Losing an Unborn Child
I absolutely deplore the term “lost a baby.”
I remember hearing my husband relay the information of my first miscarriage to family. He said the words, “Alison lost the baby.” When I heard those words I felt immediate guilt and responsibility for my baby’s death. Just like you lose your wallet, your phone or your ring. You lost that particular item due to negligence.
However, I was not negligent about my little one. His upcoming arrival consumed the majority of my thoughts. I loved him even though I had never heard him laugh or touched his face. He had already secured my love and devotion.
Before I experienced a miscarriage I always thought it was sad, but not a huge obstacle or trial in life. For that reason I am glad God allowed me to walk through the vale of my baby dying before his birth.
After several children and several years of marriage, I had to walk that same vale four times. The second time was definitely the most difficult.
My husband and I, with our three kids in tow, were traveling in Western New York. We were visiting churches in hopes of raising financial and prayer support to go to Cambodia and teach the Gospel. Our home, family and friends were 12 hours away.
I had just tucked all the kids into bed when I noticed I was spotting. I knew what this could mean and began crying. I told myself to calm down because I didn’t know anything yet. My husband was meeting with several men at the church downstairs. When I found them, they were all praying together. I quietly waited outside the door for them to finish.
After a few minutes, they began to exit the room. My husband came out, saw me waiting and knew something was wrong. I quickly relayed to him the information and we made plans to visit the hospital first thing in the morning.
At the hospital, the baby’s death was confirmed and I was told they would need to induce labor. The labor pains began, and my little one was born.
But in case you have never experienced a miscarriage, I want to let you in on a little secret that no one told me before I experienced it. The doctors, the nurses, no one said a word about it. It is very painful. You lose lots of blood and quickly become weak. It’s not, “Oh, the baby died,” and it’s over. No, there are labor pains, contractions and lots of pain. I have gone through labor six times without any medication. Labor is horrible pain and lasts way too long, but in the end there is a bundle of joy to replace your pain. When you know beforehand that there will be no bundle to hold, the pain is devastating. It takes incredible strength to deal with the labor on top of the emotional weakness and pain you feel as well. There is no light at the end of this tunnel. Then, you have to return home with empty hands.
When my tiny one was born, I was too distraught to hold him. My husband held him gently in his hand. He was only the size of my husband’s hand. The funeral home came and took him before I ever got to hold him. Sometimes I still regret that I didn’t hold him even for a few minutes.
After two days in the hospital I was released and given special care instructions. My doctor was a very kind woman that was Catholic and was married to an Episcopalian. As I began to witness to her, she spoke up and said, “I knew there was something different about you and your husband. You have showed great strength through all of this.” She listened intently and relayed to me she realized that neither of her or her husband’s religion could offer them anything. I still pray that she chose to put her faith in Christ. I got to give the gospel to her clearly and she also took home a tract for further reading. I was reminded how pertinent it is for we as Christians to stay strong as we ride out the storms of life.
When we returned to the guest chambers at the church we were visiting, my kids ran out to greet me.
“Mommy, did you bring the baby home?” Anna asked me. She was almost three at the time.
I just smiled through tears and said, “No sweetie. The baby’s not coming home.” She looked confused, but then ran back to play with her friends.
The first few days home from the hospital were full of ups and downs. I still had to go and bury the baby and face the reality once again that I would never hear my little one’s voice, laugh or feel his arms around my neck.
A few days after the baby’s burial I walked downstairs and saw a bottle of Coke and broke down.
“It was all my fault! I drank caffeine!” I cried and ran upstairs sobbing.
I did go through the denial and blame processes of grief. So weird how that happened.
I dreamed about my little one and cried out to God to help me get up an move on. As He always does, He comforted me through His Word. Though I appreciated the calls, visits and hugs, I found the greatest comfort in His Word. The pamphlets the hospital gave me to help me recover from my sorrow only placed a band-aid on my deep wound. God’s Word went down into my wound and cleansed and cured it.
Later on, I was able to hug many of my friends and relatives and tell them, “I know your pain. I understand your pain. God can give you the same comfort He gave me.”
If you are a Christian, use your trials in life as stepping stones to reach the hurting you meet along the way. It always makes things better when someone can sit beside you and whisper as you sob, “I know. I know.”
For those of us who have lost little ones before they trode this earth, this anonymously written poem may help encourage you today. We can all praise the Lord for the fact that our precious treasures did not have to face sin, despair and all the pain that comes along with living in a fallen body in a fallen world. Take joy in knowing that your little one is in God’s arms and that just as David said in God’s word, one day you can go to him!
Precious Little One
I`m just a precious little one
who didn’t make it there.
I went straight to be with Jesus,
but I`m waiting for you here.
Many dwelling here where I live
waited years to enter in.
Struggled through a world of sorrow,
a world marred with pain and sin.
Thank you for the life you gave me;
it was brief but don’t complain.
I have all Heaven`s Glory,
suffered none of earth’s great pain.
Thank you for the name you gave me.
I’d have loved to bring it fame.
But if I’d lingered in earth’s shadows,
I would have suffered just the same.
So sweet family—don`t you sorrow.
Wipe those tears and chase the gloom.
I went straight to Jesus’ arms
from my loving Mother’s womb.
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