November 2017, we saw the second pink line.
January 2018, we suffered a miscarriage.
I went back and forth deciding how to write this. At first I included my story, detailing the events leading up to our loss. If you’ve experienced this loss, though, I don’t have to tell you this is a real but silent grief, one that sneaks up on you while you’re washing dishes or hanging ornaments on the Christmas tree.
I don’t have to tell you about the guilt, despair, or fear. I don’t have to explain to you what it feels like to leave the hospital to heal with no baby in your arms.
Instead, I hope that in your brokenness I can try to speak life and encouragement.
1. If at all possible, get some time with your husband. This is one of those times when what’s going on at home can be prioritized over what’s going on at the field, even if it’s just for a few hours. We were lucky that Fridays were easy days, so I scheduled our appointment for that morning. Coach took the morning off, but when we received the heartbreaking news, he asked his sub to stay for the entire day. We went to see a movie and have a heart-to-heart while our son was still at school. I needed time to process my grief then clear my mind. I needed to hear my husband’s heart and he needed to hear mine.
2. Grieve. This is a loss, and it’s sometimes even harder to process because you’re expected to do it in silence. It is so easy to turn off all emotions to avoid the pain. It is so tempting to shut down conversation with “I’m fine.” Grief isn’t pretty. But grief is healthy.
3. Accept help. This is not the time to be a hero. Let your husband take the day off if he can. Let your friends or family cook a meal for you or take care of your other child(ren).
4. Don’t blame yourself. I went down that rabbit hole. Did I take a medicine I wasn’t supposed to? Was work too much stress? What about the time my son accidentally kicked me in his sleep? Don’t WebMD it. Lean into grace. The reasons don’t matter anymore. What matters now is your health and healing.
5. Find community. This isn’t a sisterhood anyone eagerly joins, but when you become a part of it, you realize that these women are fiercely loyal. The bonds forged through shared loss are strong. A nurse assigned to my surgery was a part of the sisterhood and asked to pray with me. We cried together. She held space for my grief but reminded me that there would soon be room for hope.
Miscarriage and infertility are hard topics to talk about. The grief that accompanies them is weird, but it is real.
These mamas don’t want to hear,
“Well, at least it was early.”
“You can always try again.”
“Everything happens for a reason.”
“God must have wanted your baby with Him in heaven.”
“At least you already have a child.”
These mamas need a safe space to grieve and honor the lives of the sweet babies they briefly but fiercely loved. They need friends to hold them up spiritually, and sometimes physically. Pray for them. Cook for them. Give them a gift honoring the life of their child.
Last January, I didn’t think we would be ok. I had a hard time around Christmas, and I don’t know if the mountains, where I started to feel that something wasn’t right, will ever feel the same again. The thought of them makes my stomach turn. I’m still working through the pangs of guilt I feel when life moves on.
But there is hope after loss. Because God.
We live in a broken world where these things happen. God didn’t take my second baby from me. He did, however, take this time, and mold it into a call to growth, rest, and transformation. Because, even if not, He is still good (Daniel 3:18).
That second pink line never became a baby to hold. Instead, it is represented by a thin gold band between rings bearing the names of my two earth-side babies. It represents a time in my life clouded by grief but illuminated by growth.
God took what could have broken me and instead refined my faith, and mamas, He can do the same for you.