sharing your stories and remembering your children
EPLA Executive Director
In the days, weeks, months, and even first couple of years after my three miscarriages I was filled with spite, jealousy, and even rage. Every pregnant woman, every baby, every announcement, gender reveal, baby shower, all filled me with deep pain often manifesting as a very ugly green-eyed monster.
After the birth of my daughter the jealousy started to subside. Sometimes guilt would fill its place. I knew now I was the pregnant woman, I carried the baby, I had the baby shower. I knew that there was not enough tact in the world for me to ease the pain of suffering moms. I knew deeply that just the sight of a pregnant belly could be enough to plunge someone deep into despair. I knew that while my story was celebrated as hope, a hurting mom would still feel a punch in the gut. There are no promises that we will all get our live births - some of us know that too well.
Now that I have had two live births the jealousy of pregnant women and babies is gone. The sweet coos are no longer a direct punch to the gut. But some of the jealousy remains.
My history of miscarriage has robbed me of looking forward to future children with happy expectant hope. The risk of miscarriage burdens even the thought of future pregnancies. I am jealous of women who have had multiple successful pregnancies and no losses.
Of course I don’t wish them my pain, but the jealousy remains. I want to be them. It is a little bit better now, but not gone; the jealousy now feels like a tired sting not a robust gut punch. Which leaves me to wonder: will it ever go away?
Honoring Loss in a Family Tree
Hope Blooms Editor
A month or so ago, our family attended a large reunion of Rachael (my wife)’s relatives. Her grandparents are still living, born in the 1930s and in their mid 80s. One night after the army of little ones went to bed, those grandparents told the story of their family going back into the late 1700s and early 1800s.
Rachael’s grandmother understood a big portion of her history intimately. She knew her great grandmother until she was 11, hearing stories about homesteading and exploring new parts of the United States that few, if any, had seen.
Several members of the family helped compile documents to aid the family history. One of those documents was created by my father-in-law. It showed the family tree across five generations, down through my own kids. In it, we saw the shadows of both joy and suffering, the many kids that each family was blessed with and the ones who they lost young.
As I looked at my own generation, I scanned through all the children, my own and my nieces and nephews. One entry stopped my breath, made my chest constrict. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law have five living children, all listed with their names and birthdates. But another name appeared in that line, a name that makes every heart ache in that room.
Those parents lost a child between their first and second living children. It was a boy, and they named him Jaron. And even though he wasn’t at the family reunion, even though none of us got to take him on hikes or watch him jump off the high rock into the lake where we were staying, he was honored as a family member in that tree.
It may not seem like a lot, but in that moment, I was proud that this family, the one that had accepted me as one of their own even if we don’t share blood, celebrated a child that was miscarried.
EPLA Executive Director
In recent weeks, early pregnancy loss has been in the spotlight, following the controversial Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision in the Supreme Court.
Some fear that common medical care for miscarriage and ectopic pregnancies will be restricted by a lack of federal protection for abortions.
Confusion, deep fear, gray areas, and highly charged political motives have served only to muddy the waters for women, lawmakers, lawyers, and doctors alike.
At EPLA, we strongly believe it is important for everyone to have a clear understanding of early pregnancy loss and the medical procedures required during and after a loss.
Clarity and precision are necessary for both lawmakers and doctors to distinguish an elective abortion from what is known as a spontaneous abortion. They then must address the gray areas with nuance and care, but address them nonetheless.
It is our understanding that currently no state law prohibits care for miscarriage or ectopic pregnancies. Additionally, President Joe Biden recently signed an Executive Order that would ensure protection for emergency medical care for early pregnancy loss.
As the Early Pregnancy Loss Association, we believe it is important to continue to protect care for the sake of women and their families in the case of spontaneous abortions (miscarriages) or ectopic pregnancies with precise, clear, nuanced laws.
We continue to stand by our core values, affirming the life and death of a miscarried child, and hope to usher in a world where all honor the dignity of that life and death.
We Need Your Help
Through donations and partnerships, EPLA has far more resources than it did when it first launched. These resources allow us to put together miscarriage kits, invest in space to store our growing supplies, and work towards paying medical bills for loss mothers. Some of the things we’re doing now were only a dream a few years ago.
We hope the growth doesn’t stop there. EPLA desires to do more for families and loved ones, to educate, bear burdens, and affirm life. To do so, we need financial help from our supporters.
One great way to help is through our Amazon Wishlist. We are always in need of items like sanitary pads, tea bags, flowers, and lip balm. Shopping our wishlist make it easy to send your donation straight to our door!
Because of inflation and other economic factors, people have less money to donate to worthy causes, but one way you can support us without using extra funds is to use Amazon Smile.
By going to smile.amazon.com and choosing EPLA as your charity of choice, Amazon will donate 0.5% of eligible purchases to EPLA. As you shop for everyday materials or gifts, you will also support us as we care for hurting families. No extra money for you but a big help for us.
So we ask for your support: your prayers, your time, and any financial resources you can spare. We will use those funds to try and keep loss parents from suffering through miscarriage alone.