Tuesday, February 12, 2013

telling your child about a miscarriage

It's important to remember there is no right or wrong.  That is what I am constantly telling myself.

I'm just writing this, to basically talk it out...

We're all feeling our way through life, and we all choose what we think is right to share... certain secrets, heartaches and trials with our children.

I always told myself that I would have a very open relationship with my kids.

I won't go to them with heartaches, but if they were to ask... if they were to question, if something big were to happen, I would tell them.

I feel it's their right to know, and it's a part of our exchange of respect.

I never told Jack about our miscarriage before Jude, but a few weeks ago we were having a conversation about babies.  He asked if I still had one in my tummy and I told him that no, Jude was that baby and he's here now and that we wouldn't be having anymore babies.

He likes to count, so he said, "Jack and Jude, you have two babies!"

And without much thought, I said... "No I have three."

And so the questions began...

Was it a boy or girl?  Why?... I explained I didn't know if it was a boy or girl, and that he/she was growing in the wrong place.

I kept it light and simple, I had a baby in my belly before Jude, but he/she died there.  And he/she is in Heaven waiting for us.

I am always trying to make death more happy than it's ever seemed to me growing up.

It was always terrified me, and now... it doesn't.  I never thought that day would come for me.  Knowing Joel's Grandmother is there, my Grandpa, Joel's Aunt that loved him so much... and now my own child, death doesn't look so scary, it looks like it's full of answers and reunions.

Since death is not a foreign subject in our house, we've even had a discussion if I were to go first how I would be waiting for Jack with a big party and lots of hugs when he did arrive, and he would do the same if he were to go first.  It actually comforts him, and to be honest- it comforts me too.

Growing up you didn't talk about death... it was like the whole "knock on wood" thing.  I remember as a child telling my Mother about a nightmare about her dying and how I was scared it would really happen and as she was cooking and not looking at me, she cut me off saying not to talk about it.  It's not true and that's all that matters.

I remember being a bit confused, I didn't say a bad word... or did I?  So to some this may seem a bit odd, but I want death to be an open discussion in our home.  It's kind of odd that it isn't for some.  Death is inevitable.  We will all die one day.

(Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but I'm all about the truth.)

And now for the part I wasn't ready for...

Jack has been drawing pictures of our family and the "Baby in Heaven."

Someone asked him if Jude was his brother and he told them he was and that he had another in "Heaven."

The poor cashier's face quickly drained of happiness and looked to me, so I said in a non-emotional way, "It was a miscarriage."  And I moved the conversation forward on a positive note.

He's not really sad about the miscarriage, but he is excited to meet his sibling.  He sees him/her like a current person of our family.  He obviously doesn't want anyone to think otherwise.

That's how I felt at first... but nobody else around me did.
It hurt, and now I'm ready to slowly let go and let my mind forget.

It's a bit upsetting to me now, it's something I do want to forget sometimes... but it's not right for me to tell him to forget.  How horrible is that?  Who am I to tell him to stop drawing the pictures, to stop talking about it, etc.  He is a child, and he'll allowed to feel and remember.

I imagine someday he might stop drawing the...


I really didn't expect all of this.

As they fall and I take a few deep breaths, I remember what I read once before about grief.

That "It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold."

I'm proud of myself, I'm proud that I never put my emotions off onto him... that I'm letting him do what feels right in his heart.  And I'm proud of him, for remembering... for being so brave.


  1. Olivia, I so admire how open and honest you are with your children. I think it's so important. So many are scared to tell the truth. Jack and Jude will grow up with less fear and be able to face life's obstacles without question. I always love how you write from your heart. Thank you for all you share. Xoxox

    1. Thanks for always being such a support Maria! And I can't wait to read stories about your relationship with your daughter :)

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"Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime." -Dale Carnegie

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