Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Life After Miscarriage and What to Say to the Hurting

I took an impromptu hiatus from blogging the past month. I've been soul-searching and sifting and life prioritizing. I've been trying to figure out if a blog can/should have a place in this busy season of my life with two little ones at home; and if so, what it should be about and how much of my time I should be devoting to it. I'd love to hear your feedback. Ultimately I have to prayerfully decide what the purpose of this blog will be, but it would be helpful to hear your thoughts on it. What do you get out of what I write? Is it worth continuing? What would you want to see more of/less of? You have all been such wonderful readers. I would love any feedback you'd like to give. I'm not fully sure what it will look like, but I figure for now I will at least put up a couple posts that I had already written over the past few weeks. 


A glimpse into little life moments and thoughts as I carry on life after a miscarriage:

Thoughts of the baby come to my mind while playing UNO with my four year-old son. Immediately I feel the twinge of sadness, and right then, without knowing how much I need it, my boy lays down his cards and comes over to me saying, "Mommy, I want to give you a hug." Tears come in my sweet little boy's arms and I tell him how much he comforted me right when I needed it.

At our grandparents 85th birthday party we were talking about how there are exactly 50 in the family right now but it just keeps growing as so many are having babies each year. My heart sinks a little as I realize my sweet baby was supposed to be next to make it 51 in February, but no longer will.

I keep trying to do everything I usually do for life to run smoothly and happily, but cannot seem to light a spark of motivation. I don't feel myself. I am trying, but I feel so weighed down by an underlying sadness that is tinting life right now and making even simple tasks more difficult.

Walking through a store, I see the baby section. I feel numb, but also aware there's nothing numb about it at all. I'm just too tired to let myself tap into all the sadness inside. The question hangs in the back of my mind: Will I ever need this section of a store again? Do I ever even want to risk losing again?

A dear aunt asks me how I'm really doing and I can't help but cry again. She then tells me of the two babies she lost that I never knew about. It's life giving to hear someone else has been here and gives me permission to still be crying about it. 

When I take photos of my two living kids, it looks like someone is always missing to me now. 

I look back at the pictures from the short time I was pregnant with our sweet baby and both amazement and longing washes over me. "There the baby was with us!" Yet never again.

I'm making supper at the cottage on our vacation with my husband's family and it hits me that it was this weekend I was supposed to be going into my second trimester and would have reached the "safe zone" to blast the news far and wide that I was expecting. I still can't believe I found out just how right they are about those delicate first few months.

Sometimes before I fall asleep I lay on my back with my hand on my empty belly and remember how just a few weeks ago it seemed every day to be growing larger and rounder (your belly grows crazy fast when it's your third). I wonder if it ever will again ... and if I even want it to.

Seeing our friends' pregnancy and birth announcements are no longer only joyful. I'm SO happy for each one of them but they are also reminders of my own loss now too. And I hate that. I miss being able to give a completely joy-filled congratulations. And yet perhaps my joy is deeper for them now. I am more thankful to God with them than I could have been before because I know the life and health of our babies is not guaranteed. My congratulations may hurt a little to give now, but I mean them more than ever.

I'm playing with a puzzle with my son and he says he is thinking about the baby again. "Mommy, I'm sad. I really wanted to give it kisses and snuggle our baby. Why did it have to die?" Oh, my dear boy, I wish I knew the answer to that.

I can't seem to stop getting hit with moments of grief out of nowhere. I fear sometimes even my extremely caring and supportive husband will soon grow tired of hearing that I'm thinking about the baby again. I start to feel like I should maybe start to keep it all to myself more. That's also partly why I haven't been blogging recently. 

Holding my friends' babies is delightfully healing and yet achy all at once. How I longed for this with my baby. I wonder if I'll ever hold one of my own again. But yet I've never treasured these little lives more than I do now, no matter who they belong to. I breath in their warmth, feeling the tickle of their soft hair and thank God for life.

Somehow, though for a long time I didn't think it could, it seems time has helped and I seem to be coming out of the thick cloud of grief. I feel a bit more like myself again. I do still tear up and feel the loss often, but it's with a deep joy and a heart at peace now. I have a beautiful silver bracelet I wear that my dearest girlfriend bought for me on what we didn't know would end up being my very last day with my baby. It's made from a Victorian Rose silver spoon and I wear it to remind me of my little rosebud that never got to bloom. I can be found from time to time staring at it with happiness in my heart now, remembering my little one, knowing she's in the arms of my Jesus and I will meet her someday.

I wanted to share these snippets with you to help someone who hasn't been through a miscarriage understand a little of what it feels like, and to encourage those who have or are going through a miscarriage that someone else feels a bit of what you do. However, I don't dare pretend that everyone who goes through a miscarriage feels the same. We are all unique and will grieve and process accordingly. 

In many ways I have felt about as spoiled as I could be going through this. And I want to thank you, dear reader, for that. I have felt many things since the night I lost my baby, but I have not once felt alone in this. I am humbled, encouraged, and strengthened by the outpouring of love from so many during this time. I have received so many messages - each one so precious to me - from those who say they don't know what to say except that they care to those who have or are walking this road too. You have all been so sweet and encouraging as I open up and let strangers as well as friends into this painful loss in my family's life. 

For years before this happened to me I wondered how to best support and love someone through a miscarriage. I wondered what I would or should say or do if a friend were to go through it. I would read articles and tips for being sensitive to them. Then a friend of mine did go through it just about a week before I did. That week before I joined her, I floundered, not knowing what to say or not to say. I loved her and just wanted her to feel I was there for her, but I didn't know the best way to do that (and thankfully she was very gracious with me as I learned). 

Now having gone through both sides of it, I've realized that the most encouraging thing you can do for someone who is going through a miscarriage (and any form of grief really) is to 1) acknowledge that you know it happened and 2) that you care and are so sorry. You don't have to know what to say beyond that. Sometimes when we push ourselves to say something beyond that when we don't know what it feels like to go through it, we end up unintentionally saying things that can hurt that person a little. Mourn with those who mourn - it really is that simple. All the good purposes God has for suffering in our lives will be revealed to them naturally later. For now, just be there to listen, pray and support. I am so grateful to so many who have done just that for me.

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1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry that the hurt from the miscarriage is still lingering Kaitlyn. I continue to pray for strength for you and your family! Hugs to you! I am very glad to see you back blogging as I had missed your posts. I personally really enjoy hearing about your family life, learning new recipes and seeing all those great photos. Keep them coming! -Malaika