sharing your stories and remembering your children
By Caroline Tomlinson
“I was excited. It was the day David was leaving for Finland…I took a test in the morning, and I told him later that day.”
Emily and her husband, David, have two beautiful children and were excited to expand their family. Their youngest was just over 1 year old, and they felt like this was the perfect time to get pregnant again. You can imagine her excitement when two pink lines appeared on the pregnancy test.
Everything was going well. Nothing was different than in her previous two pregnancies. But about 10 days after her positive test, Emily experienced severe migraines. The pain didn’t raise red flags, as this wasn’t abnormal for her. She had an ultrasound, and the technician assured her that everything was OK. But a few days later, she began experiencing more alarming signs of miscarriage.
“I was bleeding a lot and could tell that was it.”
Emily lost the baby.
This baby is affectionately known in the household as Baby Finn, as Emily’s pregnancy took place during David’s trip to Finland. With each pregnancy, Emily was always cautiously excited because she knew miscarriage was a real possibility. Baby Finn was a beautiful reminder that life is precious and ultimately in God’s hands. Emily and David were fortunate to get pregnant a few months later and have since welcomed two more children into their family.
Everyone’s experience is different. Although Emily’s loss wasn’t a physically traumatizing event, she still experienced pain in a different way.
“I had a really hard time for at least a month, but I was never angry with God. The biggest thing was…where is my baby now? It was hard to talk to people about it because they would just be like, ‘oh of course your baby’s in heaven,’ but there’s no Bible verse that says that. That was really hard.”
Miscarriage brings different pain for each mother. Emily said, “For me, it was not so much healing from the loss of my baby, as it was, can I trust God with the eternal destiny of my children?”
Emily didn’t dwell on the loss of her baby. Instead, she wrestled with the hard, unanswerable questions of what happened to her baby. Was her baby in heaven? Will she meet it face-to-face one day? She didn’t know. The month following her miscarriage, her tears flowed as the question remained unanswered. Her husband supported her and encouraged her with scripture. She also received encouragement from her pastor and other mothers who had gone through miscarriages.
The encouragement of others, verses in scripture, and the peace of the Lord helped Emily find rest in God’s sovereignty. Those who have not experienced the loss of miscarriage can learn from Emily’s experience. You never know how a mother is struggling with the loss of her baby. She, like Emily, may not be wrestling with anger toward God for taking her baby away. The pain may be different, and that’s OK.
Emily also offered another perspective into how she’s doing, years later. “It’s not hard for me anymore…now we talk about Baby Finn, and it’s a sweet part of our family. I feel like there needs to be an acceptance of that, too. I hope I would not be looked at as not caring about my baby, because I’ve been able to rest in that Baby Finn is with the Lord and a sweet part of our family. I wouldn’t want there to be guilt if you’re just OK.”
The Early Pregnancy Loss Association seeks to walk alongside women in any stage of grief. For people like Emily, it may not be grief as much as it is unrest and uncertainty. The EPLA understands all women grieve differently, and their mission is to encourage women to speak freely about their loss and pain.
Everyone experiences grief differently, and Emily has been able to rest in her belief that her baby is in heaven. Mothers should feel comfortable speaking freely about their miscarriage, whether that be grief resulting in anger or heartbreak leading to peace and rest.
Everyone’s experience is different, and that’s perfectly OK.
Caroline Tomlinson is a junior Professional Writing and Information Design major at Cedarville University