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There is a secret pain that many women and men have endured that is rarely spoken of. Chances are, many of your friends have known this sadness, perhaps multiple times, and you haven't had a clue. With each new birth announcement and passing of Mother's Day, there is a sting that is all but ignored. What is this pain that can go so easily unnoticed? It's miscarriage.
I've known of various women that have had miscarriages throughout the years. I knew that it was somewhat common, but I truly believe, now that my husband and I have gone through it, that a person can't really relate to what it feels like until they have experienced it for themselves. The physical pain and ongoing symptoms are worse than I expected. The struggle with impatience and just wishing life could move on is very real. And, something I hadn't considered, the medical bills keep piling up. But, almost worst of all, it's a trial you face without the recognition of going through a deep loss. The world acts like it wasn't a baby, while others either don't know what to say, or, plainly, just don't know. Worse yet is if everyone knew you were pregnant and they keep asking how baby is. "Well, baby died." Yes, miscarriage is more than what I thought it was. It's complicated, painful, and, most of all, heartbreaking.
As Christians, we must believe that a human's life begins at conception, so just knowing you are pregnant brings such a surge of emotions and wonder. This is a life growing in your body. That takes time to even come to terms with, but when you find out that you have miscarried (a.k.a. lost the baby) the emotions are just as great and confusing. The dream of being mommy and daddy to this little one has been ripped away. The plans for the baby's room are stopped. The endless texts between mommy and daddy of possible baby names are no longer. Grandma and Grandpa don't get to be excited anymore. This sweet little baby that you never met has been taken before you really got to form an attachment with it. And somehow, everyone and their dog seems to be pregnant and having precious little ones all around you. How did you never notice it before? And then there's the question of if you'll even be able to sustain a pregnancy in the future. Miscarriage = Tough.
But we can trust God's plans, and that He cared more for this baby, and this dream, than we did. We're told that "suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope (Romans 5:3-4), " and I have found this to be true. Trials have a way of drawing people together. Not only have my husband and I had to weather a very personal storm together, I have been able to feel more compassion for various friends that I didn't know how to before. Not only that, but as I have experienced this trial, I have become aware of multiple friends that have experienced miscarriages time and again, and all the while it was kept silent. Precious tears between husband and wife weren't known to the outside world, but bottled up by God.
I don't know how to tell you to better care for those that have experienced this trial. My friend got her sister-in-law that miscarried a Mother's Day gift. My doula sent me a precious text that said, "From one mom to another, I'm so sorry." My Ob-Gyn doctor told me about ten times that it wasn't my fault. Those affirming responses are healing. And don't forget about daddy. He was looking forward to a little buddy to teach or a sweetheart to spoil; he's hurting too. Just remember that miscarriage is generally a secret pain, and you probably aren't aware who has had to go through it in your life. Be sensitive, and never assume the people in your life have it all together, because we all have secret pains.