What happens to miscarried babies? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 70 Old 12-28-2009, 08:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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In your faith tradition, where do miscarried babies go? Or what happens to them -- whatever phrasing is most suitable.

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#2 of 70 Old 12-28-2009, 08:53 PM
 
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I have never really thought about it but I grew up Christian (not sure what I believe now) but I think our babies are waiting for us in somewhere. In heaven I suppose. I would love to meet my babies.

Another question: Once we meet our babies, will they always be babies? Will we have to care for them in the afterlife as we do now, will they be able to communicate? I wonder these things.

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#3 of 70 Old 12-28-2009, 09:04 PM
 
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This is an interesting question.

I had a m/c last summer, and while it was very sad, I don't know that I truly believe that baby had a soul. I've never said that to anyone, and certainly believe that some lost babies did have souls... but I just don't know that my baby was ever going to be a person. I guess that doesn't mean s/he didn't have a soul... perhaps that baby was nothing BUT a spirit passing through, never meant to be a person, but here for a brief time for another purpose - either its' own, or for my benefit.

In my beliefs, all souls are part of one Spirit - a projection of the Divine into this world - and upon death, your soul returns to that Spirit. So a miscarried baby's soul would do just that, the same as any person of any longevity. It wouldn't remain in it's human form, fetal or ancient or otherwise - it returns to pure spirit. It's kind of like an ocean (for lack of a better analogy), and each soul is a current within that ocean, and some souls "stream" together, coming back to each other in multiple lives. So your miscarried baby's soul might be the soul of your brother or wife or child or friend in your next life. It's interesting to think about.

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#4 of 70 Old 12-28-2009, 09:32 PM
 
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I come from a Christian background and strongly believe that all babies who die (whether before or after birth) go to heaven.

I researched it years and years ago and wish I still had the resources that I used to come to my conclusion, but unfortunately I don't. The Psalms speak of God caring for us even in our mother's womb though.

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#5 of 70 Old 12-28-2009, 09:49 PM
 
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I can't wait to hear more.

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#6 of 70 Old 12-28-2009, 10:15 PM
 
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The Catholic Church's teaching is that we trust the love and mercy of God to care for the souls of babies who are miscarried (or die before baptism). Although some older Catholics believe in "Limbo" where the souls of these infants spent eternity in a state of natural happiness, this was never an official teaching of the Church. Most Catholics nowadays believe that these infant souls are in heaven. Jesus himself said, "Let the little child come to me and hinder them not." Many Catholic families choose to give their miscarried babies a Catholic burial, and the Church has specific funeral/burial rites for this situation.

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#7 of 70 Old 12-28-2009, 10:32 PM
 
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I believe my two miscarried babies are part of heaven's population now.

What I believe about heaven informs the rest of what I believe about my babies.

In my belief, in heaven we will have perfectly formed, whole, disease-free new bodies. We will not age (aging for eternity would be a pretty scary prospect!), but simply remain whole and in that perfect state forever. Age does not matter in heaven, and while we will know each other, our human relationships will be different. Not husband-wife-child relationships but cohabitants in the presence of God. Believing that, I'm not envisioning meeting a 13 week old fetus, but a perfectly whole and fully formed being. I don't know if we'll all be the same age, or if we'll be different ages.
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#8 of 70 Old 12-28-2009, 10:50 PM
 
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I'm a pagan not that it matters since that is a blanket term, and different paths believe different things. Mine is similar to Collinsky. I believe that the energy of the little one goes back to the mother goddess who is all pure energy. To come back again.

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#9 of 70 Old 12-28-2009, 10:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cappuccinosmom View Post

What I believe about heaven informs the rest of what I believe about my babies.

In my belief, in heaven we will have perfectly formed, whole, disease-free new bodies. We will not age (aging for eternity would be a pretty scary prospect!), but simply remain whole and in that perfect state forever. Age does not matter in heaven, and while we will know each other, our human relationships will be different. Not husband-wife-child relationships but cohabitants in the presence of God. Believing that, I'm not envisioning meeting a 13 week old fetus, but a perfectly whole and fully formed being. I don't know if we'll all be the same age, or if we'll be different ages.


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#10 of 70 Old 12-29-2009, 08:47 AM
 
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Jews believe in reincarnation. Our souls keep coming back until they fulfill every mitzvah, or until they reach a high enough 'level' that they're done with their job on this plane of existence and they don't have to come back anymore.

So with each of my miscarriages I was reminded that the soul that came down to me only needed a short time to complete its tafkid, its purpose, and it must have been such an incredible human in its previous incarnation, so holy & pure a life, and such a gift to have been the ima (mother) to such a holy soul for the brief time he/she needed to be here ...

It helped.
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#11 of 70 Old 12-29-2009, 01:05 PM
 
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Jews believe in reincarnation. Our souls keep coming back until they fulfill every mitzvah, or until they reach a high enough 'level' that they're done with their job on this plane of existence and they don't have to come back anymore.

So with each of my miscarriages I was reminded that the soul that came down to me only needed a short time to complete its tafkid, its purpose, and it must have been such an incredible human in its previous incarnation, so holy & pure a life, and such a gift to have been the ima (mother) to such a holy soul for the brief time he/she needed to be here ...

It helped.
I believe that the Buddhists (not sure which discilpine, or if it's all types) have a similar view - that the soul needed only to touch earth long enough to be loved in order to attain Nirvana. I think it's beautiful.

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#12 of 70 Old 12-29-2009, 01:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cappuccinosmom View Post
I believe my two miscarried babies are part of heaven's population now.

What I believe about heaven informs the rest of what I believe about my babies.

In my belief, in heaven we will have perfectly formed, whole, disease-free new bodies. We will not age (aging for eternity would be a pretty scary prospect!), but simply remain whole and in that perfect state forever. Age does not matter in heaven, and while we will know each other, our human relationships will be different. Not husband-wife-child relationships but cohabitants in the presence of God. Believing that, I'm not envisioning meeting a 13 week old fetus, but a perfectly whole and fully formed being. I don't know if we'll all be the same age, or if we'll be different ages.
I agree with that. When David lost his child, he said that the baby would not be able to go back to him (David), but that someday, David would go to his child someday. Please note (if you read the whole story) that God does not always take children away from parents because of sin- this is just one Bible story.

My beliefs on fetuses going to heaven is based on God's mercy and goodness, not on my own. The Bible puts a lot of weight on the unborn. Psalm 139 (and elsewhere) speaks of the relationship that God has with the unborn before birth ("my frame was not hidden from you...your eyes saw my unformed body...all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be"). Based on these couple things, I believe that my babies are in heaven. But, only God knows for sure.

If you are asking this question because you are dealing with a miscarriage of your own, then I am very sorry. There is a pain wrapped up in such a loss that only a mother can feel.
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#13 of 70 Old 12-29-2009, 03:26 PM
 
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I agree with that. When David lost his child, he said that the baby would not be able to go back to him (David), but that someday, David would go to his child someday. Please note (if you read the whole story) that God does not always take children away from parents because of sin- this is just one Bible story.

My beliefs on fetuses going to heaven is based on God's mercy and goodness, not on my own. The Bible puts a lot of weight on the unborn. Psalm 139 (and elsewhere) speaks of the relationship that God has with the unborn before birth ("my frame was not hidden from you...your eyes saw my unformed body...all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be"). Based on these couple things, I believe that my babies are in heaven. But, only God knows for sure.

If you are asking this question because you are dealing with a miscarriage of your own, then I am very sorry. There is a pain wrapped up in such a loss that only a mother can feel.
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#14 of 70 Old 12-29-2009, 05:31 PM
 
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In Islam, a baby gets a soul at either 40 days or 120 days after conception (different views)... so I'm assuming any miscarried babies after that time, would go to heaven (Jannah in Arabic). I'm not sure what happens with miscarriages before 40 days...

I think the majority believe 120 days... and there's actually a whole bunch that happens at that time according to hadith (tradition/sayings).... an angel comes and writes his deeds, livelihood (career), time of death, and whether he will be blessed in terms of religion.


Prophet Muhammad's wives experienced miscarriage, and he is reported to have said two things regarding miscarriage (he is Allah's Messenger below):

Abu Huraira reported that Allah’s Messenger s.a.w. said "The miscarried fetus that I send before me is dearer to me than a rider whom I leave behind." [Ibn Majah]

"Mu’adh b. Jabal reported on the authority of Allah’s Messenger s.a.w. who said "By him in whose Hand is my life, the miscarried fetus will drag his mother towards the paradise, with his navel string if she had shown the patience for the sake of reward from Allah."

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#15 of 70 Old 12-29-2009, 05:34 PM
 
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From conception the soul is present and since babies are pure and free of sin they all go to heaven Mine are in heaven waiting on me to get there. I am looking forward to meeting them when the time comes.

I am Christian, Separate Baptist.

 
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#16 of 70 Old 12-29-2009, 05:38 PM
 
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I believe the Biblical evidence is weighted towards universal infant damnation. I wouldn't absolutely stake my life on it, because it's never spelled out absolutely, but it seems the most logical answer to me. I do think the fact that unborn babies have not (presumably!) sinned means that hell for a baby would be a very different affair to hell for an adult, however.

I hesitated to post this because people who believe in UID tend to be characterised as horrible, terrible people who believe it because they hate babies. But, well, you asked.

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#17 of 70 Old 12-29-2009, 05:48 PM
 
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can you give some examples of that evidence?
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#18 of 70 Old 12-29-2009, 05:52 PM
 
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i believe the same thing happens as would happen to a person who had been born and lived for any length of time (moments or many years), which i guess is closest to what merpk said. i think either that spirit would be born at another time in another body, or its work is done, or the work it needs to do at that time is in the spirit world but maybe it will have work on the earth in the future (back to being born into another body at another time). i don't really believe in the traditional christian concepts of heaven and hell.
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#19 of 70 Old 12-29-2009, 06:17 PM
 
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can you give some examples of that evidence?
If you like. It follows on logically from "salvation is by grace through faith". The unborn, and small children to a certain age, don't have the mental capacity to have faith as far as I can see (faith requires a definite object, which requires at least a rudimentary understanding of the attributes of that object). The Bible never mentions an alternative means of salvation - salvation by youth, as it were - and positing one would seem to negate the necessity of Christ's sacrifice. I don't think God would have sent His Son to die if there were another way to get people into heaven.

It also follows from the doctrine of original sin, which states that babies aren't innocent (and yes, I realise not all Christians believe that).

As for David's comment about his son, I believe he was referring not to heaven (a fuzzy if not practically non-existant concept in the OT) but to the generic "Sheol" or "grave", ie. death. As in, he would meet his son in death, but his son would not come back to life.

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#20 of 70 Old 12-29-2009, 06:21 PM
 
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Because they dont have that mental capacity they dont need faith because of that they are pure. The same goes for an adult with a mental issue who cannot know right from wrong. Because of this they are automatically a child of God and will go home to be with him.

 
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#21 of 70 Old 12-29-2009, 06:22 PM
 
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so do you believe in "damnation by default" for any and all people who have not heard the gospel? so all people who died prior to jesus' life/death on earth, and all people who die before having a chance to hear and accept the message of salvation by grace through faith in jesus christ? (i'm intrigued, if you couldn't tell!)
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#22 of 70 Old 12-29-2009, 06:38 PM
 
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Because they dont have that mental capacity they dont need faith because of that they are pure. The same goes for an adult with a mental issue who cannot know right from wrong. Because of this they are automatically a child of God and will go home to be with him.
It's a nice thought, but where's the Biblical data on it?

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so do you believe in "damnation by default" for any and all people who have not heard the gospel? so all people who died prior to jesus' life/death on earth, and all people who die before having a chance to hear and accept the message of salvation by grace through faith in jesus christ? (i'm intrigued, if you couldn't tell!)
I believe damnation is the default state of humans, yes... that's why it's called "salvation". I believe there were believers in the Messiah pre-Christ who were certainly saved (Abraham, for one).

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#23 of 70 Old 12-29-2009, 06:45 PM
 
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Because they dont have that mental capacity they dont need faith because of that they are pure. The same goes for an adult with a mental issue who cannot know right from wrong. Because of this they are automatically a child of God and will go home to be with him.

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#24 of 70 Old 12-29-2009, 06:50 PM
 
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I will have to get back to you on the prof since my dad is the Bible expert I will need to contact him and have him look it up for me. I do know all my life this is what I have heard preached and taught in church.

 
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#25 of 70 Old 12-29-2009, 06:53 PM
 
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It's a nice thought, but where's the Biblical data on it?


(Abraham, for one).
Samuel 12:22-23says,

22 David said, While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, Who knows whether the Lord will be gracious to me and let the child live? 23But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me

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#26 of 70 Old 12-29-2009, 06:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree with that. [URL="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Samuel%2012:23&version=NASB"]If you are asking this question because you are dealing with a miscarriage of your own, then I am very sorry. There is a pain wrapped up in such a loss that only a mother can feel.
Thank you so much for the kind words.
I miscarried in July and have been having a tougher time these last few weeks. I guess they say grief is a wheel not a ladder.

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I hesitated to post this because people who believe in UID tend to be characterised as horrible, terrible people who believe it because they hate babies. But, well, you asked.
Of course it doesn't make you horrible. This has been the teaching of the Catholic Church for over 700 years, and despite the milder language of the current catechism, it has never been refuted.

It is actually questions surrounding this that led me to post the more general question. This idea was formalized by St. Augustine. His mother St. Monica prayed and sacrificed so devoutly that God granted her not only her son's conversion, but he became a great Saint. If through Monica's dedication she can be granted the favor of her son's conversion despite deliberate sinning, how can my baby go to hell when I would give anything to go in her place, when I would have baptized her. And then if my sacrifices could save her, how could any baby be damned who has not sinned?

I guess I'm just not very happy with it from a theological perspective and have been hoping there is some other answer. Rolling it all around in my head...

Thank you everyone for sharing. I'm really enjoying reading the different answers.

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#27 of 70 Old 12-29-2009, 07:09 PM
 
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This verse is pertinent I think

Mark 10:13-15 (King James Version)

13And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.
14But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
15Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.


Luke 18:15-17 (King James Version)

15And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them.

16But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

17Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.

 
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#28 of 70 Old 12-29-2009, 07:25 PM
 
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xekomaya: I'm not Catholic and don't believe in Limbo or in infant baptism, just for the record. And my intention is not to make your grief any worse, but simply to present the arguments as I see them. I'm sorry for your loss.

Yes, Monica prayed for Augustine, and it's not unreasonable to think that her prayers impacted his conversion. But he wasn't saved despite unbelief or non-belief; he was saved by grace through faith, which the Bible says is the only way to go to heaven. He repented. He believed in God. His life post-conversion demonstrates evidence of that repentance (although I think it was a scurvy trick to abandon his mistress, but that's another story for another thread!). In other words: his mother's love didn't save him, and there is no Biblical evidence that loving another person is enough to give them salvation. Rather, his mother's prayers were taken into account by God when God sovereignly declared, from before the foundations of the world, that Augustine would be one of the people saved. And because He purposed Augustine to be saved, I would argue that He allowed Augustine to live until the age when he had the mental capacity to make that possible through the means defined in Scripture.

MCatLvrMom2A&X: I believe those verses are referring to a childlike spirit of teachability, trust and humility, not to being a child per se (otherwise the last verse you quote would seem to prohibit heaven to those converted as adults!). I certainly believe that children, even fairly small children, can be saved by grace through faith; I just don't believe anyone can be saved apart from it. And I don't believe that a person being a loved one, or being small and adorable, is a ticket to heaven any more than being old and craggy and sickly and unloved is a mark against it, you know? I have a one-year-old; I'd like to believe that if she died, she'd go to heaven. But my understanding of the Biblical data is that she won't; and I trust that God knows what He's doing, and that at the end of things I'll recognise that whatever He did was loving and holy and right, and the best outcome for the universe that could have been. But I know that's easy to say, with her sitting beside me on the couch very much alive. It's a tough issue emotionally.

If decomposition persists please see your necromancer.

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#29 of 70 Old 12-29-2009, 07:30 PM
 
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I believe there were believers in the Messiah pre-Christ who were certainly saved (Abraham, for one).
i don't really think there was any concept of a messiah during abraham's lifetime. i could be wrong.
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#30 of 70 Old 12-29-2009, 07:33 PM
 
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I believe the first hint of a messiah/savior figure was given in Genesis 3. YMMV, of course.

If decomposition persists please see your necromancer.

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