Sutherland’s doctor didn’t want her to miscarry the baby at home. She could hemorrhage. The doctor advised a dilation and curettage, or D&C. But she knew what that meant. “I was not okay with that,” she told The Stream in an interview.
“So, I said, ‘No, I want to deliver my baby.’”
Not Medical Waste
Her doctor became annoyed. Why wouldn’t she have a D&C? “I don’t want my baby to come out in pieces,” Sutherland told her. “I want to see him, I want to hold him.”
Although she felt that a funeral would be too extreme, she wasn’t going to let the doctor throw him away, either. The doctor referred to him as “medical waste.”
“I was angered by that,” she recalled. “I was like, there’s no way I’m letting them dispose of [him] as medical waste. [He’s] not medical waste.”
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She gave birth to the baby boy, whom she named Miran, and got to hold him. She thought he’d look like the images in books about pregnancy. “I was amazed at how he looked like a little baby. There were no words to describe how I felt.” She saw his gums, his tongue, every tiny part of him. “I was curious. I thought, ‘Holy cow, this is a full baby.’ I thought he was so beautiful and I was so in awe over how he was made. How he was formed.”
Sutherland took pictures and even captured his footprints and handprints. Because she also showed him to his siblings. She wanted her daughters to see that he was a baby. She wanted her sons to recognize life. If they were ever in a situation where they were thinking about an abortion, she wanted them to know the truth. “They were in awe. It was a valuable lesson.”
His Soul is in Heaven
The hard part was getting ready to bury him. “I knew he was gone — his soul is in heaven — but I felt like it gave me time that I was never going to get to spend with him again.” She is thankful for the memories the time with him gave her.
Not long after, a friend asked if she could share the pictures of Miran and Sutherland’s story on social media. Sutherland agreed. If someone was contemplating aborting her child and sees Miran’s image, perhaps they would choose life.
The images stirred up viewers. Most readers thanked Sutherland for sharing the pictures. Others were quite critical of her decision. But others shared their stories with her. Two others decided against abortion after seeing her son. Miran had made an impact.
In early October, Sutherland was praying for her children. When she got to Miran, she began thanking God for the time she had with him. She asked God, “How do I honor him and bring You glory?” She felt God prompt her to help young pregnant moms who face consequences of choosing life: those who don’t have anywhere to go or are otherwise estranged from their families. She’d call it “Miran’s House.”
She’s got a lot going on with her children and sports and other responsibilities. But she told her family about it. “We’ll just see what God does,” she said.
He Was Real
Sutherland thought she was past the grief. She thought she’d handled it well. Then came the day when, at her daughter’s sports game, she saw a woman holding a newborn. “I was crying. I thought, ‘I should be holding Miran.’”
When his due date came, she wanted some recognition for him as a baby. “He’s my son. He was my son, he was my baby and he was real.” So she shared the original post again. She asked people to share with someone who might be thinking about getting an abortion.
Within days, she couldn’t keep up with the social media notifications. There were kind words. There were harsh words. Then there were vile words. There were posts claiming Miran was a plastic doll. There was even a post of Miran’s face on an alien body. “I was drained physically and exhausted,” she said. Contrary to what some said, “I wasn’t trying to shame women who’ve had an abortion.” She just wanted to spread awareness about babies’ development in the womb.
She recognized the enemy, however. “[Evil] is freaking out that [I’m] shinging a light on truth, and it’s trying to shut it off.”
Between all of the posts about Miran, responses have been in the thousands. The posts and private messages from women surprised her. Many women shared their personal stories of abortion or miscarriage. Doctors told them it wasn’t a baby. It was just a clump of cells. It wasn’t a human.
Sutherland didn’t get angry at the women. She got angry for the women — for how the doctors treated them. “If a woman is going to have an abortion, she should be able to see what she’s doing, not be lied to and told it’s just tissue, it’s just a clump of cells, it’s not human. [The women] don’t understand what they’re doing.”
She began to realize that these women have been kept in the dark about early pregnancies and the development of their babies. “I’m willing to share my story if it’s going to save lives,” said Sutherland.
She’ll never believe that Miran’s death was in vain. “I know I’m going to see him again. … If Miran’s purpose was just to show the world in a different way of what a baby looks like, I’m glad. I’m thankful God chose me. … Miran’s life has touched so many people. How incredible it is that he’s already saved two lives?”