Moving Forward After Miscarriage
I remember seeing the small plus sign on my pregnancy test, and a smile spread across my face. Stepping out into the buzzing activity of our home, I held up the test for Andrew to see. He was late on his way out the door to an evening meeting and I was handling bedtime with our five kids. We both let out tired laughs. I gave him a quick kiss and a big grin to convey that, come what may, joy would rule the day.
We sat the kids down the next morning. “We have some news,” Andrew said. “Mama has a baby in her tummy!” The mixed responses from our kids were hysterical. Our practical son urged me to go to the doctor to find out how the baby got in there. Our child with big feelings jumped and danced all over the living room. Another sat totally still laughing while another shed happy tears, repeating, “Another baby!”
For a week, all our family could talk about was Baby Sciba number six: boy or girl? When will the baby come? What name should we pick? We knew we’d have a long wait, but we were excitedly anticipating another tiny family member.
“What do you want to name the baby?” my husband asked me. “Margaret,” I said, “and we’ll call her Meg.” A happy coincidence was that I was due on the feast of St. Margaret, July 20. Andrew, who traditionally doesn’t entertain name suggestions until after we find out what we’re having, agreed immediately. “I like Margaret Rosemary,” he said. And we shook on it.
Three days later Andrew and I found ourselves in the doctor’s office. It was my first visit with this OB – because I called the office in a panic to get an appointment with any available doctor, I didn’t even know her name. Dressed in scrubs, she came in and confirmed what I already knew: our baby had passed away and I would miscarry within the next couple of days. She hugged me and, sharing that she was Catholic, she offered me hope and consolation found in Jesus and our common faith. I was so grateful.
Grief and loss touch us all differently. For me, the following weeks were a blur. I recall telling our children and seeing their hearts break. We had a quiet funeral Mass, followed by a burial with only Andrew, our priest and me present. Friends visited with meals and shared their similar experiences.
Sometime later I looked up the doctor who received us so well when we visited her office. Her name was Margaret.
Through prayer and time, each of us moved forward. Andrew and I seemed to take turns upholding each other as our pain either sank in or abated; but what began and remains is that we openly talk about Margaret. The kids know her intercessory prayers are a powerful grace in their lives, and Andrew and I both turn to her when navigating challenges.
I’m comforted knowing Margaret’s brief earthly life was without sin. Aside from the safety of my womb, she has known nothing but the loving gaze of her Creator.
More than ever, I ache for Heaven so I can be reunited with my daughter and my frequent prayer is for our family’s salvation so we can be with Jesus, Mary and her.
In a month when many of us rightly recall the pre-born and the injustice of abortion, my thoughts turn even more to my miscarried child. I write this so I don’t forget that Meg is not a blessing that was, but one who actively graces our family. The Author of All Things deemed her necessary for the life of the world, especially our family, and it is right to remember her as she is: A member of our family who wears a victorious crown before the Lord.
This article appeared in the October edition of The Catholic Telegraph Magazine. For your complimentary subscription, click here.