Then I miscarried at 9 weeks. At first I reasoned, At least it was early on. At least I didn’t miscarry at three months, or six months, or God forbid, even later.
Why, though? Did I have a hint of “it’s not really a baby yet” in my thinking? And why was I calling it a fetus? Isn’t it human from conception? And isn’t a human life lost no matter the gestational age?
As the reality of my miscarriage came into focus, I started grieve. My body wasn’t just passing a product of conception. It wasn’t a pregnancy that just “didn’t work.” My son or daughter died. It doesn’t matter that they never grew larger than the ring on my finger. It doesn’t matter that they didn’t “look like a baby,” yet. They had life, and then it was taken from them. And they are infinitely precious regardless of wether anyone recognizes it.
And so, I let myself cry. It comes in waves, whenever I remember that sweet little life. I will never touch their fingers or squeeze their feet. Someone in our family died, and they deserve our tears.
In a world where it’s legal to dismember babies and throw them out with the trash, dignifying this little one’s humanity was deeply healing. We gave them a name, and placed what we believe to be his or her body in a ring box, and buried them in a special place. We prayed, and lingered, and cried.
I have no doubt that losing a baby later in pregnancy is harder. Not because the baby’s value grows (he or she was valuable from day one), but because the mother’s affection grows. After you start to show, or feel the first kick, or find out the gender, you get to know your baby more. The more you know, the more you love, the more it hurts.
When grief swells up, it’s when I think of how this baby never even had a chance to grow– to be the newest addition to our family, to be introduced and doted on, to run around in the swarm of their older siblings. They may have lost all these things, but right now they are experiencing abundant gain. They may have only experienced the inside of my womb for a matter of weeks, but now their soul is clothed with immortality; their death has been swallowed up by life. Jesus will make everything right one day, and everything sad will come untrue. There will be many sweet reunions around the banquette table that day, and we will give thanks and glory to our sweet, sweet Jesus.
For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. 2 Corinthians 5:4
Everything sad will come untrue. Even death is going to die! And he will wipe away every tear from every eye. -The Jesus Storybook Bible, p. 149
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 4:14
We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5;8
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. Psalm 139:13
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. Revelation 21:4