It seems October is the “Awareness” month. Many things are brought to the surface this time of year, but the one that holds my heart is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness.
I know the official Day was last week but I wasn’t prepared to share about our struggle at that point. It’s still hard for me to talk about, but I need to break the silence. I have shared some in the past about the miscarriages I’ve had. We had a long road to get there with a stint of infertility even before them. Getting to motherhood was not the “Hey, let’s have a baby!” experience that I expected it to be.
For whatever reason, God had us pass through the valley before bringing us the fulfillment of a prayer and a dream.
Statistics tell us that 1 in 4 women have had a miscarriage. For many, a miscarriage is a silent experience that many women just want to forget. I have had four. My reaction to each was different. The first one was traumatic, but I was okay with sharing with people about it. There were times that I didn’t want anyone to know about my miscarriage, because I didn’t want people to pity me. I have had feelings on both sides of the coin. But no matter how I felt, I still mourned the loss.
The truth is I have four more babies. Four babies that I will never get to hold, this side of Heaven.
I know some reading this might say – “But you’ve been blessed with two beautiful babies!” I have, and I know that. God has redeemed my heartache. I know that if I would’ve carried any of those four babies to full term, I would not have the two wonderful kiddos I have now. I thank God for Levi & Kyrie. God wanted Levi & Kyrie to be the babies I hold in my earthly arms. But I still have four babies in Heaven that I never got to touch. Never got to hold. Never got to whisper “I love you!” in their ears or kiss their little nose while they slept.
Thankfully I had a small support system. Along with my family and the few friends (that I let in), I have a wonderful, caring cousin, who had traveled a similar road ahead of me that held my hand and supported me through my pain and help me deal with the emotions I had inside. She gave me ideas of how to make those babies real, and not just “sacks of cells” that didn’t survive. To me, they were babies. As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I had an instant connection with that child I carried. It was part of me – it was MINE. When I found out each time that they hadn’t survived, a part of me died with it.
I give no disrespect to any parent who has lost a child of any age, but no one would ever ask them to forget about that child and move on. “Oh you’ll have another.” But for many women who have suffered miscarriage, that is what they’re asked to do. Forget about it. You never held it, it never existed. You feel nothing for it. Those feelings were not good enough for me.
To begin healing and to cope, my husband and I decided to give each child a name. We picked gender neutral names since I was too early on to know who was what. The names of my Heavenly babies are Jordan, Peytan, Riley, & Taylor (I realize they’re in alphabetical order – we didn’t try this!). We named them to make them real – to make them our own.
The ONLY upside to miscarriage is to know that I WILL meet these children someday. I know they went straight from me into the arms of God, Himself.
Through this, God has allowed me to be a support system to others who have experienced miscarriage as well. God has placed several in my path that turned to me when they had their own miscarriages. We mourned and prayed together. Some were given their redemptive babies, others are still praying and waiting. Some mourned quietly on their own, others have felt led to be open about it. But because they knew I had experienced it, they were able to open up some about it to me. I am grateful that I could be a shoulder to cry on when I needed to be, because I understood – my own personal pain was not in vain.
I share all of this with you to break my silence. I must admit that this was NOT an easy post to write and share. I put it off for a few days. What I do ask you, is that if you know of someone who has had a miscarriage – be sympathetic. It’s a loss of a baby. They may want to talk about it – they might not. But treat it as you would the loss of any child.
“Dear Lord, I would have loved to have held my babies on my lap and tell them about you, but since I didn’t get the chance, would you please hold them on your lap and tell them about me?” ~Author Unknown