WARNING: SENSITIVE CONTENT.
A Missouri mom has shared the photos of her miscarried 14-week-old son with the world. The images of her fragile, under-developed baby—who already had a “perfectly formed” face that resembled his brother’s—are now giving hope to parents who are struggling to make the choice: to abort or not.
The photos prove how amazingly developed a baby in the first trimester can be.
Over four years ago, Sharran Sutherland, 44, was in shock when a doctor said her baby was nothing beyond “medical waste” and offered to do a dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure. But she chose to honor the sanctity of her womb and opted for induced labor instead. She didn’t want her son’s tiny body to be torn apart, and she wanted to see and hold him once in her hands. What she witnessed turned out to be a profound lesson for several moms-to-be, guiding them to choose life over abortion.
A mom to seven boys and four girls, Sutherland miscarried a baby boy in 2018. She and her husband, Michael, named him Miran, which means peace. She says Miran’s weeks-old life had a bigger purpose and has led several parents to have a change of heart.
“Miran gave them a face for their baby—he’s changed so many lives. That was God’s purpose for him,” Sutherland, from Marshfield, told The Epoch Times.
“I remember holding Miran … he was just laying on his back, and his mouth was open. I remember looking down at him and thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, he’s got an expression just like our youngest son.’ I didn’t think it was possible at that age. I’ve had nine other children—this was not what I was expecting at all.
“His face was just perfectly formed and there was a resemblance. He wasn’t just a blob of cells. There was a facial resemblance already to his brother. It just blew me away.”
Since then, several women who had lost their babies and had a D&C have reached out to Sutherland. “They were not even given an option, or didn’t even know they could deliver. They never got to see their child. It just broke my heart,” she said.
“I’ve had hundreds of women contacting me on all aspects. I’ve had ones that really wrote such horrible, nasty comments … that is just the face of evil. It’s just evil seething, because the truth is being exposed. I felt like God was protecting me during that time.”
‘He Was Not Medical Waste’
Sutherland was pregnant with Miran in 2018, and the couple were very excited. They went for an ultrasound at 11 weeks, and everything was fine. But during another appointment with the doctor around two weeks later, they couldn’t get a heartbeat.
“My doctor was unable to find a heartbeat,” the mom said. “She just couldn’t find it. The ultrasound technician wasn’t there, so she performed the ultrasound; she seemed like she was having a hard time getting it to work. She said that I needed to come back in the morning when the ultrasound technician was there.
“I went that morning to my doctor’s, they did the ultrasound … ended up telling me that the baby died at about 13 weeks and five days.”
The doctor asked Sutherland to come in for a D&C procedure, but she refused.
“She asked me, ‘Why?’ I told her that I wanted to see my baby. I didn’t want my baby coming up in pieces. I wanted to deliver my baby and have a D&C afterward. And she said, ‘Well, we’ll have to schedule an induction,’” Sutherland recalled, adding that she didn’t know that inducing labor was an option until she made her stance clear to the doctor.
The doctor seemed like she was irritated, said Sutherland, as having a D&C is “probably more convenient for them.” But that’s not what Sutherland wanted or needed, and when she inquired as to what would be done after the induced labor, the doctor’s reply made her upset.
“She said, ‘You can either contact a funeral home, or we can dispose of the fetus as medical waste,’” Sutherland said. “She didn’t say baby, that’s what took me off … [it] enraged me. It just hurt me—the fact that they would regard human life as medical waste. I don’t care how old it was, that was my baby. And he was not medical waste. I was just in shock that she had responded like that.”
Right after that, the couple left the hospital pretty quickly; they were told the staff would contact them with a date and time for the induction. Still trying to process the loss, the grieving mother went to one of her friends for another ultrasound, where she got a more comprehensive scan done; the results were the same. Feeling overwhelmed, she shared with her friend the whole encounter.
“I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want my baby discarded as medical waste, but I wasn’t prepared for a funeral,” the mom said. “[My friend] knew of people who buried their baby and planted a tree in their yard. I liked that idea.”
Sutherland called a funeral director and told him her thoughts on burying the baby in her yard and planting a tree for remembrance, and he asked her what she’d do if her family ever planned to move. After thinking for a while, she decided to bury Miran in a planter.
“He had told me that since the baby was under 18 weeks, they didn’t regard him as a baby, so therefore, I technically could do with him what I wanted to. And he said, ‘They should release him to you. But if they do not, then you want him released to me, and I will go get him, and then I will give him to you. And you can do what you want with him,’” she recalled.
“So at that point, I didn’t dream that the hospital would release him to me. I went into the hospital thinking that I’d basically get my baby in a box from [the funeral director].”
Carrying along a little box, her baby’s casket with a Bible verse stamped on it, Sutherland went to the hospital several days later and was induced; her husband and mother-in-law were by her side. For several hours, she lay there waiting, without any doctor or nurse around, and then her water broke.
“It startled me. I knew I was about to deliver him, and not too long later, I felt something … and his body popped out onto my hand,” she said.
The nurse came in at that time and asked her to just “hold him right there.” She went out and came back and cut the umbilical cord. Sutherland was taken for her D&C procedure; her husband and mother-in-law managed to take some pictures of Miran during that time.
“I remember my nurse was amazing. My nurse was just wonderful,” Sutherland said. “I mean, she took handprints and footprints [of Miran] … she made the birth card for me, and she treated him like he was a baby.”
Sutherland’s nurse also shared her personal story of how her own mother had a dead baby preserved in a jar, but no one knew whose baby it was. The nurse said she had no idea if her mother had lost that baby or not, but her mom was always “very protective about it.”
The nurse suggested that perhaps Sutherland would want to temporarily keep Miran in a homemade saline solution until she could bury him.
‘He Was Fully Formed, Just Needed to Grow’
Sutherland had Miran for almost a week at her home, before burying him in a pot.
Just with a thought of preserving Miran’s body, she prepared a saline solution, placed him in it, and kept the jar at the “very back of the fridge” so that nobody would see him so easily. The next morning, she got up before everyone else and took out the jar to look at him. She was again in awe.
She said: “I just remember being kind of in shock again, looking at him. I was in awe … I started examining him. I took him out of that jar. He had a tongue. He had nail beds. He had fingers, fingernail beds, he had toenail beds … he had his ears.
“He was fully formed. He just needed to grow more. And that is what I was just blown away by. And my kids saw him, I did not hide it from them. And we grieved him; I had them marvel and look at him, and we talked about it.
“That’s when I was [thinking], there’s so many people who have an abortion. They think it’s just a blob of cells, it’s just a mass, and it’s not a baby yet.
“This is a teeny, tiny, little baby. And all he needs is more time to grow and develop internally, which, when a baby’s born, they still need to grow and develop. It’s not like they can just come out of the womb, and they’re fully functioning people … so it just blew my mind. He was a baby. He was a human. He was a brother. That was my child just as much as any of these other children.”
The Sutherlands took photos to document “how perfectly formed he was,” and to remember him by.
It took almost a week for them to look for a big pot to bury him in. On the day of burial, they filled the pot up, said a prayer together, and buried Miran. The family then planted a hydrangea over him.
‘The Truth Is Being Exposed’
Sutherland shared Miran’s photos online to show her family and friends how perfectly formed he was. It turned out that Sutherland’s oldest daughter’s best friend, who was going to have an abortion, also ended up seeing the photos; she just couldn’t go through with terminating her pregnancy after that.
“It gave Miran’s life meaning … she decided to keep her baby,” Sutherland said, adding that the newborn girl was “just so special,” as the doctors had tried to convince the young mom to get an abortion. “It was because of her that I decided to share Miran with the world,” she added.
Seeing the life-changing impact, she took the opportunity to talk more about abortion and about the fact that many women don’t know that “babies at this stage are babies.” She really didn’t expect the post to have the impact it did. “It blew up,” she said.
A woman from the UK who was pregnant with her sixth child contacted Sutherland; the mother didn’t think they could afford another child. She was exactly 13 weeks along—just like Sutherland was with Miran—and had an abortion scheduled.
Sutherland said: “[She] broke down in tears; she just didn’t know what to do. But when she saw those pictures, she couldn’t go through with it. She kept in touch with me, and she would send me ultrasound pictures as she was going along. And she had that little baby … a little boy who was born in April, just a few days before the anniversary of when I lost Miran.
“I’ve had women reach out who had had abortions, and I was able to talk to them. They were so upset when they saw those pictures, because they had no idea that their baby would have looked like that … that just enraged me more. They were made to think that they’re not killing anything, that they’re not doing anything wrong.”
Sutherland says that though she never expected to go through the emotional toll she went through after her miscarriage, she is truly grateful for her experience, and wouldn’t change it for anything. She feels humbled by the fact that her baby son, whom they could never welcome into the world, has “done so much good.”
“I know that’s what his purpose was, and I’m thankful I got to be a part of it,” she said.
“I believe God works all things together for His Glory and that He is in control of everything, the good and the bad. There is a reason for everything. I may not understand everything, but I trust that no matter what, He is in control and sees the bigger picture.”