I was just over 13 weeks pregnant when I miscarried this time.  Because of a previous miscarriage, my doctor ordered an early sonogram to set my mind at ease.  I saw the heartbeat of my precious baby at 8 weeks.  Already this child was beloved.  Regardless of that vibrant heartbeat, my child died shortly after the sonogram.  I found out at 13.5 weeks when I started to show symptoms of miscarriage.

Years earlier, the first time I miscarried, I was a newlywed.  I didn’t know my faith and wasn’t practicing it.  My husband’s and my reaction to becoming pregnant progressed quickly from surprise, to fear, to elation.  And then I miscarried at 13 weeks.

Without faith, losing my first child was just one big awful painful experience that I tried to stuff inside of me so that it wouldn’t swallow me.  I wept until there were no more tears and then I tried to focus on the future.  No one knew what to say to me and just about everything they said hurt me.  “Oh there will be others,”  “it wasn’t meant to be,”  “there must have been a deformity, better that it wasn’t born.”  In hindsight, through the eyes of faith, I know that all of their comments lacked the intended consolation because they didn’t acknowledge the baby that I lost, the viable life.  They didn’t acknowledge that I was entitled to grieve this loss because it wasn’t a just a medical term, a miscarriage, it was a baby.

I stuffed it all in after the first miscarriage and thought I was coping very well.  Life was back to normal for a while until out of the blue I became deeply sad.  I was on the verge of tears for several days.  I couldn’t understand why I felt like weeping until I realized that it was the week of my due date: my body, my whole being, was missing my child that was to have been born.  Recognizing and admitting the cause of my sadness helped to alleviate it some and gave me some peace.

Over the years I gave birth to 3 beautiful healthy children and, praise be to God, my husband and I began to learn about and live our Catholic faith.

However, despite now being a faithful Catholic, the second miscarriage was still heartbreaking.  Although I had never held this child in my arms, I believed that she was a girl and I had felt her presence in my womb.  Her hormones mingled with mine, leaving me nauseous and lethargic.  I anticipated her birth and met her in my hopes and dreams.   I felt her loss in the depth of my soul.  I wept.  Although my husband handled it differently, he was deeply affected as well.   And now I couldn’t just stuff it all inside of me, I had 3 children who had lost a sibling and were also grieving.  So I prayed and I tried to be strong.   A kind priest said something that I found comforting: “A baby is a baby no matter how small.  Some are born into our families and we raise them.  Some go straight to heaven to intercede on our behalf.”  His words brought me comfort because they acknowledged my baby as a person and a member of our family. They also reminded me that this baby had not been erased, that although she would not be a part of our family on earth, she would still be a part of our family through the communion of saints in heaven.

The priest also quoted  John 11:35 And Jesus wept.  I appreciated the scripture, but at the time its meaning escaped me.

Two days after the miscarriage my husband was scheduled to travel for business.  I told him that he should go.  I wanted to try to get back to normal and really didn’t think there was anything he could do for me at home.  He left for the trip.  The night he left, after I put the kids to bed, I regretted encouraging him to go.  I was overwhelmed with sadness and grief.  Through my tears I prayed in a desperately demanding sort of way.  “Lord, intellectually I know that you are there, but right now I really need to feel your presence physically.  I need to feel your comfort, your embrace.  I need you to hold me.  I need a big strong shoulder to cry on.  Please Lord!”  And then I cried myself to sleep.

In the morning I went to daily mass for the first time since I had miscarried.  My grief and fluctuating hormones left me feeling emotionally unstable so I didn’t want to be near anyone.  I sat in the very last pew.  The closest person was at least 15 rows ahead of me.  Then a few minutes after Mass started, a young man and his son came in and sat directly in front of me.  The man was extremely tall, at least 6’ 6”, and his son seemed to be around 8 years old.  My thoughts were not particularly charitable: “REALLY??? There are 30 empty pews and you have to sit right in front of me.”

During Mass I couldn’t help it; I began to weep softly and silently.  I was distracted and looking off to the right when I felt something touching my left knee.  I turned and saw that it was the man’s hand.  He bent backwards just enough to reach me.  I have to say that having a stranger place his hand on my knee would normally have upset me, but oddly I felt comforted by this stranger’s gesture.  Then at the sign of peace, the man effortlessly leaned backwards and embraced me. I felt consoled, physically.   After Mass he knelt beside me in the aisle and told me that he was praying for me.

Immediately I knew that our Lord, in his great compassion, had answered my prayer and had sent this man to comfort me.  He was so tall, and so compassionate.  I felt our Lord’s embrace and our Lord’s love and comfort. I prayed with gratitude in my heart for this tangible answer to my previous prayer.

A few days later a woman who had been at that Mass approached me.  She wanted to know who the man was that had knelt beside me.  I told her that I didn’t know his name but it seemed that he had been sent by God.  She told me that she had been in line behind him to greet the priest on the way out of Mass.  file000871375277She said that he was weeping.  I remembered, John 11:35 And Jesus wept.

Recently, John 11:35 was included in the Gospel for Sunday Mass.  The priest’s homily touched on why Jesus, who knew all and could change all would weep.  He said that Jesus wept out of compassion because he knew how painful death was and that, but for the fall, death wasn’t meant to be.

I know with both my intellect and my heart that Jesus was with me every step of my struggle through these miscarriages.  He was grieving with me and helping me to carry the pain of losing my babies.  I find great comfort and strength in that.  It makes our heavenly Father’s love so tangible to me.

Yes, I have lost two babies, but I have also received a gift.  If you have ever miscarried, please take any part of my story as your own.  Know that our Lord was with you as well and wept for the loss of your baby also.

Together, my children and I named their two siblings, Jack and Lily.  There is great dignity in having a name.  We registered them in The Book of Life at the Shrine of the Holy Innocents, dedicated to the memory of children who have died unborn.  They sent us a certificate that we keep in our family photo album.  I believe that Jack and Lily may be our most powerful intercessors.

7 Responses to Miscarriage and the Love of our Father

  1. Emma says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your loss. But, as you’ve stated in your beautiful story, that you’ve learned so much and felt His presence with you during this difficult time. Your story is beautiful and I am sure that it will serve as an inspiration to many. I am sending you, your husband, 3 children, Jack and Lily prayers, love and hugs. :)

  2. Jaime says:

    I send many healing prayers your way. I have also lost two babies. I named them Graham and Sara. I ask them to pray for us every day. Your post was beautiful, and I plan to check out your link. The words your priest spoke to you were beautiful. So many don’t understand what to say or do, but he really spoke healing words to you. God bless you and your 5 beautiful children. You will hold those babies someday. Hugs.

  3. Lisa says:

    I hope you take comfort on this beautiful prayer by Mother Angelica:
    My Lord, the baby is dead!

    Why, my Lord—dare I ask why? It will not hear the whisper of the wind or see the beauty of its parents’ face—it will not see the beauty of Your creation or the flame of a sunrise. Why, my Lord?

    “Why, My child—do you ask ‘why’? Well, I will tell you why.

    You see, the child lives. Instead of the wind he hears the sound of angels singing before My throne. Instead of the beauty that passes he sees everlasting Beauty—he sees My face. He was created and lived a short time so the image of his parents imprinted on his face may stand before Me as their personal intercessor. He knows secrets of heaven unknown to men on earth. He laughs with a special joy that only the innocent possess. My ways are not the ways of man. I create for My Kingdom and each creature fills a place in that Kingdom that could not be filled by another. He was created for My joy and his parents’ merits. He has never seen pain or sin. He has never felt hunger or pain. I breathed a soul into a seed, made it grow and called it forth.”

    I am humbled before you, my Lord, for questioning Your wisdom, goodness, and love. I speak as a fool—forgive me. I acknowledge Your sovereign rights over life and death. I thank You for the life that began for so short a time to enjoy so long an Eternity. — Mother M. Angelica

  4. Katherine Nguyen says:

    Thank you for writing this post, it has brought me comfort and healing. I recently lost my first born child Matthew Do at 39 weeks and 3 days on June 23, 2014. Our families came out for the viewing, funeral, and burial. I had the hardest time once my family left and my husband went back to work. The tears and crying comes in waves, but once I start praying to God, with the intercession of Mother Mary and the saints I begin to calm down. I also truly believe my son is a powerful intercessor as well and feel his presence when I pray. We will see them all again in heaven.

    • anna lisa says:

      Katherine, your comment made me cry. I am so, so sorry. Your tears will turn to joy…
      I too lost a son in the last month of pregnancy, and a little girl in the fifth. I can’t wait to see them again.
      I’ve had a lot of miscarriages-. The third one left me almost at my breaking point. It wasn’t late term like the two others, but I had already seen (her) heartbeat. She was due on the exact same day as the little girl I’d lost. I begged God for her life before I lost her, because the ultrasound measurements weren’t correct. I prayed my heart out.
      One night I woke up, and saw a soft light emanating from my abdomen. I sat up in bed, shocked at what I was seeing. My husband was gone on a business trip. I just sat there in amazement watching this undulating light going up and finally disappearing. I knew God had allowed me to see that because I was so utterly broken. It never happened again with the other miscarriages, but now I only think of joy and the miraculous, when I think about the passing of that little life. The next morning I called my husband to tell him what I’d seen. I knew I would miscarry soon. It was a difficult, and required a trip to the emergency room, but I had the strength to carry that cross.

  5. Tina says:

    I just stumbled across this post from another blog. My eyes are filled with tears. On August 9, 2014 I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Mireya Barbara Magdalene. She came at 35 weeks. At 27 weeks we learned that she had a rare kidney disease that caused her kidneys to function improperly. She had zero amniotic fluid so her lungs did not develop completely. We prayed for a healing miracle. We did not get the miracle we wanted BUT we did get a miracle. Doctors told us she would probably not survive till birth. She did! She came into the world with a faint cry. She came out fighting, fighting for her life. The battle was too much for her little body. We had her for almost eight hours. She was greeted by 5 of her 6 siblings, her only surviving grandparent, most of her aunts and uncles, and so many of her cousins. She was serenaded by her nine year old sister, bringing even the hospital staff to tears. She was baptized by our Monsignor, who witnessed his first birth. She knew only love and joy until she took her last breath. My bonus daughter was able to capture Mireya’s life with over 3,000 pictures, a lifetime of special moments. We have a saint in heaven. She has a perfect body, a perfect love, perfect joy.

    Even though Mireya is not a part of our daily interactions, she is still our youngest child. She is our intercessor. Mom cries everyday but not always sad tears. Sometimes overwhelming joy opens the flood gates, I was chosen to be her mother. Faith has given me the ability to see the joy in our life, too.

  6. Tessa says:

    I too lost my son Will at 27 weeks. I agree no one knows what to say and all they say makes it worse. My Mum used to silently sit with me for about 30 minute everyday when she visited until I bore my heart out and cried. I had been so broken I refused to accept it or cry.I cried for months after that till it got easier eventually. It helped me that he has a name and everyday I think about him.

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