*Content Warning: This post contains a personal description of a miscarriage
I sit here looking out the window on this cold snowy day thankful for the quietness the snow brings and the warmth from my fireplace. I’m feeling a little better than the last few days but when I try to push to hard my body tells me in no uncertain terms that I am not ready to move on quite yet. You see, I just lost a baby over the weekend. I want to just hide and close in but I sense that God is telling me that only through pushing past the hurt and sharing my pain can I truly be healed and he can use me to comfort others. I think it is so hard to let others into our pain. I feel so vulnerable. But when I don’t I feel so isolated and find myself spiraling in despair. It is only within true community that we allow ourselves to be cared for and the healing comes so much quicker.
This isn’t my first time. In fact, it is my third. I have hid in my grief and I have shared my grief. And I’m here to tell you that although it is ever so hard when I have shared my grief the load has been lightened. Both physically with people offering what assistance they can and emotionally being able to be prayed for and uplifted by others and as well as just the tenderness of a hug and extra kindness extended.
It’s so odd to me as I process this pregnancy. I was hesitant to share our joy of a new baby for fear of what people would say. I’m over 40 now and we already have 8 children and people have so many opinions about such things. Honestly, we thought we were done. I am getting older and this was the longest we had ever gone without getting pregnant. It was quite an adjustment of my thinking to add another one to our family when our oldest turns 19 this month. But we have always trusted that God knows what our family should look like and have faith that as the Creator of all life we are willing to follow what he has in store for us. We told very few people that we were expecting.
And then after just getting cleared by the doctor the night before to go ahead and use a midwife again I started bleeding Friday morning. It was just a little bit but I knew this was a sign of the end. We were 9 weeks along. I was emotionally wrecked. I pretty much spent the entire day crying on and off and told only my husband and my sisters what was going on. My husband was kind enough to take the afternoon off of work so he could attend to the kids while I holed myself up in my room. He was also such an encouragement to me and held me and cried with me as he was suffering the loss as well. My two year old sweetly hugged me again and again and asked me why I was crying? I tried to check out, reading some fiction to take me to another world. I prayed. I listened to Christy Nockel’s new album, Be Held and ate ice cream and too much Turtle Chex. I was so sad.
On Saturday the emotional pain was less but the physical pain increased. I was bleeding more including small pieces of tissue and had cramps like a bad period. I spent most of the day in bed watching tv with the kids and reading my book. I reached out to a couple more people and a sweet lady from church brought us dinner and some flowers for me.
I woke up early Sunday morning (especially early since time changed over night) with the beginnings of contractions. My husband went to church to teach Bible class and the kids were all home with me sick with sore throats and coughs (because that’s life in a big family this time of year). Thankfully they were content to watch tv.
The contractions intensified just as they do in labor only they aren’t as strong as when I’ve been in labor. Around 10 am I passed the baby and the placenta. The baby was too little and I couldn’t see it among the tissues. I got a hold of my midwife and she told me to watch for a fever and also if I bled enough to fill 2 pads in 30 minutes to get to the emergency room immediately. The bleeding lessened as the day progressed and I haven’t had any complications. The emotions washed over me anew. My husband came right home and held me and I just cried and cried.
During the course of the day I shared my grief with many of those closest to us. They were sweet, provided meals for us, prayed for us and just acknowledged our grief. There really isn’t much that can be done. Just being there for someone means so much. Letting them know they are loved and that its ok to grieve and that someone cares means the world. (And food is always nice especially when there are others in the house that still like to eat even if Mom isn’t feeling up to cooking.)
By evening I felt more like myself and was able to eat dinner with the family and get a shower. I was worn out and was asleep before 9 pm. (Which was good since my little guys needed me in the wee hours. The world doesn’t stop needing us Mamas.)
I plan to take it easy this week and ease back into our normal routines just like I would after having a baby only a little faster. I know that waves of grief will hit me unexpectedly and that it will take a couple of weeks for my body to heal and longer than that for my heart. But healing will come. God is ever so present in the pain and I can feel his presence as He walks through this with me never leaving me alone in the pain. I process through writing and I want you to know that although it hurts, healing does come. It comes in waves, little by little, it changes until the pain is dulled and the thoughts of what may have been give way to what is and although this little life was short it will always be remembered.
We all have trials we must face but let’s share our burdens with one another that the love of Christ can be felt by those around us. I have shared my experience in such detail so that others might know what to expect or might have a little better understanding of what it is like.
These were my experiences, yours will be different. I pray that by sharing we both will feel less alone and will have the strength to carry on come what may.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4