Zion's Story

Zion's Story


 7.13.21 the day I left the hospital empty handed. No baby in my arms. Instead a consolation prize, a stuffed animal meant to give me something to hold onto since life had been taken from me, from us. 

My poor husband had to push his grieving wife out of the hospital in a wheel chair. Usually this is the same exit a mother who just gave birth would get. But instead of wet eyes, and miserable faces, there would be joy, maybe a vase of flowers, a sign celebration, of life. There would be a cart overflowing with baby gear that the mother barely used for her hospital stay. Most importantly though, someone would get the honor of carrying the baby out of the hospital, strapped safely in their car seat. The seat that had been checked over by nurses to ensure the baby would be kept safe from the outside world on the treacherous drive home. 

Who knew that it was in the womb that could cause harm to my perfectly formed, perfectly grown, 8lbs 10oz baby boy. 

We were naïve. 

We had no clue that this could happen. 
This was baby number 4 after all. 
We had done this, and it had been beautiful. Hard, painful? Yes. But oh so worth it. And even through the pain of 3 unmedicated births, every time it ended in glory! The glory of God filling the earth through a perfect, healthy, prayed for baby. A gift to us from heaven. A sign that for some reason God trusted us with this precious soul. To raise and to guide, to navigate this world for his glory. Wow, birth is amazing. A true gift.

But what about when the outcome isn't what you thought. 
The outcome is nothing like you could imagine, actually, it's unimaginable. No one in their right mind wants to allow their thoughts to go to this.
This....the loss of a child. The ripping away of a life, right before it should enter the world. 
Your gift is stollen right out of your arms, or in my case, my womb. 

In the words of Natalie Grant, which I sang with passion as a teenager, worshipping God, and it wasn't until 2021, after losing my own child did I truly understand the words:
"To think that providence would
Take a child from his mother while she prays is appalling." 

It truly is appalling, to think that this could happen to us. 
That this was now our life. Grieving parents to a dead baby.

Baby #4, Zion Malachi Suell, we were ready for you. 
Even the morning I went into Labor, it was a Saturday, and I looked at my sister, and we both said, "Shabbat Shalom! It's  A Great Day To Have A Baby!" 

Neither of us knew this would be the journey of the next several hours. 
Or that 3 days later I would be writing these words in my journal, as I sat broken, bruised, ripped apart and put back together quite literally, empty, and wondering how it would be possible to leave the hospital without my son. 

 stillborn

Journal entry 07.13.21

Lord Jesus, 
    It doesn't make sense, and I'm honestly not sure I'm capable of doing this. To walk out of this hospital without a baby in my arms. Lord, I've carried him with me everywhere the past 9 months, he's been part of me, and suddenly I have to leave him, alone. Not be with him. Abandon him here. This isn't how it's supposed to be.  Lord I can't. Again God, I have to have you. You have to show up if I'm to do this. Lord, recently I said I didn't know what it meant to be fully reliant, submitted, dependent on you. Now I do. But oh God, was all this for that? To get me fully surrendered? God I pray it's not true. Show me there's more in this loss than a lesson of surrender for me. God I need you. Help me be good. A good person, mom, wife. To grieve well, but love well too. Please help me have joy in my life. I'm afraid I'll be mad, angry, sad, not enjoy life anymore. It feels impossible to have any joy after this. Help me to have purpose. To get through all of this pain, the hard.  Lord, he's been with me all this time, and now people will see me alone, empty handed, without my baby. 
Teach me to be vulnerable.
Teach me to be okay with being taken care of. Protect my family. Protect my marriage. Help us to grow through this, strengthen us, let us love better, live greater, and be closer because of this.
Lord, we need you.    

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1 comment

As a Labor and Delivery Nurse I have a big place in my heart for Moms/families that unfortunately have to walk this journey. I myself was only in the 2nd grade when my grown/married sister had a baby and lost him 3 days later due to a birth defect that wasn’t caught. (Back then ultrasounds and screenings were not what they are today for that.) My heart broke in different way than my sisters, but all the same it broke. Her and I were very close and when her husband was out of town working she would come to our house and sleep with me. She was like a second mom in some scenses.
I am sorry you and your family are having to walk this journey. Praying for you all and so glad that you are sharing both your perspective and that your sister is as well. Through your sharing, I have no doubt that you will help so many people.

Buffi Smith

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