About eight years ago, I had a miscarriage. I was 9 1/2 weeks along, and I just knew something was not right before I even had symptoms that confirmed that. I was so scared, and my husband was at work, so my mom went with me to have an ultrasound to see if everything was okay.
There I lay on the cold table at the Dr’s office, watching the screen of the ultrasound maching and wondering what I would even be looking for if everything was okay. I felt very vulnearable, scared, and a sense of loss. The ultrasound tech confirmed that there was no longer a heartbeat, and also said that it looked like it was twins. Woah. I was excited at the idea that we could’ve had twins, and sad that it wasn’t going to happen all at the same time.
The rest of the day is a blur in my memory. My Dr. explained that 1 in 4 pregnancies end this way, and that it’s the body’s way of helping when something was probably very wrong with the baby or babies. He was kind, and said that it was nothing that I did or didn’t do, and that it just happens. He suggested that I have a D&C to help my body with the process that had already begun to occur. So that’s what we did.
I remember laying in the recovery area, and telling the nurse that it was twins. I was so incredibly sad, and I wondered if I’d ever be able to have a baby. The fear and sadness I felt was pretty overwhelming. I had amazing support in my family and friends, but it was a very difficult time.
It took us a year to get pregnant again, and each month leading up to getting pregnant, I would cry when I’d realize that that wasn’t the month. I didn’t want to worry or be fearful. I knew logically that God is the one who decides when the right timing of things is and I wanted to trust Him, but I struggled for sure. A book that helped me a ton during that time, and even once I got pregnant with my first (because I had to be on bedrest from experiencing spotting for the first trimester) was
Now I’m grateful and humbled to say that God has blessed us with four beautiful children since then. Sometimes I think about how things might have been if we were able to have the twins, and how different life would be. But then I realize that if that had happened, we probably wouldn’t have the four amazing kids that we are so blessed to have now.
But I know that everyone’s story is different. Some women carry their babies to full term and deliver them stillborn. Some deliver their sweet baby, and he or she only lives for a very short time, never able to leave the hospital. Some women are not able to get pregnant at all, and go through the grief of not being able to birth a child of their own. These are stories, experiences, and emotions that I know many women have, and also stories that aren’t told very often. They are memories that are held onto in the hearts of so many.
When it happens to someone you know, what do you do? What do you say? How do you help and show your love? I know those are the questions I have had when it’s happened to a few friends of mine.
Here is a beautiful article from a wonderful woman that I had the pleasure of hearing speak at a blogging conference last year. She recently experienced the loss of her precious daughter, Afton Jean. She wrote about five things you can say or do for a friend who has experienced a loss. I’m so grateful for this article and for the heart of Kami, that she wants to help others as they grieve their way through these difficult times. She’s a tremendous writer and a very talented photographer.
My biggest take away from her article was that saying “let me know if you need anything” is one of the worst things you could say. She uses a quote from Ronald A. Rasband to explain why that’s not helpful, and I think she’s exactly right. Here’s the quote: “”If you came upon a person who was drowning, would you ask if he needs help, or would it be better to just jump in and save him from the deepening waters. The offer whilst well-meaning and often given: ‘let me know if I can help?’ is really no help at all.” – Ronald A. Rasband”
So, here’s where Food Tidings comes in. If you know someone who has experienced a loss of some kind, make them a meal schedule. Get your friends and family together, and invite them to sign up and bring a meal. It’s a tangible way to share your love and care with them. Then you can incorporate a few of Kami’s suggestions when you bring the meal. I think that by just bringing the meal, and being there will mean so much.