It would be impossible to write down everything I want to say, the things I truly feel day in and day out, the things I want to share with others who may be hurting… because those things are never-ending and disorganized and a jumble of emotions. Feel free to send me an e-mail if you need to talk, someone to pray for you, whatever.
Miscarriages are common… more common than one might realize. I don’t have all the statistics memorized, but I’ve read about them and it isn’t pretty. I think one of the reasons for the seeming rise in miscarriage has to do with the fact that early pregnancy detection is so common these days – you can catch a pregnancy before you have symptoms or even miss a period. How crazy is that?
However or whenever you discover you’re pregnant, it can be crazy, scary, wonderful. And however or whenever you discover the loss of that pregnancy? It can be crazy, scary, devastating.
There are certain things in life you think will never happen to you – they happen to other people, not you. Sure, they may even be commonplace… but still, I’m immune. It wouldn’t happen to me. God won’t let that happen to me. You may even tell yourself that if it did happen, you’d be okay under certain circumstances. Miscarry at 6 weeks? That’s so early! I think I’d be okay… Well, until you’ve been through it, you never really know.
We each have our own experiences, can never fully understand another’s, because we can never really walk in someone else’s shoes. Even if we go through a similar situation, we still draw from a different past, a different set of values, a different group of friends and family that may or may not be supportive. The variables are myriad.
I got married in September of 2001, same week as 9/11. We didn’t have our first child until November 2007. It took a while to get pregnant, and although my midwife at the time suggested fertility treatments, we never went that route. After having Gwendolyn, my body seemed to regulate itself fertility-wise. It didn’t take as long to get pregnant with Josiah (two years and 2 days older then Gwen) and Adeline (a bigger gap here for my sanity). I got that all-too-familiar baby itch after a while and we decided to go ahead and see what happened.
I discovered I was pregnant again on Father’s Day, 2015. Shortly after announcing our happy news, we lost our baby. I won’t go into all of the details since I wrote extensively about my thoughts and feelings in the days that followed, but it was an extremely hard time for me. I didn’t think I would ever be happy again. Fast-forward a few months, and my world was rocked once more when my niece was stillborn.
Time hasn’t magically healed my wounds, and having Gabriel didn’t magically make up for or replace the loss of Shiloh… but the sadness has lessened and I am grateful for the good that has come from the grief, the rainbow after the storm.
Now, as I mother my four earthly children, I have to remind myself how blessed I am. The challenges and frustrations are many, the joy I feel with a new baby is intermingled with the knowledge that his very existence is possible because of our loss, my inner battles of self-worth rage on, mommy-guilt runs rampant. Every day is a struggle.
I feel the loss of my baby – and her cousin, Astrid – every day. Sometimes it’s a bittersweet thought, wondering what they would look like – red hair, like Gwen’s? Would they be troublesome, like Addy? Would Astrid be a beach-loving mermaid, like her mama? No doubt she would be a Scandinavian beauty, having both Danish and Swedish roots. I catch myself thinking of gifts to buy based on what ages they would be. Our Babies’ Garden in the front yard is forever growing and changing in their honor, precious little parts of them mingled with the earth. I pass pictures on the wall, reminders to cherish and love and never forget.
We’re supposed to move on, get over it, get back to normal… But nothing will ever be the same again.
I would be remiss if I didn’t include some of the things that have been helpful for me over the past months. I devoured many words of empathy and encouragement in the days following my miscarriage, listened to songs over and over, read verses and prayed to feel their truths deeply. I have found it difficult to continue immersing myself in these things with the same fervor as it keeps me trapped in those negative emotions, keeps me feeling more brokenhearted than ever… but I do still look for encouragement and inspiration in different places. Many of these can be found on my Angel Baby Pinterest board. Feel free to share your own resources in the comments.
Feelings You May Have
The Silent Suffering of Miscarriage
Raising Wailing Women
15 Lessons Learned from Miscarriage
Grief Sentence Completion
5 Rights of the Bereaved Parent | Still Standing Mag
Capture Your Grief | CarlyMarie Project Heal
The Prayer Flag Project | CarlyMarie Project Heal
23 Things I Wish Someone Told Me About Pregnancy After Loss
5 Ways Pregnancy After a Miscarriage is Different
Living Through Our Loss | Honoring Loss Moms
Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope
October15th – Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day
Perfect Way to Start, Craig Aven
Through Deep Waters, Landon Ditto
To Where You Are, Josh Groban
Still, Gerrit Hofsink
Praise You in This Storm, Casting Crowns
I Will Carry You, Selah
Dying Inside, Gary Barlow
Small Bump, Ed Sheeran
Gone Too Soon, Daughtry
Not Right Now, Jason Gray
It Is Well With My Soul – versions by Chris Rice, Hillsong, and Phil Wickham
Psalm 31:9 | “Be Gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; me eye is wasted from grief; my soul and my body also.”
Matthew 5:4 | “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Psalm 30:5 | “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”
James 4:8a | “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
Isaiah 43:2 | “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you… for I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…”
Isaiah 61:3 | “Give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.”
Philippians 4:6-7 | “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”