I had a miscarriage in my first year of marriage. The wound was deep, and I stitched it together with denial and isolation. I would later realize those “stitches” would not hold up well.
I remember while grieving my late husband I asked the Lord to help me uncover hidden wounds I needed to heal. God was faithful in doing exactly that. I didn’t realize it then, but the lousy stitches had started to deteriorate the day my husband passed away. The wound ripped wide open the day after I started praying that way and I wept myself to sleep that night. It was the worst episode of grief I had experienced since his death.
I mourned for the child I never got to meet fathered by the man I wouldn't be able to grow old with. I cried hundreds, if not thousands, of bottled-up tears that night. Tears that were never shed when it happened. The emotions I felt were so dramatic I threw my back out, which was hilarious the next day, but not fun.
After prayer and careful thought, I have decided to share my story on behalf of the beautiful, brave, women who have walked that painful road before. These are women I love, women I respect, and women who need to be encouraged.
It was the first test our marriage endured. Rob was out of town for work. We were still newlywed and I had just begun to form friendships in a new state. That morning I drove myself to the ER and learned that I had lost the baby in a natural manner. No procedures were necessary, but I was sent home to be on bed rest for a week. I was weak, and in a state of shock. I called Rob and gave him the news. He was heartbroken and unable to leave work immediately but would be able to come home the following day. I called my mom who instinctively took the next available flight out. She would, that evening, walk through my front door and find my perfect little newlywed world turned upside down.
I felt alone. I reached out to well-meaning people but wasn’t really understood. Perhaps because I did not know how to really express what I was feeling. I learned to keep it quiet, and it quickly became a silent battle.
I remember a comment that was made to me, “This is common, sweetheart, you can have another baby.” Those words stung, and they shut my ability to talk about it for years to come. I believe the person meant well but the words were not helpful, much less comforting.
It took my husband’s death to realize that my miscarriage should not have been dismissed as “common”. That loss was as real as the grief I felt after losing my husband.
It was valid.
I unknowingly isolated my pain and shut it off…almost as if in shame. I ignored the empty spot in my heart and belly where a baby should have been. Rob tried to comfort me because he felt my unspoken sadness but simply could not. I found myself unable to pray or seek the Lord about it. How is it that just a few effortless words kept me from even telling the Lord about it? Words are so powerful.
Why is a baby who never made it out of the womb not remembered?
If miscarriages are as “common” as the death of spouse or a parent, then why are they treated like less? As if the frequency of them makes them less hard, less devastating, or less traumatic.
“Common” is not a word we use when we give our condolences at a funeral.
These are questions I would love for you, our reader, to ask yourself. I’d love to be able help change your perspective so that you may, in turn, help that a friend or relative you know who is experiencing this type of loss.
We must remind them that the pain they feel matters.
That pain is valid because the baby was valid. Her baby was a tiny human and was as impactful as someone who has lived outside of the womb for many years. Her baby represented hope and was a physical product of God’s love.
William Shakespeare says, “Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o-er wrought heart and bids it break.” She needs to be heard, held, and encouraged.
She should be allowed to have a moment, or many moments, for weeping and embracing the sadness.
“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” (Ecclesiastes 3)
Grief is a sneaky bug-eyed monster: it shows up when you least expect it and when it's least welcome. Remember that, in case she needs you when you least expect it.
Most importantly, remind her of our Savior. The one who died on a cross to carry her pain, to heal her pain…and to fill her void. No one and nothing can fill that void like the Lord can. Remind her that worship can be like a healing balm and even if her voice cracks, and her arms feel weak, and she may not understand…the Lord inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22).
That is where true comfort can be found.
The sun will rise again, and joy will come in the morning. (Psalm 30:5).