When Words Can’t Comfort, You Still Can.
Alright listen, this is going to be tough post to formulate but with Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day (PAILRD) coming up on October 15th, it is something I want to raise awareness to. It isn’t talked about much and I would like to use my platform to raise awareness when I can. By raising awareness we can break this stigma around not allowing ourselves to grieve our unborn baby and I hope it can truly be helpful if you ever find yourself or a friend in the moment (which I sincerely hope you don’t but the odds are 1 in every 4 women will go through a miscarriage in their lifetime and that is just the facts of it.) Having gone through it I wanted to share a simple way that when words can’t comfort, you still can!
First, My Story:
I think the first time anyone other than my family heard that I experienced a miscarriage was when we finally announced the pregnancy of our rainbow twins (using this photo below). The double rainbow, the positive after the storm. But the storm went un-talked about. Part of me carried guilt for this. Guilt that maybe I was ashamed. Guilt that maybe it was me. I mean, I had two super healthy pregnancies before this one. Guilt that I even for a second was wishing it was a boy and nervous it would be a girl (a girl who I would have undoubtedly loved with all my heart but a superficial feeling nonetheless.) Guilt that I wasn’t fully honest with some of my even close friends and even furthermore my fans/followers ( I really like to consider you all friends too but you know what I mean!) I am a blogger. I am here to share all my ups but rarely do we feel comfortable sharing the downs (that’s social media for you these days!) SO much guilt! BUT if any of you know me in real life, I am a pretty keep to myself type of girl. Talking about the ugly stuff isn’t my best quality. I am FAR from an open book. I try to be. I feel like I have a lot to offer and I feel like I was meant to be doing what I am doing from even an early age, but I am human. I am an introvert just trying my hardest to be an extrovert even in the slightest way.
So last fall when we found out we were pregnant with our third we were over the moon. We told close family/friends and we celebrated, we joked, we got nervous. All those usual feelings. The thought of three girls was terrifying for me but my husband was on board. The thought of this being (potentially) our final baby was exciting. I remember thinking that the positive pregnancy test I was holding could be my last one ever! Then in the coming weeks the feelings of, “is this our boy” started to come about (listen I am just being totally honest here and I hope this is received well but after two girls I feel like this was a natural thought!) We were over the moon excited for whoever this baby was going to be! I went to my first appointment and I KNEW when I ovulated. Like no doubt in my mind, we’ve been through so much in the last 4 years prior trying to get pregnant that I might as well had a masters in when to get pregnant so there was NO questions asked on my end. But the baby. The baby wasn’t on that same timeline I knew in my head. Much smaller in gestation, no visible heartbeat but it was “still too soon.” My OB suggested that I was most likely was wrong in my ovulation calculation and I would come back in a week to check again. It was in that moment that the doubt and anxiety started kicking in.
Longest week ever.
I went back and at this appointment we got to see the fluttering heartbeat. Our baby! There was hope by everyone else but my mama gut knew something wasn’t right. EVERYONE at this point was telling me I miscalculated my ovulation, I am just not as far along as I thought but I knew otherwise. My OB asked that I come back in a week again and we can take another look. My husband was not available to come and I just knew I couldn’t do this next appointment alone. No symptoms. No bleeding. No signs. Just 100% all my intuition. WIthout hesitation my sister comes with me. My tried and true warrior, my best friend! As soon as the doctor put the ultrasound on my sister very cheerfully (I will never forget this moment) said “AW look at that little blob!” (her hopeful voice full of pure excitement and no idea how what she said was really the beginning of just pure devastation). Panic set in. I immediately said, “BLOB? It shouldn’t be a blob!! It should look like a baby by now. I am 9 weeks. This isn’t good.” All while the OB sat in silence. Moments later he delivered the worst news ever. The baby had stopped growing shortly after my last appointment and no longer had a heartbeat. He was super and beyond kind in his words. He reassured me that it wasnt me. I didn’t do anything wrong. Genetically this baby essentially wasn’t strong enough to grow. It wasn’t me. We walked out of there not saying a word to each other. Remember how I said I am reserved , well I couldn’t even allow myself to show emotion in that moment. In that office. In front of anyone. But the second we got in the car the floodgates opened. I will always be so thankful my sister was there even if I hate crying in front of people! I was told to wait and let my body do it’s thing but as Thanksgiving approached and we had family coming into town I honestly just wanted this nightmare to be over. Not to be prolonged. Not to go through this over the holiday in which I have SO MUCH to be thankful for otherwise. This was my closure and I chose to have a D&C.
You guys. One year later, almost to the day, we welcomed the most amazing pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, the calm after the storm, our twin boys. One year prior was the worst time in my life and the next I am experiencing one of the best. BUT the moral is that that baby deserves to be recognized, to be celebrated too. That baby was here even only for a short amount of time and I am only now realizing this myself.
Sharing all that has really helped me to release any guilt I have harvested and I just hope anyone going through this knows, it is not your fault. And to anyone on the listening side of such devastating news from a family or friend just know that although words can’t sometimes comfort, you still can and that is where this next part comes from:
When Words Can’t Comfort, You Still Can.
So when I partnered up with Earth Mama Organics in previous months I was browsing their website and I stumbled across a product that I really thought was a marvelous idea and knew I had to share it with you all and I figured Miscarriage Awareness month would be the best time. Earth Mama Organics created an amazing organization called Healing Hearts Baby Loss Comfort where they thoughtfully created a comfort kit to offer physical and emotional support for mothers who have suffered a devastating loss such as miscarriage, stillbirth, and neonatal death. You can read all about their amazing organization on their website or join their Healing Hearts Facebook page. It is there you will find many ways to grieve with the women who understand it best. As for the kit itself, it just the sweetest little gift pack that any mom going through a similar loss could find comfort in. It’s a kind gesture from a friend saying, “you’re not alone.” AND most importantly it allows the mother a process of grief that we all deserve. You can view all the contents and their purposes of this Healing Hearts Comfort Kit here.
“Grief is the last act of LOVE we can give to those we lost” – unknown
Having gone through a miscarriage myself as well as a close friends of mine experiencing the same, I have found that it is so true that we are made to think of them as just par for the course when trying to conceive. But when you’re experiencing one it sure doesn’t feel that way, and it shouldn’t. At the same time it is hard for others to understand how they can help when it really is such a helpless feeling being the hand holder in this situation ( again, I have been there too!) This is just one way that you can offer support when words can’t do it justice. Xo
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