Losing a baby and the pain that comes with it cannot be put into words. Recently, John Legend and his wife Chrissy revealed that they had lost their would-be third child, Jack. I cannot imagine the pain and devastation they are going through and the devastation that many other families, who have lost a child, have gone through. This particular topic is one that breaks my heart and is so painful for me. I felt that I had an ethical responsibility to talk about it, even as it may not be something I would want to talk about. In this light, please bear with me, and if you are under 18, then this article may not be for you. Pains me even to acknowledge that many children under the age of 18 are expectant and may face miscarriages at their young age. Teenage pregnancy is unfortunate, and we wish all the would-be teenage mothers a safe pregnancy, and even resumption to school after the baby is born.
The Legend family has done something that I think will help everyone else cope with and try to understand how sad and painful losing a baby can be. As a young man who aspires to be a father one day, it really pains me to talk about this. Children are a gift from God, and it is so unfortunate that one could have a miscarriage and lose their bundle of joy. We have discussed loss before, but this particular kind of loss is ultra painful. A baby is something that any couple would want as an affirmation of their love for each other and their union. Children solidify marriages and connect two individuals in a relationship more than anything and in a way that nothing else can. As such, wanting a child is on top of the list of every individual who understands and appreciates the joy and love that comes with having a child. From the perspective of women, every woman wants to have their own baby, care for the baby, and raise the baby to become a responsible and well-behaved member of society. Having a child is, therefore, more than a want or need. It is a chance to really understand life and enjoy sharing love and having love for those we care about.
Losing a baby is horrific in every sense of the word. Death can be shocking, but the loss of a child can shake the individual to their core. Most times, we always think that some things may not or cannot happen to us until something so heartbreaking as losing a child occurs. Statistically, one in every four pregnancies gets miscarried. i.e., a quarter of all pregnancies, regardless of their stage, do not get to term or are not born alive or healthy. Numerous complications may lead the baby to lose their life, as is the case with Jack. What this means is that every one in four mothers may undergo the horror of losing their child.
Consequently, numerous families experience the painful loss of a would-be member of the family. It is very painful and just outright unbearable. You can imagine trying to have a child and getting to pregnancy, persevering immersion into pregnancy, and then losing the baby. Regardless of the stage when the baby is lost, the parents, especially the mother, are invested and hopeful of having a baby from the get-go.
As a man, I will never really get the chance to experience a pregnancy. But, as I know, there is no time in a woman’s life that their emotions, hormones, and outright feelings are more intense and sensitive. Being pregnant is like an immersion into the very essence and extremes of human emotion, physical exhaustion, pain, joy, happiness, love, and humanity. A pregnancy is like swimming in freshwater and being hit by a wave of mesmerizing bubbles. Life becomes full of love and joy when one expects to become a mother or even a father. From a male point of view, a pregnancy is perspective and understanding what it takes to become a parent and what parenthood is all about. I would say it is when the chickens come to roost when one becomes of age and embarks on having a family of their own. You can imagine the joy after the wedding and now expecting a baby. It is like winning the lottery on top of having won a lottery.
Unfortunately, miscarriages do happen, and as sad and painful as it is, it is a possibility. There is no easy way to deal with it, and all one can do is pick themselves up as much as they can. The pain is exacerbated when the would-be baby was named and, regardless of gender, a huge loss. Some things in life will shock you, but others will shake you to your core. You can imagine the questions one would have, such as asking God why that had to happen, and wondering what went wrong and where. I remember reading ‘The River and the Source’ by Margaret Ogola, about a character, Elizabeth, who lost a few children after miscarrying the pregnancies. You can imagine the pain of losing not only an heir but also a member of the family. An innocent child whose only detriment is that he or she could not get to reach the threshold of getting carried to term or, for one reason or another, did not make it to being born alive and healthy.
God loves all of us, and even if something like that happens, it is according to His will. God is always with us, and even at such a time, He is holding us and carrying us through that period of grief and extreme pain. In ‘The River and the Source,’ there is a metaphor where Elizabeth dreams of a beetle landing on her shoulders. She whisks it off, and it goes away and comes back as a bird, followed by many other birds. The metaphor alludes to Elizabeth’s lineage. She goes on to have many descendants. The children that get to term and are born alive and healthy become parents and have so many babies. The lineage of Elizabeth grows in leaps and bounds, and such is the Grace and Abundance of God. For me, the story is an affirmation of hope that even after losing a child, there is hope for more children and having healthy pregnancies in the future. As such, I would like to give hope to all aspiring mothers, Chrissy, included, that there is hope and God will provide another child and other children. Chrissy and Legend have two children, Luna and a boy named Miles, and Jack would have been the third. We pray for them in this time of grief and for all those who have lost a child. We pray that God gives them the strength and hope to carry on and to try again. We also offer our deepest condolences to them and their families.
Today’s world is very paradoxical, and it pains me to think that as other children are lost through miscarriages, some women choose or opt to abort theirs. We vehemently condemn abortion. The debate is no debate at all, and in my view and as a Christian, a child is a gift from God. I know that every situation is different, and even so, if the child does not threaten the mother’s health, then it is only proper not to abort it. In unfortunate circumstances, the baby could be as a result of abuse or even rape. Even in such traumatizing and painful circumstances, one should strive to keep the baby. Please do not abort a baby for any reason. Do not hold the circumstances of coming to that pregnancy against the baby. It is better to have the baby and offer it up for adoption than to get rid of it. Zygotes, embryos, and fetuses are babies and should be treated humanely. Even when the baby is a teenage pregnancy, the baby should be kept, and the teenage mother supported, cared for, and helped to resume school after the baby can be cared for by someone else.
God loves all of us and will never allow us to face a challenge that we cannot overcome. I am pained to talk about this, but I hope I have given hope to someone who might be going through something similar. A specialist in miscarriages agreed that Chrissy and Legend coming out with their story would help others by letting them know that it can happen to anybody. A miscarriage can happen to anyone regardless of their social status, wealth, race, culture, and even geographical location. The specialist said that it helps to talk about it and to hear others talk about it. As such, I felt that it is important to discuss the topic as it is something that anyone can face and is, unfortunately, part of life. God loves you, and God will never take away a child and not give you another, even if not directly. One may lose their baby and may not have the ability to get another one. However, they can adopt a child and feel the joy and happiness of being a parent. All hope is not lost, and God is there for you, as an individual, and as a family when dealing with something so painful.