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Recently, I have heard of several friends who have miscarried or have had several friend’s friends miscarry. Several asked my help in what to say to someone who has miscarried and how to help since I miscarried before my son, Adam was born. I went through my blog thinking I had posted about it before, and I posted that it had happened, but I never posted about what had happened and how I got through it. My hope is that in sharing this, someone else will be be encouraged and blessed.
My husband and I got married in December 2008. We moved to our new base in January 2009 and got settled in. After a few months of settling into married life I realized I wanted to try for a baby. At the time, I thought I wanted a large family and I wanted to start when I was young. I’ll be honest, my husband wasn’t ready to have a baby just yet, he definitely wanted children, but he wanted to wait a little while longer. I wasn’t exactly the model wife and I begged and pleaded. We talked about it for awhile and finally decided not to try, but not to prevent either – we were leaving it up to God.
In March or April, I was sick and thought I was pregnant. I went to the doctor and had blood taken and everything ended up being fine and there was no pregnancy. Every month after that I would be ready in anticipation to miss my period in hopes of being pregnant. I read up on pregnancy symptoms until I knew them inside and out and I would scour the internet reading stories of how women found out they were pregnant.
One weekend in July, I woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and I was very dizzy. So dizzy that the room was spinning and when I got out of bed, I tripped and fell. The next morning we went to the med-stop because I was still so dizzy and I thought maybe I had an inner ear infection (I had had them before and they caused dizziness). In the back of my head I remembered something my mom had told me about how when she was pregnant with me she had a terrible bout of dizziness and was very sick for awhile.
I didn’t want to hope and be disappointed again, but I asked he doctor if it was possible I was pregnant? The doctor looked at me like I had five heads and asked why I would think that. I was embarrassed, but I said it was always a possibility right? The doctor sent me on my way with medicine for an inner ear infection and I was left wondering why he didn’t at least check into the possibility.
A couple days later, I was still having symptoms and not feeling well. I decided to do a home pregnancy test in the morning because I heard that was the best time to do it. It wasn’t my first time doing a home pregnancy test, and I was absolutely shocked and happy to see the plus sign come up. I knew that now that I had a positive home pregnancy test I needed to go to the base to get a pregnancy blood test as it was their policy before they referred me to an OB.
I waited for my husband to come home from lunch excitedly telling him about the positive test, but not willing to believe it all the way until I got the blood test results. We immediately went to the base clinic and got blood drawn and then came home to wait for the results. I walked through our apartment door feeling like I was floating on air and then I felt something. Something was wrong. I ran to the bathroom and realized I had started bleeding.
I was so upset. What did this mean? Was I not really pregnant? Or did something else happen? I immediately called a friend who had a family of five and who had been through several miscarriages. I knew she would know what to do. She advised me to wait on the blood test. She said sometimes a little blood was normal, or that maybe my home pregnancy test was wrong. The blood test would be the deciding factor.
We waited all day and never got the results back. The next day I was restless with worry. This wasn’t normal! Jon called the base and told them what was going on and they told us the results were back. The blood test came back positive – I was pregnant and needed to go to the emergency room right away since I was bleeding.
We spent most of the day in the emergency room, they took blood, gave me two ultrasounds and the end result was that it was too early to tell what exactly was going on. I was only four weeks pregnant and it was too early to see anything on the ultrasounds. The doctor left me with the diagnosis of a threatened miscarriage. That meant I could have lost the baby already, I still could lose the baby, or I may stop bleeding and go on to have a normal pregnancy. He put me on pelvic rest, and said I needed to take another blood test to see if my HCG levels were going up or down. That was the only way to tell what was happening.
We went home after that and my in-laws drove down to see how we were doing. I was in a lot of pain which I didn’t really realize at the time, but I was losing the baby. I wanted to cling onto the hope that maybe it would be ok, that I would go on to carry this baby, but it was hard. The next day we went to the base to get another blood test. We explained to them what was going on and asked if there was any way they could rush the results so we would know one way or another.
It wasn’t until two weeks later that we finally were able to find out what was going on. The base had messed up and we somehow never got the blood test results back. We went somewhere else and I remember the afternoon my doctor called to tell me the results. I had lost the baby. I remember she said something about trying again and that it would be ok, and I mumbled a goodbye before I ran to our room where my husband was resting.
I cried and cried. I laid in bed most of the day and then got up to to take a shower. I know it’s strange, but the shower is where I go whenever I am really upset. It somehow makes me feel better and is a good place to pray and be alone. I remember sitting there in the tub letting the water water wash over me, crying and wondering why this had happened. What did I do? Why did God allow this?
It was then that I remembered a verse from the Bible: “…the Lord gave and the lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21). I realized that God had given me this baby, He could also choose to take it home to be with Him if that was His will. I had a sudden peace at the thought. My baby was home with Him and would be taken care of. Job still praised the Lord in the midst of his trials and I could too. I knew that someday I would eventually see the reason for all of this.
After I posted the blog post letting people know what had happened, I received a comment that I have since never forgotten:
I’m very sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine how hard it must be and how confused you are. I love this quote and I hope it isn’t too bold of me to put it in this comment, or that it doesn’t make you feel worse. My sister-in-law has it up in their house after a very similar experience and it has been a comfort to her.
‘In some circles, babies born to families after the loss of a child are referred to as “Rainbow Babies.” The idea is that the baby is like a rainbow after a storm. “Rainbow Babies” is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it doesn’t mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope.‘
I know one day God will bless you with a Rainbow Baby and you will be an amazing mother. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
My son, Adam is my Rainbow Baby. I didn’t know it at the time, but I would never have had the blessing of getting to know my sweet son if I had not miscarried. Adam simply would not have existed. I realize now that I am blessed beyond measure and that God does have his reasons for the trials we go through.
If you are going through something similar I encourage you to cry out to God. Ask Him to show you what you can learn from this, I know that He will show you His peace and He will help you during your time of grief.
Because I want to help, here are a few tips I have for getting through after a miscarriage. These are a few things that helped me heal, and I hope they help you too!
1. It’s Ok to be Alone.
After I got the news, I wanted nothing more than to be alone. Alone with my husband and also by myself. I shut off my phone (not just the ringer, I shut it off) for several days, and I took time to think and to work through what I was feeling. It’s ok, people can wait, you need this time to get through this and to rest.
2. If Possible, Get Away.
A few days after we got the news, we decided to get away and we went to stay at my in-law’s house who only lived a couple hours away at the time. I know this is not possible for everyone, but my husband was able to get leave and we just packed up and left. My in-law’s lived out in the country where it was quiet and it was very nice to be around family. We spent a week, just resting and healing and it helped us to move on before we had to get back into the swing of things again.
3. Take Time to Grieve.
It’s ok to cry and to be angry. Cry with your husband, talk about it with him, do whatever you need to grieve and to find hope. If needed, see a counselor to help work through your feelings.
After you have grieved, take time to prepare with your husband for what you want to tell others. Prepare yourself for the questions, and for the comments that might not be what you want to hear. Sometimes people have trouble knowing what to say in these times, and helps if you prepare yourself knowing that they just want to help you.
When you are ready, discuss with your doctor and your husband when you would like to try for another baby. Whether you want to wait a long time or you want to keep trying right away, make sure that you are ready and have discussed what your husband wants as well. We discussed it together and decided to wait a month or two to try again. I had also heard that women are more fertile after a miscarriage for the next several months so we decided to try again soon enough so we could try to catch that window and possibly get pregnancy again. It worked, because I found out I was was pregnant with Adam only three months later.
Two websites for miscarriage jewelry in remembrance of your little one(s):