A miscarriage is a terrible, painful, tragic thing for anyone to experience. Not only do parents lose their baby but they also have to come to terms with the loss of the life they thought they would have as a family. It can be overwhelming, especially if, like Lauren and Josiah Duggar, you lose your baby in the middle of a massive baby boom in your family. As difficult as this loss clearly was for the couple, they are moving on with their lives. But that doesn't mean they've forgotten. In fact, Josiah and Lauren Duggar shared the name of the baby they lost during in their rainbow pregnancy announcement and it was an important reminder that grief for one child does not disappear with the joy of the next.
The Counting On couple, who were married in June 2018, initially found out they were expecting their first child together last fall. Sadly Lauren suffered a miscarriage in October that left the couple utterly heartbroken. Lauren went on to explain in an excerpt from Countin On that it was the "worst day of my life," and as the couple shared with fans in an Instagram post from February, "Our expectations of setting up a baby room, hearing the heart beat, feeling the baby's first kick in mommys tummy, holding our little one and getting to to see our precious baby were - Shattered. Gone. Right before our eyes."
Nearly seven months after that difficult loss for the young couple, they were happy to announce via their Instagram that they are pregnant again.
But they want to make sure that their first baby will not be forgotten, so Lauren and Josiah included a message to their first born in the pregnancy announcement along with the baby's name; Asa. Which Baby Center noted means "starting life at dawn."
We are so excited to announce that baby #2 is on the the way!!!! It’s hard to fully express just how grateful we are for God blessing us again with another precious gift! So, as we rejoice of the life of our second sweet baby, we also remember (balloon as symbolism) our other sweet baby, Asa, in heaven.
Very Well Family recognized that it can be healing for parents to name the child they lost as a way to honor their memory in a concrete way. It can also be a way to remind people that this is Lauren's second pregnancy, and that she has no intention of forgetting Asa. Just as Josiah had no intention of letting this past Mother's Day pass without honoring his wife as a mother who didn't get a chance to hold her child. Josiah wrote in an Instagram post to Lauren:
Not all mothers arms get to hold their little one, or get to hear their baby’s laughs and cries. You may have missed out on these things since our baby was called home to be with Jesus, but you ARE a mother.
The reality is that grief is a process. Josiah and Lauren, like so many other parents, will presumably have some conflicted feelings every once in a while as they prepare to welcome their second baby. But I think they are remarkably grounded in the way they are dealing with that first, awful loss.
Giving their baby a name. Remembering their little one even as they announce their second pregnancy. And, perhaps most importantly, sharing their story so others don't feel so alone.