Spring Ahead: Reflections on Miscarriage
I wrote and posted this article last year on 3/14/2009 on a personal blog that I decided not to continue. Since I never did anything with that blog and no one got to read it I decided to repost it here. I edited a few things to reflect the passage of time, otherwise the text is unaltered.
March 14, 2009 was the due date for our first baby. I had a miscarriage on August 28, 2008 at 11 weeks and 5 days. During the pregnancy we called the baby Biddle. In 2009 on the baby’s due date I wanted to give the baby a name, just as we would have if he/she would’ve been born that day. We named our baby Jordan Shiloh. If he/she had survived Jordan would be two years old now (although likely with a different name). These “anniversaries” are difficult for me. They are marked with sadness for obvious reasons…but they are also very lonely. No one else remembers Jordan’s due date or miscarriage date or the date we found out that I was pregnant (July 5, 2008). I do. These dates are set apart for me now and I will never forget them. I believe I have a right to be sad. I believe I have a right to grieve our baby that we never got to know. However, I don’t want these dates to always be sad and depressing to me. I want to honor our baby.
It’s fitting that last year Jordan’s due date fell on “Spring Ahead”. It’s so symbolic of what I need to do. When going through a miscarriage (especially after following a season of infertility) it’s so easy to “fall back”. Falling back looks so inviting. Fall is a time when the trees go through an amazing transformation. Their colors change but then they shed their old leaves. They prepare for a season that they will spend cold and bare. When I lost my baby I cried more than I had ever cried in my life. My womb felt even more empty and barren then it had during my infertility. The physical pain paled in comparison to the emotional pain that I felt as my baby was leaving my body. I felt alone, empty, and as bare as the naked trees entering winter.
Although the trees are left bare for the winter, they are not dead. The leaves are dead but the trees are not dead. The leaves that they have shed are gone now, but the tree is still alive! I couldn’t bury myself, although I often felt like I wanted to. I couldn’t give up. Although I felt sadness, although I felt bare…I was still alive. I had my emotional fall. I had my emotional winter. But it can’t stay winter forever. It won’t stay winter just because I want it to. Just because I pull the covers over my head and refuse to be part of the world doesn’t make it stop spinning. When I finally get out of bed and look outside I can see that spring has come and life is still going on. Life is going on. Life. Life. LIFE. It’s out there. It’s all around. Spring is all about life, renewal, growth. I need to live life. I need to spring ahead.
This spring to honor Jordan my husband and I want to give life. Between now and the baby’s miscarriage date in August here are some of the things that we hope to do to give life: plant a tree in the baby’s memory, donate blood, and donate food/supplies to the Humane Society. In doing these things we can help the environment, help people, and help animals.
If you would like to join us in giving life this spring, leave a comment and let me know what you plan to do.
*Celebrate Your Name Week: Jordan: Why we named the baby we miscarried
*National Infertility Awareness Week
*Childless Mother: Infertility Poem
*Trying to Conceive: Take 1
*My First Pregnancy
*Trying to Conceive: Take 2
*Trying to Conceive: Take 3 Secondary Infertility
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Posted on March 14, 2011, in Miscarriage and tagged miscarriage. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.
I remember…I love you.
This spring/summer we are planning to make several food donations to local pantries (including one for pets), my oldest children and myself will be donating our time to the Humane Society, and we want to hatch some chicks.
My sister had a miscarriage as well, and I remember feeling horrible and helpless not knowing how to help her. I am so happy for you that you were able to overcome the grief though.
Have a wonderful Monday!
That’s awesome, Retha! I love to hear about people giving back and helping out. I can’t wait to get Adaline involved when she’s older.
It’s a really tough thing to go through…and sometimes people say the dumbest things and make it worse. Just being there and letting her cry are the best things anyone can do.
I lead a Bible study for women who have lost children due to abortions. We encourage them to honor their babies in ways like this. I had 1 lady plant a tree for her 6 losses and another have a plaque made. There are so many great ideas for you to pursue. Caleb ministries is a great place to get ideas for that. I am so sorry for your loss. I, too, mourn the loss of my son(for different reasons but he is gone none the less). I remember dates that no one else does. These are called trigger days and they help us to grieve properly! Don’t be too hard on yourself about it! Love you and I am praying for you! You are such an inspiration to me in the blogosphere!
Sarita, thanks for everything 🙂 I’ll be looking into the ministry that you mentioned. Hubby and I have wanted to get a plaque made too, but we haven’t done it yet. I wanted to be able to attach one to the tree that we plant (someday). Thanks again, I truly appreciate it!
That is a neat idea. I had never thought about giving the baby a name. I lost my 3rd child just after I found out I was pregnant. I remember crying all the way home from the doctors office after they gave me a pill to help start the D&C. The baby would have been born right around my birthday, so not a year goes by without me thinking about the baby. I was blessed to get pregnant 7 months later and have a wonderful daughter and 2 years later another son, making 4 living children. I always like to think that that baby is waiting for me in heaven. I just bought two blueberry bushes to plant. One blue and one pink. How fitting for not knowing if the baby had been a girl or boy. I think we will cherish and nurture these bushes in remembrance of the little one and the many others who have lost children.
Caren, I’m so sorry for your loss. How wonderful all of the children you’ve been blessed with 🙂
I LOVE the blueberry bushes. It sounds like a wonderful symbol and great way to honor your little one. My daughter loves blueberries…maybe we should plant a bush too.
Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your story!
Thank you so much for sharing your story. As I sit here in the doctor’s office waiting to confirm the loss of my precious baby this gives me hope that I will be okay in time. I never thought of giving the baby a name, but now I will. Again, thank you so much for sharing this!
This Spring we will plant a tree in the baby’s memory. That sounds fitting. The baby will never be forgotten and will grow so tall as we watch it grow. Maybe even M will climb all over the tree as I’m sure he would have climbed and loved all over his baby sibling.
Little late here…but want to comment nonetheless. I agree with Sarita – “don’t be too hard on yourself.”
It’s okay to sometimes still feel like you are in the fall or even winter-time.
I lost a brother almost 15 years ago. He was killed by a drunk driver when he was 37 (I was 35 at the time). I planted a whole garden in his memory! And I have pictures of him all over my house.
He died in the fall, which until that time had been my favorite season. For a long time I could only dread the fall because it marked not only his death but also his birthday.
Then in 2007 my sweet niece was killed in a traffic accident at the age of 19. She died in April…the spring! My dad died in the summer of 2008!
So frankly, I don’t care WHAT season it is. If I feel like mourning, I’m going to mourn. I get so tired of a world that tells us we’re supposed to “look ahead” and not remember our loved ones. I’ll mourn if I darn well feel like it, thank you!
In fact, I feel it’s very counter-productive and even dangerous not to mourn. Many people turn to destructive habits to cope with grief they feel they can’t express. Others, like myself, end up with chronic illness because everyone around me, after my brother died, told me that what I was going through “wasn’t that bad” and that I was essentially a bad Christian for grieving for my brother! I needed to grieve and feeling like I wasn’t allowed to only exacerbated my pain. In fact, I believe I had Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. And I believe it was in part because NO ONE in my life sat with me and just told me it was OKAY to grieve.
So grieve if you like. Winter, summer, spring or fall, it doesn’t matter. Because your baby LIVED. Even if it was only for a short while, in your womb, he LIVED. And that life is WORTH mourning.
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