I'm slightly belated in this post. Two years ago yesterday evening, I completed the miscarriage of my third baby. While I was only eight weeks along (little Constantine didn't measure more than six) and while his presence in my body apparently doesn't even count towards the number required for my goal of attaining grand multipara status, he was missed, mourned, and loved.
My girls still talk about him occasionally. I remember their assumption that he had a name. The question wasn't "Did our baby have a name?" but "What was our baby's name?" Of course he had a name. Of course he was a person. He was a baby, just one who was too little, too sick, to come out to be with us. He went to live with Jesus instead. Mother Mary cares for him, I'm sure, as he prays for us.
At the time, I didn't know where to go for advice and information. Sure, I knew people who had miscarried, and so many people came out of the woodwork to share their stories with me. Being at St. Tikhon's Seminary, we were surrounded by people who knew how to handle a miscarriage in a loving, Christian way. So many had gone before us and could act as guides with suggestions for where to bury, how to pray, how to grieve, how to remember.
But for actual technical information? My options were limited to Google searches and www.babycenter.com. While I am indebted to the information I found—as it allowed me to recognize my baby's tiny amniotic sac—the site used sterile terms like "products of conception." It gave me no indication of a respectful (Christian) way to deal with my baby's remains, but thankfully, as I said above, I was not alone to figure that out.
Thanks to Mat. Anna, we Orthodox now have somewhere practical and comforting to turn. A few weeks ago or so I added a new button to my blog: Lost Innocents: Practical helps for miscarriage from an Orthodox perspective is as a tribute to her little Innocent who passed away sometime during this past Lent. She has convenient liturgical information for burials, a practical section with photos to help you prepare for delivery and know what to look for, and plenty of other resources. Sometimes it just helps to immerse yourself in other people's stories, to know that other people have been where you are now as you allow yourself to grieve and release your plans and expectations for this little person's life. You'll find that there too. If you'd like to have your story included (even miscarriage labors cry out to be "told"!) I'd encourage you to contact Mat. Anna and offer.
Thank you, Matushka, for your work on this resource. I pray that it provides support and comfort to many.