I wish I could start by giving you a hug and a chance to share your story. I wish I could give you permission to continue processing the grief that comes with losing a baby. I wish I could tell you that you are not alone and you were never alone—even when you felt like no one else could possibly understand. And I wish I could promise you that you will have another chance—another positive pregnancy test—and a healthy baby.

But I can’t.

I can only offer bits of my story and a glimpse into what I have experienced being pregnant again after losing a baby in my womb. And because I know my words can only reach so far, I offer the only encouragement I know that lasts. I pray this letter reaches those who need it.

Dear momma,

I have been where you are—pregnant again—hopeful, terrified, desperate for daily proof of the life that grows within your womb.

I have felt the same excitement and anticipation, followed by the heavy weight of fear.

I know because this is where I find myself as I write this letter.

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I am 12-weeks pregnant with another miracle—a baby I was beginning to believe might not come—and fear descended like a dark cloud soon after reading the word pregnant on my home pregnancy test.

What if this baby doesn’t make it?

What if this is too good to be true?

What if excitement will only leave me more disappointed?

What if I’m getting too old?

What if . . . 

But, oh, how I have prayed for this baby—for this life.

How I have longed for one more.

I can’t explain why, but it is much deeper than a desire to hold an infant again—any mother who longs for a child knows what that feels like.

I had my first ultrasound recently. I saw our baby kicking and flipping around inside my womb.

I can feel my abdomen growing—as if the nausea and exhaustion weren’t proof enough.

And yet, the oppressive weight of fear has felt suffocating.

It makes it hard to breathe.

It fills my mind with questions and my heart with doubts.

How can I open my heart again just to risk it breaking?

How could I recover from another loss?

This love feels too fragile—there is too much to lose.

These are just a few of the thoughts fear is eager to provoke.

But I decided something today—something worthy of declaration.

I am not going to live this way anymore.

I can’t.

Fear can’t protect me from the grief of loss.

It can’t comfort me if my heart breaks.

It can’t sustain me when I am at my weakest.

Fear can only hold hostage the excitement and hope that come with the blessing of new life.

It can only rob me of what is true and what is possible.

So today, I am choosing to hope.

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I am choosing eager anticipation.

I am choosing to smile and to thank God for what He has given me.

I am choosing to look at the ultrasound photographs with joy, despite my previous loss and despite the fear and doubt I have carried into this pregnancy.

Because this is all I’ve got—this day, this hope, this life growing within my womb.

This is all I’ve got, but it’s no small thing.

So, my prayer for you, momma, is that you speak your fears out loud.

That you reject the false reassurance of delayed excitement and joy.

That you cling to your faith.

That you look forward in hope, knowing God hears you, He loves you, and He hasn’t missed a single beat of your baby’s tiny heart.

You are not alone, momma—not for a second

Ashley Case

Ashley lives in Michigan with her husband, two young boys, and a bulldog. She is a pediatric occupational therapist by profession and is currently at home full-time raising her boys. She writes about life and motherhood at https://www.inbetweenyesterdayandtomorrow.com/.