Beautifully Broken | Photography by Sweetlife

December 14, 2017


“The nurse hooked me up with a heart rate monitor and tried to find Josiah’s heartbeat. She looked at me, looked back at the monitor, fidgeted some more, and the left the room. She came back with another nurse. I looked at my husband and he mouthed the words, “It’s ok“. I looked at the monitor not being able to make out what any of it meant or looked like.  I was feeling confused and frustrated that they weren’t taking me from triage to my room.  By that time my contractions were about 45 seconds apart and getting more and more painful with each one. A doctor came in with the nurses. She looked at me and I knew at that point something was seriously wrong.  Her face said it all.  She looked some more and fidgeted some more, then put all the equipment down.

She looked at me, she looked at Maksim and then said the absolute worst words an expectant mother and father ever want to hear.  “I’m so sorry.  I can’t find a heartbeat.”  I looked at Maksim as he began to cry and another contraction gripped me. I just breathed through it.  After that everything is honestly just a blur. I didn’t cry. I just laid there blankly. I couldn’t believe what they’d told me. Our sweet Josiah was delivered some time later with no complications. Our precious nurse cleaned him up and handed him to me. He was warm and as I held him tightly, I waited anxiously for him to take his first breath.  If I could simply have willed it to happen, I would have, but no breath came.  He was gone.  It was then that the uncontrollable tears came. He was truly gone. They took him and handed him to my husband, Maksim. I don’t think I have ever experienced such deep sorrow than at that moment. It is a feeling that haunts me and one that I will never forget…” Maternity-photography-by-Sweetlife-and-featured-on-The-Fount-Collective-a-lifestyle-publication-and-community-devoted-to-the-art-of-being-a-mother._0002.jpg


“It’s been a little over nine months since we lost our precious Josiah.  Up until month seven was definitely the darkest part of my life.  It’s been a collection of good days, terrible days, and sometimes even really great days. I know I have a lot of healing left to do.  It’s a journey. I can say just now that I am truly starting to feel like myself again.  I cry sometimes still.  Sometimes my husband and I will hold each other at night and just cry together.  I have not visited Josiah’s grave yet.  I guess I just haven’t had the strength to do it.  I think I will be ready soon. In the aftermath of our loss, we received such an incredible outpouring of love and support from family, friends, church family, work colleagues, acquaintances, and strangers. Our house was full of many bouquets of flowers, meals were brought, and gift cards for restaurants were given to us. My mom came and stayed with us for a few weeks after I came home from the hospital.  She did laundry, cleaned, and held me while I cried. There were even numerous friends who generously offered to help with the funeral costs. I was constantly emotional over all the love we received.  I never knew people could be so kind.

God has been our rock through it all.  Josiah was never meant to live in this world and although we may never know why on this side of heaven, I do know without a doubt that he wasn’t meant for here. My body was a host for his beautiful soul and that is it. I am so honored that I could be used as a vessel for God’s mysterious and wonderful work to take place.  Knowing that Josiah is in heaven brings me more comfort than anything…”Maternity-photography-by-Sweetlife-and-featured-on-The-Fount-Collective-a-lifestyle-publication-and-community-devoted-to-the-art-of-being-a-mother._0003.jpg Maternity-photography-by-Sweetlife-and-featured-on-The-Fount-Collective-a-lifestyle-publication-and-community-devoted-to-the-art-of-being-a-mother._0004.jpg


“If you have lost a baby, I want you to know that I am terribly sorry you have had to experience such heartbreaking pain. I know how much you prepared for and expected that little bundle of joy and I know how much you wanted so badly for that little one to take his or her first breath.  I know how very painful it is when others ask when you will be trying again because it feels like your little one has been forgotten. I know how much it hurts to go to baby showers and gender reveal parties and what it feels like to be mad at yourself for struggling to be happy for your friends.  But… please know this:  God has a plan for each one of us.  I believe that whatever happens in our lives, it ALL happens for a reason. Our lives are filled with wonderful things and difficult things that you could never imagine that you’re capable of enduring. All of these things give us a life that is beautifully broken.”  Tabata, Josiah’s MotherMaternity-photography-by-Sweetlife-and-featured-on-The-Fount-Collective-a-lifestyle-publication-and-community-devoted-to-the-art-of-being-a-mother._0005.jpg Maternity-photography-by-Sweetlife-and-featured-on-The-Fount-Collective-a-lifestyle-publication-and-community-devoted-to-the-art-of-being-a-mother._0007.jpg Maternity-photography-by-Sweetlife-and-featured-on-The-Fount-Collective-a-lifestyle-publication-and-community-devoted-to-the-art-of-being-a-mother._0008.jpg Maternity-photography-by-Sweetlife-and-featured-on-The-Fount-Collective-a-lifestyle-publication-and-community-devoted-to-the-art-of-being-a-mother._0009.jpg








  1. Thank you for featuring Tabata, Maksim, & Josiah’s story. We are beyond humbled to have been part of preserving the memory of josiah and honoring this sweet family’s journey.

  2. Irina scott says:

    Tabata’s husband Maksim is my cousin. I can’t tell you all how incredibly encouraging and profound their story is. Being a mama of two beautiful girls, I can’t even began to imagine what they went through. But I am truly humbled by their courage and response to this. I marvel at what god does through people. I love them. I think everyone is impacted for life to have heard this story. ????

  3. Sarah Gray says:

    Oh my heart. I wasn’t prepared to read this when I clicked on it. Her heart and these beautiful images… what a treasure to have these joy filled photos to honor Josiah and their story.

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