by Sarah Summers Granger
Editor’s Note: This article was first printed at Family Missions Company and is reprinted with permission.
With the Kermit Gosnell case finally gaining some national media attention, and certainly being shared among the active pro-life community, I cannot get on Facebook or check my e-mail without my heart being torn apart.
The thought of even one precious baby being ripped from his or her mother’s womb is hard for me to bear. The pictures and firsthand accounts that are being shared about Gosnell’s horror chamber filled with the remains of hundreds of children, though necessary for exposing the atrocity that is abortion, are literally more than I can stand to see.
Those of us who try to fight the holocaust of abortion know the numbers: 4,000 babies are murdered in the U.S. every day, over 1 million babies a year, and over 54 million since 1973. These numbers scream out the tragedy of abortion. They are important to know. But sometimes I think that focusing too much on the numbers, deadens us to the most important underlying truth.
The real reason why we must fight against abortion with all of our might, the reason why the Gosnell clinic and every other clinic where thousands of babies have died are so blood-curdlingly horrifying, is that LIFE IS PRECIOUS. Every life. Every single baby. From the first moment of conception, that baby is a beloved, irreplaceable child of God, and his or her value is beyond compare.
I have always believed this. I have always been pro-life. However, I came to understand in a new way how very dear life is at every stage when Kevin and I faced the tragedy of losing our baby to miscarriage.
The Pain of Loss
When we married four years ago, our family included not only the two of us, but my three amazing children – Alyse, Anika, and Soren – from my previous marriage. Kevin and I wanted to have children of our own. We were more than open to life; we were incredibly excited at the thought of children. We hoped and prayed to have many children, and to start having them soon after our marriage.
A few weeks after our wedding, our prayers were answered. One morning, I woke feeling very nauseated. Eating didn’t help. I couldn’t figure it out. Excitedly, Kevin asked if I might be pregnant. It was possible, I thought, though I never imagined we would have a honeymoon baby. He rushed out to get a pregnancy test. It was positive!
I was shocked but happy; Kevin was over the moon. We wanted so badly to have children of our own to add to our family. How perfect, we thought, that just as soon as we were married, God sent us a baby that we all could love on, to unite us in a special way.
That night, Kevin fell asleep with his hand on my stomach. “I love you so much my little baby,” he whispered over and over in the dark. Tears filled my eyes. Everything was so perfect.
The next day I started cramping and spotting. We didn’t know any better, that pregnancy tests can read positive for weeks after a miscarriage, so we bought another overpriced pregnancy test. It still said positive. We hoped that meant our baby was still alive.
We held each other and cried. I put my hands on my stomach, “Please, please Jesus, save our baby!” Kevin prayed, too, desperately, sincerely, with tears in his eyes and in his voice. The bleeding didn’t stop. By the next day I had no doubts. We had lost our baby. Our precious little baby. I couldn’t stop crying. Kevin just held me and wept.
We felt the loss so deeply. Our hearts shattered. I never knew before how much you could love a baby you had never seen, never even felt move inside you. How when you lose that tiny little life, you lose not only the baby inside your womb, but also the chubby little baby you hoped to hold and smother with kisses, the toddler who would have called you “Mommy” and “Daddy,” the kindergartener you would have prepared for his first day of school, the blue eyes that would have smiled at you as you taught him to play the guitar, the nervous high schooler trying out for the team, the college kid calling you to tell you about his crazy math professor, the first dance at the wedding, the grandchildren you may have had. A life, a whole life with your child, is what you lose when you lose a baby. I never understood until Kevin and I lost our William.
William – that’s what we chose to name our son. We lost him so early that there is no scientific way, of course, that we could know he was a boy, but in our hearts we knew. The first night after he was gone, I cried myself to sleep and dreamed of Kevin’s father, a man I had never known because he passed away before Kevin and I met, holding a beautiful baby boy, swaying with him and kissing him. The dream was so real, and so unexpected, and so consoling. I told Kevin about it, and he sobbed.
We felt that God was letting us know that our baby was safe, in heaven. Kevin’s father’s middle name was William, a strong name we both loved and we chose it for our son. William Samuel Granger. Samuel because that was the little boy that God called his mother, Hannah, to give back to Him in the Old Testament. We held hands and gave our baby tearfully back to God.
The Depths of Grief
Sadly, that tragedy was just the beginning for us. We suffered six more miscarriages after William, losing a total of eight babies. Every loss, every grief was profound. We look forward to meeting our little ones – Miriam, Charis, Xavier, Daniel, Amos, Amelie, and Isaiah – in heaven one day. Until then, we know that they are beloved not only by us, but by God, and that their lives are precious and eternal.
We have also been blessed beyond compare to finally hold Isaac, our precious son, in our arms for over a year! We are expecting Isabel in September, too. With two teenagers, an eleven-year-old, a one-year-old, eight babies in heaven, and one on the way, God has generously let us come to a deeper understanding of how valuable every child is at every age.
We cannot stop fighting for everyone to know this truth. God says to us, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you” (Jeremiah 1:5). All babies ever conceived are known personally by God; they are loved, and irreplaceably precious.
Let’s pray that the Gosnell case and the horror of abortion serves to spur us on to value every life even more, to help struggling women have the love and support they need to embrace the life within them, and to never grow numb to even one loss of any baby at any stage. Because, as every child I’ve lost, and every one I’ve been blessed enough to hold, has shown me: life is so very, very precious!