"I've always wanted to be a mother. After getting pregnant with our beautiful daughter, I knew life was falling into place. She's a perfect gift from God and everyday I get a glimpse of God's grace and faithfulness as I watch her grow, laugh, and smile. I've always assumed that if we prayed and gave it all to the Lord, that He would deliver to us another sweet baby to raise and make memories with. He did, but this time, being a mother was different. I carried our sweet little boy for 14 weeks when we abruptly lost him. I delivered him, whose heart had been beating only two hours prior. I felt like God had set me aside, not apart. 

Just as I began to find my footing, I found out I was pregnant for a second time. I cried, begged, and pleaded that this baby would be our 'rainbow baby,' that after the storm we faced, God would deliver to us a rainbow... that His beautiful and fulfilling grace would allow us to keep our newest and smallest member of our now family of five. Two weeks after finding out we were expecting again, I started to bleed. Everyone tried to tell me that it would be okay. But I knew. One thing miscarriage does is try to steal your mama joy. The joy of feeling certain that nothing bad will happen to the little miracle growing inside. The joy of knowing you'll see your baby regularly on ultrasounds and watch it grow. The joy of planning and decorating a nursery, of baby showers, and baby shoes that your child will likely never wear.

As I struggle to determine my new role as a mother to three beautiful children, only one of which I get to enjoy right now, I realize that God has made me this mother for a reason. He hasn't set me aside, He set me apart. I carry this grief for a reason, and one day when I get to hold all three of my babies in Heaven, I know I will understand God's plan. But for now, I grieve. I will grieve and pray and hold my daughter close while I hold my boys in my heart. I am so thankful the Lord has made me a mother, even if it's not in the way I had planned." 



- Danielle #standforlife

Chandler Cooksey