When I found out I was pregnant, I remember excitedly texting a friend who was much further along, asking her a boatload of questions about what was normal for the first trimester. We swapped plans and even shared the same expectant mother’s Facebook group. By the time her due date neared, I was texting her every day to ask how she was faring.
She went into labor two weeks after I miscarried. She texted me days before: “It’s OK if you would rather me just stop texting you baby news. I understand if that’s too much for you right now, and I won’t be offended.”
I knew that, whatever my response, she would try to be understanding and patient with me. In the days following my bleak announcements, friends like her became invaluable to me, and in the months since, I’ve grown to appreciate her sensitivity all the more.
There is no magic bullet that can make the pain of having a miscarriage disappear. However, in my quest to love women who have experienced this loss (Romans 12:15), and as a woman who has been touched by it herself, there are a few things that have been comforting reminders of how the Lord uses his people to care for one another.
1. Share the Joy
I have always loved children, but it wasn’t until I took a class on ethics and unborn life that my interest in the intricacies of pregnancy and birth took flight, so much so that I did a research paper on the history midwifery. A whole new world was opened to me. I had always known that the Lord was the author of life (Psalm 139:13), but to see just how beautifully crafted that life was in the womb blew my mind.
Pregnancy is a beautiful thing, and children are a heritage from the Lord (Psalm 127:3). The reality of miscarriage should not squelch our thanksgiving for the gift of that new life, whether it lasts nine weeks or 90 years. If you’re pregnant, no matter how early, your news is cause for rejoicing, even if it reminds us of a painful loss.
2. Carry Humbly
However, in that joy, be careful not to flaunt your assurance but carry your child humbly before the Lord. Growing up, miscarriage wasn’t a topic shrouded in mystery. Pregnancies were usually announced early and losses were shared. Although each individual couple must choose the timing and the openness that is best for them, I was immensely blessed by the openness of the mothers in my community. The Lord used them to teach me long before my own pregnancy that the gift of life was in the hands of the Lord (Job 1:21).
I do not recommend that expectant mothers fill their minds with looming statistics, endlessly Google inane symptoms or prepare for the worst. This sort of pessimism is just a cry for help from a micromanager who aches for control. But I also caution, especially young first-time moms, to view each day they have with their little one as a blessing to be received with gratitude, not entitlement.