There’s a dirty side to miscarriage that many people don’t know of, think about or truly understands until it happens. I pray many women I know & don’t know wouldn’t have to go through the grief of miscarriage or experience the dirty side of it. But for those that do will understand what I’m about to say.
When I first opened up about our miscarriage (you can read about it here) I did it to go against the norm, to be of any support or encouragement to other women that become a part of the dreaded “unspoken club.” This is something I wish would change. As a woman who has miscarried I have joined that “unspoken club” of women who are left to fight for themselves & fight for the dignity of life for a child they had but never got to meet.
I recently read a blog by a mother who miscarried a while ago & her whole post is on “How Abortion Has Changed The Discussion Of Miscarriage” (you can read it here). The entire post hits home with me. Her thoughts on changing the way miscarriage is viewed was the motivation behind why I blogged what I did when I did, I just didn’t know I would come upon her blog a few months later & feel completely reaffirmed with why I’ve shared so much. (I highly suggest you taking the time to read her post, it’s a good one.)
When we miscarried my ObGyn saved my emotions by labeling it as “unspecified hemorrhage early pregnancy antepartum.” Which from my research (& I could be totally wrong because I don’t know medical coding) is just like saying spontaneous abortion just with a nicer tone to it. That is the ugly dirty side to miscarriage. Many, including medical professionals, do not call a miscarriage a miscarriage, it’s called a spontaneous abortion.
I learned back in 2011 during a debate on abortion in my college philosophy class that the technical term for a miscarriage is spontaneous abortion. It disgusted me that that is the term used to describe what a woman goes through when she loses life from her womb. But now, having experienced that loss & going through that pain it leaves me wanting to cry & fight for that life that was loss.
Becky, the writer of Scissortail Silk – the blog I referenced & will reference, speaks it perfectly when she said “After all, it is hard for a society to mourn the loss of WANTED unborn life when it is busy calling it “tissue” and discrediting its personhood. It is hard for a society to embrace a mourning mother for her loss of tissue when it is busy defending another mother’s right to dispose of it. But for a woman who prays ceaselessly for life to fill her womb, For a woman who has tried for years to finally have children of her own. For an expectant mother who suddenly finds herself frantically calling her OB after finding bright red blood… The “material” in her tummy is anything but tissue. It is life.”
A few months after we miscarried I went to a general physician where she asked for my medical history & one of her questions was “have you ever been pregnant?” To which I said yes & informed her that I miscarried at the 7 week mark. To which she had the balls to inform me that it wasn’t considered a miscarriage because my baby wasn’t a baby & it was just “a clump of cells & tissue” (or something like that). I wanted to cry. How do you tell a grieving “almost mother” that her pain is unjustified because her baby “wasn’t a baby yet”?!
Are you serious?! So all the emotions & body changes & tiredness I was feeling was just because I had a little extra tissue? No. My body was actively growing a very very tiny little human.
You can’t tell me that what my womb couldn’t protect wasn’t life. If it was just “tissue” then why, almost 7 months later, do I still deal with the effects of losing my very very tiny, still growing & forming baby? Why do I have very vivid memories of my husband praying & crying out to God asking Him to protect that sweet life we had created that I held in my womb? Why do I have vivid pictures of my husband telling our very very tiny Link to try & stay in my womb & praying over it each night in hopes it would stay protected? Why do I still deal with moments of racking my brain & wishing I could just go back & take prenatals during the weeks leading up to when I had found out we were pregnant? Or to go back & not have had that one alcoholic beverage I had had soon after we conceived even though I didn’t know & we weren’t trying? Why do I still struggle at times with knowing there literally was nothing I could have done to prevent losing that little life but still wish there was a way I could go back & protect it? Why do I struggle with trying to figure out why my body failed me, failed my husband, & most importantly failed our very very tiny little baby. Had this just been “tissue” or a “clump of cells” then I wouldn’t have the grief I had & still have because that would have been just another menstrual cycle.
But…it wasn’t! It was life! I know, deep down, in the deepest parts of my heart there was life, growing & forming, in my womb. My body was doing one of the greatest roles I as a woman have been given & absolutely want to & look forward to taking on…& that is, with the help of my husband & the work of God, growing & nourishing tiny human life & bearing children & becoming a mother. Life was lost on that very sad day in November. A child we didn’t get to meet left the protection of my womb & as I know as what would have been my due date approaches next month there will be one less Link in our family as the years go on.
This baby may have been completely unexpected but it was more than anything welcomed. All I wanted to do was protect it the best I could & do everything to help it grow & develop & I couldn’t. But the last thing I know is this baby was never unwanted or to be “gotten rid of.” I was never going to make the conscious decision to get rid of it.
This is where we have the issue. Where is the line between miscarriage & abortion?
Sadly there is no line. Miscarriage is seen as abortion, maybe spontaneous abortion, but it’s still falls under that category. The only difference is in miscarriage the mother is actively working to protect that sweet life that is growing in her womb & in abortion the mother is actively seeking a way to get rid of that life.
Just like Becky said, we live in a world where we have people fighting to protect that life that fills a woman’s womb when she becomes pregnant & we have people fighting to declare that it is only “tissue” or a “clump of cells” & not an actual human.
As a woman who has experienced a miscarriage & experienced being told the life you held in your womb isn’t life & is “just a clump of cells” or “tissue” you have to fight through the pain & grief it brings. But I also I grieve for the life loss out of a mother’s conscious decision to abort it. I grieve for the woman’s heart that chose abortion. I grieve for the hearts of those, who just like me are dealing with this dirty side of miscarriage & being told it wasn’t life because you weren’t far enough along. Do I disagree with the choice the mother made to have an abortion? Yes. Do I think she deserves to be loved or viewed any less? Absolutely not. Do I wish abortion was nonexistent? Of course. But we live in a fallen & broken world. Do I believe God can still work wonders in the lives of men & women who have chosen abortion? Absolutely! Jesus died on the cross to save us from our depravity & brokenness & He can redeem us from our choices made through evil in this world & use it to glorify Himself & work in the lives of others & bring us, as His sons & daughters close to Him.
As a woman who has miscarried I sit here hoping one day this would all change. We wouldn’t be put into this unspoken group & left to feel as if we are alone in this whole grieving process. I pray other women would know it’s okay & that there are other women out there to support them & encourage them through the nasty part of miscarriage. I pray we would change the face of miscarriage & the association to abortion that comes with it & come together as women to support & encourage each other & to make it clear you aren’t alone….because you aren’t. I pray one day we will be able to establish that fine line between life, death & “tissue” or “just a clump of cells.” Until that day comes we will continue to have this fight…but I pray we, as women who have children we never got to meet face to face on our hearts, would stand together, support one another & let people know miscarriages happen & it shouldn’t be something we hide or something those around us don’t know how to handle or help us in.
& to any women reading this who have chosen abortion, please, please know, you are loved. You are loved by other women & we want to grieve with you & help you work through this. You are loved by our Father, who created you & wants you close with Him. He wants to grieve with you, work in your heart & heal any hurt you have. Please, if there is anything you get from this, know you are truly loved, you are His daughter. Your Almighty Creator desires to be close to your heart. You are a beautiful woman & just because abortion was a decision you once made definitely does not mean it has to be something that defines you or something you carry heavy in your heart. Jesus died on the cross for you so you could surrender that burden to Him & be washed of your sins. Know you are loved & desired to be close to.