My husband and I found out this past summer that we were to be expecting baby number 3. We were a little surprised, but SO excited.
We lost the baby around 10 weeks.
It has been a month and I’ve been feeling led to write about it for a couple reasons.
First for healing. I’ve always been a journal type person and writing is super releasing for me.
Second, because I’m hoping by opening this can of worms, to make talking about miscarriage a little less forbidden. Because I could totally write in my personal journal, and just leave it at that. But walking through the last few weeks has opened my eyes to the fact that we just plain avoid talking about it.
Why don’t we talk about it?
For some it is so hard to talk about because maybe you just haven’t “been there” and don’t know what to say.
For others, it is so hard because you have experienced it, and either you feel like no one wants to talk about it, you feel like less of a woman because of it, or you feel like you should be able to buck up and move on. Or maybe you just don’t talk because no one has offered to hear…
I wanted to write down a few things to help you help someone get through a season of miscarriage.
Because…we need help. A lot of it.
And it is a season. It doesn’t just go away. And being silent about it makes it even worse.
I am not claiming to be an expert by any means, nor am I a trained psychologist. I have had a number of people close to me have a miscarriage, and as I look back I was so unhelpful. I’m hoping to help you get into the brain of someone that has freshly gone through a miscarriage…and is still healing. I want to help you help them.
And I want to let those of you that have been there know…yep you are not alone.
This is not an exhaustive list of things that help. I understand that everyone has different personalities – and different personalities have different needs. After talking with a few people close to me about their miscarriages, however, I’ve come to understand that we all have a few things in common. And a lot of it has just about everything to do with…just being there.
If you have gone through a season of miscarriage, please feel free to comment below about some of the things that helped you through, and maybe some of the things you longed for or needed.
If you have never been through a miscarriage, please know that I am not trying to make you feel bad if you have said or done/not done some of the things I’m listing here. I think one of the biggest reasons these lists resonate with me is because I had people close to me go through miscarriages, and I didn’t do anything. My hope is to help you help the friends and family close to you so you don’t feel so lost in trying to help.
THINGS THAT REALLY HELPED ME:
1. People checking in on me (in person, by text/phone, by email).
- I had a few sweet friends that texted me every day for at least a week or 2. Every DAY.
- When I went into actual labor to deliver the baby, I had one sweet friend that lived almost an hour away offer to come and sit with me. Do you know how much that meant? The laboring and delivery process was SO lonely. YES my husband was there. And he was so helpful. But if you are a woman, and you know of someone that has been told they will be having a miscarriage at home – offer to sit with them and rub their back, and hold their hand. It is just as painful and scary as regular labor and delivery. But with no nurse to help you, and no baby to hold after all the pain. As awesome as husbands are, there is just something about women coming together to support each other.
- I have another incredible friend that couldn’t be with me, but we talked and texted throughout the whole evening that I delivered. She reminded me to go get my heating pad for my back and tummy pain, to drink, and kept checking in with a text every few minutes to see that I was all right. I can’t tell you how much that meant.
- If you know of someone going through a miscarriage – DON’T ISOLATE YOURSELVES FROM THEM TO “GIVE THEM SOME SPACE”…even if you have never been through a miscarriage before – we need you. We need to not feel like an outcast. Don’t just assume that because you have never “been there” that you have nothing to offer. Sometimes you are the closest person to them and YOU are who they want.
2. Someone helping with the girls…and life in general.
- I don’t know what I would have done if my parents hadn’t taken the girls for the weekend we found out. I was NOT myself. The first 24 or so hours after that ER visit I couldn’t even pull myself to get out of bed the sorrow was so heavy. And taking care of them during the laboring process would have been difficult.
- They took them whenever they could in the following weeks as well. I’ll be honest – I was not the Mama I really wanted to be during those weeks. I still am not sometimes. I just wanna curl up and cry some days. Having someone play and have fun with them was so important to me. If you know of someone going through a season of miscarriage don’t just offer to help or ask “what can I do”…just assume and DO. Call them up and say I’m taking my kids to the park and we’re coming to get yours too. Or call and tell them pack up the kids over night gear we’re having a sleep over. Call her up and tell her you are on your way over to clean her bathrooms, or vacuum, and to make sure she has a load of laundry ready for you to put in when you get there. She isn’t going to ask for help – she is most likely feeling like since she didn’t have a “real labor and delivery and a baby” that she shouldn’t need help. She DOES need help. Just assume and DO.
- I still get offers from my parents to take the girls for an afternoon or if I’m having a rough day. Don’t just assume that since it’s been a month, everything is all set. I’m learning that this truly is a “season”…and it takes time to get over.
3. Just letting me be sad and mad.
- If you know of someone going through a miscarriage – cry WITH them. Hug and hold them. Even if you have never gone through one yourself. You don’t need a bunch of words.
- It helped to a degree to know my baby was “in Jesus’ arms”…but I wanted my baby. I didn’t want to listen to praise music, pray, or read. I physically COULDN’T. Just BE there – hold them, hug them, make them scream, make them acknowledge they are mad, and sad, and disappointed. YES there comes a point where prayer, praise, or whatever you do to release or heal is necessary – let THEM decide when they are ready. (Obviously if someone you know is just not getting over the grief you may recommend professional help, etc)
4. People letting me be excited about their pregnancies.
- There were about a zillion friends and family of mine that just happened to either already be pregnant, found out they were pregnant around the same time as me, or just gotten pregnant since my miscarriage. I remember being pregnant around the same time as a friend of mine having a miscarriage. I felt SO bad. I felt guilty that pregnancy was so easy for me and not for her. I isolated myself from her, or when I did see her tried not to talk about the baby. Or tried to move onto a new subject quickly when she asked how I was feeling. I’ve come to find out that the most uncomfortable and outcast feeling in the world is someone not letting you share in their joy. Don’t take that away from them.
5. People acknowledging that we lost a BABY.
- From the moment we knew we were pregnant that baby was a BABY to us. Not tissue. I know, I know that when the egg and sperm came together something might not have matched up right, or the egg didn’t attach right, and from what I’m told “a baby didn’t really form right”…But from the moment that pregnancy test showed enough hormones to be pregnant, to the excitement of telling family, to the moments when I hovered over a toilet puking from morning sickness, to the moments when I delivered the baby, to THIS DAY…that was a BABY to ME.
- It was also helpful when people would acknowledge that even though we have been blessed with 2 girls already, this hurts just as bad as if we didn’t. It might make it easier in some ways that we still had our girls – but I loved that baby just as much as my girls, and we were looking forward to loving on that baby just as much. Telling someone – well at least you have 2 healthy babies, or it was for the best doesn’t help much.
I know we all know of someone that has been or is going through this season of life.
CALL them up. Or text them. Like now.
Check in and see how they are doing. Even if it has been a year or 10.
Because what I’m coming to learn from others that have walked through this is…that it doesn’t really ever go away. It changes. It gets “better”. But you never forget.
…and if you are walking through this season right now and even if it has been years…know that you are not alone. I hope you have someone that can check in on you. There are more women who have been through this than you think. Talk to someone you trust if you have never told anyone.
Let’s break the silence.