Monday, April 18, 2011

Coping With Miscarriage- What Could Have Been...



Everyone is welcome to read this post, but it is specifically aimed at those suffering through a miscarriage.

Today marks the third anniversary of the loss of our first baby.  The anniversary hurts every year, but it gives me a chance to really grieve the baby I never knew.  Even after seeing my baby's heartbeat, I had a missed miscarriage at about 12 weeks.  It was diagnosed through an ultrasound on what was probably the saddest day of my life.  The thing about a missed miscarriage, for those that don't know, is that you don't know you've miscarried and your body isn't trying to expel the baby.  For me, it was so hard to deal with the fact that I was carrying my dead baby around inside of me.  This might sound blunt, but that's exactly how I felt!  I loved the baby, but just wanted it out.  We were soon given medication to help this process along, but the wait was just torture.  Dealing with the loss of a baby is something I would never wish on anyone.  The pain eases a little everyday, but you'll always have a tiny hole in your heart.

I know that during our miscarriage Ryan felt very forgotten. Everyone was concerned about me, but didn't tend to ask much about him.  Most of the time a miscarriage is just as hard on the husbands as it is the wives.  If you know someone who is going through this, don't forget about the baby's father.

I think it is important to not forget about the baby, even though you have to move on. Part of what helps me remember my baby is my memorial necklace.  My necklace has a heart pendant with a twisty cross in the center symbolizing that I'll always hold my baby in my heart and that she/he is in heaven.  It also has four little diamonds on the side of the heart.  This is symbolic because my baby died in April, the fourth month, and the diamond is April's birthstone.  I wear this necklace a lot of the time and it reminds me of my baby.  Every year we also get flowers on the anniversary- April 18th.

We did something else that helped us to cope with our loss.  Many people might find this a little to gross or graphic, but it helped us.  We kept as much of our baby as we could, placed it in the box that my memorial necklace came in, and buried it in a little wooden box we made, along with a mini baby blanket I knitted.  We placed it at the cemetery in front of my family's headstone. This may seem strange to some, but to me it was important. I didn't want to feel as if I was 'throwing away' my baby.  This gives you somewhere physical to go to remember your baby.

I found that I wanted to tell everyone, strangers and all, what I was going through.  I felt like they should know and feel sorry for me.  I wanted someone to know what to say to make me feel better.  I don’t know if everyone goes through this, but I sure did.

As hard as miscarriage is, it really does get easier. I still occasionally get emotional about it, but mostly I just like to imagine my baby being held or playing with my Grandma Alice in heaven. Grandma Alice died when I was a baby, so I never knew her, but I've heard thousands of stories from my parents and sisters.  My Grandpa Lou just passed away this last week.  He had been sick, so it has really been a blessing.  We all miss him already, but it's getting easier now that the funeral is over and things are going back to normal.  After he passed, I developed this fun, new image in my head.  It involves Grandpa walking into heaven, looking and feeling great and healthy, and laying his eyes upon my baby.  It is an amazing reunion between them and my Grandma.  I know they are all happy, pain free, and perfect.  These images always put me at ease when I'm feeling bad.

It so important to remember that you didn't do anything wrong!  EVERYTHING happens for a reason!  Negative things in our lives have a way of turning themselves into positives if we can let them.  This passage tells us that God cares for us and takes care of us in his own way... the right way, 'For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  -Jeremiah 29:11'

When you decide that you are ready to become pregnant again, the biggest piece of advice I can give you is to try not to get too stressed out about it. It took me a month to become pregnant with my first baby, whom I was not stressed out over, but it took a year to become pregnant with Brennan, when I was extremely stressed.  I couldn't stop thinking about it, reading about pregnancy/infertility related things online, and analyzing possible early pregnancy symptoms.  It was always on my mind and I truly believe it was preventing me from becoming pregnant.  I finally decided that it was better I wasn't pregnant.  Summer was coming, so I figured it would be fun to actually enjoy drinks, roller coasters, not being sick, etc.  As soon as I changed my mindset, I became pregnant the next month!  Of course, I was thrilled.  So... just try to relax and let nature take it's course!

I think it's normal to be afraid of having another miscarriage. I think that a woman is always scared of it, even before having one.  The problem with this is that nothing really makes the fear go away. I was nervous with Brennan, but for some reason this time I just knew it would work out. I think a positive mindset is extremely important. And like I've already said- everything truly does happen for a reason. Pregnancy will happen again exactly when it is supposed to! The wait can be hard, but it will be worth it!

I hope this helps anyone who is dealing with a miscarriage to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Things get better and easier.  Good luck to everyone!  Things will work out just as they are supposed to!

5 comments:

  1. Megan (Greer) WagnerApril 21, 2011 at 6:39 PM

    Thank you so much for writing this I realy injoyed it. I also had a MC in Dec. 20th 2011. It was very hard for me.

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  2. Megan (Greer) WagnerApril 21, 2011 at 6:41 PM

    Wrong year Dec. 20th 2010

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  3. Sorry to hear that, Megan! I think a lot of people go through it, but it absolutely doesn't make it any easier! Yours was obviously much more recent than mine. I promise it gets easier to deal with every day.

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  4. We are coming up our 1 year anniversary of our miscarriage.Dec 23 2011 I was 11 weeks when I started spotting. The ultra sound confirmed that we had stopped growing at 10 weeks. I dealt fairly OK in the beginning but now I seem to cry at the drop of a hat. I regret not getting the ultrasound pictures or having him cremated or buried. Some thing anything. My husband has been great and very supporting. I try to keep it together for him and our son who is almost 4 now. I have been playing with making a christmas ornament or trying to get the ultrasound pictures from the hospital.

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    Replies
    1. I'm so very sorry for your loss. It is something that is so hard to deal with and of course, everyone handles it differently. One thing is certain, though. As more time passes your pain will ease little by little.

      I think the idea of making a Christmas ornament is beautiful. It would give you that little something special as a memorial for your baby.

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