Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Setback

36 weeks pregnant with Azariah, who is now a healthy 19 month old.
"Consider it a setback."  The doctor said it as though I had broken an arm, or was being diagnosed with an ear infection.

A setback.  Really?  This is what you call it when you lose a baby?  Casually he stated, "You're likely to have more miscarriages, but I see no reason you can't have another healthy baby some time in the future."

What?!  This was not my regular OB.  It didn't matter.  Once again, someone of the medical profession tried to explain away a miscarriage, as if it really shouldn't hurt.

Have you been there?  We have.  Twice this year.  It's a painful place to be, it's lonely, scary, and extremely sad.  I recognize that the OB, and the doctor at the ER (who saw me in November) see patients who are having miscarriages very regularly.  What I think they failed to recognize was this:  I am a mother who is losing a child.  This does not happen to me every day, or even once a week.  I'm not disappointed, I'm GRIEVING.  I have lost a baby - yes it IS a BABY.

Over the next few weeks, as I continue my own healing process, I will be sharing advice to medical professionals, words of love to mamas, and ways to support friends through miscarriage.

Please join me in my journey.  Learn what it means to lose a baby, and how to begin your own process of recovery.  Learn how to help a friend during a very dark and difficult time.  Hear some things NOT to say.

Understand, it is a healing process.  It takes time.  I'm not sure that I've fully emotionally healed from our loss in November, I know we haven't recovered from the one in April.

Have you experienced the loss of a baby?  What wisdom would you share with others about this very sensitive topic?

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  1. I guess the one thing I would say is that we haven't just lost our children, we've lost their whole lives. We've lost their first day of school, their jokes they would have made up, the pictures they would have drawn, and their personalities that we'll never know.

  2. We lost a baby between our two girls. This was almost fifty years ago and there was no sense of taking time to grieve. No service. It is much better now than it was in those days, but I agree, the medical profession still has a lot to learn about how to handle the lost of a child--even if it has not yet been born. I think the most important thing is to grief the loss and to accept that the loss will never really go away.

  3. We conceived in January and I started spotting in March. They didn't hear a heartbeat at 12 weeks and when I didn't miscarry naturally, they did a D&C. We conceived Emily the very next month. I really didn't have time to grieve, to be honest. I did for maybe two months, then it was taken over with feelings of worry for the new baby I was carrying. I still grieve, and I know I always will. I remember at the time thinking that I was such a failure as a woman. I couldn't even carry a baby to term. I was terribly depressed for two months. Then I found out about Emily.

  4. Many hugs and prayers! And I completely understand all of this, having lost 3 precious babes myself. So many times it appears they are cold and calculating. Thankfully I found support and solace in others who have walked the same journey, such as yourself! Thank you for sharing this.

  5. I haven't ever lost a baby, I can only imagine the pain and sadness. I'm sorry you've gone through this difficult time twice this year. Praying for God's continued healing and comfort for you and your family!

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  7. I'm so sorry, Jennifer and Randy. I pray for your family's healing.

    We lost our baby boy, Isaac, between Tobias and Daniel. Danielle had a similar experience with a doctor who wasn't her regular OB being insensitive and clinical in explaining the miscarriage. When her regular OB arrived, he cried with both of us.

    I think it's good that you can reach out with this kind of grief, and that people have been sensitive with their replies. Some people know the right words to say, others stay uncomfortably silent or blurt out some crazy things.

    Oh, the crazy and insensitive things that well-meaning people can say...
    Things like:
    --"You'll have other children."

    --"Be grateful for the one(s) that you already have." ...Does feeling loss makes you ungrateful for what you have? In my opinion, it is one of the most rotten things people can say.

    --"My miscarriage (or somebody I know) had it worse than you." Really. Grief is a peeing contest for some people.

    --And the sanctimonious "It's all part of God's plan." Maybe. Maybe not. But, no one other than you and your husband can arrive at that conclusion.

    1. Thanks for those words, and you're so right about those statements