Children Are an Heritage of the Lord, by Ken Craig

By the last week of April, our plans for a November baby were in place, and the anticipation was settling in.

By the first week in May we knew a miscarriage was imminent.

It didn’t sneak up on us, but I’m not sure how you prepare for something like that. Katie knew something had been wrong for a few days, and was grappling with the possibility of a miscarriage long before I considered it. And even though she told me when her concern started, I dismissed it. I didn’t discount that something might be wrong, or insist that it wasn’t a miscarriage. But I held on to the thought, or maybe hope, that it was something else. Something less definite.

I don’t think I realized how much of that day for Katie was spent processing what was most likely happening or what could be happening or what she hoped wasn’t happening. As the husband, without the constant reminder that life is growing within me, I operated on the daily assumption that when Katie wasn’t telling me something, it meant that everything was fine; and when she did tell me something, I could take a moment to wish and hope it away.

I prayed often for Katie. More than morning and night. But I remember the palpable moment I realized that my prayers and supplications were subconsciously or maybe intuitively always for Katie, and not necessarily the baby. And I think that’s when I started to slowly, but not out loud, accept what was already impressing upon me in small waves.

This baby was not coming.

Over the next few days, we didn’t discuss it much.  I didn’t understand what might be happening, so I didn’t know what to prepare for. I would often hug her and ask, “Are you okay?”

She would look away, distracted, dealing with her own feelings. “Yes,” she said simply, and moved on with her tasks.

It seemed so ineffectual, merely asking if she were ‘okay.’  I wished I could tell her what was really in my heart.  I wanted to say, “I’m so sorry this is happening to you.  I’m so sorry I can only stand here completely helpless and watch you emotionally dragged and quartered.  I’m sorry I don’t know how to make this all go away and heal your body and strengthen your soul.  Please tell me what I can do to show my concern.  Please tell me that you’re not ‘okay,’ but that if I were to do this or that, you would be.  And please, please don’t let me go through this by myself.”

Then, late one evening, Katie asked me for a priesthood blessing. I knew the request was time-sensitive, so I immediately called a close friend and asked him to come assist me in administering to my wife.  As I placed my hands on Katie’s head, I could feel how loved she was by her Father in Heaven.  How known she was.  How important.

I waited for the clarity to come that all would be well with the baby, but it wasn’t happening.  I waited longer.  Never had I struggled more against the impulse to mix my emotions with the revelation I was receiving on somebody’s behalf.  Everything in me wanted to tell Katie that she would be blessed to give birth to a beautiful baby and her body would heal.  Life would be as wonderful as she hoped.

But those impressions never arrived.  I found myself making all kinds of additional promises to Father, if only He would grant us this one blessing.  But I knew what needed to be said.  I felt impressed to promise Katie that this experience would draw her closer to Him, that whether a baby came or not, she would be at peace in her heart and mind, and in her soul.  Somehow, that knowledge brought me a degree of hope that I had not anticipated.

The next morning Katie seemed remarkably calm. Not carefree, but peaceful. She said she knew this pregnancy would not develop into a child. And she felt calm and comforted by the blessing. I could see that she was blessed with understanding and insight. I felt reassured by her confidence. My feelings up to that morning had truly been focused on Katie’s well being. A miscarriage would affect her physically, as well as emotionally and mentally. My understanding and acceptance of what was happening were a direct response to hers; I was relieved at her confidence and was now determined that everything would be fine. If Katie was at peace, so was I.



I left for work that morning, hoping that the background noise of the radio would provide a needed distraction during my commute.  I was ten minutes into my drive when the world suddenly slowed down and my mind became singularly focused.

I began to process my own reaction to the reality that a child I was anxious to know and love would not be arriving. I felt like I was going to miss the chance to meet somebody who would have affected my life in a beautiful way…and there was no way to retrieve that specific opportunity.  Suddenly, I felt swallowed up in sadness.  I wasn’t angry or resentful.  I didn’t feel cheated or that life was unfair.  I just felt sad.  And that sadness enveloped me.

The radio became so hushed I just turned it off.  I became unaware of other cars, other drivers.  The air was still and stifling, and I felt energy draining off me like steam.  When I arrived at the office, I pulled into the parking lot and sat in my car, no initiative to leave my seat.

My emotions are very near the surface under even the most benign circumstances; so with the profound sadness I was experiencing, I found that I was crying, quietly.  I wasn’t overwhelmed with emotions, nor did I feel that my exterior was cracking. But I knew that I didn’t feel like talking about what was going on.

I worked half the day and then left for an ultrasound appointment with our midwife. As Katie and I drove to the office, our conversation included speculations from one side of the spectrum to the other. From “Maybe I was never pregnant?” to “What if we’re completely off and everything is okay?” But when the ultrasound showed what we had already suspected, that a miscarriage was imminent, we weren’t startled. That sadness briefly stung my heart again, and I studied Katie’s face, searching for any detectable sorrow. I thought I could see it, but it was buried under a brave, accepting face, so I didn’t say a word to her. I felt like speaking would have pulled the foundational block out from under her pyramid of strength, and her calm exterior might have given way. And that just seemed unnecessary. So I simply squeezed her hand.

We drove home somewhat oddly comforted in knowing for certain where we were at, physically. We didn’t say anything to anybody else, as we hadn’t told anybody yet, not even our parents. The next couple of days were just watching and waiting, but brought us closer. I felt conscious of Katie and what was going on inside her.

At the end of that week, my parents were set to arrive at our house for the weekend, and literally, as I heard my kids squealing that Grandma and Grandpa were here, Katie found me and told me that it had just happened. She cried a light, heartfelt sigh of relief, finally feeling that she had turned a page and felt closure from a long, uncertain experience. I hugged her so close I wasn’t sure if my hug was sustaining her or vice versa.

I walked outside and met my parents at the car. I hugged them, helped grab their stuff, and then told them a little about what the last week had been like. I wanted to let them know so they could be sensitive to Katie.

My dad and I were taking my boys camping for the night, and Katie and my mom and the girls had planned to do a Girls’ Night at home. As Katie went into the kitchen to start their special dinner, my mom pulled Katie in to her and said, “Don’t you worry about dinner. We’re going out. Let’s take it easy tonight.”

I watched Katie melt into my mom’s embrace, crying. Of course it was more than the promise that she wouldn’t have to cook dinner. It was being understood, being cared for. It was the profound link between women, between mothers. It was an answer to prayer and the fulfillment of a blessing.  My mom had had a miscarriage between my two youngest brothers and so understood much more deeply than I, though I wanted to. And Katie felt that. I will always be grateful that my mom was there; that she is exactly who she is, with the instincts that she has, and the love she’s had for Katie since day one.

As I thought about that moment I realized how many people I know and love who have had miscarriages. But for how common they are, rarely are they discussed. I imagine it’s because the event may be common, but the experience is personal. It was for us. It seems like a very private grieving; mourning the loss of possibilities, of plans.

We have since added a seventh child to our little family.  Like her brothers and sisters, she has added a measure of joy to our lives that goes beyond expression.  We’re grateful for her sweet spirit in our home.

I’ll always remember that touch of sadness that accompanied that unique experience of ‘what might have been.’ But through it all, I knew Heavenly Father was mindful of us, that he was aware of our anxiety, our sorrow. And I know He is aware of our unwavering gratitude for the blessing of family.

‘Children are an heritage of the Lord,’ the Psalmist writes. I couldn’t agree more.

Ken Craig is an account executive for SealSource International as well as a small business owner. He has a passion for writing, which he discovered when he began writing comedy sketches in college as a founding member of BYU’s first comedy troupe, The Garrens. This is also where he met and married his wife, Katie. Ken serves as a bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he resides with his wife and their seven children.  Their family adventures are featured in Ken’s blog, “The Craig Report,” and he is also a contributing writer to


Today there is a “Blog Hop” about the Family Proclamation. Please share your own feelings or testimony or inspiring thoughts on your blog.  Then go to any of these other hosting blogs and leave a link to your blog post at the bottom of the posts there. You will find a “Mr. Linky” tool, where you can enter in your information and direct us all to what you wrote.  Go on now; I’m excited to read what you have to say.



D.I.P.S. and poetic justice

CartoonFor the record, D.I.P.S. is “Dumbness Induced by Pregnancy Syndrome.”

When I am pregnant (I am not pregnant right now), I get it bad.  And my family thinks it’s hilarious.  I mentioned it a while back when I talked about going on a walk around the neighborhood and forgetting to put on my pants and other misfortunes.

Well, my sister loves my D.I.P.S. stories and brings them up often and laughs belly laughs.  And now (evil laughter), SHE is pregnant.  And it’s my turn to laugh at her when she does things like drive 45 minutes to return an item, and forgets the receipt . . . and the item.  So, in her honor, I am republishing my most humiliating D.I.P.S. story (and her favorite) of all time, and hoping that karma hits her hard.

Sigh.  When I was pregnant with my first, I suffered greatly from what my husband and I called D.I.P.S. (Dumbness induced by pregnancy syndrome), and believe it or not, we have actually seen it mentioned in magazines since then.  It’s basically this side-effect of pregnancy where your brain turns into oatmeal and you do idiotic things you never even considered yourself capable of.  Kind of like the time I started to go walking in the neighborhood and realized I didn’t have any pants on.  Anyway…

Set scene:  I was in the middle stages of pregnancy, where you know you look pregnant, but anyone who doesn’t know you well just thinks you look fat.

I drove from North Carolina to my parent’s home in Atlanta to spend a few days visiting.  (I can’t remember if Matt was away on business or if I was just feeling independent and needed a vacation.)  After a day of shopping and some errands, I dropped off my mom to work at the temple and told her I would pick her up when her shift was done.  Come to think of it, my dad must have been out of town too, because I was the only one at home the rest of the evening.  Well, the time came to go get her and I grabbed what I thought were the keys off the kitchen table, walked to the garage, and shut the door.  I could see that my mom’s car keys were sitting on the kitchen table through the window and realized at the same time that the door had locked behind me.  “Oh no.  What do I do?”  I looked around in their garage for a while for a spare key of some kind, and finally decided I would have to go to their neighbors’ house to use the phone.  Actually I had a cell phone, but I needed to look up the phone number for the temple and try to get a hold of my mom.

I had never met their neighbors before, but climbed up the hill that divides their driveways, their two lap-rat dogs yipping at me the whole time.  I knocked on their door that was an entry through their garage because I just felt too lazy to walk all the way around to the front of their house.  They were nice and when I explained the situation they patiently let me in.  They even offered to let me drive one of their cars:  A Hummer or a BMW.  Ha, I have never driven anything bigger or more expensive than a Dodge Neon.  I just wanted to call my mom and find out if there was a spare key to her car or the house.

So I stood in the neighbors’ kitchen while I called the temple.  I was on hold several different times while they tried to track down my mom and let her finish up some of her duties.  The neighbors smiled at me and tried to look sympathetic.  I explained my dilemma to a few nice elderly people on the phone and finally talked to my mom.  She had the spare set of keys with her since she had left her original set with me.  Curses. I told the neighbors that I guessed I would drive their BMW since I was too nervous to drive a honkin’ SUV and went back to my mom’s house to get my purse and stuff off the hood of her car.  As I trudged back down the hill it *dawned* on me that it was absolutely unnecessary for me to hang out in their kitchen for 30 minutes like that since I was ON MY CELL PHONE.  I only needed the stupid phone book to look up the number and I could have taken the rest of my conversation back outside.  As I was reflecting about what a dork I probably seemed like, I reached into my pocket and pulled out the keys I must have originally grabbed:  HELLO, THE KEYS TO MY VERY OWN CAR!  The one I had driven to Atlanta and that had been sitting in the garage right next to my mom’s car this WHOLE time.  Enter overwhelming shame.  I turned around and climbed back up the hill and stammered my way through my little “oh, ha ha ha, I actually have keys to my own car and I won’t need to drive your luxury vehicle after all, but thanks anyway” speech to the now totally perplexed neighbors standing outside with car keys in hand.

Then as I turned back to go down the hill, I tripped a little and with my new pregnancy center-of-balance shift, I totally tumbled down the whole hill.  The neighbors ran over to see if I was okay, and I scooped myself up as quickly as possible, said something retarded like “Ha ha, (nervous embarrassed laughter) Oops.  I just slipped a little. Ha ha . I’m fine. I’m fine,”  and hurried to my car as quickly as I could.  I got inside, took a deep breath, tried to process the fool I had been and backed out . . . right into the side of my parent’s garage!  I heard the noise and looked out my door to realize that my driver’s side mirror had hit the door frame.  Well, the neighbors were still standing on the hill watching me, so I just thought “screw it” and kept backing up until the mirror popped backwards and the glass broke out.  I went down the rest of the driveway making sure that I did NOT make eye contact with the people who were most definitely thinking “I’m SO glad I did not let her drive the Beamer.”  I spent the first 20 minutes on the road in a complete stupor…. I could NOT believe that I had become mentally handicapped.  I just went over and over it in my head trying to figure out how I could have possibly committed 32 acts of complete brainlessness in a 40 minute period.  Meanwhile, my mirror dangled off the side of the car by a stretched cable.  It still boggles the mind.  On the way home, I purged all the horrible details to my mother and asked her to please please tell her neighbors I am not normally like that and explain to them that I was PREGNANT.

So let this be a comfort to all of you who have lost your brain function during pregnancy, and a warning to any of  you who are thinking about conceiving a child someday.  (Ha, ha Becca!  Your turn!)  Luckily D.I.P.S. is a temporary condition . . . . I’m told it goes away when  your children graduate from college.

Bring it on ladies, I bet you’ve got some good D.I.P.S. stories.  And after my story, you can’t feel that stupid about it anymore.