Unfortunately for many of us, miscarriage and infertility are part of the road to motherhood. Even though it’s something at least 1/4 of us go through according to statistics, for some reason it’s something we still don’t know how to talk about with each other. It’s an “elephant in the room” that we can’t seem to get past, and it can cause unnecessary hurt in relationships when we can’t broach this painful subject. Here are a few heartfelt words from me to those of you who’ve never experienced this kind of loss – and a few ways you can help those who have.
To the woman who has never lost a baby to miscarriage,
I have been where you stand. When I was pregnant with my first child, I was oblivious to the suffering of many of those around me.
A friend of mine was battling infertility … and I was posting pregnancy pictures on Facebook. Another friend had recently lost a baby to miscarriage … and I was sharing openly about the discomforts of pregnancy.
I had no idea how much my words were affecting those around me. Now, because of the babies we have lost, I do.
I don’t share all this to make anyone feel guilty (because believe me, I understand the joy that comes with celebrating a child’s birth on Facebook). Instead, I share this to bring to light the reality that many of us are silently suffering.
Many are scrolling through their newsfeed becoming more and more depressed because God is answering the prayers of other people … but not theirs.
Many are wishing they had the discomforts of pregnancy their friends complain about.
Many are begging God for a baby who keeps them up at night.
The very things we complain about online are the very things someone else is praying for.
What I didn’t know with my first pregnancy (but do now) is that one in three to four pregnancies end in miscarriage. That means that in your circle of friends, there is most likely at least one person (probably more) who has lost a baby. In addition to those who have experienced miscarriages, there are also those who have never been able to get pregnant … who have prayed and prayed and prayed for God to grant them their request, only to hear silence on the other end.
I don’t write all this so you feel guilty about your blessings. Children are a blessing, and they deserve to be celebrated.
I write it so you’ll be aware. Before you post that complaint on Facebook, think about the woman who just returned home from an ultrasound appointment and is now deciding how she wants to deliver her no-longer-living baby. Before you fill your newsfeed with “all things pregnancy,” think about the woman who just found out she will likely never be able to carry a child.
I’m not advocating you never share about your children online. Not at all. What I am advocating is that you think before you post.
Think about me and others like me who long to hold a baby in their arms but can’t.
October 15 is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. I am writing this post in honor of the babies I long to hold: Eden, Jesse, Ella and Jadon. It is because of them I now understand the silent sufferers of baby loss, miscarriage and infertility.
Will you join me in honoring the silent sufferers around you? Honor them by being sensitive to their broken hearts, especially when you share online. Honor them by remembering their babies with them. And honor them by being thankful for the blessings in your own life. Don’t forget, especially on the hard days of parenting, that someone else would give anything to be in your shoes.