Friday, November 13, 2015

Your miscarriage stories

On Tuesday, we posted an article about miscarriage and asked our supporters on facebook: "Have you lost a child to miscarriage? How did your pro-life friends and family react? How did your pro-choice friends and family react?" You had some insightful, moving responses. A selection follows. (You can read them all in their entirety here.) Without further ado, let's bust some miscarriage stigma.

Jessica M. - "We lost a baby at 18 weeks. It was a horrendous thing to go through. A lot of people - Christian, pro-life or otherwise - managed to say the wrong thing. I'm not necessarily upset with them - I earnestly believe they meant well but had no idea what to say. I think people are confused, in general about the unborn, and how to treat grieving parents. I did, and do have the continuous sense that I will have to defend to everyone, forever, that he was a person, which breaks my heart and makes me feel dejected, angry and alone. Even some pro-life Christians, while they wouldn't deliberately take an unborn life, have a deeply-held pragmatism about unborn children and expect you to absorb the loss without a great deal of grief. ... With all of that said, however, the people who really supported me most, who rallied around me and grieved with me, were pro-life. Pro-choice people can just never, ever reach the level of compassion that a pro-life person can, because the best they can do is 'we feel sympathy for you because YOU believe it was a person.' It's a hollow gesture."

Suzanne F. - "Pro-lifers have been extremely supportive about my miscarriage. I haven't had any bad encounters with people who are not pro-life, but then I tend not to share with them."

Michelle E. - "As an atheist I think one of the hardest things to deal with is death. For me my miscarriages are the hardest. Not only is it taboo to grieve, but knowing you won't get to see them again is rough. I will never know my children. I won't see them in heaven, or the next life. Their souls haven't traveled to other children with a better fate. They are gone and the only memories I have of them are very painful. With someone who had lived longer I could honor them in sharing the good times..."

Hillary B. - "Sharing with pro-choice folks is impossible. Their reactions are always minimizing."

Felice F. - "The worst and hardest part was all the well-meaning pro-life Christian friends (who had either never gone through it or who had, but had received the same treatment and thought it appropriate) telling me that at least it was early in the pregnancy and God had a reason and at least I wasn't further along. Abortion at 6 weeks is a horrific crime against a baby, but lose a baby at 12 weeks and at least it wasn't a big deal yet?! ... Fortunately, due to everyone blogging and sharing through various media their stories of loss, more of my pro-life friends are coming around. Some have even pulled me aside to apologize."

Jen G. - "I miscarried in my early 20s and was devastated. I don't feel like anyone really understood my pain - it was blown off. ... Now I just want to hug that young girl and tell her everything I went through was okay. That was my baby! Mourning him and being traumatized by his death was perfectly okay."

Michele G. - "In 2010, at 10 weeks along I found out that my child had a possible chromosomal abnormality. Then at 11 weeks we found out they had a heart condition as well. At 12 weeks we lost her. It was a very difficult two weeks, there was so much to process. But I have to say that all of my friends, no matter their beliefs, stood beside me and helped me get through this period and the depression in the months that followed. I believe that was because no matter where they stood on abortion, they cared deeply about me. At that point it wasn't about my child, it was about me and what I was going through. I thank them every day! Through this day I have a picture hanging in my hallway that is a collage of every sympathy card I received with one of the ultrasound pics inlayed as well."

Steve H. - "My wife and I went through it. To some degree several decades later, we still do. Losing a child doesn't leave you. What we found is that people who had been through it themselves understood, including some pro-choice folks, most of whom had many more reservations about abortion than they did before their own miscarriage."

Marie R. - "My answer to your question is rather bleak. I did not dare to tell pro-choice friends of what had happened, and even in my pro-life family some people expected me to be over it within a month and reproached me my subsequent commitment in the pro-life movement. It was a very lonely time. My husband was as devastated as me, so I did not discuss it with him as much as I needed, as I did not want to poke at a painful wound. My best friend was pregnant (our babies were exactly the same age), so I did not want to scare her by telling her too much. My mother's initially heartfelt support turned into contempt. I was very alone. Now three years (and a living child) on, I'm happy again, and I believe a better and more mature person for it. But it was a very tough experience."

Ann M. - "The worst, absolute worst were the [pro-choice] doctors ... who continually repeated that it was so common. Yes, death is common! We all die. It doesn't make it less painful, less sad, less a shock. The doctors made me feel worse about it."

Stephanie D. - "My pro-choice friends/family were far more supportive of me grieving my miscarriage than my abortion."

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