Friday, December 9, 2016

Things I Learned From Pregnancy Loss

This week, December 7, 2016, would have been my due date with the baby we lost back in May. All these months later, I am thankful for the time that has passed and that the raw feelings are gone, and that I can look back with much appreciation at what I have learned through my time of grief.

"I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!"           Psalm 27:13-14 

1. That Life is a Miracle. Having had four healthy pregnancies (two before my first miscarriage, and two before my second miscarriage), sometimes it is easy to think how simple the entire process is. You're pregnant, you wait nine months, and then you have a baby. After my first miscarriage, my kind and compassionate doctor shared with me that there was nothing that I had done wrong (which brought much comfort), and you don't realize what a miracle a baby really is...there are so many things that have to correctly split, form, and line up, etc for a healthy baby to be born nine months later. This really made me see life for the miracle that it is. Life is fragile, life is a gift, and something to not take for granted.

2. That You Never Know What Others are Going Through.  People may be holding it together on the outside, but you have no idea what they are going through or the situations they are facing. After my appointment when I learned I would have to have surgery after the miscarriage, I stopped at Ulta on my way home. I ran in and quickly grabbed what I needed, and as I finished paying the cashier, she said, "Have a great day." On what was a not so great day for me, it really emphasized that we do not know what others are going though, or what they are dealing with. It made me want to be kind and compassionate to everyone I come into contact with, because you have no idea what they are going through at that moment.

3. I have an amazing husband who was there for me in my time of need. I'm so thankful for my husband. I already knew before the miscarriage that he was amazing, but I got to see his love and devotion to me on another level. He was with me every step of the way throughout my grieving process. Always patient, never rushing me along. On one incredibly hard day, he came home from work, set up a wireless music speaker in our room, turned on some quiet, uplifting music and just sat with me and held my hand. I couldn't even form the words to share exactly how I was feeling, but he just sat with me, and did exactly what I needed him to do, be there for me.

4. That I have a wonderful support system in my friends. As friends began to find out, I was amazed at how much kindness and compassion they showed me. Taking me out for coffee just so I could talk, bringing me a sunshine basket full of all things bright and sunny yellow, providing my family a meal, sending/leaving flowers at my door and a special piece of art (a yellow heart, with we remember on the back), leaving a gift card for dinner out with Chris for some comfort food, and all the little texts just to see how I was doing. I have great friends, they were there for me, and I am so blessed to have each and every one of them.

5. That there is no timetable on grief. Everyone grieves differently, I learned this after my first miscarriage. Some days I would feel great. Then other days, out of no where, a sadness would sweep over me. I had to learn that this was all part of the process of grieving and healing.
The day after my first miscarriage, I called a friend who had briefly mentioned she had a miscarriage years earlier. I wanted to ask her questions, and see what I should expect. She was so kind to talk to me, and was amazed that I wanted to talk about things so soon, but for me that was what I needed to start to heal. She said she was never able to talk about things until some time later. We all deal with grief differently. Do not feel bad if the way you are dealing with grief doesn't fit with your friend down the street. Some people can move on quickly, while others take longer. Let yourself grieve and be easy on yourself. Grief is no one size fits all emotion.

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
..."A time to mourn, a time to dance, a time to weep, a time to laugh, a time to build up, a time to tear down."           Ecclesiastes 3:1, 3-4 

 "He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end."     Ecclesiastes 3:11

6. It brought me closer in my walk with Christ. My relationship with Christ flourished in the weeks after my miscarriage. I spent time reading the Bible and pouring over verses that talked about grief. I found great comfort from my time in scripture. I had an unexplained joy and knew deep in my heart, despite the sadness there was good that could come from my loss.
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." Matthew 5:4
"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10 
"He heals the brokenhearted, and bind up their wounds." Psalm 147:3 

7. That I'm now part of a large sisterhood. I was amazed at how many people were so quick to offer up their own stories of loss. I immediately felt that I was not alone. Others had walked this very same road before me. I quickly learned that there was some good that could come from my pain. As others would share their stories, I realized I could now share my experience with other women and I pray bring hope and comfort to them in their time of grief. Not even two weeks after my first miscarriage, a friend approached me to tell me she was experiencing one too. We were able to navigate those early days and weeks of loss together.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

8. Compassion. Up until my first miscarriage, I really had led a "charmed" life. Things had gone pretty smoothly for me. I had no idea the impact a miscarriage has on a woman. Six months before I had my first miscarriage I had a friend who had an early pregnancy loss. I remember when I found out, I felt for her. I was sad for her, but I did not know what to do. I didn't call her or send a card, I just let it go. Right after my miscarriage, I feel like my heart grew ten sizes that day (that is the only way I feel I can accurately describe it). My eyes were immediately open and my understanding was widely expanded. I called that friend and spoke with her and the first thing I did was apologize to her. I explained that I now understood, that I wish I would have reached out and called. Now, I feel with the depths of where I have been, the pain that others are going through. My heart breaks for each and every single woman that has to go through this. I truly feel the compassion I've gained for others who are hurting, is a big gift that came from my pregnancy loss.

9. The sun will shine again. You will not feel this deep pain forever. It will fade with time. The timetable is different for everyone, but trust me, you will not feel this sad forever. For me knowing that my baby is in heaven and that I would meet him or her one day was a huge comfort. Another thing that brought me joy in the sadness was planting two trees in our backyard, a few days after my second loss. We had been thinking about planting some trees, and I shared with my husband that if we would buy two we could plant them in remembrance of our two babies in heaven. We chose two bradford pear trees, and I am looking forward to watching them bloom their beautiful white flowers each spring.

I choose to be grateful for the amazing life lessons that these two little lives taught me. I might not have met these babies face to face, but I consider each of them a part of my family and know they had weight in this world, because they had an impact on me.

No comments :

Post a Comment