If I Believe Life Begins At Conception, Why Did It Take Me So Long To Adjust My Thinking?

Life, Parenthood / Monday, October 15th, 2018

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, so I thought it would be fitting to share a certain story with you.

When I was in college, I reconnected with a childhood friend over coffee at her apartment. At one point my friend got up to go to the bathroom and made a casual comment about how she had to go so often recently, so I teased her about potentially being pregnant. After all, I’d attended her wedding a little over a month prior, so the math made sense.

She hesitated a little before saying, “Actually, I just miscarried a baby. My body hasn’t quite recovered yet.”

I completely froze and didn’t know what to do. Miscarriage was something I’d heard about, but I’d never known someone who experienced that kind of loss.

I began apologizing profusely and mentally beating myself up for speaking without thinking, but my friend was more than kind about it. She talked very openly with me about how she got pregnant on her honeymoon and had lost the baby early.

She told me about a mentor of hers who was there for her immediately and helped her process what was happening. Her mentor explained that just because she’d miscarried a baby, that didn’t mean she wasn’t a mom—it just meant that her baby lived in Heaven instead of on Earth.

At the time I struggled with that statement because I’ve always thought of moms as women who have children on Earth with whom you can interact. I never told my friend that, but I think she knew I felt that way because I didn’t say anything whenever she would refer to herself as a mom.

As my friend and I became closer, my perspective on miscarriage began to shift. Still, I felt like I was stuck in some sort of gray area on the matter.

Months later, during a conversation about her baby in Heaven, I felt like my eyes were finally opened. All it took was seven words: if we believe life begins at conception…

Suddenly, my mind raced with different endings to that sentence.

If we believe life begins at conception, why isn’t a pregnancy announcement always celebrated as the beginning of a life instead of waiting until the birth?

If we believe life begins at conception, why aren’t people who’ve experienced the loss of an unborn baby considered mothers and fathers?

If we believe life begins at conception, why is a miscarriage sometimes talked of as a generic loss instead of a death?

If we believe life begins at conception, why don’t we grieve that loss the same way we mourn when our friends and family pass away?

If I believe life begins at conception, why did it take me 23 years to realize this truth?

Now that my friend helped me to understand miscarriage in this way, it’s crazy to me that I ever thought any different.

My friend’s mentor changed her mentality, and then my friend changed mine. I hope that, if you never understood miscarriage in this way, maybe this post will change your mentality, too.

Hello! I am a work-at-home mom to twin girls and a canine. I’m learning what life looks like when you surrender to God. Passionate about parenthood, marriage, and all things coffee!