Human Interest

Ultrasound nurse reveals grief she carries when babies die

A blog post that is making rounds on social media gives a voice to the private grief carried by the most unsung members of the pro-life community: pregnancy center nurses. I spoke with the author, who is a nurse at Human Coalition Raleigh, a women’s care clinic serving abortion-determined women with life-affirming care. She asked to remain anonymous, so we’ll call her “Emily.” Emily is a Registered Nurse who has a certification in ultrasound technology.

Nurses like Emily spend their time capturing images of preborn children wiggling in their mothers’ wombs. The nurses help to date the pregnancies and, most importantly, give parents a “window to the womb,” allowing them to view the magnificence of nascent life in real time. Ultrasounds only last a few minutes, but sonogram photos capture stills from the experience and remind parents of the life they cannot yet see. For some parents, these images are the only ones they will have to remember a life that ended too soon, either in abortion or miscarriage.

Emily told me that she wrote her post as part of a grieving process she experiences on an ongoing basis. She shared that, multiple times a week, she receives a phone call or text informing her that children she briefly “met” via ultrasound were miscarried or aborted.

“I carry those images in my head forever,” Emily said. “I needed to find a way to express why I was grieving for someone who wasn’t even mine.” In her beautiful, heartrending blog post, Not My Children, Emily speaks directly to the children she will never get to meet:

It may seem strange that I can tell you all this and yet have to admit I never met you in person. I don’t know that you have any memory of your time on earth… Whether it was six weeks or five months, you were here, you existed. You made your mom and dad parents, for the first time or the fifth. Each tiny hand, each tiny face, each kick you tried, each bubble you blew happened and was not erased when you left.

And while her job brings her into such close proximity with heartbreak and loss, Emily told me that being part of a life-saving outreach is worth the pain that comes along with it. “Ultimately,” she said, “I go back to work because I believe God created me to do this for this time and in this place. It’s worth the grief because for every baby lost, we get the news of a baby who is going to live.”

In fact, Emily shared that Human Coalition of Raleigh has rescued over 215 babies in 2016 alone. Emily has had the opportunity to meet some of the babies rescued in person and seen mothers who she says “were once crying and horrified at the idea of being pregnant” fall completely in love with their children. “There is nothing like the look in a mother’s eyes when she looks into her child’s face,” she said.

To follow Emily, visit her blog here.

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