When The Sting Of Miscarriage Lingers

January 8, 2018

Today I wanted to share a personal post that resonates with me deeply. I share in hopes of reaching just one other lady out there who has walked through the trials of miscarriage and carries worries with her as she celebrates another pregnancy. Because in my heart of hearts I know I'm not the only one feeling this way, and I want that one other gal to know she's not alone.

If you've experienced the high of finding out you're expecting, only to be followed by the lowest of lows, the devastating news that there is no longer a heartbeat, you are well aware of the anxiety and hesitation for excitement you carry with you in regards to future pregnancies. Once you've been through a miscarriage, whether it's your first or fourth, whether you already have children or not, you are left with an uneasiness that I'm not sure ever truly resolves itself while you are growing your family. But, I do believe there is hope for conquering the everyday worries and for having a pregnancy(s) that is not, in one way or another, tainted with the devastation of having lost a baby.

Personally,  my miscarriage with our first baby has ultimately affected the pregnancies that have followed. It's hard not to feel as though your body has failed you in one way or another and so many questions arise about why, the chance for recurrence, the success of a future pregnancy, and so on. I was able to find a lot of comfort in the Lord during and after my miscarriage, relying on His sovereignty and resisting the need to have all of my questions answered. The six weeks that followed one of my worst days, were filled with healing and an unexplainable peace. I was able to be happy without feeling guilty, and that was an enormous part of overcoming the sadness. 

But, when husband and I were surprised with our pregnancy with Greer, it was difficult not to be consumed with worry during the first trimester, most specifically the first nine weeks. Even after making it into the second and third trimesters, I would find myself concerned for the baby's well-being, cultivating anxiety over each baby appointment with the dread that they wouldn't find the heartbeat. While I was excited about the arrival of our baby, I experienced plenty of days filled with worry that another miscarriage could happen. It's hard not to after you have known loss.

Now, two years later, I still carry some of the same anxieties as I progress through my third pregnancy. I look for warning signs, over-worry about a symptom, pay attention for any spotting, become hyper-aware of baby's movements or lack thereof when I am finally able to feel him/her, etc. The best way to sum it up is that because of experiencing a miscarriage, I am less worry-free over many aspects of pregnancy; where anxiety might not have existed, it now does. And while I thought the fears would subside after having a healthy pregnancy, truth be told, some days my miscarriage is as fresh in my mind as though it just happened. We had a scare early on with this baby (at six weeks) that left me in tears when my doctor insisted I head to the emergency room to rule out an ectopic pregnancy. Every memory from our miscarriage date flooded my thoughts; I began prepping myself for bad news, for another loss, for sadness. After hours of waiting and being tested, we walked away knowing our sweet Junebug was in the correct place with a beautiful and strong heartbeat. Though the baby is healthy and thriving, there is nothing like a scare to flair up old fears. And it's something I find myself battling against throughout these weeks and months of pregnancy.

What I've come to understand is that my anxiety produced from my miscarriage is normal. It's okay for me to feel the worries as long as I don't dwell in them, allowing the fears to overcome me. Talking through my feelings as they pop up is also a way to control the likelihood of runaway-anxiety. I've found that sharing my fears out loud with husband and/or friends has given me a safe sounding board to express where I'm at and find resolve in my fears, tackling them instead of drowning in them. Taking time to celebrate the life growing inside of me, finding joy in the firsts of each pregnancy, and trusting the Lord's goodness are also so important in conquering the moments when the anxiety arises.

To the ladies out there who struggle with the sting of miscarriage as they move forward in hopes of another pregnancy or find themselves in the golden days of the second trimester, I hope you know that your fears don't make you crazy. You aren't irrational in your worries, but do take the time to work through them and give yourself space (lots of it!) to feel joyful and exuberant about a new baby.