The Struggle of Miscarriage
One in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage, yet many women and couples keep it a secret and are, therefore, unable to get the support they need to fully cope with the loss. Our culture encourages us to keep pregnancies secret before the 13 week mark so that we won’t have to tell anyone if the pregnancy is lost during those early weeks. In my experience, this hurt more than if I had shouted it from the rooftops like I wanted to; maybe then I could have talked about the loss more openly.
In December of 2016, my husband and I found out we were expecting our first child. We were over the moon excited! We couldn’t wait to tell our loved ones our good news! After a week or so, we had divulged the news to all of our closest family and friends. Everyone was living in bliss with us! It was the happiest time of our lives dreaming of our future with a new baby. After two and a half weeks of morning sickness and non-stop PB&J sandwiches, I had some spotting. I was immediately concerned, but my doctors assured me that there was nothing to worry about, that I was young and healthy and had no reason to believe anything out of the ordinary was happening. But over the next few days, my symptoms worsened. On Saturday, January 7, 2017, we lost our baby at 7 ½ weeks. The days and weeks that followed are a blur. Our loved ones expressed sympathies and we tried to move on with our daily lives, but nothing was really the same. The grief was harder to deal with than anything I had ever experienced, but the subject of miscarriage is so taboo in our culture that it was hard to talk about.
4 Keys to Help Find Hope After a Miscarriage
But, we found hope after our miscarriage. They say time heals all wounds, but I think time has some help from a few other influencers. It was a difficult journey through the grief, but my husband and I leaned on God and one another and we were able to find happiness and hope again. Everyone deals with grief differently, but if you are going through something similar, know that you are not alone! 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in miscarriage. That is a terribly large number of parents who are grieving a loss. I would encourage anyone who is struggling with the grief of a miscarriage to try the 4 steps below which helped me.
The times where you feel God and the world and the universe have failed you are usually the most important times to rely on God and your faith. You don’t have to be happy to talk to Him, you just have to be honest. Bare your soul and cry or yell or whatever helps you, but know that guidance and comfort will be offered to those who ask.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. – Matthew 7:7
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. – Psalm 147:3
2. Connect with Someone
Hubby and I took some time to attend grief share sessions at our church where we were able to discuss our loss with others who had also lost a pregnancy or a child. It felt good to have my pregnancy validated in a way where others acknowledged not only that I had suffered a real loss, but also that I was a mother. Talking through the pain made it easier to understand somehow. In our group, we went through the Grief Share workbook which had some really great information and inspiration and was extremely helpful in the recovery process for me.
If a group setting is not the way to go for you, you should definitely connect with at least one other person, perhaps another mother, who can understand your situation and help you talk through it. I would love to connect with you and hear your story. Leave a comment or email me any time at firstname.lastname@example.org!
3. Honor / Celebrate Your Angel
My husband and I made a shadowbox of all the things we had for our angel. We named him Noah and framed all the items in memory of him. We hung it in our bedroom until our son, Samson, was born; now the frame is in Samson’s nursery so our 2 boys can be there together. It gave us some closure to give him a name and keep his memory alive.
4. Meditate on a Mantra
Whether it be “one day at a time”, “you are strong”, or “every cloud has a silver lining”, find something to encourage yourself. It might sound cliche, but you play a big part in your own emotions. Choosing to be strong and stay positive can be some of the best medicine.
Stay strong, friends.