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September 2, 2014

News: Michelle Duggar Miscarries her 20th Child

Michelle Duggar Miscarries

There’s a lot of chatter about Michelle Duggar over Facebook and other social media channels today. It was announced earlier in the day that she miscarried her 20th child and everyone seems to have a lot to say on the subject. The comments have ranged from supportive to things so nasty that I really hope the posters would never say such things to anyone in person.

Jim Bob Duggar issued a concise statement after receiving the news:

“Earlier today at a routine doctor’s appointment, Michelle and I received the sad news that we lost the baby. We are grateful for all the thoughts and prayers, but ask for privacy during this difficult time.”

The comments I’ve read online have saddened me. I personally don’t care how many children someone else chooses to have as long as they are providing for those children. Just as I would with moms I know in real life, I put the whole thing firmly in the “none of my business” category.

I haven’t found anywhere exactly how far along in her pregnancy Michelle Duggar was, but it appears she was somewhere around 20 weeks, which makes this a hard loss no matter how many children you have at home.

The Reality of a Second Trimester Loss

After losing my last baby at 18 weeks, I was shocked at the comments that I heard from family and friends. I’ve realized that most people simply have no idea what a second trimester loss entails. Regardless of how you feel about the Duggar’s family size, I wanted to make it clear that a second trimester loss is not easy for anyone.

Here’s the reality.

In the second trimester, you still have to give birth. In many cases, the labor will actually be harder than a full term delivery because your body works harder to deliver a smaller baby. My labor with my 18 weeker was absolutely the most difficult one that I have had.

You don’t recover any faster after a second trimester loss than you do after full term childbirth. If anything, recovery is harder because you do not have a newborn at home to distract you from the recovery process. You only have your grief to magnify everything you feel.

With a second trimester loss, your placenta often does not come out in one piece because it was not designed to deliver that early. That often requires a D&C to prevent any of the placenta being left behind. A D&C complicates the recovery process and makes you feel like you’ve been kicked in the stomach by a horse for days afterwards.

During a second trimester loss, you’ll deliver a baby — not a glob of tissue. That baby will have teeny tiny fingernails and delicate facial features. That baby will have everything a full term infant has except for the extra body fat and internal development needed to survive in the outside world. Because of that, you’ll have to decide whether you are going to let the hospital dispose of your baby’s remains, cremate, or bury your baby.

I read that the Duggars plan to hold a funeral service for their baby. My family personally had a lot of push-back when we had a funeral after our baby died because several family members considered our loss nothing more than a miscarriage. Losing a child is personal. How you choose to deal with the loss is a deeply personal decision and no one else has a right to judge.

My heart goes out to the Duggars and I’m going to try and ignore the horrible comments that are being made in response because it saddens me that there are people in this world who can be so heartless.

About Rachel

Rachel knows what it is like to be busy and worry about balancing everything without losing your sanity. As a homeschooling mom of 6 incredibly different kids, including newborn twins (and one tiny angel who passed away at birth), she's just about seen it all . . . when she isn't too sleep deprived to notice.

Rachel holds a B.A. in English and is a former teacher. She is the creator of Busy Mommy Media and works as a freelance writer from home.

Comments

  1. I am so glad you wrote this. After reading so many heartless comments, it is a blessing to find someone show some compassion towards her. I don’t care if one agrees with their large family or not, but they still lost a child; I wouldn’t wish that on or say “I told you so” to anyone.

    • Amen! I second that! And I’d like to add something…no matter how far along you are in pregnancy, a miscarriage/stillbirth is extremely difficult to go through. I’ve lost 4 babies: one at 5 weeks/3 days, two at 6 weeks/5 days and one at 7 weeks/5 days. Three of those miscarriages happened this year! It’s something that no one should ever have to experience. It chips pieces of your heart away every time. My heart hurts for her and her husband and children. That baby was so loved and wanted already. May they find peace in the knowledge that their sweet baby is in Heaven with Jesus and is experiencing a love that no human can give him or her and they will one day be reunited with him or her.

  2. I’ll admit to having my own misgivings about the wisdom of having so many children, but I absolutely reject the idea that she “had it coming” or that the loss of this child was in any way a good thing. I wouldn’t wish that kind of heartbreak on anyone. My prayers go out to the Duggars, and the poor baby.

    • I wouldn’t personally choose to have 20 children but it really doesn’t bother me at all that they want that. There’s a lot of other behavior going on in the world I have a bigger problem with than large family size.

  3. I’ve miscarried 6 times. It wrenches your heart out of your chest each.and.every.time. The comments I’ve read on Facebook disgust me. I don’t understand how so many people can have so much lack of compassion.
    Thank you for your post, My heart goes out to you for your loss as well as the Duggars for theirs. I agree that each person should deal with their baby’s loss the way they see fit. And yes, it IS the loss of a baby, not “just a miscarriage” that you get over in a day or two. You have to grieve just as you would any loss. And that takes time.
    Crystal Martin´s last blog post ..Part 2. Give a child a joyful Christmas. Champions for Kids. #CBias, #DisneyCFK

  4. Trina Miles says:

    I lost my first baby (a little girl) at 28 weeks. Thanks for posting this. I learned a lot of things I didn’t know about second trimester pregnancies. All I knew was after seeing my beautiful little angel with a head full of black hair and the cutest little nose that there was no way I could let the hospital “dispose” of her. We held a small personal funeral and placed her in the tiniest casket I’ve ever seen for her journey back to our Lord. My condolescenses to you and your faily for your loss.

  5. So well said! Loss is one of those things that is so intensely personal, you can’t decide for someone else how that should or shouldn’t feel, how they should or shouldn’t react, and whether it’s your first on 100th child your heart will shatter.

  6. jennifer Mason says:

    Thank you for posting this, I lost my son in the end of my 2nd trimester and it was the worst thing I ever had to go through. To this day I am not over it. We also named him and buried him, we were actually encouraged by our church and family to do so. Delivering a baby at this stage is horrible because yes, it is a baby that comes out, a small little baby and should be treated with all the respect we can give.
    As for the Duggers, who are we to to judge? No one can judge another until they walked in their shoes. My heart goes out to their family.

    Jen
    RIP Andrew Patrick Mason, my sweet baby in heaven…..XOXO

  7. Jessica Davis says:

    I’m so glad you posted this..I have no children, but have lost two…My husband and I lost our first baby at 22 weeks..so you part in the article about 2nd Trimester losses really hits home. People don’t realize how hard it is especially when you are farther along..We just recently a couple months ago lost another child at 11 weeks…I can’t understand how people can be so cruel..The loss of a child is not easy no matter how many kids you have..The duggars are in my prayers, and I know God has a plan just like he has a plan for me and my husband. God bless you (Jeremiah 29:11) one of my favorite verses!!!

  8. Thank you for the post. I lost twins ( a boy and a girl ) at 22 weeks. I cant even describe the heartache, there are no words I can find. Thirteen months later, I lost a baby girl at 25 weeks, again I stand speechless. Unless one has gone through this, you cant possibly understand the pain. I feel horrible for the Duggar family. I sit here with tears in my eyes, knowing how Michelle Duggar feels, and I still cant find the words….I pray for her and her family.

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