Human Interest

How a miscarriage and rainbow baby deepened this mother’s faith

burial, miscarriage

For years, Stacey Plasch and her husband were unable to conceive due to struggles with infertility. Eventually, Plasch gave birth to two daughters at home with the assistance of a midwife. For Plasch and her husband, each birth was a miracle and they hoped for another child. When Plasch discovered she was expecting her third child at the age of 33, she was elated. But this time, her pregnancy felt different. It was only a few weeks before her heartbreaking miscarriage would occur. 

Plasch told Live Action News, “It wasn’t long before I had morning sickness but this time it was extreme. I was unable to do much more than lie in bed and try to keep small amounts of food and water down. I kept feeling like something was wrong, but I thought whatever was going on was related to my body and that my baby was fine.”

As a childbirth educator and doula, Plasch is well versed in childbirth and decided not to have an ultrasound because of potential risks to the baby. She observed that her fundal height was measuring a month ahead and suspected she might be pregnant with twins. It was during this time that COVID-19 was emerging as a global pandemic and the midwife was concerned about the risks of conducting an in-person prenatal exam.

“There really wasn’t anything to do this early in the pregnancy except take good care of myself and pray the baby was growing well,” Plasch said.

Stacy Plasch

A devastating loss

When she was 16 weeks pregnant, her water suddenly broke. Plasch knew she’d need an ultrasound to determine what was occurring inside her womb and if she was having a miscarriage. At the hospital, the technician told her he saw one baby who was deceased.

“It was an earth-shattering moment that I will never forget – the horrible silence of not hearing a heartbeat on the monitor,” she explained. “I heard the technician say the word ‘fetal demise’ over the phone to the midwife. My baby, who had once been alive, had died inside of me.”

She chose to give birth at home in her own bed under her midwife’s guidance using herbs to induce labor while listening to Christian songs. As she cried, she felt the comforting presence of Jesus, as her body labored to deliver her deceased baby.

“The baby slipped out unexpectedly and I held him in my hands, just him and me alone together,” Plasch said. “My midwife confirmed he was a boy. Looking at him, I could see he was so perfect and beautiful. You could clearly see all his features, 10 perfect fingers and toes, and each delicate rib. His umbilical cord was like a tiny string. My precious baby was now born into Heaven.”

After Plasch’s baby, whom she named Cedric John, was born, the midwife noticed additional placenta tissue. Upon examination, she discovered it contained Cedric’s absorbed twin, who most likely died prior to Cedric, confirming Plasch’s intuition that had been expecting twins. The second twin’s gender was unable to be determined but Plasch named the baby “Celeste Star,” which means “heavenly.”

Adding to the pain of their loss through miscarriage, the family learned there is no Minnesota state law dictating how to dispose of the bodies of miscarried babies younger than 20 weeks gestation. The twins, they decided, would be buried at the family’s church cemetery. 

READ: What does a 15-week-old human being in the womb look like?

Plasch told Live Action News, “Cedric was clearly a baby, a human being. His loss was impactful to all of us. My daughters were old enough to understand the babies were alive and now they weren’t. I had discussed fetal development with them during my pregnancy and they loved seeing how the babies were growing on my pregnancy app. The deaths were difficult for them; they know babies are ‘real babies’ from the moment of conception.”

Healing and life anew

Five months after the devastating miscarriage of the twins, Plasch learned she was expecting a “rainbow baby.” A promise of hope and life anew. It was a bittersweet time. A jumble of emotions – joy, healing, anxiety, and fear overwhelmed her. 

“I felt blessed to be expecting again but I knew a rainbow pregnancy was going to be hard,” she said. “I was so afraid of losing this baby, too, and I didn’t think I could live through that ever again. I drew deeply on my faith and felt God with me every step of the way. God turned the loss my family suffered into an opportunity to move closer to Him. We have since learned to live our faith more actively.”

One warm spring morning in May, Plasch gave birth at home to her third girl, Lily, surrounded by her husband and two older daughters.

“God is so good in His promises! There is nothing sweeter than having three little girls,” Plasch said. “We are blessed they are happy and healthy. We miss the twins in Heaven but believe we will see them again.”

While she’s always had pro-life principles, Plasch’s miscarriage experience has inspired her to be more active in supporting the sanctity of life. The family regularly donates to the local pregnancy support center and Plasch hopes to one day volunteer there. When she visits the grocery store, she sees the Planned Parenthood building across the street and prays for the women whose desperation compels them to walk through those doors.

“I know firsthand how incredibly difficult pregnancy can be,” she said, “but I also know the unparalleled joy of holding your baby. It’s all worth it for the priceless gift of giving life to a precious child.”

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