Sunday, January 16, 2011

I have four children...

It's a heavy subject for any parent. And until recently, I never knew the depth and weight of this kind of loss.  Back in May, I wrote about the loss of our fourth baby, whom I never got to meet.  It was crushing to learn that I had miscarried.  Most of us have all lost someone we've loved and know how heart-aching it can be.  And even though I never met my sweet little one, this was no exception.

I expressed a little of my reaction in a blog shortly after we lost the baby:

" ultrasound confirmed our fears and worst nightmare. Our little one wasn't with us anymore. Jon and I were both devastated and my heart was breaking for my family. I have known other familes who have lost babies to miscarriage. I always knew it was a tragedy. I never understood, though, the depth of the hurt, pain, and the broken dream of a having a baby. I have been crying for the loss of my baby, for the loss of a little brother or sister for my other babies, and it has brought about fears of pain and suffering for my little baby as well as deep feelings of guilt. I know some of these emotions are normal and healthy and some not, but it's made me think about, struggle with, and question God and His reasons for letting things like this happen. It's been one of the most painful seasons of my life and leaving me with a desire for firm ground to stand on." 

It sent me into a little bit of a depression.  I had only experienced the loss of my grandmothers before this, and while those losses were very sad,  losing a child... my sweet baby... there are just no words to describe.

Since that experience, my heart has healed a little and I also rest in the truth that someday I will meet my sweet child when I go home to be with Jesus.  I've also realized I know countless women who have had miscarriages -  some I would have never known this loss of theirs except we now share this bond of having lost a child - one we never got to meet.

My reaction was that of deep grief (that I had trouble with sharing with most everyone), but I know that others react and grieve differently than I did.  It's hard to put emotion to someone, a baby, that they'd never seen or met.  Their response, though in whatever form, is no less valid or real than how I responded.

Here is my point.  If you are a parent who has lost your child, your sweet baby, you are not alone.  There are so many of us who have shared in the loss that you have.  If you know of parents that have lost a child to miscarriage, know that their hearts may be aching, they may be grieving deeply or just finding the determination to try again despite the pain and loss.
Give them that space to grieve even though it may be hard to understand.
Grieve with them.
The pain will never completely go away, even if you don't see it, it's there.  And be sensitive to that.

And it never hurts, even after it's been 8 months or 8 years, to ask how they're doing.  Ask how their heart is doing.  I'm blessed to have friends who still ask and who still share in this journey with me.  And I'm thankful for that.


reagan said...

Losing two babies was possibly the worst experience of my life. I was deeply troubled by the experience for a few years. Why did it happend to me? Why was it so violent? Why?

One night before bed I just asked God to give me peace about the loss of two babies. That night I had a dream about two children--Lizabeth and Ethan, calling me mama and telling me they loved me.

Some might call this subconscious nonsense but for me, it was the voice of God reminding me that I have two children waiting to meet me.

I haven't been troubled since that dream. I've been sad. I've been angry. But more than the pain I've found joy. Because I, too, have four children.

Josh said...

We just had a long conversation with some good friends last night about our miscarriage a year ago. I think they're two of the only friends we have who even remember what we went through, or at least are forward enough to ask us how we're doing.

I'm not sure why losing a baby is such a taboo thing--once Jen and I started telling people our story, we heard from countless people--in fact, the majority of the people we talked to--who'd been through the same.

The thing that no one tells you is this--even though miscarriages happen all the time, it is a profound, painful and utterly gut-wrenching experience. The worst thing for us were the people who (probably with the best of intentions) told us "yeah, we had a miscarriage, now we have seven kids." Like that helps. All that does is belittle the pain and suffering we're in the middle of. Or the platitudes and cliche's. You know, how God has his perfect plan and timing, or it just wasn't meant to be, or the baby is in heaven, or whatever.

Yeah, I understand all of those things. But losing a baby sucks. Bad. And it doesn't just go away, and no one knows how to talk to you about it. You're stuck mourning what could have been. You were excited, eager to meet this new little person, this little part of you. For us, it was our first, and it had taken a year of trying to even reach that point. You go from elation and celebration and anticipation with friends and family to mourning.

Thanks for sharing, Sandra. And thanks for the perspective.

Caroline said...

I've tried to leave a comment a couple times and end up deleting it because it's too long or I'm not getting my point across. It suffices to say that as a mom and grandma of a couple who has had a miscarriage it is heartwrenching! All our lives we try to protect our children from things that could hurt them. This is one hurt no one can make better or take away. It breaks my heart that miscarriages happen, often times to people who want nothing more in the world than to have a baby. Hopefully the love a couple shares & their closeness to God will help them through the hurt.

Nathalie said...

thank you for sharing your heart. i know a lot of women who can say they know exactly what you're going through and have gone through. thank you for bravely sharing honestly. you have a GORGEOUS family!! you're such a great mom.

joyfilled said...

Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog, and many prayers for you as well. What you said is so true. Very true that people grieve differently. I have a good friend who has lost four and she responds completely different than I have to my losses. Sometimes the comments she makes has me wondering if she things I wallow in grief more than I should, and that's hard for me. We both believe the same thing, that our babies are in Heaven waiting for us, and that we will see them one day, but she is able to quickly feel content with that. While I am content with it (overjoyed with it!!) as well, it is still very painful to know I will miss out on feeling those babies grown and move inside of me, to birth the baby into my own hands, to hold and love on him/her, etc. Just hard, but you are right...each one of our feelings are just as valid as the others. said...

I, too, wish people would remember my miscarried child. It's sad that I have no one else to talk to about it.


Linda said...

My daughter recently had a miscarriage. We were so excited when she told us she was expecting again. And then in just a matter of days she miscarried.

I am sorry for your loss and having had a miscarriage myself years ago...I can understand what you are saying here.



Anonymous said...

Hi, i read Some of your blogs, one of them is this one, THE other is about Bloom. I miscaried 8 times, once after 17 weeks. It was devastating. I also have a sweet boy, à daughter with down's and a baby girl. Treasuring all aspects of life is what i learned.

Wish you love and happiness. God is à good father.

Miranda from Holland

Francesca said...

I just discovered your blog by reading kelle hampton and I suddenly started to read many of your posts. And then I found this on miscarriage. Well, It is about a year since when I terminated my pregnancy at the 20th week if my little boy after we discovered he was sick. I am still waiting for the moment in which I will feel better. In september at the due date I was pregnant again and we were again happy but really terrified of a new pregnancy and at the 8th week we discovered there was no hearth bit for our second little baby. Now they are both together in Heaven running around green fields full of blooming flowers. You will probably not read this message but I just wanted to contribute to the discussion. I do not have other kids. It is just the two of us, me and my husband and still a lot of pain and grief. I don't know if we will ever have the strength again to try to have kids and possibly loose them again or facing again the reality to choose for their life or their peace. It is heard an tipycally people do not listen and do not understand what pain for this is.


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