(Coffee, Kids, Create) Today is World Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day, and like many, I sit here and remember my four lost pre-born babies. A couple of months ago I wrote candidly about my second miscarriage. You can read it here. Today, I’m writing with a bit more furor.
I’m a staunch pro-lifer, and what I had been reading and hearing lately regarding abortion was weighing heavily on me. Angering me. The comparison to miscarriage and the medical language used to define miscarriage was making me crazy. I began to play over and over in my mind my four miscarriages, so I shared my story to help heal and to hopefully help someone else. I knew I couldn’t be alone in my experience. Shortly after, I read an article on Live Action explaining how abortion impacts miscarriage. Then it hit me.
It hit me that I didn’t write quite as candidly as I thought. It hit me that I was still reeling in anger and self-loathing. It hit me that change needs to happen.
My second miscarriage was physically and emotionally traumatic. My baby died around ten weeks, but I didn’t deliver him or her for another three. I was at home with three kids, went into labor, and bled profusely in the bathroom. There in the bathroom, in the toilet, I delivered my precious baby. What I only alluded to in my prior blog post, but will tell you now, is that I flushed the toilet.
To finally put that in writing sickens me. I’ve barely been able to say it out loud.
At the time, I remember wondering What do I do? What do women do when this happens? I also remembered the story of a family member who miscarried on the toilet some 25 years prior, but I never knew any other details.
Knowing what I know now leaves me feeling guilty and awful and angry.
How could I have done something so terrible? Why didn’t I scoop out whatever was in that toilet and look for my baby?
Because I was distraught emotionally and fading physically, not to mention uninformed.
I keep saying uninformed. Let me explain. I’m not a stupid woman. I knew the process of fetal development and read the fun updates from month to month and couldn’t wait to see the size comparison to fruit. I also knew that, if a miscarriage were to happen, there would be blood and tissue and some cramping. Do you know why I knew that? Because that’s the kind of vague information doctors give. That’s the information you read on pregnancy websites.
I needed to hear real talk.
Do you know why women don’t hear real talk? Because we live in a culture where life in utero is devalued. Where abortion is celebrated. And because of this, a pregnant woman anxiously waiting for the arrival of her precious bundle is not given the proper and necessary information of what to do if heartbreak strikes.
Tell me, where is her information or her choice? The knowledge and choice that you can find your miscarried baby and hold your baby and give your baby a proper burial. That you can tell your baby, I love you. That, yes, you can grieve for as long as necessary because no matter how far along, your baby was once alive.
I was in an emergency room out of state with spotting when I was told that my baby had died, but that the act of miscarriage would happen naturally in the coming days or weeks. I was to expect some cramping and what would be like a heavy period. At no point did the doctor explain that cramping would resemble labor. Or that the heavy period could include an exorbitant amount of blood with clots and tissue. Or that a miscarriage is in fact a delivery. That I would deliver a baby.
You may be thinking, well, yeah, everything in there comes out. Sure, I knew that. Rationally, I knew that. When you’re in the moment, you don’t realize what is happening. You don’t exactly think that a baby is somewhere in all that blood. Again, the cultural norm is that a baby doesn’t exist, and even when a baby is wanted, when it’s lost, it’s just part of the bodily process, a “clump of cells.”
My first miscarriage happened within the first six weeks, I hadn’t had an ultrasound yet. Physically the experience was over before I even made it to the doctor. None of that mattered. For me, I saw a positive pregnancy test and immediately had hopes and dreams, and I loved my baby. I went on to have three more miscarriages and also gave birth four times. Not once did any OB/GYN tell me anything about the possibility of miscarriage or what to expect if one happened.
Wanting, making, and having a baby is pretty simple when it all works out with no issues. Miscarrying a baby is always a possibility and is gravely overlooked in a doctor’s office. One in four women will lose her baby before, during, or soon after delivery. So what gives?
Abortion and attitude.
The pro-choice movement has moved so far away from a woman’s health, body, and choice, and instead become some perverse cult for killing babies.
Hollywood gloats and celebrates and supports the violent act of abortion.
Our politicians go out of their way to make sure women can not only keep their right to kill their babies, but to do so up to the very end of pregnancy.
Medical terminology for miscarriage minimizes what it is. Spontaneous abortion may be accurate by definition, but it’s a devastating phrase to hear from doctors and to see on a medical file. Abortion is a choice to murder one’s baby. No one chooses miscarriage, and no woman who’s suffered a miscarriage wants the word abortion associated with the death of her baby.
Some of the attitudes and responses I received from people after my miscarriages were insensitive. I had lost babies on four occasions and was heartbroken every time. Hearing that I should be happy with the kids I already had or that maybe there was something wrong with the baby or I could try again devalued the life that had been created then lost.
Miscarriage is always a possibility as one in four women will experience one. Facts like this do not diminish a woman’s hope, desire, or love for her pre-born baby. It doesn’t make facing a loss any easier.
As we sit here, some remembering our baby angels and others going about their day unaware, it is imperative that everyone realizes and understands the value of life, the need for information, and the simple act of compassion.
Editor’s Note: This article was published at the blog, Coffee, Kids, Create, and is reprinted here with permission.
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