Miscarriage: A Pro-Life Term?

Taken from CatholicExchange.com
by Christine Ostendorf

Miscarriage: A Pro-Life Term?

Although the thought of writing this makes my heart ache, I truly have felt the Lord calling me to express my thoughts on this topic. I got married less than two months ago, and shortly thereafter my husband and I received the exciting news that we were expecting a honeymoon baby. However, within these short first two months of marriage, we lost our child. It has been a roller coaster of emotions from the excitement of this new life as husband and wife, to being parents, to losing a child. And the emotions were not helped by the simple word of miscarriage.

Miscarriage is the more politically correct way to term what the medical field calls a spontaneous abortion, when a baby dies in utero—most times within the first 20 weeks. However, after hearing the term multiple times within a short period—the result of having to tell numerous people, “We miscarried”—I began to mull over why the term kept bothering me; I found it to be heartbreaking. As a mother, all I could think was “my body was not hospitable to the baby and I miscarried him or her.” The devil gets into your thoughts; and all I could think was that I was not a good enough mother to support a baby and that, the Lord really does not desire me to be a mother. The whole term got me thinking, if women really “miscarried” their baby, they did not do it intentionally. If they had, it would be called an abortion. In discussing this with a good and holy priest, he had similar thoughts. He told me to truly pray to the Lord and ask for a way to describe the terrible event of losing a child before even meeting him or her. After some researching, praying, praying some more, and being receptive to the Lord, all I could think was to call it what it is: the death of a child. Yes, the death may have happened prenatally, but it was still the death of a child.

If miscarriage really is a death of a child, why do we sugar-coat the reality and say miscarriage? It doesn’t really seem to describe the human life that was created and is now in Heaven. The dignity of the child seems to be forgotten about. The term almost seems as a coping mechanism, so parents can forget about what truly happened, and move on and try again. Often, parents forget about all the physical, emotional, and spiritual pain they are going through and call it miscarriage. Helping them to think, it just happened, let’s move on. I’d like to offer a separate view, one guided by the words of Kimberly Hahn in her chapter on miscarriage in Life Giving Love: Embracing God’s Beautiful Design for Marriage. A view that says, let’s truly grieve the loss of our child, who exists and always will exist, yet did not get to experience the world outside the womb.e. A view that says, let’s truly grieve the loss of our child, who exists and always will exist, yet did not get to experience the world outside the womb.

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