Destiny In Bloom

Journey with Jed: Embry’s Story

Journey with Jed: Embry’s Story

posted on October 14th, 2012 / by Embry Munsey / 13 Comments

Looking back at my life prior to July of 2011 I would say I had it made in many ways. I married a man beyond my wildest dreams at the age of 21 and just shy of our third anniversary we welcomed our first child …. a little boy, Zealan Alexander.

This was all I ever dreamt of. I never had a dream career, but from as far back as I remember I dreamed of becoming a wife and a Mom. Despite the fact that we had to live even more humbly once he came along, it was worth it to me to sacrifice “things” to be home with my son. We moved to California when he was 4 months old & the dream just got better. A new son, a new lovely place to live and an amazing husband!

 When Zealan was 2 & ½ we decided we wanted to make him a big brother. After 3 short months I got pregnant with another little boy and we were ecstatic! We told our families over the holidays & Zealan was counting down the days until he got to meet his little brother. He would talk about how he would teach him everything he knew and they would be best friends. Every time we left the house to go somewhere he would ask, “Can baby Jed in your tummy come too?”

I had two beautiful showers thrown for Jedidiah and although I had horrible heartburn the entire pregnancy, he was growing perfectly healthy and that’s what mattered to me! Being my second, I was organizing our house months before his estimated arrival and everything was in tip-top shape come July, so I was ready for him.

At the end of my pregnancy I was a total emotional mess and I was just done having indigestion, and Zealan at this point would not stop asking when Jed was coming … I was SO ready for him to come! It was a Wednesday, I had been crying all day and I couldn’t for the life of me tell you why. I was just a wreck.

I asked my husband to drop me off at the beach  and  I just plopped down on the sand and cried. When I got into bed that night Jed didn’t do his usual somersault and that was totally not like him. He was a super active baby and the more I thought back I couldn’t remember feeling him THE WHOLE DAY.

It had been such a weird day I was certain I just hadn’t noticed or maybe he was running out of room because at this point I was 9 days out from my due date and already dilated. After trying a few things myself I called the midwife and she recommended eating some sweet things, etc, etc and calling her back. I guess I was so exhausted from being hugely pregnant that I fell asleep and woke up at 3am which was about 3 hours later. I still wasn’t feeling any movements. I never was one to worry during pregnancies so at this point honestly, I still thought nothing was wrong and surely he was just getting into position.

My midwife had me come into the birth center to check everything. So having a sleeping 3 year old, I told my husband I’d just go by myself so we didn’t have to wake him and I’d be right back.

As I pulled away from my apartment I left everything normal and safe behind.

I remember saying to God on the way “God, you’re bigger than whatever is happening”.

She ran the doppler over my belly and  after a few minutes of not hearing anything the fear began to rip into me. She then did a sonogram and saw a lifeless little boy on the other end of it.

No heartbeat.

“I’m sorry Embry, your baby has passed”.

Thinking about that moment still gives me chills and I still wonder how I got myself up off that table and kept breathing. I had to call and  tell Steve over the phone so he could find a way to get to me … I had our only car with me. The next 12+ hours I was in “Mommy mode” with not much time to process anything as I geared up to deliver my baby …. my lifeless baby.

The hospital confirmed there was no heartbeat and induced me at noon. The next 11 hours we had to make a lot of decisions. A social worker came in to talk about way too many things and my biggest concern at that point was, how are we going to tell Zealan? I still get teary-eyed when I think about telling him and how much I felt I had let him down.

My parents got on the first flight from Texas and made it just in time for me to get induced and  I was thankful they were there for all of it. I delivered a perfectly perfect boy that night at 11:47pm weighing 6 pounds & 14 ounces, 21 inches long. Long & skinny just like his big brother!

He looked totally healthy but the umbilical chord had wrapped around him and taken his life …. just like that. He resembled Zealan so much, but I could see how he was also just so perfectly “Jed”.

Our lives changed forever that day. Everything we thought we had known about God, or life, or love, or missing someone … everything changed. Some things didn’t matter at all anymore and a whole lot of other things DID. We began a long journey of finding God in the midst of the unbearable pain we were dealing with and learning how to not only grieve together as a couple and not let that tear us apart, but also continue to parent a 3 year old who was now so confused. I wanted to run from God so bad because it scared me to keep trusting Him, but by the grace of God and with the help of my husband, I decided to keep believing He was good and He had a plan in all of this mess.

I battled with Satan a lot of days to keep the peace that God was extending to me and I had to learn to walk bravely through a lot of painful situations and questions. We kept everything about Jedidiah out in the open because it was less painful that way. I knew if I tried to ignore what had happened or try to move on too quickly it would hurt my Mama-heart way too much so I talked about him and I didn’t care who felt uncomfortable about it, he was my son!

I forced myself back to church just 2 weeks after his passing because I knew even though it hurt to be there, it would hurt much worse to turn my back on God…..even when I had felt so strongly that He had turned His back on me. Everywhere I was looking people were getting pregnant and it was a stab in the heart to know God was allowing them to keep their babies, but why did He not let me?

My little sister’s wedding, the holidays, Zealan’s birthday -each special occasion was excruciating as I could not stop thinking about how I should have BOTH of my boys with me & every “first without Jed” was an uphill battle, but I was determined to not get stuck.

All the while we kept trying to get pregnant again and that was just another heartbreak. Come the month of May, I felt like God had done so much healing in my heart and I was not necessarily feeling “normal” again, but I think I had found a way to do this new life. I was figuring out the routine of grief I guess you could say and I was in a healthy place with God and trusting His timing in us getting pregnant again and also showing us His plan for this story.

I started writing within days of losing Jed and that began what became over 40+ posts about all God has shared with me through this loss. Many things loss-related, but also just things about Him. My husband and I shared our vision with our church about starting a bereaved parents group, they were on board and we were beginning to get a glimpse of Jedidiah’s legacy being played out.

In July 2012, on the weekend of Jedidiah’s anniversary in Heaven, we did lots of beautiful things to honor him. 1 year & a day after he went to Heaven we found out God & Jed had given us a very special gift …. a new baby. I was pregnant with Munsey number 3 and although I was an emotional wreck at the possibility of losing another baby, I felt like I KNEW God was going to give us this baby and it was going to be a beautiful touch of redemption in this journey of ours.

With much shock and horror, we found out at 8 weeks that our baby had passed. My body had experienced a missed miscarriage which not only meant that she was gone, but my body wasn’t recognizing the miscarriage so I had no choice but to undergo
a D&C to remove the baby.

I was taken back to that place of utter disappointment and anger with God and I was begging God to do a miracle. Before agreeing to the procedure I went for 4 sonograms weeks apart because I was scared to death of being unsure. I finally got a grip with reality and realized yes, this has really happened again.

Why would God allow this again, hadn’t we learned enough? And to have found out on Jedidiah’s anniversary, it should have so beautifully played out.

After a week or two of going through all of those same familiar questions, I decided I couldn’t get stuck there again and that I knew how to walk through this so I needed to just do it. It’s hard to grieve for the baby that I didn’t get to know like I knew Jed. I only know the hope she brought to our family and even though I only had 10 weeks & not 10 months of dreaming of my life with this new little one…it’s still 10 weeks.  It’s still long enough to get excited and get hopeful and I had that same awful indigestion and was practically bed-ridden this time so I had definitely felt pregnant!

What we have learned though is God is still on the throne. He is still God and He is still good. These losses are good because He has a plan & believe he has given me a destiny to tell my children’s stories when they’re not here to tell it themselves. I could go on and on about the revelations God has given me over the course of these last fifteen months, but we’ll be here for months.

Never stop mentioning your sweet babies’ names. If you are a friend or relative of a bereaved parent: give them permission to talk about it. Time only heals if we allow ourselves to walk bravely through the grief.

Stare it in the face and say “You will not get the best of me, I am still a child of God!”

About The Author

Embry Munsey

Embry is a true girly-girl and passionate about bright colors and polka dots! She loves to craft in any fashion whether it's scrap-booking, decorating, throwing parties, or expressing herself through quirky fashion ... Pinterest has been a life changer! When feeling stressed or defeated, what always does the trick for is to reorganize a part of her house while listening to Kari Jobe and follow it up with a walk to the beach. She would be described by her friends as passionate, outspoken, sassy and quick-witted. Embry grew up loving to sing which led her to a performing arts discipleship program in New York right out of High School and then to Hillsong's Leadership College in Sydney Australia to study Worship where she met her husband, Steve in 2002. The skater boy from California stole her heart right away, a year later they started dating and married in 2005 at the ripe old age of 21. She would say they have grown up together and Steve has taught her how to truly trust God and love people like she never knew before! They had their first child Zealan in 2007 and the road got rough for the couple when they decided to make him a big brother years later. Embry grew up in Texas with her family, but moved to Laguna Beach, California with her husband & new son in 2008 and is truly "home" in her new state. She lives in a quaint little beach house across from the ocean and doesn't take a day of it for granted! Steve & Embry joined Mariners Church in 2010 where Steve is now on staff and together they are heavily involved in many ministries. Growing up Embry had one dream role for herself and that was to become a wife and have a family. Her story started out as a girl growing up in an amazing Christian family with most things coming easily to her, but she has learned through recent tragedy that life with God isn't always picture perfect.

Embry Munsey

13 Responses to “Journey with Jed: Embry’s Story”

  1. this helps and speaks to my heart in a huge area of pain in my life.. somehow I gotta get up and say God is good and He has a plan for me..and start overcoming again..

  2. What an amazing story! I was led to your blog by a new friend. We lost a baby at 27 weeks. Although we were set to adopt her, we were her only parents at her side during her 30 hours of life. We had waited for her for 3 years! So it was just as terrible a loss as if I carried her. Her name is Brianna Joy. I wish I could say I had your strength of faith during that horrible time. I mean, I know I did, although it looked different, because I'm still here now. But it was so hard. I know you understand more than anyone! The following 2 1/2 years were heart wrenching as our marriage went down hill fast (our loss + other things going on caused more heartache) but God IS God and He is so good and faithful to see us through, if we are willing. Fortunately, I was. Thank you for sharing your story. And thank you for reminding me to not be afraid to remember her. As I now have a growing 20 month old, remembering her causes pain and fear. But I need to take that captive to Christ, because it is so important to remember. Not only for her, but also to remember the faithfulness of our ever-loving God. God bless you and your family! Love in Christ, Amy

  3. Justine, I'm glad my baby(ies) story has touched a hard part in your life & I hope you can find not just the strength but the courage to find God in your story as well! Much love to you!

  4. Amy, I'm so sorry to hear you have had such heartbreak! Trust me, I was not always full of faith especially those first so many months, but I kept pushing through even when it killed me! All we have to do is keep our eyes on Christ & He'll do the rest…He already has! I also understand the toll it takes on a marriage as Steve & I have experienced that as well. The divorce rate goes up to 80% for couples that have lost a child which tells you how hard it is to not only go through it, but figure out how to do it alongside your spouse. I'm glad our story has encouraged you to remember Brianna. I have found it hurts much worse if we neglect the grief & try to forget the child. I have just surrounded myself with the particular friends who allow me to feel normal & talk about my kids whether they're here with me or not. Don't let fear rob your grief or your love for Brianna or your new daughter. That's what Satan wants. I have had to learn to let everything go to God & trust Him in a new way with everything! I have seen how Satan has tried to get me to fear of losing our older son or my husband…the list goes on-he will try anything! Thank you for your encouragement & your bravery-you just told YOUR story too! ;)

  5. Thanks for sharing your story ! Helps my heart to hear the story of others. This Tuesday marks the due date of my sweet Hope who was a "missed miscarriage". Believing in the King that can use what was stolen to still bring glory to His Kingdom!
    Choosingjoy,
    Vicki

  6. You are truly a blessing to anyone reading your story . I have followed you through F Book , a friend of your mom.Your Aunt Cyndi and i were friends from jr high and on. i feel as though i know you. You are a remarkable woman and child of God. I will share your story with others that i know will have an impact on them. My niece lost her 15 yr old son this year to a tragic death and she being a Christian has been a glowing example to all of us and reminds me of you. God bless you and your beautiful family. There is a reason i read this article this early am – i am touched by the Lord's work in you. Lynda

  7. Sister, I can relate to soooooo much of your story. Grieving with you and rejoicing with you in God's grace.

  8. I just recently found your blog, and your story brings chills! I have lost two babies as well, one was a missed miscarriage at the beginning of this year and then my son who I lost from an umbilical cord accident in August. I appreciate your courage and strength and Faith in God…Thank You for sharing your Beautiful Story!

  9. Vicki, my thoughts are with you today as you celebrate your precious Hope. I know all too well the pain of not only miscarrying but having to have a procedure because my body is refusing to recognize the loss. I kept having pregnancy symptoms & it was such a painful decision to have that D&C even after having multiple confirmations that she had definitely passed. I have gone through 15 months of remembering our Jedidiah & now I too have a baby Hope that would've been due this coming March. It's such a different story, but I want to find a unique way just for her to remember her & what SHE has meant for our lives. I know BOTH of our Hope babies are dancing the golden streets today, looking down on their Mamas with pride. We have to continue to be brave enough to speak their names & share their stories in hope to help others….to also help heal our own hearts. Much love to you especially on this day…I'd love to know how you honor her.

  10. Lynda, thank you for those sweet words of encouragement! I absolutely love that you say you will share my story with others! That is my whole goal in sharing the deepest parts of my heart through all of this. From day 1 of losing Jedidiah I made it my mission to let my life be an open book for others…in hopes that Jedidiah's legacy would make an impact on others & through that have also found great healing for myself! I'm so sorry to hear of your friend's loss. I am sure there are hard things about losing a child at any age. Part of me wishes I had even a little more time with Jed, but I know no time less than forever would've been good enough & my heart aches for those parents that get to know their child for too less of time no matter the situation. All we can do is keep speaking their names. ;)

  11. thank you for standing with me in this Kerry! Never stop sharing YOUR story

  12. Heather, I can relate all too closely to both of your losses & mother to mother I'm so sorry! It's not a group any of us would wish on another, but I'm grateful that there are other parents speaking out so at least we have one another…no matter how painful the reality. I pray you will find strength to keep speaking those babies names & allowing God to create a testimony out of their lives that you have been mandated as their Mama to share ;) Much love to you & thank you for reading my blog as well.

  13. Vicki, I see I somehow missed your comment…or forgot to respond! Thank you for sharing & I pray you have found ways to weave Hope into your family forever. It is important we make a purpose out of our loss….or we ALLOW the purpose that is already in it to be shown. First to ourselves & then bravely to others, encouraging one another to bring darkness into the light! Much love to you.