When I had my first miscarriage eleven years ago, I scoured the internet for stories of women who had similar experiences. I was dying for hope, connection and a community where I could hear from other women who had gone on to live full and happy lives after the loss of a baby. The internet then wasn’t what it is now, and social media was limited to blogs (I know, I know - that seems like ages ago, right? I”m totally dating myself). As I debated on sharing my story now, I kept coming back to that feeling eleven years ago that I needed someone, anyone - even a stranger- to know what I was going through.
I wish that I didn’t have the experience to write this blog. I’m not a doctor, a therapist, an expert or someone who thinks I’ve got it all together. But I have loved and lost six sweet babies, and if there is anything I can hope to do, it’s to lead other women in a journey of healing from their miscarriages. I’ve talked with so many women about the loss of their baby - about the loss of my babies - and there are never any words that seem to be enough.
Some people in my circle are the go-to friend for decorating or photography or cooking - I’m the go-to friend for miscarriage. I don’t say that with bitterness, because I am honored that women share with me the most private of their pain and struggles. And I do believe, now that I am in a different place with those losses, that the most horrible times in my life have and will continue to be made into something beautiful. I’ve shared my story so many times with other women, usually one on one and over a cup of coffee. They come to me in grief and shock, asking if I have any words of comfort or hope for them as they mourn the loss of their baby. Conversations with women who have experienced the same loss are a part of the broken being made into beautiful, and we move forward with strength and a connection knowing that one another has survived- and that we are not alone.
Sometimes our culture doesn’t quite know what to do with miscarriage, or with grieving mothers. We pepper them with well intended but poorly received adages of “God just needed that baby in heaven” or “don’t worry sweetie - you’ll get pregnant again” instead of connecting with their grief and loss and calling miscarriage what it is - the loss of a baby. The death of a baby. The baby that represented hopes and dreams and a future and the change of identity from “woman” to include “mom”. A real, terrible and devastating thing that can’t be relegated to life events that must be “shushed” and brushed to the side.
So we won’t shush and brush to the side here. We will be honest together - we will cry, maybe laugh and most importantly - we will heal. We will walk away with hope and the knowledge that joy will come again even if we don’t feel it right now. For in the valleys and the shadows of death there is One who can bring hope, and healing and light - and we can trust Him with our pain.