Editor’s note: You’ve probably seen her face before on Fox News, Fox & Friends, or Hannity. Ainsley Earhardt may be well known but now she’s shares the intimate story of her faith in a new book titled The Light Within Me. Enjoy this excerpt.
In my heart of hearts I knew God would give us a baby, but it was going to be in His time. Let me tell you the truth: waiting for God’s timing can be the hardest thing one ever does.
Will and I prayed and prayed for a child. We had our church family and our friends pray for us. Our families prayed for us. I had guests come on Fox & Friends First who, after the cameras stopped rolling, said something about how happy they were that I was open about my faith on television. Then they’d ask how they could pray for me. I always said the same thing: Please pray that I can have a baby. Some returned to the show months later and told me they were still praying. I was no longer worried about having a summer baby. I didn’t care if the baby came in June, July, August, or September just as long as we had one!
Finally, after eight months, my prayers were answered. I knew I was pregnant and the test confirmed it. I was over the moon. Will wasn’t with me at that moment and I wanted to find a very special way to tell him. Right after I got the test results I went over to Tiffany, the jewelry store, and purchased a small, sterling-silver baby spoon. That was meaningful to me because when I was a little girl my mother used silver spoons to feed my baby brother. She has a beautiful collection of silver and antiques, many of which she inherited from previous generations. When I asked her about the silver spoons in our kitchen drawer, she said she fed all three of us with them. A silver spoon seemed like a nice way to tell Will he was going to be a daddy. I asked the salesman to engrave our last name, Proctor, on the end of the spoon. The store then wrapped it up for me in their famous blue box, tied a white, satin bow around it, and I placed it in my pocketbook.
That night Will and I were supposed to go to a couples’ Bible study at one of our friends’ houses. This was the first meeting. I had done so many Bible studies in my life, but Will never had. Our friends didn’t live far from us, so Will and I walked there. On our way I said, “I need to stop by our church to drop off some muffins for our church dinner [where we feed our homeless community].” I planned ahead and had even bought some muffins at the store earlier in the day. I just had this image of telling Will my news inside our church since this was an answer to so many prayers.
Will did not suspect a thing. He just said okay, and we wandered over to the church. We were already late, which made the moment more stressful than I had hoped. When we arrived at the church, the front doors were locked. No one was there. I acted surprised, which wasn’t hard to do because I was. Since we could not go inside I turned to him on the front steps of the church and handed him the small, gift-wrapped box I’d hidden in my pocket. “What’s this?” Will asked.
“Open it,” I said.
He pulled out the spoon and looked at it, puzzled.
“It’s a spoon,” I said. “A baby spoon.”
“What?” Will said, and then it hit him.
“Yes, we’re having a baby!” I said. We hugged and celebrated the moment. As we walked down the streets of New York, toward our Bible study, the two of us talked about everything going through our minds. Will it be a boy or a girl? What will we name him? What will we name her? Can we afford private schools? We’re going to need a bigger place! We talked about everything, we were just so excited. However, we had to gather ourselves and act like everything was normal when we arrived at our friends’ house. We knew better than to tell anyone (other than family) until after we heard the baby’s heartbeat and knew that everything was okay.
At eight weeks I went to the doctor and Will came with me. Eight weeks is a huge milestone. That’s when you have your first ultrasound and get to hear your baby’s heartbeat. Will held my hand as my doctor maneuvered the scope back and forth until it settled on just the right place. For the first time we could see our baby on the monitor and we heard the unmistakable swish, swish, swish of our child’s heartbeat. I was absolutely giddy. Will had tears in his eyes. He pulled out his phone and we recorded the sound. I had never heard anything so precious in my life. We were really having a baby.
My doctor measured the baby and asked when I thought we’d conceived. She said the baby was measuring the size of a six-week-old not an eight-week-old. We didn’t think anything of it and she didn’t act surprised. As soon as we left her office we called everyone in the family. Will and I walked down First Avenue, talking to our parents on the phone and letting them hear their grandchild’s heartbeat. The moment was one I never wanted to forget.
Before we left her office my doctor told us that she wanted to see us again in two weeks. She said something more about the baby’s size. “Come back at ten weeks and we’ll hear the heartbeat again.” Perhaps we should have read more into her words, but we didn’t. This was all brand-new to us. As far as we knew, everything was perfectly normal.
Our first hint that there might be a problem came during our ten-week visit. “I’ve had two other patients today that are going through what you’re going through,” she said, “and you know, it wasn’t successful for them but I’m hoping we get good news for you.”
I looked at Will and he looked at me. Neither of us knew what to think. My heart sank. “What do you mean you’ve had two other patients going through this? What are we going through?” I asked.
“Well, the size of your baby was small for where you should be. So let’s have a look and let’s see if we hear a heartbeat,” she said. When she saw the shock in Will’s and my faces she added, “I’m sure we’re going to hear a heartbeat.”
But we didn’t.
Will held my hand as sadness and reality washed over both of us. My doctor kept moving the scope back and forth. We could see our baby, but we didn’t hear the sweet swish, swish, swish we’d heard two weeks earlier. We were silent and so was the ultrasound. I’d lost my precious baby. The official term is miscarriage. The word does not convey what you feel as you hear your doctor say the word to you. I put my hand on my stomach knowing that I had a baby inside of me that I could not protect and could not save. “I’m sorry,” my doctor said.
I felt a peace come over me that had to be from God. “We prayed for a healthy baby and God answered our prayers.” By that, I meant (for whatever reason) our baby was not going to be healthy here on earth, so my heavenly Father took my child to be in heaven with Him where she would be positively perfect. There this child is completely pure and healthy, with no pain or ailments, and in His presence forever. I didn’t just hope this. I knew it. I know it still.
My doctor of nearly ten years was very compassionate as she explained the next steps. She scheduled an operation to remove my lifeless child. Even though my baby was now in the arms of my Jesus, a sense of despair washed over me knowing that I was going to be separated from my loving child until we meet someday in Heaven. At the same time I wanted to put this behind me so that we could try again as soon as possible.
When we left the office, we made the very difficult calls home. I called my parents and Will called his. This child was both sets of parents’ first grandchild. A few days later my dad sent me an e-mail telling me he’d been praying for me. He also said he’d been on his knees for days asking God why this had happened. I didn’t realize until that moment how hard this must be on them too. They had been just as excited as I was about this child.
After the operation, the hospital conducted genetic testing on my baby to try to understand why I had miscarried. We also wanted to know if this was a problem that might keep me from ever carrying a baby to term. The test revealed that by a fluke my baby had an extra chromosome. The chances that this might happen again were very slim. I was relieved. However, I had one more question. I asked the nurse who called to tell me the test results, “Can you tell me the sex of the baby?”
The nurse hesitated. “Are you sure you want to know?” she asked. “Without a doubt,” I said. I needed to know if I had a son or a daughter in Heaven waiting for me.
“You were going to have a little girl,” she said.
I had a dream a short time later. In it I was back at my dad’s mother’s house and my grandmother was lying on a bed on their back porch. The dream was so vivid, like I was actually there, even though my grandmother had passed away several years earlier. In my dream I was sobbing because I knew she was dying. I put my hand on top of her hands. I can still see her hands. She always had perfectly manicured nails. My sister then laid her hands on top of mine, then my mother came in and held our hands as well. All of us wept because we knew the end was near. Before I said good-bye I told my grandmother that I was going to have a baby. Even though she was so weak she perked up and was so excited. She didn’t speak but when I woke up I felt as though my grandmother had reassured me: “I will take care of this little girl and she will be with me until we are all together again.”
Some might say that this was just a dream, but I believe God sometimes gives us reassurances to carry us through difficult days. Looking back, I sometimes wonder why my baby girl had a defect that took her life so soon. But I also rest in the knowledge that God loves me just as He loves my baby girl. I don’t know why He wanted her in Heaven with Him, but I find great comfort in knowing that that is exactly where she is and I will go to her someday. My miscarriage — I missed carrying my baby — took me through the darkest valley, the valley of the shadow of death, and even there, God was with me.
Excerpted with permission from The Light Within Me by Ainsley Earhardt, copyright Ainsley Earhardt.
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Have you suffered a deep loss? I have and it rocked my heart and my faith. Are you wondering why it happened? Where God was? Rest assured that He is with you, He has an answer even if He hasn’t revealed it to you. He’s with you still. Come share your thoughts with us on our blog. We want to hear from you. ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full