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. When you lose something, you lose that item due to negligence.
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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 experience that pain. Had I not, I could never really reach out to other women who are suffering today.
During the past 14 years of marriage, I had to cope with losing an unborn child four times, and every time was difficult.
But the second loss was at 19 weeks and it was the toughest.
My husband and I, with three kids in tow, were traveling in Western New York. 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. Sometimes you just know when something is wrong, don’t you?
After I regained my compsure, I found my husband and said two words he had already heard before.
He knew what this could mean. Pain. Death. Grief. Sadness. It was all possibly in the very near future.
We packed up and headed to the hospital.
At the hospital, the baby’s death was confirmed and I was told they would need to induce labor. I felt so ill prepared for labor, but here it was facing me and there was no excitement, no friends or family waiting to greet the little one and no smile on my doctors or nurses faces. It was a very grim time.
The labor pains began, and my little one was born.
In case you have never experienced a miscarriage, or late miscarriage, I want to let you in on a little secret that no one told me before I experienced it.
The doctors and the nurses never warned me about this and I had to find out through personal experience. I want to save other moms that pain and get the messages to their families about whay they actually experience.
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, once you are faced with the tragic news of your unborn baby, then you have to battle 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. When everything is finally over, you have to return home with empty hands.
When my tiny one was born, I was too distraught to hold him. I do wish I had held him, but at that point, I couldn’t find the strength to do it.
My husband held him gently in his hand, and he fit perfectly. He was super-tiny and his fingers and toes were perfectly formed.
After two days in the hospital I was released and given special care instructions.
When we returned to our children, they ran out to greet me with smiles and hugs.
“Mommy, did you bring the baby home?” My almost-three-year old excitedly questioned.
I choked back a few tears and answered, “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.
The baby’s burial date loomed in the near future. Taking that next step would be another harsh reminder that I would never hear my little one’s voice, laugh or feel his arms around my neck.
But, with God’s grace, I made it through that experience. But, oh the unexpected flood of emotions and grief that still laid ahead!
Just a few days after the baby’s burial, I began to blame myself for his death.
“It’s all my fault! I drank caffeine!” ran through my mind several times. I couldn’t even look at a can of Coke without tearing up.
I even went through the denial process of grief. So weird how that happened.
I dreamed about my little one and cried out to God to help me get up and move on. My family needed me and I still had three beautiful kids to take care of.
As God always does, He comforted me through His Word. Though I appreciated the calls, visits and hugs, I found the greatest comfort in His Word. Pamphlets the hospital gave me to help me deal with grief only placed a band-aid on my deep wound. However, God’s Word went down into my wound, cleansed it 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! (II Samual 12:23)
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.