Miscarriage, The Ugly Secret We Keep

Yesterday I learned a good friend had a miscarriage, she was 6 months along.

She had intended to surprise me with the news at a Thanksgiving party last week, but it turned out to be on the day she went to the doctor to learn there was no longer a heartbeat.

baby feet image, angel

Thanks to Heather for sharing this image.

When we spoke I told her I had gone through the same thing, though at 3 1/2 months along.

What hit me was the feeling she of shame she shared, that she had not told me she was pregnant, but she very much needed my support in her grief. The word “selfish” was what came up. How is it selfish to need help when you are grieving?

How is it this loss is something we expect people to not talk about, not mention, not share! This pain, so unique and so acute, and so unmentionable. It is as if you made some ugly mistake and shouldn’t talk about it.

When you have a miscarriage people say stupid, horrible things like “It’s better this way,” “You can always have another one,” and “It was meant to be.” I say bullshit! These are words only people who have never faced this could say! How can you tell a woman whose heart is broken, who chose to share this loss with you at all- that it was meant to be!

Because I have lived this too I was able to ask my friend if she got to hold the baby when it was delivered? If they took pictures (YES I said it took pictures of her baby, who was dead), and if they had a service.

If you have felt this loss, you will understand the acute pain that comes with never holding the baby that lived inside you, never seeing it, having no photos. My one regret is I didn’t get a copy of the ultrasound image of my baby before it was gone.

We went through four miscarriages and have two beautiful sons. When we were finally blessed with our second son (order went like this, one miscarriage, one live birth, three miscarriages, one live birth) I looked at my husband and my best girlfriend and said “I have a baby!” The people in the delivery room, I am sure, thought I was a bit dim, but by then, had been pregnant four times, and only once, had been able to keep and hold my baby.

So for all of you out there who have had a miscarriage, no matter how far along you were, share it. There will be a day and a person in your world who is SO thankful you get it- and maybe we can end the shame and stigma that come with this ugly secret we keep.

Will you be remembered?

Do we get second chances? How do you know when you fall asleep you will wake up? Faith? Hope? Foolish assumption? Officer Chapin died this week in his sleep. He, like most of us, will have no idea which day is our last until it happens. The flowers and memories pouring out in this community are moving and powerful. There are not many people who leave that kind of an impact.

What impact will you leave? Will you leave a wake of goodness, or a mere ripple? My mother’s church was full, full of family, friends, and many, many students. She was a good teacher and changed many lives with her gifts. She gave and they received, not always knowing what she gave until much later.

As I drove by and saw the flowers for our local officer I hope he knew how much this community cared about him. I never met him, but often saw his familiar face by the high school, watching, patient and pleasant. His job couldn’t have been easy. High school is not many of our best times, but I am sure, as I see in my own growing son, he saw the beauty and preciousness of his charges.

I learned via Facebook after he died that he once┬ádressed up as Hannah Montana for the fun of it and could enjoy the fun moment in front of the school. That is someone who truly lived his life with a servant’s heart. He touched so many more people than he realized. He has left a wake, which will leave waves crashing on many shores for years to come. I am left wondering, will I leave a wake or a ripple?