I’m sitting here this morning listening to the sounds of a sleeping house and a playing baby… More than slightly amazed that four children and a husband are still sleeping. And I’m thinking about a conversation I had last night… a friend was telling me of someone she knows who just had a miscarriage. And my heart breaks.
I know her pain. Well. I know her loss. Deep. I know her heart break. Personally. Mine heart has shattered. I know the joy of seeing that little stick announce a new life joining the world. I know the extreme disappointment and letdown when your own body says otherwise. I know the feelings of “I may never have a(nother) child. See, I’ve had five miscarriages. Yes, F-I-V-E!
I understand the reality is WE’ve had five, my husband and I. However, I also understand that a child, six or seven weeks in your womb is SO much more real to the woman than the man. The pain he feels is disappointment, a bit deeper than when his team lost the super bowl. The pain she feels is grief. Where there was life, there is no more. There has been a death in the family. And she can’t even call the child’s name. (Though I know of a couple cases of women who have named the children they’ve lost, as a form of closure.)
When I hear of these kinds of things, I wonder how great is the number of women are out there who do not talk about their loss. I’ve learned one in four pregnancies end in a miscarriage. That’s a quarter of all pregnancies! I find that to be amazing. I can only account for this in the deeply personal level of the loss. Since the woman is the only one to carry the child, she is the only one to physically connect with the child.
As my case shows, it is possible to have another child after a miscarriage, or two… (Mine came in groups – two between my two boys, and three between my oldest two girls.) However, even having another child does not remove the pain of the loss, much like a new pet doesn’t make you miss the old one less. This is a case of time being the best healer. If you are in the middle of the pain, don’t rush it.
The one thing a miscarriage does, is highlights the gift of life… it is a gift, not a guarantee. If you have children and have not walked this road, hug your kids a little tighter. Try to see them as the gift to you they really are.