Miscarriage. It’s a word that still pains me to type. So many emotions. So many tears. Memories that still haunt me. I don’t enjoy reliving it, but sometimes I’m forced to as things trigger memories and emotions from my miscarriage.
1 in 4 women will experience a miscarriage in their lifetime, so sadly it’s a common experience for many women. October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. My initial plan was to pour my heart into telling the story of my miscarriage – sharing all the vulnerable details – but I realized I’m not ready to go there yet. My story will be told when it’s the right time for me to share everything and do it justice.
However, I’m going to do a blog series on miscarriage this month. My hope and prayer is to generate awareness around this topic and to show just ONE person that they are not alone in their grief and suffering. Sharing is becoming a huge part of healing for me, so thank you for reading this. Here’s what I want you to know about miscarriage…
1. It’s VERY common, so chances are that you know someone who had or will have a miscarriage. Common doesn’t mean it’s an easy thing to go through. Years ago, when our mothers or grandmothers miscarried, it was rarely discussed. Women suffered silently. It should not be that way. Let’s break the stigma and talk about it so women can have the support and resources they need while they are grieving.
2. It was the biggest blindside and heartbreak of my life. Though this may not be true for everyone, this is my truth. I don’t want to sound morbid, but a part of me died along with my baby. I can’t explain it any other way. I don’t think I can ever get that part of me back, but I’m working through it at my own pace. The connection and amount of love you feel toward a child in your womb cannot be explained. I felt like this early on in my pregnancy. How can you feel this way about someone you’ve never met? Because this baby was yours…a piece of you.
3. Piggybacking off #2…There’s no “getting over it” as much as you or someone else wants you to be. It’s a death, which means you go through all the stages of grief at your own pace. Sometimes taking a few steps forward, and then a few steps back. As soon as you feel like you’re fine, another wave of grief comes back. There is no rushing when it comes to the healing process. Everybody grieves differently and on their own timeline. While this loss will always be with you, you can still choose joy. That is the good that has come out of this along with sharing my story for other women to hear. I will never take my children for granted; they are truly a gift, even on the hard days.
4. Each baby is unique and cannot ever be replaced. Rainbow babies are beautiful and amazing (I have one – he is my little rainbow), but they do NOT replace the child you lost. I was a little naive to think that somehow getting pregnant again and having another baby would make me forget about what had happened. I will always have a special place in my heart for my miscarried child who would have been 2 years old last month. I truly believe they are in Jesus’ arms in heaven and that brings me great comfort.
5. As with any death or grief, there is a huge range of emotions and intensity attached to a miscarriage. It can feel like you’re unpacking a large suitcase when you’re trying to work through all of the emotions, especially in the initial months and first year. To give you a glimpse, these are all the emotions that are common after a miscarriage that I’ve written down and experienced at one time or another…
- lack of control
6. Pregnancy after loss can be as difficult as the actual miscarriage. I felt so happy and grateful to be pregnant again. I knew I would never take it for granted, but I was fearful most of my pregnancy that I would lose another baby. I had serious fear and anxiety during every heartbeat check or ultrasound. If I didn’t feel enough movement from my rainbow baby, my mind would start to wonder and I’d think of the worst. My first pregnancy was so joyful because I didn’t know any different. After loss, my rainbow pregnancy was difficult to get through mentally and emotionally. I had no choice but to rely on God and my faith. He became my strength through the entire pregnancy and after my baby’s safe delivery. God is good!
7. There are more resources out there than we’ve ever had before for loss moms. There are groups on Facebook. There are pages about miscarriage on Instagram. The social media world is becoming a huge outlet for loss moms and their grief. Hospitals and clinics have local support groups so you can meet other moms who are grieving. There are tons of articles out there about what to expect after a miscarriage, trying to conceive again, personal stories of loss, etc. There are 5k runs and other events throughout October to meet other grieving parents or to do an activity in memory of your baby. This is the silver lining: communities forming around loss moms and their families.
8. A solid support system of family and friends means the world! I received an outpouring of love and prayer, handwritten cards, care packages, and people checking in to see how I was doing. If you know someone who lost a baby and don’t know what to say, small gestures that show you’re sorry and you care about them mean everything. Ask specifically: what can I help with? Don’t overthink it; be there for them in any way that you can. I’m forever grateful for everyone who was there for me when I needed support the most.
I pray for all the women and their families who will have to walk this difficult path in their lifetime. Don’t allow yourself or a close family member or friend to suffer silently. Be there for them in whatever capacity you can.
I decided a year after my miscarriage that I would break the silence and vowed to never stay silent about it again. Sharing and speaking about this topic is healing me little by little. My baby was too special to not be remembered. The ups and downs of trying to have a family is too common for most women. I knew I had to share to help even ONE person get through this. It’s time to pay it forward.
Want to read more about my story? I had the amazing opportunity of having my personal story of grief published in Dayspring’s Sweet Tea for the Soul: Comforting, Real-Life Stories for Grieving Hearts.