I recently met a Christian woman who is the mother of nine children. A mutual friend thought the two of us should meet since I am the mother of eight children. This mutual friend thought we would have a lot in common. Indeed.
Upon meeting this mother of nine, I mentioned that I really was the mother of nine, too, since we had lost our first baby. I told her I felt so privileged to be able to subsequently give birth to eight healthy people. To my mention of my loss, she said, "Oh...did you lose a pregnancy or a baby?"
Stunned, I said, "Well, um....I was pregnant...."
"Yeah," she said with the wave of her hand, "I lost a few pregnancies along the way, too."
That was the end of the conversation, but I have not been able to get it out of my head. Mainly, I'm disappointed in myself that I did not correct her and tell her that my pregnancy was a baby. I wanted to make her stop being dismissive and give me the nod of sympathy I deserved.
This is why, when I meet someone who has lost a baby while still pregnant, I look them in the eye and say, "I'm so sorry for your loss."
Losing a pregnancy is losing a baby. There is no way around that. I lost my first baby, not just my first pregnancy. I will never forget the devastation I felt and the hopeless feeling of failure that brought to me. It has been 33 years, yet I still remember those feelings very vividly.
But, I can't remember the name of that mother of nine I recently met.
Cherish every pregnancy as if there's real baby growing in there, because there is.