9.09.09 was the day our baby went to heaven. I was 12 weeks along and miscarried. It’s been 6 years and even though it gets a little bit easier to cope with each year, there is a never ending ache in my heart and in most women who have miscarried.
My story isn’t one where it ends with the details of the struggle and years of this or that, and then I end up having a baby. My story doesn’t end with a picture of my husband and I holding a baby that we waited so long for.
It’s a story of the reality of a woman who ended with up with no baby. We normally don’t hear about this story, but we should talk about it because I am not alone in this reality. I know that we all know someone who has dealt with, is dealing with, or may end up dealing with this journey in life.
I am not a sugar coater when it comes to things like this. I find it best to keep it real and raw because it’s not something that we should try and make better when the reality of miscarriage is that it just plain sucks.
I decided a few weeks after it happened to me that I wouldn’t question the “Why?” of it all, and I kept that commitment. I gave myself permission to let myself “feel” everything and not live in denial or go into a depression. My anger, my worry, my bitterness, my sadness, my grieving, my anger again, my emotions of being a failure as a woman, and my resentment towards women who easily had children or to the women who had children and didn’t want them, is where I allowed myself to go emotionally. I went through all of those emotions at different periods of this journey and I sometimes still feel triggers that come up in certain situations.
The classic response and question that you get from other women is, “Well there’s always adoption, or IVF, or fostering, or this or that. Will you do any of those things?” Here’s the thing … sometimes women don’t feel called or led to do any of those things and part of their story is that they will not have children in their lifetime.
I have been told, and I quote, “You’ll do anything you need to if you really want a baby.” Wrong! Sometimes that isn’t the case for women who’ve had miscarriages; sometimes their story ends with no baby cradled in their arms. It’s not always easy to know what to say or do for a woman who has miscarried and ends up with their story ending at having no children, but there are a few things that would be great NOT to say.
1. Do NOT say “Don’t worry, it’s all in Gods timing.”
I’ve been a believer for 13 years and one thing I’ve learned is that sometimes God’s timing isn’t what lines up with what WE think our life plan is, and sometimes the chapter in our stories as women isn’t where all women birth children. He has it all taken care of and our story is to go in a different direction, and that’s okay. So instead, you can say something along these lines, “No matter how this chapter in your story ends, you are amazing, beautiful, and worthy.”
2. Do NOT say “I’ll be praying that it’ll happen. You deserve a child, and you would make a great mom.”
Look, sometimes it doesn’t happen. Then what? Does that mean since it didn’t happen that she isn’t truly deserving, and that it was decided she wouldn’t be a great mom, so she didn’t get to have a child? It’d be better to say, “I’ll be praying for strength, wisdom, a renewal of your heart, and healing no matter what the outcome is for your story.”
3. Do NOT say “I’ve heard _____ works, and so and so struggled for ____ years and they FINALLY had a baby.”
Women who have gone through this don’t want to hear about what worked for another woman, they are trying to deal with what “didn’t” work for them and how they can deal with it. As encouraging as it may seem to you, it’s actually not encouraging for the woman who is dealing with it. I assure you they will just keep smiling and say something back to you that’s kind, or they will agree with you in order to not scream at you, “I DON’T CARE, HER BODY ISN’T MINE AND I AM NOT THEM.”
4. Do NOT stare with a somber look on your face.
Hug her! Just hug her! Say, “I love you!” and then just hug her again.
5. Do NOT, and I repeat do NOT say “At least you miscarried early on.”
If a woman miscarries at 4 weeks, 8 weeks, or 10 weeks, just because they didn’t hear the heartbeat, doesn’t mean the loss and emotion isn’t as great. The physical effects vary for each women when it’s early on, but the emotional side effects are very strong. A miscarriage means the loss of a child, no matter when it occurs.
If someone close to you miscarries, a hug and a “I’m sorry.” goes a long way. You don’t have to provide reasons or insights into why it might’ve happened. Questioning and analyzing the situation doesn’t help either, just hug her!
A quick statement to the women who are pregnant, please be sensitive to the women around you who aren’t, whether you know their story or not. It’s a slippery slope with this subject because it’s not talked about a lot. I would advise to keep the conversations of complaining about being pregnant to yourself unless speaking to another pregnant woman. The number one thing I have personally heard through conversation and support groups with other women who have the same story as myself are, “It irks me when pregnant women complain about being pregnant, when there are so many women who will never get to experience that and would love to.” Yes! We non-pregnant women know that you are going through a lot of body changes, you feel tired, you are getting bigger, your hormones are out of whack, you can’t paint your toes, etc. BUT … the outcome is a bundle of joy that a lot of women will never experience. (Just a little food for thought and something that probably wouldn’t ever be said to you face to face.)
A quick statement to the women who live in this reality of not having children. CHIN UP, BIG GIRL PANTIES ON, BREATHE, & LOVE BIG! We have been blessed, and if you look for those people in your life that you have been a “nurturer” to, you have given motherly love. You are beautiful, worthy, lovely, and strong! Do not be bitter, do not be depressed, do not be angry. Wipe your tears, mend your heart ache and keep on truckin’! Don’t forget to thrive while you survive, it’s key. Also, hug and kiss those babies that you get to be around, you have love to give, so share it! Help another mom out, volunteer in the nursery at church, be the best aunt ever, and heal.
I’ll leave you with this quote … “And to think, the first person they saw when they opened their little eyes was the face of Jesus.” – Anonymous –
Our kids have the best babysitter ever. Keep on going, keep on living and choose joy over misery.