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Your Miscarriage, Remembered

My mother did not expect to miscarry her first child.

She was young and healthy and four months pregnant.  She was too far along to miscarry.  Yet in the early hours of a December morning, she began experiencing severe pain in her abdomen.  It was happening.

After the pain began, the rest of the morning turned into a horrific blur: alone in a bathroom with a bloody mess; crying out to her young husband for help; driving to see her doctor who was 90 miles away; an examination; a confirmation; the doctor gently saying, “You’ve been through so much at this point, Paula – I think you can handle seeing it.”  A lifeless embryo.  Her baby.

“I felt like it was probably a little girl,” she says in reflection.

And after it was over: silence.  Nobody asked about it or even acknowledged that it had happened, with the exception of one family member who simply said that perhaps it was for the best.

It wasn’t the sort of thing you talked about back then.  It was something to be privately endured and forgotten on the way to having a real pregnancy.

My mother did not forget it.

Decades later, when I was in my twenties, I walked into the kitchen where my mother was standing next to the sink.  On a sudden impulse, I asked, “Mom, wasn’t today your first baby’s due date?”

Her eyes filled with tears, she buried her face in her hands, and she began to lose her composure.  Finally, she said, “You’re the only one who knows.”  Then she paused and said, “She would have been 34 today.”

But I didn’t know it was her baby’s due date.  I only knew Mom had a miscarriage at some point.  The impulse to say something that day felt like it came through me, but not from me.

Now I am 34 and the stories of dear friends who miscarry are becoming more frequent.  The topic is no longer forbidden, but for many women, it is still too painful to share.

Perhaps they can’t bear to hear the trite responses – “You’ll have another one,” “God needed another little angel in Heaven.”  Perhaps they’re afraid it will be treated as another tidbit of unfortunate news, that no one will fully appreciate the magnitude of their loss.

Many of those women are wise in being careful who they share their tragic news with.  Many people simply can’t understand.  But even so, after that conversation with my mom – a conversation that took both of us by surprise – I can say this to those who relate to her pain: God remembers.  God grieves with you.  You will never be the only one who knows.

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15 Comments
  1. wow! Right on the cusp of a major loss for my husband and I. Thank you for this post..

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    February 12, 2013
  2. Then if only for you and your husband, I am grateful that I wrote this post (which would have never happened if it had not been for my mother's willingness to share her story).

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    February 12, 2013
  3. You may see yourself as a little klutzy, but your postings come across as more wise than klutzy, must be Holy Spirit reorganizing your klutzy thoughts, not inspired(as the Word) never-the-less very inspiring.

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    February 12, 2013
  4. We've been there. It was awful. No other word to describe it. But while your life goes on, you certainly don't forget; however, God has used us many times to walk with those that have experienced it since then. Maybe that was His plan. Maybe He chose us to share our story, grieve with others, and encourage them as they experience such loss. So thankful your mom has done the same. Grateful for her story.

    Like

    February 13, 2013
  5. I can't remember my little Christopher's due date, but I do know the date I lost him. I always wake up feeling sad on April 22nd. Sometimes it takes me awhile to figure out why. He would have been 39 this year.

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    February 13, 2013
  6. Joshua, I just began following you this morning. Your postings are very thought provoking. Your thoughts are not klutzy. We sometimes have not learned to show verbally or physically we care for others. It is such a simple thing to say a kind word or to do something kind for those who have not been in the same circumstance as the person who is experiencing pain. To your mother and all of those who have posted here, I am sorry for your loss. Emily

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    February 13, 2013
  7. Don #

    I am sorry for the pain and loss you Mom suffered. She is probably encouraged by the growth of her adult son and his beautiful wonderful family.

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    February 13, 2013
  8. That is very kind of you to say, Don.

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    February 13, 2013
  9. As one who has had several unsuccessful pregancies, I can't tell you how glad i was to read this post. I buried most of my emotions for YEARS and only recently began to receive spiritual and professional counseling. Since you come from my neck of the woods, you are familiar with the saying that "God has a word for you". This isn't the first time that I've been convinced that He sent that word via you. Thanks again. May God continue to bless and keep you and your beautiful family.

    Like

    February 14, 2013
  10. Kara #

    This caught my attention at the bottom of another article today. My brother and sister-in-law just experienced a miscarriage recently. They have 3 boys and have wanted a little girl for some time now, and this was her second miscarriage. I never know what to say, knowing that all the “trite responses” really don’t help. I expressed my condolences as best I could. I think I will share this article with her, to let her know I’m still thinking of her, and that she’s not alone. Thanks Josh.

    Liked by 1 person

    January 30, 2015
  11. stephanie #

    As a mom who experienced a still born I struggle with idea of telling my son who born 2 after the loss of my first son. I was 7 months pregnant when the baby died and I had to labor for 2 days before he was born. I know as of now my son is not old enough to understand it and how do you explain something that you never understood why it happened. And the guilt of not really keeping his soul alive outside of my mind and spirit.

    Like

    May 10, 2015
    • God is patient with this very tender area of your life. I encourage you to be patient with yourself.

      >

      Like

      May 10, 2015
  12. Seeking Hope #

    Sometimes I wish I had been miscarried. I am now 30, living with my parents, and without work for too long. On several occasions, I have heard stories of prepubescent cancer victims, school shooting spree victims, and police brutality victims, none of which have been me. Sometimes I get jealous of them, having their suffering ended while mine still continues on, without end, without solution, without purpose. God continues to lead me around in circles and down dead-end paths. I know that God can fix my problems, but why should He? I am just a sinful man, and I do not deserve to use the talents He gave me. If God had any plans for me besides lounging around and playing video games all day, I am sure that He would have provided something for me. And yet I live on with my pointless day-to-day struggle with being an insignificant nothing.

    Like

    May 26, 2015
    • If you’re seeking hope, taking someone else’s pain and making it about you is certainly not a good place to start.

      >

      Like

      May 26, 2015

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