A Voice for the Heavenly Choir

Nearly three years ago I was happily pregnant with my sixth child when I went to the doctor's office for my first ultrasound.  I was ten weeks along and I was so looking forward to my first glimpse of this wee one within.  I love ultrasound technology and greedily anticipate every appointment so that, like a big goofball, I can blow kisses and wave at the little wiggle-puss in my womb.

When, after a good thirty minutes of trying, the technician told me that she just could not get a good look at the baby, I was not overly concerned.  The doctor said that when they are so little it is not uncommon to not get a good look and he asked me to return the following week.  He took some blood and off I went.

As I said, I wasn't concerned. I had healthy pregnancies. I had five totally normal, uncomfortable, boringly average pregnancies.

Imagine my shock and horror the following week when I was told my baby had died at about eight weeks gestation.  It took a full minute for me to figure out what they were saying.  Then the doctor and the technician gave me a moment alone.  I remember thinking that they would come back in a minute and explain the mistake to me. You see, I have healthy babies. I do not have miscarriages.   After a minute a nurse, who had been with the practice a very long time and had seen me through those previous five pregnancies, burst through the door and took me in her arms.  The floodgates opened.

They remain open.  After three years and a beautiful set of twins I am still so sad about the child that I never was able to hold.

One thing I found helpful was to enter my child in the Book of Life at the Shrine of the Holy Innocents in New York City. You can name your baby and the name is inscribed in the Book of Life, where there is a candle always lit and the 12:30 Mass on the first Monday of every month is offered in honor of the babies and for the comfort of the families that grieve.  After a while I received a beautiful letter from the pastor of the church as well as a certificate with my baby's name.  This made an enormous difference to me. My baby mattered, she had been important and there was now a record of the life that had meant the world to my husband and I.

Four women I know have, over the past month, experienced the trauma of a miscarriage.  When you surround yourself with pro-life Catholic families who regard babies as gifts and not burdens then you are going to hear this kind of news on occasion and sometimes frequently. Why does this happen?  God calls us to be open to life and when we are it sometimes goes inexplicably wrong.  The fact is, that we are never likely to know this side of heaven the reason for the passing of these beautiful children and it is not for us to question the plan of the Almighty. What we do know is that that child that we mourn now sits at the throne of Christ. That child is now a mighty intercessor for the family he left behind and he is privy to all of the wonders of heaven that we cannot even imagine. That child loves God and those he left behind perfectly — a love we cannot imitate here bound on earth. 

Mothers of these lost babies should know that they have done their job and fulfilled their mission to obtain heaven for their children.  They have given freely of themselves and allowed God to create life and to claim that life for heaven. Parents who cooperate with God's grace in this way can be assured that their sadness leads to joy as another voice joins the heavenly choir and sings their praises for all eternity.

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  • Guest

    Many women experience miscarriages in the first one or two pregnancies.  This is so devastating. They wonder if they can ever have children


    There are several types of miscarriages.  One that is so preventable is low progesterone.  I personally think women should get their hormones tested, before pregnancy.  I am not a doctor, but too many doctors do not do this.  I think this is a part of charting, in the Dr Hilgers model.  Progesterone supplementation can prevent this type of miscarriage.  Some women do not learn about this until after the first or second miscarriage.

    My condolences to all who have lost children in any manner.  An older sibling basically was lost to miscarriage in my family. 

     Many people do not think that this happens today, but it still does happen to women, and their babies.

    And the Shrine of the Holy Innocents also memorializes those victims of abortion.


    God bless

  • Guest

    Miscarriages are incredibly painful.  I have had two, the second of which was a second trimester miscarriage if identical twins (after 3.5 years of infertility).  I feel so cheated that I was never able to see and hold my babies;  however, I am thankful that I have children praying for me in heaven, and I am also thankful that I was able to become a mother through these pregnancies.

  • Guest

    Claire, I'm so very, very sorry for your loss.

  • Guest

    Thank you, Mary Ellen.  And thank you so much for brining attention to this very important topic.

  • Guest

    I have had 7 miscarriages in 16 years of marriage.  Four before my son’s birth, and 3 after.  All were first trimester, all were around 10 weeks.  Pregnant enough to know that I was pregnant, but not enough to show.  All were emotionally and physically painful and difficult.  The one that occurred 1 week after my mother’s funeral was the hardest to deal with. 


    I don't know if you are aware of this but there is a blessing that a priest can pray over parents whom have lost a child through miscarriage or stillbirth.  I had my priest at the time of my last loss (2003) pray this over my husband and myself.  This same, kind, caring priest had baptized my only living child so he very special to me.


    This priest led me to the Shrine of the Holy Innocents.  Only one of my lost children has been named, and I have his Certificate of Life.  I use the rosary I received from there to pray for him and his siblings.  And my current parish has a Mass of the Holy Innocents scheduled during the Octave of Christmas.


    Sam's mom