American Idol's Janelle Arthur Is Pregnant After Miscarriage: Baby Will 'Be Loved from Every Direction'
After the grueling year that was 2020, American Idol alum Janelle Arthur was desperate for good news. She got just that when she ended the painful year with the amazing news that she and her husband of four years were expecting their first baby.
But just six weeks into the pregnancy, Arthur suffered a miscarriage.
"It's hard to put into words what you go through because you have so many different emotions," Arthur, 31, tells PEOPLE exclusively. "It was as if my brain wasn't prepared for the loss and the sadness of it all. I let myself cry and grieve. And then I just had to trust Him. I just had to trust God's timing."
And so she did.
In May, Arthur received the news that she was expecting again, and this time, the baby was due on the birthday of none other than Arthur's musical hero, Dolly Parton.
"When I went in for my 20-week ultrasound, they determined that the due date was Jan. 19," she explains. "I mean, you can't even dream this stuff up!"
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Indeed, the roller coaster of emotions that Arthur has experienced in the past year seems to culminate in "Hand Me Downs," a song she wrote alongside songwriter Emily Lynch that speaks of one's pride in one's heritage and roots, and a song that just happens to include the sweet vocals of Parton herself.
"I portrayed [Parton] as a child in a show about her life when I was 8 years old called Paradise Road," Arthur says of her deep connection with the country music legend. "So when I wrote 'Hand Me Downs' after coming off American Idol, I wanted to somehow get the song into her hands. Once [Parton] heard it, she loved it. The fact that she trusted me and this song really meant a lot."
And as if this story needed a more storybook ending, it is within the music video for "Hand Me Downs," premiering exclusively with PEOPLE, where she announces to the world that she is expecting a baby.
"There were scenes in the video where I didn't want people to notice I was expecting," explains Arthur, who wore a dress from Flutter Dress for the big reveal. "And then there were scenes I really had to relax my stomach, because just in the last three days have I really started popping. You just want people to feel something as a songwriter, and this music video brings it that much more to life. And to have Dolly involved on top of everything, I just feel like it's a career thing that I don't know if I'll ever be able to top as far as just everything being so special."
Filmed at High Point Farm in Whites Creek, Tennessee, the music video was made that much more special with the inclusion of several treasured items from Arthur's past, including everything from her great-great grandmother's dress to her grandfather's bible to Arthur's very own baby clothes tucked away in a treasured hope chest.
"The song is so rooted in faith and family and stuff like that, that I knew I wanted a bunch of family heirlooms in the video," Arthur explains. "I'm also so thankful that we had so many family videos to pull from, especially the ones with my grandparents in them, since they have now passed."
It's this promise of a life beyond what we can see that continues to help Arthur heal, along with so many others who find themselves also dealing with the loss of a child.
"I want people to know that they are not alone," says Arthur. "For me, I feel like I have a child in heaven that I will see someday, so I don't have to really look at it as a loss. It's just delayed, and that's okay. I knew that it was only going to happen when it was right. God was always going to give me the children that I'm supposed to have."
And after dealing with her share of morning sickness in her first trimester, Arthur says she is feeling much better, gaining both energy and excitement over the journey ahead.
"I'm feeling her move and stuff and it's really fun." Yes, Arthur is having a daughter.
"I thought it was probably a little boy, but I was just so thrilled that it was a little girl," the mom-to-be raves. "People are already buying this girl so much stuff. She's going to be loved from every direction."
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