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  • Writer's pictureNatasha Patiño

"What Could Have Been" - My Personal Struggle with Miscarriages

Hello! My name is Nancy Parcels.

I am a 38-year-old Orthodox Christian homeschool mom of

four children: an almost 9-year-old miracle boy, two babies in heaven, and my second miracle baby, a 4-month-old baby-boy.

A miscarriage is something that no woman should experience. They are common but

not talked about. After I became more vocal about my experiences, I found out that a few of my friends and grandmother had at least two miscarriages but never talked about them because they didn’t know how to.

November 16th, 2012, and January 26th, 2013, are two dates that I will never forget.

Those two days I lost a piece of myself. I lost members of my family. I lost two more children

that my husband and I could have raised together. I lost siblings for my sons. I lost

grandchildren, nieces or nephews. I lost a part of our legacy. Who would they have been?

What would they look like? Were they boys or girls? Would they have my husband’s blue eyes

or my dark hair? Almost 9 years later and these are still questions I ask myself. The only

difference now is that those questions aren’t filled with anger at God and myself, self-blame, or despair. They are questions filled with general curiosity and wonderment. They are questions I hope to have answered when I get to meet them in heaven one day.

It took me a LONG time to get to the point of being able to talk about them to ANYONE!

The pain cut so deep. The pain some days was unbearable. If it wasn’t for the fact that I had to care for my then 1 year old, I am not entirely sure how I would have survived the pain. For

several years the only people that knew about my poor babies were my husband and mom. I

realized one day that I needed therapy. I couldn’t figure out how to sort my feelings. So I found a therapist I can trust, and I got in contact with my priest. With the help of my therapist and priest we came up with a game plan to sort my feelings and work through my grief. We decided that:

1. My children need to be talked about. We told my in-laws, son, grandma and godparents.

2. They needed to be named. Being an Orthodox Christian, my husband and I decided to pick their names from the Saints that are commemorated during the month we lost them. Our first angel baby’s name is Mathew, and our second angel baby’s name is Basili (Billy).

3. I purchased icons of St. Mathew and St. Basilios. Whenever I am feeling down and missing them, I will light a candle and pray by the icons.

4. I also read the book “Under the Laurel Tree: Grieving Infertility with Saints Joachim and Anna” By Nicole M. Roccas. I have read it multiple times. Whenever I’m feeling sadness or despair, I read it!

5. I also read the prayer book The Ascetic Lives of Mothers: A Prayer Book for Orthodox Moms by Annalisa Boyd.

6. I read an Akathist to the Virgin Mary.

7. In October 2014, I found an event called A Walk to Remember. It was an event where we walked 2 miles (one mile per baby) and then at the end their names were read off. It was incredibly humbling hearing couples have 4, 5 and 6 names read off.

8. I wrote letters to my babies. I told them how I felt when I found out I was pregnant and when I lost them. I told them all things that I wanted them to know.

9. A few years ago a friend of mine that lives out of state told me that her church was having a special service which was kind of like a funeral service and they were going to read the names of children gone too soon. I was not at the church, but she texted me when the priest read their names but moments before she texted me, I knew their names had been read. I felt this weight lifted from my shoulders.

10. I prayed! I prayed for my babies, healing, my husband’s grief and my oldest son (which at the time I thought he would be an only child).

With all the things I finally began to heal and get to the point where I can talk about them with

joy and not sadness. I can talk about them to my oldest son and answer his questions. I now

consider myself a mom of four children. Although I never held them, and I currently don’t know what they look like they are my babies.

I urge everyone to find your support system. For me it was my husband, mom, priest and

therapist. Without their support, love, encouragement, understanding and a shoulder to cry on I never would have made the progress that I have made. Stay strong and work through your grief.

Love to you all!


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