How to Explain a Miscarriage to Your Young Child

popcorn210I am 13 weeks along and baby is doing just fine, so I’m happy that this post isn’t about my current pregnancy.  But my 4 year old son said something to me that I just had to share with you.

He said, “Mom, I hope our baby pops.”

Last fall, I miscarried at about 8 weeks.  I wasn’t sure how to explain this to my 4 year old.  We were sitting at the breakfast table and I breathed a prayer to God.  “Give me wisdom and show me how to tell my son.”  At that moment, I looked at the microwave popcorn we had been snacking on.  That was it!

I told my son, “Look at this popcorn.  See how most of the kernels become popcorn, but some of it just stays as kernels?  I don’t really know why some kernels pop and some don’t.  There’s not really a good reason.  Well, you know how mommy has a baby inside?  Well, my baby didn’t pop.  We didn’t do anything wrong, it’s just the way it turned out.”

My son thought about it for a moment.  I showed him the kernels again, comparing the popped corn to the unpopped corn.  The explanation was good enough for him.  From time to time afterwards, he would ask me, “Why didn’t our baby pop?”  To which I replied something like, “I don’t know.  Some things pop and others don’t.” 

So if you ever need a way to explain miscarriage to a young child, think of this popcorn story.  I hope it helps you share your sad news with your little one.  And remember, there are some things we don’t understand (like why DON’T all those kernels pop in the bag?) but God will give us the grace we need when we need it.

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5 Responses

  1. hi, lovely story i was 8 week pregnant with twins, neither popped, have been miscarrying for two weeks (since easter) it’s agony i couldn’t find a way to tell my other kids,hope you don’t mind if i use ur story?

  2. hi, lovely story i was 8 week pregnant with twins, neither popped, have been miscarrying for two weeks (since easter) it’s agony i couldn’t find a way to tell my other kids,hope you don’t mind if i use ur story

  3. Wow, Arlene. This was really moving.

  4. […] How to Explain a Miscarriage to Your Young Child […]

  5. I’m so sorry to hear about your twins. I’m glad you found my story and I would be more than happy for you to use the popcorn story to explain it to your kids.

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