“My womb was a morgue”: Still grappling with the loss from a miscarriage, a woman finds comfort amidst grief
Bailey // May 13, 2022, 6:43 pm
"There was nothing like the sadness of losing a child that we had imagined a future for but would never get to know," says Bailey. "But suffering reveals who we really are and where our faith in God is." Stock photo by Khoa Võ on Pexels.
“Miscarriages aren’t talked about in our circles,” an almost-mum told Salt&Light. Bailey, whose last name is withheld due to the sensitivity of her job, told Salt&Light that she wanted to share her story of her miscarriage to encourage any other woman who is still grappling with the loss or who is waiting in “fearful expectation”.
“Someone I knew very well shared her own painful experience. And it helped,” Bailey said.
“It is not just painful emotionally, but it is almost like going into ‘mini labour’ and it is a logistical nightmare.”
This is her story.
My life, my plans
My husband and I had been married for five years before we started thinking about children. Because of various work, health and life issues, we were already well into our 30’s before we started trying.
Amazingly, we got pregnant on the second try and started thinking that we were on a road to a future with young children. We discussed pregnancy research, models of discipline and started to concretise what our stance would be towards their education.
I was shocked to realise that none of my thoughts had centred around the child.
Then, in Week 5, we had a night-time scare that made us think we were going to lose the baby.
But in the morning, a quick visit to the doctor revealed that all was well.
When I reflected on the thoughts that had surfaced, I was shocked to realise that none of them had centred around the child. All of them had been on the effect a miscarriage would have on me, my plans, my life.
I repented of my selfish thoughts while rejoicing that the Lord had been merciful. At that point, I did not know that the depths of His mercy had yet to be revealed.
In Week 10, our doctor performed a scan … and told us that our baby had died in utero.
The doctor said that we were experiencing a missed miscarriage – where the only sign is the doctor’s discovery through an ultrasound rather than any symptoms like bleeding or pain.
The worst news had already been conferred. My womb was now basically a morgue.
We had to set up a second appointment a week from that day. If the miscarriage was triggered naturally, the appointment would function as a check-up to see if further intervention was necessary to clear the womb. If nothing had happened by then, then the doctor would give us medication to kickstart the process.
That week, my husband and I had to constantly remind one another of the sovereignty of God. I was in dull agony: The worst news had already been conferred. There was nothing but inevitability for an end that had not yet come.
My womb was now basically a morgue with no certainty as to when it could heal and restart the process of being a bearer and carrier of life.
But in the meantime, I’d still have to work and continue on with all the usual demands of the working world.
I was heartsick. As we waited, what we grieved most was having that future we were preparing for taken away. Our life trajectory – we were just on our way from being a young working couple to a young family – had changed.
Agony of loss
At the second visit to the doctor’s, we received a check-up and a confirmation that no miracle had occurred. There was no heartbeat; our baby was gone.
The doctor gave us the medication and briefed us on what to expect, then we headed home to trigger the miscarriage.
I took the pills and waited.
The physical pain was not one that would stay with me. The emotional pain, on the other hand, would be another matter.
After 3.5 hours, the cramps began. Women who have regular and awful period cramps would know what this is like. The cramps are not unbearable, but they are hard to ignore and all you want to do is stop what you’re doing, lie down and take some painkillers while hoping that the pain will pass as you sleep it off.
It is a persistent ache in your abdomen. A tightness about your pelvis.
That pain was in the background all the way, and then soon after, they intensified. I didn’t know it then, but these were contractions.
The next two hours were incredibly bad. At times when the pain wasn’t as intense, walking around helped.
The pain came in waves, rising, cresting, and subsiding to the dull period-like ache.
Lying down was more painful at times, but it took too much effort to walk. I was rolling on the bed screaming and moaning – somehow the movements and the breathing helped with the pain.
Six hours after the first pill, I was finally able to rest, as the pain had faded into the background and dulled to simply being bad “period cramps”.
I fell asleep and when I woke up the next morning, I realised that it was over.
Thoughts as I heal
The physical pain I had gone through was not one that would stay with me. The emotional pain, on the other hand, would be another matter.
At the time of writing, I still am not on the other end with a rainbow baby. However, these are some of my realisations as my body continues to heal.
God is light
Children are a gift from God.
I was awed by how merciful God had been in helping me see the pregnancy in the right light.
Given the sheer number of things that have to go right to bring a baby to term, surely it is God who opens the womb and who knits us together to be fearfully and wonderfully made. Surely children are a gift from Him!
After my scare early in the fifth week, I had had the chance to become aware that my ungodly reactions to the threatened miscarriage had to do with seeing a child as a milestone that one works towards, or a lifestyle choice for the modern woman.
I was awed by how merciful God had been in helping me see the pregnancy in the right light before allowing the miscarriage to take place.
God is merciful
Though my baby was never able to experience life on earth, the full measure of sin and death was visited upon his body.
Yet he – or she – now knows heaven and is with his Maker because of the eternal life that Jesus bought for us with his own undeserved but asked-for suffering and death.
The confidence that he would be in a better place was the assurance I needed to get through this difficult period.
That week, as I waited for a natural miscarriage, someone close to me shared her own experience: She’d already had three children by the time she was expecting a fourth, and a first trimester scan had revealed that the child would be severely disabled.
She struggled with the knowledge, wondering if abortion would indeed be a better way. In the end, she gave up her desire to control the situation and entrusted the baby’s life and future to God. The pregnancy spontaneously terminated in miscarriage, which she grieved, yet was relieved by because she no longer had that decision to make.
I thought about how I had been spared the agony of holding on to that knowledge and facing a similar choice.
In that, I realised that God had been very merciful.
I thought about how grateful I was that we did not have to face that situation, given that I wouldn’t even have known what to pray for if I had been in her position. Healing for the child? Spontaneous termination of pregnancy? A successful delivery, severe handicaps and all? Or some other combination?
As difficult as it was to lose our baby, the confidence that he would be in a better place was the assurance I needed to get through this difficult period.
God is sovereign
Suffering reveals who we really are and where our faith in God is.
There was nothing like the sadness of losing a child that we had imagined a future for but would never get to know.
I was only consoled by the conviction that God is sovereign and that the earth is but a temporary residence.
If you are in a similar situation, my heart goes out to you. My prayer is that you will be reminded of the Gospel and be strengthened.
Christ knew the devastation of separation from His Father so we could be reconciled to God.
Remember that God sent His own son to die and bring many sons to glory.
That our Lord took upon himself unimaginable suffering to pay the penalty for our sins.
That Christ knew the devastation of separation from His Father so we could be reconciled to God.
May the sweetness of the Gospel bring you comfort even in the most bitter of times.
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