Bringing up the events of a year ago, we can’t help but think back to where we were a year ago – emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. I remember thinking “how will we ever get through this?” Yet each day, we woke up, believing it was another day God had given us and all the events happening, were not out of His control, even though they were out of ours.
Through that whole process, I blogged. Sometimes people questioned whether we should be that open about the things happening in our life, but I knew that it was still part of our story. Blogging isn’t something that should only happen when things are just fine and dandy. In fact, I think the beauty of blogging, is that you can get a glimpse into the real life of someone (if they are honest). Of course there are some things I do not put on this blog – some things are just better left unsaid. Though for the most part (as you have realized), we are quite open!
One of the things Dan and I decided to be very open about, was our journey regarding children. Since I was 17, I knew that having children might not be a possibility. For many years, we lived in the unknown of whether or not I could. I blogged about that – especially in the fall of 2010 when I went through all these tests to determine the risk factors. Little did we know a year later, Tim and Brenda would offer the gestational carrier process. We saw it as another part of our story. And little did we know that part of the story would end the way it did, with God taking those two babies home.
Through the events of the carrier process, losing the babies, and then dealing with the grief that resulted, we didn’t always know how to put into words what we were feeling. At times we felt so alone, like when Dan lost his job, for reasons we don’t fully know or understand. Yet we felt so loved – our families and close friends, were monumental during those dark days. And believe it or not, it was the community of other women/families who have gone through miscarriages, that also gave us great encouragement. It was because of this very blog, that we found much comfort and realized we were not alone in our journey.
That has brought Dan and I to this point, now a year later. Here are some things that we have pondered:
Why are miscarriages kept silent?
Why do we treat miscarriages almost as if they are something to be ashamed of?
Why do we not celebrate the very life that was lost, but instead, keep it a secret?
I know in saying these things, I am hitting at some really deep feelings. No, I have not personally carried a child – I wish I could. No I do not know what it feels like to carry a child – I wish I could. No I do not understand what an empty feeling it is to lose a child in your womb – I will always have an empty womb. But what I do know is that a miscarriage can rip open a heart of love that you have for a child, that you barely even know, yet have a love for that is unexplainable. We know what it is like to lose 2.
Dan and I have had countless people tell us their story of having a miscarriage. Our hearts cry for them every time. In thinking about their pain, I at times physically cry for them. Some speak of their miscarriage as if it has been the first time they have ever told somebody. They speak of it, as if it is something to be ashamed of.
I have to admit, that it has taken me quite awhile to realize that I won’t ever carry a child (again, unless God performed a miracle on my heart). Am I ashamed to tell people that I cannot have kids? No. It has taken me time, but I am so open about it now. When people ask, one of the first things I will say is “we can’t have our own kids.” That SO catches people by surprise, but I am not ashamed of it.
I know it is hard to talk about something that you long for – a child. I know it is hard to talk about something that you lost – a child. But why do we keep it silent? For fear of what others will think of us? For fear that we have to admit that something is wrong with us?
Daily, I am reminded that something is wrong with me; that I have a heart condition. My scars are a constant reminder. But I am not ashamed of it. Do I get frustrated with it? At times. But God has given us ALL a story. God has uniquely made us and we are not in control of some of the things He allows. We cannot blame ourselves. I cannot blame myself for my heart condition – it is part of living in a broken world. Did God “wish” a heart condition on me? No, I believe He did not. But like with EVERYTHING in life, God uses the brokenness of our bodies and this world, for good, because HE is good.
So we have nothing to be ashamed of. I should never feel ashamed that I cannot carry a child. I should never be ashamed that someone else was carrying our children – we CELEBRATE that! We should never be ashamed that God took our babies home. In fact, Dan and I both believe that we should celebrate the very life that was lost – whether the unborn child was a few days old or ready to be born. If we believe a child is a child from the moment of conception, then why do we treat miscarriages as something to be quiet about? It is a life! God has uniquely knitted that human inside (outside in our case) of a woman and even though the baby was not fully developed, I believe that it is fully human. We need to celebrate that life AND grieve the life that was lost.
In a funeral for a loved one, we all gather as family to reminisce, celebrate, cry together, and lay that loved one to rest. Why do we allow ourselves to walk the road of a miscarriage alone? What if we started to treat a miscarriage like we do when others pass away? The pain is so great in a miscarriage and you wonder what God is doing. I think what He wants though, is for us to walk the road with those He has placed beside us – like family and friends. To reminisce. To celebrate. To cry together. To maybe in even lay that loved one to rest.
There is no reason to be ashamed. There is reason to cry, to mourn, to struggle, to wish for that baby back. But don’t be afraid to walk that journey with others. For some, sharing it with others may be too painful. It is something too close to the heart. It is something too intimate. Speak of it when you feel the need, but know that you don’t have to walk the road alone.
Maybe you have never talked to anyone about your miscarriage. Maybe you have only told your family or close friends. Maybe you are just unsure how to share the struggle you are going through. Whatever the case may be, know that going through the loss of a baby is something to not be ashamed of and that family and friends are waiting to support you. You are loved.
Know too, if you need to share your story with someone, please feel free to email me at Kristin.firstname.lastname@example.org. Even though it has been almost a year since we have lost our two children, we believe even more, that we want to be open and honest about our story. God has made this a part of our life for a reason and we want to live it to the fullest. Again, you are not alone. You are loved.
As we think about September 17, we know our babies are in their eternal home. Our love and longing for them continues to grow, but so does our peace with knowing that are with our heavenly Father. They are safely in His hands.