Monday, January 28, 2008

A New Form of Sorrow

My wife just miscarried. I am experiencing a form of sorrow I have never experienced before. It's been a very long time since a family member passed away, and a few years since any friend passed away, too, so of late I've been quite sheltered from the realities of the end-point of life on this Earth. Even so, I consider myself not quite ignorant of the emotional experiences that one must experience when a loved one passes away.

But this is different. This is a sorrow bred of denial. I have been denied the opportunity to know this little person, to parent him or her. Lost are the opportunities that could have been, the experiences, the potential, the joys, and the sorrows. My family's future is suddenly and irrevocably changed from what I thought it might have been.

I have an intellectual understanding that miscarriages are nature's way of bringing forth only healthy babies. The nurse at the doctor's office called the miscarried fetus "tissue", as if to de-humanize what it was. She said the miscarriage happened because of "chromosomal" reasons. I get all this, but all this clinical understanding doesn't change the fact that this was a little baby, and it still hurts to lose it.

What my wife and I have discovered, being largely ignorant on this topic, is that miscarriages are incredibly common, with perhaps up to 30% of all conceptions being terminated prematurely in this way. It seems that everybody we speak with has had this experience before -- something comforting to discover, but it is odd to find out since nobody ever really talks about it. It is clear that there is a social stigma to this discussion and families often keep it private.

It hurts. It is sad. But we want another baby, so me and my wife will try again, and risk this again. Each one of our live children was worth this risk, and any future child will be, too. We'll make it through this, together.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Roy, I feel for you guys, having gone through this several times myself. It is strange to find out how many others have suffered miscarriages as well. We will continue to pray for you guys.

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