The first time I walked through those hospital doors…it didn’t feel real. But the extreme pain my body was experiencing kept my mind tied to reality. This was happening. My late-night ER visit was for reasons that every pregnant woman dreads—blood and pain. So much pain.

The first time I walked through those hospital doors…I was overflowing with fear. It felt the heaviness of the entire world leaning against me. As each moment passed, I got weaker. I knew I would be crushed at any moment. The last strand of hope I had been clinging to was now loosely wrapped around my heart like a tattered ribbon.

The first time I walked through those hospital doors…I had so many questions. After a full day of pain and heartache—unable to accept what I knew was happening—I was desperate for answers. I could no longer endure the swinging pendulum of emotion. Hope. Hopeless. Hope. Hopeless. Back and forth. Back and forth.

After an evening of examinations, tests, and ultrasounds, those questions were answered. I had miscarried. I had lost my baby.  The doctors were compassionate. The chaplain was comforting. The nurses were gentle and empathetic—one of them sharing her own story of loss with me.

When I walked out those hospital doors…I was empty—both body and heart. I thought when my time came to go to the hospital, it would be a joyous one and I would leave with a baby. But instead, I felt hallow and broken and confused.

When I walked out those hospital doors…I talked about my loss. I wanted to. I needed to. I told the story of my baby’s life, despite it being far too brief. The love and truth I discovered through the 13 weeks of growing his/her life inside of me, was immeasurable.

Five years after I first walked through those hospital doors, I reconnected with the hospital, my hospital, to thank them for the gentle, thorough care they gave me during the hardest night of my life. I thanked them by sharing my story. The first connection I made at the hospital has become a deep one. He understood me. He too had experienced unthinkable loss. Our stories bonded us.

Stories connect. They bring strangers together and create family. Stories connect individuals and create community.

The hospital then asked me to come back and share my story again.

This time when I walked through those hospital doors, I wasn’t empty. I was carrying a story of hope. I carried it into the building that had also held my complete brokenness. Sharing the details of my loss and healing journey in the exact same place that played an integral role in my story, was surreal. And powerful.

This time when I walked through those hospital doors…my heart was full. It was full because I knew I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t alone in my loss or grief. I shared my story with others who had experienced loss—in many different forms. There was an understanding—a welcoming even—in the faces of the people I talked to. Because they knew what loss felt like firsthand. And they shared their stories with me.

What began as talking, has turned into listening. As I share, others share. And I’ve realized I am not alone. Quite the opposite. There is an entire community and sisterhood out there that understands. And together, we are storytellers.

My heart still hurts. Of course it does. It always will. But the pain no longer emanates from an open wound. It has been covered by grace and unity. It has been covered by the goodness of my God. There is still a scar—oh, yes. But I wear that scar with love. Because it tells a story…my story. And you my friend, have a story too. Tell it.

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