10 Steps

While I was pregnant, a friend of mine miscarried. I said all the wrong things to her. Of course, at the time, I didn’t realize what I was saying was inappropriate or hurtful- I was truly only trying to help. But then I experienced a miscarriage and realized how I should have acted much differently.

Below is a list of 10 things I found on theRproject.org (a Christian organize to support and bring awareness of miscarriage) that you can do or say to help someone if they have endured a miscarriage.

10 ways to support the person in your life who has just lost a baby:

1. Acknowledge their profound loss, right away. You may be afraid you’ll say something ‘stupid,’ but the worst thing you can say is nothing at all.

2. Don’t say, “let me know if I can help.” They are not in a place where they can give direction right now. Offer an idea instead. Say, “I am going to bring you dinner Thursday night,” and just do it.

3. Read this article here at http://www.glowinthewoods.com/how-to-help-a-friend/ on what not to say, and follow the advice. This includes:
-Give her opportunities to speak her truth.
-Keep your own motherhood and children at a distance
-Use your skills or artistry to contribute tribute to her lost baby
-Do make casseroles, don’t send flowers
-Be careful what you say. “Husbands, parents and other loved ones have a vested interest in the pain going away—it distresses them, and they want their sister/daughter/wife back in happy form as soon as possible. It’s meant well and it comes from love, but “Don’t dwell!” and “Don’t torture yourself!” lands on the grieving mother as criticism, as though her feelings are inappropriate, abnormal, unwelcome. To lose a baby is an isolating experience. To be rushed along the path of healing makes you feel even more lonely, makes you grip more tightly to the blackness.”

4. Send a card.

5. Drop off a care package. Include some junk food, a couple light-hearted movies, etc.

6. Buy them a memorial/remembrance gift. Perhaps a necklace, or donate to a charitable organization in honor of their baby.

7. If you’re close, ask if you can come over and just “be” with them.

8. When you see them, don’t be afraid to speak their child’s name. Saying you’ve been thinking about their baby means more than you’ll ever know.

9. Keep texting, calling, emailing and facebooking to let them know you are thinking about them, even after it’s been a few weeks or months. Even when they appear to be “over it” or back to their old self, they will still be hurting, and will still need to know people have not forgotten about their child.

10. Try to remember and acknowledge important dates, such as their due date, loss date, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day.”

I have been so lucky to have people in my life that have done a lot of these things for me.

Moving Forward.

As I type this post I can’t help but cry a little as I would rather my topic of this post be how happy I am to be in the second trimester, some pictures of a baby bump and the building excitement for an upcoming gender reveal.

Not the case. But I am moving forward. Perhaps too slowly for some- but I am trying to focus on the people who have been wonderfully supportive. My husband, my parents and a few but oh so needed friends and those ‘random unexpected’ people I talked about in my last post. I cry almost every day- but its not as debilitating as it was. I am slowly getting back into the swing of life.

I am working part time now back at Franklin County DSS. I just needed a break from working full time. Bennett is currently working at Starbucks, but hopes to find a more permanent career type job so that I can continue to work part time and hopefully, Lord willing, we can try again for a baby. This miscarriage truly reshaped my mindset. I am so tired of simply working with the sole mindset of earning money to live. Ever since high school I knew I wanted to be a stay at home mom- not a career mom. I applaud those mothers who can juggle working full time and having a family but that is not my goal or how I think God designed me to be. That being said- we have no clue when we will start trying again. For sure not in the near future as my body has yet to regulate since the miscarriage- and per doctors orders I must wait two cycles and I haven’t even been through one yet…

I said in my last post I would update a bit about our New York trip. As awful as it was to physically endure a miscarriage while being on vacation- I was almost glad it happened there then at home so I could leave some of those memories behind. It was also bittersweet that the same place I experienced one of my hardest trials (treatment for Vaginismus) I also endured another hard trial (losing Mizpah).

It was also SO extremely wonderful to be able to spend lots of time with the two couples who were there for Vaginismus treatment. One of the couples I had been talking to since September of 2011. The second couple I had spoken with a few weeks before treatment. She cried when she found out I was coming up to visit the same time that they would be there, as they had seen our documentary video which is what confirmed their decision to go to WTC. Both of these couples are Christian couples and the community we felt between the six of us was so so special. The first night when we arrived we went to one of their hotel rooms and had a wonderful time of praise and worship. A favorite of mine “How He Loves” was sung which was another beautiful tie in between my Vaginismus trial and this miscarriage trial.

Another absolutely wonderful blessing was being able to spend a lot of time with our doctors, especially Dr. Ross. I know I have said it before, but I’ll say it again, I LOVE these doctors. It just astounds me that I ‘paid’ them back in July yet they continue to love on us. As soon as I found out I was most likely miscarrying Dr. Ross called me. When we arrived in New York, before we even made it to our hotel, they asked us to stop by the office so they could see us. Dr. Ross showered us with gifts from a wonderful camera to beautiful mementos in honor of Mizpah. We saw them every day while we were there- and they gave us hugs and comfort during this difficult time- just like they did the last time. I will forever hold a special place in my heart for Dr. Ditza and Dr. Ross.

The couples were also so comforting to me and Bennett while we were there. They prayed with us and loved on us. I think it was good for both sides. We were able to focus on each other so we weren’t so focused on our own pain. Both girls were cured and are doing great. I am just so happy for the Womens Therapy Center and the ‘God Connections’ I have made with so many women who have endured this condition.

All that to say- just as I firmly believe I had vaginismus to help other women, I guess I am coming to the realization that is the same reason why I had a miscarriage. Sometimes I wonder why me…most women have sex and babies as easy as batting an eye- yet for me that isn’t the case. And the only thing that brings me comfort is that it happened so I can comfort others. Just as 2 Corinthians says “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”

I get angry at God – to quit allowing this stuff to happen to me because I simply can’t take anymore and I just am not fit emotionally or spiritually to comfort others. I’ve done some pretty sinful things out of anger and emotion because of my circumstances- why would God use that? Yet He does. He uses our personal stories of trash and transformation to encourage others who are simply stuck in the trash and don’t see a way out.

As I have learned over and over again- there is a way out and it is only through Jesus. I have tried every which way to turn but with no avail. It’s only Jesus.

The Unexpected.

Not really sure what to post, I guess I feel some weird obligation to the blog world to post every now in then about some random crap and it’s been a while. So now I am awake at the wee hours of the morning unable to sleep- thinking about our ‘Mizpah’. One of our precious doctors in New York gave me a beautiful pin that said ‘Mizpah’ on it with the bible verse Genesis 31:49 “The Lord watches between you and me while we are apart from one another”. Ever since I received that pin from her, I knew in my heart that my lost little ones name would be ‘Mizpah’.

I had a dream the other night. I was fully pregnant and going into labor. My mom was so excited and was there holding my hand. The same doctor that gave me the Mizpah pin (and cured us of our vaginismus) delivered my baby. I had a baby boy. He was beautiful. Then I woke up and it wasn’t real. That’s what makes this ‘grieving process’ so hard. You think you are finally getting through it- then something as simple as a dream just knocks you back.

On a side note, Dr. Ross, if you are reading this- you now deliver babies on top of curing vaginismus! 🙂

It’s funny. I remember being in high school and some of my friends having migraines. I rarely had headaches so when my friends would go home sick with a migraine I remember thinking ‘its just a headache, it’s not that bad’. Then I got a migraine about a year and a half ago, wound up with half my vision gone for several hours, puking, head spinning, in the ER receiving IV drip for dehydration and medicine to stop the nausea, unable to open my eyes due to the piercing lights. I remember telling Bennett it seriously would have been okay if I had died because the pain was so unreal.

It’s kind of similar with a miscarriage. I knew of people who had them. I felt awful for them when I heard about it- but thought it wasn’t really so bad. They never saw the baby and in a week or two they’ll be fine. Boy was I wrong. The moment I saw that positive pregnancy test my heart was linked to this baby. While I was still pregnant one of my friends miscarried. I felt bad for her of course, and said all the wrong things of ‘at least you know you can get pregnant, and I hear you are really fertile after you miscarry’- never really understanding her pain. Now I do, and now this same friend is enduring her second miscarriage. I didn’t say those things this time.

I guess all that to say…yeah, could my life be worse? Yes, way way way worse- and I get that. I know I have a lot to be thankful for- but that doesn’t bring me my baby back and it doesn’t lessen my grief. Just like I didn’t know what it felt like to miscarry before it happened, its the same way how I don’t know what it would feel like if I got cancer or if my husband died. I can’t compare my grief to something I haven’t experienced. All I know is that I’m sad and it sucks.

Even in my anger and doubt, God has been present. It’s funny how He works. Some of the people I thought would be there for me during this time really weren’t, but He has provided unexpected people at just the right times that I never would have thought or imagined. A friend who had miscarried gave me a beautiful willow tree ‘remember’ angel. An old highschool friend I hadn’t seen in years and his wife I had never met before took us out for dinner shortly after we miscarried, bought me beautiful earrings in memory of Mizpah, and took me to get a manicure all because they simply wanted too. A random lady I didn’t even know was the first person to send me a card in the mail- to find out later she had suffered a miscarriage 17 years ago and her husband died in a tragic car accident 16 months ago. My best friend came over and got our dog for us so we could leave to go out-of-town a day early and she did my laundry. My best friends sister cleaned my filthy kitchen and bathrooms while I was gone. My best friends mom brought us over piles of food and shared with me about her two miscarriages. An old friend from my youth group days sent me a beautiful note with a beautiful necklace. One of my doctors who I long ago ‘paid my dues’ still calls and emails me to check on me, and gave me a beautiful pin and candle in remembrance of Mizpah.

And the list could go on. I am still weeding through why all this happened but one thing I have learned is that I want to be that unexpected person. When someone is grieving- to feel loved is so important and to have it come from a place you least expected makes it even more meaningful because you know it’s not out of requirement but out of genuine love and concern. Of course my husbands and my family’s support has been wonderful, but that’s kind of like a given with family members. It’s just those random acts that let me know that God has not forgotten me.

So I guess that’s where I am at right now. Still pretty angry, working through this whole grieving bit, but maybe thinking that one day I can be that ‘unexpected’ person for someone.

I meant to post about our New York trip, but this post was getting a bit lengthy so I will the next time- but I can say with everything that was going on at that time- going on that trip was perfect timing.