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Stories of Hope

Heaven is full of kids.  Our kids. The ones we’ve miscarried. Aborted. The ones who barely took a breath upon this earth. Despite the painful loss and often secret sorrow we’ve shared, there is hope.  Our children were born into heaven. Living in love. Yes they’re departure was a loss, but rest assured that your child is not lost.  They are very much alive and we will be seeing them, holding them and loving them. They’re a part of our precious family, joyfully anticipating our arrival in heaven someday.  It’s this truth of our future that brings us hope for today.

 

Some of us have had visions or dreams of seeing our unborn children in heaven.  Have you had a similar experience?  We’d love to hear your story and what the Lord has shown you in dreams or visions of seeing your children in heaven.  Our hope is that by sharing our stories of hope, it will bring encouragement and peace to those who need it.

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Stupid things people say when you’re going through a miscarriage

Let’s be graceful to one another. We all grieve differently and go through the stages of grieving in different ways.
It’s hard to know how you’re going to feel until you’re going through it. What makes it especially hard is telling people that knew you were expecting.

Their response can be so ridiculous you’re left feeling worse! However, a simple, helpful and loving response can mean so much.

And remember, a miscarriage is not “a loss of tissue”. It’s the loss of a child. It’s a death in the family. The best thing you can do for your friend or loved one who’s experiencing a miscarriage is to respect that they are grieving and that their pain and heartache are very real.

Here are a few of the stupidest things people have said to me or other friends I’ve talked to recently. (I’m guilty of having said a couple of these as well, so don’t feel too bad )  And a list of Great things you can say or do instead.
Stupid things people say:

  1. “Everything happens for a reason”

(So if you’re your child suddenly died in a car crash or from an illness, would it help you to hear this?)

  1. “God has a plan”

(It’s not God’s plan for babies to die. What does God say about kids? “Children are a gift from the Lord.”       There’s evil in this world and so much we can’t explain. Please don’t try to explain this huge loss away.)

  1. “You can have another baby or you can always adopt”

(How do you know I CAN have another one? I wanted this one.)

  1. “Here are some statistics…” (Giving stats- even if they’re true, doesn’t help as it turns your loss into a number. Better to keep it personal.)
  2. “The baby probably would’ve had problems and God knew you wouldn’t have wanted that.”

(Oh really, now you know what God knows?)
Good things you can say or do when someone you love is going through a miscarriage.

  1. “I’m so sorry.” Simple is great. None of us knows what to say. And nothing you say is going to make it all better or make the pain go away. But you’re support and kindness during this time means everything.
  2. Do Send a card, flowers, etc…

(I don’t know any woman in the world who’d not smile upon receiving a sweet card or flowers. It makes her feel special and honored. And it honors the life of the child that was lost.)

  1. Do be willing to listen. Everyone grieves in different ways. Some people, like me, process outwardly and so I realized I needed friends and loved ones to share my heart with.
  2. Do ask “What does comfort look like for you?” This is one of the best things I’ve been asked! Let the woman tell you what she needs. The day my sweet friend asked me that smart question, I realized that what I needed most at that moment was someone to talk to. I needed to share and not be judged. And I might have needed a brownie.
  3. Instead of saying… “Let me know if you need anything”, be more concrete. For example, “I’d like to bring you a meal. Would Tues night at 5pm work for you?” Your friend can always give you ideas of what they like. And it’s much easier than makingthem have to come up with a plan when they’re grieving.

Hopefully some of these tips will help.

And remember that men grieve as well as women. So guys if you know a guy friend is going through it, it can’t hurt to call and see how he’s doing.

I’d love to hear from you.

Have you got a few more to add to the lists? Let me know, I’m happy to share and learn.

 

Love to all,

Melissa

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Tis the Season… to feel blue?

Yes, this Christmas season is so dang full of stuff to do! Parties, gifts to wrap and buy and just trying to come up with the perfect gift for everyone can make my brain hurt. I love the lights and having a toddler makes it even more fun than usual—“Mommy! Christmas lights!” He yells joyfully around every turn from the backseat of the car. But over the last 2-3 weeks there’s been a bit of a shadow lurking in my spirit.

I know so many of us keep busy so the sadness of the season doesn’t get a chance to creep in.

But it does.

So many of us are reminded of loved ones we’ve lost.

At this beautiful season of gathering to celebrate with family and friends, some of us are secretly mourning. Not all at once. It just seems to leak out when I least expect it.

I’m trying to allow myself the grace to feel the loss that keeps trying to come in. It’s not easy. But now that I’ve finally figured out “oh, I feel some sense of loss, That’s what I’m feeling!” I can at least start on this path, once again.

Sadness.

Loss of a dream.

Loss of another child I was going to be pregnant with this Christmas. Trying to allow myself to feel it and let it go, amidst the busy, bustling beauty of Christmas.

 

My heart aches tonight for a child I never really knew. We heard her heartbeat. I named her Dove. I had a vision of God’s strong and loving arms lifting her up so tenderly, like a bird with a broken wing. She was carried to heaven on July 4th, 2015. I will meet her in heaven with her siblings. This I know. And this is what comforts me.

How do I cope?

Well honestly I wasn’t coping well for a couple weeks- just felt angry, got mad at my husband, and the stupid phone company and did what I could to numb the pain as I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me.

This weird thing happened- I felt overly drawn to my close girlfriends with girls, planned a huge girly tea party in my head as I thought it would fulfill my urgent need to have a girl child and after seeing the Syrian “boat people” arrive on the shores of Greece I was halfway over there in my mind to adopt a girl off a boat when…. “Oh! That’s what’s happening”. I’m grieving. I’m longing for what could’ve been. I’m feeling the pain of our loss.

Then I prayed for courage to employ my healthy coping skills:

I remind myself that the baby I lost this past July is with the Lord now along the others. I’m not alone. I have friends who’ve “been though it” that I call and who are gracious enough to listen.

I pray. I cry. I talk to my husband and share what I’m going through. I’m surprised to learn he’s feeling it too.

I’d expected to give birth on Valentine’s Day.  I’d expected to not be allowed to fly to Florida to see my husband’s family for Christmas. I had big, hopeful expectations of having a sibling for our sweet 3 year old son until hurt, pain and sorrow drove in with the force of a freight train and derailed all my wonderful plans.

The future changed.

Again.

Just can’t see around the corners of tomorrow no matter how hard we try.

So I will continue to just keep trying to allow myself to feel the grief when I can. To share.  Let others in.  Let the healing in. Be good to myself. Be good to others. Enjoy all that we Do have today..it’s a LOT!

 

I know we are blessed to live in safe homes, to have our friends and family and much to look forward to. The joy of the season is all around us. And yes, we often have to look up and out of ourselves to see it, feel it and enjoy it.  But for those of you who’ve lost a child, especially one you expected to have with you in some way this Christmas…I’m so sorry. My heart aches with yours.

It’s ok to be sad.

To feel that lump in your chest.

To just sit and feel it. To put down the eggnog, leave the Secret Santa party and take time to feel it. However long it takes. It’s ok.

Merry Christmas to you and to all our kids in heaven. May we dream of them tonight J

Lots of Love,

Melissa

 

I Thessalonians 4:13

And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope.

 

I think the things we keep in the dark seem so scary and once we let them into the light, they can breathe. Letting others know about our heartache helps to lift the burden from our souls.

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My 1st Noel

My 1st miscarriage was in early February 2013.  We’d found out I was pregnant on Christmas morning while visiting our family in Florida.  We were so excited to have the opportunity to give our 1 year old son a little brother or sister.  Everything seemed to be going along great. We’d heard the baby’s gorgeously fast heartbeat at our 1st sonogram.  But at our second check up less than a week later, we all stood in complete shock to find that our baby no longer had a heartbeat.

As I was pretty far along and my body was showing no signs of miscarrying on it’s own, we agreed to a DNC surgery. The emotional pain was excruciating.  I felt like I was going through all the stages of grief at once: anger, sadness, resentment, numbness…etc.  Mixed into that painful bag was shame and overwhelming sorrow.

Waiting to miscarry, or waiting to have the surgery is one of the worst experiences I’ve ever been through.  It’s especially awful when friends or family say with big smiles “So how’s the baby? We’re so excited for you!” And you have to be the bearer of bad news and instead of them comforting you they expect you to comfort them. Of course no one really knows what to say.

After having the surgery, I was shocked at what happened.  I guess I expected to wake up from the anesthesia in tears or super groggy and sad.  Instead, I woke up to the sound of beautiful singing.  I opened my eyes to see the doctors and nurses busily working in the recovery room, but when I closed my eyes I saw the most amazing thing.  Was it a vision, a dream? It was beautiful.  I watched as a little girl in a red dress walked into heaven. I knew in that instant it was my daughter.  I’ve always had the gift of dreams and visions from the Lord. She was welcomed into heaven with open and loving arms by her heavenly family as they sang the 1st Noel.  And there in my hospital recovery room, I overflowed with tears of joy.  I couldn’t believe I was so happy after all I’d been through.  It was a gift.  I’m so grateful for this as it has brought me so much more hope and peace than I could’ve imagined.

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