Things I didn’t know about miscarriage until I had one.
There is an internal dilemma when we find ourselves yearning for the normalcy of our routine and longing for everything to be different. Because for you it is different even if the whole world seems the same.
We recently suffered a miscarriage. It’s something I could chose to keep to myself. But I feel called to share. Because there was a lot I didn’t know. There were things that no one told me about losing a baby in miscarriage. Even though I have been close to women who were miscarrying I couldn’t see what I didn’t know.
Also I am talking about it because, grief is meant to be shared. I’m still unpacking that one. My spiritual director told me that and I still don’t quiet understand it fully in my head. And yet, my heart gets it. We weren’t going to tell all of our kids. Only the older ones. I was talking to a doctor friend of mine and he suggested we tell all of them. Now after walking through this with all of my kiddos knowing, I can’t imagine it any differently. I have needed their individual thoughts on the value of this sweet little life we shared in our family. This little saint we have praying for us in heaven. No less impactful in their prayers because of how small the baby was here on this earth.
So what are some things I didn’t know about miscarriage until I had one.
That it would hurt. Not just my heart. But labor hurts too. I wasn’t afraid of the pain though. I wanted to feel labor. It felt in some way like my body was validating what my mind was processing. That this baby, this life I was carrying, mattered. Just as much as my other children. Just because I saw them and knew them. Their smiles and personality quirks didn’t mean that I would be more okay not knowing this one. And on the days that I was frustrated with myself for not being able to do life I needed the reminder that it had hurt. That my body had been through something.
The grieving process. Another thing I didn’t know was that the grief would be just like grieving someone I had known my whole life. I thought about this one a lot. I have lost two siblings. And it was very difficult losing them. But I never thought losing a baby that I had never been able to hold, outside of the womb, would hurt this much.
Men are kind of left out. Our loss was very real to me. And constant. The days when I was waiting for labor to start. Waiting for my energy and strength to return. Wondering about what next. My husband didn’t get time off of work. He wasn’t left with much time to process what was happening between his normal stuff and taking care of the household, while I was out of commission. Thankfully we had a small service at the cemetery when we buried our sweet baby and I think that helped him have some closure.
How long I would live behind a thin veil of grief. I didn’t expect the things that would be really hard for me. Or the moments I would be sent spiraling into my grief again. There was a big life ballot issue on a neighboring state that will be voted on in a few weeks. I was driving my kids somewhere and drove by a billboard of an ultrasound image. Bam. Helping at co-op and one friend said, “Can you hold my baby?”, while handing me her baby. Bam. At a craft show with some girl friends and one booth that has baby knits. Bam. My mom sent me a sweet song about a daddy giving his daughter away on her wedding day. Bam. Sitting at the dinner table with my husband and children. Bam.
The moments seem to be getting more infrequent and less intense but the longing for my stomach to grow with my baby, to be counting down the weeks till my due date, to feel baby kicking, still hard.
If you are going through a loss currently I want you to know it does get better. You will still miss your baby but you’ll be able to do life again. And that is something I’ve learned with every grief I have lived through. Life does go on. But it is forever different. My pursuit of holiness looks different than it did a month ago and I thank my baby for that. For that little life that changed me. Sweet little baby in heaven, pray for us.