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.