Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Coping With Miscarriage

For those who are likely to wonder, no, I have not recently had another miscarriage...but a friend of mine has, and that prompted me to write...

People say we need to 'move on' or, worse yet, 'get over it.' They try to be helpful with comments like 'at least you can get pregnant' or 'you can always have another baby.' That doesn't help! If my father died, would you suggest adopting a new one? Of course not. Having another child is a wonderful thing, but does NOT replace the one lost! This isn't like buying a new watch when the old one breaks or gets lost. This is a person, a beloved person...this is my child.
Others probably never knew the baby...rarely is a miscarriage late enough for anyone except the mother (and occasionally the father or siblings) to have begun to develop a relationship with the baby. But it is a baby nonetheless. A tiny, perfect person. And we miss that person who was part of us and now is gone.
There have been several things that helped me resume life after miscarriages.
1--Acknowlege it all. There was a child, the child is gone. But that doesn't make the child any less real... name the baby, record the birth day, do the things you would do for any other baby (I make a little cross-stitched birth announcement with the baby's name and birthdate, and we purchase a christmas tree ornament for each child...for our angel children, I have made angel cross-stitches, and we have angel ornaments).
2--Talk about it. Others may feel uncomfortable about it, but that is no reason to keep quiet. Miscarriage is a part of life, and affects vast numbers of the population. Miscarriage is inevitable, and nothing to be ashamed of. Others will never get over their awkward feelings about it unless we persist in talking about it. Don't contribute to the vicious cycle of silence!
3--Seek solace in the Lord. I found (and continue to find) great comfort in certain scriptures and hymns. I'll have to share them here at some point, but not this morning.
4--Associate with others who understand--other women who have lost their children (of whatever age). Find kindred spirits. Having other people who genuinely understand what you are going through is enormously helpful.
5--Seek grief counseling if you need/want it. This is valid grief!
6--Be willing to give it time.


Mae said...

Perhaps someone can give advice on how to respond to someone's grief. I recently had an aquaintence mention he had lost his father last year. How do you respond to that? I wanted to say, "I'm sorry." But some people say, why, you didn't do anything? Others might appreciate the fact that you do want to give them solace. Any ideas? I probably would have been fine if I had gone with my gut reaction but I waited a couple seconds and let political correctness step in and make me uncomfortable...

Anonymous said...

This is always touching for me to see. The more that moms talk about the pain of miscarriage, the more we realize we're not alone. Let's not suffer in silence.

I've lost 3 little baby blessings in miscarriage. I blogged on my old blog about my last loss and shared some things that were comforting to me: http://findingsalihah.blogspot.com/2007/03/my-baby-i-love-you.html (that's my old blog, I've since started a new one but the link is still there)

Wishing love and healing to all the mamas out there! *Hugs* to all.

Found your blog through Real Truth Moms... you're on MDC, too?


brightonwoman said...

Salihah, I AM on MDC. Love it there! Though I'm only active there in spurts...LOL!
I intend to continue posting things about miscarriage...among them links to other mothers. Mind if I share yours?

And Mae, one of those 'what to say/what to do' entries will probably come in the near future. I agree, that kind of information is sorely needed. :-)

Kimberlee said...

Excellent suggestions.

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