Today I was perusing the internet and came across an article that touched my heart. (I encourage you to view the article by clicking on the word article before reading my post). My post today is my response to Sara, from the website “Simply Sara”, along with my own experiences during and since my own miscarriage.
Oh Sara, I too am a mother of a baby in heaven. It’s been 10 years. My miscarriage happened early in my pregnancy. I also am a writer and God has used writing to help carry me through many days and difficult times. It is something I hadn’t taken time for through parts of my life, but through my dad’s illness and death three years ago, I began again. My dad was a minister and my spiritual mentor and I miss him every day. Isn’t it amazing that we so often feel we are an island – that no one has experienced what we have? Yet they have – even more than we will ever know. Your story touched my heart in a way that nothing else has since the loss of my baby. I thank you for sharing it. You portrayed in your writing exactly what’s in my heart. Tears fell silently as I read it.
I remember when I had my miscarriage that I could tell by the look in another woman’s eyes if she was a member of this group of women I found myself belonging to. Others would say they were sorry and I knew that their condolences were sincere, but those women who had been there felt it in a completely different way.
I went to see my OB for my follow-up appointment after my D & C and told him how crabby I was. I said, “It doesn’t have anything to do with my miscarriage – it’s everything else.” His response was, “Oh yes, it is your miscarriage. It will take you a year to work through the grieving process.” He was right. I didn’t really feel like myself for over a year. I didn’t use it as a license to act ugly, but I was better able to understand why I was short-tempered and could deal with what was at the root of my emotions.
A friend shared with me, that at about the same time every year she would start to get really emotional and cranky. She said she finally figured out that it was at the same month she had her miscarriage. I remember that those first few years the month of May was indeed a more difficult month for me – especially the first year. I remember how worried my mother got about me as I withdrew and was more unlike myself than I ever had been. I eventually came around and life with a new normal was found.
One thing that helped me immensely was something my aunt had told me during another situation I had gone through, but applies to any loss that we experience. She had told me, “You grieve for what could have been – the hopes and dreams you had”. At the moment a woman finds out she is pregnant, dreams begin (if a pregnancy was planned they begin prior to that) – you wonder who he/she will look like, what their personality will be, how their lives will be woven into the fabric of your family and home, what they might be when they grow up, how they will touch the lives of others… You begin thinking of names, plan the nursery, maybe even who you will find to provide child care if it will be needed. Things we don’t even realize are happening in our minds are becoming firmly rooted . All of a sudden those dreams are gone before they had a chance to happen.
Another experience I had (which it took me by surprise) was when my sister-in-law had a baby a few weeks after my D & C. Although I loved my niece the same as I did my other nieces and nephews, I didn’t really want to hold her. It was difficult to be around them for a while. It was a bittersweet time for me. New life is always something to be celebrated, but her birth was reminder of what my family had lost.
Time heals those gaping wounds, but on this side of heaven, the loss will always be there. The Bible says we are fearfully and wonderfully made. The intricacies of our bodies are amazing in and of themselves, but when you add in the emotional being that God equipped us with, it can be mind-boggling. How deeply we feel is an interesting aspect of our being. My daughter was almost 8 at the time I had my miscarriage. She had so badly wanted a brother or sister and the loss was difficult for her as well. Just a few weeks ago, I was reminded once again that our baby is still something she thinks about. She asked me who I wanted to see first when I get to heaven. I said, “Grandpa” (my dad). “Then who?” was her next question. I thought a minute and said, “Nanny Bird” (my grandma). She said, “Well, I want to see Grandpa and Nanny Bird, too, but I want to see my baby brother or sister”. She took me by surprise and I felt incredibly guilty that, in the moment, I forgot my baby. I haven’t really resolved that yet, but guess that maybe each of us have different triggers that bring to the surface the losses we have experienced. (Still – a mother shouldn’t forget her child – ever.)
We all will carry with us the question of what our lives would have been like if things had turned out differently. It all comes down to a matter of trusting that God knows and has plan. One of my favorite sayings is – “Either God is who is says is or He isn’t”. I believe that He is. All I can do is trust. I thank Sara for sharing her experience. It helps those of us that have experienced miscarriage continue on through the journey of that kind of loss and it helps those who haven’t to better understand those of us who have.
Take a moment today to pray for the grief of those who have lost babies before they had a chance to meet them. Pray God’s everlasting comfort for them as they continue on through this life “until they meet again”.