Glass Full of Sadness

When we decided to create this blog back in 2012 before our big RTW trip I imagined it would be a way for us to share all the details of our travels in ways that most of the time would be exciting and fun, but with the occasional post discussing the hardships of our time on the road. Now that I look back and read through our old entries I see that the majority of our posts were filled with just the happy parts and highlighted what we loved most about the places we visited. If anything I would say the most unhappy thing ever written about was when we announced we were finished with our trip 🙂

Maybe this shows our optimism (a glass half full approach to life), or perhaps it is just that as world travelers we learned that even though there are definitely rough times, we would so much rather share our joys.

As a result of this blogging reputation I have been avoiding writing this particular blog post. As you may have read in our last two posts we happily (again with the happy) announced we had a major life changing event ahead. A baby due in September! Dustin and I had fun on our babymoon to Oregon and we were really starting to feel more comfortable with the idea that “Holy crap, we are going to become parents!!”

We celebrated our halfway point in our pregnancy while on our vacation and had delayed our big 20 week ultrasound by one additional week. As a first time expecting couple, the 20 week ultrasound is often referred to as the “gender reveal” ultrasound. Being first timers ourselves, that is all that consumed our minds…Would we be having a BOY or a GIRL? If it is a Girl, Oh NO- we don’t have a name picked out yet!! All trivial matters in the grand scheme of things.

As I look back now to the night before we went in for our big appointment I recall mentioning to Dustin that besides finding out the sex of the baby, perhaps we should be worried that everything is healthy. That conversation ended quickly when we reminded each other that everything had been fine so far and being past the halfway point surely meant you were in the safe zone. When we first announced we were pregnant we were inundated with the same question which was of course, “do you want a boy or girl?”. At first we would make jokes about this, such as “Well if it is a girl, she better be a tomboy and like hiking like us” or “If it is a boy, that kid better like bicycling as much as his daddy does”. But all joking aside we realized that truly all we really wanted was a healthy baby. Oh how that is all we wanted…

We arrived to our appointment on a Friday morning and I had specifically scheduled and waited for this particular day because we wanted the Sonographer, Emily, to be the one to scan our baby. She had done our 12 week scan and we had really had a great time with her. Little did we know at the time, but Emily had previously worked at a Maternal Fetal Medicine Clinic and had years of experience working with high risk pregnancies. The ultrasound started out fun and I know both Dustin and I were so nervous/excited to find out what we were having! Everything seemed to be going smoothly and eventually Dustin was able to make his educated guess based on what we were seeing that we were having a Baby GIRL…and what do ya know, he was right! Soon after this revelation, I noticed that Emily became quiet and less talkative. We finished up the ultrasound and went to the waiting room to wait for our appointment with the Doctor. As we sat there Dustin was sending out our little riddle to our family to help them figure out the news. We were just another happy pregnant couple waiting to be called back by the nurse. Dustin kept asking me if I was upset it was a girl and not a boy, because I seemed distracted and not that enthusiastic. Perhaps it was motherly instinct or just a woman’s intuition but I felt very uneasy.

We waited quite awhile and finally went back for our appointment. Life would change forever for us as expectant parents that morning. The blissfully happy couple expecting a baby girl would enter that exam room and a heartbroken couple with shattered dreams for a healthy baby would exit.

That day we learned from our Doctor that our baby was not healthy. Over the course of the next couple of weeks we would learn more than we ever wanted. We would learn the pain of loss, the loss of our sweet baby girl. We would learn just how sick she was. We would learn that unlike her heartbroken parents, her actual heart was literally broken and had never developed correctly. We also would learn she had other organ issues and that all of this was a direct result of a chromosomal deletion syndrome which had occurred at conception. It was nothing we could have prevented, it was not our fault. It was a fluke. A one in a million chance. God, Why US???

Being the amazing husband he is and again having the glass half full approach, Dustin brought up the fact that if God has to deal out bad outcomes like this then He chose us because He knows we are the strongest couple and we will make it through this tragedy together. I love my husband.

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.” ~ Helen Keller

It has been over a month now since we lost our baby girl. It has been a time for tears but also a time for healing and support from family and friends. As one of my best friends said  “Time will be the only thing that lessens the pang of hurt”…of course my reply to her was “I know time heals but can I please fast forward??”

None of us know what the future holds but one thing is certain. We will always miss our baby girl, whom we named Grace. We know she is in a better place and where she is there is no suffering.

We love you, Grace Sue Orrick

Grace's Garden


14 thoughts on “Glass Full of Sadness

  1. Dear friends.

    I am so very sad to read of your loss. Dustin is right, you are a very strong couple and I believe that through loss….there is renewed focus and appreciation for life…..and timing is divine.

    Grace was not ready to come in, and her beautiful soul is coming when the time is right for her or maybe it will be him….to make a difference in life….as you both have made a difference for others….in the world.

    Read Many Lives, Many Masters by Dr. Weiss. If you have not….I think you may enjoy it.

    Stay strong and know all is as it should be….even in times like this we may question, suffer our pain and feel that it is not.

    I send healing thoughts to you both. You are amazing and beautiful people.


  2. Oh heavens. This is such sad news. I have watched your happy posts from where ever in the world you happened to be with envy and joy at your voyage of wonder. There are really no words to properly express what I know everyone will feel about this. And, of course, your folks. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  3. EmilySue,

    This has been an emotional ordeal for you both and yet your letter is so beautifully written. It had to have been the hardest letter you have ever written. It was written with love for your child and with love for your husband. I’m hopeful that the love you share will be the strength to support you through this time. We want to express our condolences for your loss and that our heart felt prayers are with you and your family. Kathy and Mike

  4. Dustin and EmilySue, though I know you only from afar (via the blog) your light and positivity has always been so evident. And even in this time of deep sadness, I can still sense the light coming through you. I am so sad for your loss and sad that you have to endure the loss. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  5. Dear Emily & Dustin,
    I am extremely sorry for your loss. I have been following your blog as your travels and the pair of you are so dynamic. Having also biked cross country and having a love for travel one knows that at times one has to dig deep. And this is one of those times. Thankfully you have each other and you both sound like such caring people. Give yourselves time to heal. My heart goes out to you at the most difficult time.

  6. So hard to read & I’m sure very difficult to write, but beautifully written Emily Sue. Grace Sue will forever be in our hearts.
    Lots of love Emily & Dustin,

  7. I’m so very sorry to hear of your loss. The two of you are beautiful, wonderful people that have touched the lives of many across the globe. Grace Sue’s story is very sadly short, but will always be full of love and in our hearts.

  8. I am so very sorry for you both. There is nothing to ease the pain off loss but love and time. I have never experienced this situation personally, but my sister in law and her husband had similar issues with their first pregnancy. The doctors spoke of a one and a million chance of such a thing to happen to anyone, let alone them. It was a very difficult time for them, and the whole family but…. After a very nervous second, and a little less nervous third pregnancy, they are now the proud parents 2 wonderful girls.

    I am amazed at your courage to share your story with such honesty. I have read and shared your travels with my own family and was so very excited to hear the news of this latest adventure that you both had embarked on…and so saddened by this news.

    The very best to you both as continue this adventure called life together.

    Christy Ramos and Family

  9. thank you so much for your open and honest sharing. you are a beautiful person and have such a great way of articulating both the “happy” and deeply sad parts of your experiences. I think its so important that people connect in this way – that we know there are others going through incredible sadness especially as it relates to children — wanting to conceive, trying, waiting, wishing for all to be healthy, hoping to be a good parent, hoping for a strong delivery and on and on. yours truly, the other emily

  10. Dustin and Emily,

    I am so sorry for you loss. I will be praying for strength and peace for you guys in this time of loss.

  11. Emily Sue and Dustin,
    My heart breaks for your loss and I hope that time brings healing and peace to you both.
    Anne (Dirks)

  12. Emily Sue,
    Sweet girl, I am so sorry for your loss. Your feelings were beautifully written. As a couple you will deepen your love for each other, if that even seems possible, but you will! The garden for Grace is such a wonderful idea. Our lives as a couple had a similar story, and those times were very difficult. However, God blessed us with a ray of sunshine, she is now 13 years old. God is Good…your sweet spirit will prevail. I will keep you in my prayers.

  13. So so sorry – just heartbroken for you and sending much love and support.

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