Mom Sharran Sutherland and her husband Michael have recently been through a horrible nightmare. The woman, a mom of eleven children, was expecting another baby and was eagerly looking forward to welcoming a new boy into the world.
Tragically, she had a miscarriage.
At fourteen weeks into the pregnancy, their child – a boy named Miran – suddenly didn’t give any signs of life anymore. His little heart stopped beating and all hope was lost. Doctors wanted to dispose of the fetus as medical waste, but Sharran and Michael strongly disagreed and insisted that their child was a ‘real baby.’
The brave mother from Fair Grove, Missouri, who identifies as a born-again Christian, shared intimate images of her son on her social media pages to show to everyone that her child was already ‘fully formed’, as she worded it.
At fourteen weeks pregnant, the fetus weighed just under 0.05 pounds and was four inches long.
“Looking at him, holding him in my hand, looking at how perfectly formed he was: I was amazed,” she posted.
“I just couldn’t believe how perfect everything was on him. His ears, his tongue, his gums, his lips. I couldn’t believe it. You have those baby books that show you diagrams of a baby in utero but he didn’t look like anything I had ever seen. I was just filled with such awe and amazement with him.”
Mom wanted to share the pictures for two reasons: to draw attention to the fact that they couldn’t properly grieve their loss, because technically, Miran was never a child, only a fetus. In the United States, the term ‘baby’ is only given at 20 weeks pregnancy.
She also hopes that her pictures and post inspires others to think twice about getting an abortion, something she is very strongly against.
“I am hoping that by sharing these pictures of my precious little boy that it might just make one person who is contemplating abortion decide to let their child live.”
Completely heartbroken, mom and dad started thinking about the life that could’ve been.
The two had great comfort in being able to hold Miran in their hands. When the doctors told her she had a miscarriage, they wanted her to get a dilation and curettage procedure to remove the fetus from the womb surgically. After the procedure, the fetus would be removed as ‘medical waste.’
However, Sharran blatantly said no the doctors, and didn’t want her baby to ‘come out in pieces’ under any circumstances. They then decided to go with a post-mortem natural birth at fourteen weeks into the pregnancy.
Not knowing what to do with the body at first, the couple kept it in the fridge for a week.
Sharran decided to keep Miran in the refrigerator for the time being, because she didn’t really know what to do.
“When I got home [from the hospital] I made a saline solution and I put him in it and I put him in my refrigerator. I know that sounds morbid to some people but I didn’t want him to decompose or smell. I didn’t know what else to do. We weren’t ready to bury him yet.”
Doctors told them that the body could either be disposed of as medical waste, but they could also just call a funeral home.
“I was so angered by her calling my baby a ‘fetus’. I couldn’t believe she would insinuate he was medical waste. I was so angered by that. But I also felt like a funeral seemed extreme. I didn’t know what to do and I was faced with this decision.”
She and her husband then ultimately decided to bury Miran in a planter box with hydrangeas. They figured that the plants would grow each year, and their growth would remind them of Miran.
In those seven days before they buried him, Sharran examined him, and studied his handprints, held him and took pictures.
It was a part of her grieving process, and she says that it has helped her a lot.
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“(…) I had that time with him which I think really helped a lot.”
The intimate photos, showing extremely tiny fingers and toes, and in some more explicit photographs, also his face, were shared thousands of times. Mom and dad have also received tons of support from family, friends and strangers alike.
According to Sharran, her story has convinced a friend to cancel their planned abortion because she’d seen pictures of Miran.
“I thought, if that’s all Miran’s life was meant to do, then so be it.”
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