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I Had a Miscarriage: Now What?

I Had a Miscarriage: Now What?

I Had a Miscarriage: Now What?

PLEASE NOTE:  This is not a post for everyone.  In fact, this post is written for those women that need more information, more details, more something to help fill in the gaps while having a miscarriage.  There is no What to Expect: Miscarriage Edition, and I knew through my own experience with miscarriage that I wanted more of those tiny details at my fingertips.  So this is for you, dear, sweet, brave woman: you who want to hear others’ experiences to get a feel for how this thing goes.  For others who are reading this, please be mindful that it took a lot of courage for these women to share their stories.  Don’t take their openness lightly; I know I shed more than a few tears answering these eight questions.  Please be respectful.

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The following eight stories are written by a variety of women, and are answering eight questions that I found myself asking as I miscarried Baby H-G3 – the pregnancy following the births of my first two children.  Hopefully they will help you through your loss, or maybe give someone insight to what miscarriage can be to those who experience it.

 

1. What is your brief miscarriage story?

STORY ONE: We were dealing with infertility for three years, and when we FINALLY got another pink line when taking the pregnancy test, we were thrilled! We thanked God for this perfect and wonderful gift, called our doctor, and set up our first appointment. At our first appointment we asked for an ultrasound to confirm (we were still in disbelief!) Our first ultrasound revealed that we may have been “too early” to see anything. Deep down, I knew something was wrong – had an ultrasound again a few weeks later, only to once again leave in tears… a blighted ovum… an empty sac where once it held our miracle.

STORY TWO: I miscarried in September of 2013. We had recently moved into our house and were involved in lots of home improvement projects. I was worried and resentful that a lot of lifting and activity may have played a part. We were working that evening when I told my husband I was having cramps but we just played them off as stress related. I woke up that night, between 2-3am, and miscarried alone, in my bathroom.

STORY THREE: On New Year’s Day 2012 I found out I was pregnant with my first child. I was over the moon excited. Then I got my first HCG blood test and the number was very low. I had a second, third, and forth test, etc. The number was increasing, but not at the rate it was supposed to. Every moment that went by was excruciating. Not knowing what was wrong. It was unbearable. Basically, the doctor determined that my pregnancy was ectopic at 12 weeks and I was forced to take a shot to force a miscarriage. It was the worst day of my life and I wouldn’t wish this kind of emotional and physical pain on my worst enemy.

STORY FOUR: After nine months of trying for #2 baby, I found out I was pregnant two days before Valentine’s Day 2008.   I started bleeding at 7 weeks 6 days and no heartbeat was found at the hospital, but they thought I might be off on my dates  (I knew I wasn’t).  I was sent home to wait to see if my HCG would fall and if a “spontaneous abortion” (their horrible term) would occur.  A few days later the HCG showed a decline.  A few more days and I began to cramp and lose the baby.

STORY FIVE: My husband and I started trying to get pregnant and were successful our first month. I had positive pregnancy tests for a week before they petered out to Not Pregnant. Miscarriage #1 (potential chemical pregnancy?) We waited a whole cycle, then tried again. Pregnant! I had blood tests showing great hormone levels, then two weeks later started bleeding. Miscarriage #2. This time was more rough because the physical part was drawn out for a long time and over the Christmas holiday to boot.

STORY SIX: I had no sign of miscarriage leading up to my 12 week appointment, and when I saw my OB at my first visit, she was already talking about having an ultrasound to check for multiples because I was measuring larger than expected. Unfortunately, talk of twins was quieted when she was unable to find a heart tone (let alone two). Ultrasound confirmed that things weren’t right – no familiar glow of a baby on the screen, just this gut-wrenching black space. There was talk of having a D&C since my body hadn’t shown any signs of miscarriage, but then faint bleeding began the next evening. Most of the time the bleeding was like a normal period, but I had a 4am trip to the bathroom to pass a couple golf-ball sized clots, and then had maybe half a dozen times of working through some mild contractions for a few hours at a time throughout the first week that I bled.

STORY SEVEN: I had my first July 3, 2004 – miscarried about 8 weeks, no one knew we were even trying and no one knew I miscarried and it was the worst mistake ever. I felt alone, it hurt my marriage because he didn’t understand. I had two babies after that. Then December 2009 I miscarried again at 15 weeks, but they told me she died four weeks prior. We had seen her on ultrasound at nine weeks and were told then her twin passed already. My body kept growing, I kept throwing up, I felt so betrayed by my body. This time everyone knew. The love that poured down on me from God’s people was so healing. I went on to have two more babies but not very easily.

STORY EIGHT: We tried to have a baby for almost a year before we decided to go to a fertility clinic. I was put on Femara and Progesterone for three months and on the third month was thrilled to find out we were pregnant. I got blood work confirming the pregnancy, told close family and friends, but two days later additional blood work showed dropping levels. They defined this as a “chemical pregnancy”. I sure had a lot of hopes and dreams for this 5 week old baby. The bleeding started Labor Day weekend and the emotional healing continues.

2. What was your overall miscarriage timeline?

STORY ONE:  In August we found out we were pregnant (missed period, tested weeks after due to the almost always disappointment) and were due the following April.  In early September I had two ultrasounds and a doctors appointment to tell us the sad news and September 27 I started to miscarry.  I started bleeding on a day I had to work – I walked into work, started to cry uncontrollable and left. I bled really heavy the first few days. During that time I sat in my pajamas and had a movie marathon. I’m not sure how long it lasted, it felt like a heavy period.  I did not have a D&C.  I’m not sure when my HCG was zero – some weeks after. I was an emotional wreck, and I was sure it was due to trauma AND hormones.

STORY TWO: I miscarried in the middle of the night.  It really scared me and was painful, but fairly quick (?). I was back in bed with just mild pains by around 5 am. However, bleeding didn’t stop for a couple weeks. I was so worried because I was not sure how normal this was. I called my OB but she was out of the office and no one got back to me in a timely manner so I was anxious and upset. I am unsure when my HCG levels returned to normal. It was fairly quickly. I have sort of put that out of my mind. So I miscarried, had heavy bleeding, then period-like bleeding for another couple of weeks.  Once that was over and my levels had been cleared, I had a small time frame of mourning and I was pregnant again by some time in October (I have tried to no avail to find my diary entries from this time–I found one that mentions the miscarriage, but it was not dated or detailed. My memory of time can be shoddy).

STORY THREE: I received a shot to induce a miscarriage at 12 weeks, and the miscarriage began 3 days later with intense, horrible pain and large blood clots. I had to take strong pain killers over the next week and couldn’t get out of bed without help.  I bled for a total of 2 weeks give or take a day.  I did not end up having a D&C because the baby never grew large enough and it was in my fallopian tube and not my uterus. I did however have some minor internal bleeding because the dissolved baby dispersed up my fallopian tube as well as down into my uterus so I had blood in my lower abdomen which went away on its own. I also had a severe kidney infection due to the medication that was given to me. I was very sick for the next 2-3 months.  I honestly can’t remember when my HCG zero’d out; a lot of that time period is a blur.  My first period started 2-3 weeks after my bleeding stopped. Again, time period is very blurry.

STORY FOUR: Light bleeding began at 7 weeks, 6 days and continued to 8 weeks 3 days and then I started cramping and passing tissue and clots.  I bled for 13 or 14 days from start to finish (March 8 through March 21).  I had a normal period April 12.  We tracked my HCG down to 7 on April 21.  No D&C.

STORY FIVE:  Miscarriage #1 started at 4 weeks 6 days and lasted 6 days, one day longer than a usual period for me. By the time I called the doctor the next day, my HCG numbers were super low already. Miscarriage #2 started at I think exactly six weeks and I bled for 27 days (including spotting). I didn’t have a D&C for either miscarriage.  I did, however, take Cytotec for miscarriage #2, a medication that causes contractions in your uterus to help expel the extra tissue.  As for my HCG with the second miscarriage, that is a story in and of itself. My counts were great before I started bleeding. They had doubled by the time I started bleeding. Went down a bit by the time I started hemorrhaging (not fun). Then a week later they had gone UP. I had the labs redone and they dropped, but I took the Cytotec to facilitate “the end.” All in all it was a month before I could stop going in for blood draws. As for periods, miscarriage #1 happened early enough that it didn’t really disrupt my cycle. After miscarriage #2, my period came about four weeks after I stopped bleeding (including spotting) and has since gone back to its regular rhythm.

STORY SIX: At 12.5 weeks the bleeding began, it lasted 16 days, but I had a few stretches of 24-36 hours towards the end that bleeding completely stopped and then came back. My HCG zero’d out a week and a half after my bleeding stopped (about 3.5 weeks from onset of bleeding). My first period started four weeks after my HCG zero’d out (just under 8 weeks from when bleeding began).

STORY SEVEN: For the first one I was two months late and hadn’t taken a test. I was going to take a test on that day. I woke sometime early morning when it was still dark. Blood was all over me. I went to the bathroom and passed a huge clot. I felt so sick, body ached, I was weak, pale. My mom was the one who confirmed I did indeed have a miscarriage. I don’t remember how long I bled.  The second time I had no bleeding and needed a D&C.  As for when my period first started, I don’t remember exactly with either one. The first time my body took three months to get back into a cycle and the second time it took six physically painful months.

STORY EIGHT: We confirmed with a pregnancy test, two days later HCG levels were dropping, and then two days later bleeding and cramping started. Cramping, clotting and low back pain went on for three days. The next month’s period I bled so much I almost went to the ED and I passed multiple large clots. Thankfully I did not need a D&C, and my period began about a month later.

 

3. What were periods like for you after miscarriage?

STORY ONE: They were lighter at first, eventually it came back to normal. I didn’t notice much difference after.

STORY TWO:  N/A

STORY THREE: My periods were quite heavy and painful over the next couple of months. I remember being in a ton of pain.

STORY FOUR: Periods were normal after miscarriage.

STORY FIVE: I would say they have been my typical period. The first one after my second miscarriage was a bit on the lighter side (which, after four weeks of bleeding, I was not sad about).

STORY SIX: Mine were mild but odd. I had always been a regular gal before pregnancy, but after the miscarriage they were close together and I had a lot of spotting before and after what would be my normal cycle. I eventually went back to my OB to see what was going on, and it turned out to be a lack of progesterone; medication helped jump things back into order.

STORY SEVEN: They were very painful and very random. Some light bleeding maybe for a week; some heavy bleeding for a day or two. It was totally random and off.

STORY EIGHT: They were the worst I have ever experienced; bleeding through multiple tampons and pads every hour. The clots would push out the tampons. I even soaked through two sets of clothes at work. I ended up calling the on-call doctor at my OB’s office and he instructed me to lie down with my feet up and take a high dose of ibuprofen.

 

4. How did you approach pregnancy after miscarriage?

STORY ONE: After dealing with infertility for so long, of course we continued to try. However, that didn’t make it easy. Every time we had sex after, I cried. My poor husband! I had to reassure him that it wasn’t him but that it was the hormones and the miscarriage. I think that happened for a few months. It was very difficult – feeling guilty, sad, hurt, etc. – it was out of our control yet the question was “Why us?”. We kept getting the lottery for things that many don’t have to experience.

STORY TWO: We were advised to wait, but after consulting the magical internet, I saw no reason to physically, as this was my first miscarriage and I am healthy & very fertile.

STORY THREE: I had to wait three months from the day I got the shot to start trying again because the medication they gave me was a chemotherapy drug and it takes three months for it to get out of your system. Otherwise it can cause birth defects. I was set on having another baby.  It was my way of not thinking about the loss, the pain, or the guilt. I ended up getting pregnant again with my daughter approximately four to five months after my miscarriage. I don’t regret it, but I wasn’t ready. I went through severe depression during and after both of my pregnancies after my miscarriage. I never fully dealt with the loss until recently after I had my son.

STORY FOUR: We wanted to get pregnant but were told it would take a few months for my body to get back to normal.  We didn’t worry about it or try to avoid it.  We figured it would take a long time again. I had 4 periods before getting pregnant.  We were extremely nervous during that pregnancy and didn’t even discuss names until I was about 6 months along and we were pretty sure everything would be okay.

STORY FIVE: We put it on the back burner; I think I was pretty traumatized after the second one. We talked about starting again sometime this year, but have since decided that we are going to work on some other goals before we revisit having a family.

STORY SIX: Psychologically, I didn’t want to use birth control after the miscarriage – it was just another reminder that I wasn’t pregnant anymore. So our approach was “we’ll see what happens”. Then when I didn’t get pregnant in the first few months, I needed to change my line of thought. Instead of just thinking, I’ll probably be pregnant soon it had to be, this could take a while so chill out. I had to limit when I took pregnancy tests and how many, and try not to psych myself out when the results were negative. Oh, the mind games!

STORY SEVEN: I just let my body work through what it needed to and didn’t push it. I knew it needed to heal. And I had peace that God would heal if possible.

STORY EIGHT: No waiting even though I was told to… still wanting terribly, but still waiting… and scared out of my mind. Another 9 months and painful fertility treatments have passed.

 

5. What helped you cope?

STORY ONE: Talking with my spouse, having a work environment that understood, spending time relaxing and knowing that it was okay to be sad. Having others pray for us in the midst of sadness.

STORY TWO: I think that being so early along (6 weeks or so) and deciding to keep trying was very emotionally healing for me and did not give me much time to dwell. God was good and I became pregnant again very shortly after. I am unsure as to how I would have fared with the loss if there had been complications or a long wait with trying for another baby.

STORY THREE: For the most part, I didn’t cope. I crawled into a little hole and never really fully got back out of it. I just focused on having another baby. It was all I thought about. I never dealt with my feelings about losing my baby. I never dealt with the guilt I felt for trusting my OB and just taking the shot without asking more questions. Without getting an ultrasound. I felt like it was my fault. I drank alcohol on New Year’s Eve because I didn’t know I was pregnant. I felt like it was all my fault. I buried those feelings and drove on. My mother tried to help me. She was my rock during it all for the most part. Also, some good close friends tried to help, but I just kept saying I was fine. I so wasn’t fine. My husband and I didn’t talk about it enough. We were both devastated by the loss but didn’t confide in each other as much as we should have.

STORY FOUR: Knowing my child was in heaven was the main thing that helped me cope.  I will indeed meet her one day.  Getting pregnant again was very scary but also helped me as we neared the due date of the baby we lost… The book I’ll Hold You In Heaven was a big help.  Later, Heaven is for Real, meant a lot to me.

STORY FIVE: I think giving myself permission to feel whatever needed to be felt was the primary thing I needed in order to cope. I was sad to be sure, but anger and confusion were my primary responses and I think letting that be okay was important. When the time was right, I set some goals to get myself going and reinvested in something meaningful. I started working out and eating better. I needed something that made me feel better about my body because I was so, so mad at it for failing us twice.

STORY SIX: Food. Friends. My husband.  Sleep. And I guess this may sound odd, but looking for these strangely morbid silver linings. Like when I had a cold, I got excited about taking cold medicine. Or when I had a hankering for some brie cheese, I didn’t even bother looking at the label to see if it was unpasteurized. I had to look for weird humor at times, because otherwise I’d end up crying. Also, I found reading books or watching shows or movies that were completely unrelated to my miscarriage were helpful. The drama of Downtown Abbey or the latest super hero flick was helpful in getting my mind checked into something other than what was happening with my body.

STORY SEVEN: Thoughtful cards, emails and messages from people. And my faith, I wrote down every bible verse in the journal I had been keeping for my baby and still go back and read them when I need that encouragement.

STORY EIGHT: Having a strong friend group and family support. The thoughtful gifts, cards and flowers, and knowing people are always praying for us. Talking about it. Thankful for people understanding the loss even though it was a “chemical pregnancy”. Song lyrics, praying and crying… lots of crying.

 

6. What one caution would you share with others that added to the difficulty of miscarriage?

STORY ONE: The comment “It’s all in God’s plan” or “God won’t give you more than you can handle” – as Christians, we want to be supportive, people truly have good intentions, however – I find it’s always best to acknowledge the hurt, give a hug, say “I’m praying for you” and call it good. In the midst of hurt, when hearing that infertility or miscarriage is a part of God’s plan isn’t helpful at all! It’s painful! Did God REALLY want me to hurt this much? I think now that we are in a different part of our journey, I can truly say that God turned the hurt into joy – that from the sadness He gave us an experience to prepare us for the next one. I would have NEVER said this before BUT I’m actually thankful for the heartache because I truly am in a different mindset when it comes to our family. I have never loved anyone here on earth more than my husband and child. Each day is such a precious gift where we try to find the positives and are thankful!

STORY TWO: Everyone’s experience is different – don’t jump to the worst conclusion right away. Be extra kind to yourself and remember that most early miscarriages are caused because something was not right with the way your baby was developing – not because of anything you did.

STORY THREE: Be open about it. My husband (boyfriend at the time) didn’t let me tell his family because we had only been dating just a few months short of a year when I got pregnant. I couldn’t tell anyone that would possibly tell them. I couldn’t share my pain. Only close friends and my immediate family knew. It was a very, very lonely experience. Honestly, my husband and I both should have gone to see a counselor and talk to someone. Face your feelings. Let yourself feel them. Feel the pain. Feel the guilt. Don’t bury it. If you do you will regret it. I know that a lot of my issues with my next pregnancy were because of fear of losing another child combined with guilt and pain. Also, the subsequent postpartum depression as well was most likely part of it. Also, guys experience the loss as well. My husband went into a severe depression after the loss of our first child. He is just now three years later starting to recover from it. I didn’t see it. I didn’t see him drifting away into his own hole because I was too deep into my own hole.

STORY FOUR: The medical terminology and way doctors described what was happening or going to happen seemed rude, crude and insensitive.  My family doctor told me I would simply have a “heavy period”.  That was not the case.  I had excruciating cramps similar to labor and lost big chunks of tissue.  For a Christian, anything to do with “abortion” was offensive.  To me, I was losing my child, not merely tissue, a pregnancy, and this was a loss, not a medical event. Also, it is so sad that the loss of an infant before birth can be difficult for even the most sensitive people to comprehend. Kind, well-intentioned people can say things to “encourage” you that feel more like they are dismissing your pain and grief.  That was common in the early weeks of my loss. It’s hard to have thick skin when your heart has just been laid open, but I had to learn to let others comments just roll off of me. If they hadn’t been through it, then they truly didn’t know how wounding their words could be and I had to just forgive their ignorance.  Healing comes and the pain certainly lessens but I will always be a mother whose heart is divided between here and heaven. One of my sisters told me she thought miscarriage must be even more difficult for someone who hasn’t experienced the live birth of a child… wondering if they will ever have a baby…  I could see her point but to me, when I looked at my daughter who was 1.5 years old at the time of my miscarriage and felt I was losing another one of her… and I couldn’t imagine a greater loss.

STORY FIVE: Since my first miscarriage I have really struggled with how to be transparent with loved ones about something as monumental and traumatic as a lost pregnancy, but then maintaining privacy. You can’t put the worms back in the can and ask everyone to pretend nothing happened, but sometimes I wish people would help me keep cramming them back in rather than knocking the can out of my hand. Pitiful looks, asking How ARE you doing?, making awkward asides about babies (“Don’t worry – I know you’ll have a baby.”) and even more probing questions just serve to resurface everything. I may have gone weeks without thinking about it, but then all of a sudden I get a reminder tossed at me…not fun.

STORY SIX: I struggled when people tried to take ownership of my loss – like wanting to talk about it when I wasn’t comfortable sharing. Don’t be afraid to take help in the way that you need it, and don’t feel bad about setting boundaries. A lot of people will be affected by the loss, but you are the one with the direct hit. I found it got easier once I grieved how I needed to grieve, not by relenting to other’s desires for me. Just grieve your own way.

STORY SEVEN: It hurt when people tried to fix it. It can’t be fixed. When they acknowledged the pain and the wrongness of the situation it was so much better. Also, don’t try and be your “old self”. That person also died. But the new person isn’t bad, just different and she is strong and your baby will always be your child no matter the days/months/years you had them.

STORY EIGHT: Not taking the miscarriage days off of work. Blaming myself for not being stronger in the coping. Trying to find a reason and purpose, and internet searching.

7. Where or with whom did you find help/comfort/strength?

STORY ONE: I didn’t want to talk to anyone except my husband. We cried together and he was such a great comforter. As much as I want to say that we read our Bible more to cling to God’s word… we didn’t. We talked with God but didn’t read the Bible or go to Church for a week or two. Life is messy, in the moment we were broken and needed support from each other because we were in it together – I didn’t want to tell anyone else. As time went on, it got easier and I learned to talk about it – just like infertility. The more I spoke about it, the more I felt at peace.

STORY TWO: Appreciating the child I was already blessed with was a huge help. I decided to focus extra love and energy into making sure he knew how precious he is to me. Prayer and knowing I believe I will see the baby I never met again someday…

STORY THREE: I found my strength recently as of last year by seeing a counselor weekly. She has really helped me deal with a lot of the stuff going on in my life. I just wish I had seen her sooner. It might have saved my husband and I a lot of pain and issues.

STORY FOUR: My mother and sisters were supportive.  Others who’ve suffered miscarriages were also supportive.

STORY FIVE: I prayed this prayer pretty much every day that I was pregnant and prayed it a lot afterward, too: “Lord, you know the names of all our children. You know when their lives will start, when they will end, and everything in between. We know that we have little control over the process of starting a family. This is in your hands. Please give us your peace as we seek to bring a new life into this world. We know everything will happen in YOUR time – not ours. Amen.” (I didn’t know that I was going to get a crash course in exactly how little control I actually had, but the prayer still rings true nonetheless.) I was also surrounded by some fantastic friends and family that took care of both of us during that time. I leaned on two people in particular – my husband and my best friend. My husband kept me going physically and emotionally, even though he was disappointed and confused at the same time. He let me cry, swear, sleep…whatever I needed to do to cope. He was and is my rock. My best friend had a miscarriage just when mine ended. It was something we never ever wanted to share, but it has been a sweet sorrow to walk that road together. I think we will look back on this time as a season that blessed our friendship, despite our losses.

STORY SIX: I mentioned friends as something that helped me cope, but I have to say it again here. I had some really wonderful women that unfortunately had gone through loss, and I just clung to them. I have a great support network of friends and family, but having people on the inside of that pain was so vital for me to make it through such a difficult time of my life. I thank God for those women; there is such power in having others grieve with you.

STORY SEVEN: My bible. My husband. My friends and strangely last my family. My family wasn’t helpful; they wanted me to get over it fast. I didn’t. My small group and my bible helped me. And I crafted a lot, I mean A LOT! And during my next pregnancy I sewed and crafted a ridiculous amount of stuff but it kept me busy. It was my therapy.

STORY EIGHT: My friends who have had similar experiences. The words of friends the emails and texts messages of support. Song lyrics and bible verses. Little memories of the baby in heaven, my angel wing charm, forget-me-not necklace, a yellow rose.

8. What encouragement could you offer to others who are facing a loss?

STORY ONE: It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to be sad. Writing or talking about it helps the grieving process – it’s such a big loss. Someone once told me in the midst of everything that “Life goes on” – I didn’t want to hear that – I wanted my baby to be with us! How dare someone say that to me! But in truth, looking back – that person was right, time does go on – time helps heal. Know that through such great loss that it does get better. Lean on those who support you, lean on Christ, lean on your spouse who may be going through the same feelings but isn’t showing it the way you are. Take time for yourself – have that movie marathon in your PJs while eating a carton of ice cream…. it’s okay to grieve but know that life goes on and you cannot stay in your PJs on that couch watching movies forever. Every day is a new day – a new day in many ways, a new day with Christ who gives you strength!

STORY TWO: This is more common than we are told. Please do not feel alone or guilty in any way. And to those who have suffered, please don’t be afraid to share your stories. Sharing our experiences as women is comforting and soul-healing. BUT on that note…please don’t feel like you have to tell anyone or not be selective in who you share with. I never publicly shared my story on social media or told my husband’s family as I am not comfortable with that and I know that it would be brought up for many years to come by certain individuals. Also don’t feel like there is an appropriate “one size fits all” timeline for sharing or healing…just be kind to yourself and remember your worth and you are loved.

STORY THREE: It’s not the end. It feels like it. It feels like if you try again, you will be putting yourself out there to be hurt again. It’s not the end. It’s also not your fault. You as the mother feel like you should have done this or that differently, but in reality, there was nothing more that you could do. There was something wrong with the pregnancy. It was nothing you could do about it. Give yourself time. Don’t rush yourself into feeling better. Talk to someone. It really helped me

STORY FOUR: The best advice I can give is to feel the loss.  Accept it, live it, and memorialize it in whatever way feels right.  We bought a necklace with tiny footprints that I wore the Mother’s Day after. This helped me to feel connected to our “Pun’kin”.  We also put the few items we’d bought in a decorative box along with a poem I wrote and a letter to the baby.  Lastly we bought a special memorial ornament that we hang on our Christmas tree each year.  All four of our other children know what it is and look forward to meeting their sibling one day.

STORY FIVE: Seek to understand your loss on your terms – what that person/experience meant to you, how it impacts your self-concept and relationships. Your loss is unique to you. I think part of moving forward is answering some of those questions.

STORY SIX: Know that you are One Tough Cookie. This moment in life sucks. It just sucks. But you will find this fierce courage in the bottom of your gut and you will pull yourself out of the pain. Lift it up to God, share the burden with close friends or family; you do not have to carry this heartache by yourself. It gets better, and you will come out of this loss as a stronger, braver woman.

STORY SEVEN: Let yourself feel the pain, sorrow and tears. Let the tears soak the pillow or let your fist punch the pillow. Whatever helps. Don’t try and fit into any mold, you are unique, your situation is unique and you need to process it. But also on the flipside, don’t forget to live in today. Cherish what you do have. Thank God for what you do have. Don’t be afraid to tell God you are angry at Him. He already knows what is in your heart but wants you to say it! Scream it! Cry it! Be honest and if other people don’t get it then thats OK!!!!! I had some friends stay away from me while I grieved but that was ok. They weren’t comfortable with death it turns out. I’m glad the second time around I let myself be myself and made no apologies. My children speak of Isabelle all the time. It’s brought heaven closer for them. They know they have another baby up there too. It connects them.

STORY EIGHT: Take as much time as you need to grieve, and never feel guilty that you are still sad. Don’t let it take over your life though and affect the family and people you love to be with. Do your best to give up control, talk to God and never stop praying what is in your heart.

 

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Many thanks to the women who shared their story here.  You can feel their pain, their struggles, but you can also feel the strength and courage in their words.

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