MISCARRIAGE: HOW TO PROCESS & HOW TO LOVE

It was a Wednesday in December when I was headed to my twelve week appointment by myself, honestly not thinking much of it. My other pregnancies have gone so well and we heard this baby’s heartbeat just a few weeks prior and everything looked great. I rushed in, worked while waiting for my doctor and she made small talk while she tried to find the heartbeat with a doppler. She couldn’t. I started to get a bit nervous and she reassured me “it happens all the time, we’ll just grab another machine.” After three machines and not hearing or seeing a heartbeat, she sent me to a radiologist a block down for a final confirmation that we had lost the baby.

I was completely alone. So confused. Kyle was almost an hour away so it made no sense for him to drive up and have both of us get stuck in rush hour driving home. I was scared, heartbroken, but so hopeful that my doctor was wrong. Unfortunately, she was not. The second appointment, and third ultrasound confirmed that the baby had no heartbeat and had stopped growing just two days prior to my appointment. Meaning I lost the baby about a day shy of 12 weeks. I felt like someone had knocked the wind out of me, and the grief was overwhelming. And I was scheduled to host an event in just a few short hours.

It’s amazing how so much of your life and plans and expectations can be changed in just a few minutes.

We were completely heartbroken. This is not what we expected, hoped for or planned. BUT – I can honestly say on the other side of that heartbreak was abundant blessings in our faith, marriage and family.

In that moment it felt as though God had taken something from me. But the child was never mine in the first place, it was and is HIS. That child will never have to experience the pain of this world. And what better place to be than in God’s arms.

The statistics for miscarriages are staggering. It’s heartbreaking to learn how common they are. And I don’t tell you that to scare you – if you are pregnant, or trying to get pregnant, or want to be pregnant at some point that does NOT mean it will happen to you. Find peace and trust God in that! Just because this is my story does not mean it will be yours. The last thing I want this blog post to do is place fear in you – please (oh please) don’t allow that to happen.

The reason I am sharing this is simple: miscarriages are common but not often talked about. I want to both encourage those who have walked through it and equip those who are walking alongside someone who is.

Because if we walk through hard stuff, let’s do our best to find the good and use it as an opportunity to love and encourage someone else. Otherwise, what’s the point?

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IF YOU HAD A MISCARRIAGE:

First of all, sister, I am so sorry. I feel your heartbreak and your hurt and I am so sorry. Your plans and expectations of the next year have completely changed and it may feel like a dream was stolen from you. But know this – this is not the end of the road for you. God has a plan, a GOOD plan, and you can place your future and your hope in His hands. He is faithful. He is good. Lean into Him right now – seek promises in His word. The one that I held onto most closely was “Put your hope in the Lord (not in your circumstances or in what you can see), for with Him is unfailing (perfect) love and with Him is full redemption (your time is not wasted and this was not a mistake).” – Psalm 130:7. I read this over and over again, posted it on multiple post-it notes around my house and even wrote it on my hand when I was going in for surgery.

Allow yourself to mourn. Don’t allow your mind to wonder what you should have done differently. Try not to blame. Lean into your marriage like never before – share your thoughts, fears and hurts with your husband and allow him to encourage you, pray for you and cry with you. Dig into that Bible and find scriptures that replace your fear with peace. Find a friend or two that you can cry with and walk through this with. Set boundaries with family members about what and when you are comfortable with them sharing the news with other people. Create space in your next few weeks to recover emotionally and physically. Depending how far along you are, that recovery can look different. Don’t push yourself and create space and time to process so (when you are ready) you can move forward and not feel as though you stuffed it away and didn’t ever fully process it. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or ask for space. Allow others to bless you. Allow the love of your heavenly father to overwhelm you. Find worship songs that encourage you (my favorites during this time were: Another in the Fire by Hillsong, Yes I Will by Vertical Worship and Do it Again by Elevation Worship).

Again, I am so sorry. This hurt is real and is legitimate. Find peace in the fact that the baby is in God’s arms, which is a far better place to be than anywhere else.

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IF YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO RECENTLY HAD A MISCARRIAGE:

First disclaimer – everyone is different. Everyone experiences grief differently, processes differently and has different ways they feel loved. So what I’m about to share is from my experience, and how the women who also walked through a miscarriage loved and supported me.

Honestly it’s simple – just show up for people. Go out of your way to make sure the person feels loved, supported, prayed for and seen. Consider dropping a meal off on their front porch, a little care basket or flowers. Text them when they first tell you but also check in after a few days have passed, to see how they are doing or just let them know that you love them and are thinking about them.

If you are close to the person, and they made the choice to share with you that they were pregnant and miscarried, I truly think the best approach is to acknowledge what happened. I completely understand it can feel awkward, you don’t want to say the wrong thing and fear you could make it worse. But personally I think not saying something is worse than saying the wrong thing. Don’t over complicate it – a simple “I’m sorry” and “I love you” is more than sufficient. Some of the texts that blessed me the most were the people that just wanted to tell me that they love me, are praying for me, that I’m strong and a good mom. It almost hurts more to know that someone knows this deep hurt and life-altering thing just happened, and them not even acknowledging it.

I understand that may not work for everyone – but I truly think it helps to feel seen and acknowledged and cared for, regardless of personality. And if you don’t feel comfortable, drop something off on their front door (or in the mail if you aren’t close) and say nothing else at all.

What it comes down to is that if you care about this person deeply, you know their personality. They need to feel supported, cared for and loved (whether they want to admit that or not). So do what you think is best, and just go out of your way to make them feel loved. Because it stinks, and they are sad, confused, overwhelmed and disappointed. If they just want company, just sit with them. If they want to process and talk, just listen to them. And if they want you to pray, do so boldly.

And if you are a person walking alongside someone who recently miscarried a child – bless you for wanting to be the best friend, sister, brother, neighbor or whoever you are to them. God is so good to give them someone like you to help care for them.

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I’ll end here – this is not easy. This is not something we can control. This is not something that we can pretend like never happened and not something we ever wanted to be part of our story. But it is now. And that’s ok. This circumstance doesn’t change God’s faithfulness and the good plans He has for you. When you’re ready, think and pray about how you can use this experience to bless someone else. Let’s not brush this under the rug but instead use it as a springboard for loving and showing up for others walking through the same or completely different but similarly heartbreaking seasons.

It means the world to me that you read this post. Thank you.

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