The past few weeks at HOPE have been difficult as some of our patients have been faced with the news of death and miscarriage. This isn’t typically discussed in the pro-life world, but this is a truth we must deal with. Some patients desire their child to be born, but they lose their child through a miscarriage. This is a very harsh reality that, unfortunately, my family knows far too well.
So, today’s post will be therapeutic for me and for anyone else that has suffered a loss through miscarriage. I want to spend the next few lines telling our story. Oftentimes we struggle to have a conversation on this topic as many do not know how to approach said topic. I hope I can help us change that today.
We had our first child in March of 2011 but this was no simple task. We tried for over a year—with many doctor visits in between—to get pregnant. We wanted a child more than anything, but it always seemed like the door would shut on our plans.
We prayed, others prayed, we changed our diets, we took medication and then finally Erin brought me the good news: we were going to have a baby. Many tears and sleepless nights were spent during this time, but we look at Gavin—our now five-year-old son—and those nights are far from our mind.
We assumed our journey would always be difficult when it came to having children, but this assumption changed in January of 2012 when my wife came down the stairs holding a pregnancy test that read “pregnant.”
We did it! We were able to get pregnant without a bunch of doctor visits, without years of trying, and without worrying. Our excitement was almost uncontrollable as we immediately shared this good news with everyone.
Once we got over our initial excitement Erin made a doctor’s appointment to make sure everything was moving in a positive direction. We were going to get to see our new baby. We were going to get to hear a heartbeat.
We were a bundle of nerves as we anxiously waited for the nurse to take us back to the ultrasound room. After waiting for what seemed like hours—probably more like 30 minutes—the nurse called us back.
Erin hopped up on the table and the ultrasound began. The technician started to look around and I could tell by the look in her eyes, she expected to see more. She said that everything pointed to pregnancy but we were not as far along as we thought we were, so there would not be much to see.
This news was disheartening but we assumed everything would be fine in a couple of weeks. We would just give it time. The doctor ran some blood work and assured us we would hear something soon.
As you can imagine our excitement was a bit deflated after this visit, but we just knew the phone call from the doctor in a couple of days would tell us we were pregnant, just really early in the process.
On January 18, 2012 the call came in. The doctor informed Erin that she had been pregnant, there was a baby, but a miscarriage had occurred.
I look back to that day and I feel helpless. I am the man of the house. I am the leader, but what am I supposed to tell my wife? What I am supposed to tell myself? How could I explain this?
I was not with Erin when she got the news—I was at work. Once I got her phone call I immediately headed toward home. While driving I had to make a few calls. I had to tell my parents the good news and the bad news.
See, we were waiting to tell them about the newest addition to the Wood family. So, in my phone call I had to say, “Erin was pregnant but we lost the baby.” This was so difficult. I could sense the emotion through the phone of my mom and my dad. They wanted to be there for their son, for my wife, and for our son. They wanted to hold us, but they lived four hours away. They wanted to give me a solution, a remedy. But, again, what do you tell your 27 year old son upon hearing that news?
This miscarriage was difficult to handle four years ago and is difficult to recount here, but this conversation must be had. Our pro-life stance and work requires us to celebrate life at conception which means we must also mourn life lost in the womb. This mourning should occur when an abortion is chosen, but also when a miscarriage is had. Please know that these families, when faced with a miscarriage, lost a child they prayed for, longed for, and planned for.
We cherish life here at HOPE. It is this appreciation that drives us to mourn the loss of life. We would appreciate your prayers for our patients, our staff, and all of those that have been affected by a loss of a child both in the womb and out of the womb.
These are difficult conversations to have and at times are missed, but we must strive to appropriately give acknowledgment to the amazing gift of pregnancy and life regardless of how short or long that pregnancy or life is granted.
About the guest blogger: Andrew Wood serves as the Executive Director of Hope Resource Center, a pro-life reproductive health clinic in Knoxville, TN. HOPE opened its doors in 1997 seeking to stand for life as they served the most vulnerable in the Knoxville area. HOPE has been blessed to serve over 20,000 patients during that time.