He looked tenderly in my eyes, glanced back at the monitor willing it to sound the usual comforting rhythmic beat before looking back at me and gently alerting me to the new reality of my condition. “I hate to tell you this, but the baby no longer has a heartbeat.”

“What?! No!!” I looked at the doctor and then at my husband who was standing next to the table I was on. We both looked at the monitor and then the doctor in disbelief. “There must be a mistake. Look again,” I begged as tears began to roll down my cheeks.

“I’m going to send you for a higher level ultrasound, but I need you to be prepared that you’re miscarrying this baby.”

“YOU”—that’s what I heard. “You are miscarrying this baby.” As if it was on purpose. When in actuality, I had followed every doctor’s order. I had watched my diet, got enough rest, taken my vitamins faithfully. But when I left the doctor’s office that day what I felt was shame, guilt, and despair.

I called my mother, who lived several states away and was undergoing treatment for cancer. “Mom, the doctor can’t find a heartbeat. I’m afraid we’ve lost the baby,” I choked out between sobs. She cried and I cried. By the time I got home, I felt all alone. I didn’t know anyone else who had suffered a miscarriage or the loss of a child. No one else who understood the grief that was settling in like an unwanted wet blanket.

In society, little attention is given to the grief associated with miscarriage or death of a child. Because it seems to be almost a taboo topic, women are left to suffer in silence, feeling all alone, despite the fact that 10-20% of recognized pregnancies will end prematurely in miscarriage.

Unlike other forms of grief when we lose loved ones and we grieve the loss of what we had, grief associated with miscarriage is the loss of an anticipated future. When we lose a loved one to death, we have memories, photos, and other memorabilia to remind us of the one we love. Yet when we lose a child to miscarriage, all we have our imaginations of what that life would hold.

When friends don’t talk about the miscarriage or death of a child, often because they don’t know what to say or don’t want to say the wrong thing, it leaves grieving parents to feel as if they don’t have the right to mourn. And many women, like me, feel a sense of failure, shame, guilt, or inadequacy which only complicates their grief. Research suggests that up to 30% of mothers who have lost a pregnancy will experience significant emotional reactions like depression or anxiety. And the majority of marriages that endure the death of a child result in divorce, another loss.

Many think that a subsequent pregnancy will ease the pain of the prior loss, but that just isn’t so. In fact, women who have experienced a prior loss are more likely to experience depression or anxiety during subsequent pregnancies.

I’ll never forget my first Mother’s Day after miscarrying our baby. By that point, we should have been celebrating the baby’s birth and many firsts, yet every television commercial, every hallmark card, every time I heard the phrase “Happy Mother’s Day,” my gut wrenched and the memories of that fateful day in the doctor’s office stabbed me in the heart again.

It’s been some time now since that grief-filled period of my life but I learned a few things through it:

1) There is no shame in grieving the loss of such a precious gift. When Jesus found out that His beloved friend, Lazarus, had died, He wept. “’Where have you put him?’ he asked them. They told him, ‘Lord, come and see.’ Then Jesus wept.” (John 11:34-35)

2) God loves your child and places a high priority on children, and you will see them again. “Then the little children were brought to Jesus for Him to place His hands on them and pray for them; and the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But Jesus said, “Let the children come to Me, and do not hinder them! For the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:13-14)

3) God cares about you and your grief. “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” (Psalm 34:18)

4) God will catch every one of your tears that fall. “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” (Psalm 56:8)

5) It may not feel like it when you are in the middle of such grief, but God doesn’t waste your pain. “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28)

5 Encouraging words for mothers who have lost a child through miscarriage. #encouragement #hope #grief #miscarriage

From one mother to another, may I pray for you?

Dear Heavenly Father,
I know how much you love your precious daughter. She is in pain over the loss of her precious child. I’m so thankful you can sympathize with her suffering because you, too, lost a child. Father, I pray you will guard her heart and mind against the lies of the enemy, and unintentionally harmful comments from others who haven’t walked in her shoes and don’t understand the grief she feels. Father, you are the God of all comfort. Would you comfort her heart right now. Will you be the lifter of her head. Will you remind her how very much she and her precious child are loved. And will you tend to the desires of her heart. We know that your word says you love to lavish good gifts on your children. Lavish your love on her today. Heal the hurt and wounded places. Do not let her pain be in vain. In Jesus’s  name I pray, Amen.

A prayer for mothers who have lost a child through miscarriage. #prayer #grief #God #miscarriage

 

Even in grief, because of Him, #HopePrevails!

Hope Prevails Book and Hope Prevails Bible Study {hope for overcoming depression}

Hope Prevails and the Hope Prevails Bible Study by Dr. Michelle Bengtson

Available now through book retailers!

Hope Prevails: Insights From a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression and the new companion Hope Prevails Bible Study help the reader understand: how depression comes to be, recover their joy, reclaim their peace, and re-establish their true identity, while knowing their worth, remembering their secure destiny, and being confident that nothing separates them from God’s love.

 

 

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A mother who lost a child through miscarriage will never forget the fateful day or the first Mother’s Day after the loss. #miscarriage #encouragement #hope #grief

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