Mercy & Esther

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Mercy & Esther

Written by Becky Creswell, Mercy & Esther’s mom

My husband Greg and I have 3 children, and each one of them has taught us a different lesson.

Mercy is our first born and our first loss. At a 9 week — what should have been celebratory – ultrasound, we heard the words I know many of you have heard and will also never forget. Eventually, I accepted the grief that followed. I let myself sit and bathe in my agony. I had no idea how exhausting it was to grieve.

As time passed, I started wondering: how long am I allowed to grieve over my child? How long am I allowed to decline invitations to baby showers? To expect compassion and sympathy from friends and family? To cry during certain worship songs sung at church? Had I already exceeded that time?

When was I allowed to laugh again? To feel joy again? Or is that gone with my child?

See, I was hoping I would just “get over it”. Wouldn’t that be amazing if that was actually an option? Loss is not that simple, and grief is not that straightforward.

That was the first lesson Mercy Creswell taught me.

The 2nd most difficult part of losing Mercy was learning how to continue with life, how to move forward while our hearts were still hurting. We had to learn to integrate our sorrow with everyday life. This meant letting myself get mad when I walked past the baby section at Target, or frustrated when people around us announced their pregnancies, or break out into tears when our church sang “He Will Hold Me Fast.”

It also meant granting myself permission to feel joy. The Women’s World Cup was happening the same summer we lost Mercy, and as a huge fan of the USWNT, it was a gift of grace from the Lord to have those events coincide. We watched the quarter-final game against France 2 weeks after our miscarriage and it was the longest I had gone not thinking about our empty arms. To be honest, I felt so guilty after those 2 hours of unbridled joy (because it was an amazing game).

Mercy taught me that grief is not the dictator of my life and joy is not my enemy. They accompany us as we walk into our day to day reality.

How long am I allowed to decline invitations to baby showers? To expect compassion and sympathy from friends and family? To cry during certain worship songs sung at church? Had I already exceeded that time?

Gideon is our second child, though most assume he’s our first since he’s here with us. From the day we found out we were pregnant with him, I have never stopped worrying about him.

In my 9 months of pregnancy with him, I spent my time in anxiety and nervousness. Friends would ask how I was feeling. I didn’t have many pregnancy symptoms and most friends relished in that. “Oh, you’re so lucky!”. I would have paid big money to have morning sickness, or head aches, or anything to confirm that this child was healthy and well inside of me. No one knew how mentally and emotionally spent I was worrying about Gideon every single day.

It was right after his anatomy scan that I recognized the veil of fear covering my eyes and blinding me to the joy and excitement I could be experiencing. I was livid. Most moms take bump pictures, write in little journals, set up a cute nursery, but I sat in a cloud of fear, never celebrating this child.

Gideon taught me joy has to be fought for. You have to have the courage to be excited, to let yourself dream about that little life, even though you know the odds. You will regret spending 9 months dwelling in fear.

Esther, our third child, went to be with Jesus about a month ago. Another short 7 week life, another round of physical, emotional, spiritual pain. When I realized what was happening, I cried, “really? Again?”. Didn’t God know we suffered through this already? Did He forget?

About a week before the miscarriage, a friend had asked me how I was doing with the pregnancy. She walked the road of pregnancy and pregnancy loss before me & I knew she wasn’t just asking about morning sickness. I told her that I wasn’t as afraid as I was before. Obviously, I wanted with all of my heart, this child to live on this side of heaven. But fear of losing her wasn’t commanding my thoughts. “Does that make me a bad mom?” I asked.  Her response was, “No, you experienced first hand the faithfulness of God to comfort and carry you through loss before. You know he’ll do it again if needed.”

I had no idea that the Lord planned that phone call to that friend with those words so that a week later I could ask “Really? Again?” and let the love and comfort of the Lord envelope me as we said another “good-bye.”

Esther is teaching me there are no coincidences, no mistakes, and though my heart will never understand the “why” of losing 2 children, God’s faithfulness and nearness to the broken hearted is so evident.

I want to leave you with a verse that has been encouragement, comfort, and a prayer for us.

“The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.”
Zeph 3:17

Donate to our “Still their mom” campaign to support our ministry efforts for moms like Becky

Real life ways we support loss moms as an organization – and the associated cost:

  • Our organization is sending 20 of the 100 moms to the Bereaved Mother’s Day Tea this Sunday. (cost: $50 to send 1 mom)
  • We have sent 60 free care packs to new loss moms in the last year. (cost: $2,400, approx. $40/ea)
  • We sent 300+ cards to bereaved moms and infertility warriors this year. (cost: $450)
  • This past year, we gave out $25,000 to cover loss-associated medical bills for 18 moms and their families. In the fall, we plan to give $25,000 more.
  • We design spaces and connection events for moms to share and meet other moms. (cost: ~$25,000)