Hold her, listen and cry because the only thing that can come close to filling the void of that little life she’s missing is your love and your embrace.
It’s not something you expect to happen, and it’s not something anyone should ever have to experience. That doesn’t make it disappear. Roughly 25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, and a fair number of those take place between weeks six and 13, after fetal heartbeat has been detected, plans have been made and the first few family members have been told.
When it happens, you’ll fight. Hormones can be blamed for that. You’ll cry–you do have a heart, after all. And as my husband put it, “it’s always harder on the mom.”
Between 2008 and 2011, my husband and I miscarried five times. We’d almost hit the end of hope when our son was conceived, and we almost lost him, too, thanks to a progesterone dip at eight weeks. That many losses left us both bruised and shaken, but there was one thing my husband did that made the process of healing easier.
He learned to share his feelings, and his silence.
There aren’t “right words” to say when a child dies–even one that’s still in the womb. There’s a lot of second guessing. A lot of internal struggle. I remember thinking if I had chosen a better name….If I hadn’t had that cup of coffee….If I’d exercised less (or more)…If I’d had more water…MAYBE my baby would have lived.
Coupled with bills from emergency D&Cs, doctor’s appointments, blood draws and medicines to “help the cramping get the remains out,” mom’s interior world becomes a disaster. And even if she’s usually talkative, you might find her reticent and withdrawn. Her body has been through hell, and her heart went along for the ride.
A hole opens inside of her swallowing everything. It’s a grief she knows she can’t share with anyone, because miscarriage is rarely discussed in public and not exactly small talk. The person she wants to cry with most is you…but she’s the one who carried that life inside of her, and so she plays a loop of guilt dialogue inside that can’t be erased and can only be forgiven–even though the blame isn’t hers to carry.
Hold her, listen, and cry. She’ll love you more for it, because the only thing that can come close to filling the void of that little life she’s missing is your love and your embrace.
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