It has been over a month since we lost Baby Fourtner #3. Everything was so busy in the two weeks following my miscarriage. I would occasionally pause and wonder “what on earth has happened?” But I would press onward while shoving all of my emotions into the back of my mind.
Since then, I have been able to contemplate more, process, talk, pray. Recently, a sweet friend asked me this:
“Is there anything you've learned or thought or wish you had known beforehand that you know now about having a miscarriage that you would want others to know?”
While I don’t have any earth-shattering answers, here are a couple thoughts I’ve had and I thought they might be worth sharing for the right people.
I had to realize my baby as an individual. Each baby is its own individual with unique DNA and a different story, no matter how short. I didn’t want to bunch it with all other miscarriages rather than mourn it for its very own. I am so thankful for the understanding support I received from those that have lost a baby to miscarriage. They know each one is important. Perhaps this was a failing on my part in bunching miscarriages together in my mind before experiencing it for myself. Even if this was my 5th miscarriage, each one is its own loss. I can’t imagine it ever getting easier. I don’t think it should.
I did not know how to grieve. My baby was 6 weeks old in utero when he or she slipped away. There was no small body to wrap and bury. There are no personal face-to-face memories to ponder. There isn’t even a sonogram picture. But my baby was a complete reality to me. I had three positive pregnancy tests, I was sick & sore, I had prayed for his or her future, for a name & for his/her salvation. But then, just like that, gone. There was nothing tangible to hold onto. One of the things I did to commemorate my baby’s existence was my blog post. That actually helped a lot. But besides that, I had a very hard time knowing what to do. It was something I’d never really thought about before. I’m sure it would be different for everyone – writing a letter, planting a tree, putting up a cross – but doing something to solidify that my baby had been on this earth, even for a short time, helped me.
I had no idea how to tell people. I started miscarrying 2 days before Christmas. The last thing I wanted to do was tell those around me “Merry Christmas! I’m having a miscarriage.” I hardly told anyone except a few when I was doubled over in public and felt my behavior needed an explanation. Maybe I should have told more people. I don’t know. But I didn’t know how or if I should bring anyone into the loss of someone who was important to me but, as yet, non-existent in the minds of those around me. It was awkward. It was blunt. I don’t know if there was any better way to do it.
Miscarriage is a result of the Fall. Reading through websites, this is what I saw: “Miscarriage is most often the body’s way of ridding itself of an unhealthy pregnancy. Between 10-25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. This is a normal way for your body to react”. Miscarriage might be normal but it is not how it should be. A baby dying inside its mommy is never how God made this world. Every time I flushed the toilet I wept, wondering if that was my child. There was nothing right about it. Miscarriage is a result of what happened that black day in the Garden. Acknowledging it as a manifestation of our fallen earth helped me to put it in perspective – and it also brought me hope. Death will be no more in Heaven.
If it was even possible, I hated abortion even more. It was horrifying to me before, but now…why any woman would purposefully go through that is utterly beyond my comprehension. The lies being told to women daily in the name of choice…It. Must. Stop.
I wasn’t prepared for how the pregnancies and babies of others would affect me. By now, I would have heard the heartbeat and maybe posted a sonogram picture announcing it to everyone. Within a 24 hour period this week, I heard of 4 pregnancies, all of them due when I would have been. Seeing pregnancy announcements, round bellies and scrunchy, beautiful newborns gives me a hollow feeling, but at the same time, a hopeful feeling. Others are pregnant and having babies - that means life continues and I rejoice. But not for me now, which also makes me mourn at the same time. A joyful mourning is a strange feeling.
My trust in God has grown. I know this could sound callous and I don’t want to offend anyone, but I find no mention in the Bible of what happens to a baby when it dies. Rather than worry about that, I want to say this: the question for me was not “where is my baby now?” The question for me was, “will I trust God’s perfect wisdom in this?” Do I fully and truly believe that in His implicit goodness, perfection, justice and mercy, God will do what is absolutely right for my baby? I believe he or she has a soul and was created in the image of God, even at the tender age of 6 weeks. I struggled with my answer, but it had to be yes. And by saying that and trusting, I have drawn closer to Him. He has brought me comfort. I trust Him with my life, and I must trust Him with my child’s. Each night, with my two walking/talking babies, I bow over their beds and give them to Him, asking that He would be glorified in their lives. My prayer is the same for this sweet one I never held: May God be glorified.