They smiled at us as they walked by, eyeing our shopping carts; mine piled high with food, my husband’s piled high with our three boys.
“This will be you soon!” the gentleman motioned to his cart, over stacked with bulk-sized boxes of food. He and his wife smiled again at our boys, then he joked, “You’ll get there eventually. We have four boys and one girl.”
He meant it in kindness. After all, there was no way he could have known that only hours before I had miscarried our fourth child.
We knew about the baby for only two days. We were surprised, to say the least. But nothing compared to the shock that would follow two days later, when we would lose the pregnancy.
And nothing could prepare me for the sea of emotions that would overtake me in the days that followed.
I almost didn’t write this story. But then one morning following our miscarriage I slipped on a necklace my Aunt gave me for my birthday. On it hangs a small silver pendant with the inscription, “Your Story Matters”. And I knew that I had to write this. Because this story matters, and I believe that there are many other women out there facing this same kind of story, and they need to know that their story matters, too.
They need to know that despite the research stating that some 70% of miscarriages happen in the first few weeks of pregnancy, they are anything but normal.
Because there is nothing normal about losing a child.
For those to whom this story belongs, it wasn’t only a few days of hope and anticipation that they lost. It was a childhood. It was years of tucking in, bedtime prayers, and goodnight kisses. If she has other children, she lost a sibling, a best friend, and confidant for her other children. She didn’t lose a hope or a dream. She lost a child.
And she needs to know that it is ok to feel alone and angry and raw and numb and shaken. All at the same time. And that it is not ok to feel embarrassed or ridiculous for those feelings.
She needs to know that she is not overreacting.
She may need to be given permission to grieve. And that permission may need to come from herself.
She needs to know that it will be ok, but that it doesn’t have to be ok right now. Instead, right now it is ok for her to bury her face in a pillow and cry. Hard.
She needs to know that it is ok to curse the cramps in her abdomen and the bloat in her stomach; lingering reminders of what almost was.
She needs to know that it is ok to scratch everything off her calendar and take a walk. A nap. A shower. A break.
Dear friend, if this story is yours, you need to know this: you are not alone. Whether you held your child in your womb for a few hours, a few days, or a few weeks–those intense emotions threatening to overtake you around every corner–you are allowed to feel those.
This thing that happened and then ended before you hardly knew what was taking place–it mattered.
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Thank you for sharing this difficult post, Erin. I’m so very sorry for your loss.
We lost our baby at 14 weeks gestation. Later, different friends lost their babies at 17 weeks and 20 weeks gestation. I have fought thoughts like “their grief was more acceptable than mine because their babies were older.” The medical community called my baby the “product of conception.” But I held my precious son in my hand. We buried him in the plot next to his grandfather. He was oh-so-much-more than “just” an early lost pregnancy.
In so many ways there has been blessing from our loss. Our 2 older children have their gaze frequently turned heavenward as they talk about him by name and think about him being with Jesus. They know that when they trust in Jesus, they can be assured they will see their little brother. And they laugh to think that he already knows so much more about true life than they do.
I’m so sorry for your loss. I hope that you will know peace in the midst of your grief and the refuge that our Savior has promised to be.
Thank you so much for sharing Debbie. What a wonderful way for your children to remember their brother. Thank you so much for your encouragement. Jesus is certainly covering us in His peace right now.
Thank you for posting this. I hope that everyone who has experienced this finds this post.
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Thank you so much for sharing. You described every emotion I am going through. I knew for 6 days before I miscarried in Thanksgiving morning. I’m heartbroken and I’m having so many emotions. I’m heartbroken for myself, for my husband and for my son that would have been so excited for a sibling.
Oh Mandy, I am so, so sorry for the loss of your child. I am praying for peace for you and your family. I am thankful this post and my story could help in a small way.
Thank you for this post. We had been trying to fall pregnant for 18 months when we did, then do und out at six weeks we were going to have a miscarriage, which occurred a week later. Even now, nearly four years and two beautiful little girls later it feels sad, though not in the crushing way it was initially. I’ve had people be surprised at the sadness I’ve felt due to how early on it was and struggled with feeling like I was overreacting. This post has been such an encouragement.
I am so thankful that this post could encourage you! And I am terribly sorry for your loss. You are very right–the pain remains years later. It is a very real loss. But I am also so thankful for your two girls–what a huge blessing! May God continue to bless and encourage your family and home.
Thank you so much for writing this. I’m currently going through a miscarriage. Been praying all day for some words of encouragement. So thankful God sent me here.
Savannah, I am so, so sorry for your loss. I’m thankful these words could encourage you. Praying for peace and healing.
Thank you so much for this. I needed it so badly. I can’t quite wrap my mind around what I thought we were going to have and now don’t. Thank you for acknowledging and validating all these thoughts and feelings ❤️❤️❤️
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