I have always considered myself blessed with ten pregnancies which resulted in nine healthy babies and only one miscarriage.
I thought that I knew how to handle a miscarriage, emotionally and spiritually.
I thought I had done everything right by this little one who died before birth.
I was mistaken.
Twenty-five years ago I was in a panic when I discovered that I was pregnant with my seventh. I had just reconciled with God and embraced this baby when I started to spot. An ultrasound revealed that although I was 12 weeks pregnant, my womb was only at 9 weeks in size and was empty. Apparently the body reabsorbs a fetus in spontaneous, natural ‘abortions.’ This news shook me. I felt a sense of betrayal because I had experienced real, spiritual joy when I finally accepted that I was expecting again. My womb was empty, yet I KNEW we had created a soul.
I had learned that it is important to name a miscarried baby. During prayer, we sensed that this baby was a girl. I chose Ruth because I love that name but my husband had been reluctant to call a living, little girl – Ruth. We dedicated Ruth to Jesus and commended her soul to God.
I rarely thought of her, with three more births quickly following this miscarriage.
Last week, after about 25 years, I discovered why my body and heart were usually tight, tense; I was holding on to this unborn daughter, refusing to let her spirit go to heaven. Ironically I really did not acknowledge her as one of my family. I had a sense that she was telling me off, ” Quit saying you have nine kids; you have ten children!”
Then I was filled with grief and tears as I thought,” This soul never got to experience life on earth. She completely missed out.” I remembered the phrase by C.S. Lewis,
“You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.”
and by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin,
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
“Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
When I prayed and spoke the words out loud, letting go of control and letting go of my tight hold on her soul, I IMMEDIATELY had an inner picture of a tiny child spinning in delight with her arms outstretched, dancing in a beam of light.
My body relaxed, my shoulders actually slumped and my heart was filled with joy.
Ruth was finally in heaven.
Ruth was finally an accepted member of our family.
I have ten children.
Copyright 2014, Melanie Jean Juneau