It’s been a tough week. A good friend, who has struggled carrying children to full term, just went last week for an ultrasound after a positive pregnancy test and discovered that the baby’s heart wasn’t beating. They waited a few more days and went back to check again and still no beating heart, so a D&C was preformed. My heart is aching for them.
At the same time another dear friend that has been trying to conceive for some time confessed to me last week in a whisper that she was “late,” which “never happens,” but then called yesterday to say she started. More hopes dashed.
More questions that I’m unable to answer. Why? seems to be the most popular one. “What did I do wrong?”; “What more can I do?”; “Do I leave things in God’s hands, do I seek medical help, or do I just accept the fact that I was not meant to have a child?” If you’ve been there, I’m sure you could think of a few more questions too!
Here are some surprising statistics that I’ve just recently learned and thought they were worth sharing:
- Between 15 – 25% of all conceptions do not make it past the twentieth week of pregnancy!
- More lives are lost in the first twenty weeks of pregnancy than are collectively lost in the next 65 years of life! *
Isn’t that amazing? I was shocked to learn that couples have basically a 1 in 4 chance of carrying a child to full term, and yet we rarely hear about the loss of a child through miscarriages and such. Thousands of expectant moms feel their joy and expectations abruptly turn to grief, confusion, despair and even anger each year and unfortunately, couples usually experience their grief alone.
Adding to all of this, I’ve had several husbands come to me over the years and confess that they are virtually helpless in comforting their wives. Many have a hard time relating to the loss, for it hasn’t impacted them in the same way it has their wives, and the difference in the grieving process can actually drive a wedge in the marriage. That’s not surprising when you look at one example in the Bible between Hannah and Elkanah in 1 Samuel 1: 8, “ Her husband Elkanah would say to her, “Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons? ” Imagine being married to this guy!
If you haven’t read the story of Hannah and Samuel in 1 Samuel 1, I would definitely recommend you do. Here is one account of a woman longing for a child, what she did about it and how God answered. It can bring wisdom and hope as you wait on the Lord for Him to answer your own desires and even help you with your own grief.
Through the years of dealing with and trying to help others deal with the losses, I have found one thing that can help you better deal with the grief and time of waiting that I’d like to share with you next time I write.
Until then, I’d like to encourage you with these words, spoken by the One who would know best:
Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.” Luke 18:27. God also answered Sarah with a similar phrase when she questioned Him about her conceiving a child when she was well beyond child-bearing years. “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Genesis 18:14a
‘Til next time,
* Arnold L. Peterson II. M.D. P.C.