My first pregnancy ended in miscarriage on Mother’s Day in 1999. I had announced the pregnancy during Easter week, letting everyone know immediately after seeing the unmistakeable “life line” on the pregnancy test. We told everyone and it was the talk of all gatherings for weeks. Fast forward to Mother’s Day Mass. I remember the priest accidentally put two Hosts in my mouth. I was filled with joy at the implication there and he was the one person I had not told about my pregnancy, yet. We shared the news with him right after Mass. The joy turned to fear that evening when I started spotting. My sister reassured me that it was normal, but told me to go to the doctor on Monday. The miscarriage was confirmed after two very long ultrasound sessions where the once beating heart could no longer be found flickering on the monitor. I was suddenly filled to the brim with grief. I can barely recall the days and weeks that followed. That father’s day, I gave Bill a card and I have kept it. Here is what I wrote:
I know I have been beside myself with grief lately and it appears that I have lost hope. I haven’t. I know in my heart that we will have children. I pray every minute of the day for that. I know you are going to be a wonderful father. You already are. XXxOOo
I remember that I had to force myself to write that and to be positive and not give into the gnawing self-doubt and attacks on my faith in God and His mercy.
That summer, I prayed the rosary every day, accompanied by a recording of Pope JPII saying the rosary in Italian. I prayed for the intercession of all of our saints and of course our Blessed Mother. I spent that time in reflection of the time when Christ was in the desert and could have been prone to the same feelings of abandonment and doubt that I was experiencing. I tried to remain calm and confident in God’s plan for my life. I gave birth to Chloe the following May 18, on the pope’s 85th birthday. It took me awhile, but what I learned from my miscarriages, (I’ve since experienced another loss) was that I needed to give up my need to control everything in my life. I still struggle with that. And now, I have five children who are still trying to drill that lesson into my head.
**Written by Shiela**