Category: Miscarriage

God is Writing Our Story: The Wait

The other day I realized that this month last year is when I had my last miscarriage.  It has been a year since I have been pregnant. We have been trying to have another baby for almost two years.  We have had two miscarriages in that time.  Now that we are a year out from our last miscarriage, it seems like such a long time.  I was one of those crazy moms that wanted their kids close together.  I wanted kids one right after the other.  My son is going to be three soon and in all of my plans, we should have at least one other child by now.  

Secondary Infertility is no joke.  I haven’t been officially diagnosed, but it seems like that could be what I have.   I wonder what is wrong with me and why I can’t get pregnant around my period each month.  I feel less than other women who struggle with infertility because I have a son already. However, the pain of getting my period each month doesn’t get any less.  The wondering and the worry doesn’t get any less.  The empty womb is painful. 

However, I am a firm believer that God opens and closes wombs.  When it is His timing for me to have a baby, if it is ever His timing for me than He will do it. God is writing our story.  It is the most beautiful phrase that the Lord has ever given me to dwell on.  He is writing our story. 

The first glimpses of hope were when we started to prepare for foster care.  We knew that the process would be long, but we were prepared.  But God, in a way that only He could, fast tracked us through the process.  We finished the training as quickly as one could.  I have been so hopeful to get a call, but the Lord has us waiting.  We have been placement ready since March 16, but our phone hasn’t been called. 

So, we wait. A million times a day I think, “God is writing our story.”  We knew that the area that we live in doesn’t get many placements, so that it may take awhile, but each day that passes, I worry more.  What if we can’t adopt our first placement, how old will our son be when he finally gets to be a big brother?  Will our kids be close or will they be too far apart to be friends? 

But I have to remember, God is writing our story.  He knows. He has the answers.  He knows if I will ever get pregnant again.  He knows when we will get “the call.”  He knows if we will ever get to adopt.  He knows our hearts, He knows our desires, He knows our family.  My job is to surrender my desires, hopes and dreams to Him in this time of waiting.  My job is to trust.  He is calling me to trust and I must be faithful in that trusting.  This is not easy for me.  But, it is a discipline that I am learning and will continue to learn the rest of my life.  God is refining me.  He is calling me to be His, to surrender my will to His will.  This is how I am practically doing it, reminding myself each day that God is writing our story.  

Dear Four

Dear Four,

Yesterday I got curious around 2:00pm. I was a day late and although I usually wait a couple of days being late before testing (after many many negatives) I went in and took a pregnancy test.  I honestly wasn’t expecting the same as tests I have taken over the last year, so I took the test and then got involved with my phone.  I looked up briefly a couple minutes later and there were two lines.  IT WAS POSITIVE! The adrenaline hit me right away.  I dug through the cabinet for another test.  Almost immediately, it turned positive.  I AM PREGNANT.  I didn’t know what to do or how to tell your dad.  At that moment, he knocked asking to use the bathroom.  I opened the door, with the tests on the counter and said sure.  He saw the tests right away.  The answer was super clear and bold, unlike my last two sets of positive pregnancy tests. He was shocked, just how I felt.  

We hugged, we laughed, we prayed and we cried a little bit. I was growing you.  We are so excited and scared at the same time.  We have lost two babies before you and now have to wait to see if God grows you in my womb.  Oh Four, I hope that he does.  I hope that God grows you into a person who we get to meet here on this earth in 8ish months. I am praying for that and asking God for that.  

I want you to know that even in the fear, we celebrated.  We laughed and cried and were in awe that God opened my womb again.  We hugged a lot, whispered about our new little secret, and looked at each other with awe. 

After your brother went to bed, we each poured ourselves a bowl of Lucky Charms and celebrated you, the new life inside of me. We love you already, even at the size of a poppyseed. =)

Love, Mommy and Daddy

One Year Little One

Dear Little One,

Today you would have been 1 year old.  We would have had a big party, you would have had your first sugar (cake made by mama).  There would be singing, presents, cupcakes and lots of laughter.  Instead, my heart feels empty.  I miss you in my arms, your kisses and your laughter.  I imagine you and your big brother playing.  

I wish that I was exhausted by taking care of two boys.  I wish that I had two little boys laughing and exploring together.  I miss that you would have been crawling by now and maybe even walking.  

I wish that you were with us little one.  You seem like a dream to me, but you weren’t.  You were real, for eight weeks you were mine. I wish that I had more time with you.  I can’t wait to meet you in Heaven. 

You are forever loved and missed by your mama! 

To my Turkey Baby

Hello My Turkey Baby,

When I found out I was pregnant and you were due today, I was joking with your dad and told him that we would have our own Turkey Baby for Thanksgiving, an 8 lb turkey of our own.  When family asked what we were doing for Thanksgiving this year, we had just barely found out that we were pregnant and we told them that we weren’t sure yet. The truth was, that we thought that we would be having a baby right before Thanksgiving and we were probably going to be home for it. 

We found out that we were pregnant on March 21. We were scared after our first miscarriage, but so excited.  We had just moved to our new home, I showed up in the garage and told your dad, “We have one other big thing that we brought from the Bancock House that we are going to have to find a place for.” I had your big brother dressed in his Big Brother shirt. Your dad teared up when I told him.  We were so hopeful that you would make it to your birth day.  We lost you a month after we found out that we were pregnant. 

Oh, my glory baby, I wish that you were here.  I so desperately wish that I was holding you in my arms, or almost holding you in my arms.  I wish that your big brother could wear his big brother shirt that is is almost too big for. He loves babies right now, and he would be so excited about you.  I can imagine him smothering you with kisses. 

I find some peace in knowing that you are in Heaven with your brother or sister.  I love that I will get to meet you both someday.  I may never know why the Lord chose to take you before you were born, but I trust that His plan is best for us all.  

On the way to the ultrasound, where we ultimately found out that you had already been lost, the Lord was faithful to give me a verse to calm my nerves.  It was Isaiah 40:1-3. 

Isaiah 4110

That verse gave me so much hope and peace before and after I found out that I would be miscarrying you.  My little turkey baby, I wish so much that you were here.  I want to be kissing your head. You will always be missed by me.  You are not forgotten by your mama. 

I love you so much!

Love, Your Mama

Glory baby, you slipped away
As fast as we could say baby, baby
You were growing, what happened dear
You disappeared on us baby, baby

Heaven will hold you before we do
Heaven will keep you safe
Until we’re home with you
Until we’re home with you

We miss you everyday, miss you in every way
But we know there’s a day when we will hold you, we will hold you
And you’ll kiss our tears away, when we’re home to stay
We can’t wait for the day when we will see you, we will see you
But baby let sweet Jesus hold you, until mom and dad can hold you
You’ll just have heaven before we do
You’ll just have heaven before we do
Before we do

Sweet little baby, it’s hard to understand it
‘Cause we are hurting, we are hurting
But there is healing, and we know we’re stronger people
Through the growing, and in knowing

All things work together for our good
And God works his purposes
Just like he said he would
Just like he said he would

We miss you everyday, miss you in every way
But we know there’s a day when we will hold you, we will hold you
And you’ll kiss our tears away, when we’re home to stay
We can’t wait for the day when we will see you, we will see you
But baby let sweet Jesus hold you, until mom and dad can hold you
You’ll just have heaven before we do
You’ll just have heaven before we do

I can’t imagine heaven’s lullabies
And what they must sound like
But I will rest in knowing
Heaven is your home
And it’s all you’ll ever know
All you’ll ever know

We miss you everyday, miss you in every way
But we know there’s a day when we will hold you, we will hold you
And you’ll kiss our tears away, when we’re home to stay
We can’t wait for the day when we will see you, we will see you
But baby let sweet Jesus hold you, until mom and dad can hold you
You’ll just have heaven before we do
You’ll just have heaven before we do
Yeah, you’ll just have heaven before we do
Before we do

Glory Baby by Watermark

How to Help a Friend Through a Miscarriage

Helping a Friend

 

I have now had two miscarriages.  I am by no means an expert on grief, miscarriage or how to help people, but I felt like it was important to write down ways in which you can help someone through a miscarriage whether or not you have had one. All people are different and something that helped me may not work for them, but hopefully you can find one thing that you can do to minister to their grieving heart. 

I think that is important to note that miscarriage is death.  Thinking through the words that you say to someone who is having a miscarriage should be just as delicate as what you say to someone who has just had a death of a close member of the family.  I have included a brief section below on what not to say to someone who has had a miscarriage, and the best thing to say. 

Here is my list of practical ways you can help a friend through a miscarriage.

1.  Prayer.  Pray for them.  Don’t just say that you are praying for them.  Set a reminder, put it in your calendar, download echo prayer for your phone to get daily reminders.  Your friend is going through something in which the only thing guaranteed to help them is prayer.  Be faithful to pray.  Also, don’t just pray the week that you find out.  Continue praying, miscarriage is a difficult thing because you never know when the grief and sorrow will hit you. 

2. Offer to bring a meal, then offer again.  When I was going through my first miscarriage it felt weird to me to have someone bring a meal over.  A friend was persistent and she brought us a delicious meal.  It felt amazing to not have to think of dinner for one night.  There is so much that goes through your brain when you are miscarrying, and thinking through what to make for dinner is sometimes paralyzing.  If you don’t cook, get them a gift card for a meal out.  During both my miscarriages we spent more money that we should have on eating out, but I just couldn’t pull myself together enough to make something.  Gift cards are always appreciated. 

3.  Send Flowers.  I received flowers both times that I miscarried and it was so nice to have something beautiful to look at during such a dark time. It was nice to get a little card from the person each time.  I actually cherish those little cards.  They are a reminder that someone noticed and cared for the little one that I lost. When you are having a miscarriage you want other people to care for the little one that you lost. 

4.  Keep texting and calling, even if you don’t get a response. I had a few friends during my first miscarriage that constantly were texting me and calling me to let me know that they were thinking of me and available to me if I wanted to talk.  I never called or texted back but each message was an encouragement and a help to me.  Have extra amounts of grace with the person if they don’t respond.  Don’t take it personally.  Just continue to love them and care for them without strings attached.  That is authentic love and you can model it here.  

5.  Send a note.  It doesn’t have to be long, but getting a note where someone acknowledges your pain and that you lost a member of your family is really nice. Notes are becoming archaic, but this is a really great way to show your care and concern. 

There are more things that I could mention, but these are my top five ideas for how to help someone through a miscarriage.  Just have a ton of grace, the person will not know how they feel from one minute to the next.  Also, this isn’t a wound that heals quickly.  The person was pregnant and now they are not.  That isn’t something that someone gets over quickly.  

With that said, there are some things that you shouldn’t say when talking to a person who has had a miscarriage.  Do not give false hope to them.  Biblical hope is fine, but false hope is not helpful.  Some examples false hope are: “Don’t worry, you are young, you will be able to have a child.” or “My cousin’s friend also had a miscarriage and then went on to have four babies.” Now is not the time for that, it is not helpful. False hope gives hope in circumstances and not God.  Remind them of who God is.  That is what they need to hear, over and over again.  God is good.  He is loving.  He hasn’t forgotten you.   

With that said, the absolute best thing to say to someone who tells you that they had a miscarriage is, “I’m Sorry.” Followed by a hug.  You can add that you will be praying and that you love them, but you don’t need to say much more than that. They want to know that people love them and care about what happened to them. 

Humanizing Miscarriage

 Miscarriage is lonely.  You often blame yourself (which is not the truth) and you feel like no one would understand.  Recently, people in the media have been talking more about miscarriage and I believe humanizing miscarriage.  One that I saw that touched me was from Mark Zuckerberg.  I felt like he perfectly explained how I felt too as a mom to two miscarried babies. 

You feel so hopeful when you learn you’re going to have a child. You start imagining who they’ll become and dreaming of hopes for their future. You start making plans, and then they’re gone. It’s a lonely experience. Most people don’t discuss miscarriages because you worry your problems will distance you or reflect upon you — as if you’re defective or did something to cause this. So you struggle on your own.

In today’s open and connected world, discussing these issues doesn’t distance us; it brings us together. It creates understanding and tolerance, and it gives us hope.

When we started talking to our friends, we realized how frequently this happened — that many people we knew had similar issues and that nearly all had healthy children after all.

We hope that sharing our experience will give more people the same hope we felt and will help more people feel comfortable sharing their stories as well.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Founder, July 31st

I truly hope that miscarriage does become something that people speak about more, not just over social media/blogs but in person.  When you start sharing it, you are able to help others as so many people are affected.  The biggest lie that we can experience is when we think that no one would understand what we are going through.  There are so many others that can understand it. We just have to be open enough to share our pain. 

When Your Body Fails You

This past weekend at church, I was praying and singing to the Lord and I just couldn’t just shake the thought that my body has failed me.  As a woman, I should be able to carry a child and grow one.  With each cramp or twitch that I feel as the days progress, I feel failed.  I have always been in tune with my body and have always understood what was going on.  Since the first miscarriage, I have no clue what is going on.

On Sunday, that led me to the thought: My body should not be my hope.  I don’t hope in my body for a pregnancy, for a baby to grow and to be able to deliver a baby.  My hope should be in the Lord.  He is the one who grows babies.  He is the one who creates the life.  Not my body.  

However, the human side of me worries, what if I trust God for this and still don’t get pregnant or do and then miscarry again?

God has felt so quiet in my life over the past couple of years.  I know that He is there and He has been faithful, however, it has been hard to trust His goodness.  God doesn’t change in the midst of our circumstances.  He remains the same.  It has been my attitude towards Him that has changed.  I am afraid to trust him with my deepest desires.  

So, all of this is what I have been processing since then.  I don’t have the answers or the next steps, but I am working to put my trust in the Lord. 

What Grey’s Anatomy Taught Me About Grieving My Miscarriages

Grey's Anatomy Blog

Almost two weeks into my second miscarriage I was at a work event and a coworker kindly asked how I was doing.  She then followed up with “I know you probably have to compartmentalize everything in order to be here, so you don’t have to talk about it now, we can talk about it later.” When she said it, my initial thought to myself was “I haven’t compartmentalized, I am open and processing through what is happening to me.” As I went about the day I thought about what she said.  I realized I was stuffing the emotion of it all, mostly because the emotion would be too overwhelming, too hard to deal with. 

A couple days later, I sat down to watch Grey’s Anatomy.  I won’t spoil much but I will say that a big character had died.  (If you are around the internet at all, you have probably seen who it is, even if you don’t watch the show).  The characters are grieving in their own way (most of them aren’t grieving at all). Months after the death, Dr. Owen Hunt was talking to Dr. Amelia Shepherd, who wasn’t dealing well with the death.  In a touching scene, written by Stacy McKee, he said the following (some portions removed): 

“All the stuff that you are managing, you are not supposed to be managing it, you are supposed to be feeling it: grief, loss, pain, it is normal…Instead of feeling the grief and pain, you shove it all down…instead of moving through the pain, you run from it…We do these things, we do whatever it takes to cover it up and dull the sensation, but it is not normal, we are supposed to feel, we are supposed to love and hate and hurt and grieve and break and be destroyed and rebuild ourselves and be destroyed again, that is human, that is humanity, that is being alive…Don’t avoid it, don’t extinguish it…(Dr. Shepherd breaks down)…You are going to be okay, you are going to survive this, everybody does. It is perfectly normal, it is boring even. It is so normal.”

Dr Owen Hunt, Grey’s Anatomy

The scene was beautiful, and Dr. Hunt’s words penetrated my heart.  With both of my miscarriages I stuffed the emotion, mostly because I was afraid to feel the pain, afraid that it would lead my depression prone self down a rabbit hole of pain that I didn’t know how I would get out of.  I cried, I suffered, I ate, and ate some more but I don’t know that I truly grieved or allowed myself to feel everything that I needed to feel. 

I think that a miscarriage (or two) is so lonely.  You feel alone as you see your body rejecting the pregnancy.  You don’t know if anyone else will understand or know what you are feeling, however, like Dr. Hunt said, “It is perfectly normal.” Statistics say that 1 in 4 women will miscarry in their lives, 2 out of every 10 pregnancies will end in miscarriage.  I AM NOT ALONE.  As unfortunate as it is, this is normal and women all over, right this very second, are experiencing the exact sadness that I have experienced two times now.  

So, I decided to try not to manage or compartmentalize.  I want to grieve and cry and let myself feel the sorrow that I have. I am embracing the emotions and allowing myself to cry, In the end, I will never regret grieving the two little ones that I lost. 

(Originally written on May 5, 2015, but not posted until now as I was busy processing the emotions and not making them public quite yet). 

A Year Later: Looking Back on my Miscarriage

Exactly one year ago, my body started the process of my first miscarriage.  It is such a unique memory and anniversary if you will, but because of when it happened (the Monday before Orientation for EBC), I will always remember this anniversary and all the emotions that went along with it.  

This time last year I was quickly getting together everything for orientation.  I had found out the Friday before that I was growing only a gestational sac and not growing a baby.  I had heard that I would probably be miscarrying.  I had never had a miscarriage before and didn’t know if I would need surgery or to be hospitalized, so I wanted to get orientation ready just in case.

I quickly worked most of the day on Monday to get everything ready.  Only one coworker knew what was happening and he was prepared to take over for me.  My other coworkers had no clue why I was preparing a bit early, but it wasn’t too unreasonable for me to be there. 

I went home that evening, started bleeding and the process of miscarrying my second child.  It is the first time that I remember feeling betrayed by my body.  First, it didn’t grow a baby and second, it miscarried.  

The emotion of it all was overwhelming, each trip to the bathroom heartbreaking, and I knew that I would never be the same again.  

So, now a year later, I look back and I still wish that I was holding my March baby.  I still miss my little one and wonder what our family would have looked like as four people rather than three people.  I wonder how our son would have been as a older brother, I love watching how he enjoys babies now and it breaks my heart that he should have a brother or sister to play with. 

However, in the midst of this year, I still know that God is good.  He has a plan.  I am seeking him and desperately trying to trust him with my desires for another baby.  I had my second miscarriage this past April, about a month after our March baby’s due date.  The due date was originally softened by the fact that I was pregnant again, and I felt my body betrayed me again.  I had another blighted ovum (they aren’t caused by anything that I did, but it still felt that way).  So I have another round of firsts to come with the loss of my second pregnancy and third baby through this next year. 

Anyone who knows me knows that I love Psalm 13 as a model to pray when things are bad.  David was so honest with God and yet, he trusted him.  I have held onto that in the last year, letting God know how I felt through the miscarriages, but still making the difficult choice to trust Him and believe that He is good. 

Psalm 13-5-6

 

Dear Little One

Dear Little One,

Today was your due date.  If you were anything like your brother, we may have met you a week ago.  I have been so worried about March 28th since I found out that I was losing you in August.  I was so unsure how I would feel, what would be going through my brain and how I would process that I don’t have you in my arms right now. 

One of my favorite sayings for moms of miscarriage is “I will hold you in my heart until I can hold you in heaven.” Thinking about that makes me feel that I can breathe.  I will get to meet you some day. That is huge.  

I wish more than anything that I had you in my arms right now, I wish that there were sleepless nights, snuggles, a meeting of you and your brother captured by lots of cameras, I even wish for the hard things, labor, diapers, spit up, I wish that I had it all right now.  But, unfortunately, that wasn’t meant to be.  God had a different plan for you and for me.  I won’t ever know why this was His plan for us, but I am trusting him. I have missed you everyday since I lost you.  

Love, Mommy