"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Psalms 139:13-16
Discovering you're pregnant can be a bit shocking depending on whether it was planned or unplanned and how many other children you have. You may experience contradicting feelings at the same time such as happiness, fear, stress, ______ (fill in the blank). Your brain is working overtime. "Is this really a good time for me to be pregnant?" "How long should I wait to tell everyone?" "Should I tell anyone?" "I thought I was finished having babies." "Can we afford to have another one? We JUST finished paying the hospital bills for the last kid!" (That was my first thought!) After a few weeks of knowing and accepting this truth that you are indeed carrying a baby, you may become happier or more nervous, depending on your family history. Either way, you have 9 months to prepare and figure out how you're going to handle this, right?
I was in this situation a few years ago. I already had one child and found myself pregnant a few years later. It wasn't planned, but I was excited nonetheless and told my family immediately. I had a few close friends who had experienced a miscarriage recently, so it was on the back of my mind, but I honestly didn't think it would happen to me since I never had any problems getting pregnant or during my first pregnancy.
Around 11 weeks, I started telling more people, since I was almost out of the first trimester and into the "safe zone". I remember I had my 12 week ultrasound scheduled on a Monday morning. The Sunday night before my ultrasound, I had extreme abdominal pain and ran to the bathroom only to see a massive amount of blood in the toilet. My first and only thought was, this is it, I'm having a miscarriage right now. There was no doubt in my mind. I called my close friend sobbing to her and barely getting the words out, but she knew exactly what to say. She told me to go straight to the ER. My husband called my parents, and they came over to watch our son while we went to the hospital. In the ER, I kept losing such an obscene amount of blood that I ended up having 2 blood transfusions, plus the D & C surgery along with numerous ultrasounds to make sure they got everything out. To put it simply, it was a horrendous and traumatic experience that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.
There were some women from my church who lifted me up in prayer and sent me encouraging emails, even though they had never met me. That meant so much to me that they would take time out of their busy lives to support me in my grief. They had also experienced this pain, and wanted to let me know that I wasn't alone. Some of those words from strangers meant more to me than even words from my close friends and family. I'll always remember one lady who wrote: "God loved your little angel so much that He wanted them to go straight to Heaven with Him so they would never feel death, sorrow, crying, or pain." While this brought me great comfort, I am aware that someone else hearing these words may be offended or hurt worse. Sometimes the best thing we can do is be present and not try to come up with the "perfect response" since we never know how people will react. God knew exactly who and what would comfort me at that time.
Miscarriage doesn't discriminate - 1 in 4 women will experience a miscarriage. I didn't know this statistic before I had one. Before I had my miscarriage, I thought it was a very sad thing and I felt bad for everyone I knew that had one. After I had my miscarriage, I still think it a very sad thing, but now I not only feel bad for people who have one, I can actually know the pain they are feeling. Before my miscarriage, I never knew the right words to say to encourage or support women who had one. After my miscarriage, I now just sit and cry with women who had one.
So even though 1 in 4 women have this in common, I know I felt extremely alone after it happened to me. My friend who talked me through it on the phone lived out of state and had 3 kids, so I didn't want to bother her. My other friend who experienced miscarriage was also dealing with postpartum depression. If I felt lonely (and I have a decent amount of friends), I'm pretty sure there are other women out there who feel just as alone. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
I didn't talk to anyone professionally about my loss, and I really wish that I had. Now that I work for Hope Clinic, I have the privilege of knowing these amazing women and men who counsel our clients daily and if I could go back in time and talk with them right after my miscarriage, I would. Their kindness and patience allows them to be such good listeners and they make you feel comfortable talking to them about anything. I encourage anyone reading this who has gone through this pregnancy loss, even if it was completely different than mine, to reach out to someone who can walk through this with you. If you don't know anyone close by, please give Hope Clinic a call at 615.321.0005. It seriously will be the best call you can make for healing through your grief.
I became pregnant about 6 months later and now have two sweet boys, but I'll always remember my angel baby. I found this poem online and it spoke to exactly how I was feeling. I hope it brings you comfort as well.
A Lament for My Baby
I never got to hear you laugh, you never saw me cry.
Didn't get a chance to say "Hello", you never said "Goodbye".
I didn't think that I could feel so sad, lost and forlorn.
I never knew God chose his Angels before some of them were born.
Your life was short yet special; I shared it all exclusively.
I felt you breathe, I felt you kick. You were alive inside of me.
Every baby is an Angel and every angel is divine.
God needed one in heaven; He came down and took mine.
And although we are not together, we're not really apart
for you'll always occupy a space deep within my heart.
Time has begun to ease my pain, It's only some days now I cry.
When I wish I could have said "Hello" and heard you say "Goodbye".
Sara Chang has served as the Communications Coordinator at Hope Clinic for Women since August 2013. She manages the website, printed materials, and social media. She received her bachelor's degree in Spanish from MTSU. After living in NYC for seven years, she moved back home in 2008 and lives in Nashville with her husband and two sons.