Miscarriage: your story
To mark Baby Loss Awareness Week, we want to give a voice to women who have experienced miscarriage. We are so touched that eight women came forward to share their hearts with us and it is an honor to share their story. Please keep Margaret, Mari, Alexandria, Lacey, Annie, Dara, Jen, Anne and their families in your prayers. We pray that if you have experienced miscarriage yourself, you will read this and know that you are not alone in your grief. It is also our hope that those of you who haven’t walked this path before will find this a helpful guide in preparing you to comfort and support any friends or family members carrying this cross.
Did you name the child(ren) that you carried?
Anne: We chose the name Faustina because we miscarried on Divine Mercy weekend and because one of my Lenten practices had been praying the chaplet daily for my marriage and family. I grew a strong devotion to the Divine Mercy and really feel these things happening together are no coincidence. I don’t know yet what God is trying to tell me through this, but it is so clear to me that it is in His hands.
Alexandria: We named our baby Francis Kolbe. We lost our baby at 7.5 weeks, so we don’t know if our baby was a boy or a girl and we wanted a name that could work for either. Francis is my husband’s confirmation name and St. Maximilian Kolbe holds a special place in our hearts as one of the Polish Saints (I’m 100% Polish and my husband has Polish heritage as well). Several months after the miscarriage, we realized that the name of the man St. Maximilian Kolbe saved by offering to die in his place was Franciszek, which is the Polish version of Francis. My husband and I believe that God was sending us a signal grace to let us know that we chose the perfect name for our little one.
Dara: We named our babies Anne, Jude and Joseph.
Mari: We called our 4th baby Abraham.
Jen: We are still in the process of naming our 4 babies.
Annie: We simply call them our saints.
What do you do to honor the memory of your child(ren)?
Anne: My husband bought me a “Tiny Saint” Faustina, to honor our tiny saint. I’ve attached it to my rosary so I have it with me always.
Alexandria: We pray for our Francis Kolbe’s intercession every night when we pray as a family. We will remember him or her in a special way on All Souls’ Day, visiting their grave and remembering their short but impactful life.
Mari: I light candles for them. I share my experiences and support other women.
Margaret: I have a box of ultrasound photos, pregnancy tests and letters that I wrote to my baby.
Lacey: I pray for my baby almost daily. June was my due date and honestly, I just thought mostly about how I should be bringing my baby home. My husband and I have discussed doing something in the future.
Annie: A close friend of mine who has walked the journey before me bought me a necklace that I wear daily: one charm has 3 marigolds stamped into it for the 3 children we lost and one has a single rose stamped into it for the children we hope for in the future. I also have a print with 3 rose buds that an artist made for us for our lost babies and I continue to have them remembered by having Masses said, candles lit, and the project Danielle Rose is working on.
Dara: We buried two of our children in our local Catholic cemetery and had a funeral service with our pastor. I have jewelry with their names and we pray for them by name each night.
Jen: I am in the process of naming our babies, at the recommendation of my psychologist. With our first loss, we had a private ceremony and burial at the baby crypt at our local Catholic cemetery with our priest.
How did this experience impact your faith?
Lacey: I spent a lot of time angry with God. I even went to confession because I was just so mad. That’s when the priest told me that even anger is a form of prayer and God will never abandon me. Just hearing that, when all I was doing was pushing God away, changed my entire mindset and I started leaning more into my faith. I have since learned to trust His plan for me and tried to focus on the bigger picture when I can.
Jen: It has definitely tested my faith but I have tried to keep my faith strong through novenas, praying rosary early every day with the @manyhailmarysatatime group in Instagram, and now a new daily devotional book.
Alexandria: I think it would be easy for this experience to test anybody’s faith and although it has been a trial for me, no doubt, it has also pushed me to rely more deeply on God and to surrender as best I can to Him and His holy will.
Annie: It actually tested it but then made it stronger. I’ve focused on the stories in the Bible of women who lost babies or struggled with infertility, and realizing how many of them there are (especially in the Old Testament) helped me realize there are generations of women who have been in my shoes and felt the same way. Turning to scripture was grounding for me and gave me the resources to reignite my faith. Discovering Our Lady of La Leche has been powerful. For so long I thought she was just for mothers who had living children but she is also for mothers who have lost children and those who desire children. Being able to pray at her shrine with my husband, have candles lit and Masses said has been incredibly life-giving.
Margaret: It made my faith stronger.
Mari: I have found my relationship with God.
Dara: It has been challenging but God never promised us that this world would be easy. We are called to share in Christ’s suffering so that one day we can get to heaven. My faith helps me because I believe that I will see my 3 babies again!
Anne: It has definitely helped me grow in prayer and trust, although there have been many times when I’ve faltered in both.