When I was pregnant for the FIRST time in my life at 29 years of age, I was living in a foreign country. FAR AWAY from my family to help walk me down this MIRACULOUS first path of pregnancy.
And the internet was not that widely used. And I really had no clue what was going on.
On top of that, I had already been jumping off extremely high platforms into lakes and off of mountains—apparently pregnant (but, as most 1st time pregnant women, sometimes we are utterly clueless as to what is taking place in our bodies).
Apparently, my baby still survived all of the crazy extreme I was living through.
YET—yet with my family so far away, all I had left were those that surrounded me in a different culture—telling me things like, “You CAN’T lift your arms above your head because you WILL lose your baby!”
And I thought—Is this true? Is this not? HOW do I know?
The thing is—I also snorkeled pregnant with that very baby belly and was stung by a jelly fish AND swam with manta rays AND … and my baby came out healthy and 2 weeks late.
YET…YET I had been told simply lifting my arms above my head would cause the loss of my baby.
THEN…Then I had a second JOY! A pregnancy stick that said “YOU ARE PREGNANT!”
Woot. And then without even doing ANYTHING crazy INCLUDING lifting my hands above my head, I began to bleed and cramp and spot and had to weekly go to the doctor and watch and make sure this little baby would live.
Believe me. I was barely walking. I was barely moving. No snorkeling, mountain jumping. No stinging jelly fish or electric shocks from unexposed wires…
And I still lost our baby.
How is that possible IF I did not lift my arms above my head?
That, my friends, is because miscarriage is SILENT and UNKNOWN (for the most part) and SO many of us don’t understand it. Doctors are trying. And there is still a LONG way to go.
And because no one really knows, we share our fears. PERHAPS one woman in Poland lifted her arms above her head and lost her baby. And then the story was shared. And then the fear of what is the protection of the precious life inside of you got passed to the next mom who wanted to make sure that she would NOT do that so that she could keep her baby as safe as possible…
And then the next woman was told.
And the next.
And the next.
Until it was well known that you simply DON’T lift your arms above your head or else you will lose your baby.
This is what happens all around the world. Every culture. Every country. Every person has advice to share that seems like wisdom but, really, is wives’ tale.
Here is an article that came out today that shows what a long path we still have to travel to understand such sadness and loss: What people don’t understand about miscarriages.
So, my friends, for you that are currently going through this darkness of miscarriage, please know that you did the best you could. You tried hard. You loved hard. You fought with all of your being. And sometimes we still don’t win. But it was not—is not your fault!
My daughter was in the car with me the other day (the one that was not only stung in belly by a jelly fish but also jumped in belly off the mountain with me AND was electrocuted in belly with me while I helped build a wooden deck to a home…This same daughter is 9 years old now—yes, that means I am now 39 years old ;))…She was asking me ALL sorts of questions I didn’t want to answer yet at this crazy age. But since she was addressing them, I was responding.
One question was “Why when we prayed SO hard for our baby, did God let our baby die?”
You can’t dismiss children when they have questions, and so I began.
“Adelyne, a lot of sadness takes place in this world because we are not robots. And sometimes good things happen. And sometimes bad things happen. BUT do you want to know what GOOD things happened because God gave us our baby in our belly to begin with—even though we lost our baby too soon?”
“That baby we lost—that baby gave mommy a new light of hope. A hope that maybe one day we would ACTUALLY have another baby. A baby I had no clue I would ever have. I thought you were our only one! And because God gave us Sam (we named our baby even though we lost baby in 1st trimester), we now have Max and Jo! We have two more gifts because of Sam. TWO!”
My friends—there is no answer for the loss. Because it was not a loss we ever asked for nor wanted. But when the storms occur, how do you see the impending light?
Our lights through the storm are Max and Jo. The two that popped out 2 and 3 years after our loss of Sam.
Pregnancy is difficult enough—and then with everyone sharing the should and should nots of it—couple that with the endless reading materials—and then pair that with a mommy and daddy trying their best to incubate a baby until that miraculous due date—
When BAM! All of that is stripped away at the stop of a beating heart.
You really do suffer guilt. Shame. Loss. A sense of NO understanding. And so much more.
And that is why wives’ tales live.
Because even in today’s extremely advanced medical world, IT (miscarriage) is still being discovered.
In the meantime, we now live the rest of our lives with the wonder—What if?
What if I hadn’t lifted my hands above my head like I was told?
And even though we KNOW in our hearts we did all we could—
It will never be enough.
Because the loss of this silent but thankfully gaining ground tragedy continues to be so unknown.
And even when that day comes when we ACTUALLY scientifically know more, it still will not have made a difference for those we lost too soon.
Will it in the future?
No one knows.
“Cast all your anxiety upon him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7