Personhood Stories

We hope these personhood stories comfort and encourage you that you are not alone, as well as inspire and embolden you to share your story with us.

One mother, early in each of her pregnancies had a dream where she saw a naked baby (for gender ID). The babies born alive to her matched the gender in the dream she had earlier in those pregnancies. So she assumed the gender of the pregnancy-loss baby was the same as revealed to her in the baby dream. No scientific proof—just belief.

Another mother told me she realized her son loved music because every time she listened to music while pregnant with him, she could feel him dancing inside her. And her elementary-aged son does like dancing to music. Experiential proof confirming a prior belief.

One had written about the determination of her terminally-ill son to keep living long enough to be born alive.

One dreamed about seeing all of her children (living and deceased) in their proper birth order and genders (though some of the lost ones were not scientifically confirmed).

One dreamed that her son introduced himself to her and told her she never got to meet him.

One man testified about seeing a girl who said she was his daughter and offered him forgiveness for him having her aborted… Continue reading...

 

 

 

 

 

One confided hearing her son tell her that he didn’t look like the decaying body she last saw and then seeing a time-lapsed video of his development since his death until what would have been his age at that point.

One occasionally hears “Mommy” and the sound of a girl running around the house.

One occasionally dreams of a girl that is age appropriate for her loss, and she believes it’s her daughter.

One saw her little girl walking towards an angel.

Another also gets visited by an age-appropriate girl in her dreams, and she also occasionally feels her hair get pulled while she drives.

 
Reveal additional stories by clicking on “Continue reading” above.  

One admits to feeling crazy for claiming to know the gender of her son based on a dream where she’s using their chosen boy name (read What to Name Your Child).

One tells of their surviving twin always talking to someone before bedtime, and that twin relaying a dream about the one that didn’t survive (read Womb Twin Survivors).

One dreamed of a relative coming from heaven and taking her baby back up with her on the miscarriage day.

One who complained of cramps during pregnancy was visited by a boy who apologized for the pregnancy cramps and who told her he knew she loved him (read Mysteries, Miracles, and Faith).

One had a vision of Jesus holding her baby.

One claims mother’s intuition in saying she had a girl.

These brave souls admit to an unscientific, unconfirmed knowledge about their children, going beyond grieving the loss of a future with their children. When first running across them, I did not think to take note of their source and do not mean to quote them, so if you recognize your story—please, please submit your story to Miscarriage Moms For Life so that it can be properly heard. Have a similar story? We’d love to include it on our site.

 

 

 

 

 

If these stories helped you, attending our Seminar and reading our book, When Unborn Babies Speak, may bring you some additional comfort.

 

 

 

 

For those pondering whether you should bother naming the child you lost in pregnancy, Miscarriage Moms For Life heartily recommends, “Absolutely!” For those who have already decided not to bother, we ask you to prayerfully reconsider as you keep reading below.

 

 

 

 

 

Some purposes of names include: 
• Readily identifying us from the crowd. While we may ignore an occasional “Hey, you,” we almost immediately recognize our name and reflexively react to hearing it. 
• Linking us to our reputation, like a brand. When a recognized name is said, others react based on the associations they make with that name. 
• Affirming our place and position in our families. Our children are ours, even though they are not physically with us. 
• Conveying a sense of dignity, respect, and recognition as humans—being made in the image of God (read Our Babies Are Made in the Image of God).

Remember the scene from… [Attend our seminar to learn more.]

You may already be using a nickname for your child, like little bean, blueberry, little angel, or anything else. Great! Continue to say it with all the fondness you wish to convey. But giving your child a proper name denotes a level of seriousness and respect (read What to Name Your Child) that nicknames lack. It may sound like this: “We named our son in heaven David, but I like to call him my monarch butterfly because his first movements were like flutters.”

Read more of The Importance of Naming Your Child...

Naming your child validates their importance to you and their worth and dignity as a fellow human being. Naming your child tells others that this was not a clump of cells or a product of conception or less than human. Naming your child expresses that they were a real human being with a soul, that you love. Some won’t understand this. But name them anyway—for your child and for yourself.

Naming your child signals… [Attend our seminar to learn more.] 

Miscarriage Moms For Life emphasizes the importance of naming your child because God made them and loves them. Name your child because you love them and they deserve it.

What to Name Your Child

Whether the decision to name your child was a no-brainer for you or whether it was a difficult decision, Miscarriage Moms For Life both compliments and welcomes you to this discussion. Deciding on a name is a big responsibility. While family names may change due to marriage, most people don’t change their given names, so it’s a lifetime decision.

Don’t stop with a nickname. While this may be tempting, give your child a real name—a “legal” name, even if you cannot register that name with a hospital or human government.

What to Name Your Child

When deciding on a name for your child, consider… [Attend our seminar for another helpful tip.]

If you’ve already decided on a name for the child of that pregnancy, consider sticking with it. Keeping the same name may signal to others that the child that died is irreplaceable, and you will always love that child. If you are feeling undue pressure to reserve that name for a child you get to interact here on earth longer, then figure out another name that will honor the memory of the child in Heaven (read My Baby is in Heaven).

Read more of What to name your child?...
  Consider naming your child as unique and different from their siblings. Try to avoid names that seem to provoke sibling rivalry. Remember that you hope that their siblings will like to say the name of their brother or sister in heaven.

 

 

 

 

 

Give your child a name that—if given a private internment—you will not regret seeing on their grave marker or tombstone twenty years from now. That is the sobering reality for us. Even if you were not able to provide that, Miscarriage Moms For Life hopes to raise the funds to provide all pregnancy loss children with gravesite recognition (read Why Rocks), so consider choosing a name that will last longer than we will at such a site. Name them with respect, dignity, and love.

This may be a great opportunity to… [Attend our seminar for additional information.]

Consider giving your child a name with… [Attend our seminar for heartening information.]

 

Attend a Miscarriage Moms For Life seminar for more on this topic. Find more validation in reading our book, When Unborn Babies Speak.

 

Part of the outreach of Miscarriage Moms For Life hopes to help bring healing to the brokenhearted, comfort to the grieving parents, and restoration to the families of aborted children. In Luke 4:18, Jesus began to quote Isaiah 61, regarding healing heart-break, freeing captives, restoring sight, and forgiving restoration for the crushed. Isaiah 61, verses 2-4 also include comforting the mourners, providing for the grievers (lifting them out of the ashes and out of despair), restoring, and renewing so that the Lord’s splendor (glory) would be clearly seen.

Heal the Brokenhearted

There is no quick-fix to healing the heart-break of child loss. Many times what is said does more harm than good, but prayerfully not on this site. You’ll love and remember your child for the rest of your life. But perhaps with some level of healing, you may find some freedom from getting stuck in the brokenness. You will eventually find the strength to keep going on with life—even when triggers remind you of the heartbreak. Your baby deserves a memorial, a place of internment, as afforded to other humans with remains.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comfort the Grievers

We are so sorry for your loss. Your baby’s life matters, no matter how short it was. Continue reading...

You are not alone. Sharing your baby’s life with others can help, and Miscarriage Moms For Life wants to be a safe place for you to share all of the things you learned about your child that made him/her unique from others and special to you (read Personhood Stories). Did he have you eating burgers all the time? Did she keep you binging on milkshakes? Did you dream of your child’s gender? Your baby’s life deserves validation and acknowledgment of humanity.

Forgive the Crushed

Whatever your circumstances, you got an abortion. And now you realize the pain it caused. You just can’t seem to break free from the guilt and shame, even if you have repented (read Why is Repentance Necessary). That freedom is through Christ (read Eternity), and Miscarriage Moms For Life would like to extend the forgiveness to you in a tangible way. We want to offer you a place to memorialize your child with a personalized rock at a gravesite. The abortion was horrible, but Christ said “Father, forgive them,” of the ones who killed Him, and He will forgive you, too. Honor your child. Recognize his/her life as valuable. Name your child (read Importance of Naming Your Child). And forgive yourself.

Because humanity is made in the image of God, our lives matter from the point when our DNA was initially formed. When we acknowledge the lives lost and validate the grief of others, we demonstrate the compassion God has for His creation. We bring Him glory and splendor in continuing to minister to others even as Christ did. We help heal the brokenhearted and comfort the grievers. We become His ambassadors—His hands and feet—on the earth pointing to a God that loves us and wants us whole.

Our Seminar and our book, When Unborn Babies Speak, may bring you some additional comfort.

 

 

The importance of validation.

Miscarriage Moms For Life believes that there are things beyond man’s wisdom. There are things we, as humans, cannot grasp with our intellect. Unfortunately, when we experience these things and try to share them with others, we are often met with unbelief, a cold shoulder, criticism, etc. We do not get validated. The importance of our children to us does not get validated. The importance of validation can be seen by the effects of its absence.

We don’t feel validated when…
• Medical… [Attend our seminar for information on this point.] 
• Abortive… [Attend our seminar for information on this point.] 
• We are afraid of being labeled as crazy for sharing the uniqueness of our children. Some of us have learned things about our children (whether through dreams, microchimerism (read Life Affirming Microchimerism), intuition, etc.) that we would love to share (read Personhood Stories). —who doesn’t like to talk about their children? —but we are intimidated into silence by the lack of scientific ways to prove our knowledge.
• We are belittled or demeaned for grieving a child we may have only known about for a few days. That specific child—no matter how long he or she lived, is deeply loved by us and can never be replaced.

Hence, the importance of validation.

 

 

 

 

 

When we are validated...
• Instead of isolation, we feel a sense of acceptance, understanding, and belonging.
• Instead of shame, we feel heard and respected.
• Instead of worthless, we feel valued and loved.
• Instead of fear, we feel like we can trust you with our feelings, our hearts, and our souls.

Suggestions for validating us include…
• Being there for us with a nonjudgmental ear.
• Reflecting our feelings back to us in an understanding way.
• Remembering silence is golden if you are unsure what to say. But a heartfelt “I can’t imagine how you feel” or “My heart goes out to you” or similar helps.
• Genuinely weeping with us in empathy (read Importance of Funeral Rituals).

Grief can be an isolating time, and child loss is painful. Minimizing the significance or reality of our loss, perhaps because we were the only ones who experienced our child’s life, sends us the wrong message. But it helps when we believe that others do care about us and about our children. Validating their lives as important helps us in our grief process and opens up ways for us to grieve and heal in healthier ways.

 

Attend a Miscarriage Moms For Life seminar for more on this topic. Find more validation in reading our book, When Unborn Babies Speak.

 

 

 

One of the purposes of Miscarriage Moms For Life is to (as resources allow) provide memorials (at gravesites, where available) for our children who died during pregnancy and were not buried. But why do we feel that is important anyway when it seems like everyone around us is so dismissive of our losses? Because funerals acknowledge that human lives matter—regardless of how brief they were.

Some points to the Importance of Funeral Rituals

Funerals offer… [Attend our Seminar for this exclusive information.] 

Funerals memorialize the deceased.
“It has been said that every life has value and every life makes a contribution to the world. The funeral/memorial service is a testament to that truth. Everyone deserves a funeral because every life is valuable, every life deserves recognition, every life deserves that ‘pause’ in our busy day to celebrate that this person lived and contributed,” Ken Kuratko, Grief Journey Consultants, Riverside, Illinois. Sharing our memories of (and hopes and dreams for) our babies both solidifies within us and testifies to others the value—the love—we have for them.

Funerals point… [Attend our Seminar for this exclusive information.] 

Funerals offer closure.
There is a sense of resolution, of finality, in having the deceased remains respectfully handled and laid to rest. Mourners are given the opportunity to (if possible) see the body one last time and say goodbye. There are laws against desecrating human corpses, yet women who suffer miscarriages are often told to just flush the toilet. In our hearts, some of us notice this disparity and we may begin to feel like the rest of the world thinks our babies are disposable trash. . .. Unless our babies are granted the dignity of a funeral. This point hints at Rizpah’s knowing it wasn’t right for her sons not to get buried and her unrest until they were buried.

 

Funerals… [Attend our Seminar for this exclusive information.] 

Funerals invite others to support us.
“Funerals make a social statement that says, “Come support me.” (read the Importance of Validation) Whether they realize it or not, those who choose not to have a funeral are saying, “Don’t come support me.”… at funerals we are “allowed” to embrace, to touch, to comfort. Again, words are inadequate so we nonverbally demonstrate our support. This physical show of support is one of the most important healing aspects of meaningful funeral ceremonies…. Our physical presence is our most important show of support for the living. By attending the funeral we let everyone else there know that they are not alone in their grief,” Dr. Alan Wolfelt, C.T., centerforloss.com. We are encouraged to “weep with those who weep,” Romans 12:15.

These are just some of the several reasons highlighting the importance of funeral rituals. No matter the age, we love our children, and funerals are a way to express our love and gain comfort in laying them to rest. Even though many of us have been denied the opportunity to bury our children, we believe in the healing value of conducting these rituals symbolically. This is why Miscarriage Moms For Life wants to provide grieving families a way to memorialize their children—whether lost recently or 50 years ago—symbolically with a painted stone (read Why Rocks).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Another Pro-Life Site?

With all of the pro-life sites and groups—many of which do an outstanding job—why bother adding yet another site to the stack? Those other sites and groups have more experience and continue to be strong, clear voices for the unborn whose lives are threatened by chosen abortion.

So Why Another Pro-Life Site?

A central place for a specific segment of pro-life supporters.
Based on our own experiences, and based on noticing other’s experiences, Miscarriage Moms For Life came about—in part—to provide a platform for sharing stories of families whose pregnancy loss(es) and/or early infant loss(es) impacts their views of elective abortion. Some of us have claimed to be pro-life, but really weren’t active in speaking out against abortions, until our baby died. Experiencing our baby as so very human (read Personhood Stories) causes us to speak up and speak on behalf of the babies whose lives are at risk of elective abortions.

 

 

 

 

 

A perspective that needs to be shared.
One of the pro-life arguments involves asserting the personhood of babies from the point of conception. But what gives life to those assertions? Is it not in voicing our experiences with our own babies? (Volunteer Your Story) Those of us who have seen those tiny hands with tiny fingers, those feet, those perfectly-formed bodies—human bodies. Those of us who have experienced Continue reading...

the personalities of our babies—their human personalities. These experiences flesh out the reality that our babies are human persons from the point of conception.

A bridge to cross the mixed messages.
Miscarriage matters—just as much as abortion. Those of us who have suffered pregnancy- or early infant losses very painfully know the value and importance of our babies. Hearing platitudes or excuses or having our losses minimized by some in the same community who bemoans the possibility of a willfully aborted baby being the one to find a cure for cancer is a mixed message in which we hope to educate and eventually eradicate.

Miscarriage Moms For Life welcomes all pro-life voices. So why another pro-life site? Our emphasis is on the ones who can provide experiential testimony of the personhood of our human babies no matter their developmental stage or viability.

Likewise, Miscarriage Moms For Life welcomes all who have suffered pregnancy losses (miscarriages, stillbirths, etc.) and/or early infant losses. We are so sorry for your loss(es). Yet our sharing focus will be on the bereaved parents who are brave enough to testify to the (external and/or internal) humanity of their babies and on those who chose life (did not abort their “doomed” child or kept their “handicapped” child).

Miscarriage Moms For Life also realizes there are plenty of abortion survivors (women, men, family members, and a few babies) who now realize the horrors of the death sentence they had carried out on those babies. Nothing can bring back the child that was killed, but it’s not too late to honor your child and find freedom, restoration, and peace (read Why is Repentance Necessary) for yourself.

 

Related and expanded information may be found in our book, When Unborn Babies Speak, sold in print or ebook on Amazon and Amazon Smile. Please consider designating Miscarriage Moms For Life as the charity to receive funds from Amazon with each purchase made through Amazon Smile.

 

Our babies are made in the image of God.

There are clear passages in scripture indicating that we, as humans, are made in the image of God. Because of the fall of man into a sinful state, we struggle (some more than others) to live our daily lives as God’s image and likeness bearers. Yet, we are still made in God’s image.

Genesis 1:26a, 27 “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. . .. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.”

I Cor 11:7 “. . .man is the image and glory of God. . .”

The danger:

Psalm 106:20 “They exchanged the glory of God for the image of an ox that eats grass” [Hebrew-“exchanged their glory”]

Exchanging their glory resulted from worshipping idols that were shaped like an ox. Any time we worship something other than God, we are exchanging our glory for that thing. Though likely not an ox, it might be an ipad, a paycheck, a house, or any number of things.

 

 

 

 

 

Peeking into the future.

All the earth Continue reading...

shall be filled with the glory of God. Part of the glory of God is in His working in wonderous ways that baffle man’s conventional wisdom.

Isaiah 28:21a, c “For the LORD shall rise up. . .that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act.”

Isaiah 29:14 “Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.”

This is one reason why belief

…is important: the mysteries and miracles require an element of faith. (Read further about Mysteries, Miracles, and Faith.)

Another part of the glory of God is valuing life.

Our babies are made in the image of God.

Because we are made in the image of God, our offspring—our babies—are also made in the image of God.

Before we were formed, God knew us. God knit us [our parents’ half DNA’s to make our new strand of DNA] together.

The danger: Continue reading...

Destroying those made in the image of God does NOT glorify God.

Isaiah 27:11b “…for it is a people of no understanding: therefore he that made them will not have mercy on them, and he that formed them will shew them no favour.”

Isaiah 29: 16 “Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? Or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?”

We not only destroy babies—God’s image bearers—with the atrocity of abortion. We also dishonor God’s image bearers—our babies—when we

…minimize pregnancy losses and view them as anything less than our children. (Read more in The Importance of Validation.) Whether intentional or natural, baby loss deprives our world of others made in the image of God.

Learn additional concepts about the image of God in our book, When Unborn Babies Speak, found in print or ebook on Amazon or Amazon Smile. Please consider designating Miscarriage Moms For Life as the charity to receive funds from Amazon with each purchase made through Amazon Smile.

 

Why Rocks?

At the memorials from Miscarriage Moms For Life (read the Importance of Funeral Rituals), we use rocks to represent our babies whom we lost during our pregnancies. Rocks are plain and basic. Don’t our babies deserve something fancier? Something a little more aesthetically appealing? Sure, but there is a special significance to using rocks.

So Why Rocks?

Scripture says from dust we were made and to dust we will return. Dust could be challenging to personalize, and we can’t have that. But rocks are also earthy, and using rocks to symbolize our children does not have to be considered demeaning.  So why rocks? Let's take a brief look at...

what scripture says about rocks:

Psalm 18:2- The LORD is my Rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my Rock, in Whom I take refuge, my Shield and the Horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Psalm 71:3- Be my Rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my Rock and my fortress…Be my Rock of safety where I can always hide.

I Corinthians 10:4- And drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual Rock that accompanied them, and that Rock was Christ.

 

 

 

 

 

II Samuel 22:47- The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be my God, the Rock, my Savior! . . . Praise to my Rock! May God, the Rock of my salvation be exalted….

Those are examples of our Lord God being our Rock spiritually.

But what about us… [Attend our seminar for further information.]

 

 

 

 

 

…But at least now we have something tangible, something to represent our babies whom not only died but whose bodies we were not able to properly commit in a memorial service. And now we can hold their memorial service and symbolically commit them at an official memorial (or gravesite, where available).  [But don’t worry–it’s symbolic, so you can keep the rock you worked so hard to personalize.]  May this act help bring peace and comfort to your hearts.
 

Attend a Miscarriage Moms For Life seminar to memorialize your baby. Find more comfort and healing in reading our book, When Unborn Babies Speak.

 

Because of the bold fetal personhood testimonies here on Miscarriage Moms For Life (MMFL) that some pro-life groups prefer to ignore, we discovered research involving fetomaternal cell transference, or microchimerism (read Life-affirming Microchimerism), in the hopes of normalizing our testimonies. MMFL requests testimonies that highlight gestational babies as more personable—more human—believing these testimonies make it more difficult to continue justifying their murder. Notwithstanding, these bold fetal personhood testimonies raise intellectual doubts which the quotes on microchimerism below may address.

Stories of Fetomaternal Cell Transference

From Children’s cells live on in mothers:

“Way back when you and your mom shared a body, your cells mingled. Her cells slipped into your body and your cells circled back into her. This process, called fetal-maternal microchimerism, turns both mother and child into chimeras harboring little pieces of each other. . .. Microchimerism also has implications here for women who have lost pregnancies (read Personhood Stories), an extremely common situation hidden by the taboo of talking about miscarriages. Fetal cells seem to migrate early in pregnancy, meaning that even brief pregnancies may leave a cellular mark on a woman.”

 

 

 

 

 

From The influence of fetal loss on the presence of fetal cell microchimerism: A systematic review:

“Given the increased cellular transfer from fetus to mother after terminations of pregnancy . . . and the presence of fetal hematopoietic progenitor cells among the transferred cells . . ., we speculate that a fetal loss Continue reading...

may allow a higher number of fetal progenitor cells to enter the maternal circulation, and may therefore be more likely to induce long‐term engraftment. In addition, fetal progenitor cells transferred during a fetal loss are at an earlier gestational age and at an earlier stage of development than those that would enter the maternal circulation at delivery.”

From Transfer of Fetal Cells with Multilineage Potential to Maternal Tissue:

“Fetal cells are present in the maternal blood stream after any length of gestation, meaning that even if a fetus is aborted, fetal cells will still be in a woman’s bloodstream. . .. Although fetal cells are transferred to women during pregnancy, the number of cells transferred varies. . .. In the eleven control samples, with no histories of male pregnancy, the team found no male cells.”

Microchimerism or the fetomaternal cell transference may be the scientific explanation for how some mothers can make personhood claims about their gestational children here on MMFL. But whether something can be scientifically proven is not the basis for its truth. The earth was round thousands of years before science was finally able to prove it, so science did not “make” the earth round, and likely many people died believing the truth the earth is round even though they had no proof and while others were claiming the earth is flat. (See Mysteries Miracles and Faith.) But for the doubters (like me before my experience), microchimerism is presented as just one possible explanation for our experiential truth.

For more on microchimerism and pregnancy, please consider reading our book, When Unborn Babies Speak.

 

 

 

Life-affirming Microchimerism

I have things that God has shown me that I can’t explain. They’re from God. They’d line up with scripture. God is the giver of life. They’re very life affirming from the beginning. And I can’t explain them with scientific proof to my knowledge.

But there’s microchimerism, a feto-maternal cell transfer (read more in Fetomaternal Cell Transference), of some sort that takes place shortly after the new DNA is formed. It takes place and like an elite squad—think navy seals, delta force, or big guns—some cells cross into the mother’s blood system.

 

 

 

 

 

Inside the mother’s blood system, they travel to the mother’s brain. They access their mother’s—their host’s—brain. They check it out. Brain to brain communication because the control panel of the baby starts to form almost instantly. Why not? It kinda makes sense. If the DNA are the blueprints, a central command unit is a logical place to start so that those blueprints can be carried out.

Anyway, the control panel, the brain of the baby communicates with the brain of the mother, and the brain of the baby is…

Read more about microchimerism in When Unborn Babies Speak.

…need to know?

 

And I think at that point the mother that’s tuned in to her body becomes aware that something’s different. The mother that’s tuned into her body starts developing that maternal instinct. (Read examples in Personhood Stories.) But anyway, some of these are just thoughts, and science is only partially available for confirmation.

 

Fetal cells do…

Read more on this subject in When Unborn Babies Speak.

…confirm in our lifetimes. Yet this life-affirming microchimerism provides an interesting theory as to what I experienced.

This article is more fully developed in our book, When Unborn Babies Speak. To find out more, look for the book in print or ebook on Amazon or Amazon Smile, where you may designate Miscarriage Moms For Life as the charity to receive funds from Amazon with each purchase.

 

When thinking about our children we miss, many of us occasionally wonder about dating their lives. Many of us celebrate (or at least note) our birthdays, and the birthdays of others. But how should we decide on a day to remember (read The Importance of Validation) our miscarried children?

Dating Suggestions

Conception date
This could be a positive reminder of their creation—their life. But it can be rather difficult to determine, especially in a healthy marriage. If it is easy to determine (for example, conceived from rape), using this date might create an internal conflict between remembering your child and remembering what was done to you.

Death date
The death date, or “angelversary” would be either the date you learned you child had already died or the date you know your child died. Many gravesites mark a death date, so this can be to put on their rock (read Why Rocks).

Passing date
This would be the date their miscarried body passed from their Mother’s body. Sometimes we learn that our children have died but we are still carrying them (sometimes for a few weeks). In this case, it might be easier to determine a passing date, and perhaps note that.

Continue reading...
Birth date
This would be the date an older child was stillborn or the date a child was born live but did not live long after birth. Given the size difference and likelihood that others are assisting, this may be one of the easiest dates to pin down.

Due date
Whether you were able to calculate this for yourself or you had a professional tell you, the due date was something you once looked forward to. This could both be a reminder of the life you expected with them and a reminder that those plans are forever altered.

Do you have any definitive date at all? While not necessary, Miscarriage Moms For Life recommends using at least one of these dating suggestions in association with your child. Do you have more than one definitive date? Then when you are ready, consider which date you feel most comfortable with using, as this is a personal decision. If you wish, there is nothing wrong with remembering all of the dates you have. (Putting them all on the stone might make it appear crowded).

 

 

 

 

 

If your loss was very early and/or very messy/extended, you may not have any definitive date. This can be difficult if viewed as being unable to recognize your child. We encourage you to consider picking a date anyway. October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness day, so you may wish to choose that date. Though a moving target, Mother’s Day is an option, because your child—no matter how early they left you—made you a mother.

Whatever date/dates you choose, let your choice come from your heart. This is, after all, your child—your irreplaceable, unique, precious, one-of-a-kind child. A child that is made in the image of God (read Our Babies Are Made in the Image of God) and deeply loved by you, your understanding and compassionate family members, and God.

This article is recommended reading before attending our Seminar. Find more comfort in reading our book, When Unborn Babies Speak.

 

 

Involuntary Organ and Tissue Donors

News media reports on stem cell research. Scientists think the stem cells can do all sorts of healing, repairing, and restoring. Some of the stem cells being used for research are being harvested from fetal tissues. Should this be a concern?

 

 

 

 

 

The fetal tissues are no longer useful to the dead fetuses. Thousands of fetuses have been getting slaughtered, so there can be a large supply of tissue from which to experiment. And it can provide additional streams of revenue to the ones supplying the tissue.

Now I can point out this one thing. We have to volunteer to be donors. We can sign up to be an organ donor. But we have to sign up. An emblem gets put on our driver’s license when we sign up. There are blood drives where we may donate our blood. But the drives are offered as a voluntary thing. The government hasn’t mandated people donate organs or blood. We may voluntarily donate of our bodies when we are old enough to be considered as having that authority to do so. Maybe parents can sign off on their children, their minors, doing that.

Involuntary Organ and Tissue Donors

But where are the rights of Continue reading...

the preborn who are subjected to this? Those whose fetal cells are being experimented on? Not every body that dies is automatically donated to medical science. I think that’s a proactive choice. People have to sign up to be donated to medical science, to have their bodies donated to medical science.

So those babies didn’t have a chance to sign up to have their bodies donated for medical science. But that’s what’s being done. They’re not being respected. They have rights from the God who formed them. (Read Our Babies Are Made in the Image of God.) Their personhood is not being respected. Why is that [along with abortion] not yet considered to be unconstitutional and outlawed?

Maybe their mothers signed off, as the adult over the minor, on their bodies being used for medical science. Did the mothers knowingly sign off on the tissue harvesting? Or was the fact that the child’s tissues would be harvested concealed in the fine print that few people would bother to read and fewer would likely understand? Were those mothers compensated, or were just the clinics that killed the children compensated for the fetal tissues? What kind of moral ramifications are raised when compensation is brought into the equation? Would women get pregnant just to sell their baby’s body parts to medical science?

Again, all of this completely ignores that the baby is a unique person with their own thoughts, desires, and feelings about this subject (Read Personhood Stories), and who would—if we were to understand—be protesting their sacrifice for the sake of science. Might there be benefits to adults in researching stem cells? Yes. But our rights end where another’s rights begin. And our right to improve our health through stem cell research ends where the fetus’ right to life begins (which is at the point of conception).

 

 

 

Mysteries, Miracles, and Faith

Mysteries, Miracles, and Faith


Our culture thrives on knowledge. So much so that we have become uncomfortable with not knowing. A ton of information (and some misinformation) is available on the internet, newspapers, television, radio, libraries, etc. The United States has a public education system and truancy laws designed so that every child, up to a certain age, has access to an education.

What about mysteries?
We don’t like them. Remember the Scooby-Doo cartoons where the gang unravels yet another mystery by finally catching up with the “ghost” and unmasking him to discover the bad guy. Most tv programs resolve situations in less than an hour. Maybe because it just bothers our minds to have loose ends.

And how about miracles?
We discount them. Who sees…

Read more about the subject of miracles in When Unborn Babies Speak.

…did it?

Why do we need faith?
What is it about us that demands we know everything about everything—or at least about the things that we care about? Does not knowing make things less true? We have made great strides in knowledge. We can now prove that…

Read more about the importance of faith in When Unborn Babies Speak.

…about mysteries, miracles, and faith? It’s simple. Some of the stories you will find on our site are mysteries ( read Personhood Stories). Some are outright miracles (read Isaac’s Personhood Story). They may currently lack scientific, medical validation. But that does not mean they are not true. That does not mean they did not happen. On the…

Read more on this subject in When Unborn Babies Speak.

…from God.

This article is more fully developed in our book, When Unborn Babies Speak. Don’t miss out on the significant principles discussed in this book. Look for it in print or ebook on Amazon or Amazon Smile today, where you may designate Miscarriage Moms For Life as the charity to receive funds from Amazon with each purchase.

 

Book Review – A Child Is Born

[A Child Is Born, Lennart Nilsson and Lars Hamberger, September 2003, published by Bantam Dell, translated by Linda Schenk, ISBN: 978-0-385-33754-0]

 

I first stumbled across this gem in a library and later ordered a copy for myself. I value its scientific data, timelines, and pictures of various gestational developmental stages [and even hormones, seen below with the quote from page 85]. CAUTION-The first parts of A Child Is Born especially show TMI, in my opinion, yet the rest is well-worth (again in my opinion) overlooking those earlier images. Here are just a few of the many quotes I value from this book.

Page 86 “…the primitive brain begins to form…and the spinal cord starts to form. On approximately the fifteenth day in the life of the embryo, the first primitive nerve cells…are formed.” [The picture above reminds me of what was left of my son by the time I finally attempted to snap a photo of his degraded body.]

Page 97 “…the brain and the spinal cord will emit signals to all the muscles in the body. . .and information will be returned to the brain via the spinal cord. . .. This signaling system begins to operate fully when the embryo is six or seven weeks old. . .. Thus an entire nerve structure serving our senses is constructed very early in life indeed.”

Page 62 “The nuclei [from the male now inside the egg and from the female] are drawn inexorably toward each other, and when they meet, they fuse. At that moment a unique genetic code, a human embryo, is created.”

Page 65 “The new individual is a product of its parents, with some genetic material from the mother and some from the father. . .. Many people define this as the moment life begins.”

Page 85 “As early as about ten days after fertilization, the level of progesterone…in the blood rises dramatically. Many women feel this change distinctly. A woman’s breasts become tender, even more so than prior to menstruation, and some morning nausea is not unusual. Inside the womb the embryo has just been implanted in the uterine lining, entering into an intimate alliance with the mother…” [The picture above reminds me of what he allowed me to see through his eyes. Also, read Fetomaternal Cell Transference and Life Affirming Microchimerism.]

 
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Page 86 “On approximately the fifteenth day in the life of the embryo, the first primitive nerve cells, which in time will govern bodily functions and provide the spark of consciousness, are formed. Some consider this to be the point when life begins, since from these nerve cells the brain and consciousness will eventually be built. Without nerve cells there would be neither expression nor impression, and thus the emergence and death of the brain can be seen as the beginning and the end of life.”

Page 86 “At the beginning of week 5 of pregnancy, the embryo is just a few millimeters…long, and its curved body is soft and transparent. Along the length of its body runs a nerve tube, and the brain has just begun to form at the head end…”

Page 93 “The heart begins to develop when the embryo is still but a cluster of cells, and as early as its twenty-second day the newly formed heart muscle cells contract, and the heart beats for the very first time….At this stage the heart already has two chambers (ventricles) and is so large that it almost seems to be outside the rest of the body….The heartbeat of the embryo is very rapid, nearly twice that of the mother, and can easily be heard even with very simple listening devices. Heart rate is one of the most reliable ways of knowing how the fetus is faring.”

Page 96 “[At 28 days,] we see the whole vertebral column, running down from the neck to where the legs will be.” [The embryo measures 6 mm at this point.]

Page 97 “The vertebrae must not fuse—if they did, the backbone could not bend. Elastic tissue and muscles will hold the vertebrae together and gradually steady the backbone.”

Page 97 “Now we see the eyes, nose and mouth—a developing face…” [at 30 days, the embryo measures 7 mm].

Page 100 “When the embryo is about six weeks old, its appearance begins to change…it now begins to look like a miniature human being…” [at 39 days, the embryo measures 12 mm].

Page 101 [Caption header reads “Jumping for joy.”] “Even this early in pregnancy, the embryo is extremely lively, in constant motion, sleeping for only brief periods…” (Read Personhood Stories and Isaac’s Personhood Story.)

Page 101 “The embryo has…begun to move: the first “visible” motion is the rapid, steady beating of the heart, but soon small bodily movements show that nerve impulses coming from the brain are instructing muscles to contract. These begin as global motions, affecting the whole body, but gradually specific little movements take place…. This constant motion is important, stimulating normal growth and development of the muscles and joints.”

Page 103 “[As] early as seven to eight weeks after the woman’s last menstrual period, [5-6 weeks conception] the placenta produces all the necessary hormones; the ovaries are no longer needed for that purpose. Hormone production by the placenta is essential for the normal continuation of pregnancy and for the fetus to develop ‘according to plan.’”

Page 108 “When the tenth week of pregnancy begins (fifty-six days after fertilization), the embryonic stage is over. The heart has been beating for a month, and the muscles of the torso, arms, and legs have begun to exercise. All the organs are in place, although they are still small and immature and far from coordinated in their functions. The embryo, now referred to as the fetus, has passed its first test with flying colors and will go on developing until it is ready to be born.”

Page 109 “The placenta, which has spread across specific sections of the uterine lining, has taken over production of all the hormones needed to keep the fetus comfortable and developing properly. The progesterone-producing function of the ovaries is now concluded.”

 

Article Review – We Treat Babies Before They’re Born, so Why Aren’t They Protected Persons?

We treat babies before they’re born, so why aren’t they protected persons?, William Lile, January 24, 2019, as viewed at https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/ob-gyn-doctor-we-treat-babies-before-theyre-born-so-why-arent-they-protecte

This article gave me a doctor’s perspective on gestational surgeries and procedures. I was surprised at the variety of procedures that can be done on fetuses and at how young these patients are when they are receiving treatment. I hope these quotes will inspire you to read the full article.

“Using ultrasound guidance, a long, thin needle is guided through the abdominal wall of the mother, through the wall of the womb, and directly into the vein of the umbilical cord.. . . We have performed this procedure as early as 19 weeks gestation at our hospital.”

“Fetal surgery in the womb is now becoming common in centers in Boston, Philadelphia, Denver, Houston and Cleveland. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) performs over 150 fetal procedures each year. Heart surgeries on babies in the womb are being performed as early as 21 weeks gestation. Heart valve surgery and atrial septal interventions are being performed on fetal hearts the size of a large grape. Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston is now performing laparoscopic corrective spina bifida surgery before 23 weeks gestation.”

“This is a key concept: the baby in the womb is a patient.”
 
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“. . . If we are performing heart surgery, spine surgery and giving blood transfusions to the pre-born while still in the womb, they are patients. And if they are patients, they have a ‘moral right to bodily integrity.’ Abortion deprives a patient of their ‘moral right to bodily integrity.’” [Read Involuntary Organ and Tissue Donors.]

“The babies in the womb are clearly patients. If they are patients, they are persons, and if they are persons, they deserve our protection.” Read The Importance of Validation and Book Review_Miscarriage Women Sharing From The Heart.]

“I like to say that ‘a patient is a person, no matter how small.’”

“In the Roe vs Wade majority opinion written by Justice Harry Blackmun, he stated that if ‘personhood is established, the case for a constitutional right to abortion collapses, for the fetus’ right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the (Fourteenth) Amendment.’ The Pre-Born are clearly patients, and if they are patients they are persons, and if they are persons, we have a moral and Constitutional duty to protect them.”

 

Article Review – Answering the Pain Deniers

[http://www.doctorsonfetalpain.com/answering-the-pain-deniers/]

Answering the Pain Deniers is an online article which includes several endnotes of research documenting the answers provided to debunk three claims made by those who do not want to recognize a fetus’ ability to feel pain any earlier than they can elude. The responses are good summaries of the research, yet I found reading the quotes from the research to be better than the summaries. Here are some of my favorite quotes [with additional notes from me in brackets] from the article (but without their additional references included in that article), which I recommend you read for yourself, even though I still hold the experiential truth that babies can feel the pain of their deaths at less than eight weeks after being conceived. [Read Isaac’s Personhood Story and My Baby is in Heaven.]

Response to Claim 1 “. . .there is substantial medical evidence that in the brain it is the thalamus, rather than the cerebral cortex, that is principally responsible for pain perception. . .”

Response to Claim 2 “. . .fetal surgeons have found it necessary to sedate the unborn child with anesthesia to prevent the unborn child from thrashing about in reaction to invasive surgery. . .” [Read Article Review_The First Ache.]

Response to Claim 3 “. . .the claim of such consensus [that the unborn child does not experience pain until the third trimester] is based on publications by abortion practitioners and advocates, not independent and objective scientific sources, while it ignores substantial medical evidence to the contrary. . .. these sources were produced by strong abortion advocates – indeed, by abortion practictioners.”

Endnote 2 “’Movement of the fetus in response to external stimuli occurs as early as 8 weeks gestation [6 weeks post-conception] . . .’” [Read Book Review_A Child Is Born.]

Endnote 2 “’The earliest reactions to painful stimuli motor reflexes can be detected at 7.5 weeks of gestation [5.5 weeks post-conception] (Table 2).’”
 
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Endnote 3 “’Invasive fetal procedures clearly elicit a stress response…’”

Endnote 3 “’Fetal stress in response to painful stimuli is shown by increased cortisol and β-endorphin concentrations, and vigorous movements and breathing efforts.. . . There is no correlation between maternal and fetal norepinephrine levels, suggesting a lack of placental transfer of norepinephrine…’”

Endnote 4 “’Although we do not know exactly when the fetus can experience pain, noxious stimulation during fetal life causes a stress response, which could have both short- and long-term adverse effects on the developing central nervous system.’”

Endnote 4 “’This nociceptive stimulation of the fetus also has the potential for longer-term effects, so there is a need for fetal analgesic treatment.’”

Endnote 4 “’It is becoming increasingly clear that experiences of pain will be ‘remembered’ by the developing nervous system, perhaps for the entire life of the individual.. . . These findings should focus the attention of clinicians on the long-term impact of early painful experiences, and highlight the urgent need for developing therapeutic strategies for the management of neonatal and fetal pain.’”

Endnote 5 “’. . .the stress response to noxious stimulation is clear evidence that the fetal nervous system is reactive. Administration of fetal anesthesia has been the standard practice since the inception of fetal surgery more than 25 years ago, and it is practiced worldwide. The importance of fetal immobility, cardiovascular homeostasis, analgesia, and perhaps, amnesia have always been emphasized in fetal surgery practice.’”

Endnote 5 “’ The anaesthesiologist is required to provide both maternal and fetal anaesthesia and analgesia while ensuring both maternal and fetal haemodynamic stability…Since substantial evidence exists demonstrating the ability of the second trimester fetus to mount a neuroendrocrine response to noxious stimuli…fetal pain management must be considered in every case.’. . . ‘A substantial amount of. . .research demonstrated that the fetus is able to mount a substantial neuroendocrine response to noxious stimuli as early as the second trimester of pregnancy. Fetal neuroanatomical development further substantiates this research. Evidence also exists that suggests that these responses to noxious stimuli may, in fact, alter the response to subsequent noxious stimuli long after the initial insult. This is the rationale behind providing fetal anaesthesia and analgesia whenever surgical intervention is thought to potentially provide a noxious insult to the fetus.’”

Endnote 5 “’Despite ongoing debate regarding fetal capacity for pain perception, fetal anesthesia and analgesia are warranted for fetal surgical procedures.’”

Endnote 6 “’The evidence and functional arguments reviewed in this article are not easily reconciled with an exclusive identification of the cerebral cortex as the medium of conscious function… The tacit consensus concerning the cerebral cortex as the “organ of consciousness” would thus have been reached prematurely, and may in fact be seriously in error.’”

Endnote 7 “’Indeed, there is evidence that hydranencephanic children responds to painful and pleasurable stimuli in a coordinated manner similar to other children.11’”

Endnote 7 “’ My impression from this first-hand exposure to children with hydranencephaly confirms. . . .[T]hese children are not only awake and often alert, but show responsiveness to their surroundings in the form of emotions or orienting reactions to environmental events… They express pleasure by smiling and laughter, and aversion by “fussing,” arching of the back and crying (in many gradations), their faces being animated by these emotional states.’”

Endnote 8 “’ Penfield and Jasper note that cortical removal even as radical as hemispherectomy does not deprive a patient of consciousness, but rather of certain forms of information, discrimination capacities, or abilities, but not of consciousness itself… What impressed Penfield and Jasper was the extent to which the cerebral cortex could be subjected to acute insult without producing so much as an interruption in the continuity of consciousness. Their opinion in this regard bears some weight, in that their magnum opus of 1954 – Epilepsy and the Functional Anatomy of the Human Brain – summarizes and evaluates experience with 750 such operations.’”

Endnote 8 “It seems that consciousness can persist even when great quantities of the cortex are absent.’”

Endnote 9 “’Newborn infants show strong pain behaviour, but the study of the development of nociceptive pathways shows that their pain involves functional signaling pathways that are not found in the mature nervous system in healthy individuals.’”

Endnote 9 “’Clinical and animal research shows that the fetus or neonate is not a “little adult,” that the structures used for pain processing in early development are unique and different from those of adults, and that many of these fetal structures and mechanisms are not maintained beyond specific periods of early development. The immature pain system thus uses the neural elements available during each stage of development to carry out its signaling role.’”

Endnote 9 ‘”[P]ain perception during fetal and neonatal development does not necessarily involve the same structures involved in pain processing as those in adults, meaning that the lack of development of certain connections is not sufficient to support the argument that fetuses can not feel pain until late gestation.. . . Some say even that the structures used for pain processing in the fetus are completely different from those used by adults and that many of these structures are not maintained beyond specific periods of early development.. . .’”

 

Article Review – Womb Twin Survivors

 

  

 

 
 

Womb Twin Survivors https://www.wombtwin.com/stories/4578414101

I read this article after seeing the website referenced on the blurb for Untwinned: Perspectives on the Death of a Twin Before Birth by Althea Hayton. When I read the stories from the survivors, I knew I had to share this, as it testifies to our prenatal experiences. [Read Life Affirming Microchimerism and Fetomaternal Cell Transference.]

Though my experiences are from a different angle—and I do not directly relate to theirs—my heart reaches out to them, and I hope that they may find healing (and additional validation from our book and other material from Miscarriage Moms For Life). If some of my favorite quotes below piques your interest, I encourage you to read the full stories of the womb twin survivors, and, if this affects you, consider using our services to help memorialize your lost sibling.

“…I don’t really remember HOW I found out about my womb twin, but I know it was a young age. … I really have always felt like I was missing something. … My twin is a part of me …. I have a twin, a sister, her name would have been Allison….”

“I always…knew I was a twin. …I told people I had an unborn brother. …He was real. …my mom said he was “lost” after 9 weeks of pregnancy …. I keep dreaming about him….”

Click to continue reading more affirming stories...

“…I always felt I should have had a twin brother. …when I was born, the midwife said that there had been two babies conceived but that only one had survived. … deep down I feel a loss which I have never been able to fulfil. … I know this feeling of loss is the absence of my twin. …”

“My twin Bruce died at birth and I was always searching for something as a small child. …I probably was looking for him.…I’ve always missed him, especially on our birthday. Losing a twin is like losing a part of me…”

“…I was a twin, but the twin had died a week before I was born. …My mom also told me that when I was a kid I always use to beg for a twin and or a brother (my twin was a brother and I was 2 seconds older.) …”

“My favorite childhood fantasy was finding out I had a twin. …My mother thought she had miscarried me at around 12 weeks when she experienced cramping and bleeding. …I feel the loss of her every day. How that is possible when I was only a tiny embryo at the time I don’t know. I just know the feeling of loss and endless curiosity is real.”

“My brother was stillborn at 2 lbs and I was 2.5 lbs, born at the same time 2 months premature.…I would like to name my brother and to find out what I have missed. …Thanks for giving me this opportunity to find out I am not weird.”

“I had an identical twin sister in the womb, but…she died approximately 3 months before we were due to be born. … throughout my childhood I had an imaginary friend whom I pretended was my “twin sister…. she has no name, though my mother once told me I could give her a name if I wanted. …”

“I found out my twin was stillborn. …I always felt my twin was a girl …. I felt my mother had given me two names hyphenated because my twin was a girl…”

“When I was younger, I always wanted a brother and it was something I would beg my parents for….my mum told me I was a twin but he died before being born. …Sometimes when I was younger I used to dream that there was a boy with a cloud like thing around him and he would comfort me. … He would have been called Niall or Connor….”

“I…have always felt incomplete. …I…asked my mother about the time around my birth. She confessed she been forced to abort and realised she was pregnant soon after. I asked her…if there was any chance I may have been a twin. She turned pale and asked me, “Why do you say that?” She had thought this too, but had given up on the notion. I wonder if in fact I had a womb twin that was killed and I survived somehow….”

“My identical twin sister was stillborn. I have always known I am a twin….”

And, from another page [Families] on their site:“The science of pre-birth psychology is now well-established and we can be sure that our time in the womb does much to shape our personality in born life. Womb twin survivors are a particularly interesting case in point.”

Our Seminar and our book, When Unborn Babies Speak, may bring you some additional comfort.

 

Article Review – The First Ache

The First Ache by Annie Murphy Paul on 2/10/2008, Discussed here: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/10/magazine/10Fetal-t.html

This article was shared with me on Facebook by a poster who had researched more into the topic of fetal pain. It is one thing to experience something for oneself and declare it to be true in spite of the naysayers. It is another thing to begin to realize that there are others out there who are beginning to discover these truths scientifically. The First Ache is not totally one-sided, but it is (somewhat) reassuring to begin receiving scientific validation for what we experience. In the hopes of encouraging you to read the article for yourself, here are some of my favorite quotes:

“Merker included his observations of these children in an article, published last year in the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences, proposing that the brain stem is capable of supporting a preliminary kind of awareness on its own. ‘The tacit consensus concerning the cerebral cortex as the “organ of consciousness,”’ Merker wrote, may ‘have been reached prematurely, and may in fact be seriously in error.’”

“The possibility of consciousness without a cortex may also influence our opinion of what a fetus can feel. Like the subplate zone, the brain stem is active in the fetus far earlier than the cerebral cortex is, and if it can support consciousness, it can support the experience of pain. … Anand praises Merker’s work as a “missing link” that could complete the case for fetal pain.” [Read Book Review_A Child Is Born.]

Preterm infants in NICU returning from operations “came back in terrible shape: their skin was gray, their breathing shallow, their pulses weak. Anand spent hours stabilizing their vital signs, increasing their oxygen supply and administering insulin to balance their blood sugar. . .. ‘That’s when I discovered that the babies were not getting anesthesia,’ he recalled recently. Infants undergoing major surgery were receiving only a paralytic to keep them still. . .. Doctors were convinced that newborns’ nervous systems were too immature to sense pain, and that the dangers of anesthesia exceeded any potential benefits.”

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“In a series of clinical trials, he demonstrated that operations performed under minimal or no anesthesia produced a “massive stress response” in newborn babies, releasing a flood of fight-or-flight hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Potent anesthesia, he found, could significantly reduce this reaction. Babies who were put under during an operation had lower stress-hormone levels, more stable breathing and blood-sugar readings and fewer postoperative complications. Anesthesia even made them more likely to survive. Anand showed that when pain relief was provided during and after heart operations on newborns, the mortality rate dropped from around 25 percent to less than 10 percent. These were extraordinary results, and they helped change the way medicine is practiced. Today, adequate pain relief for even the youngest infants is the standard of care. . .”

“Recent research. . .. It shows that pain may leave a lasting, even lifelong, imprint on the developing nervous system. . .. Infants, and perhaps fetuses, may do something different with pain: some research suggests they take it into their bodies, making it part of their fast-branching neural networks, part of their flesh and blood.”

“In a study of 87 baby boys, Taddio found that those who had been circumcised soon after birth reacted more strongly and cried for longer than uncircumcised boys when they received a vaccination shot four to six months later. Among the circumcised boys, those who had received an analgesic cream at the time of the surgery cried less while getting the immunization than those circumcised without pain relief.”

“Early encounters with pain may alter the threshold at which pain is felt later on, making a child hypersensitive to pain — or, alternatively, dangerously indifferent to it. Lasting effects might also include emotional and behavioral problems like anxiety and depression, even learning disabilities (though these findings are far more tentative).”

“But research. . .showed that fetuses as young as 18 weeks react to an invasive procedure with a spike in stress hormones and a shunting of blood flow toward the brain — a strategy, also seen in infants and adults, to protect a vital organ from threat. . .. He selected 45 fetuses that required a potentially painful blood transfusion, giving one-third of them an injection of the potent painkiller fentanyl. As with Anand’s experiments, the results were striking: in fetuses that received the analgesic, the production of stress hormones was halved, and the pattern of blood flow remained normal.” [Read Article Review_We Treat Babies Before They’re Born.]

“When the surgeon lowered his scalpel to the 25-week-old fetus, Paschall saw the tiny figure recoil in what looked to him like pain. . .. ‘I don’t care how primitive the reaction is, it’s still a human reaction,’ Paschall says. ‘And I don’t believe it’s right. I don’t want them to feel pain.’” [Read Article Review_Answering the Pain Deniers.]

“The fetus’s undeveloped state, in other words, may not preclude it from feeling pain. In fact, its immature physiology may well make it more sensitive to pain, not less: the body’s mechanisms for inhibiting pain and making it more bearable do not become active until after birth.” [Read My Baby is in Heaven.]

“The capacity to feel pain has often been put forth as proof of a common humanity. Think of Shylock’s monologue in ‘The Merchant of Venice’: Are not Jews ‘hurt with the same weapons’ as Christians, he demands. ‘If you prick us, do we not bleed?’ Likewise, a presumed insensitivity to pain has been used to exclude some from humanity’s privileges and protections.”

It is also interesting to note that a reader’s comment to this article shared a personhood experience the mother, W. S., had with her child: “As a mother, I was disappointed to read that “the starts and kicks felt by a pregnant woman” are mere reflexes, according to David Mellor. Doesn’t he realize that babies in the womb sometimes play with their mothers? Mother pokes baby, baby kicks back. Mother pokes twice, baby kicks twice….” [Read more Personhood Stories.]

 
 

Book Review – Miscarriage Women Sharing From The Heart

[Miscarriage, Women Sharing From The Heart, Marie Allen, PhD and Shelly Marks, MS, 1993 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.]

Miscarriage Women Sharing From The Heart

While some parts of this book may be difficult to read, I feel it is a worthwhile purchase. Here are some quotes I found validating, and I encourage you to read them in context.

Page 13, “A woman. . .exists in a deep and intimate state of symbiosis with the baby in her womb. They are fused. Her baby is, quite literally, a part of her mentally, physically, and emotionally. This point is crucial toward understanding a woman who… [loses a child during pregnancy].”

Page 62, “’I was so aware of his presence, his soul. He was so there. When he died, it went away. I have searched and longed for that again. I miss him. It’s difficult to describe. . .. It’s a hopeless longing.’”

Page 67, “’One day I was pregnant; the next day I was not. I felt strange, sad, empty, and lonely. Nobody had forewarned me about the lonely, empty feeling. I had been pregnant. I had this life inside of me. I knew I had a baby. But the next day—there was no baby. My child had died. I knew I lost a whole child. . .. Well I didn’t care what stage she was in. I lost a whole entire child! It was as big a loss as if she had been born. But nobody acknowledged that. There was no validity to my pain.’” [Read The Importance of Validation.]

Page 70, “’ The baby was a gift from God that was just snatched away from me. It was knowing that I lost my baby. I had related to that child immediately. I was bonded with it.’”

Page 47, “’It is the death of a child. You have a more intimate closeness with a baby than you do with any other being. This was my child, and it died. I tell people now, “I lost my only child.” It is the death of hopes and dreams and of a collective future. It’s the same thing as losing a living child fully grown and developed. A lot of people look at miscarriage and say there was no personality there, no physical child that cooed and talked back and smiled and cried. But for you these things are very real.’” [Read Personhood Stories.]

Page 53, “’I had this life inside of me. It was the closest person in the world to me. It was a really warm feeling. Then all of a sudden, it was taken from me. I felt so empty and lonely. Nothing could take its place. . .. I deeply felt that baby’s absence. My body was all by itself again. I felt a great yearning. There was this great hole in my life. I was empty and gaping.’” [Read My Baby is in Heaven.]

Page 56, “’There is this person you knew, but no one else knew. To others, it didn’t exist. To you, it was very real.’”

 
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Page 57, “’I felt I had lost my child, and people couldn’t understand that because my child was not tangible [to them] . . .’”

Pages 115-116, “’…we found out that we had a new baby brother or sister on the way…. the new baby that Terese and Jordan had always wanted. We all loved our baby deeply and immediately. I had a dream which indicated the sex of our child. I knew he was a boy….’” [She miscarried at 10 weeks, and the following week, her son’s teacher told her that he started acting out at school.] “’That night I put him on my lap. I said, “Rose told me you’re having a very hard time at school.” He very genuinely shrugged his shoulders. I said gently, “I wonder if you’re feeling sad about our baby,” and he opened his mouth wide, and he wailed for an hour and a half. The first words he could utter were, “I didn’t even get a chance to change his diapers!”

Pages 81-82, “’I talked to my baby all the time. I told the baby often that I loved him. . .and that we would do our best to be good parents. I felt like I had a really good relationship with my baby. . .. On an emotional, intuitive level I think he was a boy. After the miscarriage we named him Michael. It seemed the right thing to do…. I have “felt” him, his shape, his touch, his feel.’”

Page 145, “’I knew it was a real baby! That baby had a name! That baby was a girl! . . .We had talked to her, and we called her by name. She was Rebecca.’”

Pages 193-194, “’. . .I awakened from a powerful dream which told me of the presence of a new baby son. In the dream, he looked fat, healthy, and about three months old, and he was naked and lying on his back with his feet in the air. I had had the same kind of dream (of a baby girl) when I was first pregnant. . .eight-and-a-half years before. These two dreams felt very different from my regular dreams, in that these felt utterly real….
‘When I am pregnant, I have an acute sense of a tiny, powerful presence in me. I feel deeply blessed. I feel like my baby and I are in a private little fort together, and no one knows we’re there but the two of us….
‘Because I was on birth control, this seemed to be a miraculous conception. God simply vetoed the birth control. Nobody could argue with “The Ultimate Authority” about whether or not this baby was supposed to be here. It was fate. And I was elated!…
‘I felt joy and great love in my heart at the thought of this little boy of mine…’”

Pages 73-74, “When women were asked to complete the sentence, ‘Having a miscarriage is like…,’ their responses were dramatic…. [responses below] ‘…losing a part of your soul, having it taken away from you and never being able to get it back….’
‘…having a very important promise broken without explanation, like a betrayal. It’s not the way we were told it would be….’
‘…having your body torn in two. It’s a pain you don’t think you’ll live through.’
‘…there is nothing else to compare it to. It’s losing a child….’
‘…losing a part of yourself. It’s losing something alive and made out of love that was growing inside of you.’
‘…nothing I’ve ever known before. It’s a very lonely feeling. It’s like giving death. When you give life, everyone is there to cheer you on. But when you give death, you do it alone.’”

Page 71, “The greatest difficulty described by many women was the lack of empathy from those around them and the loneliness that resulted from it:
‘I didn’t get any sympathy. I had no one to say, “I’m really sorry.” I didn’t matter to anyone. People didn’t care—not even my family. It was no big deal to them. It was nothing. It was like it was null and void, and life continued to go on. There was not enough pause. I started building that wall around me.’
‘I was not supported. It was all dealt with so matter-of-factly, like a surgery, not like I had really lost babies. It was treated more like an appendectomy. The most difficult aspect of it all was the loneliness. The real, real loneliness.’”

Page 87, “Because of the great discrepancy between what we experience when we miscarry and what society understands about what we experience, our social systems do not provide the compassion and support we need in order to work through our grief.”

Pages 88-89, “’He thinks I should be over it. He says, “Please don’t cry. Don’t fall apart.” I feel like an emotional basket case.’
‘Sometimes I cry during the night. One night he said, “Are you still rehashing this? Stop thinking about it and just go to sleep.”’
‘It was nice to learn that we could support each other. But then he decided I should get over it.’”

Page 110, “’After the second loss, my husband and I had a terrible, terrible exchange…. [He] said, “It’s just as well you lost the baby because you never would have loved it as much as you loved the first.” That statement did something terrible to my feelings. Something else died besides unborn children. It was the most devastating thing anybody ever said to me. He couldn’t get the idea that these babies weren’t interchangeable. I have a very strong sense of that. They were separate. They were different. Each was a soul. Something in me just got completely crushed.’”

Page 47, “The loss of a child is the loss of a child, regardless of the cause.”

Page 121, “’…You have to hide your feelings about pregnant women and their babies. It’s hard. Not that you don’t want them to have beautiful children; you just feel so empty.’”

Page 117, “People who invited the women to talk or who simply listened without judgment, belittlement of the loss, or pointing to ‘the brighter side’ were helpful. When others acknowledged the women’s…losses and responded with compassion and acceptance, relationships felt healing and were remembered with deep appreciation… ‘One woman put her arms around me and said, “This is really hard for you. You’ve lost a child. When you want to talk, I’m here.” It helped when other people acknowledged that a child was lost, said they were sorry, could stand it if I cried, or listened…. People who were supportive then have always remained special to me.’”