The following article is a synopsis of an episode from our Life Chat Podcast series. To listen to the full episode, click here.
Infertility and miscarriage are little-mentioned agonies endured by many women, which can cause a woman to wrestle with her worthiness as well as her trust in God. Katie Waldow, a much-loved youth minister and Catholic blogger, shares her struggle with infertility and miscarriages in an episode of our Life Chat Podcast.
In an interview with Mary Kate Knorr, Katie explains her story. When she got married and didn’t get pregnant within the first six months, she began to expect something was wrong. As it turns out, she went to the doctor and found out that she had a condition which would make it very hard to conceive. However, trying natural and church-approved methods to help her conceive, Katie got pregnant for the first time a few months later.
She was devastated soon after when she found out that she had miscarried the baby. Katie got pregnant again, and miscarried again. Just when she was starting to lose hope, she got pregnant and is now doing well. “This has forced me to press into the Lord and ask him what he’s doing with me during this time, what his purpose is,” Katie explains about her journey to get pregnant.
How did this affect her pro-life mindset? “I’ve been pro-life my entire life… but I will say that it was very easy for me to have that stance form the place of privilege that I came.” She explains that she was always pro-life but didn’t have any clue what women actually went through in pregnancy. Because of this, she came from a very idealistic standpoint.
“I was preaching it, and I was encouraging it, but I just really got it when I saw my baby,” Katie remembers. “I had a difficult first trimester…[and was] thinking about how difficult it must have been to women who don’t have support, how difficult it is to say yes to that, to be open to that [the pregnancy.]”
Instead of making her feel discouraged, her long journey to conceive and to carry a child made her want to help women in their pregnancies, especially those who don’t have support while they are pregnant. Seeing her babies in the ultrasounds made her ponder how someone could ever say that this is not a human child. “Seeing my baby for the first time, hearing the heartbeat was just like, how could you ever approach it differently? It was so profound to see life, and how early, and how little, and how beautiful and true it is no matter how tiny.”
Katie believe she didn’t necessarily need these experiences to be pro-life, but she explains, “There is a new sense of reverence and understanding in a way that I don’t think would click for me had that not happened.”
“Miscarriage deeply affects women, and is so painful,” Mary Kate acknowledged. “But there’s this disconnect with abortion that somehow that is empowering and the other is not discussed.” Why is that? Why do we as a culture condone abortion as being a powerful choice for women, while knowing that the loss of a baby–such as in a miscarriage–will have devastating effects on her mental and physical health? Shouldn’t we be just as concerned, if not more concerned, about the affects abortion will have on women?
Miscarriage and infertility are very real traumas that happen to women and their husbands as well. We should acknowledge that, especially as pro-lifers, and do our best to support women through these heartbreaking and mostly hidden struggles.