Karen Clark Sheard opens up about past devastating
stillbirth: ‘I just blamed myself’
Article By Rebecca Johnson // EEW Magazine
When gospel singer Kierra Sheard asked her mother and fellow gospel vocalist, Karen Clark
Sheard, “Was I planned or was I a surprise?” she wasn’t expecting the answer she got.

Though her GRAMMY® Award-winning mom did, in fact, plan her only daughter’s birth, what
she didn’t plan was the stillbirth that came before welcoming her bouncing baby girl.

“Actually, you
were planned, because I had a stillborn before you and of course, I was kind of
discouraged,” responded the member of the legendary Clark Sisters—a revelation that
seemingly left Kierra bowled over.

“You went through a
whole pregnancy?” the “Indescribable” singer asked during car-ride
footage uploaded on her YouTube channel as part of her “Katching Kierra”
vlog series.

“I went through nine months. I carried the baby for nine months,” confirmed the Karew Records
co-founder, who was informed at eight months that the baby had expired in her womb.

Karen explained to Kierra, who had a glazed over look, that, “Doctors told me we want you to
try to continue with carrying the baby.” According to her medical team, taking the baby “would
be unsafe.”

Kierra, the CEO and founder of Eleven60, a full-figured clothing line, only managed to utter a
one-word response: “Wow.”

One percent of pregnant women experience a stillbirth—the death or loss of a baby before or
during delivery. Many, sadly, internalize the guilt.

Karen was no different.

“I just blamed myself,” said the First Lady of Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God In
Christ, who serves alongside her husband of 33 years, Bishop J. Drew Sheard.

In the video titled “Mommy and Me,” that captures precious moments between the famous
mother and daughter, Karen got very transparent about her worries following the stillbirth: “I
always wondered,
am I able to be impregnated again? What is wrong with me? I always
questioned myself and I just figured, well, maybe this is the end of this. This is my husband’s
first child and I’m starting off wrong.”

Though the power couple that wed on June 16, 1984 was broken up over it, Karen told Kierra
her mother and mother-in-law were both instrumental in helping her through the ordeal.

Karen said her mom, the late Dr.  Mattie Moss Clark, told her, “Don’t be discouraged. Maybe
God was saving you from something.  Never question God because He knows what He’s doing
and never makes a mistake.”

At Karen’s lowest point, her mother went on to say, “So, let’s move forward. We’re here now.
Let’s just believe God. Of course, He’ll allow you to have another one. You can have another
one. Don’t blame yourself.”

Karen ended up having another
two: Kierra and her brother, J. Drew II, proving that there is life
after loss.

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