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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A Loss is a Loss, No Matter How Small

Within the first year of marriage, my husband and I conceived our first child.  We were so incredibly excited!  I already had a 4 year old daughter; this was our first child together.  I had no trouble conceiving and keeping my daughter and didn't in my wildest dreams think I'd be one of "those" people who lost babies.  I remember at about week 8 into my first pregnancy with Matt,  feeling all my pregnancy symptoms go away.  Then the thing a pregnant woman fears most; the sight of blood.   It was just spotting at first, but as time went on, it got heavier.  I called and talked to midwives and other mom's who had been there before me.  I went to the Emergency Room but there was nothing they could do.  I knew deep down in my heart this baby wasn't meant for this earth.  I remember the day my miscarriage was complete.  I felt a lot of pressure, went and sat on the toilet and delivered my baby.  I remember hearing screams and wailing; then realizing it was the sound of my own voice grieving the loss of a child I would never know.  The child I was so excited for, I dreamed of and planned for.   Throughout out marriage I was able to conceive a total of 7 children, and lost 4.  Without my personal relationship with Jesus and His comfort during this time, I don't think I would have made it through.

Why am I writing this now?  Because over the last several years I've seeing a huge difference in the way people treat mothers of children who are lost in the later stages of pregnancy vs women like me who lose them early.  I realize it's a different loss; but loss is loss just the same, no matter how small.  Women who lose babies early like I did don't get meals delivered, they don't have someone keeping in touch with them making sure they are ok. There is no funeral for our babies; they get flushed down the toilet. Let's just stop here for a moment.  Flushed down the toilet.  This is so heart wrenching!   That alone made me almost lose my sanity.  No one takes care of mama during this time, she's left to fend for herself taking care of the rest of her household whilst still bleeding and recovering like you would after a full term delivery.  Her milk still comes in and she's left to grieve the baby she will never feed.  She's left wondering what she did wrong; could it be something that could have been prevented?  Why is this happening to me?  There are no cards coming in the mail for support, no flowers to offer some kind of beauty amidst the dark days ahead.  Just the woman alone with her thoughts; dark as they might be.  To most people around us, it's like our babies never existed in the first place.

Please, if you know someone who has lost a baby at any stage, realize they are grieving too.  I had statements from those I was close to such as, "you can always try again", or "be happy for the children you have", "at least you weren't far along", and one of the worst, "well, i'm sure it's part of God's plan."   Please, offer them support, offer to take care of any children they may already have, set up a meal train, send cards of encouragement (or texts).  We grieve too.  We feel loss just like anyone else.  Please don't forget us.