To Briefly Explain

And it is personal, but it has been many years. It still makes me sad…

Before my first son, I had a serious miscarriage, in the second term. It was a matter of being rushed to the hospital, and the obstetrician on duty could do nothing to stop the hemorrhaging except a D&C. Yes, this is technically an abortion, but there was no living fetus to save.

Two days later, as I recuperated at home, very weak, very depressed, I heard someone at the door. I went to open it, and there was no one there, although someone had left a brochure in the door. It was an anti-abortion pamphlet, with photographs of dismembered fetuses. In my state of poor health, I thought these were photos of the baby I had lost, and I fainted. The shock prolonged my illness, and I was kept in bed for two weeks.

Apparently, some hospital employee was gathering names and addresses of women whose records showed that they had a D&C for abortion.

Would you want to be responsible for causing someone that much distress? I wanted that baby; it wasn’t an elective abortion. But my medical record read the same as if it had been elective. I am still strongly pro-life, but I am hurt and shocked by some of the tactics that anti-abortion activists use.


11 thoughts on “To Briefly Explain

  1. That’s touching and terrible. I had a miscarriage too, after my first pregnancy. I also had a D&C and was traumatized by the whole experience. I was only 9 weeks, I cannot imagine the anguish past that point. The only thing that comforted me was knowing I had carried one baby to term, so I would be able to do it again. (I prayed) It must’ve been harder to have your first pregnancy end that way & I wonder if it made you more nervous when you had your son.

    • I had a second miscarriage within four months, and wondered if I would ever carry to term. God blessed me with two beautiful boys, two years apart. I do wish people would think about the consequences of their seemingly “heroic” activities.

  2. I am sorry that you have had to go through this Magdalena. It is wrong! Even if they feel as if they are doing right in their minds…they don’t realize that their tactics hurt others.

    Their ‘heroic activities’, is really to bring attention to themselves. I don’t believe this is the way Our Lord would want this issue handled at all.

    Again Magdalena, I am sorry that you suffered, but Our Lord blessed you with two wonderful sons. Only He knows the why of the miscarriage.

    Grace & Peace to you,


  3. Dear Magdalena I also had a miscarriage in my second term about a year ago now which ended up in an emergency situation with a massive hemorrhage resulting in a D&C, blood transfusion and a long long recovery time with following infections. I found all the medical professionals talk of fetuses and products of conception very hard – this was our much wanted, much loved baby, our 4th child – and people’s insensitive talk of how we already had 3, as if this baby was somehow less wanted and loved and missed by all of us upsetting.

    People can be so incredibly insensitive, and Christians can often be more so than others in this situation, I can’t bear to see pictures of aborted fetuses and am very thankful that it’s really not that common where we live.

  4. I too lost two pregnancies. The first was my first pregnancy and I did not realize what was happening. I had been spotting but the doctor told me to go to bed and see what happens. I was alone in the house and felt crampy. Thought I needed to poop and couldn’t so I took a bath to relax. I delivered the fetus in the bathtub. I was alone.

    The second one was after my two boys. It was the only baby my current husband I conceived. I was bathing my boys and stood up from where I was sitting by the tub when I felt a gush. Husband took me to the hospital. Nothing they could do. On that one I had a D&C as well.

    If it is any comfort, the new laws (HEPA) would prevent the hospital or employees from behaving the way they did with you. They would be fired and the hospital would be fined.

    I know that there are times of the year, be it the date when the child was conceived or when it should have been born that we think about what might have been.

    All I can say to you, my friend, is that God has a plan greater than our own. Perhaps the child was not conceived in God’s plan (an oops of nature, but no less loved) and was not the person that God felt should be in your life. I grew up with two severly mentally handicapped cousins, and while they are loved by their parents, I know this is not the life their parents would have chose for themselves or their children. Perhaps God saved you that. He also gave you the experience that helped you when you Pastored (don’t know if you use that word in the Anglican Church) to your parishoners.

    As for the abortion protest people, I find most of their tactics objectionable. It does not matter what my views are, it does not matter who they hurt, because they are “saving the life of a child” Bull they are making themselves feel important. They do not take into account how the child of a rape victim may be raised. They do not take into account the child that is so deformed before birth that their life is constant pain and suffering. They do not take into account anything but their own agenda.

  5. What a horrible experience, both having to lose your child and then also have those pamplets sent. Say you had had a regular abortion, what would these pictures do anyway? The child would still be gone… Awful.

    I recently had a friend who had to make an awful decision, either terminate a pregnancy of a wanted and already loved child to get treatment for cancer or risk her 4 other children growing up without a mother. She terminated the pregnancy and the cancer got treated very early on and she has excellent prognosis for recovery but her feelings are very mixed. I am not pro-abortion but in her case I definiately understand her choice, if someone had sent pamplets like this to her I would definately have forgotten my beliefs in pacifism…

  6. Oh Magdalena,

    Words of any kind merely seem glib, trite and flippant in response to both your loss and the torment you suffered afterwards. Any active pro life campaigners reading this need to take a long hard look at what they are doing and why… Harrannging miscarriage patients like this is an obscene disgrace!

    TO OTHER READERS AND ACTIVE PRO LIFE WORKERS WHO MAY READ; the following is for you – and for all; we can build a better way as a community, as a society in which hope, compassion and genuine love abound.

    Furthermore, I personally believe the primary thrust of the Pro Life movement should concern itself with drilling down beneath pregnancy to the underlying issues and concentrate on them…chiefly

    1. support for all women, young and older alike who are overwhelmed with their situation and honestly believe they have no other option than abortion

    this support needs to consist of

    a) Pre and post natal education – what to expect in their bodies, how to look after a little one – health hygene and nutrition etc.

    b) safe acomodation where needed

    c) vocational/educational training in an environment that will work with the new mother and child’s needs as central after the baby is born

    d) practical needs; clothing, food, even some form of purposed income support if necessary

    e) psychological and moral support for women in said situation; compassionate and sensitive Counselling perhaps a type of mentoring programme as an adjunct for support, especially in cases where the woman does not have family or in situations where her family has rejected her.

    2. essential R&D into the area of profound disability and disease to

    a) look into prevention
    b) develop treatments and methods that will more effectively manage symptoms and treat pain satisfactorily
    c) investigate means by which pain- producing complications can be eliminated from said conditions as a priority.

    3. excellent family-centred care of children with profound disabilities that ensures their dignity and that of the family; top quality, easily available ‘L’Arche’ type care for young persons and adults living with profound disability that is dignifying and uplifting. L’Arche in 2011 should be the model upon which residential care for persons with significant disabilities who need such is built.

    4. LESS of the Peter Singer attitude toward persons with profound disability and MORE of the Jean Vanier approach

    5. Satisfactory support for families re medical and/or therapeutic interventions, provision of equipment etc needed; not just bare minimum that usually does not suffice, but actually ensuring life is made easier for all concerned – DO NOT MAKE FAMILIES FEEL LIKE CRIMINALS WHEN THEY HAVE TO ADVOCATE FOR THIS PIECE OF EQUIPMENT OR THAT DEVICE FOR THEIR FAMILY MEMBER WITH A DISABILITY!!!!!! Do not stop govt. funding once a child reaches 18; they still have needs after this!

    6. Sensitivity and compassion concerning cases of rape and incest. This is a difficult area to even discuss. The wife of my Bible study teacher knew a lady in the congregation (passed away for a number of years now) who saw it as her vocation to care for children who came into this world via such means – a noble and selfless vocation of deep humility and love – for the girls, and for the children.

    PRO LIFERS NEED TO BE WILLING TO FOLLOW IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THIS DEAR WOMAN WHO NOW RESTS IN THE PEACE OF OUR LORD both providing a safe, loving environment in which girls can heal and begin to climb out of the hell that is the experience of such violent invasion. without even one single atom of guilt, where they will be protected and nurtured, and where family (if approapriate) can also receive care and counselling.

    6b. Completely overhaul the justice system here; only a tiny fraction of rape cases ever see justice (about 5% maximum if my old community welfare stats still stand)

    ONLY once this is done universally, across the board, can the pro life movement truly say that it is pro life. At the moment it may be ‘pro unborn baby’ but it is more often than not definitely not pro mother or pro baby, or pro picking up the pieces of shattered hurting lives.

    7. Statistical records need to be overhauled to distinguish between procedures carried out after miscarriages or in the case of medical emergency as opposed to other..

    I am the child of an adopted mother ( her mother giving her into adoption at age 18 in 1938) and the sisster of an adopted brother (whose own mother did this in 1972). Today, neither my mother, my brother, or I would likely have been here… food for thought.

    I am also a micro premi survivor (born at 26 weeks in 1970 – spent 4 months in hospital, given 24 hours to live, then 48, then 1 week, then…40 years later I am still here). My life also came at a cost; significant vision impairment of the guide dog using, Braille reading variety (use to access computer technology). I also have one cousin with down syndrome (who is one of the happiest women i know) and have lost in the past six years another cousin to CF who, through the trials, the pain and the inevitable outcome of her condition never regretted her life, , one bit. This moulds my experience far before we enter into any religious niceties on the matter.

    MUST READ RESOURCES a blind theologian who I happen to admire very much and who as encouraged me on my own theological path as one with a visual disability to another…

    Also look up the writings of the late Nancy Eiesland (a theologian with disability who coined the phrase ‘the disabled God’) and Frances Young, who has written extensively about a spirituality of disability as such pertains to persons with profound developmental disabilities.

    Finally, the last word goes to this incredible woman and her work…

  7. That’s terrible. What a major invasion of privacy! That’s a prime reason why medical records should be kept private and confidential. Unfortunately, there will always be those who have a hidden agenda with access to our records. Those with “good intentions” don’t know the full details, and often end up making things worse, not better. Thanks for being brave to share this story.

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