Things I've Learned About Miscarriage

These are just a few of MANY things I have experienced or discovered since I have lost three babies. Your experience may be like mine. Or it may be very different. Either way, I hope this helps you realize that you're not alone.

- It doesn’t matter how you lose the baby (early miscarriage, late miscarriage, chemical pregnancy, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, infant death) - it hurts immensely no matter how it happens. Don’t compare your pain to anyone else’s.

- Don’t beat yourself up if you cry a lot for a while. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t cry very much either. Each woman has her own way of dealing with the loss. Don’t do what you think you’re supposed to do; do what you need to do.

- It’s helpful to talk to one or two people who have been through it. They can help you know what to expect. They can sympathize with you. They won’t mind if you need to ask weird questions about what is going on with your body or your emotions.

- On the really hard days, give yourself some kind of treat. For me that means a Vanilla Diet Coke from Sonic or a Caramel Frappe from McDonalds. For you it might be an afternoon at Target all by yourself. Whatever it is, have a “go to plan” for a way to turn your bad day around.

- The bleeding that goes on for days (maybe weeks) afterwards is a constant, ugly reminder of what you lost.

- Now that you've lost a baby there will be more pregnant women and babies everywhere you go then you ever remember seeing before.

- No matter what your circumstances, there will never be enough closure. If you have an early miscarriage you’ll wish you had at least had one ultrasound picture - or just anything to hold onto while you remember your baby.

- You should tell your husband what you need from him. He probably has no clue what to do for you. If you need to talk about it, just bring it up. He might be afraid to ask questions. If you need to rest, tell him that you’ll try to resume regular housework in a few days but that for now you need his help. If you don’t tell him what you need he probably won’t do it - not because he doesn’t love you, but because he doesn’t know how to help you.

- Even if your husband is understanding about your healing process, he will never actually understand what you’re going through. Men don’t really become dads the moment they find out their wife is expecting; but women become mommies the instant they find out.

- If you have an early miscarriage, you’ll feel guilty that you can’t really give your child a name since you don’t know whether it was a boy or a girl.

- Ask your doctor as many questions as you can. It doesn’t help you feel any better but it does keep you from going crazy wondering “what” and “how” and “when.” Become educated on what happened as much as you can.

- Some people will feel really uncomfortable if you talk about what you’re going through. Most people don’t get it. But your real friends will try to be there for you anyway.

- Some will indicate that they think you shouldn’t talk about something so private. Ignore them.

- You’ll notice that a lot of people don’t bring it up at all - even the first time they see you after learning that you lost your baby. It’s not that they mean to be rude; they’re just afraid that it will upset you. Find one or two people who are your “safe zones” - tell them when you need to talk. Soon they’ll understand that you just want your baby’s short life to matter - and talking about your baby or your loss seems to make that happen.

- Keeping a journal is a vital part of your healing. So is having at least one special day each year where you honor the memory of your baby and perhaps have some kind of tradition that you follow. (I think I’d like to make cupcakes or a special dessert on each baby’s birthday.) But don’t let yourself get caught up in too many anniversaries (the day you found out you were pregnant, the day you lost your baby, the day he or she would have been due, etc.) or you can drive yourself crazy.

- A memento is really helpful in the healing process too. I have a special necklace with a birthstone representing each child. I know some women who have gotten tattoos, some who have a shadow box with special memories placed inside, some who keep ultrasound photos in a special place. Find something that works for you.

- You have to give yourself a break. Sometimes you’ll think you’ve finally gotten over it (as much as you can) and then something will open the wound and you’ll start grieving all over again.

- Sometimes the pain is a constant dull ache - it’s always there but you can carry on in spite of it. Sometimes the pain is a sharp stab that takes your breath away. You’ll cry your ugly cry and wish a hole would open up in the ground and swallow you up. After a while these types of pain will come less often, but they’ll never completely go away.

 - No matter what your circumstances were - how far along you were or how you lost the baby - it will be hard. But try to remember that God is in control and that He loves you because you are His child. If you spend all your time focusing on your pain you will be wasting the opportunity to bring glory to God. Look to Him, find your comfort in Him, and avail yourself to His grace. He will bring you through it!


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