5 Things I Did To Cope With Pregnancy Loss

Losing a loved one can be awful. When that loved one is a child, whom you never had the chance to meet; it’s proves to be a very unique type of loss.

I struggled (and still do) with our miscarriage. It is just a different kind of loss. There are usually no funerals, no announcements on Facebook, no bereavement days off from work. Life carries on as usual even though your private world is crashing down. It’s rough. 

But, here we are 5 months later and I am making it. My marriage is stronger than ever and I don’t cry 2-3 times a day, every day, anymore. I’m making it through. And it feels good to be able to say that.

I want to share 5 major things I do/did that I believe help me cope with the loss. I know everyone handles loss [in general, and miscarriage in particular] differently, so these things may not work for you. But, I did just want to share what has helped me heal, and I invite you to share what has helped you, too!

  1. Name your baby –  We gave our little nugget a name! The saying by Dr. Suess, “a person’s a person no matter how small” has never been more relevant in my life. Picking a name was a way for us to honor the life and little person that was, and also helped provide a small sense of closure. Naming helped to make a familial connection with the baby and gave me a way to reference him without saying “the baby I miscarried”. We picked the name August. I don’t really expect anyone else to call my unborn child by that name, but it helps when I can say to my husband “I miss August”. I’ll blog more about the name choice some other time! 
  2. Go on a trip – We got away, just hubby and I! We went on a short weekend trip to Chicago, and it was a great opportunity to get out of the house, try to relax, and forget about our circumstances; if even for a moment. After the miscarriage and subsequent surgery we couldn’t have sex for a little while, which was really hard on us, but the trip helped us to reconnect and spend uninterrupted time just enjoying each other’s company. A change of scenery never hurts, even if it involves a day at the beach or staying the night at a local hotel. Just get away!
  3. Online forums – People just don’t talk about miscarriage. Society has thrown ‘miscarriage’ into a pile of dirty words and no one likes to discuss it. This is why I started this blog; reading about other people going through the same thing was a huge outlet for me…and I hope to be that for someone else. I spent so much time searching for blogs, forums, and online support groups that allowed me to connect with other women going through pregnancy loss. Knowing that I was not alone in my grief and feelings helped tremendously. 
  4. Allowed myself to grieve – Possibly the best thing for my healing process was recognizing that it was a process and allowing myself to feel whatever it was that I felt during that time. When I wanted to cry, I did. When I was happy, I rode that wave for as long as I could. People tried to push me to “get over it” and people were also offended when I didn’t want to talk or spend time with them while I grieved. Some people felt as though my reaction was too intense and I shouldn’t be so down. But at the end of the day, you have to do what works for you. Focus on yourself and do (or don’t do) whatever you feel like. I remember feeling so much pressure to “be okay” even when I wasn’t. When I finally stopped forcing the process is when I truly began healing. Take care of yourself! 
  5. Make plans for the “hard days”  – So there are those days that come around that remind you of the loss. Those anniversaries and would-be-due-dates that loom over you as the calendar days count down. Make plans for those days. Hubby and I are planning to do a balloon release on August’s due date. Looking forward to that helps me to keep my head up when I’d otherwise be dreading the day. 


What are some things you did to help cope with your loss? Thinking of trying any of my suggestions? Maybe you didn’t have a miscarriage but you helped a sister, friend, or whoever cope with theirs; what did you do? Comments are welcome! Let’s talk! 

Men Hurt Too

Can I be honest with y’all? I mean brutally honest?

When we first miscarried, I felt like I had more “reason” to grieve than my husband did. I mean, I was the one who carried the child, I had the physical connection, I was the one being poked and prodded at every doctor visit and I was the one who physically endured the miscarriage and surgery. I felt like my loss was greater. Me. Me. Me. I was so flawed in my thinking and I thank God I got over myself quickly! Soon I realized that my experience with pregnancy and miscarriage was different from his just by virtue of me being a woman, and him being a man. But that didn’t mean that the miscarriage was any “worse” for me than it was for him.

Both hubby and I were crushed (to say the least) when we found out we lost the baby. Our family and friends were supportive, but at the end of the day all we had was each other. My husband was strong for us. He protected me, restricted access to me when I hated the world and didn’t want to be bothered, prayed for me when I could barely pray for myself, cleaned and cooked on the days when I was physically or mentally unable…he was everything. He helped me through my depression after the loss which was an unbelievable burden on us both.

He was more concerned about me and helping me cope, and I was trying my best to be there for him, too, but truth be told I was a wreck. So throughout the grieving process I had him and he had…a semblance of me. A shell. A walking corpse. I was pretty useless so he had to bear down and be strong for us both. Whenever I told him I was sorry that I couldn’t be there for him the way he was there for me, he said “Don’t worry about me babe, God has me. God is here for us and I am here for you“. He’s such a sweetheart. I know he meant what he said, and I truly believe that God was with us…but I still feel guilty that I was such a lousy “shoulder to lean on” during that time. Because truth be told, he needed me. Men hurt, too.

My husband was so focused on being there for me and supporting me after our loss; sometimes I think he never really dealt with it himself. He put his feelings on the back burner and put me on his back. I asked him to comment on his experience with miscarriage, and I’ve quoted it here:

It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with. Definitely a test of my faith and strength. In a time where something pained me so much, I still had to be strong for her; because we still needed to be able to function on a day to day basis. At first people were calling asking how we were doing, then they stopped asking about us and only asked about her. But I was still hurting.

In our struggles with infertility, infant and pregnancy loss, let’s not forget the would-be-dads. They may be hurting too, even if they don’t show it. Fathers are the unsung heros most of the time, especially during a pregnancy. It’s a lot of attention on the growing baby and the mommy-to-be; while the daddy usually takes a back seat to all the excitement and looks forward to fatherhood. And when those expectations of fatherhood are suddenly squashed, it is as equally as painful as any other type of loss. That’s why when I woke up on this Father’s Day morning, the first thing I did was hug my husband. I hugged him and held him tight; and he cried. We laid there that way for about 10 minutes and I didn’t say a word. Men hurt, too.

Everyone handles grief differently. How did your husband/fiance/boyfriend react after your miscarriage? Comment below! 💜
Xoxo-

N

The Day My World Came Crashing Down: A Miscarriage Story

So I’ve already shared the story about finding out I was pregnant. That day was crazy! Despite being completely freaked out…it was a special, surreal moment and a happy memory that I will cherish in my heart forever; you can find that blog here.

When we got pregnant, we just expected a healthy baby to follow 8 months later.

Never did we expect what was to come.

Continue reading The Day My World Came Crashing Down: A Miscarriage Story

11 Things You Should Never Say To Someone Who Is Grieving After A Miscarriage

For some, the pain of miscarriage runs deep; I know it does for my husband and I. And for the most part, everyone has been very supportive of our loss. Our family and friends, who were undoubtedly trying to cope with the loss themselves as well, loved on us and prayed for us and supported us – we couldn’t have made it without them! People said the things that they thought would comfort us in our time of grief, and I know without a doubt that they meant well and I love them for it.

However, I’ve found that most people simply do not know what to say in this type of loss; so they end up saying things that could possibly do more harm than good. If someone close to you has had a miscarriage, knowing what to do or say can be a challenge. Here are 11 inadvertently hurtful things people actually said to me or hubby after the miscarriage (and what they probably could have said instead):

Continue reading 11 Things You Should Never Say To Someone Who Is Grieving After A Miscarriage

Happy Mother’s Day

I was at the store last week picking out Mother’s Day cards for all of my mothers and grandmothers, and came across the “New Mommy” and “Mommy-to-be” cards. A pit formed in my stomach, and my hand reflexively fell over my empty tummy. How can you miss someone you’ve never met? How can you love someone whom you’ve never touched? But here I am, sorely missing my sweet angel baby on this Mother’s Day weekend. I literally sat down for a sec in the card aisle of Dollar General and allowed myself the moment to grieve.

It’s a silent suffering. It’s a lonely loss. For some people, a baby isn’t a baby until they are born into this world. Some take the terms fetus, zygote, embryo, or whatever else and use them to place value on life. “It wasn’t a real baby yet” is what they say; and so when you are grieving you don’t feel entitled.

But God says to Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:5) that “Before I formed you in your mothers womb, I knew you and set you apart for a purpose“.  This tells me that babies are known, loved, and given a life purpose by God before birth, and even before conception. You carried life. An important, unique life full of purpose. You are entitled to grieve! You are also entitled to celebrate yourself this Mother’s Day, even if it’s only you who recognizes that you are a mother.

You were taking prenatal vitamins. You made healthy choices and sacrifices like quitting smoking or alcohol. You watched everything you ate and were careful to avoid random things like deli meat, hot tubs and hair dye. You may have started a savings account for your baby and even started purchasing things for it. You were careful not to do anything too strenuous to your body. You protected your unborn child and kept them out of harms way, safely tucked away in your womb to grow. You prayed for your baby and talked to it and loved him/her recklessly and unconditionally; whether for 5 weeks or 5 months. Those are the things that made you a mother. The title is not revoked once the life of your unborn child ends. You are feeling this pain and grief because you are a mother who has lost a child.

I want to be acknowledged as a mother this Mothers Day, but I’m not sure if anyone will. My husband might, he and I have truly been in this together. Family and friends who are aware of your loss possibly do not want to bring it up to you because they fear they may upset you. What they don’t realize is that it is more upsetting to be overlooked. Though unborn, your baby existed and you don’t want others to act as though it didn’t. My dad actually just told me he “wasn’t sure what to do in this situation. He thought of me while doing Mother’s Day shopping, but did not want to add insult to injury”. To be honest, had I not gone through a miscarriage myself I also would not know how to handle it. So I understand. I really do and I don’t fault him. It just truly is a lonely loss.

To every mother who has a baby that was born in heaven, all of those who are part of the ‘Invisible Mom’s Club’, I say Happy Mothers Day! I pray for our strength and peace on this day. As we celebrate the other wonderful mothers in our lives, please do not neglect yourself. You are a mother. You created life, you nurtured life, you protected life; and you should be acknowledged on this day. Not only am I praying for mothers who have lost their child through miscarriage, but for all mothers who have lost any child for any reason. I am sending hugs and love to you all.

 

xoxo

-N

First Blog Post – Finding Out I Was Pregnant

I started writing about a month or so ago. It is really therapy for me, as my husband and I are going through a miscarriage. After allowing him to read what I had wrote he says “wow, babe you should really do something with this. Let someone else read it, write a book, something”! While flattering, I don’t think what I have to say is exactly book worthy, so today I decided to start this blog. Feel free to visit the “about” section if you haven’t already for a brief introduction; because I am going to skip all of that here and get right to it!

As a warning, this first post is rather long. I don’t plan on all of my blog posts being this long but due to the way this story ends I really just wanted to savor every moment and recount this day as clearly and thoroughly as I can. This is one of those things that I have to do for me and my healing process. You’re welcome to skip and find another post, or you can read along and relive this day with me.

Continue reading First Blog Post – Finding Out I Was Pregnant