Kayla: “The bump on my head hurts every time I touch it.”
Me: “Then don’t touch it!”
Kayla: “But I want to feel it!
Why?? Why are we sometimes so silly with our pain?”
This last December I went through my fourth miscarriage. I can tell you that when I found out that my little 15 week twin girls no longer had heartbeats, I did not want to feel it. The pain. It was a familiar kind of sorrow, a dark road I already had the misfortune of traveling and I did not want to touch that “bump” again. I did not want to feel it. I wanted it to be the kind of nightmare I could wake up from and go back to the “before.”
I remember that one of my first thoughts was “I know I can make it through this. I have done it before and I can do it again. But I really really don’t want to.”
I spent a lot of time being angry. How could God to this to me . . . again? How could he take my precious babies away? And . . . why? I even, irrationally, spent a lot of time begging him to give them back, as if that was somehow possible. Every time I went in for another ultrasound for the miscarriage I kept hoping and wishing that somehow it had all been a huge misunderstanding . . . but it wasn’t.
So in the end I felt it. All of it. And I was right I did “make it through it,” (if that is actually something you can quantify.) I have my scars, but I also have my rainbows—the blessings that have come because of this tragedy. I actually did grow closer to my Heavenly Father because after all the yelling and tears and begging I started to listen and I discovered an even greater love that he has for me, because he didn’t actually leave me alone to suffer through it on my own. He was with me and he sent me so many angels to help me through it. I felt a power in the many, many prayers that were offered on my family’s behalf. It was almost something tangible I could feel. My family and my friends and my church ward rallied around me and literally carried me through it. So many people would apologize for not doing more, but what they didn’t know is that what they were doing really was making such a difference. Even just a little message or a hug did so much for me.
And now, one of the other blessings that has come through this heartache is the gift of helping others through the same struggle. I know it can feel uncomfortable and confusing to know what to do when someone you love is going through a miscarriage but here are some of the things I have been blessed to receive during my miscarriages or that I have been able to give to others.
- Messages, notes, cards
- The words: “I’m sorry.” Of all the words these were the two that helped me the most.
- Someone to talk to/cry with.
- Something for the other children if they know about the miscarriage. Something like “sister” jewelry or teddy bears or cards. I know those kinds of things meant a lot to my kids.
- Heat pads. Besides the emotional pain of miscarriage there is a lot of physical pain as well, and heating pads can help a lot. There are electric kinds or rice bag kinds that you put in the microwave.
- Willow Tree sculptures.
- Big, soft blankets to cuddle.
- Fuzzy socks.
- Uplifting books.
- Plates to break. (This is sort of an inside joke, but I definitely destroyed some things the first day . . .)
- Something tangible to hold. Even though my girls were 15 weeks old, I wasn’t able to hold them at all because we decided to do a D&E. So one of my dear, sweet friends made me the most adorable little blankets and tiny little hats that were the size my girls would have been. It was so so nice to be able to have something tangible to hold because that was one of the things that made my heart ache the most. I just longed to hold them.
- Artwork. My sister-in-law gave me this sweet drawing of Jesus holding little twins. I love it, but it’s still really hard for me to look at.
I’m sure there are lots of other options and even though most of these things made me cry when I received them they also did something to heal me because unfortunately heartache is something that must be felt in order to get through. We have to go through the grieving process and if we’re lucky we will have angels there to lift us up. And hopefully we get the chance to be other’s angels as well.