Today my heart is heavy.... There has been so much on my mind and heart lately. There are so many things I want to share with the world and the only way I know to do it is to write.
There is something about the holiday season that makes our family feel so empty... So incomplete. As most of you know, my husband and I have miscarried two children and we are still childless. However, we do have a fur baby (Mack) and he really is a huge part of our family and the journey through the loss of our little loves.
One thing that has been SO heavy on my heart is how our society views miscarriages and infant loss. In order for me to express how I feel about this subject, I need to share my miscarriage story in a way I never have before online.
When I got pregnant the second time (I didn't tell many people about the first), I was beyond thrilled. I couldn't wait to meeting our baby! Word could not express the joy I had knowing I was carrying life inside of me. I was so anxious/excited to meet our baby for the first time via sonogram. However, our first appointment did not go how I had dreamed. In fact, it was my worst nightmare... We were 10 weeks pregnant with a 5 week size baby... we found out that our daughter's heart beat wasn't strong enough and she wasn't going to survive, but what we didn't know is that she would still have a heartbeat till the 14th-15th week of pregnancy. At our last ultrasound we saw our six week in size baby and her tiny little heart beating from her itty bitty chest at a whopping 40 beats per minute. It was devastating to watch her heart rate drop. We saw our unborn child passing away before our eyes and there was nothing we could do to save her. Words can not express the amount of sorrow that flooded my soul... Because I was in the second trimester, I actually went into labor. My water broke that evening and after 5 hours of intense contractions I gave birth to our lifeless baby.
Now that you know my story I want to share my heart.
Something that really bothers me (as I stated before) Is how our society views miscarriages. Most people feel sorrowful when they hear what your going through but very few know how to comfort or know what to say so they say nothing. Friends, staying silent stings worse then your inability to know exactly how to comfort or say the "right thing". Don't let your fear rule, it is so important to say something to your loved ones who are suffering through infant loss/miscarriages. It will make all the difference in the world to them. They need it.
Apart from my family, I had a handful of friends out of hundreds that asked me how I was doing, on a regular basis and they were always there to listen to me and they played a big part in my grieving process. Word's cannot express my gratitude to these friends. They didn't just comfort me, they acknowledged that my baby was a live human being that passed away. They knew her life mattered.
When I first blogged about the loss of our daughter Grace I was truly shocked at the response. We were flooded with sweet messages and condolences. I am so thankful for that, because I needed that recognition that our child mattered, that her short life was real and worth celebrating/sorrowing over.
On the other hand, I was gobsmacked and a little hurt at the amount of close friends that never uttered a word. I know that people feel sad for us and have no idea what to say or how to comfort, and that is why I am not upset them because I don't think people truly understand the amount of trauma/sorrow a person feels and how just a simple recognition can make all the difference.
My heart in writing this post is not to be a hater, in fact, it's just he opposite! I want so badly for all my family, friends and even strangers to know how to comfort the comfortless. How to comfort the parents who are facing the devastation of a great loss.
When I miscarried I had no idea how meaningful my sweet Grace's life truly would be. God has used her life in ways I never would have dreamed. I am so thankful that the Lord allowed us to go through this so that we can not only comfort, minister and show compassion to parents facing miscarriage and infant loss, but also to show people who haven't experienced this first hand how to comfort the broken hearted. We are to mourn with those who mourn just as much as we should rejoice with those who rejoice.
With that being said, If you're not sure how to approach a friend or loved one who's experiencing this, here are a few do's and don'ts that may help you to comfort them.
- At least you can get pregnant
- At least you weren't far along... Life is in the blood friends.
- It could be worse... -_- just don't do it.
- Maybe you should try eating and drinking this next time
- There will be other babies
- When are you gunna try again?
- You'll be a mother one day.
- Just wait till your a mom... This one is a personal petpeeve
- You'll forget about it over time
- Maybe your not ready for kids yet
- "God know's best"... Please, oh please do NOT start spilling over spiritual advise at the get go. When all you say is something Spiritual and you miss the whole " let me comfort you during your loss" part people won't hear what you have to say, even if it is good, solid advice. Once you show people your heart, then they will listen to your words.
- I am so sorry...
- It's not your fault
- Just be there. Not everyone needs words, just hugs.
- Sweet message
- Can I bring you your favorite coffee and movie?
- Make the grieving parents dinner
- Send flowers
- Ask how they are doing, and truly mean it. Ask often, it means a lot
- Be willing to listen, even if they repeat themselves, it really does make a difference
- Acknowledge that they ARE a mama/dad
- Let them know how grieved you are for them and with them
- Acknowledge their hurt. It doesn't matter how far along they were, a living human being died and it's devastating
- Surround them with love, support and prayer
- No matter what you do, always, always, ALWAYS say something. Saying nothing makes people feel like you don't care and that their child's life is insignificant.
My hope and prayer is that this blog will be a voice to women who have been through so much and an aid for helping everyone know how to comfort their loved ones who are experiancing miscarriage and infancy loss.