It’s almost a year since my last miscarriage, and there are some things that I’d like to share about what I believe helped me to grieve, accept and grow.
These things are said with the experience of having two very different miscarriages. One was when I had a toddler at home and had to keep carrying on (well, that’s what I thought I needed to do at the time), the other, I had no children at home during the day and that was hard. The silence was horrible. One there was no pain, the other I felt as though I could so easily become addicted to codeine as it was the only thing that numbed me mentally and physically. One I felt so deserted by friends who were popping out children left, right and centre. The other I was older, more content in my season of life and accepting of what had just happened.
So, let’s get this ball rolling. This post will be divided into three parts – yep, get your Mentos out, it’s going to be a long one….
The Things People Say, The Things People Do and What YOU are Allowed to Do.
The Things People Say:
The things people say stay with you a lifetime. Some comments are just so dumb. Let’s face it, some people just have no tact and have a chronic case of ‘Foot in Mouth’ disease. But there are a few things that people have said that really helped me stay focused on the bigger picture, and in the long run these things have been my sanity savers.
Winning comment number 1: ‘Wow, Tash. That is amazing that you were actually pregnant.’ Yes. It was and still is. This comment reminded me of the absolute miracle of life. My body was doing what it was supposed to. Even though it couldn’t carry it to full term, my body had created life.
Winning comment number 2 : By my gorgeous GP, ‘Tash, I expect you to go through a proper grieving process.’ Grieving process? I was allowed to do that?
Winning comment number 3 : ‘It’s not going to be easy, but, you will be ok.’ Yes. I was, and I am. At the time it doesn’t feel possible, with all those hormones coursing through your body, with nowhere to go and with nothing to do but mess with your emotions.
If you haven’t experienced an infant loss, and don’t really know what to say, there are a few things to keep in mind NOT to say.
“Oh, you’ll have another one” Quite possibly the stupidest thing one could say. It’s as if they have a direct line to God, and they know His Holy will.
“This must be hard seeing me with my baby.” Or “This is hard for me to say to you, but surprise! I’m pregnant” These statements, which have been said so many times to me, presumes that I am jealous of the blessings in your life. I’m not. I’m not so absorbed in my own life that I can’t see the joy and blessings in yours.
“Oh, so you were only eight weeks…” Be still my beating heart. That one is a doozy. James 1:17
The Things People Do:
What helped me will not help everyone. I truly believe that everyone has a love language. It’s important to work out and understand the love languages of your family and also your close friends. For me, it’s time. Time over cuppas. Time on the phone. Thankfully I have people around me, for whom quality time is also important.
But there are others for who acts of service, words of affirmation, receiving gifts or just a good hug are important. It doesn’t really matter if you don’t know what makes other people tick, more importantly, just serving is the key. Just do. Just serve.
So often flippant ‘let me know what I can do’ comments are made. At the time, if I could have told you what you could do to help, I probably wouldn’t have. It’s not in my nature to raise the ‘help me, I’m drowning over here’ hand as I slip deeper and deeper and I am convinced that I am not the only one.
So, the just doing, the just serving, the just ‘a meal plonked into my car when doing the school runs’, the just ‘a quick card’, the just ‘a quick phone call’, the just a ‘I’m taking your kids home and I’ll bring them back after dinner’ were the things that made the difference. I did not have the strength to ask.
What You are Allowed to Do:
Grieve. Grieve in your own time, not on someone else’s schedule. Grieve prayerfully. Psalm 50:1 ‘Call upon me in your day of trouble’. Part of that grief will also be anger, which some see as a sign of weakness. It’s not. It’s an important part of the grieving process. If the anger part is not dealt with, it will stay, untouched and most probably rear its ugly head further on down the track. Anger is ok, as long as it is worked through and you can see the grace at the end of the tunnel. God is bigger than our anger. He will help us through it and in return fill that void with grace and peace.
Cry. It’s ok to show weakness over loss and disappointments. Jesus did.
Share with your husband. It’s more than likely that they don’t know what is really going on. It’s not like a broken leg, or getting your appendix out. Every miscarriage is different. You need him to understand and you need to be able to share with him. He lost something too!
Disengage for a while. Don’t feel the need to carry on as normal. Give yourself permission to sleep in, have nanna naps. Do accept that doctor’s certificate saying that you aren’t up to going into work for a week.Your body was making a baby. And now it isn’t. It isn’t well, it needs a break!
Remember. You found out you were going to have a baby, or maybe the first sign that you were pregnant was your miscarriage. No matter how it happened, there is a loss of life and for that life you made plans and had dreams, or for that life you grieve for the time that you didn’t have together. You will remember the dates. The day you found out you were pregnant. The day you had your miscarriage. The date you would have been due. Time does make things easier to deal with, but you still remember those dates and that is ok.
Serve others. When you feel strong again, be that listening ear to the young woman who just had a miscarriage. God brought you on a journey that wasn’t pleasant, but it will make you more compassionate, more caring and more in tuned to those who will go through the same thing.
Looking back, would I have rather not had any miscarriages? Yes. A resounding, tear-stained ‘YES’ ! I would much rather had dressed two more children this morning. But, that wasn’t what God wanted for my family or me. Instead, He chose that those two children would be immediately taken to Glory and not needed to suffer the daily effects of sin in this life. God chose for me, for Rob and my children that our two children who we would never hold, love and worry about, brought His number of fulfilment closer.
Now. Already. By two.
Now. That. Is. Glorious!
Please read this book for more encouragement. – Little Ones Lost