Friday, February 21, 2014

Why miscarriage matters when you're pro-life

Photo Credit: Sarah Thompson @ Sarah T. Photography

[For those of you who are revisiting this blog, or maybe are seeing it for the first time, I encourage you to join me in my new space The Lewis Note for more posts like this.]



Back in my former life, I was a proofreader.

We were a fabulous group of gals. But, I'm not going to lie -- we were pretty nitpicky. And NOT the most popular in the office. In fact, we had not just one book, but multiple books by which we would mentally check each word, each phrase, each sentence.

We had rules about whether a dash should be the size of a capital "N" or a capital "M" (and yes, we did measure). We ensured the proper use of "insured," then assured all the writers that, yes, everyone gets those words mixed up. And of course, we must never forget to correct the spacing on an ellipsis. (#.#.#.#). Very important, that one.

But we had one rule that trumped all rules:

Consistency was king.

You see, on most issues, you could get away with breaking a rule or two -- as long as you were consistent.

And now, after both quitting my job and going through 3 first-trimester losses in a row (primarily surrounded by pro-lifers), I really wish I could say the same thing about life. And about pregnancy loss.

I must make a disclaimer (to all my friends and family reading this) -- You did the best you could. And for the most part, I felt loved and I knew that so many of you grieved with me.

To be perfectly honest, before my losses, I didn't quite understand that the way we pro-lifers treat miscarriage is important.

And yet after we lost Olivia, it didn't take long for me to realize that in this Christian microcosm of ours, somehow an aborted baby had so much more to offer the world than a miscarried one.

Both babies may have died at the same gestation -- one by choice, the other by chance. But the value attached to each child completely depended on how that child died.

Here are some of the mixed messages I received -- sometimes just hinted at, other times outright:

An aborted baby deserves to be grieved. A miscarried one deserves to be gotten over. And quickly. 

An aborted baby could have been the next Einstein or Bach or Mother Theresa. A miscarried baby was probably damaged goods.

An aborted baby was killed against God's design. A miscarried baby fulfilled God's plans.

An aborted baby was a real person, and should have the rights as such. A miscarried baby was not a real child -- naming them really is kinda weird. Speaking of weird . . . counting them in the line-up of your children? THAT'S weird!

An aborted baby should always be missed in this world. God had created them for a purpose, no matter what health issues they may have had. A miscarried baby was meant for heaven -- and we moms should just be so thankful we have a baby in heaven, and should not grieve the loss of their place on earth. After all, they never TRULY had a place on earth, did they?

An aborted baby is a tragedy. A miscarried baby is slight bump on the road of life.

An aborted baby could never be replaced. A miscarried baby can always be replaced -- "Oh, don't worry, hon -- your time will come again. You'll have more. Just relax and trust God. You'll see."

An aborted baby's mom should know exactly what she's missing out on if she has living children. A miscarried baby's mom should not grieve that loss, but instead, should just be thankful for the lives of her living children.

This isn't a debate about abortion. Really, it's not.

It's a call to those of you who say you are pro-life. It's a call to be consistent.

Do you really believe life -- personhood -- begins at conception? If so, standing up against abortion is understandable. But so is treating a miscarriage as a real death of a real person.

Perhaps instead of just standing outside of Planned Parenthood . . . Instead of just posting on Facebook your outrage at the laws in the land . . . Instead of praying for your neighbor's cousin's boyfriend's daughter who is considering abortion . . .

What if you took it one step further?

What if you held the hand of a grieving mom who miscarried at 4 weeks, 6 weeks, 18 weeks or more?

What if you never compared the loss of a 4-weeker to a 20-weeker?

What if you never said anything that started with, "At least . . . " As in, "At least it happened early." Or, "At least you didn't get too attached." Or, "At least you have one living child. You should be thankful for them."

What if you didn't try to stifle her tears? What if you welcomed them? And matched her tears with your own?

What if you held back any trite, easy answers that promised God's will and promised easy comfort? What if you just wrapped your arms around her the way Christ would?

What if you made that meal, bought those flowers and wrote that card?

What if you went to the hospital and sat in the waiting room for her, even if you wouldn't see her? Just because she is your friend. Just because that's what you do when someone is sick in the hospital or their child is dying.

What if you called her child by name?

What if you went to the service if they planned one? What if you helped her find a support group? What if you offered to go with her?

What if you prayed constantly for that hole in her heart that will one day scab, one day scar, but will never fully heal?


What if you were consistent? What if all your actions when dealing with loss of any kind, affirmed that fact that all life -- ALL LIFE -- is good, worthy of recognition and worthy of grief.

What if you didn't just affirm to the world that all babies are valuable -- but you also affirmed to a bereaved mom that HER baby was irreplaceable, and would forever be missed?

A person is a person . . . no matter how small.

And I would add . . . no matter when or how they died.




P.S. If my post spoke to you in any way, please consider sharing. Thanks for helping me spread the word that miscarriage matters!

P.P.S.  Many of the guys have posted comments on here, or emailed me. I want you to know -- I haven't forgotten you, even though I admit my post was written from a girl's perspective. MEN NEED SUPPORT TOO!

My husband wrote an awesome blog on HIS version of our story. I think all of you should read it. If you're a man, you might be able to relate. If you are a woman, you are likely dealing with a man who is grieving, and this was a huge help to me to understand his actions.

P.P.P.S. I am NOT implying that pro-choice person would not grieve a miscarriage. That would be another blog, and since that isn't my experience, it's probably best for one of you to write that post! The comparison I'm making is NOT how a pro-life mom vs. a pro-choice mom grieves. The comparison is how the pro-life community as a whole views miscarried vs. aborted babies. Just clarifying the issue, because there seems to be some confusion on that based on the comments below.

P.P.P.P.S. I'm blown away by the response to this blog! I just wanted to tell you how blessed I am to know you are reading, and then in turn, to hear your thoughts and stories. Whoever out there is sharing this THANK YOU!

I love your comments, and I promise, I am reading each one!

You are so welcome to comment -- but I just want to put a disclaimer out there. Since this is my space, and my purpose was not to start a debate on abortion, I won't be publishing the comments that are geared toward the morals of abortion. While some of your thoughts I can relate to, understand, or even agree with -- my goal here is not to start an argument, but to offer support. I hope you understand. So if you don't see your comment (and there are only a handful like this), feel free to reword and resubmit.

Thank you all. And much love to each of you.

1,322 comments:

  1. So true - touched my heart and caused reflection of the words we use to "comfort" others! Well said...

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    1. Thank you for reading! Before Olivia, I didn't know how to comfort, and sometimes STILL struggle to know what to say. I think sometimes just saying "I really care, and I'm so sorry you are going through this" can be the best.

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    2. I, too lost 3 babies. They were in Jan. 1998, June, 98 and my last was in spring 2001. I had my daughter in Aug. 2000. I am still trying to work thru my grief. No one recognized my loses. I was "reprimanded" for refering to them by name and reminded "it's not like they ever existed".....yes, that was said to me. Thank you for writing this. My babies are still very real. And after all these years, my heart is still broken. Appreciate prayer.

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    3. I too have been reprimanded for calling my angels by name and told that they werent really babies but more like cellular mistakes. NO I say!! They were my babies, just as you had yours. Praying for you and me and all women who feel like we do. Grief stricken.

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    4. Ty that was very touching & will help me next time im around a friend or family member dealing with a loss of there baby, I'll be strong and let god lead me to know how to help... This was so heart felt and very true how I was able to see what u were saying in this very important blog.

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    5. Ty that was very touching & will help me next time im around a friend or family member dealing with a loss of there baby, I'll be strong and let god lead me to know how to help... This was so heart felt and very true how I was able to see what u were saying in this very important blog.

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    6. I came across this right before going to sleep tonight. As my husband lies sleeping beside me I try not to awaken him with my tears as I fear he will not understand why this Grandma is weeping so many years later for the precious grand babies she has in heaven one of which was her very first. While I have never experienced miscarriage first hand living through them with my daughter were difficult seasons in our lives. We know we will be reunited one day and what a blessed day that will be. Thank you for taking the time to write this and hopefully open peoples eyes. Please accept my condolences on the loss of your daughter Olivia.

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    7. We lost only one child at 14 weeks and I thought that my heart would break. I had many well meaning comments similar to those you mention but thank God, I had the understanding and support from a wonderful Catholic priest and a dear friend who had also lost a child as well as my husband. Lucy would have been 36 this May. Our second child was due on the exact date two years later and for the first 4 months I did not want to tell anyone in case I lost her too. Another friend helped me greatly only 16 years ago by encouraging me to name her and our local Bishop in Wollongong began an annual Mass for miscarried, stillborn and aborted babies and I found this tremendously healing - even though I hadn't thought that I needed healing!. Every conceived child is precious and I also encourage everyone to allow those who have been through miscarriage to grieve in their own way and just let them cry/talk/whatever to cope. God bless you for your courage.

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    8. My first three babies died in the womb over 15 years ago, and while my husband and I have been blessed with abundant and healing peace in our childlessness through the years, those scars of loss remain. Another unplanned baby came and went last summer, much to my surprise and grief because, at my age, I naturally assumed at first that it was the start of menopause. With our completely fulfilling life as a middle-aged couple underway, I wasn't at all prepared for the all-too familiar feelings of grief and loss. Your article has helped me realize that a child's death can never be dismissed as a mere blip on the radar. Even an unplanned baby that dies is cause to mourn.

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    9. Thank you for your beautiful thoughts. I too lost 3 babies. I was blessed to have a nurse who was a member of my church working at the hospital the day I went in. She gave comfort and an angel pin for my lost little angel. It was such a comfort. After my younger brother's death, I had a dream one night of him in heaven with my three children!

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    10. I hope that I have never been guilty of the above. I have several friends who have had miscarriages and grieved with them, maybe not as long as I should have. But I agree, the life is there and we should never forget that.

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    11. Thank you! I lost my first angel at 18 weeks, I always tell people that we have 6, but one lives in heaven :)... I've had two more, very early miscarriages, here in the past couple of months and... yes, my heart is broken, I want to cry and to reach out to friends, but everyone is giving me those exact responses....

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    12. You are so right. I've never had a miscarriage but thought I was going to with my daughter. It was the scariest, most traumatizing moment of my life. So I cannot fathom the devastation of losing one let alone three babies. God Bless you!

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  2. Thank you. As the father of two living kids and a baby miscarried at 4-5 weeks (between the other two), I also handled my share of "at least" and "God's plan" statements from well-meaning friends. The only valid "at least" I can really think of right now is, "At least it happened early enough that we didn't have to tell many people." My wife and I were able to process the grief and the loss in our own time and we weren't overburdened by the unhelpful advice of well-meaning friends and family.

    That said, I can't say I blame those friends; having been in their position in the past, I have dispensed my share of "at least" statements as well. For anyone out there who has not experienced the pain and loss of a miscarriage, and who has a friend or family member going through that grief, the best comfort you may be able to provide is this: Just be available to them. Simply saying, "I'm sorry for your loss" and sitting beside them in silence can mean more than all the rationalization and helpful advice in the world.

    (Apologies to the author if I included any grammatical errors!)

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    1. First, I'm so sorry for the loss of your middle baby. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I loved your thought "At least we were early enough we didn't tell many people." That is a very valid "at least."

      I also agree with your idea for the best comfort. Sometimes, just having someone PRESENT with you that cares enough to listen and not fill the silence with trite sayings is the biggest relief.

      As for the grammar . . . if only you knew how many of my posts have errors! I had a proofing friend of mine read this through before posting this time -- and I still had an error slip through when I made some changes. So no apology needed at all. lol :)

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  3. Beautiful. As the mother of 4 beautiful girls, one of which was delivered stillborn at 20 weeks, I thank you for this. I have nothing more to add than that.

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    1. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. Some of my closest friends have had stillbirths, and what a loss that is. I'm so sorry for the loss of one of your precious girls.

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    2. I read this as I held my living child in my arms and my miscarried child in my heart. It never really leaves you and it absolutely changes you. Thank you for so eloquently saying what many of us feel but cannot find the words to express. Bless you and bless those beautiful babies.

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  4. So my heart...I have two in heaven and miss them terribly. Their holes in my heart are always very open and I don't go for one moment forgetting them. SO true that a life is a life, no matter what week it was lost.

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    1. Thank you for reading. I don't ever forget either. They are always on my heart. My babies have left an impression on my heart that will never leave. Big hugs to you.

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  5. This speaks so much truth!! I lost my first daughter at 24 weeks...her life was recognized, for a short while. Then I lost 3 more babies in the first trimester-2 of which we found out the sex and all of which we named but none of which were recognized as real babies by my family and it hurts sooo much! Thank you for sharing this and raising such a good point!

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    1. Thank you, Lindsay, for reading and sharing your own story. My heart goes out to you. I think invalidation of the lives we carried makes grieving so hard. Hugs.

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  6. So true and well said! I lost 2 babies at 12 weeks before they realized I had a Bicornuated uterus. I have 3 children now but I still think about the babies I lost and it's been 11 years.

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    1. Stephanie, thank you for sharing your story. Thanks for reminding all of us that grief has no time tables.

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    1. Thank you Elisha! Looking forward to checking out your own blog. :)

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  8. Thank you.... I have 8 living children, but 5 little ones who went to be with Jesus, and everything you said here rang true for me.... I often have said that it was the hardest to share my grief with believers. When a non-believer says something trite or rude, you can sort of chalk it up to their lostness, but when a believer says things that hurt, it is so much harder to take. I hadn't thought of the inconsistency when it comes to the pro-life stance, but you are absolutely right! It is time for Christians to understand that.

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    1. Amen sister! Thank you for reading and sharing your story.

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  9. As someone who has lost a much wanted child to a medically needed termination where my life was in jeopardy, this article struck me. I had my share of "at least" statements, even coming from my own mother. They are painful and less than helpful. My grief doesn't have a support group. I didn't have a miscarriage and I didn't "get rid of" my child. And so few people understand that kind of pain. Thank you for pointing out that all loss is worthy of respect and all babies are worthy of remembrance no matter how they were delivered to heaven.

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    1. To all of you who have carried a loss, I am so sorry for your loss, as well as for all the other parents who lost children at different times during gestation. I too lost a child fairly early. I made a couple of mistakes. One as a pro-lifer as well, had my miscarriage at home. I got to see the baby still in the amniotic fluid. It was a perfectly formed person. The doctor who was supposedly a pro-life man and represented as the best obgyn in town, once I finally got in to see him, pouring my heart out fo him because I was bleeding and it wouldn't stop. He told me that one out of three pregnancies ends in a miscarriage and I should go home and wait. A couple of days later, it happened in the peaceful place of my home. He told me to bring the baby to the office and he would have it tested for abnormalities. What I didn't know then and know now, the lab cut it up and delivered the news to the doctor that it was pregnancy material!!! I could tell it was a baby just by looking at it. Had I know what he was going to do I would have kept it and yes I would have taken a picture of it. It was the most beautiful baby next to all my others. We would have buried it ourselves and my seminary husband would have had a Christian burial. I'm am sorry to have to share such intimate detail but because I had no one to grieve with me I had a terrible time getting over it. That was in the early 80's. I'm so sorry for all of you here and I'm sure that your babies were just as precious to you as ours was to us. Only a couple of people know of what I went through so I needed to share it. Blessings to all of you parents who have lost babies of any age.

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    2. I'm so sorry. Going through a loss without support is so hard. But then feeling so alone, even in the loss community itself is hard. Our baby Olivia was ectopic. My tube ruptured before I had to make any decisions. But I can maybe relate a little bit more. My life has been in jeopardy twice in pregnancy, and that is so traumatic on it's own, let alone having to experience a loss with it. My heart goes out to you.

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    3. Anonymous, Thank you for sharing your precious story. And I'm so sorry that you endured what you did. I truly believe we need to speak up about all pregnancy loss more, so we aren't so alone when it happens to us. I know when I had my ectopic surgery, Olivia was just sucked up a tube and probably discarded as medical waste. It was so hard to imagine her body being treated as waste. Thanks again for sharing your little baby's story with us.

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    4. i love your blog, its so meaningful! do you have living children now? i feel since losing my 2 babies that me and partner want a large family because we simply deserve it! our babies were stolen from us when we are great people and parents and its very hard to see others being pregnant to this day. so we will be having a very large family and wont let anyone tell us otherwise!

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  10. Thank you. Five babies, three in heaven, one living, and one I'm still carrying. We have named each of our babies. Our first loss was our 10 month old son who was critically ill die to a chromosomal issue. Our second loss was the identical twin of my living daughter. We lost her before we know she was there. (Had the ultrasound at 8 weeks, she passed at 7 weeks 3 days.) Her loss was met with "but you didn't even know she was there" comments. Our third loss was right before I got pregnant with the baby I'm still carrying. We lost him/her at 5 weeks 1 day...too early to know if the baby was a boy or a girl. We chose a unisex name for that little one. I'm glad I'm not the only one who not only counts my babies as losses, but actually names them as well.

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    1. I too have named and count my babies as losses. 5 babies in 5 years, 2 in heaven and 3 here. My first loss was 8 weeks and too early to tell gender, my second was ectopic and found at 6 weeks. Neither were tested so we have no idea why they happened, but they are both named and remembered on their birthdays. We actually didn't even question whether we should name them, it was just a given because you name your babies.

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    2. Yes! Naming my babies just came naturally to me. I'm so glad you were able to name them all. I'm so sorry for your many losses.

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    3. Heather, Olivia was ectopic too. We don't have any reason for any of our losses. question for you: Do you count the day you lost them as birthdays, or do you count their EDD? Just curious.

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  11. I have suffered three miscarriages, all baby girls, but what has hurt the most was the lost of my little boy. He was born 7 weeks early and passed away 5 months later. The comments I receive and treatment has caused me to avoid mentioning him. The thing I have realized is that we don't handle grief and loss well as outsiders. We understand someone being sad the first few months, but after a year, our understanding wanes. It's been five years since my son passed in my arms and when people discover that I lost him the general response is "I'm so sorry, but it must have been a part of God's plan because now you have this cute little boy!" I feel for my now toddler second son...I don't ever want him feeling like he was born to be a replacement. Every child is unique and loved, no matter what the outcome of their conception.

    Much love and hugs for you

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    1. Thanks Shabby Chic Mama. I so agree. It's OK to feel sad for a few months -- but to still feel sad years later?? Such a common misunderstanding in our society. And I agree, no child is a replacement child. I am blessed beyond blessed to have our little miss that we are adopting, but that doesn't mean I don't miss all three of my babies in heaven. I'm so sad to hear of what you have had to endure.

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  12. This spoke so deeply to my heart. I have lost 3 babies, 2 of them before i even realized i was pregnant. The pain is real, valid, and what this article says is right on point. Thank you so much for saying what so many, my self included, feels.

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  13. Coming from a father of three healthy children, two miscarriages, and one more son that we have nearly lost several times since he was born two years ago. I understand the logic behind what you are saying, but I don't totally agree. One thing I think you can't control sometimes are feelings. You state all the differences in the ways miscarriages are remembered vs abortions, and I agree, but one big difference you left out is guilt. Parents who abort their children should feel immense guilt for murdering their child. Parents who miscarry of course should grieve their child, but I don't feel guilty about our children who went on to be with Jesus before we could meet them. And I think that brings me to the difference that strikes me most. Maybe it is because I am a super insensitive person, I'm not sure, I would like to think that I'm not, but we never got to know our miscarried children. Having almost lost Ephraim a handful of times in his two years so far, I can tell you that the longer he is with us, and the more we get to know him, the harder it becomes every time he is on deaths door. Like I said, maybe I'm just incredibly shallow and can't see past my own emotions, but somehow it doesn't feel the same. One question I have, for those mothers who named their miscarried children, did you name them before you lost them? When we miscarried, we hadn't named them yet, so we didn't go through the process of looking at names. I promise I'm not trying to be insensitive with this response, I just want to get more perspective on this from you.

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  14. I read this post through tears. I lost a baby boy at 23 weeks gestation, I had one son at the time and I can't remember how many times I heard from my fellow church members how at least I had one child and at least it wasn't him that died! Well meaning comments often hurt more than help. I hope everyone who reads this comes away with a better idea of how to comfort grieving mothers. Thank you for posting!

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    1. Thank you for reading, Melissa. I'm so sorry for the loss of your son. And I really hope that others feel better prepared to offer comfort.

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  15. Having three here with us and three in heaven I see that I really had to extend a lot of grace to those who were lacking understanding as to the pain that we were in. We did have a good friend that said some of the same things which are true, but they were by no means being flippant or trite. They grieved with us while speaking God's word.

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    1. I'm glad you had those who were able to grieve with you. And I'm also glad you were able to extend grace. I do believe that most "unhelpful" comments come from good hearts and the best of intentions. I just hope to give some "good hearts" some "good words" to share with others who are suffering a pregnancy loss.

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  16. Oh man, this is good. Thank you.

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    1. :) Thank you for reading. It means a lot to me.

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  17. I am so sorry for your losses. Thank you so much for this. It is a club that no one wants to join, but by the comments you receive, you know who is a member of the club. I too have 3 miscarriages in my history. I only named the last baby. I remember all of them and know how old they would be. It is something you never really "get over". Hugs to you and your family.

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    1. Oh yes. The club. I know it well. Hugs to you.

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  18. Thank you for saying EVERYTHING i could not say!

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  19. I love that you gave concrete ideas as to what would be helpful, and that you didn't just vent your hurts. We had no children the first five years of marriage. Then we had four in the next five years. Next came six years of infertility. Late 2012 and early 2013 held three miscarriages for us. Now at age 42 we are 27 weeks along. I think I might have had every question, condolence and criticism concerning child bearing directed our way. =) When a person chooses to comment in any way about our personal life, I always take a positive approach to how I hear what they are saying. I don't focus on the words, but rather choose to think this person wants me to be happy (most really do). I believe that the comments directed to the parents of the aborted baby are an attempt to deliver a sense of guilt for the seriousness of what they deliberately chose to do. Those comments are not mentioned about the miscarried child, not because they are less true, but in order to relieve a sense of guilt over something which we had no control. It hurts when someone touches an area of our life that is raw. take from it the healing that is intended and don't let it continually rub by rethinking it. What someone says does not determine they way I handle my grief. Thank you again for putting forth positive ideas about how to comfort a hurting person. Most people are just that.

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    1. I agree that most statements are well-intentioned. I love that you are able to look positively through any hurtful words toward the good heart behind it. My hope is that this helps others show comfort. Thanks for reading.

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  20. Wow! I often wondered if my husband had been the one to pass away if people would be so quick to tell me at his funeral, "At least you can get remarried." Thanks for this read!

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    1. YES!!!! I sometimes wonder, "If my family got in a car accident, and my dad was killed, would people think it's appropriate to say -- 'Well, at least you have your mom?" I think a good rule of thumb is, if this is not something you would say to any other person suffering loss, don't say it to a bereaved mama.

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  21. Thank you so much for this! I miscarried my only child at 5 1/2 weeks and even though it was three years ago, I still grieve for her. Sadly, I experienced many of the well-intentioned but thoughtless reactions as you did; what hurt most is that they were friends from church, whom I expected to be more compassionate. I had my share of "at least you can get pregnant" — which turned out to be more difficult than they all said since we've been trying for 2 years and been unsuccessful — and "at least it was early." It frustrates me as well that it betrays such an inconsistency with the vociferous, outspoken pro-life movement. I am a pro-lifer, but the miscarriage discussion in Christian circles is woefully inadequate and inconsistent. Thank you for sharing this!

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    1. "I am a pro-lifer, but the miscarriage discussion in Christian circles is woefully inadequate and inconsistent. " Couldn't agree more. And I think infertility compounds loss so much. It's not simply a loss, it's not simply infertility, it is just plain horribleness to go through. Big Big hugs to you mama.

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  22. Thank you. I am a mother of 5 living children, and 3 in heaven.(lost at 20 weeks, 7 weeks, and 12 weeks) I heard so many of these and could not truly talk to anyone about what I was feeling or thinking. I pray that I can be of some comfort to others going through miscarriage.
    The comments really to sting, even though all are trying to be kind. I pray I never forget how they made me feel, and that I never use those comments on other grieving mothers.

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    1. I'm so glad you are able to take your journey and help others. What a great legacy YOU are leaving for your 3 babies in heaven. Thank you for sharing.

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  23. I have never had a miscarriage, I have lost a child. She was full term, and stillborn, do to trisomy 18. I have to say I would be pretty angry at some of the moms who compared their miscarriages to mine. But after reading what you really go through I understand now, and I am very sorry for that anger. It's not that thought their losses weren't as important, but that it was harder for me because I got to know her. And I want you to know that I had people telling to get back in there and try for another baby as soon as I could. It hurt when people would tell stories about someone else getting pregnant again right after a loss. So for those I have hurt by not taking your loss as serious as mine, I am truly, deeply sorry.

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing, not just about your baby, but about your feelings. I'm sure many women can relate to you. When we lost Olivia to ectopic pregnancy, I was mad when people thought I had just had a miscarriage. It was a miscarriage -- and more. I had to have surgery. I was internally bleeding. My husband came to the hospital to say goodbye forever. After having 2 subsequent miscarriages, I cared less about how people classified it. I realized we don't really get to choose our losses. You didn't chose Trisomy 18 anymore than I chose ectopic and first-trimester loss. Both of us must deal with what we are given. And the end result is that a much wanted, much loved baby has died. I think each loss has it's own set of things that make it harder to deal with. Several of my friends have had stillbirths, and I know how traumatic that has been for them. For me, NOT knowing my baby and getting to take pictures, plan a service, or have footprints, etc., made it that much harder to "justify" my grief.. Anyway -- sorry for my rambling. I just wanted to say I understand how you might feel that way, but I'm glad that at least a little bit, this post helps you understand your friends suffering a different loss a little bit more. Hugs to you.

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  24. God bless you all for sharing, We miscarried three precious little ones, each at different times with different circumstances---two accidental falls, one a pregnancy complication. ALL wanted so much. I write this with tears because it still is a loss. All three were placed in our loving Heavenly Father's arms by us. People don't know what to say, so they can say some thoughtless things. I have come to know its best to forgive them, with Jesus' help, the only way I can do it. We have been abundantly blessed with other children, none of which we see as" replacements" . I often wonder what I would be doing with those we don't have with us now. I know where they are--- they are NOT LOST. God says His ways are not our ways, He knows our pain and sorrow, and cares so much more than we know. I am and will learn to trust Him in all of this all of my life. I look forward to being with Him and those little ones who have gone before forever when God will wipe every tear away. I pray that all of you who are experiencing this will know of God's great love and care for you and your precious little ones. That you will feel His arms around you to comfort and know those babies are also there, in His arms, His care.

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    1. I love your comment, and am so glad you shared. Thank you.

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  25. This did speak to me deeply. A friend of mine did have 3 miscarriages and she grieved on the loss of each one. She found out the first one was a boy. Every year on what would have been his due date, we celebrate him and that he will be in our hearts for good. Unfortunately, I don't have the pleasure of having a child since I had a tubal ligation when I was 21 with the agreement of my parents. I wonder though that I would love to go through with trying to be a mom and challenges to get there. But, being a single woman, it's expensive and most of the applications I have seen wants permission from a spouse. I am not quite sure if my insurance would cover it either. Oh, and there are hardly any doctors that does tubal reversals where I live.

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    1. What a good friend you are to celebrate your friend's son's birthday. kudos to you. She is luck to have you. I hope the best for you on your journey to becoming a mom.

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    2. if you so chose to go the route of trying, do not get a reversal as they are not always a success. i am a mom of 3. 2 living and one lost at 20 weeks. it is by far better to go invetro and by far cheaper. i wanted to have another after i had my tubal but due to health reasons we are not. i still remember when my son lost his heart beat at 16 weeks. it is a sadness i live with every day. my daughters both know about their brother and miss him too. its not just the parents who have to go through it its the other kids as well.

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  26. I have had 2 first trimester miscarriages. And I agree with everything you say. But until a person has walked in our shoes, and lost a child this way, they have no concept of the feelings we had at the time. Death, for most people is uncomfortable. They say things wanting to comfort and be helpful when really all that can be said is "I'm sorry". They mean well and whether or not they think you should "get over it", most people don't understand why someone would CHOSE to terminate a pregnancy. A lot of people talk about someone who commits murder as being evil, but in the same breath someone who choses to MURDER their unborn child is just someone exercising their choice... You can abort your baby, but if a drunk driver kills him/her in a car wreck they are a murderer. It's not right and it's unfair. But I know the comments to me were from people who loved me and were trying to ease my pain. Only God can do that and only God should be choosing which babies live!!!

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  27. I am so sorry for your loss, but also for the reactions from your friends and family. When I miscarried, everyone I knew grieved with me, attended the small service we had, and the women just bawled their eyes out. Our pastor spoke at the service, and our church family took it on themselves to deliver two meals per day to our house for a week even though I had no physical complications. I was overwhelmed and strengthened by the outpouring of love in action.

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    1. I love that you received so much support. I hope that one day, this will be the norm! I always wanted to have a service, but never did. I do want to say that MANY of my friends and family were amazing supporters, and my support has grown tremendously with each subsequent loss. However, there was still this big disconnect for me, which is what prompted the post.

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  28. Thank you so much for these words. I myself have had 2 miscarriages, both at 9 1/2 weeks, and I had been trying for 2 years. I also received some of these comments as well, but also have family who have been through the same thing, so they knew exactly what to say. I'm hoping this won't happen again because I couldn't even begin to explain the loss I felt, but I'm also not giving up. Thank you so much for sharing!

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    1. Thank you for reading. Proud of you for not giving up! Big hugs.

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  29. This is something everyone should read and try to understand. As a mom that delivered a stillborn at 41 weeks 2 days I definitely got told many different things including I'm sorry way too many times. I am very lucky to have a healthy 11 month old boy now but it doesn't make the pain any less that I don't have my daughter here with me.

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    1. Yes. Having little miss (the little girl we're adopting) does not take the pain away from losing Olivia, Caleb and Elliott. As someone said earlier, they are not replacement babies. I'm grateful for all of them. But I'll always miss the ones I didn't hold in my arms. (PS. One of my friends had a still birth at 38 weeks. I'm so sorry for what you've had to endure.)

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  30. Give it up to God, rather than this blog. You are making more pain for yourself.

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    1. Thanks for this thought. In truth, my heart feels lighter than it has in a long time. There's something amazing about openness, honesty and the community that comes from it. I have given all my losses to God -- and continue to do so daily. But that doesn't mean I need to pretend that they didn't happen. I posted your comment because I think it's what so many people think -- "just be quiet, and deal with it on your own, or just with God." But for me, the healing didn't even start until I opened up. I have forgiven every one who has said a hurtful thing to me (intentional or otherwise.) But if I can help one other mom not have to hear hurtful things or suffer invalidation for their loss, then my openness is well worth it. Thanks for reading.

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  31. Whoa. So good. Thank you for this.

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  32. Thank you for writing this post! I am one out of 11 children, but one of those children, my brother Job, was a miscarriage. My youngest sister, Katharina, was born a year later, on the same day we found out about my baby brother. Some people may think that, with 11 kids in the house, losing one shouldn't be that big a deal; may even be a blessing financially, space wise, etc. But it's not. Even now, 6 years later, it is the most painful thing in my life. I wonder all the time who my little brother would have been if he had lived.

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    1. As you point out, siblings so often get left out of the picture. My oldest daughter Maddy still brings up Olivia (and it's been 2 years) and tells me how much she misses her. And you are right, no matter how many kids you have, each one is unique and deserves to be celebrated and grieved.

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  33. Very touching. I also had two miscarriages over 30 years ago and no one ever talked about it nor wanted to hear about it. I was left to grieve on my own. Every child deserves to be celebrated, remembered and talked about no mater how one loses them. Hopefully you are surrounded by those who can love on you! Blessings!

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    1. Thank you for sharing. I'm so sorry you had to go through your losses alone. I love your thought: "Every child deserves to be celebrated, remembered and talked about no mater how one loses them." So true.

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  34. I completely agree with you! I have never miscarried and I'm pro-life. But each time a friend tells me they miscarried I'm ready to cry for them. I can't imagine losing a child! Especially one that is wanted and you're excitedly looking forward to sharing your life with. I have literally sat and cried with a friend when she told me she miscarried. I'm sorry you did not have the kind of support you needed during your losses. :(

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    1. What a good friend you are to cry with your friend. Those that have done that with me helped me so much. MOST of my friends and family were supported, but there was still this disconnect. And since I started blogging and being more open about my feelings, I have so much support and I'm so grateful for that. Thanks for reading.

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  35. I completely agree with you! I have never miscarried, but I am pro-life. I have sat with many Mothers who have miscarried and even cried with them. I can't imagine the immense loss they must feel. I would think that losing a wanted baby through miscarriage would be more harmful to the parent than losing a baby through abortion that is not wanted. I'm so sorry you did not have a good support system during your losses. Please know my heart goes out to you. I am honestly scared to attempt to conceive because my family has a history of miscarriages. I'll be praying for you as well.

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    1. I understand your fear. Thanks for your prayers!

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  36. Thanks a million for this had a grandchild that was a miscarriage this was great to read may god be in all our hearts in a time like that

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    1. You're welcome. Thanks for reading. And I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your grandchild.

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  37. All of this rings true. I have 4 living children, and one stillbirth 8 months ago, after 35 weeks gestation. I'm thankful in some ways that we lost her at such a late date instead of earlier because it allowed us to name her and have a service/burial in the cemetery without too many people thinking it was weird.

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    1. My heart hurts for you. Several friends have had an experience like yours, and it's heart-breaking. I have often wished I would have known my babies, had pictures, foot-prints, etc. I think the hard part about an early miscarriage is the invalidation because others haven't seen the baby. I'm glad that naming your baby and having a service brought you some comfort.

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  38. My mom had ten children. She had two miscarriages. She told me if they could take all the pain from the ten live births it would be less then the two miscarriages. She was 97 when she died and had not forgotten. Until today I had thought of her in heaven with other family who had passed but not them. I sit here with tears in my eyes and pain in my heart. So easily I had dismissed them from her life.

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  39. I am a mom of twins, and a mom to a baby lost at 10 weeks gestation. This article really spoke to me. It is 3 years since the loss of my Gabriel and I have thought every word that you wrote since then. It is almost as if I have not healed and the pain is so raw because I felt as if I was not allowed to grieve in a normal way.

    My twins were born at 29 weeks gestation, and I felt a similar pain then too. When you are hurting and pain is involved, people get uncomfortable. They want to "fix" you and that is impossible. In doing so, they often say things that make you hurt even more, even though they have the best intentions. The big difference between that experience and the loss of a child through miscarriage, is that I was allowed to grieve and talk about the experience.

    Society needs to change on this issue.

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  40. Amen! I am a mother that has 4 babies in heaven all lost around week 13... we never forget...each one is special.

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  41. I am sorry for your losses. I, too, had a miscarriage (should we call it that, really?). I've had 6 pregnancies. Five were born. My second pregnancy ended at about 12 weeks. I have also lost an infant at the age of 9 months after he received 2 liver transplants. It's been 35 years since the first loss, 28 years since the second. I can't say that, at that time that my church family/christian associates responded as you experienced. There was no difference in the baby that died, before birth and the one that died after birth to my christian brothers and sisters. I remember thinking (as I was undergoing the procedure at the hospital for the miscarriage) how can a woman do this to a living baby? Abortion is terrible. Loosing a baby to "chance" is terrible. Both are heartaches that must fall under the grace and comfort of God. Yes. Both are babies. Both are potential - lost. Both are loved by God, if not loved by both kinds of mother. Those who have not grieved for a child will not understand.

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  42. Oh this brought back so many memories. I lost 4, at different stages. One being the twin of my 2nd full term. You didn't include the comment that was made to me after my 2nd miscarriage. "What did you do that God is punishing you?" Thank you. Thank you.

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    1. What a horrible thing to say and I hope you don't believe a word of it! You did nothing wrong. I thought that, too, after my first miscarriage when I was just 19 and unmarried. I was a victim of rape and I wanted that baby. I was told horrible things, I deserved it, I was crazy to want a child of rape, I must be so relieved to not have that reminder of what had happened to me. It took me a long time to heal from that whole event. I named that beautiful baby Zillah Elizabeth, beloved shadow of God. You did nothing wrong. I particularly hate that lie.

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  43. I lost my baby at 8 weeks due to he/she growing in my fallopian tube...an ectopic pregnancy that ruptured. No one seemed to understand my true pain. So many people in my life told me I was so lucky to have one living baby. And I am but that doesn't change the fact that a piece of my heart is gone forever. No one has treated me like a grieving mother....yet I am grieving. My heart still aches everday for the little person I never got to meet or bury or even acknowledge as a human being with a beating heart. I thought I was weird for feeling this way but reading this post and all the comments is a life line to me. I'm so glad someone understands my pain. I'm so relieved it's okay to cry.

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  44. Thank you. I have 4 living children and have now had 6 miscarriages. You put into words the anger and frustration that I've been feeling but didn't know why. Thank you.

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  45. This hits very close to home for our family. My daughter and her husband lost two babies to miscarriage and even though God has blessed them with the miracle of an adopted baby boy, those two little lives will always be considered an integral part of this family. As Nonna, I still feel the hole in my heart and I know that my daughter and son-in-law do, too. I never really understood the depth of this kind of loss until it happened to our family. I lost my mother as a child, and the loss of these two precious little ones felt no different, maybe even worse. There really were no words that helped me through either of these losses and so I knew that all I could do was love, listen and cry with my daughter in some of her darkest moments. I still have days where I have a hard time understanding why these things happen, but what I do know is that God carries us through....in time.

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  46. I have been truly blessed to not lose a pregnancy. When I was carrying my third, I didn't want to be pregnant at the time. I wouldn't have terminated. I just wasn't "ready" yet. One day, playing with my other two I started bleeding at that moment, I "knew" I had lost what I also knew was my first son. I was devastated! When I had an ultrasound showing a healthy 10'week fetus the relief I felt was immeasurable. I was never again unhappy to be carrying my sweet boy.

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  47. Well said. I lost 2 precious babies at 6 weeks and 10 weeks before I gave birth to our daughter who is now 12. I can never remember a time that I don't think of them. It still hurts and at times I still cry. Thank you and may God bless you.

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  48. Thank you for sharing your stories and I am sorry for your loss along with everyone else who have posted comments. I wanted to reply because I am pro-choice and I have had all three. Abortion, miscarriages and have given birth to two thankfully healthy boys. I think of every single one of them every day, no matter which choice I made. ALL of them were very emotional experiences for me and I mourn them. I made my choice because it was mine to make and for the situation I was in I felt it was the best one I could make. I will not go into what circumstances caused me to make the choice because that is my business. Abortions and Miscarriages are treated very differently by people but both are treated with some degree of disdain/disgust, people acting like it didn't happen or "Get over it" comments and unfortunately there are people that make terrible comments out there. No matter which have happened it hurts just the same. I feel sad for people like that and I hope they never have something like it happen to them. I am posting anonymous because I know by posting I am possibly setting myself up for a debate on abortion and I choose not to because it won't erase my feelings and it won't change my perspective either. I applaud all of you for sharing your stories you are very strong and wonderful people even though we may not agree on certain stances, I still feel this post hit home for me. Thank you.

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    1. I want to thank you for your comment. I am pro-life, but have to admit to a certain degree of hypocrisy: I aborted what would have been my 2nd baby. I had what I felt at the time - and still feel to have been - very good personal reasons for doing so, but regretted it even as I was going through with it and have continued to regret it since, especially since I have had to live with raising my daughter as a fatherless only child of divorce. I think one thing that people don't seem to realize is that what they say matters. Sometimes what pushes some of us over that line is when some people speak overly critically and judgmentally about others. That goes for beforehand just as much as afterward. When people make off-the-cuff remarks about people's parenting abilities, especially when it is directed toward you as you are just learning how to be a parent, even worse when you're also facing the imminent reality of becoming a single/divorced parent, it can really make the difference in how you choose to deal with a pregnancy you didn't expect - comments such as, "You can't even raise the child you have; what makes you think you could handle any more?" It is so easy to talk about how some people shouldn't be parents, but such thoughtless remarks might make the difference between somebody braving an unexpected pregnancy and aborting before anybody knows about it. I know I am to blame for aborting my daughter's only full-blood sibling; that doesn't mean that I have any less right to mourn the child I wish I could have had. People really need to think a LOT more before they speak.

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    2. Yes. Thank you for articulating what I couldn't. I'm another pro-choicer who has had all the situations, and I grieve.

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  49. Thank you so much my husband and I just lost a baby at 12 weeks the worst thing we could ever go through and we got all of those responces and I was so angry that no one could under stand that jacob was our baby no matter how small he was. We don't know what the sex was but our daughter was determend that it was her brother so that is his name again thank you for touching our hearts it eases my pain to know I'm not crazy for how I feel or things we did.

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  50. Great post! My husband and I adopted a total of 8 frozen embryos and lost them all. Though I've never seen a positive pregnacy test, I have carried those tiny lives even for a short period of time and I believe that I'll get to meet them one day in heaven.
    Thanks for the reminder to treat ALL lives the same! (Shared on fb)

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  51. I have lost two babies. One at 8 weeks and one at 5 weeks. I also have two healthy children and one on the way due in April. This article is so true. I wanted to scream when people would say "maybe that is God's way of not allowing someone who has a disability to be born" or "there will be other babies". I wanted to yell but this was MY baby! I wanted my baby even if they were blind, mentally handicapped, physically handicapped, whatever! I wanted my baby. Yes there may be other babies but it doesn't make this one any less special or loved! Thank you for expressing what so many of us have lived through and hope that it makes people think differently about what they say to a couple whose baby has passed away!

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  52. I am so sorry for your loss. I have never had a miscarriage but did however have a full term baby with congenital heart defects that passed away at 2 1/2 months old. After his passing I found this website that helped me to relate to others that suffered loss too. http://silentgrief.com/ I also want to add that I already had a child when our loss occurred and had another child two years after our loss. God gives us peace that surpasses all understanding.

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  53. I agree with your post. And not all are inconsistent, though I agree many are. Literally 3 days ago my nephew was still born at 37 weeks. There is no at least or anything like that. Certainly for the individual it may be easier to cope, but whether 1 week, 39 weeks, just born, or 95 years old, all life is to be cherished and all loss of life to be respected with dignity. I am sorry for your 3 losses. That must be incredibly hard to lose 3 precious little children. All life matters, and that was what was reaffirmed most by your post

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  54. To this post I simply say: Thank You.

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  55. Thank you for understanding. I was suppose to deliver our first baby in less than three weeks but I miscarrried.

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  56. I have two beautiful baby girls (14 months apart) and got pregnant with baby #3 when #2 was not quite one. I lost baby #3 (Quinn) at almost 12 weeks and I was amazed at how hurtful people were being and acting like I should just get over it. I am not pregnant with #4 and realize how BLESSED I am, but I still grieve for the baby I never got to hold in my arms. Thank you for writing this. I am so sorry for your three losses. My heart breaks for every mother who loses a baby.

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  57. http://stillstandingmag.com/2014/02/mother-alone/

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    1. I read this post when it came out and I LOVED every word!!! Thank you for sharing this! Hopefully others will read too!

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  58. Amen. Without question, amen. I'm so, so sorry for your losses. God bless you.

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  59. Amen. Without question....amen. God bless you.

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  60. Wonderful post....thank you for sharing. I've lost 5 and they were early losses so most of the sentiment we received was in the 'at least' column. Or worse...."well, it just wasn't meant to be".....WOW! If those words were uttered to a newly divorced or widowed person, they would be considered rude to say the least but when spoken about an early miscarriage it somehow seems okay? I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on the matter, very well written!

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    1. Thank you! I know what you're saying. Somehow having an early loss opens us up to all sorts of demeaning words people would never ever say to someone in a different situation. Your losses are heart-breaking, and I'm so sorry that you didn't have more support.

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  61. Thank you for sharing your story and I am sorry for your loss. I lost our first child in July 2007 at around 12 weeks. That was the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with as it is for everyone. We didn't know the gender but I felt in my heart we have a little girl in heaven. We named her Aubreigh and she would be 6 on March 1. I celebrate her by myself every year for my heart still aches as miss her everyday even though I never got to know or meet her. I do agree that comments from others who are trying to help end up hurting the most because the ones like "it will happen again real soon" are hard especially when it didn't. I am blessed though because 3 and half years of losing Aubreigh, I had a baby girl and then a year and half later I had another girl. Aubreigh is included in their baby books as their older sister and when they are old enough I can not wait to explain her to them and to let them celebrate her with me. Prayers to all who have lost precious angels.

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    1. I love her name! We never found out for sure with any of our miscarried babies -- just went on what we thought they were. Love that you included them in the baby books.

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  62. I don't have kids. I've never wanted kids. I've never been pregnant. But my sisters have all experienced miscarriages. One miscarried 7 or 8 times. The second 6-8 times. The third once. I remember the pain my sisters went through with each miscarriage, but of course, as a child, I didn't fully understand what the big deal was. (Please note, I was a "surprise" baby, so there is a large age gap between my sisters and me.) Of course, as I've aged I've come to understand what happened and why it IS a big deal, and I would hope I have better sense than to try to console with "at least" statements. I hope this article reaches far and wide and educates many, to hopefully spare additional pain through thoughtless, careless, or simply misguided comments and attempts at consolation.

    And I'm sorry for your losses.

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  63. Thank you for posting. I had a miscarriage in 2000 and an ectopic, medically terminated pregnancy in 2001. Of course we got the "your baby is with Jesus" and even better my mother had recently.passed away, so we got "Your babies are with your mom". I know they all meant well, but it didn't help. Both pregnancies ended before we knew the gender. But, we decided the first was a girl..Katherine Claire (Katie) and the second a boy Neil Raymond. Both names after those grandmothers.Neil.and Raymond were maiden names. I still grieve them all these years later and cry even as I write this. Of course I am grateful for my daughters...both were teens when this happened.
    I still have no magic words and I've said those exact words...but have let women know I an here if they want to talk, want to cry, or just air with someone who understands.

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  64. You could add " you really didn't need another baby" to the list. I lost an unplanned pregnancy when my twins were 1. I was a wreak when I found out I was expecting. I have three kiddos and it really was some super inconvenient timing. I lost the baby at 12 weeks. It was the most gut wrenching thing I have ever been through. Bc as " Unexcited" as I was to learn I was expecting, I know that that same spark of life gave me the three beautiful children I have here with me. My children are precious. I think about my lost baby EVERY DAY. As with everything people try and help but tend to stick their foot in their mouth. But telling a Mom she doesn't "need" another baby while she sits facing having a dead baby removed from her body is probably one of the most hurt full things that was said to me. By family no less. They meant to help, but it was painful.

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  65. Twenty-eight years ago I was beginning my first pregnancy after four years of infertility. Four months later I miscarried, but there was no baby. I say that, not because I devalue life, but because everything but a baby had grown. As a preschool teacher, I was faced with all of the condolences you mentioned plus a couple of others :the mom who was obviously one upping me because she had carried to term, and the family who had gone to counseling before adoption but only adopted because she couldn't take time away from her law practice. The most genuine was my OB-GYN. She had seen me in the hospital. But when I saw her for follow up, she shared that she had experienced a miscarriage the same night. We cried on each other and shared that we were not going to do anything more. One year later, she was at the delivery of our one and only daughter. She showed me the pictures of her three month old daughter. I had two other miscarriages where the amniotic sac was empty. I was angry with God for a while for not even letting me have those heavenly children. Time has shown the why. But no words were ever necessary for my comfort. I'm sharing this in hopes that maybe one other person can learn how to grieve with someone else.

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  66. Even though my miscarriages (2) were more than 30 years ago, I still have those moments of what if. I am thankful for the 2 babies I eventually did have and they have grown to be wonderful adults. To a Mom who miscarries you are attached and it is a dreadful event to go through. My heart hurts for you and pray you have the same joy I have been blessed with in my two children.

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  67. I am going to share the link to this on my blog. I love it. I've had a hard time with how to deal with the issue of miscarriages, having had two. And I do try and focus on positive things, but it's hard to not grieve those children as children lost and I feel I'm expected to do so unfortunately. Their due dates are still hard days for me. I really appreciate you writing this and sharing this.

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  68. Thank you for your post -- so well put. Here's a link to my post on a similar subject: http://middleofastory.wordpress.com/2013/04/23/grieving-a-miscarried-child/. God's blessings to you!

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  69. Thank you for this post -- so well put! Here's a link to my entry on a similar subject: http://middleofastory.wordpress.com/2013/04/23/grieving-a-miscarried-child/.

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  70. What a beautiful post! I have four babies in heaven and even have the first page of my babies and toddlers scrapbook dedicated to my lost little ones. I guess that must make me really weird, right? In fact, here is the poem I wrote after my fourth miscarriage, which happened on a Christmas Day a few years ago...

    Blessings From Above

    Six times the Lord blessed us
    And four times more
    Six we may cherish
    But for four our heats tore

    Never to cuddle
    Never to hold
    Gone to see Jesus
    Four we can't mold

    Six times the Lord blessed us
    Our hearts fill with love
    Six we may cherish
    But four are above

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  71. Wow. I didn't know what to expect from the title but was sobbing by the end. I had a miscarriage at 11 weeks after more than 2 years trying to conceive, 7 fertility treatment cycles, and an IVF. It was devastating. I will never forget my Mother telling me I wasn't the only person to ever have a miscarriage and I needed to get over it. I now have a beautiful baby boy. I feel incredibly blessed that we finally have our family but my miscarriage is something that I will always carry with me.

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  72. I've been pregnant 4 times but had miscarriages with all 4. Still waiting/praying daily for that baby. While I can't say we really had those comments (people were sensitive thank goodness) but I know other people who have. This is an interesting perspective that as a pro-life person, I hadn't really thought about. Thank you for sharing. I do know that seeing and loving that formed baby on the ultrasound screen at 12 weeks has made my pro life stance stronger than ever.

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  73. Rachel,
    I can totally relate! 8 babies, three with me and 5 in heaven. I believe that with the first I was shocked and sad. By the time #4, I went to being numb and angry. # 5 , well, I was mad and sad. I totally agree with you!!!!

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  74. Over a 7 year period, I lost 8 babies. I never carried past 10 weeks, but I had a lifetime of hopes and dreams and a heart full of love for each of them. We eventually adopted and our beautiful daughter, who God so graciously blessed us with, is now 16 years old. The scars of losing my babies are still there and occasionally I still cry for them and for what might have been. My husband still cries for them at times, too. For anyone who has not experienced miscarriage, please understand that this is a life-changing experience that you can't just turn your back on and walk away from. It is in every waking (and many times non-waking) moment that you live and breath. When I held my daughter for the first time, I was so overcome with emotions. I cried and my chest literally hurt, just like it had every time I lost another baby. That moment was the beginning of my healing.

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  75. I have five little ones in Heaven from first trimester miscarriages. Thank you for this article. It is always amazing to me how even the most well meaning people can say the things that "cut" the worst. I related so much in your article about being there to cry with them. I was blessed to have a friend do just that. The first time he saw me after the miscarriage in church, he pulled me a side into a back room, and without saying a word, just held me and wept with me. It meant more to me than any words could ever mean. Each one of my five in Heaven have been named. I remember them especially on their Heavenly birthdays (instead of their due dates). Again, thank you for sharing your heart.

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  76. You literally took the words out of my mouth that I want to scream at people who "just don't get it" I have one living child and since have had 5 consecutive first trimester losses and nobody seems to get that each and everyone had my heart from the second I saw two lines. They are all my babies even if I was never blessed to hold them in my arms, I hold them in my heart. I just wish people acknowledged them as little souls gone too soon

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  77. I had five healthy babies and lost the six at about 8 weeks. I feel that no one but me misses Matthew. I really did not know that I was not alone in naming the baby. Most people just tell me to realize how lucky I am to have 5 children. I do realize I am lucky to have them, but what about #6. I have a hole in my heart that will never fully heal.

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  78. We lost two precious little ones back to back before having our first child, and I so remember the well intentioned words meant to bring comfort. Following the first loss at Christmas time, my family exchanged presents with one another. My sister brought a present over to me and asked me to open it. When I opened the package, inside there was a silver charm that had the name of my little baby that I had miscarried. She said, "I didn't want you to think we had forgotten.". This was incredibly powerful to me as for months I had felt alone in my grieving thinking that everyone else had just moved on. To know that this little life mattered to others is something that will never be forgotten.

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  79. I am putting this out here... there seem to be alot of miscarriages... alot!!! What are we eeat in or being cross bread with to cause our bodies to not produce our children? Why are we loosing soo many compared to what we are having. I selfishly allowed a jerk in my life to tell me to terminate a pregnancy he was "involved" with...at a very young age. Since being married, we've lost one between each "true" pregnancy. Ive never felt worthy of having my two boys because of my acts earlier in life.... but its truly puzzling why we are all going through so many miscarriages. I whole heartedly grieve for you all and those losses you all have had. May good bless you all and continue those blessings beyond children.

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  80. I will say that I have 2 babies in heaven 1 of which was an abortion ( will not go into details ) and the other I had a miscarriage before I found out how far along and I will say I think more about my miss carried baby more than I do the aborted one don't know why and I also have a beautiful baby girl almost a yr old but I think aborted and miscarried babies should be thought of as the same

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  81. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I have a friend who miscarried just recently and I really wasn't sure how to/if I should reach out to her since it was very early and they've been very private/quiet about it. I'm feeling impressed now to send a card in acknowledgement of their loss and offer support to her should she want it.

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  82. Thank you for this post. I've never had a miscarriage but I have, of course, known women who have. I have always offered my sympathy for their loss but after that...I've never really known what to say or do. Your words have given me a direction to go with my actions when miscarriage happens to someone else that I know in the future. Again, thank you.

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  83. I had 7 beautiful, healthy children when baby Jewel was unexpectedly conceived and then lost at about 10 wks. We saw (his) heart beat. We know he lived. And although he was unexpected, we were eventually thrilled at the chance to parent our 8th baby. Never in my life would I dream that so many people could say such hurtful things. What was the oddest thing for me was how many people thought it was shameful for me to cry over our loss when I had "too" many children already. I learned very quickly to keep my sorrow to myself because most people trivialized it so much; I didn't think they deserved to share my pain. We did have another child who became our last in our family. God graciously brought comfort to all of us. My husband, older children and I still refer to him by name and enjoy the apples his memory tree produces each fall.

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  84. Thank you for putting my own feelings into words when I could not. It is like balm for my soul. Thank you

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  85. Thank you, I have one living child, one adopted child and 3 babies in Heaven. One of those three before we adopted our second, and two after. After my 3rd miscarriage I told my husband I couldn't do it anymore. I miscarried early on with all of them, 5-7 weeks, so gender is unknown, but their due dates leave a mark on my heart. He was amazing enough to take the initiative to make sure we have no more losses. Who knows, maybe we have another adoption out there.

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  86. This is so very well written and poignantly true! I have been through miscarriages myself, and some people think it strange that I would keep track of how old that child would be, but the truth is, I loved my babies, living and dead, and loved them from the very moment that I knew they were conceived. Thank you for sharing! I know this must have been tremendously difficult to write, but you hit the nail on the head!

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  87. I must ask, are you implying that miscarriage wouldn't matter to a mom who is pro-choice? I would think miscarriage would matter to every mother, no matter her political views.

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    1. Thanks for the question. No, I'm not implying this at all. I have dear friends who are pro-choice and who have lost, and their losses are just as real and just as terrible as a pro-life woman's loss. Not comparing the grief at all. Simply challenging people who are ALREADY pro-life to examine their beliefs about whether life begins at conception. And if they truly DO believe that -- then to apply that out to miscarriage, pregnancy loss, etc. Thanks for reading, and your great question.

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  88. I lost 2 babies as well, my first pregnancy 16 years ago and then my 3rd pregnancy about 14 years ago. I have 4 healthy beautiful children now. I can't argue really with anything you say, but I will say this, at least for me....If I had not miscarried, I would not have had the 4 children I have now. Not long after I miscarried my first, I got pregnant with my oldest wonderful daughter. Not long after I miscarried my 3rd pregnancy I got pregnant with my oldest handsome son. The timing of those miscarriages in our family planning meant that at least my 3 oldest children (1st 5 pregnancies planned, last was not) would have either been completely different, or wouldn't have happened at all. At the time that they happened, yes, they were hard. We automatically start assigning hopes and dreams to them and they are so very easy to love and dream about. But I also fully believed that that small spark God imparted for just a brief time, was blessed to get to go right back to Him, for whatever reason it happened. And I was quickly ok with that. My grief was brief. I also wonder if it was because we tried to make it happen, not in God's time, but in our time. I don't believe in a vindictive God, or one that punishes the innocent, but I do believe that God is in charge and knows best for me. While I believe that at my age, I could deal with a child that had an obvious special need now, I don't know that I could have then, or that my husband could have, if we had had a child with a severe handicap. I have a friend with a child who has very severe cognitive and physical handicaps. She is the strongest person I know. I know now that I could do it, but I really don't think I could have at 22. We have been through some real tragedies in our married life together. I get through them all by giving them over to God and He gives me joy, enough to overcome any grief, because I know one day, I will get to see my angels in Heaven. They will be sitting there waiting for me. I can't be sad over that, but just eager to go one day when it's my time to go.

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  89. I learned that I was pregnant with twins but 4 weeks later the ultrasound showed that I had lost one. I didn't feel like anyone understood the loss, I just kept hearing, "at least you still have one." I am thankful for him but I always wonder what his twin would be like and how much he would have loved having a sibling so close in age.

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  90. Thank you for this! I have two little ones who are in the arms of God right now and I heard so many times that "thankfully it was so early" (both at about 4-6 weeks). Or God will bless you one day (which He did with a beautiful son) but every Jan and Nov. I still think about our first two children. And that we would have three instead of one. I am so incredibly blessed and thankful for the blessing that is sleeping as I type this but no matter when it happens losing a child is a horrible experience. Miscarriage is something that should be important and recognized!

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  91. Thank you for sharing what is one of the hardest things for a mother to go through. I have watched my sister-in-law lose their first pregnancy at 6 weeks. It was heart breaking for both her and my brother. The one that really gets me is my sister. Through no fault of her own (her body has decided it likes to grow uterine fibroids) she has lost 3 or 4 babies. She doesn't like to talk about it so I am not sure of the exact number. The worst one was at 23 weeks which she was made to vaginally deliver the perfect baby boy. The only thing getting her through is my niece. I have not been able to get pregnant thus far. We shall see what the future holds but for now I just hug my step-daughter and give thanks that I have her.

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  92. Thank you for writing and sharing this. I needed to read it, and I don't have the elegance to write this myself.

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  93. I love what you said here. I delivered a beautiful baby boy at only 20 weeks. My little Lunar Ali lived a miraculous 5 hours in my arms. After he was born, some of the comments people made amazed me, one even went so far as to say "Well that has to be a relief." ANY lost life could have been the next Einstein or Bach, we will never know. And the death of a child is never a relief.

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  94. I lost a baby at 6 weeks after years of infertility treatments. On Easter Sunday, no less. One friend gave me an article on miscarriages (really?!!) and one gave me a beautiful plant with pink flowers. I just wanted someone to acknowledge my loss. Your article is a gift. All of these stories of loss made me cry. Love and blessings to all of you.

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  95. Thank you for writing this. I made it to the last 2 lines before I started bawling my eyes out.
    I lost my first baby at 8 weeks then I had a daughter who just turned 10. Then it took me 13 months to get pregnant again and my little angel Chloe was born sleeping at 24 weeks. It was a termination for medical reason, she had severe spina bifida (8 vertebrae not closed) and hydrocephalus and they don't think she'd have made it full term. It was best for her, I KNOW that on a reasoning level but I still carry the guilt, buried deep inside, that I signed the piece of paper allowing the doctor to stop her little life. I had a son after that, a beautiful boy who is now 6 years old.
    Some people told me God had a plan. Most people just don't want to talk about a dead baby. I remember 3 years later I was talking about Chloe with my daughter (who was 5 1/2 then) and the friend who was with us was all confused, because we were talking about a dead baby like she was alive. I find that people who are not in our special club (that we don't really want to be part of) don't really understand... I don't really know where I'm going with this comment...
    My Chloe would have been 8 at the end of this year. It still hurts. It will always hurt. So when the tears come, I just let them.
    Thank you again for writing this.

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  96. I wrote a big long comment and then Firefox ate it. So from a fellow member of the club no one wants to be a member of, thank you for writing this.
    My first pregnancy ended with a miscarriage at 8 weeks. My third pregnancy ended with a termination for medical reasons at 24 weeks. Chloe had severe spina bifida and other medical problems and the doctor doubted she'd have made it to full term. I know it was for the best, I know this on a rational level but I still carry guilt, deep inside, that I am the one who signed her life away.
    I don't think people who haven't lived through it can understand exactly how it feels to lose a baby, whether it was voluntary or not. Chloe would have been 8 later this year. It still hurts. It will always hurt. I will still celebrate the day she was born as her birthday. And I will cry if and when I feel like crying for her. I'm ok with that.
    I'm not sure where this (rewritten!) comment is going but there it is. Thank you for writing this.

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  97. I recently lost my second child (9 and 1/2 weeks but was a missed miscarried so didn't find out until my 12 week scan). I suppose I did all of the talking down to myself and didn't handle it very well. After have a C-section with my first daughter and also knowing what it is like to labour. I in a strange way felt a sense of accomplishment when I was miscarrying, although I will not hold that baby in my arms I have the hours of miscarrying/ labour pain and knowing a did all I could even though there was no real time on earth I know that baby is somewhere wonderful waiting for his/her family to meet one day. As for naming the baby my daughter came up with the name George which I'm perfectly happy with. I couldn't image how hard and confusing it would be to miscarry a first child but I know that the second it not easy, you know how wonderful it is to have a child and the excitement leading to the birth.

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  98. This pulls at my heart strings. I lost my first child and have never gotten over it even though my 2nd is 29 and married. My niece lost her first and is now 3 months along with her 2nd. Praying that all goes well as she has gastricparesis. Thank you for your story and comments.

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  99. Thank you!! At 18, right after high school, I found out I was pregnant. About 2 1/2wks later I woke up from a nap with bad cramps. I used the bathroom & blood was there. The next day my doctor had me come in for an ultrasound and an exam. My levels were a little lower. I was put on bed rest for a month to see if my levels would raise again. Sadly, they didnt and once they dropped drastically my doctor informed me there was nothing that could be done, except nature take its course. Since my first ultrasound showed no baby she had a hard time saying how far I was but by calculations I was 4-6wks. The Dad was never there for support, & actually broke up with me during a "contraction" that I was told was my body's way of "passing the baby". I called the dr and I was told to get off my feet asap and elevate them. A month & a half after find out I was pregnant, I lost my baby. At 18 I was very scared! Just when I got comfortable with the idea and started getting a little excited is when I miscarried. I have a handsome 16mo old son now that I am sure to thank God for every night and every morning but I dont think my Fiance sees or understands the pain I will always have. I'll never know how much they would have acted or resembled each other. If only my FAMILY would have been as comforting during the hardest time ever like you suggested, most girls will...ok sooner, instead of bottling it up. I'm glad you spoke up, I hope someone who knows someone going through the pain can be there for mom/dad/couple/family to help her/him/them through this pain. That person will always be a parent now.

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  100. I enjoyed this article. I too have a grandchild in heaven, due to miscarriage. My son's wife miscarried at 4 months. I bought him a special ornament for the Christmas tree and think of him every year when I attach it to a branch. In my heart, I named him Billy. No one else knows this. Also, my daughter did not give birth to a live child, which I believe was a girl. I've named her in my heart. Often, when I imagine heaven I see her there with my mother and grandmother. And the others...

    I lost a son at age 11 months. He was murdered by his own father. I nearly lost my mind over this one. My theology and experience wouldn't reconcile for years. I'm at peace now. Jesus did exactly what he promised to do. He RECEIVED him. He didn't take him. His father did. Jesus received him into heaven.

    That being said, I feel badly for those who are related, or love someone who's suffered a miscarriage or the death of a child. I cherished every word spoken to me, good or bad. There were people who loved me and were as helpless as I was. They just wanted to say something to reveal that they loved me and hurt too. No one can make sense out of the senseless.

    People don't want to ignore what happened, but it appears anything said about feeling badly, or scrambling for an excuse as to the "why" of it all, is often unappreciated or misinterpreted. It's hard to say "congratulations and my sympathies" in the same breath. We don't know what to say, yet if we are silent, it will look as though we don't care at all, or are not acknowledging the baby who left early for heaven. People who say God "took" the baby are ignorant of God's word. He doesn't create in a womb, and then snatch it way like someone who holds a carrot out in front of a rabbit just to make it hop. Life, the human body, and genetics have a natural cause and effect on the earth. For example: I you plant human seed, you reap humans. Virgins, do not have babies. (Unless you're Mary.) So, it's simply not a matter of God orchestrating puppetry on the earth. Medical science does indicate that some, not all, miscarriages are infants who do have anomalies, and thus cannot develop into a healthy fetus. It’s no one’s fault. In all cases, a miscarriage or an abortion, grief is real and demands a time of healing. Another child does not replace the first one, but it does give a parent something to focus on, rather than the death of a sibling.

    Most people are trying to be kind, but often say the wrong thing. Total silence and ignoring the situation is rude. You wouldn’t like that either. It's a time of extending grace all the way around, to the mother, father, siblings, and also to the onlookers who hurt with you. Just my 2 cents.

    Last comment. This page is very hard to read. The colors and print are really not conducive to a blog. A larger font would help too, for us grandma's who come across your words.

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  101. I cannot tell you how even after 18 years this has touched me. It stung true. My second loss was the result of my son dying at 14 weeks. I chose to be induced instead of having a D&C. I could not get over the people at church that could not believe I just didn't have a D&C. My son was my son and he deserved that respect to have his tiny body brought into this world whole and complete. I was, however, blessed with a loving christian OBGYN that point blank when she told me my options said she would not do a D&C. So that validated what I wanted for my son.

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  102. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I've lost three pregnancies as well, two in the second trimester. I heard "its probably for the best" and "you can try again" so many times I wanted to scream. I knew those remarks were meant to be helpful, but I could never accept loosing my babies as anything but devestating. Grieving and recognizing loss of life, at any stage, should be encouraged. Thank you for helping to spread that message.

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  103. Thank you for sharing. I had twins both of which were ectopic. My weeks of pregnancy were scary to say the least. It ended with my life also at risk. I am no longer able to have kids without medical assistance due to the procedure I had to have. But I know god has a beautiful plan for me. God bless!

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  104. As I was laying in bed tonight trying to distract myself from the pain and cramping of my third miscarriage I ran across the link to this article on a friends Facebook page. Thank you for writing what has been on my heart since the first time I miscarried. I hate the way society views miscarriage. It is so wrong. The babies we have lost are as real as any living child I will ever have. They all have names and are part of me and my husband. Thank you for giving a voice to those who have a hard time being one for themselves. Your words are perfectly written and just what I needed to hear someone else say. Thank you from the bottom of my broken heart.

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  105. I have a couple thoughts on this that I don't think anyone else exactly expressed. First, though, in agreement with everyone else--thank you for writing this. There are so many people who need to read it!

    I have had three miscarriages (10, 9, and 5 weeks), and one stillbirth (Joshua) born on his due date last year. I also have one miracle 2-year-old girl, and am 12 weeks into my 6th pregnancy. When I had my first miscarriage, I learned of many women I hadn't realized had also gone through the same thing. SO MANY people told me they had "been there." I think this could be interpreted by some to mean that, "Hey, it happens to everyone. It's no big deal." I chose to believe that these women wanted to assure me that I was not alone in this, and that there was nothing wrong with me as a woman. I also believe that women want to talk about the babies they have lost, even many years later. Miscarriage is a devastation that is never fully healed.

    My second thought was when you said, "What if you never compared the loss of a 4-weeker to a 20-weeker?" You are so right in that the value of those babies' lives are no different, but as someone who has experienced early losses vs. a 40-week loss--it is a different experience. I still grieve my miscarried babies, but it is a different grief than for Josh.

    Thirdly, the most insensitive thing anyone said was after my second miscarriage, and it was said to my husband. I don't think that person considered for one second that this was his baby too. It was his loss too. He was grieving too.

    I'm sorry for such a lengthy reply. I really appreciated your thoughts and yes, as Christians and/or pro-lifers, we need the world to see consistency.

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  106. Thank you for your words. I have had two miscarriages due to a congenital issue and then I had to have a hysterectomy for the same reason. I never had the chance to have children so all the "at lest" and "Gods plan" comments really hit hard. So again thank you.

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  107. Fortunately, for our two m/c, one at 10 weeks, the other, twins at 6 weeks, we had close friends who mourned with us as we mourned. This included friends who hadn't yet had a loss, and when they m/c, we were able to comfort them the same. A friend who was a hospital chaplain counseled me, sharing I could even have asked for the remains of my baby from my d&c and held a memorial for her.I wish I had now, but had a lovely goodbye through a support group.
    Sadly, someone close to me with a baby loss born at 20 weeks, minimized my losses in light of their own. However, I joined a baby loss group of women who had lost children up to 6 months old and they embraced me and cried tears with me as I did for them. Thanks for bringing this to light. I can see from my experience, that not everyone is so enlightened, but many are coming to the realization that a m/c can and should be mourned as the loss of a person.

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  108. Miscarried babies do matter...I personally have lost 10 babies on record (one set of twin girls) an many more not recorded but I knew what was happening. In my case it was caused by RA...Which nobody EVER related it to, just recently they are puttinv two an two together. Regardless I didnt know until long after my last child was born that I had RA anyway. They figured out that my immune system was so strong that my body started rejecting the fetus
    right away. The Dr, Dr Alan Beer from Fitch University an Health Sciences in Chicago knew he had to weaken my immune system along with thinning my blood which meant two shots daily of heprin in my stomach an a baby aspirin daily. I was give progestrone shots every other day for the first three months along with daily prednisone (anti rejection). If it were not for this wonderfull man, I would have remained childless. I had a wonderful pregnancy no morning sic kness because my body was being tricked. I was closely monitered Chicago trips every two weeks an my obgyn monthly as normal. Ultra sounds every two weeks along with 8-10 vials of blood..they wanted to do amniosentisis on me an I told them no doesnt matter I will love whatever Im given. My son was born Dec 14th 1995 aka the happiest day of my life. The Dr told me come back an they will test me if I want another the odds were 50/50 that I would have to go thru this again. I returned Jan 97 was tested an nothing had changed all numbers were still extreme. If I wanted another baby then this was to happen again, went home got mentally prepared for 9 months of belly shots lol an meds ....got pregnant with my daughter started the fun all over again. She was due the 2-4 th of November she split the difference an came the 3 rd. 11/3/97 aka the second happiest day of my life. I was complete one boy one girl completely healthy....I am pro life except in the case of rape or incest. Too many people just like me want babies and dont have a Dr Alan Beer....Adoption is best! Did they figure your problem out? I dont believe things happen for a reason...

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  109. I've had miscarriages and know others who have too. This sounds like an excellent article, but it is too difficult to read the text in the left hand side (peachy-orange background). Is it available anywhere on a lighter background?

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  110. Amen, Sister! Love to you, from MamaGee Mother to 11 (3 who have gone ahead to heaven) who named all her babies, had burials for the 3 that miscarried (6 wks, 13wks and 19 wks) and agrees ~ A person is a person . . . no matter how small, no matter when or how they died. xxx

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  111. Thank you for putting your thoughts into written word. I've lost one child at 12 weeks. They will always be my 'first'. I've had two boys since then. I consider my 'first' as my sons guardian Angel, I have no doubt he/she is watching over, gives me peace.

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  112. Thank you so much for sharing this. I lost two (10 weeks & 5 weeks) before I had children and one last year at 5 weeks. My first was greatly mourned by all. My second less so. I didn't share about my third with many - most do not know to this day - sadly most simply brushed it off. After all, the pregnancy was not planned, we weren't even wanting another child. And I already had two...but of all of my losses, it has been the hardest to face. Fact is, I still have not looked it full in the face...This article resonated deeply with me and said what I have always wanted to say but didn't have the words. Yes, the glaring inconsistency is what deeply bothers me. Thank you.

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  113. It's been more then 30 yrs and I still think of my angels every day.

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  114. I know exactly how you feel. I lost my fourth baby at only 2 weeks. No matter how much my family told me my baby was in Heaven, no matter how much they told me that something may have been wrong with them and now they are not suffering, no matter how much they said "It was only two weeks old and you never knew that baby", nothing helped... until one very special man came into my life. I met him through some mutual friends. He walked into the living room and saw me sitting on the couch looking sad with tears in my eyes. He asked what was wrong. Even though I had no idea who this person was, I started telling him about the baby I had lost a year earlier. He listened. He didn't say a word... he just listened. Then, after I had poured my heart out, he said "It is okay. I know how you must feel. It is a terrible thing to happen losing a baby. Cry all you want. I know you will never fully heal from this. Just remember... you will see your baby one day." That meant more to me and was the start of my healing process. I will never fully heal until I see my baby one day. The words of this stranger meant more to me than any of my family or friends ever did. He truly listened. He truly felt my pain and understood. He became my best friend. We now have two wonderful little girls together who added to my first three to make five wonderful blessings here with me and to make six wonderful blessings I was blessed with in my life. Thank you for your story. It really touched my heart. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

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  115. I was just "barely" pregnant enough to know I was pregnant. I had just missed my cycle and gone to the doctor and was told that I was pregnant. The next day I lost the baby. I will never know why. I always felt like it was a little boy... We had one boys name picked out that we never used so I attached that name to the baby that was lost. Carson was the name. You are right... It was a very short little life but twas there and for whatever reasontjat life ended. I think about that baby from time to time. Having had 5 live births and seeing all their personalities, I often wonder what Carson's would have been like. I will always wonder but will never forget that little life.

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  116. I will hold all of you who have experienced this pain, very close in my prayers. I am lifting you up to the Throne of Grace for our Lord to give you His 'Peace that passes all understanding' as you walk through each moment of your day, remembering and loving your dear children. Beautiful children who some day will be revealed to those who through ignorance or thoughtlessness, felt these precious babies were 'less than.' How wrong they were. How wrong they are.

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  117. An excellent article from the heart, as are all the responses. We lost our first baby at 5 weeks (gender unknown, of course) in the late '60s - right after my husband left for his first of three tours of duty in Viet Nam, and wouldn't be returning for 7 months. I had been with him out-of-state and came back to live with my parents in his absence. I went to the doctor on a Friday and lost our baby on Monday which he didn't know about until word could reach him when his ship reached land. One comment (but from several women), "We lost our first one, too, but then had (#) more". And, "You're still young, so you can have more". And, "He will be back in a few months, so you can try again then". And, the worst, "What if something happened to him in Viet Nam; you would be left to raise a baby on your own". Then my worry was do they know something I don't? In the meantime, my pregnant sister also returned to live with our parents while her husband, too, went overseas. She gave birth to a darling healthy baby boy while we were together. I was so very happy for them but so very sad for us, and yes, extremely envious. When her little boy was 10 months old, I gave birth to our first live baby, a darling healthy baby girl. We had another daughter and a son after her, for which we are most thankful and blessed, but the loss was still there. Blessings to all of you grieving moms and dads.

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  118. Having lost my first child that I carried 7 months under my heart and to have him leave me 21 hours later is no easier in some ways today than it was 42 years ago .I also lost one that I carried 5 1/2 months but never saw that I regret to this day that I didn't get to see, People have even said oh that didn't let you see him because he probably had something wrong with him .He was still my baby. Because of the deceit of not seeing him I often wonder did they just say it was a boy to hush me as I had to beg for that much information. Yes the pain gets bearable but never goes away a baby is a baby. And I also heard al the reasons I should feel blessed because ...I have 4 grown children but I do not miss my 2 tiny ones any less

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  119. I love this post. In 2008 I had two miscarriages, heard all of those things, I hated them all, esp it wasn't meant to happen for you right now. No one understands how much it hurts to lose a child, or how scary it is to get pregnant again. For 4 years I wasn't able to get pregnant for whatever reason, but in 2012 was blessed with a baby girl, but will never replace the loss of my two angels. Thank you for this post it means a lot to me to hear people talk about their angels because they're precious to us and will always be our babies, and majority of people don't understand that.

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  120. So true. Spot on.
    I walked this journey too ... My fourth child :'(

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  121. Thank you for your blog. It was beautifully written. I have two miscarried babies in heaven whom I have name Jacob and Aurora and one daughter who we lost at 24 weeks gestation named Ziva. Naming my babies have helped me great deal in my grief and has given me the hope that I will see them again in Heaven. My two year old daughter will grow up knowing that she has siblings in heaven. Just beautiful, beautiful words! God bless!

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  122. wow. you must have some super-insensitive friends & family / acquaintances! I cannot imagine expressing any of these things to a woman who'd just miscarriage a baby! :|

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  123. My husband and I have been trying to have a baby for 3 1/2 years. We have had four miscarriages although doctors only count two because according to them, until a pregnancy reaches "6 weeks" a woman is not "really" pregnant, so the other two have been documented as "chemical pregnancies," and because I wasn't "really pregnant" I have nothing to mourn (No one ever said that, but that is what I felt in the advise given to me by those well-meaning friends and family).

    I felt the loss of each pregnancy with the same degree of intensity - it is not so much the loss of a baby but the loss of life. There was a life that began to grow, and then it stopped... as the author said, it is still a life no matter "when" it stopped.

    I will admit before we began on this journey through infertility, I was pro-choice. It was not until we began IVF three years ago, that God touched my heart and that medical science even confirmed the truth - life begins at conception. After a retrieval (a procedure in which the doctors collect eggs from my ovaries), I anxiously await the phone call that tells me how many fertilized. At that moment they are live... they grow... they are my babies... they are tiny miracles of God's touch and medical intervention. As we begin our fifth and final round of IVF, I pray that God will let me meet one of my babies and bless my husband and I with the honor of raising him or her... and that I never forget a single lesson this journey has taught me about life and loss and love.

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  124. I've never had a miscarriage, but I have buried a two-week old child and sadly, some of the cold comfort offered (you can have more children, at least he's in heaven, etc.) is still there. As you said, I know people were doing the best they could, but sometimes I wished they had just kept their mouths shut and opened their arms to me instead. I know it's difficult to be on the other side of grief -- you're worried about saying the wrong thing, about doing the wrong thing, about really, really wanting to help.

    Bless you, mama of 3. Hoping for children you can hold this side of heaven.

    grace & peace
    + k

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  125. Thank you for these words. We were supposed to have a baby this month and I'm really struggling with it. I miscarried at about 13 weeks and got to actually see the baby on screen to find out he or she had died. I call this baby Ryan because I think it's a beautiful name for boy or girl. Ryan Edward if he was a boy or Ryan Elizabeth if she was a girl. It is something that it seems we are to get over. But I'm not getting over it at all. These words are tremendous and I'd love to share them but I'm still not ready to let the world know this happened because I don't think I'm strong enough to hear...but you already have four kids, be thankful for them. Thank you for your strength to write this. I have it bookmarked to read again.

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  126. My midwife summed it best when I was dealing with my miscarriage...you planned that child's life out the moment you peed on the stick. That's when I truly understood why it was so hard to deal with. You saw yourself rocking that baby, taking that baby to their first day of school and being there when they graduated college so you as the mom really are grieving for their life...the life they never had but you knew they could have. For outsiders they don't realize how you could love something so much that you have "only" known for 4, 8, 12, etc weeks. Thank you for your post.

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  127. I am glad you wrote this. As a mother of six (five who walk this earth and one who soars above) I am reminded every day of the loss of my oldest daughter Jameson 13 years ago. I look at my other children and wonder what would she be like? Jameson is celebrated every year with a birthday cake just like her siblings. She may have never taken a breath and her heart may have never beat outside my body but she lived. She lived!!!! And deserves to be remembered and as long as I live she will be.

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  128. Rachel- Your words here are so important and they name so much that can go overlooked. I too add my name to so many here who have experience pregnancy loss, five babies in my first trimester, one at five moths. As a mom now to two children via adoption, every one of those babies shaped who I am as a mom. They stretched my soul to know more beauty and grief and to have more capacity for joy and sorrow.
    Thank you for sharing your words. They have impacted me.

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  129. I cannot say thank you enough for writing this!!! I lost one baby, had two amazing boys, and then lost two more precious babies. I also lost a niece or nephew to an abortion several years ago. I experienced first hand the difference in grieving as I watched my Mother in Law deal with this loss openly for days and weeks to come......yet not a single tear or word has been spoken about our losses.... There are so many well meaning people in my life that just don't get it! Thru miscarriages and years of infertility, I have heard more of these comments than I care to admit..... Thank you for validating so many of the thoughts and feelings I've struggled with over the past 10 years.
    Thank you.

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  130. Wow! Thank you for this! I have one beautiful child here with me and 2 in heaven. The second was a miscarriage of an ectopic pregnancy, so we may never get to have more children. Many people have asked me how to help a woman who has gone through a miscarriage and you just put into words everything I could not. One of my biggest hurts was when people said these miscarriages were "God's will so all will be okay" as if I am a big pawn in God's chess game and using my heartache for no reason. After studying I truly believe that, like cancer and other horrible disease, these things happen because I live in a fallen, sinful world. Thank you for your story! I just found some healing while reading this!

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  131. Wow! Thank you for this! I have one beautiful child here with me and 2 in heaven. The second was a miscarriage of an ectopic pregnancy, so we may never get to have more children. Many people have asked me how to help a woman who has gone through a miscarriage and you just put into words everything I could not. One of my biggest hurts was when people said these miscarriages were "God's will so all will be okay" as if I am a big pawn in God's chess game and using my heartache for no reason. After studying I truly believe that, like cancer and other horrible disease, these things happen because I live in a fallen, sinful world. Thank you for your story! I just found some healing while reading this!

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  132. Thank you for writing this , I too didn't realize what it was like to lose a child until I had a miscarriage myself . I remember the day every year , and in my charms of my other two girls I have a pair of angel wings as well.
    people think I am odd , and don't understand ....until it happens to them

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  133. I have had 4 sounds in 5 years. My 3 rd was stillborn at 37 weeks in Nov 2012. You wordedv this perfectly.I have been tHinking of partying something simular but adding something about pro covers too. See to me it seems they have the opposite issue. They grieve with me over my loss of a child but think it's ok to abort other babies because those aren't life. It's not consistent.

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  134. Thank you for sharing your feelings. In 2001 I had two miscarriages, both of them around 8 weeks. I heard so many of these comments from friends and family. It really did not help how I felt. After hearing some of the comments from everyone, I felt ashamed to grieve. At that time I had a daughter who was healthy and I was told to be thankful for that. It isn't that I wasn't thankful for her, it was that I had two more children and have never gotten to meet them, hold them, or see their beautiful faces. Those two children matter! Since going through this, I completely understand how what words we choose to use can really affect people even if we are trying to be helpful. I also like your suggestions on things we can do for a mother that has miscarried a child. It isn't only the words we choose, but what we choose to do in the situation to help.

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  135. I have had 4 sons in 5 years. My 3 was stillborn at 37 weeks unexpectedly in Nov 2012. Your wOrds ring true. I have waved to say something like this too but to add something for those I know who are pro choices add well fur they too ate very inconsistent. They have grieved with me over the loss of my child while saying that abortion is ok and that is not a baby. That it's a terrible inconsistency as well.

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  136. I am sure you will find plenty to proof in the following post as I am an outlaw when it comes the laws of writing. All this being said, I wanted to thank you for writing this from a fathers perspective. We lost our first child early in our marriage and though we became pregnant again a year later with our beautiful daughter I never really recovered. My job was to support my wife during the time, but even now when I am alone I remember. I remember coming home with heartbreaking clarity and all the events that took place shortly there after, and our emergency trip to the hospital the day after because of complications. I will never forget my wife's words 'our baby is gone they threw it away' and my feeling of helpless and sheer loss. . . I was too heartbroken to even cry.
    We avoided people for the next month or two, in part because of depression but mainly because no one knew what to say and they when they did it only made it worst. Except for my dad who sat on the floor with me in what was to be our nursery and said nothing but articulated more in those silent moments the a year of therapy.
    I hope that this article helps to educate other on how to respond to what is the most devastating event that could befall a parent,the death of a child. I miss my first child, thanks for reminding me that this is okay as from that day I felt as if I was weird about still having heartbreak.

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  137. While I personally have not miscarried a baby I have lots of friends who have..and a sister who had a stillborn baby. Your post makes my heart SO sad! While I want to believe you aren't speaking truth.. I think you are! And it makes me even all that more sad! I'm SO sorry this is /has been true. I have no problem crying with my friends..any loss is hard..there are also other topics like this that seem to have too much ignorance involved.. another example adoption/infertility (another one I feel passionate about too!) I'm grateful for your authenticity! Thanks for sharing.. I don't even know you and I'm sad with you for your loss and experiences!

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  138. Thank you for your beautiful words. I am sorry for not only the loss you feel but the way you were not allowed to grieve properly by those around you. I had 4 miscarriage between my 2 boys and completely understand what you are talking about. My favorite was, "alright Jen, enough is enough. It's been 3 days since you went to the dr!" It can be such a strange world.

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