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).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.”

 

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.’”

 

 

Book Review – A Grief Observed

[A Grief Observed, C.S. Lewis, 1961 by C.S. Lewis Pte Limited, published by HarperCollins Publishers, ISBN 978-0-06-065238-8]

 

 

 

 

 

Though (mostly) not dealing specifically with child or pregnancy loss, there were some quotes that, after hearing them on audio, drove me to read the book, A Grief Observed, for myself. I encourage you to consider the same. Humor and pardon me as I personalized some of the quotes [with changes made in brackets].

Page 47, “It’s not true that I’m always thinking of [him]. Work and conversation make that impossible. But the times when I’m not are perhaps my worst. For then, though I have forgotten the reason, there is spread over everything a vague sense of wrongness, of something amiss…. the atmosphere, the taste of the whole thing is deadly…. What’s wrong with the world to make it so flat, shabby, worn-out looking? Then I remember.”

Pages 72-73, “…summoned me into a past kind of happiness, my pre-[pregnancy]. happiness. But the invitation seemed to me horrible. The happiness into which it invited me was insipid. I find that I don’t want to go back again and be happy in that way. It frightens me to think that a mere going back should even be possible. For this fate would seem to me the worst of all; to reach a state in which my . . . love . . . should appear in retrospect a charming episode—like a holiday—that had briefly interrupted my interminable life and returned me to normal, unchanged. And then it would come to seem unreal—something so foreign to the usual texture of my history that I could almost believe it had happened to someone else. Thus [he] would die to me a second time; a worse bereavement than the first. Anything but that.”

Page 28, “I have no photograph of… [him] that’s any good…. But…[his] voice is still vivid. The remembered voice—that can turn me at any moment to a whimpering child.” [Read Isaac’s Personhood Story]

 
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Pages 77-78, “It doesn’t matter that all the photographs of…[him] are bad. It doesn’t matter—not much—if my memory of. . .[him] is imperfect. Images, whether on paper or in the mind, are not important for themselves. Merely links….is it not in some ways an advantage—that it can’t pretend the least resemblance to that which it unites me?
I need Christ, not something [the bread and wine of communion] that resembles Him. I want…[him], not something that is like…[him]. A really good photograph might become in the end a snare, a horror, and an obstacle.
Images, I must suppose, have their use or they would not have been so popular. (It makes little difference whether they are pictures and statues outside the mind or imaginative constructions within it.) . . .
And this, not any image or memory, is what we are to love still, after. . .[he] is dead.”

Pages 38-39, “And poor C. quotes to me ‘Do not mourn like those that have no hope.’ It astonishes me, the way we are invited to apply to ourselves words so obviously addressed to our betters. What St. Paul says can comfort only those who love God better than the dead, and the dead better than themselves. If a mother is mourning not for what she has lost but for what her dead child has lost, it is a comfort to believe that the child has not lost the end for which it was created. And it is a comfort to believe that she herself, in losing her chief or only natural happiness, has not lost a greater thing, that she may still hope to ‘glorify God and enjoy Him forever.’ A comfort to the God-aimed, eternal spirit within her. But not to her motherhood. The specifically maternal happiness must be written off. Never, in any place or time, will she have her son on her knees, or bath him, or tell him a story, or plan for his future, or see her grandchild.” [Read The Importance of Validation]

And, to personalize from A Grief Observed this last sentiment so eloquently expressed in grief over child loss: “[My] specifically maternal happiness must be written off. Never…will [I] have [my] son on [my] knees, or bathe him, or tell him a story, or plan for his future, or see [my] grandchild.”