I know this is a tough subject, but it’s a really important one. I have been very fortunate to have two pregnancies and two healthy children, but I know this is not always the case. The longer I’ve been a mom the more stories I have heard. Stories of pain and sadness.
As I type this, a good friend of mine is being induced as her baby has died. As I relayed this story to another mom this morning, she told me about her experience. An accidental pregnancy (she already had three children) resulted in a miscarriage around 19 weeks. She had not told anyone about the pregnancy, so she decided to not tell anyone about the miscarriage. It’s been several years and she regrets that decision. Since then she’s watched a niece struggle with miscarriages and she feels she cannot tell her story.
I encourage you to tell your story to someone. Don’t hold it inside. Tell some good friends or join a support group of other women who have had the same experience. And remember that your husband will deal with this in his own way. Here are some local resource, know of more?
- CrossHeart Ministries is a support group for women who have experienced a miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss. They organize a yearly “A Walk To Remember” event each October around Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day (Oct. 15th) They also have a Facebook page.
- Hopeful Hearts Ministries is a bible-based infertility and miscarriage support group for women who are suffering with the loss of a miscarriage, trying to conceive, undergoing fertility treatments or seeking adoption. Meets every other Wednesday evening at Highpoint Church. Contact Melissa Alexander at 901-270-4031 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep is a national non-profit organization providing free photography services to families with an infant who has passed away. I know families who have used this service, and they were very grateful for their photos. There are photographers covering our area, just search here by zip code for information.
- Lullabyes – a weekly support group for parents who have suffered through any type of infant loss from late-term miscarriages to SIDS death. Call 377-4785
- Kemmons Wilson Family Center for Good Grief – various groups and resources for all types of grief
Here is some advice from some EMMs and friends of mine who have lost a child:
- I would suggest she remember to get her memories. Meaning lock of hair. Handprint. Footprint. Pictures that she can hide and never look at but at least she will have them.
- Even though her sweet baby has passed please let her know she has the right to be with her baby after she delivers. It helps towards grief and closure.
- Jack and Christopher were 19 weeks, granted they grew faster in the beginning because they were twins but our nurse was AWESOME and made them each a memory box. We have the pictures she took of them at the hospital, their little knit hats, the blankets they were swaddled in and more.
- Everyone grieves and heals in different ways, even husbands and wives. No wisdom here, but just knowing others have survived it does help, I think.
- She should be kind to herself and grieve in whatever way she feels in the moment. There is no easy way through this journey, but having others who truly understand does help. Also, having friends who want to truly know how to help is wonderful.
- It was the loneliest and saddest point in my life. I can say that joy does come with the morning. It may be many mornings from now, but it will eventually come. Nothing can separate a mother’s love for her child. Your role as a mother does not change. Celebrate every day you carried your precious child and continue to honor your baby. Though you may or may not have held your baby on earth, you will have eternity to share. Blessings.
- Very difficult thing to go through but one day when she has another child she will be able to know if she hadn’t gone through this, she would never have had that child. It’s a tender spot in your heart that never goes away though
- Please remember the Dad, too. Very important.
- I wish more women would talk about this. When it happens to you, you feel so alone. After talking to many women, I found there are so many of us that have had to go thru this loss. It is a loss of a planned future, not tangible in most ways, but a loss non the less. All I know for sure is that I have the children I’m supposed to have.
- It does get better with time but is a very sad thing to go through. It will be 3 years in march since we lost our twin baby girls at 22 weeks. It was very difficult the biggest mistake was me not going to/ reaching out to someone who was willing to help.
- Depending on the cause, there are several websites and chat rooms available. I met some lifelong friends on the preeclamsia website. They helped me through the most gut wrenching agonizing pain anyone can ever go through. It’s also helpful to reach out to those who have been in pretty similar shoes. Reach out…talk to others. That’s the best advice I can give.
Things you should NOT say to a friend experiencing this pain:
- Everything happens for a reason
- It’s all part of God’s plan
- At least you have so in so (other children)
- You can always have another
- At least you didn’t know your baby
- There was probably something wrong with your baby
Ways you can help:
- Offer to watch her other child(ren)
- Bring over a meal, other food, or a bottle of wine!
- Say “I’m sorry for your loss”
- Be available to listen