The signs were there—every drop and clot of blood adding to the horror rising in my belly that I was having a miscarriage.

My mind raced and my throat clogged as if stifling a scream while I sat in the bathroom in the middle of the night. My husband lay sleeping in the bedroom, blissfully unaware of what the signs were telling me—we might be losing our baby.

I’d had a miscarriage scare with my first pregnancy around 10 weeks, the signs ushering us from the church sanctuary to the ER. Thankfully, after an afternoon spent silently sobbing while poked and prodded, I was released from the hospital with hope—our baby was still alive.

Two years after our scare, that healthy baby girl was now excited about becoming a big sister. But this time felt different. When I finally made it to the doctor to confirm what I knew, there were no remaining traces of our baby inside me.

There’s no way to minimize it. The next few months were some of the most painful of my life. But I treasure some of what I gained through that experience: namely, what I learned about God, myself, and comforting those who grieve.