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everyday life inside the fishbowl

Thursday Thoughts: A Letter to Haddon {Encouragement for Those Who Have Lost a Baby}

on January 29, 2015

May, 2011 010

{Edited to add: If you’re not looking to read the detailed story of my loss (it was helpful for me to write out and share at the time), feel free to skip down to my husband’s letter to our Haddon near the end.}

At the beginning of March, 2011 my husband, Dave and I found out that I was pregnant with our second baby. While we were not surprised, we were very excited that the Lord had answered our prayers with another child. The timing was perfect. We announced it to our parents at the same time. We then let all of our immediate family know. We planned on having a “gender reveal party” probably at the beginning of June. The baby was due November 19, 2011. This would allow me to be off work for Dave’s birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, my birthday, and New Year’s. Not the biggest deal in the world, but family time is important to us, so we were excited about that.

My OB appointment was scheduled for Tuesday, April 26 at 12:30. Dave was able to get off work to join me, so we could see the baby for the first time together. Right before we left, I went to the bathroom. I noticed a little bit of blood when I wiped. I was alarmed immediately. Before I was pregnant with Calvin, I had a possible miscarriage at five weeks, with the most noticeable symptom being bleeding. Thankfully there was only a little bit of light pink blood, though, and I knew some people bleed a bit during pregnancy. I was also thankful that I would be able to see the doctor within an hour anyway.

I couldn’t help but feel sick to my stomach as we drove. I wanted to find out right away whether everything was ok! As we neared the office building, however, I noticed fire trucks. Then, as I walked into the building the power went out. My appointment was cancelled! My heart sank; I would have to live with this fear for a while longer. Dave kept assuring me that I was fine. I called my mom, and she comforted me with the reminder that my sister and my aunt bled during pregnancy, and they were just fine. I knew that the Lord was in control, but I still feared for the life of my baby. My appointment was re-scheduled for the following Wednesday.

As the week went on, though, the bleeding continued to gradually increase. Dave still kept telling me everything was probably fine, but I was scared. I even told Calvin that I didn’t think he was going to have a baby brother or sister in November. When we went to bed, I started crying, but Dave told me not to cry until we had found out something. I laid in bed for a couple hours unable to sleep. The cramping in my legs was increasing. I was starting to feel cramping in the groin area. The bleeding became very heavy.

I can honestly say, though, as I laid there in bed, I was able to praise the Lord. I asked for the life of my baby, yet I knew that God always does what is best. I praised the Lord for this trial He had given me and for His sovereign control. I had been reading Isaiah in my devotions, and I truly believe the Lord providentially prepared me for this trial, as I had been seeing in His Word once again God’s sovereignty in all of life.

Around 2:45, due to concern about hemorrhaging, I finally called my doctor who said we should go to the ER. My parents both came over, and Dave took me to the hospital at 3:30. It was hard to keep telling everyone why I was there. In my heart, I knew I had a miscarriage. They kept saying, so you’re how far along? I kept saying, I am/was 11 weeks pregnant. I had blood work, IV, pelvic exam, abdominal and pelvic ultrasounds. . . all for them to tell me at 7:30 what I already knew. I had a miscarriage. I had peeked at the US when the tech stepped out of the room, and I couldn’t see a baby.

After the doctors left, Dave came over to the stretcher where I was lying. The truth had finally hit him, and he started to cry. He asked me whether I thought the baby was a boy or a girl. I shrugged, but he said that I thought it was a boy, didn’t I? I nodded. Dave said that we would then name him Haddon Steven, the name we had chosen for a boy. Haddon is named after Charles Spurgeon, the prince of preachers, and Steven is after my dad, one of the kindest men I know.

As we left the hospital around 8, we cried as we walked to the car. We cried as we called all of our family. We cried with Mom and Calvin when we came home. My mom took me to the doctor after that; then I came home and tried to sleep when Calvin napped. Dave came home early, so I could sleep some more. That evening, I went to my sister’s baby shower for her expectant twins. It was good to think about something else, but it was hard at the same time. I still was cramping and grieving.

I was supposed to work on Tuesday, but they kindly took me off the schedule. I did a lot of reading in between taking care of Calvin. We hadn’t studied infant salvation in detail, and we were both somewhat undecided on it. But this reality concerning OUR baby made us think about it immediately. I read John MacArthur’s sermons on infant salvation, which helped me tremendously. I was able to build a biblical basis for believing that our little Haddon was in heaven.

I will spare the details, but on Thursday morning, I finally released what I believe was the body of my baby. This was the source of the continued cramping, bleeding, and smell. This was my dead child that had been sitting in me for days. There was no way that I could flush my baby down the toilet or put him in the garbage. I set him on some tissues on the counter in the bathroom. I called Dave at seminary. As soon as I started talking to him, I started crying. Dave said he would come home immediately.

I found a nice box to put him in. I put a bow around the box and wrote his name nicely on the box. Dave could also tell that this definitely was the baby. As I closed the box the last time and tied the bow, I started sobbing really hard. I felt like I could finally grieve, as we really, truly knew that the baby was gone. I felt empty inside, because there was no longer a little life in there.

May, 2011 003

We called my parents to ask them if we could bury him in their yard. They kindly agreed. We brought dinner over and decided to spend the evening with them. Dad dug a hole in their garden. Dave read a beautiful note that he had written to our little Haddon, and he prayed. I had bought him some white carnations. We put little Haddon’s earthly body, a couple flowers, and Dave’s note in the grave. Then I put the rest of the flowers on top of the grave.

Tears were shed, but there was also a helpful closure that burying Haddon’s little body allowed for us. We loved our little boy, but, as we told him at the funeral, God loves him even more.

We still grieve—especially on that following Mother’s Day, as we were going to announce my pregnancy. But we do not grieve as those who have no hope. Haddon’s namesake said,

“Dry thine eyes, and bless God that thou hast another link with heaven, and that thou hast helped to fill the choirs that, day without night, circle the throne of God with hallelujahs.”

“It is a wondrous joy to be the father of those who, day and night, wait upon God in heaven, and see his face, and serve him evermore; so be not sad or downcast if that is your case.”

As I thought about the comfort that God brought to our hearts as we studied and came to the conclusion that our child is in heaven, I wanted to share this with others. Perhaps you have had a miscarriage or the loss of a young child. Perhaps your loss has even been your own doing, through an abortion (whether intended or not). Perhaps you have a child, who–like my sweet 3 year old nephew, Evan–has severe mental disability and is unable to even willfully sin or understand the gospel. If so (or if you know someone who has undergone such a trial), then I hope this letter to our little Haddon (perhaps Haddie–we’ll find out in heaven! 🙂 ) will encourage you.


May 5, 2011

Dear Haddon Steven Huffstutler,

God gave you to us for 11 weeks. Then He took you home. As we bury what will be transformed into a beautiful body in the future, we wanted to say a few things to you on earth before we see you in heaven.

  1. God knew you inside your mother, and He knew how long you would live. Psalm 139:13-16 13 For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; 16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.
  2. God was kind enough to let you have rest instead of the pain and suffering that life sometimes brings. Job 3:1, 16–17 1 Afterward Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. 2 And Job said, 3 “Let the day perish on which I was to be born, And the night which said, ‘A boy is conceived.’ 16 “Or like a miscarriage which is discarded, I would not be, As infants that never saw light. 17 “There the wicked cease from raging, And there the weary are at rest. Ecclesiastes 6:3-5 3 If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, however many they be, but his soul is not satisfied with good things and he does not even have a proper burial, then I say, “Better the miscarriage than he, 4 for it comes in futility and goes into obscurity; and its name is covered in obscurity. 5 “It never sees the sun and it never knows anything; it is better off than he.
  3. God took you to Himself in your innocence. You never knew how to choose between good and evil. Deuteronomy 1:39 ‘Moreover, your little ones who you said would become a prey, and your sons, who this day have no knowledge of good or evil, shall enter there, and I will give it to them and they shall possess it.
  4. Because you never willingly sinned, though originally sinful like us all, you cannot be judged according to your deeds. If you had a page waiting to be filled in the heavenly books, no deeds were written. And, because you died in your innocence, no accusation from the accuser can ever come your way. Revelation 20:12-13 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds.
  5. Your earthly father’s namesake said he knew he would be in heaven forever. Psalm 23:6 Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
  6. He, too, had a child that died in innocence. He knew he would go to him one day, in the house of the Lord, forever. 2 Samuel 12:22–23 22He said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who knows, the Lord may be gracious to me, that the child may live.’ 23 “But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”
  7. You now reside in a heavenly kingdom. It belongs to children like you. Matthew 19:14 But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
  8. Perhaps you met the angel who represented you before the Father. Matthew 18:10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father who is in heaven.
  9. This elect angel, like all of the other elect angels, ministers on behalf of those who inherit salvation. This inheritance is far greater than anything we could have ever given you. It is an inheritance that we will enjoy together forever. Hebrews 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?
  10. We bury this small body of yours today, knowing it will be something beautiful in the future. Philippians 3:20-21 20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.

Haddon Steven Huffstutler, we look forward to meeting you. We praise God we were your parents for eleven short weeks. Because He took you home on May 1, 2011, we will spend forever with you in heaven.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

We love you so much. God loves you more. You know that now, and this gives us comfort. We’ll see you soon, and this gives us comfort as well.


Dad & Mom

{On Thursdays, I share some thoughts about what God is teaching me in my various roles as a Christian, a woman, a wife, a mother, and a pastor’s wife.}


3 responses to “Thursday Thoughts: A Letter to Haddon {Encouragement for Those Who Have Lost a Baby}

  1. backtowhatever says:

    I wish you strength to overcome this and to be able to be thankful for each moment of those 11 weeks. A very close friend of mine had an extrauterine pregnancy and lost not only the child but also a big percentage of fertility during the surgery. So I feel with the both of you and hope that you’re going to be better.

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