As I continue to talk about the struggle of becoming a mom, one of the biggest struggles to deal with is the loss of a child. I have experienced two kinds: early miscarriages (under 12 weeks); and a later loss (though not medically considered a stillborn, I still had to deliver a baby boy.) This one will be about the early losses.
I had two early miscarriages. One of mine was at 5 weeks, and one was at 9 weeks. Neither one was really coupled by huge emotional pain like the later one, so I won't talk about that aspect as much here. With early ones, though there can be significant emotional pain, I think a lot of it is frustration. For many, it is your first time trying. The earlier they are, the less you tend to be "attached". In fact, it probably affected my husband the least-we didn't even have an ultrasound to look at before we lost the babies.
Yes, they are babies. I want to clarify that right now! Don't let anyone tell you they aren't. The majority of miscarriages are due to chromosomal problems and your body absorbs it back, or dispels it. Kind of a natural selection process. It can be extremely frustrating, especially if you are purposefully trying. With both of mine, I had positive pregnancy tests too. As a result, we have waited longer and longer to tell people when we are pregnant. Too many times we have had to re-call everyone and let them know we lost it. Yet a child was still conceived. There is nothing biblically that says it's not a child until x number of weeks. It is one from conception!
We have also had relief. As horrible as it sounds, one of our miscarriages was a unexpected pregnancy, and although we would have welcomed the child, it was terrible timing. After the experience was over, we had some relief, knowing we could wait until we were ready.
If you have, or ever think you are having a miscarriage, here are some things to consider and know:
- "Drop to your knees": Talk to God. I can honestly say, it is the only reason we have been able to deal with ours like we have. We have been given such peace about each situation, even un-natural peace. Our fears haven't been totally taken away, but we are OK with his plan!
- Any unusual pain or bleeding needs to be talked about with your doctor. And if you think something is amiss, read up on the signs (Internet or book) of a miscarriage to be prepared!
- It's OK to cry: You may have been thrilled to know you were pregnant and this is a HUGE let-down. Your hormones are also on a HUGE roller-coaster!
- There is physical and emotional pain: Miscarriages are painful physically. Even if you have a D&C it can be uncomfortable. Emotionally, it can be gut wrenching in the process, and hard to face for the next time you are going to try to have a baby.
- If you have repeated losses, there may be another problem. Your doctor can talk to you about this.
- No one will know what you are going through unless they have been through it themselves. If you do know someone else who has experienced a loss, talk to them. It is always nice to have a shoulder to cry on, or have someone for support! And be a support in return.
- Ask for help: My darling husband returned a bunch of baby/maternity things after we lost our baby boy. He knew I couldn't face it! We are only so strong emotionally and need support. I also asked for prayer from a Bible study group.
- Other babies: The first thing you will notice or see are other pregnant moms, or newborns. You may even have close friends who are pregnant. Prepare yourself emotionally for these encounters. They aren't easy at first.
- Give yourself time-to heal physically and emotionally. Do things as you see fit. Some can bounce back quickly, and some it takes awhile to deal with the pain.
- Communicate with your spouse: Be open about what you are feeling and find out their thoughts. And come to a mutual agreement about your next step. No one else will be experiencing it with you like they will.