A positive pregnancy test?
The positive results of a pregnancy test can bring surprise, joy, anxiety, and fear. For some women, their pregnancy catches them by surprise. Some women have longed for a child and finally are one step closer to their dream. They excitedly do the calculations to determine when this child will enter the world. At that moment, this child is real and they are beginning to prepare.
Yet, for many women there is hesitation. Not because they don’t want a child, but because they know how easy it is to miscarry and lose this baby. Pregnancy fears are a serious burden. Somewhere around 15% to 20% of women will lose their babies to miscarriage. Often times without the other members of their church congregations knowing the pain and suffering that they are going through.
When do women usually announce that they are pregnant? Usually, it is around 10 to 12 weeks, when the threat of miscarriage decreases. This is the timing that seems to be the most popular in our culture.
Why do women wait to announce? Often, they wait because of the threat of miscarriage. They are nervous and anxious. We guard our hearts against too much planning and wondering in case we lose the baby. We don’t share to save ourselves from the awkwardness and hurt of explaining to others again and again if we do lose the baby.
Can we really guard our hearts? Should we? Moms know that it is a baby that they are carrying inside themselves. The baby’s heartbeat has begun by five weeks with the initial formation of its circulatory system. By the sixth week, the baby’s little nose, ears, and mouth are starting to emerge and take shape. At nine weeks, there are tiny earlobes!
At ten weeks, there is no doubt that this is a tiny human with fingers and toes. Its little nails are even starting to develop. At yet even at this point, we might wait to announce!
Dear Christian, let us not follow the ways of the world.
Let us proudly proclaim life and announce early!
- If you believe that life begins at conception, then proclaim it! The willful blindness to the scientific evidence of life prevalent in the world, should not silence Christians from proclaiming life loudly. By announcing early, we are blessed with more opportunities to proclaim that this is a baby not a mass of cells.
- Share the joy! Life is wonderful and precious. In this dark world, we need to proclaim the joy of new life and the wonder of God’s miraculous gift. Are we to take a light and hide it under a bushel? No. So, why then do we hide a blessing from God because we are afraid that the blessing might be taken away from us?
- Share the news so that others can pray for you. The anxiety and worry of those first few weeks are real. For some, it is every week through birth that the anxiety and worry about miscarriage is ever-present. Why deny yourself the blessing of prayers?
- Share the news so that if the baby dies, you will have others to share in your grief. Why force yourself to grieve alone? Share your news and hope for the best. If the worst happens, then you have a community to support you. Your miscarriage pain will still be there regardless of whether or not you share. There is great comfort in others knowing your pain and being able to comfort you in this time.
- Share the news, even if you do lose your child because your child is real and they deserve the recognition of their life. Don’t believe the lie of the world that your baby is just a mass of cells. Celebrate the time you had with your baby. Celebrate their short life. You will always remember them, honor them now.
- Share the news and serve other women. Our silence prevents us from receiving the support of our communities. Our silence also prevents witnessing to other women. We know that miscarriages happen, we don’t have to suffer in silence. Let us create an open culture that allows women to come forward earlier and receive the support of their community.
How can the Church offer comfort for miscarriage and hope for life?
Dear Church, church leaders, and pastors –
The silence and waffling of the church on abortion has a profound impact on how it ministers to women who have had miscarriages. When the church is silent on abortion, it is usually silent on miscarriage as well.
The culture says that in the first trimester babies aren’t really real, yet as people of faith we know otherwise. It is time for the church to end its politically-correct silence and support the pregnant women in their congregations.
- Encourage women to announce early.
- Celebrate each and every pregnancy.
- Encourage baby showers for every child.
- Encourage women to formally mourn for lost children by providing funeral services for their child.
- Annually remember lost children.
Create a New Culture
Let us embrace the truth of life and proclaim it loudly in word and deed. Be strong and courageous in creating a set apart new culture celebrating the fragileness of life from the beginning.
Do you have children that you only held in the womb? I encourage you to leave their name below.
In memory of Penelope Grace and Ella Mae, and six other siblings in heaven.
Have you lost a child? Check out these articles.