WARNING: This is a touchy, or even taboo subject for a few. I think we need to start talking openly about it.
Okay, with that said, time to open up. I have had a few miscarriages, each equally devastating. They broke my heart, and left me feeling completely flattened, lonely and so depressed I would only eat when someone was there to make sure I didn’t starve. I was never angry with God like some but I was angry with myself. I was angry with my body. My body which is supposedly made to make babies couldn’t seem to get it right.
Anyway, I’m not going to talk about why they happened and frankly, no one really knows for sure. Instead I’m going to talk about how I felt afterward and some good do’s and don’ts if you encounter someone who had to go through a miscarriage.
I am a pretty religious person. I trust in God and I know He loves me and has a plan for me. He influences everything in my life, to the job I have down to how many kids I’ll raise. I know that He loves me and throws challenges in my way so I can grow to be a better person. What I can’t accept is that the God who loves me so much would start a new life in my body then rip it away from me. My God isn’t that cruel. Would you do that to someone you love just as much as God loves you?
I don’t believe that I did anything physically and spiritually to make this happen. Miscarriages are not uncommon, even among my friends. Doctors, unfortunately, can’t always give an exact reason why they happen. I remind myself that healthy babies are still being born in countries where people are starving to death. So if they can have healthy babies then why can’t I?
Yet, I’ll turn around and the person who has a terrible home life is having their third kid. Why would He let this happen? I keep being told I’ll make a great mother, yet it’s the drug users and child abusers that keep having kids. I can’t help but be upset by what I’m seeing.
Why would He start up a new life in me, which is supposed to be sacred, just to destroy it? Why does this seem to happen to good, moral people? This is where the part of me which understands science comes in.
Recently I watched an episode of “Through the Wormhole With Morgan Freeman” called When Does Life Begin. During the episode doctors and scientists question when life begins and what if means to be alive. They ranged everywhere from conception to a 5 year old (I thought that was a little much). Dr. Hugo Lagercrantz suggests that we really start being alive when we develop a conscience. He studied preterm babies as young as 22 weeks and concluded that between 25 and 26 weeks the babies started to responded to different stimuli and show signs of consciousness. My theory is that this is also the time our souls enters the body.
By putting what I know about God’s love and science together I am very comforted. I lost the pregnancies way before week 25 and if the study was correct, then the fetuses didn’t even really have a conscience yet. Also, most doctors will tell you that most miscarriages happen because the fetus isn’t developing like it should. So if I lost the pregnancy because it wasn’t developing correctly and if a fetus doesn’t receive it’s soul (my own wacky theory) until week 25, then there’s a chance that I didn’t actually lose any children. God is just waiting until the right body develops to let us have a kid. I know this is kinda out there but I am comforted by this idea.
I have to say I am also very grateful to all the people who helped me through these times. Here are some ideas on what you can do or say to help someone going through a miscarriage themselves.
1. Don’t say “at least you can get pregnant.” To be honest, I tried for years to get pregnant. Every month I would take a test and every month I was disappointed, but I’d rather be disappointed than grieve another loose.
2. If you went through a miscarriage as well, let them know. The best thing for me was my HR rep and the store manager coming up to me and telling me their stories about their miscarriages. It was comforting knowing I wasn’t alone.
3. Don’t say “I know how you feel” if you’ve never had a miscarriage. It’s different then losing a friend or a family member.
4. Let them grieve. Saying things like “at least you didn’t loose a child” doesn’t help. They lost the future they started daydreaming about since they got the big fat positive. It’s still devastating.
5. Let them be angry. I was angry for a long time. I was pretty much angry at everyone from God to the stranger next door. It’s better to let it out then keeping it in. Of course I got over my anger, but recognizing I was angry helped me get over being angry.
6. Please don’t say “God just needed another angel,” or anything to go with it being a guardian angel either. I know you mean well, but it’s not comforting. I would reply, why did I need to have a miscarriage for God, who created everything and is all powerful, to add another angel to His list? Plus, I have my own thoughts on angels but that will come later.
7. Please, if you feel comfortable, offer to talk with them or even to sit in silence and cry with them. Don’t be offended if they say no, but if they say yes jump to their side. Mourning with others can be very therapeutic, for the both of you.
8. Most importantly: DON’T IGNORE THAT IT HAPPENED! This hurt me the most. Knowing others knew but they wouldn’t talk to me because it was too uncomfortable for them was unbearable. All it takes is saying, “I’m so sorry. This sucks big time.” That’s it.
Basically the best thing is to listen, let them get it all out and tell them you are there for them. Also, if you experience a miscarriage, please PLEASE don’t be afraid to seek a friend to talk to. Don’t be afraid of offending them with your loss. Your healing is more important. This is all based on my own experiences and I’m no expert by any means. All I can say is that it was hard, a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. I know now that I’m not alone, and that in itself is comforting.