Grieving a Miscarriage with Kids

The gel felt cold on my first trimester belly. I was too excited to care, though. We were about to eavesdrop on our fourth child, to listen to his or her tiny heartbeat for the very first time. As Kathy, my nurse, expertly moved the Doppler across my skin, my ears strained to catch that "galloping horse" sound among the static.

One minute, two. Only static.

"It can be hard to find this early," Kathy comforted.

The minutes ticked on. My concern grew. My husband Ted and I exchanged glances. And when our OB ushered us into the ultrasound room to "take a look," I knew something was wrong.

Through it all, our five-year-old daughter Olivia watched.

It was the first time we'd included one of our kids in the momentous "first heartbeat" appointment. It was also the first time there was no heartbeat to hear.

We left the office that morning devastated to learn that our preborn baby, whom we later named Noah, had died in the womb five weeks earlier. And we found ourselves assigned the task of not only grieving personally, but of walking our three young children through the death of a sibling they'd never met.

Why We Grieved with Our Kids

Not all families approach a miscarriage the same. Many parents decide not to include their children in the grief process, while others do. I have friends and family who've approached this difficult season in both ways. I don't assume to know what's best in each individual situation or to prescribe one approach as "the right way."

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