Getting pregnant, being pregnant, and raising children bring out some of the highest highs and deepest lows. It is a vulnerable place to be, to watch your body struggle to get pregnant, to stay pregnant, and even to recover from being pregnant. And when things don’t go according to plan, the statistic being one in every four pregnancies won’t, it is heartbreaking.
So we’ve gathered six different stories from six different women, all who are sharing their experiences of loss in the hopes that we might connect and encourage women everywhere who might have walked, and be walking similar paths.
Tell us about you, as a mother, and what a normal day for you might look like.
I am a stay-at-home-working-single mother. My girls and I love to dance (not that we are any good) but we jam out in the car, while making dinner, and anytime either one of them is about to cry. Is dancing a discipline approach? I think so. Being home with my girls has become my main priority, so I am doing what I can to work from home.
I currently run a photo booth company, a tutoring company and I have recently taken on the role of a mommy blogger here at Colorado Springs Moms Blog. It’s not the most glamorous life but I get to make pancakes with my girls any day of the week and that is enough for me.
You’re a mother, how many times over?
I have been pregnant three times. I lost one baby in utero, and I have two amazing little girls.
What was the hardest part, for you, walking through a miscarriage or pregnancy loss?
There are so many layers to miscarriage. Physically, the hardest part of losing the baby was actually having to go through labor and delivery. I was all alone. I left work early, stopped at the doctors office, had a meaningful brunch with my mother and went home to rest- to wait and see. It was a “natural” miscarriage. I had contractions, I went through labor and it was painful. I was powerless and in genuine tears. I felt God’s gentle hand on my back but I didn’t understand the “why” or the “what.”
What many people don’t realize is that it took months before I physically felt better. Mentally, I hid it. I told co-workers that I had a cyst ruptured. I felt ashamed. I lied. I don’t know why, we women, try to hide our miscarriages, but I did. Emotionally, it took me a long time to process through all of it.
What was the biggest help for you, during this time?
The one thing that touched my heart the most was a little card, I got from the hospital. I am sure they send it to every women that miscarries there, but it meant a lot to me. It was a sympathy card from the nuns. They said that they were praying for me and had a little service in honor of the baby. It validated me. My baby was real. My baby had a funeral. My baby was in heaven. My baby was remembered.
What was it like being pregnant, after suffering a loss?
After losing the first baby, I had a really hard time attaching to my daughter during the pregnancy. I went through the motions but I didn’t “feel” how I thought I was supposed to. Other new pregnant moms were creating Facebook pages for their unborn children and I was in a state of apathy.
That all changed, instantaneously, once she was born. It was LOVE. AT. FIRST. SIGHT. When I saw her one word came to mind, “home.” She was home.
During, my pregnancy with my second daughter, I was still pretty cautious but slightly more attached. I think once you suffer a loss, it always stays with you. Humbles you. You appreciate every belly kick, every hiccup, because then you know your baby is alright.
Towards, the end of the pregnancy, I started panicking and wanting to be induced. I knew that my daughter was alive so I wanted her out of me before something bad happened to her. Trust your instincts, mamas. The cord was wrapped around her neck. If I would have gone into labor “naturally,” she may not have made it.
photo credit : Martin Cathrae
What is the best way you think a person can offer support to someone going through a miscarriage or pregnancy loss?
Sometimes the best thing we can do is nothing. Sometimes the best thing we can do for someone is an act of service. Or sometimes, all a person needs is an ear to listen and a hand to hold. Each person and every situation is different. I think the only way to be there for someone is to love them authentically and let them lead. Offer service, offer love, offer support and offer prayer. But at the end of the day, remember that it is about their healing not your service and everyone grieves differently.
If you could look another woman in the eyes who is currently walking through a miscarriage or pregnancy loss, what would you tell her?
This isn’t the end. This isn’t the end of your story. I am so so so sorry for your loss and I send so much love your way. You are not alone, mama (because if you carried a baby even if just for one day, you are a mother), you are part of sisterhood that knows where you are at, and what you are going through. You are loved. You will get through this. You will find your healing. Take time to grieve but it’s okay if you have moments of joy and laughter in your grief too. I believe that your time will come and your story will be extraordinary.
Is there anything else about this season in your life that you would like us to know?
Sometimes, all we see are brush strokes, when the bigger picture is so much greater than we could have ever imagined. After my miscarriage, my then 11 year old niece, was challenged by her youth group to fast and to pray for something big. Something so big that only God could provide. She gave up treats and prayed that “Auntie would have a baby that would stick.” And I did, nine months later, I was holding my beautiful baby girl. The most beautiful part of this whole story is that I went into labor, exactly, one year to the day that I miscarried. God is a God of good gifts.