Almost 3 weeks ago, I had a miscarriage.
Miscarriage number seven.
Seven babies that I’ll never meet.
Seven babies that I held in my heart, but I’ll never hold in my arms.
This time, I didn’t want to talk about it.
If you’ve read my blog you know I’m pretty open about the stuff I deal with –from icky health stuff to being a rebellious middle schooler.
I know that’s not healthy –it’s not good to hold all the sadness inside.
But this time –no matter how much my heart ached, I didn’t want to talk about it.
Why was this issue so much deeper of hurt? So much more tender? So much more raw?
I’m not entirely sure.
But what I do know is that people have said some pretty horrendous things to me in the past about my miscarriages.
Those unkindly spoken things have made me not want to talk about it –not even to my own friends and family.
I talked about the first two miscarriages pretty openly, but the in between ones, not so much because people would say ridiculously insensitive and offensive things like this:
1) “You are in sin for only having two kids.”
People judge me for only having two kids.
But here’s the thing: I have nine children — nine!– I just don’t get to hold them all right now.
There’s a Big Family Club that I’ll never be a part of –through no fault of my own.
Simply because my children died.
I wanted a big family.
But, I’ve been treated like I am deficient for only having a small family.
In my heart, I have many children but in my home, I have very few.
Here’s the rub: I don’t think it would be wrong if we had decided to only have two kids. But, we didn’t choose this.
You never know someone’s life story. So how about we just stop judging things that are not clearly and absolutely stated in scripture?
It’s really low to tell someone who just lost a baby that they’re in sin for not having more live babies, but yes, I’ve been told that –as if somehow I controlled which babies lived and which ones died.
2) “God took your baby because He knew the baby would be bad.”
Some people think God took my baby because He knew it would be a bad person.
This is a really horrible thing to say to someone.
Is that supposed to make me feel better? Am I supposed to say: “Oh, good, well, if he was going to be a sinner than I’m glad he died”?
We are all sinners.
God’s love and grace are there for a reason.
We need it.
All of us.
I do think God has a reason for this happening that I can’t see, but I reject the notion that it was because my child would be a sinner.
Or less worthy of life.
3) “Your baby went to hell.”
If you believe that babies who die do not go to heaven, please do not tell me: I do not want to know.
It just adds a second layer of guilt because then I’m sending my child to hell if I miscarry.
I have enough guilt and stress due to the fact that I can’t carry a baby to term.
I know that the Bible doesn’t have a lot to say about the death of a child, but I would rather choose to believe that my children are waiting for me in Heaven than to think that my inability to carry to term sent my children to Hell.
This turns my stomach.
It’s really heartless and cruel to say this to someone who just lost a baby.
If you believe this, I don’t want to talk to you about my miscarriage.
4) “It’s lack of faith that you stopped trying to have babies.”
The last time I miscarried was about 4 years ago, and after that, a friend sent me an article about a lady who had 20 miscarriages before she had one live birth.
The insinuation was that if I really had faith then I would keep trying to have babies –no matter how sick I was, no matter how many babies died, no matter how difficult the pregnancies, no matter what the fallout.
This idea is part of the Quiverfull movement which I’ve spoken out against — the idea that women are here to have babies and shouldn’t stop having them in any situation.
I think it was completely reasonable of my husband and me to decide –after losing six babies– that we were done.
Maybe someone else has the ability to go through loss after loss after loss and keep trying, but I have two living children and I need to –as much as possible– be here for them.
It’s not lack of faith.
Maybe if you’re healthy, losing a baby might not be as big of a deal? (Someone told me that.)
But if you’ve got over 20 medical diagnoses like me, that loss is incredibly difficult –especially healthwise since I get significantly sicker after each pregnancy.
I’m glad that the lady in the article kept trying and got her miracle baby. But, I already have two miracles, and I need to be well enough to actually be invested in their lives.
What’s the point of having them if you are unable to raise them in the Lord which actually is commanded? –as opposed to trying to have a specific number of children which is not commanded.
5) “Great, you miscarried; that means you can get pregnant. You should try again.”
They dismiss the pain of the loss and the health risks as if it’s nothing to worry about. I’m glad that for them that it’s nothing, but for me, it’s not nothing.
It’s serious and hard.
Besides, I don’t want another baby.
If I was going to have a baby, I wanted that baby –don’t treat it like it wasn’t a real person.
I don’t want another baby at all, honestly.
I’m not trying to have more, and this pregnancy was not intentional –unlike previous pregnancies that ended in miscarriages (I didn’t even know I could get pregnant anymore).
We’re done, and I’m okay with that.
It seems to be other people who have a problem with the fact that I only have two (alive) kids and don’t plan to have more.
Why are people so invested in the intimate lives of other people? Do they not have enough problems in their own lives? They have to worry about mine?
I don’t think I should have to tell people that I have lost seven babies to have them leave me alone about having more babies –I think it is none of their stinking business.
6) “You hate big families.”
I think the hardest thing about the miscarriages is that people have accused me of hating big families because I speak out about the false doctrine of the Quiverfull Movement.
They see that I only have two living babies and make asinine assumptions and accusations like that I hate anyone who has more than 4 kids.
But I have more than 4 kids!
I have nine children.
I don’t hate big families.
I have a big family.
Part of my family is in heaven.
They treat me like I’m against them –they have an us-versus-them mentality.
I am on the side of big families.
And –more importantly–I’m also on the side of accurate Bible interpretation.
I’m also on the side of small families.
Because the Bible doesn’t specify how big your family has to be.
I’m on the side of families.
7) “You should just adopt.”
People criticize me for not adopting, but these are the same people who know that my family has to take care of me because I’m so sick.
I think most of my friends and family don’t really understand how sick I am.
I don’t think anyone would allow me to adopt, but if they did, would it even be wise?
To bring a young child into my home that I physically can’t care for?
That my 12-year-old and 15-year-old would end up raising?
And what if I die?
My children are old enough that they can mostly take care of themselves if I die.
The same is not true if we bring new little people into our home.
This doesn’t even begin to address the fact that we’d have to move to a larger house which I’m not able to do –moving is very hard and very stressful.
I applaud and appreciate the women I know who are involved in foster care and adoption.
They are ministers to a group of children who desperately need it.
But don’t accuse people who are too sick to be involved in your ministry of not caring or being in sin.
We feel enough guilt about the things we’re not able to do without your help to make us feel worse.
8) “You never even met the baby –it shouldn’t be this big of a deal.”
Some people have said that since it wasn’t a child that I lived with or held it then shouldn’t hurt.
But it does.
Believe me: it does.
And every day.
People who say these kinds of things seem to simply not understand.
Some of my miscarriages have been very early, and I didn’t even know I was pregnant until I miscarried.
For a long time, I didn’t let myself mourn because I told myself it shouldn’t be a big deal.
After seven miscarriages, I know that it is a big deal.
Every life matters –no matter how small or how brief.
I choose not to confide in people who treat life so flippantly as to say a miscarried baby doesn’t matter.
Another thing that bothers me isn’t something people say; it’s an attitude.
An attitude of ingratitude toward God for the children He’s given them.
Believe me: somewhere out there is women who would gladly endure your worst day just to hold a child or just to have her dead child back again.
And, if you can’t understand that, I’m going to have a hard time talking to you about how painful these miscarriages have been.
Do not, I beg you, take your children for granted.
Just like when you lose a loved one, after a miscarriage you go through the grieving process: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
For a long time I was in the denial stage because if I don’t talk about it, it’s not real, right? That was especially true of miscarriages 3 through 6.
This time, I think I’m somewhere between denial and anger.
But, I’m giving myself permission to hurt and grieve this time.
I think that is helping.
I’ve burst into tears over stock photos of baby girls. I’ve spent hours up at night crying over the fact that I’ll never get to play dress up or tea party with my daughter or braid her hair.
For some reason, this miscarriage brought all the years of horrible experiences –all those intense emotions– bubbling to the surface.
All the heartache of broken dreams.
The empty arms just feel so much more empty.
I was too upset, too hurt to talk about it.
I’m not sure why.
It just is.
So, I cling to my Savior and to the knowledge that one day the canvas of time will be unrolled like a tapestry and the Great Redeemer will trace His fingers across the lines of time and eternity and explain every hurt, every heartache, every loss.
It will make sense, and we will see that His plan was wonderful, providential, and worth it.
He who catches my tears in a bottle knows how much I hurt.
For now, I hurt a lot.
But I trust Him no matter how much I hurt.
If you liked this post, you might enjoy these as well: