Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Rainbow and the Rain--Pregnancy After Miscarriage

I've started writing this post a dozen times, but I keep putting it off.  Writing is a good outlet for me.  It helps me "talk about" things that are on my heart that I would have trouble expressing in person to someone.  And the whole miscarriage thing is awkward to bring up.  Other people don't want to bring it up because they're afraid they're bringing up something you might be uncomfortable talking about or that they'll make you cry.  And you, as the one who's been through it, sometimes assume that everyone around you is done hearing about it and you hesitate to bring it up again--if you even had the nerve to bring it up in the first place.

Today was a much needed reminder that I'm not alone in this.  That people haven't forgotten our loss.  That people still think my grief is valid.  And I needed that.

My sweet, sweet friend gave me this at church today.  Well, not this exact one...mine has four turquoise beads and one pearl.  The four turquoise beads represent our living babies, and the white pearl represents our little one in heaven.  It's so perfect.

The card with it said this:


I feel like no matter how hard I try, I'll never have the right words to say so I hope this gift shows you how much I think about you and pray for you.  Even if you don't wear this, I hope you can enjoy it in some way to celebrate all your sweet babies, both here and in heaven.  There is a special place in our hearts for you all and your kiddos!  We love you!

And I cried, of course.

Pregnancy after miscarriage is definitely different.  I was never really concerned about miscarriage before I had one, but the fear definitely loomed through most of the first trimester.  I was thrilled when I found out I was pregnant again (in the bathroom at Target!), but the excitement quickly turned into anxiety as we got closer and closer to my first appointment.  I dreaded walking into that office.  I dreaded being taken back to an ultrasound room where I might get bad news.

There was a definite emotional battle off and on throughout the entire pregnancy.  It took me until after our 20 week ultrasound before I felt comfortable going to appointments without Kraig.  Even then it was hard, but by then I could feel that he was alive in me.  The rest of the second trimester and most of the third were much less anxiety-filled, but my emotions have definitely been on high alert lately.  

This last trimester and the quickly approaching birth has brought up a lot of the pain and anxiety all over again.  The fear of this one not making it either.  The fear of the emotions of labor and delivery, as I will inevitably remember the baby that we lost and the hospital experience of my D&C.  The guilty feelings of being happy about the baby that will soon be here.  There are a thousand feelings, really.  

My friend was definitely following the Lord's leading to gift me with this right now.  I don't even think I was aware of how much I needed that reminder that the life that is gone was precious and has not been forgotten.  I needed that reminder that I'm not alone.

Having a reminder of all 5 of my kids on this necklace is perfect.  It's a way to carry them all with me, and it creates an opportunity to share my story if anyone should ask.  And I'm so very thankful for that.  The silence does no one any good.

If you're in my shoes, know that these feelings are normal.  I pray that you'll have someone who will show you that your loss isn't forgotten--that your pain is still very real and recognized.

If you're a friend of someone who's in my shoes (pregnant or not), don't be afraid to reach out.  I'm sure it's awkward.  It's definitely something that's so terribly hard to understand if you've never been through it, but just acknowledging someone's loss can mean the world to someone like me. And it doesn't have to be in the form of a gift.  A simple card or even a text can mean a lot!

I'm very thankful my awesome friend didn't let the awkwardness get in the way of her ministering to me.  And ministering to me is exactly what she did.  :)

Hoping my next post is a birth announcement!!

**These beautiful necklaces 
and other similar jewelry can be found at 
She has a lovely Etsy shop.  The card that came with the necklace says, "Miscarriage is a silent pain. My hope is that each nest encourages mothers to share their stories and heal."  My feelings exactly!**

For more posts about miscarriage, check out the My Miscarriage Journey page for all my posts.