Mom Had 12-Year-Old Daughter ‘Watch’ Her Miscarrying To Help Normalize Pregnancy Loss

Paula Faris

TRIGGER WARNING: This post contains information about miscarriage and infant loss, which may be triggering to some.

In the last 10 years, public conversation around pregnancy and infant loss has increased dramatically -- and make no mistake, the impacts of that have been incredible. But even so, the topic of miscarriage is still somewhat taboo, often carrying with it a stigma that many women feel right down to their core. No one knows that more than Paula Faris, a 44-year-old mother whose recent attempts to normalize the subject for her daughter has created an internet backlash she never expected. 

  • The mom shared her experience on a recent episode of 'The View.'

    As a journalist and alum of the popular daytime talk show, Faris swung by The View on Thursday to talk about her podcast, Journeys of Faith, and open up about her recent miscarriage, which happened in July.

    According to People, it was Faris' third miscarriage after two other failed pregnancies. Knowing she was about to miscarry once more, she brought her 12-year-old daughter into the bathroom with her as it was happening. Her intent, she told the women of The View, was to normalize miscarriages for her daughter -- which according to the March of Dimes, occur in up to 50% of all pregnancies.

    But after sharing her story online, some people are saying she took the lesson way too far.

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  • Faris shared that she had been trying to have a fourth child for some time before her miscarriage last year.

    Faris and her husband, John Kreuger, already have three children: 12-year-old Caroline Grace, 10-year-old JJ, and 6-year-old Landon. But they have struggled to welcome more babies into their family.

    "I'm 44," the mom of three shared on The View. "I’ve always wanted four kids -- maybe because I am the youngest of four. But that was my third miscarriage."

  • It happened while the family was on vacation in Maryland during the Fourth of July weekend.

    Being that this was her third time miscarrying, she said she felt prepared and “knew what was going on." It's for that reason that she quickly made the decision to use it as a teaching moment for her daughter.

    She explained:

    “I brought my daughter into the restroom with me. I showed her what was going on and I said, ‘I just want to let you know, Mommy is … the baby is probably no longer viable. Mommy doesn’t feel any guilt. This is normal, it happens to so many women, it’s happened to me a couple of other times. When you get pregnant, it might happen to you, honey. And I want you to know there’s nothing you did wrong.’"

  • Faris' story touched many woman who had also experienced loss, but it also caused some to question whether she'd done the right thing.

    Some people felt it was inappropriate for the mom to expose her daughter to miscarriage at such a young age.

    "I’m sorry for her loss and it’s her choice what and how she shares this with her kids but I think that’s way too much for a 12-year-old child to experience like that," one woman wrote in a Facebook comment. 

    "I believe in being upfront with kids, but also not putting adult issues onto your children," another person agreed. "She could have explained it to her afterward. Some things are too much for kids, this is one of them."

  • Another person said they couldn't imagine having a child witness such a deeply traumatic moment.

    "I kind of feel like having an educational moment with a child is usually the right thing to do, but I wouldn't want anyone around while it is actively happening," one woman wrote. "However, I'm not the parent of her children and the way she teaches them about life is none of my business."

  • Many other women applauded Faris -- for her strength, as well as her foresight.

    "I think teaching our kids about the hard things like death, or miscarriage etc is a good thing," one woman wrote on Facebook. "The more you know and when you can see and talk about the hard, scary, or unpleasant things in life makes for a more emotionally capable person.

    "When you hide things from kids or sugar coat things it can create those feelings if fear, shame, confusion etc," the woman continued. "Children do not stay children. The whole point is to raise capable adult humans. In my opinion."

    "After having two miscarriages myself, as bad as I am sure it was on them both, this would have been very helpful to me to know as a kid," another person admitted.

    "If 12-year-olds are old enough to have a baby or a miscarriage (which a lot of 12-year-olds are) then they're old enough to have this teaching moment," someone else wrote.

  • On the talk show, the mom explained that she decided to share her experience to help end the stigma in her own small way.

    In July 2018, the mom shared with People that she was planning on leaving her job at The View and another position with Good Morning America due to having a “rough year health-wise."

    “What kicked it off is that I had a really tough miscarriage,” she explained at the time. “I feel like it was in that moment that really re-positioned my priority compass and our family’s priority compass. I realized that my kids need me in the stands and on the sidelines, my husband and I need that time to reconnect.” 

    Faris later made her exit from both programs in August 2018.

    Now, she hopes that in sharing her story of loss, she might help others heal.

    "It’s important to grieve," she said Thursday, "but it’s also important to know that this happens to so many of us."

miscarriage & loss