By: Mandy Soto, Board Member
In a perfect world, no one would ever need this post but it is likely you already know someone who does. About 1 in 4 women have experienced a miscarriage so if you know more than three women, you have likely encountered a mother who has lost her baby. I know you’re probably thinking that if it were that common, I would know tons of women who have miscarried. Well…not exactly. Miscarriage is common but hardly ever talked about openly. For those mothers, it carries many emotions that aren’t easy to process—let alone discuss. Sometimes these emotions can be a mixture of pain, sorrow, confusion, denial, anger, shame, and inadequacy. Something that affects a quarter of all women sounds pretty routine or common but for the woman in the middle of this loss, it is anything but common. It’s not just a pregnancy, a bit of tissue, or a clump of cells. It is her baby. Her irreplaceable child. This loss is heavy enough to tip the scales even if the entire world were hung on the other side. This baby exists for all eternity and matters as much as any other soul created by God. This is why “you can have another” or “at least you have other children” is NOT comforting. Don’t say it.
We must change the way that we as individuals, as a Church, and as a society respond to miscarriage. If we believe what we say, that a unique human person is created at conception as science shows us, then the death of that person no matter how early, should be treated as such. Whether it is our own loss or someone close to us, being a people who value every human life means that when it comes to miscarriage we need to respond accordingly. We won’t be taken seriously as a pro-life people until we adequately respond to those around us who are grieving their unborn children.
To the Mom reading this, who is in the midst of her heartbreak:
It does get better. I know I cannot logically convince you of this right now, but it does. God is merciful to take all our anger and questioning and love us anyway. Even as I think of you in your pain at this moment, I viscerally remember my own pain when it was raw. Lord, have mercy. I’m not sure the old saying, “time heals all wounds,” is completely accurate as I would say I am still working on this many years later, but it definitely gets better. In the middle of this heart-wrenching pain of loss, it seems impossible that life will ever feel happy again. I can promise you that it will. I didn’t believe it either when other experienced mothers tried to comfort me, but they were right. Joy returns.
To the Mom reading this who has carried her loss for a while:
You might be like me and however strongly we may want to escape the grief, there is also the fear of forgetting. Most people around us will forget. There is the worry that if we don’t remember our babies “the right way” every day, then they will, in a sense, cease to exist. Even if this is not a rational or even conscious thought, I guarantee that you and I aren’t the only women with that fear. Thankfully, there is One whom we can trust without reservation. The One who created our children, who holds them still. Your baby will never be lost or forgotten. It is safe to allow God to heal our hearts so that one day the memory of your baby is a sweet one.