Here recently, I have come across a whole slew of postings written by blog owners whom were currently having, or had just gone through having, a miscarriage. My heart cried for every single one of them! I know all to well what they are going through. If you too have gone through one, you do too. If you haven't, then you can (and should!) love us, try to encourage us, and keep tissues handy, but you can not fully understand. Nor would any of us whom have experienced one, ever honestly want for you to fully understand. Our vote would be that nobody ever go through such a thing again. Period.
I tell people that I had six pregnancies in six and a half years time, out of which we were able to keep four sons (or something very similar in wording). "I had two, lost two, then had two more".
But the truth of the matter is, I 'lost' more than two. For those two, I was three months into the pregnancies when I miscarried. The second one resulting in a D+C. Both were in a year's time span.
But there were s-e-v-e-r-a-l other times that I also had miscarriages. Times when I missed a monthly, was experiencing all of the early stage side effects of pregnancy (that my body never seemed to realize could be 'optional') and KNEW that I was again pregnant. Each time I had called the Dr's office to set up a first check-up for that particular pregnancy, only to then start bleeding before the appointment date came around. HEAVY bleeding, with certain other symptoms, which my doctor confirmed were signs of a miscarriage. Instead of my appointment being the first pregnancy appointment, it would end up being another "yearly" type appointment, so that he could make sure everything was okay.
But my reasoning behind writing this particular posting, is NOT to generate sympathy for myself. Honest! My reasoning is to try and help others who themselves are experiencing one. And I would also love to be able to shed some light to the rest of you, about what it is we are going through. Why we don't seem to respond to your kind words the way you think we should. And about the depression that can follow such an experience.
While our heart try to reassure us that it's not our own fault that we are experiencing what we are, our mind questions everything anyways. And re-questions. And casts great shadows of doubt. "How could our body do such a thing?" "What is wrong with me?" "Which activity was it that I did that I shouldn't have?!" "Is this punishment for that thing I did back when?" "So and so is trying so-o hard to get pregnant and yet my body rejects a pregnancy?!!!" And on it goes....
People, usually with hearts in the right place, and meaning ever so well, say things that just heighten the inner turmoil.
Things such as, "It's probably for the best, maybe the baby wasn't formed right". And our mind silently questions, "What?! You don't think I'm cape-able of loving or caring for a special needs baby?!!!"
Or, "At least you have the other ones". And we think, "So you think I'm wrong for mourning this one?!"
Or, "Just be thankful for the ones you have." And inside we question, "I AM!!! But does that have to mean I can't also mourn the loss of this one?!?"
Or, "God has a reason you know." And silently we scream at them, "I KNOW THAT! But that doesn't make this easy to swallow/accept right now. It's not like you just gave me the magic cure pill you know!"
And the list goes on.
Almost ANY and EVERY thing, that ever so well meaning people say, our minds twist on us. Why? Because our emotions are running on overload. And whether others like to accept this as truth or not, there is actually very little that we can do to turn them off.
"Just pray about it dear." Or, "Tis best to leave it in God's hands."
Oh, we pray alright. Sometimes pleadingly. Sometimes angerly. Sometimes while curled into a tight wad on the floor or our bed, sobbing our eyes and hearts out. Other times while pacing the floor with our fists clamped tight. We pray. And in our inner self, we know both that God listens, and that healing takes time. We just want the magic wand thank-you very much. And NO, we are not being unrealistic! ()
And then there is the terminology behind all of it. They claim you "lost" a baby. "No I didn't!!!" (with the "I" underlined. Several times.) " "I" didn't just sit it down someplace and forget where that was!" (And do NOT laugh at us should we say that out loud. Laughter IS good. However, after such a statement is NOT the time!)
(I found this picture on line HERE)
So what then should well meaning people say? "I LOVE You! and I'm praying for you!!" Period. And then put some actions behind those words. Drop a meal, any meal, off in a cooler on their porch. Something that just needs baked in their oven or re-heated in their microwave. The rest of their family needs to eat, whether they feel like fixing something or not. And we need to eat too. And we're more likely to do so, if you made it for us. Or at the least, brought it to us. Part of that silent guilt trip stuff our mother's in-grained into us (;-p).
Loan a good (FUNNY and romantic, not "perfect life") chick flick (that does NOT have any babies in it!), as well as sending something wondrously chocolate (at least for most of us, this helps).
Send cards. Not necessarily the super sweet dripping from them types. Nor even necessarily the heavily verse laden type. Our hearts already know all of that. What our hearts are having challenges with, is being able to smile. Or laugh. And sometimes (to be bluntly honest), even to care (about anything else that is). Help us smile.
Laughter really truly is the best medicine. And the old saying about "actions speaking louder than words" is true too. So use both!
No, I AM NOT meaning be insensitive! ! ! Don't be!!! Your grandmother has no interest in having to come back to shake her rolling pin at you!
Just SHOW you care. Instead of stopping them at the store, or in church, or at school, or where-ever, to try and console them; rub your hand across their back and again state that you love them and are praying for them. Plain. Simple. But oh so meaningful. And really hard for our emotional mind to twist on us!
(found this picture on line HERE)
Another huge aspect of our emotional roller-coaster at the time, is how out of the blue, things can instantaneously hit us like lead balloons.
Things such as: the cry of somebody else's baby. Even in a movie. Or at the store. Or in the next car over.
Or, the sight of a multiple kid family at the park.
Or "Baby's First Christmas" ornaments several months later at the store.
Or certain songs. Songs such as, "It will be worth it all, when we see Jesus" ("I do love you Lord, and I want to see you, but are you sure?!") Or, "Cats in the cradle", amongst others.
And no, we ourselves don't always know the "whys" behind why something "set us off". We just know it did. And we are sorry. But that doesn't mean we can switch some switch and turn the tears back off either. If only.
And yes, you might find us in the rocking chair, cuddling empty receiving blankets, fantasizing and crying. Your right, emotional women sometimes do weird things. (Shrug) Come sit on the floor near us and wait. Just your presence can be strengthening. And lend silent support. And show proof that you care. And love us.
And husbands, we KNOW that lots of you handle things inwardly and don't always like to talk out your emotions. But our minds often take that silence and twist it to be that you are keeping silent, so that we don't hear your inner condemning of us for "loosing" your child. We NEED to hear that you too are hurting inside. And that all of this DOES matter to you. That as a team we WILL make it through this.
Oh, and don't suggest trying again. Not yet. Not for awhile. If we question it, gently reassure us that there is plenty of time to think about all of that later. Down the road of life a bit.
(found this picture on line HERE)
Almost all women, after a miscarriage, are challenged with discouragement. Often, others label it as "depression". But in actuality, it is just serious discouragement. However, discouragement can grow into depression. The process there is a down ward spiral moving through anger, bitterness, the making up of excuses, and the feeling like it's "too hard on me/more than I can bear."
Husbands, friends, do not vocalize the word depression to the grieving women. It will only feed the inner turmoil and aid the inner guilt feelings. Sometimes just hearing others say that they think you are, makes you think you are too.
Now true, there are varying levels of discouragement. The more a women hears people saying their "well meaning comments", the more she spirals into a deeper level of it.
Women whom have already had previous miscarriages, are far more likely to spiral faster. Especially if the events are relatively close together.
The longer the husband stays silent about the subject and/or distant, the quicker she spirals. That may not be "fair". But it's the way it is.
What things then would I suggest for you TO do?
I mentioned sending cards. More than one. Weekly for a month would be good. Maybe even longer. Things like "I'm so lucky to have you as a friend". Or, "Thinking of you today and sending you a smile." Etc..
I mentioned taking a meal. Not your "thing"? It's not theirs either right now. This is one of the times when a pan of pre-made frozen lasagna is actually more than "o-kay". As is pre-made frozen Mac. + Cheese. Your actions are what's most important here!
Make sure we eat. On a daily basis. Multiple times a day. And not just "junk food". (No, this is not the same as taking us a meal.) A miscarriage can zap our physical strength as well as our emotional strength. Our emotional condition worsens if our physical condition does not start to rebound quickly. Therefore, make sure we are actually eating. Seems basic? Trust me, it's an easy thing for women to avoid doing while experiencing emotional duress.
I mentioned loaning movies and sending chocolate. Or take us out for a movie and chocolate dessert afterwords. However, avoid sitting to home watching TV shows, where in the end it looks like everybody lives "perfect lives" and all problems always get settled with acceptable explanations. Those only makes our life even harder to accept right now.
While we do need to cry and "let it all out", there comes a point when the crying stops helping and instead starts hurting. It then helps the despair to grow. How do you get us to stop? Do NOT tell us to, "knock it off with the caterwauling women!" Remember, there is a good chance we might end up facing a women judge, who herself has been through a miscarriage. o;-p.
Instead, show us your hope and let us live on that for awhile. See, all of ours seems to have vanished. Hope that after a bit, we will start feeling better. Physically. And emotionally. Hope that together we will pull through this, like we have other challenges before this. Hope that just maybe, 'the sun will come out tomorrow'. Right now, it is like we are trying to look at life through dark shadowy glass. We KNOW that "God has his reasons", what we don't know, is how we're going to hold on till we feel that trust blossoming again.
Get us up and moving. The longer we sit, the worse we get. If the doctor has ordered that we not be up and about for awhile, then get others moving around us. Where we can see them. And interact with them.
If we can be up and moving, encourage us to do so. In kind, gentle, loving ways. We already KNOW, thank-you very much, that the dishes need done, and the clothes need washed, etc.. What we're unsure of is, do you still want to spend time with us? As a friend? As a husband? As a still loved family member? Take us out for ice cream. Or for a short relaxing walk (a power walk will only remind us that we have "baby fat" to lose. Whether we really do or not). Or for a drive looking at cute houses. Or what ever type of thing really hits your women's "fancy".
Sit down with us and help us make up a "list". A "fun" or "pleasure" list. Include even the simplest of things. Then encourage us and help us to do at least two of the items off of the list, every single day.
(found this picture on line HERE)
My true desire is, that reading this has helped you in some way. May what I myself experienced and what I have helped others through, be found beneficial to you and others.
If you are one of the women whom has recently (or currently) experienced a miscarriage, perhaps this gave you insight into yourself.
Or, perhaps it is a resource you can refer others to, to help them understand you and what your going through better.
If you are her spouse, hopefully this gave you insight into how all of this is affecting her, as well as ways you can help this women you love so deeply. And for the record, you too have our sympathy. HONEST!!! It's just that for awhile, we need you to be our knight in shining armor like never before. In the end, we'll grow even closer to you because of it! ;->
For the rest of you - If a friend or relative of yours goes through this, my prayer is that all of this will come to mind and that you will find the information contained herein helpful, as you help her cope. And hope.
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I 'plan' on linking this posting up to:
~ "Saturday Sampling('s)", are hosted by Barb, at 'Half Past Kissin Time ... time to kiss again!' (http://www.halfpastkissintime.com).
~ "Not "Baaad" Sundays", are hosted by Danni and Derek (aka: "Sexy Nerd"), at 'Lamb Around' (http://lambaround.blogspot.com/).
~ "Soli Deo Gloria" (Latin = "For the Glory of God Alone"), is hosted by Jen, at 'Finding Heaven One Step At A Time' (http://findingheaventoday.blogspot.com/).
~ "Making Your Home Sing Monday('s)", are hosted by Nan, at 'Mom's the Word (I love to hear)'
~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", are hosted by Jen, at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven' (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/).
~ "Making A Home", hosted by Linda, at 'Linda's Lunacy' (http://lindaslunacy.blogspot.com/).
~ "Unwasted Homemaking Party('s)", are hosted by Marcie, at 'Don't Waste Your Homemaking' (http://www.dontwasteyourhomemaking.com/).
~ "Gold Star Wednesday('s)", are hosted by Kristen, at 'From My Tiny Kitchen' (http://frommytinykitchen.blogspot.com/).
~ "Inspired By YOU Wednesday('s)", are hosted by Ashley, at 'Eisy Morgan' (http://eisymorgan.blogspot.com/).
~ "walk with Him Wednesdays", are hosted by Ann, at 'A Holy Experience' (http://www.aholyexperience.com/).
~ "Coffee Talk Friday('s)", hosted by Vic, at 'For The Love Of Blogs' (http://forblogs.blogspot.com).
~ "Inspiration Friday('s)", are hosted by Vanessa and Heather, 'At The Picket Fence' (http://www.atthepicketfence.com/).