Posts Tagged With: healing

10 Things Not To Say To A Woman Who Has Miscarried

 

I have had miscarriages.

Five of them to be exact.

Each one of them was different. Special. Heartbreaking. Painful.

Losing the fifth one was no easier than losing the first.

I blamed myself. I had failed my babies. My body could not provide what they needed. It was my fault.

I was not able to provide another child to my husband. I had failed him.

I could not produce a brother or sister for the one child we did have. I had failed our son.

My heart was broken.

Both, the emotional and physical pain seemed unbearable.

And really, the only other person to go through this with me was my husband. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I didn’t want comfort from other people. I craved it very much. But after the first, I heard such hurtful things said by well-meaning people that I chose to not tell again. Here are a few of them:

  1. “At least your baby died now, before it was born.”  I didn’t want my baby to die at all and especially now. I wanted to feel it move in my belly. My husband wanted to lay his hand on me and feel him kick. Most of all, I wanted to hold him, to see what he looked like. Even if he had passed away after one month, I still would have gotten one month. I would know if my baby was a boy or girl. I would know what color of hair he had, how big his hands were, watch him yawn, and rock him to sleep. This comment is hurtful because I feel like this was the worst time to lose him. Some time is better than no time and I’m the only one who seems to understand that.
  2. “Something was wrong. That’s why your baby died.” What I will hear you say is “Something is wrong with you. That’s why you lost your baby.” I feel guilty enough. Please don’t compound that.
  3. “You are healthy. You can have more babies.” Here’s the problem, I don’t want another baby. I don’t even want to think about another baby. I want THIS baby. I am already in love with THIS baby.
  4. “At least it’s not a real loss.” What do you mean it’s not a “real loss”? It’s not “real” just because my baby never took a breath outside of the womb? I still don’t understand this one. There was a life there. A heart was beating and now it’s not. What is not “real” about that?
  5. “You can try again soon.” This is not the same as #3. The last thing I want to do right now is rush into another pregnancy. I need time to morn this loss and for my body to recover.
  6. “You’ve already got one.” Believe me, this is not comforting. My baby was an individual. It’s not about numbers anyhow. It’s about life.
  7. “It’s just a miscarriage.” No, it’s not. You’re not the one involved so you can be detached. I have known about my baby for some time and have already come to love it. I cannot just shrug it off and go on.
  8. “Don’t talk to So-and-So. She is newly pregnant.” What? Miscarriages are not contagious. Hearing about another woman’s miscarriage is not going to induce your own. But talking about it can open up space for women to discuss their fears. And, if anything were to happen, she would know she was not alone. There is another person out there who understands and is going through it too.
  9. “Be happy for others who are pregnant.” Someone very close to me was pregnant at the same time when I lost my first baby. A few different people reminded me to “Just be happy for them.” It felt very dismissive of my pain. I was incredibly happy for them. I took comfort knowing that in a few months I would still get to smell that new baby smell and count little baby toes.
  10. “So-and-So’s miscarriage was worse than yours.” I don’t remember entering a contest. But miscarriages are terrible. Period. End of story. I need to be able to grieve as I see fit and not worry about how it stacks up against the experience of others.

So what should you say or do?

While it is true that there is nothing you can say to make it better, just knowing you care is comforting. Give her a hug. Cry with her. Pray with her. Send her a card just to let her know that you support her. Be a friend.

The farthest I got with any of my miscarriages was 16 weeks. Other than my husband, my sister was the only other person who knew. When I suspected something was wrong, she drove me to the doctor’s office. She held my hand during the ultrasound. She cried with me when they confirmed there was no heartbeat. She sat on the bed with me and just held me as we sobbed together. There was nothing to say, nothing to do. But knowing that she was with me, supporting me, and loving me was exactly what I needed. I will NEVER forget the tenderness and gentleness she showed me on such a painful day.

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Categories: miscarriage | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Because Death Is The Ultimate Healing

 

My four year old son and I were playing downstairs today. “Mommy, will you show me that sewing machine” he asked. He was pointing to an old one. One that I’ve never used.

The one that belonged to my grandma.

She passed away more than four years ago. I looked over at the machine and realized that since my father gave it to me, about two years ago, I have never even taken the case off.

“Sure,” I said to my son.

I knelt by it, unsnapped it, and lifted the case off. There was the machine that my grandma sat by for uncountable hours. My grandfather bought it for her in the 1940’s. She clothed herself and her family with this machine. She made matching dresses for my sister and me with this machine. I have many clothes for my Cabbage Patch Kids made at this machine.

Memories came flooding back.

I sat and stared at it. Nothing is more “grandma” than this sewing machine.

It even smelled like her.

A small piece of her fabric was left under the needle. Bobbins were filled and a spool was in place. Her measuring tape lay under the wheel.  Just like she left it.

I stared more. Tears filled my eyes.

Then my son asked, “Mommy, who did this belong to again?”

“My grandmother.”

“Why does she not need it anymore?”

“Because she died, Sweetie.”

“Where is she now?”

“She is in heaven with Jesus.”

“When we go to heaven will we see her?”

“Yes.”

“Will we take her sewing machine to her?”

I’ll admit that I did smile at this question. “No, it is not needed in heaven,” I responded.

My son went on playing but I sat there and continued to stare at that sewing machine. I couldn’t help but to feel the sting of the loss. It just hurts so badly!

There aren’t even words to tell you how much I miss her. It is too deep.

I spent much time at her house as a child. There was little as fun as being at grandma’s house. We always baked chocolate chip cookies (my favorite), played Old Maid, went for walks, and listened to stories from her childhood.

When it was time for my parents to pick us up, she and my grandfather would sit outside in their chairs while my sister and I ran around and did cartwheels, flips, handstands, and whatever else we were capable of. They clapped and made such a production about it that we were sure we were both Olympic bound.

And when my parents pulled up in their car and we climbed in the back seat, we would always turn around to look out the back window. And there would be my grandma and grandpa, standing at the edge of their yard, waving good-bye to us. I can still see them.

I sure do miss them!

Death stinks, doesn’t it! If you have ever loved someone who has passed away, you know how difficult it can be. How lonesome you feel and the void that is left.

But for my grandmother, her last couple of years here on earth were not pleasant. She was in and out of the hospital. Life became a struggle for her. Because first one thing was wrong with her health. And then another thing. And then another thing. And then another thing until she took her final breath.

And now she struggles no more. No more pain. No more rides in ambulances. No more tests. No more pills. No more falls. No more sleepless nights. No more cramps. No more swelling. No more injections. No more of any of that.

Because death is the ultimate healing.

When someone passes away, I often hear “So-and-So lost their battle with cancer today” (or whatever the affliction may be). But here’s my problem with that: If they are truly a child of God, they didn’t lose their battle. They were finally healed.

It may be true that my grandma had congestive heart failure. It may be true that she had pneumonia. It may be true that she was diabetic. And it may be true that she had several other health problems. But she didn’t lose her battle with any of it. She was finally healed of all of it.

As a follower of Christ, this is exciting to me.

I don’t yet have the health problems that my grandma did, but I’ve had problems. I’ve had the flu many times. And head colds. And chest congestion. And issues with my sinuses. And migraines. And an intolerance to gluten. And pneumonia. And spider bites. And many other bumps and bruises. The list could go on and on.

But I hold onto the promises of Scripture. And take comfort that one day I will be like my grandma and be healed of all of that. No more any of it.

Because I will join her in the presence of the Lord where sickness and disease does not exist. And I, too, will finally be healed!

 

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-8).

Categories: death | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Left: The Struggle To Make Sense Of Life When A Parent Leaves, A Book Review

 

I have never done a book review before and am not interested in beginning now. However I recently came across a book that I felt so strongly about that I feel I must share it.

 I don’t think that I have mentioned before now that my parents are divorced. They separated when I was eight years old. I am now in my mid-thirties and it still effects me deeply.

Several times I have been asked how my parents failed marriage influenced me. To this, I don’t even know what to say or where to begin. It takes away all security. You believe you weren’t good enough. You think you were trade in for something or someone more exciting. You feel abandoned. You believe everything you have been taught and known to be true is a lie. Even though your parents tell you differently, you believe it was really your fault. And the list could go on and on. It affects every fiber of your being.

It is hard. It is very, very, very hard.

I have never been able to put into words how I felt and still, to some degree, feel to this day. But I stumbled onto a book, LEFT: The Struggle To Make Sense Of Life When A Parent Leaves. I have read books before on this subject but none have come close to the honesty of Jonathan Edwards, the author. He does an excellent job of vocalizing what I never could. And it is all from a child’s point of view.

Want to know what a child is thinking or feeling in the aftermath of his parents’ divorce? Read this book. It doesn’t matter how old the child is, the feelings are universal.

I will admit that this book is raw. At times it is hard to read. You may not want to go on any further. You may even cry. I certainly did, many times. But please keep reading. Read every single word on every single page. Because this book is also completely hopeful, healing, and redemptive. And it 100% points to Christ. You cannot read this book without the gospel being shared with you.

I believe that nearly everybody needs to read this book. Weather you are contemplating divorce, have been divorced, have divorced parents, have a sister, brother, neighbor, or friend whose been divorced, I am convinced that this book gives words to what a child cannot express themselves. All of us need to be more aware of what children are feeling, needing, and the struggles they face daily. This book does that clearly.

This is a quick read, easy read, and 100% worth your time and money. As someone who has gone through it, I highly recommend it!

 

Click Here to read an excellent interview with Jonathan Edwards about this book.

For more information about this book and where to buy it, click here.

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