I have heard a statistic that 1 in 5 women will experience a miscarriage in their lifetime. I am the 1 in 5. I never thought I would be part of this statistic, but I am.
When I learned I was pregnant with baby number five, I had a multitude of emotions that ranged from fear to excitement. Love quickly started blooming for our new little surprise, and that love turned to joy, excitement, anticipation.
Throughout my pregnancies, I have witnessed people on mommy pregnancy boards lose their little loves. Each time this happened, I felt a rip in my heart. Immense sadness for them, and fear for myself. I truly did not know what to say to those women and so often times, I said nothing.
What can you say?
For myself I felt fear and thankfulness. Fear that it might happen to me and thankful to be pregnant another day…another day closer to bringing home my much-anticipated baby.
My estimated due date was April 28th, the day after my birthday. I already had hopes that maybe I would be sharing my birthday with my little one. In the grieving community, they say your due date after a loss is hard. I doubt I will ever forget this due date in particular but I pray it is gentle on me.
So here is what I’ve learned.
For the mommy to be…
Don’t be afraid to tell people you are pregnant. The most haunting idea for me after my miscarriage was that my baby was really only known to me. To the rest of the world, this little one that I had already invested so much love in, never existed.
For the mommy whose heart is broken…
If you have suffered a loss, talk! Talk about your feelings and your baby. Don’t be afraid to cry, to get angry, and a flurry of other emotions. It’s raw, but it gets easier. There are communities online for us. Pregnancy grief and loss boards (links to some are below). They were instrumental in my healing. I was able to speak with other women that knew exactly what I was feeling, and that comforted me.
Know that it wasn’t your fault! You did nothing. You couldn’t have prevented it. It happens, it really just does. Know that the emotions you are feeling from sadness beyond words to the desire to get pregnant again, like, tomorrow, is completely normal. If I were to put a time on my healing, I would say it took about a total of 3 months to get back to (the new) normal, physically and emotionally (and even today I have some difficulty with certain triggers). And every one of us is different so if it is less time or more time for you, know that that is okay. It is normal. You will feel joy again, give yourself time.
Get a crutch. Something to help you through. For me, it was my faith. Proverbs 3:5-6 was my rock in the very early days. I just couldn’t understand why this was happening and I just trust God completely, I know He has a plan. This song greatly encouraged me too.
Someone will say something that will hurt you. Give them some grace because who knows what to say unless they have been there.
For those watching her grieve…
There is nothing you can say that will take the pain away. But the simple words, “I’m so sorry” were incredibly comforting to me.
Do not repeatedly ask her how she’s doing. She is doing exactly how you would expect someone to be after the loss of an anticipated child. She will open up when she’s ready.
If you suffered a loss, please know that I am truly sorry and I hope you get your rainbow soon!