10 things I learned from miscarriage
1. Feel what you need to feel.
Without guilt or condemnation, let your body feel what it needs to, as it needs to. I struggled with this the first time, because I felt guilty about the ugly things I was thinking. How I was hurting, and angry, and confused about the whole experience. But holding in what you are feeling will only make it worse later on. Those feelings are going to come out. Somewhere, somehow, they will. Part of this healing process is to feel what you need to feel, when you need to feel it. This may mean going to a quiet place alone, before God, and letting it come out. Ask your husband to help with this, if you need to make arrangements for little ones you have at home. Or just plan some time each day to be alone; in a private place where you can go before the Lord uninterrupted to pray or cry. He can handle all the things you are carrying, and He will not condemn you for the craziness you are going through. He created you, He loves you, and nothing is hidden from Him. Psalm 103:14 says, "For He knows our frame, He remembers that we are dust."
2. You are not strong (and that's okay).
I struggled with this one a lot initially. I thought for some reason I had to be very strong, and show everyone how brave I was. But I was only fooling myself and, biblically, I realized this was not what God asked of me. Psalm 73:26 says, "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever." He showed me that it was okay to be weak, and to rest in Him fully in my weakness. He would give me the strength I needed, when I needed it. Realizing that He would strengthen me was freeing and helped me to let go of that burden.
3. Pray about seeing those pregnancy tests next to the maxi pads.
Seriously. Walking down the grocery store aisle only to see those bright pink little boxes almost made me lose it right there in the store. Why? Seeing anything remotely baby-related in those first few weeks was hard. Any reminder of the little tiny baby that was no longer in my body was just painful. Pregnant women, newborn babies, baby announcements etc. All hard. There is a time when it's a little easier to head down the aisle and not weep about seeing those tests (and all the other things) but give yourself some space for a month or two. Pray in those days that the Lord brings healing to handle the times when you will face painful reminders. But it's okay to step back from those triggers for a small season, for the sake of your heart. Confide in your husband and a close friend (one that's gone through miscarriage is tremendous) to help you in areas like shopping for maxi pads, or running a couple errands so you can rest (your heart) at home.
4. Pray against hurtful comments.
Thankfully in this area I didn't really have many comments that hurt. A couple come to mind that I can remember, and they were really said out of misunderstanding on the other person's end. The simple truth is that people that have not been in your place do not know what to say. And so, sometimes comments can be said that just really hurt. Things like, "Well, at least you have your sons at home," or "You can always try again." I think what was more hurtful for me was that others did not realize I was still hurting a month later. There is an expectancy I think to move on as quickly as your body physically does. And it's just not the case with the heart (see the C.S. Lewis quote above). Knowing ahead of time, that people will say things that may not be very thoughtful, even without meaning to, pray for grace in hearing them. Grace in seeing that their intentions and heart are true. And grace in times when some people do NOT say very gracious things. God has given us immeasurable grace and we can ask Him for the same. We are only human, and I can well remember a time when I said some things I KNOW I shouldn't have, simply because I just didn't understand. If you don't know what to say to someone that is hurting, it's okay to just be quiet and offer a hug. I know how much it meant to me when someone just offered a hug.
5. Grace. For yourself, and for others.
The Lord extends so much grace to us in our weakness (as I mentioned above). At this time extend a little grace to yourself. For me this meant being gentle to myself by doing a little pampering. Your body is going through a lot and your heart is trying to catch up with what is going on physically. Slow down and do some things that will nourish your body and soul. Brew some hot tea, run some bubble baths, read some lighter literature or stories, go get a massage or pedicure. Pamper yourself in ways that will help boost your spirit and nurture your mind. My husband generously and lovingly treated me to an afternoon out to get a massage and it was one thing that really just helped me physically feel better. Feeling beautiful during the hard days felt far from me, but finding a little time each day to pamper myself did wonders in boosting my spirit. I am so thankful for friends and family that poured into us throughout those weeks.
To be continued ...