Good Morning Everyone! I hope everyone has had a nice week so far. With it being "hump day" I am looking forward to this long weekend coming up. Just two more days before we have some family fun time! Woo-Hoo!!!
Anyway, today I wanted to do a follow-up from last week's post on miscarriage. If you didn't get a chance to read it, click here. My friend Stephanie shared her heart and I know that many of you out there have either experienced a loss like her or you have a friend that has dealt with the hardships of miscarriages. It is a tough road to travel on but I believe that God is giving Stephanie and others like her to share her trial so she can help others. She is "letting her light shine" as I so love to say. Today, my other friend Abbey has answered some of the tough questions about what it feels like and how to cope with going through a miscarriage. I hope that this post gives needed answers and also helps those of you out there that are dealing with the aftermath of losing a baby. So, without further adieu, here's what Abbey had to say:
Someone once told me "there are always roses among the thorns" and that saying has stuck with me. Having the opportunity to share my story- our family's story- is a rose among the thorns of what we went though. It is a privilege to share what God has done in our lives in the past year and I am grateful for this opportunity.
Tell us about your miscarriage. After my husband and I had been married for almost a year and a half, we decided we were ready to have a baby! We wanted to make it a joyous time and not a stressful time, so we didn't do any charting or real planning, we just decided to start trying. We were lucky. We got pregnant right away! I participated in all the clichés after finding out I was pregnant - I bought a toy that said, "I love my daddy" and wrapped it up with a couple of the pregnancy tests to give to my husband when he got home from work. We rejoiced together and within a week, because we just couldn't hold the excitement in any longer, we sent flowers and bought "grandma and grandpa" bibs in order to tell our immediate family. We made the doctor's appointment, waited three long weeks until I was eight weeks pregnant, then we went in. We heard the heartbeat! We cried, we praised the Lord for this incredible little blessing, and we made our next appointment four long weeks later. Our next appointment was to be at 12 weeks. In the mean time, I was incredibly careful about what I ate, what I did, where we went - I was careful about everything! I wouldn't even eat cheese without Googling it to make sure it was pasteurized and safe. When we went in at 12 weeks, we were told they would first find the heartbeat with a Doppler Monitor. When the doctor used the Doppler Monitor and couldn't find anything, I started to worry a little, but she assured us it was like finding a needle in a haystack. She then tried the in-room ultrasound machine and couldn't find anything... we all three began to worry. She rushed us into the big ultrasound room and we knew something was wrong. I don't remember exactly what happened in that room; I couldn't see the screen through my tears pouring out of my eyes. I was sobbing and had no idea how to stop. Part of me kept believing the tech would find something and it would all be a misunderstanding, and part of me knew the truth. My sweet husband held my hand and wept with me. After they got all of the info they needed, we were taken back to our exam room and told what we already knew. I had suffered a miscarriage and the baby inside me was no longer living. I immediately fell to the ground as if someone had punched me. My husband held me and we cried and then we quietly left.
How did you feel after your miscarriage? When we left the doctor's office, we walked to our cars and couldn't believe what had just happened. All the joy we were feeling an hour earlier was gone. Our plan to announce our pregnancy to all of our friends that day would no longer happen. Then, we had to call our moms who were anxiously waiting for the great news about our baby. I don't even know how many words came out of my mouth before my mom told me she was booking a flight and she would be there later that day. I remember getting in the car and somehow driving home. I remember asking God "WHY?!" and not understanding how this could possibly happen. We had done everything right! We wanted a baby, we would be loving, caring parents, I had done everything I could to take care of my body and the baby... Why us? Why our baby? How did this happen?
After the miscarriage, I was broken-hearted. I did not understand why a God who loved us so much and gave us this baby to care for would take it away so quickly. I had so many questions, but I never questioned God's love for me. I knew that somehow He would bring us through this together. My husband and I prayerfully decided that I would have a D&C procedure the following week. We shared with our family and closest friends what we were going through and we were overwhelmed with love and support. We were also amazed to find out how many couples we know had been through this already. In the months to come, I would cling to the fact that so many of these women had gone on to have successful pregnancies and healthy babies!
In the days leading up to the D&C, we found comfort in one another, our family, and some special songs and verses mentioned to us by close friends. We listened to "Glory Baby" by Watermark, we prayed the words from "Arms That Hold The Universe" by Fee, and we read and re-read Romans 5:2-5: "And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us..."
Though we were incredibly sad, we knew that our God was with us. He would hold us, He would care for and love us, and He would carry us through. The months that followed the miscarriage were some of the hardest months of my life. It was such a strange feeling to be pregnant one minute and then not pregnant the next. We had a rocking chair downstairs that I would often sit in from the time I came home from school until it was time for bed. I was truly sad. But the Lord was teaching us. He was teaching us that HE is in control, teaching us that His plan and His timing are perfect, teaching us that He is writing our story and that for us, this was now a part of it. He was teaching us to trust Him, to rely on Him, and to lean on one another.
What are some words of advice when women ask why me? I would love for anyone who walks through this to know that it is not their fault. It is not the cold deli meat you ate or the flu shot you had and it is not God trying to punish you. Miscarriage happens. It hurts and it is awful, but it happens. After walking through it, I have found that it is a lot more common than most people know. Unfortunately, there is no great answer to the "why," only the faith that God will bring you through to the other side, the knowledge that this baby will always be a part of your story, and the hope that you can again conceive and carry a child.
How did you and your husband handle the miscarriage as a couple? The miscarriage was the first big (sad) thing we walked through as a couple. However, we grew so much through the experience together. We had to rely on one another. We were the only ones that knew how the other one felt. We allowed each other to grieve in our own ways, but we also grieved together- as a unit. We prayed together and hoped together.
Why do you think God allows miscarriages to happen? This question is hard, because I still struggle with why our loving God would allow us to suffer the death of a child, but then I remember that He knows exactly how that feels. I believe that He desires our hearts and desires for us to rely solely on Him. I could not be in control of my pregnancy, I could not plan out every detail- no matter how hard I tried. God wanted me to need Him, to seek Him, and to let Him take care of the details. My miscarriage put me on my knees at the feet of my Lord.
What are some helpful tools for deciding when to try again for a baby? It has to be when its right for your family. I have known people who try right away and people who wait years. I believe that it is very important to take time to heal. To grieve the loss of the child and to prepare yourselves again for whatever is in store. Our doctor told us that we had to wait a month. When that month was up, we decided that we needed another month before we were ready. As soon as we were ready, God allowed us to get pregnant again right away!
What is your Christian perspective on miscarriages? I think miscarriage is awful. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy, but I also wouldn't change the fact that we went through it. I'm not glad we lost our baby, but I am glad we have the baby we have now. I'm not glad about the experience, but I am grateful for what the Lord has taught us through it. It was the hardest thing I've ever been through, but I believe that the Lord is using it for His good. My prayer is that our story can be a story of hope to others walking through miscarriage. My desire is that our lives and our loss will bring glory to God. I believe that if you allow Him, He can and He will use you.
What words of encouragement would you like to share to women who are going through the loss of a child? You are not alone! I was amazed how many women that I already knew and knew their healthy children had suffered miscarriages at some point. Take heart and grasp onto Hope! God is faithful and wants to give us the desires of our hearts.
Psalm 37:3-7 "Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him..."
If you have a friend who has to walk through this... the best way you can help them is to reach out to them and let them know they are not alone. Take them a meal, a coffee, a cookie, or just give them a hug and say a prayer for them. The important part is to let them know they are loved, supported, and surrounded.
How did you deal with your grief? Are there any helpful tools/resources for dealing with miscarriages? The important part here is to deal with your grief. You have to treat your loss as just that - a loss and allow yourself to heal. Each person has to grieve in their own way and at their own pace. It is important, though, to help each other grieve and walk through it together so it doesn't turn into depression. A lot of my reflection time, prayer time, and journaling time was spent in my chair. I usually draw energy from being around others, but during my grieving time I needed to be alone. And then one day my husband lovingly came to me and asked me to leave my chair and go out somewhere and that was it - I was ready. My heart still hurt and what happened was not gone from me, but I knew I couldn't live in a place of sadness and fear. I knew that the Lord had a lot more out there for me. I had to grieve and keep going.
I know there are books written about miscarriage, but there were none that stuck out to us. Our best resources were people who had walked through miscarriage, prayer, and our Bibles. The messages of hope in our Bibles and the encouragement of friends, even those who had never experienced this, gave us what we needed to carry on. We memorized Romans 5:2-5 and it brought hope when we needed it most.
How has having a miscarriage changed your life? What is your life like now? Our miscarriage is now part of our story, our testimonies. I have learned an incredible lesson about God's timing and how perfect it is. When we got pregnant for the second time, I was incredibly nervous, but instead of giving into fear or worry, we just turned those fears over to the Lord and prayed daily that our baby would be "big and strong". It would have been easy to get caught up in all that could possibly happen to our baby, but I chose every morning to speak life over her.
Then, exactly one year to the day that we found out about our miscarriage we had a brand new 8 lb baby girl. God is faithful, God is strong, God cares for and loves us. Lilly Broox is the most incredible gift we could have ever imagined... She is beautiful, healthy, big and strong ;) and an amazing blessing from the Lord. We thank God for her daily!
Praise be to God,
If you have further questions for Abbey or Stephanie, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org so I can pass them off to these women.
Do any of you have words of encouragement for women/families going through a miscarriage? Leave a comment below so you can help others going through this tough loss.
Till next time, let your light shine!