, CJane? How do you write so thoughtfully and beautifully on every topic?

    I think I worship you.

  29. eljee

    March 26, 2008

    I have believed for some time that the spirit may come and go from this realm prior to birth. You confirmed that belief for me in a very eloquent manner!

    My children have come through adoption, and though I myself have not felt their spirits prior to their comings, I have friends who have also adopted who have felt their children’s spirits in their homes while those children were being carried in their birthmothers’ wombs. I do think that spirits don’t necessarily stay in one place during the 9 months their bodies are gestating.

    Now my task is to understand and accept why I personally have not had it given me to experience some of these moments for myself. I like your statement: “Each mother is allowed to search for herself the enlightenment that is promised to those who seek. And for each mother there is an interpretation. An answer that transcends official positions and public discourse to reside only in a quiet, maternal heart.” I am hoping that at some point that answer will be there for me. I have had thoughts in the past on the subject, but as we start the search for baby #3, those previous answers are not really feeling like enough.

  30. Emily M.

    March 26, 2008

    Wow. Thank you for a good cry, and for very wise insights.

  31. chronicler

    March 26, 2008

    CJane, what a wonderful essay. I was struck by the confirming spirit of revelation to which each of us are entitled. So many would define these types of things differently, I think you’ve done quite well. Thank you for sharing your insights.

  32. Megan

    March 26, 2008

    I am crying so hard right now. I am completely and uncontrollably a mess. I can’t even describe how I feel right now really because I am currently (this very moment) going through so much and have in the past. I am overcome with emotion and I wish I could explain it. This makes you think a lot about life, not necessarily new life, but what happens in life in general and why. There are so many questions, and sometimes no answers at the moment we want them. I keep praying that one day I will know, and someday I’m sure I will……….

  33. anne

    March 26, 2008

    Like Liz said, we’ve discussed this a lot in our family. Not only has she had several miscarriages, but our mother had 4 miscarriages, a stillborn little girl, and a baby with severe birth defects who lived only 4 months. The stillbirth came after me, and my whole life I’ve thought about my little sister and where she is. At times I’ve become a bit obsessed about it. I, too, have researched the doctrine and pondered it at length. I loved your insights; you particularly made me think about the other side of it–leaving this world. I always feel completely baffled by Joseph Smith’s explanation that life is like a ring–no beginning and no end. It’s so hard to comprehend these kinds of things with such a finite mind. I love your hourglass revelation, and the fact that God will give us such inspiration, which helps us see beyond what our finite minds are typically capable of.

  34. Queen Scarlett

    March 26, 2008

    Absolutely beautiful. I believe that’s why when we miscarry (my first pregnancy was a miscarriage) we grieve. I knew even before the doctor confirmed that I had miscarried…I felt my little one’s spirit leave. Thinking about it again brings tears to my eyes. I could never put a word on it…but you’ve given it to me – transition. Beautiful.

  35. Cami

    March 26, 2008

    I loved this post. Very thought provoking. I have also thought about this question a lot lately. Your thoughts match my own very well. I love the way you describe it as a transition, I’ve thought of it that way, but could never discribe it. Thanks for putting my own thoughts into words.

    P.S. This reminded me of you.

  36. Barbara

    March 26, 2008

    What an incredible, poignant, thoughtful, and real story. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  37. Lucy

    March 26, 2008

    Thanks for making that experience some what wonderful, reading aboutit made me appericiate all I went through. We never realize why some things happen until later in life, I can see it clear now. I love you!

  38. Geo

    March 26, 2008

    “an earth full of bodies longing to be spirits”

    This touches on some of my own wonderings and ponderings. Hmm.

    Thank you for the excellent post.

  39. Jessica

    March 26, 2008

    I couldn’t agree with your conclusion more. No hard and fast time, but personal to every mother and every child. We who have been (are) pregnant know it starts earlier than actual birth and I loved yours and other commenters experiences that elaborate on that.

    As always, thanks for your intelligent and powerful writing.

  40. Laura

    March 26, 2008

    Wow, what a poignant story! I like the way you close the paragraph with a positive note.

    I will always remember from your comment when any of my female friends needs my rapport.

  41. Leslie J

    March 26, 2008

    Beautifully written. Your new baby will be very blessed.

  42. Angie

    March 26, 2008

    What a beautiful post–and so wonderful to have you back at Segullah today.

  43. pflower

    March 26, 2008

    You are such an amazing writer. You have that gift to take a horrible fact of life and turn it into a spiritual experience. I hope that everyone that goes through this type of pain can find the kind of comfort that you have been able the give the women that have read this post.

  44. Crystal

    March 27, 2008

    Thank you so much for your insight. The past few months have been very interesting, to say the least. I miscarried in June and have been trying to understand it all, and one of the things I have discovered is that our Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us. We need to have faith that everything happens for a reason, and that he sees the bigger picture. That has helped me, but there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t ache to become a mother. I know that someday I will meet that sweet spirit…..on this Earth or beyond the veil. Thanks again!

  45. Leslie Ann

    March 27, 2008

    wow, I can so identify with your second memory of your mother telling you of her miscarriage. I had something similar happen when I had a miscarriage at 12 weeks. I had the strong impression that it was my daughter, but it wasn’t her time to come yet. I was pregnant and gave birth to my firstborn daughter finally about 18 months after that initial miscarriage. I have NEVER in the 10 years since, thought that that first pregnancy was another child waiting for me in Heaven to raise. I knew it was my firstborn, but it wasn’t her time to come yet.

    Good insight and writing.

  46. c jane

    March 27, 2008

    Thanks for your comments my beautiful friends.

  47. The Wiz

    March 27, 2008

    Gorgeous. It reminds me of a book I read called “Embraced by the Light.” It’s not church doctrine by anybody’s measure, (it’s not even written by a Mormon) and it’s about a woman and her near death experience.

    She asked when a spirit enters the body. She was told it was the spirit’s choice, some enter right away, some take longer, and some go back and forth until birth. It seems to fit with your theory about transitions.

    Beautifully written. Thank you.

  48. Brittani

    March 27, 2008

    My mother always told me that it took her 7 years and 4 miscarriages until I finally decided to come. The hourglass theory certainly seems how life begins and ends; birth and death are very alike in numerous different ways. Having miscarried recently, I am hopeful that the right time will come that that child of mine will finally decide to come.
    I love that there are so many women out there who can relate.

  49. Shellie

    March 27, 2008

    That was beautiful! So right on. I think there is no official position because each case is different. I love your explanation, it makes total sense with the experiences I have had. No matter when the spirit comes or stays in the body, we are to reverence life, of that I’m sure.

  50. beth

    March 27, 2008

    I still cry about my miscarriage last summer even though I got pregnant again and am now 33 1/2 weeks along. Thank you for your thoughtful, beautifully written essay. It resonates with experiences I’ve had, and experiences I wish I’d had.

  51. jordan

    March 27, 2008

    My own little Lucy (now 3) got the same “bum start”. When I miscarried the doctor even did tests and told us the fetus has been a girl. This was beautifully written.

  52. manaen

    March 27, 2008

    Enlightening, comforting, insightful, enlarging. I felt the pieces gently come together while reading this.

    I played come-find-me with our first daughter while my wife napped, poking one place on my wife’s belly until the child within poked back, then going to other places. I’ve always known since those games that there is a separate life within the womb, but never could tell exactly when it got there. Thank you for bringing me to understand that it doesn’t get there “exactly when.”

  53. Hillary (Spockwingdiamond)

    March 27, 2008

    cjane, amazing! Beautiful writing and insightful conclusions. My Mother has always believed that the veil is slowly drawn upon babies. The more they learn to speak, the less they remember about their previous state of being. How else could they cope with the transition from being a free spirit, to a baby that can do nothing. This doesn’t have anything to do with “when life begins”, but another example that progression to the human world is a process.

  54. Heather

    March 28, 2008

    What inspiring thoughts. My grandmother is going through what yours did and I can’t tell you how heart wrenching it is to watch. I know all she wants is to be with my Grandma again and touch his face. 27 years they have been apart and now that her memory has faded his presence is more evident now then ever in her thoughts and conversation. I know he is near. On another note, I have been blessed to have had two perfect babies and indeed I know what a blessing it is. The hardship that we all have to go through in life to teach us the things we need to know at times are unbearable. Miscarriage to me is heart wrenching. All of those women who suffer through it and until something like this is shared there thoughts are often kept to themselves. My hearts go out to all of you who have suffered such a loss.

  55. Katie

    March 28, 2008

    I think you are exactly right. I also think that it is all out of our hands. I don’t know why it is so easy for some and so hard for others. I just know that Heavenly father knows where and when these little souls need to come to the earth. Thanks Court, for sharing this with me.

  56. Tierra

    March 28, 2008

    C, this is beautiful. The language and spirit of your message have found symbiosis–mutually enriching, neither distracting. Thanks for a reminder of how answers can be given.

  57. Kristin

    March 28, 2008

    Thank you for sharing the emotional side of pregnancy. As I have been going through mine and the rollercoaster of trying, bleeding, beating, bleeding but still beating I realized there is little information about what you will FEEL. Lots of info on the physical not so much about the emotional spiritual. Thanks for sharing, grappling and inspiring.

  58. rachelle

    September 1, 2008

    absolutely beautiful. love it.

  59. sandi in az

    September 1, 2008

    That was quite possibly the most beautiful thing I’ve ever read.

  60. Smidge

    September 1, 2008

    I also had the same thing happen when I was expecting my daughter. I was 15 weeks a long with a baby girl when I loss her. Before I woke up I had a dream that this little girl with big blue eyes was standing on my bed all in white. When I woke up I was bleeding. After two months I found out I was expecting again. nine months later I had little girl with brown hair and blue the bluest eyes placed in my arms. She was the same child that came back to me and my husband. Test on the baby before showed a birth defect with the sex male inside female out. She made the choice to not have that body but a better one. Our Heavenly Father gives us the right to choose the body we will have. I feel that so strong. not all test can show what happens to a developing baby that rejects the body. something can be wrong that our science cannot detect. but the spirit knows! I once read that there are over 390 syndromes that still remain just un named. there are many more that we can not detect over. 3,000 we cannot see yet because we are not there yet able to with our technology.

  61. Danielle

    September 1, 2008

    A friend gave me a link to this and I want to thank you for sharing such a special thing. I lost my baby one month ago today. I was 19 weeks pregnant. It has been one of the most difficult things I have been through but an amazing learning experience too. I am so grateful for the personal insight each of us have to our unique situation. I was starting to feel like maybe I was wrong in my thinking. Everyone around me insists that I will have this baby again in the next life. That is not how I feel nor what my blessings have said. Yet everyone looks at me like I am crazy if I say it. I have stopped telling people. Thank you, Thank you for the reassurance that what I feel does happen.

  62. s

    September 1, 2008

    WoW! Beautiful. My daughter came to me when she was seven months and told me her name. It was a moment I will never forget. When I wrote her name down on the birth certificate I cried. It was her name. No doubt about it. Thanks for sharing your testimony.

  63. Cherie

    September 1, 2008

    I wholeheartedly embrace your theory, and you are a gifted writer, CJane. I had a miscarriage 5 years ago and even though there weren’t tests done on the gender, I KNEW (and still know) it was a girl. I’ve felt her around me for years previous to that miscarriage and since. I can even see her spirit in my mind’s eye and have a general idea of what she looks like (she’s a beauty). My sense is that she is still waiting for the right time to make her grand entrance. She’s kind of a perfectionist and wants the right set-up, physically and emotionally, before she takes the “mortal plunge.” (I can’t wait until we can have a talk about this, because my patience is wearing a LITTLE thin!) I ache for her to be in my arms and in my home. About a year ago, it started to become clearer to me why perhaps she’s hanging out a little longer in the pre-earth realm. There’s a spirit brother she can’t bear to part with (while at first I was only seeing her, I now see him, too). They’re either coming together or in close succession. Sorry about the lengthy reply, but it is just to validate what all these other mothers know in their hearts. These children (and we, too in our unborn state) ABSOLUTELY choose the bounds of their habitation in this earth sphere.

  64. Emily

    September 4, 2008

    I just found this, and I don’t know if I can add anything that hasn’t already been said, but I was touched by both the Alzheimer’s aspect and the miscarriage. We, too, are dealing with a beloved mother and grandmother on the “downside” of Alzheimers. We have had several conversations about how, in many ways, we’ve been mourning her loss for years (even though her body is still present). Every once in a while, her eyes will have zest and fire in them, and we know that Grandma is here. Most of the time, her eyes are lost and empty; her spirit, her soul, is elsewhere. I loved your thoughts on her spirit wavering between two worlds.

    I have three children from seven pregnancies. I have a wonderful, well-intended mother-in-law who insists that the true doctrine is that a child is not “alive” until a breath is taken. Having gone through four very different miscarriages, I am simply not certain. I, too, was bleeding profusely, yet saw the image of a healthy, strong, vibrant baby boy on the ultrasound screen. Twenty-four hours later, I was in the ER, holding this perfect little two-inch body in the palm of my hand with my husband by my side. It was one of the most touching and bonding moments of our marriage as we mourned our loss and were humbled, awed, and amazed at the miracle of creation. Since then, I have given birth to two beautiful little girls. So, I’m not all the way convinced that there is “one” right answer or “one” correct doctrine. I have never considered that “the church” does this on purpose so that each of us can find our own answers. That was very poignant, and I thank you for that gem of thought. All I know is that I feel a connection, a motherly love as soon as that little stick indicates a positive reading (and sometimes before). I also know that I am closer to my Savior having gone through that sorrow. My heart goes out to all of you.

  65. Erin

    September 5, 2008

    Thank you for sharing those beautiful words.

  66. Jenna Consolo

    October 15, 2008

    I just found this article today after reading through your blog archives. I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to read this theory from someone else. I have felt this way for as long as I can remember, that even when I feel my babies kicking and squirming within, that they are still somehow also in the presence of heaven and spirits, and God. That they could somehow be both places at once, until they were born. Maybe I’m not crazy! Thank you for the beautiful validation on an even more beautiful theory.

  67. Amy

    December 15, 2008

    I recently had a miscarriage the same exact day my husbands dearest friend passed away unexpectedly. Also, the god grandfather of our soon to be baby, and possible name sake. When I started spotting that morning and it continued into the night when we heard the news of his passing. We thought surely the lord will help this baby live? We can’t loose them both on the same day? I was given a blessing that night and felt comforted but knew what was in store.I had my miscarriage at 7pm the next day and the bleeding continued into the week. My husbands sister suggested to me later on that perhaps our baby needed to meet our friend first. This was a sweet thought but wasn’t sure. Then at the funeral many people came up to us to tell us how much that baby meant to him, and how excited he was for us. Then some of his very close friends told us that just days before his passing, around the time we had told him about our baby, he had a dream he was with his deceased son, and he was holding a small baby. When I was told this tears flooded my eyes, and right there I felt the spirit testify to me that that baby was my baby. I believe that baby will come again to us.

  68. Kayce

    June 14, 2009

    I just found this and I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have had two early miscarriages, and I haven’t been able to get pregnant since my last one.
    I have wondered about this very topic for a very long time. You put what I was thinking into words exactly.
    Thank you so much!

  69. Bri

    October 29, 2009

    Thank you for writing this. This was sent to me last night by my dearest friend because I went in for an ultra sound yesterday (10 weeks) and there was no heart beat. This speaks to my soul. I feel strongly this little one wanted to come a little later. I just pray it’s a little bit later, because we struggled for our first for 3 years. I was just so grateful I had a beautiful son to hold in my arms when I got home. It’s still heartbreaking, but I have faith all will be well.

  70. Craig

    December 17, 2009

    3 Nephi 1:12-13 …the voice of the Lord came unto him, saying: Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets. How did Jesus say this unless he left Mary’s womb for a short time? What you say in this essay is great. thank you.

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