The Revenant of an Aborted Child
Abortion is an obvious death experience. There is often a deep emptiness afterwards in the mother’s heart as the soul of the aborted child is often overlooked at a biological and spiritual level.
Revenant is defined as one that returns after death or a long absence. For many post-abortive people, being haunted by their “blob of tissue” is often unexpected.
With any form of pregnancy loss, there is a deep level of grief that is either embraced or denied. In post-abortive hearts, that grief is often disallowed. Triggers of abortion pain can ignite sorrow that is very difficult to defuse. Once kindled, sorrow can overwhelm and lead the individual to believe they are mentally ill.
Post-abortive women often report feeling “haunted” at some point in their journey through life after abortion. Picture knowing something is wrong but being unable to define the situation. This is often the post-abortive experience.
When the aborted child’s placenta physically detaches from his mother’s womb, the difficult to explain separation anxiety can overwhelm a heart. This “emptiness” often feels like a haunting as memories of the lost child surround the woman.
The biological impact of microchimerism adds to the revenant child’s impact in the woman’s heart. During the early stages of pregnancy, the mother and child exchange small quantities of cells. The ongoing cellular presence of this child in the mother’s body is called microchimerism. There is evidence that mothers are unconsciously influenced by fetal DNA for years after their pregnancies.
Early in pregnancy, cells from the unborn child and it’s mother travel across the placenta. This results in the two humans – mother and unborn child – becoming part of each other. Estimates suggest that as much as 10 percent of the mother’s DNA in her bloodstream comes from the tiny human in her womb. The child’s DNA drops after birth but there is clear evidence that some remains in the mother’s body.
Children also carry cells that were acquired from their mother during the pregnancy. These cells continue to be present in their body when they become adults. There is also clear evidence that when unborn children die before birth they leave a lasting imprint on the mother because their cells – or DNA – remain in her body.
Microchimerism is also prevalent in future pregnancies. Evidence shows that a mother’s body retains a large amont of foreign material from each child that developed in her womb. This foreign material grows deeper and more complex in the mother’s body over time.
This DNA can even transfer from older siblings to younger children, or even across multiple generations. This ongoing genetic material from lost children being transferred to the mother’s future children explains why siblings who have brothers or sisters in heaven often feel a deep connection to their deceased family members.
The cells of the two daughters my mother lost to separate birth defects is likely part of my own DNA today. This explains why I feel such a bond with my deceased sisters, even though I never met them. Their DNA runs through my body because my mother’s body transferred them to mine while I lived in her womb.
This scientific concept of microchimerism explained why my mother’s heart could not forget my aborted child. We continue to maintain a biological connection at a cellular level. It also verified why I always felt so close to my own mother and my three sons.
Microchimerism also reveals the way women often feel “haunted” by their aborted child. This biological connection to every child – whether living or dead – likely remains in the mother’s body for the rest of her life.
Seven years after my abortion I gave birth again. When I looked in my newborn son’s face, the presence of the child I had aborted came into my heart. The cellular and spiritual aspect of giving birth ignited the memory of the child I refused to acknowledge in my heart.
That haunting moment reminded me of Isaiah 49:16 – Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!
During my abortion recovery class, I remember reading Jeremiah 31: 15-17 – This is what the Lord says: A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.” This is what the Lord says: “Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded,” declares the Lord. “They will return from the land of the enemy. So there is hope for your descendants,” declares the Lord. “Your children will return to their own land.
This passage explains the microchimerism concept and the struggle to grieve children lost to abortion. The healing process involves recognizing our aborted children as people. We strongly encourage women to both name these children and have a memorial service for them at the end of their abortion recovery process.
During my own memorial service for my aborted child, whom I named Jesse, I went forward for prayer. The pastor asked for my child’s name and proceeded to ask God to remove the grave clothes of this child from my heart. In that instant, I felt like I spiritually lost 40 pounds.
The Jeremiah 31:17 verse came into my heart as I sat down. My child had been welcomed into my heart, named and grieved. In acknowledging Jesse, he returned from Satan’s grasp to take his rightful place in my heart forever. Jesse returned from the land of the enemy and back into my heart. That brought great peace to my soul. Until I meet him in heaven, Jesse is safe in the arms of Jesus.
The hope for my future after this amazing healing was to help other women struggling to recognize their aborted children. Since their cellular presence in our bodies never changes, it’s a biologically good idea to recognize, grieve and accept them into our hearts versus believing they were only a blob of tissue.
If you are post-abortive and feeling haunted, realize your lost child has always been a real person to God because He created him/her. While we may have rejected our unborn children as a gift from God, He has always cared for these children! There is no sadness in heaven, only peace.
Should you or someone you know be struggling with a past abortion, our Her Choice to Heal abortion healing site can help you begin to understand abortion’s impact at a deeper level and begin God’s healing process. There is no sin that God cannot forgive – even abortion.