Baby Lukas' onesie

There are no words to describe the feeling of giving birth to a child and knowing that he would not be able to live on. All photos courtesy of Lydia Fong.

I thought miscarriage was the sort of thing that only happened to other people. Then it happened to me. Twice.

In 2019, we were overjoyed to find out that we were expecting our second child. But during our second doctor’s visit, our deep joy came too soon with deep sorrow.

What was meant to be a regular ultrasound scan turned out to be one where I walked out of the clinic devastated. No heartbeat was found at eight weeks of my pregnancy.

I chose to miscarry at home, and my husband who was away on a work trip got on the earliest flight home. 

Sixteen days after my scan, I sat on the toilet bowl, with heavy bleeding and cramps that came in waves.

But I was thankful that my husband could be there with me through the pain and rawness of this loss.

Every conception and birth is truly a miracle from God.

At that time, this was what I had written in my journal:

I can’t pretend that I understand God’s plan and purpose in this, but I do know and feel that my God has not forsaken me.

I know I have more questions than answers, but I don’t need the answers now because that’s not what sustains me.

Little by little, God’s Word became a balm to my wounded heart. Promises like these carried me in my grief. 

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)

I did not have much knowledge of how to recover from a miscarriage, but I remembered my mother boiling some herbal soups for me.

Six months later, I was pregnant again. This time, I was grappling with a mixed bag of emotions – there was joy tinged with fear and hope.

During every visit to the gynaecologist, I was anxious but assured whenever I saw that baby was growing.

When I finally gave birth to my son at 35 weeks, I could only say that every conception and birth is truly a miracle from God! 

Trying for our third child

After two years, we started planning for our third child and I conceived.

But with my history of miscarriage and going into early labour, my gynaecologist wanted me to come in for weekly check-ups until I was well into my 15th week.

Our baby was well developed, and we found out we were having another boy! Crossing over into my second trimester, I was more ease at this point. 

Then came the 20th week.

Right after Christmas in 2022, my husband and my firstborn went on a father-son milestone trip before primary school started.

A day after they flew off, I felt some fluid leaking.

Before I went to sleep, I put on a sanitary pad because I was not sure if it was my bladder leaking urine. But deep in my heart, I knew something was wrong.

That morning, I woke up with the pad soaked and immediately called my gynaecologist.

On my way to the hospital, all I could pray over and over was: “God, I want this baby! Please don’t take him away.”

Lydia’s last bump shot in the hospital.

After hours of examinations, my doctor confirmed that my water bag was leaking, and it was not a good sign.

As I was at 20 weeks and 5 days, I was presented with three options.

  1. Terminate the pregnancy now.
  2. Naturally wait and see, and to be on total bed rest until 25 weeks when the baby would be considered viable to live. But I would have to be prepared that my baby would have medical conditions or abnormalities.
  3. If I fall ill due to an infection, my health would be at high risk and my baby would have been to be taken out as quickly as possible.

My first instinct was the second option as I wanted to do all I that could to have my baby.

But I was all alone in the hospital, and the weight was too much to bear.

So I cried out that God and my body would make the decision for me because I could not.

Unable to sleep that night, I was lying down on the bed when I felt a warm gush of fluid flood the bed. My water bag had burst.

I cried while begging God: “Why me? Why twice…?”

In that moment, I knew that God had answered my prayers.

My baby’s heart was still beating strong, and he was still moving actively in the scans.

My womb was supposed to be his safe space where I could protect him from the world, but as time went by, my amniotic fluid decreased and his movements grew lesser.

I had him all to myself these five months, but I still wanted more time with him.

I cried while making myself eat something. I cried while listening to worship songs.

I cried while trying hard to fall asleep. I cried out loud in anger and in silence.

I cried not because of the physical pain I was experiencing, but because my heart was hurting so much I could hardly breathe.

I cried while begging God: “Why me? Why twice…?”

While all of that was happening, I prayed that my baby would stay in there until Daddy could rush back in time to be with us in those last moments – and he did.

We listened one last time before his heartbeat stopped.

The day we lost Lukas

 January 1, 2023 was our hardest day.

The day began with painful contractions that eventually led to Lukas’ birth.

The loss of blood was so great that I required an unmedicated dilation and curettage (D&C). 

The whole process was the same as childbirth and more, but I did not have an epidural for both the physical and emotional pain.

I cried and cried as I held my baby boy after delivery. My heart was broken in a way I could not describe.

There are truly no words to describe the weight of grief, having to birth a baby knowing that he would not be able to live on.

Lukas was dressed in the same onesie that Lydia’s two sons came home from the hospital in.

I will always remember the moment as I held Lukas in my arms.

He had such defined features – his daddy’s thick eyebrows and my nose bridge. He was much bigger than we expected and was so perfect in every way.

We hugged and kissed him. We weeped, and I believe Jesus weeped too. He saw our deep sorrow.

I left the hospital with a simple box of Lukas’ handprints and footprints clutched tightly against my chest.

My firstborn teared while asking why I did not bring Lukas home like I did with his younger brother.

“Why did God take baby to heaven?” he asked. I choked back my tears. It was all so hard to give an answer.

Miscarriage is still post-partum

I was also not prepared for how pregnant I would still feel after my loss. 

My milk supply kicked in really quickly, and I had to ask a friend if I could borrow her breast pump.

It is beautiful how God created our bodies to be so amazing. Yet at the same time it felt cruel.

It felt cruel that our bodies did not allow ourselves to forget – and there was no baby to show for it.

Having to hand express my milk because I was engorged and having no baby to give it to was an unforgiving reality that I was reminded of.

My body also needed the time and care to recover well.

With this miscarriage, I felt the need for confinement. I had lost two litres of blood, so I felt weak. 

I felt like I had nothing to offer to the Lord, nothing to give to my loved ones.

I was like that paralysed friend who needed to be carried onto the roof and lowered to Jesus’ feet (Luke 5:17-26).

God’s presence was not only a source of comfort, but also a source of help.

My dear husband and parents bore the burdens of the household, as it was the first week of Primary 1 and Nursery 1 for my sons.

Family, close friends and even some neighbours came and covered our empty table with food. Some offered to take our boys out, and I was so grateful to each and everyone.

We were also gifted two books that helped tremendously in broaching the subject of death to our children: Goodbye to Goodbyes and The Moon is Always Round.

Just like how the moon is always round, God is always good even when we may not see it.

The family held a memorial service for Lukas within the same week.

I also took comfort and closure in a memorial that we held for Lukas.

The songs we chose were very close to our hearts. And as we sang those words, we were reminded of the goodness of God.

All my life You have been faithful
All my life You have been so, so good
With every breath that I am able
I will sing of the goodness of God

There were many other instances that also showed me God’s hand.

The memorial was conducted by a close friend who is a pastor. It was also so divine that his wife is a doctor at the hospital I was warded in – she was a huge support for me with both her advice and prayers every day.

I learnt that God’s presence was not only a source of comfort, but also a source of help (Psalm 46:1).

From heartbreak to healing

As for my grief, I continued to bring my raw emotions to the Lord.

It was the kind of grief that puts you in bed, just wanting to sit in a dark room emotionless all day.

I wrote a lot more in my journal, and I believe that expressing myself there helped.

To be very honest, I felt hurt by God, especially this second time.

But as I read His Word, Psalms 18 and 71 provided instructions on how to voice my lament, but also how to gain a deeper understanding of God’s unwavering faithfulness when life does not make sense.

Walking through this suffering felt like holding up a mirror to my faith.

Psalm 139:16 was another verse that ministered to me while I was in the hospital.

God formed all four of my babies. Even though the lives of two of them were brief, every beat of their tiny hearts mattered.

The eyes of God saw their unformed body, and in His book was written each significant day that He had purposed for his brief life.

A dear friend also reminded me to let my “whys” lead me to the good “who”.

God does not promise to give us the answers, but He has given us Himself – the God who is perfectly wise, the God who knows all things and the God who works for our good.

Walking through this suffering felt like I was holding up a mirror to my faith. It revealed the core of my beliefs about who God really is to me.

Finding the light

As months went by, life went back to “normal”.

Being all there as a mother for my boys while my heart was healing was one of the harder roles I had to play.

Lydia with her two sons, Moses (left) and Zion (right), at the Navy@Vivo 2023.

In my healing process, my prayers also went out to other women who have had to experience or were going through pregnancy loss.

I slowly learnt to talk to others. I listened to others who struggled with not being able to get pregnant or stay pregnant.

As I did this, my burden for those who needed to be held grew.

Having gone through what I did, I knew how important it was to feel held by people around you and by God, and to have the comfort of knowing that our babies are also held in the loving arms of Jesus.

This was how Held to Heal was birthed – from the pain and burden in my heart. 

As we grasped for hope in the dark, God’s light shone through.

Held to Heal was born out of a desire to let others know that they are not alone, that we can hold space for one another and that our babies are forever remembered.

It was not until I experienced my second pregnancy loss that I realised recovering from a miscarriage is such a deeply personal and complex process that requires a lot of time, patience and support.

I believe that there is a gap in our society, and that raising awareness of the impact of a miscarriage is essential to improving support for women experiencing it.

I want to dispel the myth that miscarriage ought to be a secret that stays hidden. 

For those who want to convey compassion to someone who has experienced pregnancy loss, Held to Heal also offers care boxes for thoughtful gifting.

Items in Held to Heal’s gift box, such as a grief journal and ginger soap bar, have been specially curated to help in the journey of healing for mums.

The platform was launched on the first year anniversary of Lukas’ birth, and I am amazed at how many strangers have reached out to me in the last month to share how how validated they have felt.

In the week that Held to Heal started, God also spoke to me through these verses in my Quiet Time.

“In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:4-5)

As we grasped for hope in the dark, God’s light shone through.

Darkness – heartache, disappointment, confusion, doubt – simply cannot dim out light. 

This is also the meaning of Lukas’ name, which we had chosen even before the miscarriage.

Lukas means “bringer” and “bearer of God’s light”, while his Chinese name means “joy”.

Even in our overwhelming sadness, God’s joy was our strength.

Having experienced God’s comfort within their family, Lydia hopes to share her story with others so that they do not have to journey alone.

“I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” (Psalm 16:7-8)

If you are grieving a loss, I pray that you will not be shaken – not because you are strong, but because God is at your right hand. Because His right hand holds yours.

Even as you grapple with words like “should be” and “would be”, set your hope on the certainty of what will be.

Know that you are not alone in this. You are held.


Don’t say “I know how you feel”: Here’s how to be really present for someone who is grieving

“Before our baby was born, we were asked if we wanted a casket for her body”

“My womb was a morgue”: Still grappling with the loss from a miscarriage, a woman finds comfort amidst grief

About the author

Lydia Fong

Lydia, 36, is a stay-home mum of two boys aged 7 and 4. In January 2024, she launched Held to Heal, a platform that fosters care and compassion for those who have experienced pregnancy loss, while also facilitating thoughtful gifting.