I know there are lots of articles out there about pregnancy loss, but I think an early pregnancy loss is different in some ways than others. Not to say one is worse than the other, but that the emotions are just different. Also, I think the view that society seems to have on early loss is different. I didn’t ever see the baby on ultrasound, I never felt the baby kick, I only even knew that I was pregnant for a couple of weeks.
However, a loss is a loss…a life is still a life, no matter how young… I only miscarried a few weeks ago so I’m still working through this, but I hope to maybe comfort others who are struggling with the same thing.
1. That it’s OK to grieve. This may sound silly because one would usually think, “Of course it’s OK to grieve a pregnancy loss!”
But I realized that I had conflicting feelings when I faced my own miscarriage. I miscarried at around 6 weeks the same weekend a good friend of mine miscarried at 15 weeks. And another online friend was miscarrying who was several weeks farther in gestation than I was. And I encountered feelings like “I was so early..what they’re going through is so much worse..I have it easy.”
But a loss is still a loss. Even though my miscarriage was early, I had prayed for this baby and I had dreams for this baby. Now those dreams were snatched away. A member of family is no longer there. No matter how early a pregnancy loss takes place, it’s OK to grieve.
2. That my husband grieves differently than I do. Which is totally understandable and totally OK.
My husband was stressed while we were waiting to find out if I was indeed miscarrying and he was upset when we found out that it was for sure a pregnancy loss, but it was less tangible for him. He wasn’t the one feeling it and seeing it firsthand. And while he was excited for the pregnancy, to him, it was moreso one test showing that I was pregnant, and another one showing that I wasn’t. It wasn’t his body so his grief was of course different than mine. But none of that means that he didn’t care and that he wasn’t affected by it, because I know that’s not true.
3. That it’s Ok to not feel sad all of the time. Another surprising emotion I felt was guilt..guilt that I didn’t feel sad all of the time. My baby is gone, shouldn’t I be grieving longer or harder? But life goes on, I am still busy at home keeping house, homeschooling kids, cooking meals, etc. I didn’t think about my pregnancy all of the time while I was pregnant, and it’s OK to not think about the loss all of the time.
4. That emotions often don’t make sense. I felt like I couldn’t decide what I wanted or what would make me feel better. I wanted people to acknowledge my loss and yet, at the same time, I dreaded seeing people for the first time because I didn’t really want to have to talk about it and risk becoming emotional in front of people (I hate crying in front of people.) Of course, I couldn’t have it both ways. I discovered that it was actually harder having people not say anything. For me, at least. It’s different for everyone.
5. Grief doesn’t have a time limit. For the most part, most people I saw after my miscarriage didn’t bring it up or ask how I was after the first time I saw them. I know that they still care, but I sometimes felt (and still feel..it’s still fresh) that that meant I should be over it already, or that I shouldn’t bring it up. But grief doesn’t have a time limit. I don’t need to “get over it already.” I can take my time.
6. That God is still there. As soon as I discovered that I might be miscarrying, I knew that I had to depend on God. That He is still good and He is still there. I really don’t know how people get through difficult times without God. I guess really, God is still there..they just don’t recognize Him.
I realized that as difficult as it is and as much as I don’t understand why He would allow a loss be part of His plan, that it’s much easier to believe that there is a purpose to this somewhere along the line than to believe it’s all for nothing. Or that maybe I can take this experience to help others. We live in a broken world in which death was introduced with the first sin. We can’t avoid death. We never understand why one person lives and another doesn’t. But maybe the only good that can come out of it is that I can maybe encourage or help others who go through the same thing.
I need to remember that God sees the big picture. He sees everything, from now until the end of time. I only see the now. There are things that we will never understand. And I think that God grieves as well. After all, it was His baby too. He created the baby intentionally, and the Bible speaks many times about how much God loves children, they are a blessing.
I’ll be honest; I haven’t felt very close to God through this. I can pray and praise Him for other things, but when it comes to thinking about the baby I don’t have anymore, it’s raw and I feel distant. I’m afraid to trust Him. I haven’t really wanted to read the Bible or spend that quiet time with Him that I was finally getting into the habit of doing. I’ve felt angry that He would allow this. But He can handle my emotions and is still there, waiting for me to be ready to be close again.
I also need to remember that I’m still blessed. I still have my family. I am thankful that my miscarriage was not physically traumatic or complicated. We have a home and food and clothes and we even have extras. I’m not being punished for anything and I’m not in need. God still cares and is taking care of me. I still have a hope and a future with Him in heaven one day and maybe one day I can use this experience to extend God’s comfort and love to others who go through this as well.
Photo credit: Simon Howden, freedigitalphotos.net