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Loving with a Broken Heart

empty table

Loving with a Broken Heart

Living with the echoes of a miscarriage

This post will go live on Valentine’s Day, but it could be written on any random day over the last few months.

I sat this morning, looking at my children, and my heart ached for the baby who’ll never sit in a Bumbo, a child who’ll never have chocolate smeared on her face, a little girl who will never have the chance to forget her Disney Princess lunch bag at school.  Our family of five has a sixth member who we’ll never meet and, on mornings like this, the feelings of loss that have slowly faded to the background of life come rushing forward in a moment that makes me catch my breath.  I miss the baby I never met.

It feels funny to write that last sentence.

(you can read more about how we’ve processed our story here: http://westcoastcm.com/?s=miscarriage)

Before our miscarriage, I could have never understood the way that losing a child hangs with you like a cloud on days like today.  I never understood why parents would buy into the myth that our lost children spend the rest of our days hovering over us as guardian angels.  Now I understand – there are days when it feels like there is literally something hanging over you.  It’s hard to explain.  If my understanding of Scripture and the historical Judeo-Christian understanding of angels didn’t get in the way of this belief, I’d consider buying in.  I blame Hallmark, Precious Moments and It’s a Wonderful Life for making this belief a popular option for mourning families.

For those of us in ministry, we need to go out of our way to make room for families who will find themselves mourning the loss of a child at random times.  If you’ve been impacted by the loss of a child, this isn’t news to you.  However, if you’ve never suffered through a miscarriage, still birth or loss of a young child, I’d encourage you to consider keeping tabs on The STILL Project.

I’d encourage you to watch the trailer below, and to say a prayer today for families who have an empty spot at their table today that could be filled by a child they’ve had to say goodbye to.

So, today, help me leverage our loss for the greater good.  God’s heart is for those who mourn (Matthew 5:4).  Share this post, or the video above.

Point people toward this post: http://meredithannemiller.com/2012/01/09/the-world-has-stopped/

Or read and share this post: http://www.lauraziesel.com/2011/12/miscarriage-fertility-and-my-broken.html

Or share your story.  Our communities need to speak openly about this topic.

Today, I’ll keep loving my wife and my kids, even as my heart breaks.  I’ll pick up my son from school.  Help coach a T-Ball team.  We’ll cuddle on the sofa later and watch Charlie Brown movies together.  The echoes of our miscarriage still bounce off the walls of my heart sometimes.

Thanks for listening in with me.

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Losing Baby Tiny

There aren’t words that can fully express the sadness that comes with the news of a miscarriage.

I’ve known this to be true for years – in ministering to families, I’ve walked alongside (what feels like) too many families who have had to mourn the death of their unborn child(ren).

Those words were never more true to me than they are now.

On Wednesday morning, my wife and I were given the news that no parents want to hear during a regularly scheduled doctor’s appointment – our nurse was unable to find the heartbeat of our unborn child, Baby Tiny – we had experienced a miscarriage and our baby had died.  The rest of that day is a whirlwind of sadness and confusion – and, days later, we’re still processing what just happened.

So, today, I thought I’d put some words down to help me process and to share a little about our experience for the many others out there who are going through, or have gone through, a miscarriage.

Mourning in Community

When Christine and I first discovered that we were pregnant, we had a question to answer – when do we tell people that we’re expecting?  We decided, as many of you know, to share our news in a fast and furious fashion (see our video here).  If the worst were to happen, we discussed at the time, we’d rather mourn in community than feel as though we were alone.

Now, 2 months later, we are faced with the reality that we now have a lot of people that we need to share our not-so-great news with… and, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  As hard as it is, the fact that we’ve had a community of friends to rally around us during our sadness has far outweighed the negative aspects of telling people the sad news.  Our closest friends spent the first evening with us and brought us all of our favorite comfort foods.  We sat around, crying a bit, laughing a bunch and just talking about life together.

Had we waited until later in the pregnancy to share our news with everyone, we would have missed out on that time we were able to spend together – I’d be willing to bet that the friends who were with us on that night will be in our lives for a long time… mourning together tends to grow people closer together.

Bad news never travels fast enough

Nobody likes sharing bad news.  People don’t like hearing it either.  That’s why I think people feel the need to turn bad news into good news.  In telling people about our miscarriage, I’ve noticed that most people try to put their own spin on the news.

“At least it happened early in the pregnancy.”

“Well, you’re young and can still try again.”

“You already have 2 kids… that’s something to celebrate!”

“I don’t know how to keep my mouth shut, so I’m going to just start talking.”

Okay… nobody actually has said that last one.  But, it’s kind of at the core of most people’s response to the news.  Everyone feels like they need to turn the bad news into not-so-bad news, so they try to spin things to lessen the sadness in the room.

I write all of that to say this – if someone tells you bad news, just listen.  And, if you have sad news to share, please know that even the nicest person can say hurtful and stupid things in the midst of sadness – please don’t hold it against them.

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I know a lot of people who will read this are in ministry.  I’d encourage you to check out an event that one of my ministry friends, Kenny Conley, has put together for his church – Born into Heaven (http://www.childrensministryonline.com/family/born-into-heaven/).

If you’re a friend or family member reading this, you could help us out most by telling one other family our news, and encourage them to do the same.  We’re a little nervous about church this weekend and having to tell and re-tell our news to each person we see (I’m trying to figure out how to tell a couple hundred kids who love and pray for my family about what happened) – it would be helpful if you helped spread the news.  If you don’t know how, just tell them the basics and send them to this post.

I think what I’m most sad about is that I won’t get to ever know what kind of kid Baby Tiny would have been.  Would he have his brother’s need for structure and love for Lego Star Wars?  Would she show no fear around a swimming pool like her sister and have a passion for destroying her brother’s Lego towers?  In mourning the loss of our baby, I’m forced to also mourn the loss of my hopes and dreams that I had for her (I had been hoping for a girl, btw).  That seems like it’s the saddest part.

We’ll spend part of today at the beach putting together a little ceremony for Baby Tiny.
I’ll share pictures and more about that ceremony sometime next week.

Thanks, in advance, for your prayers.  We know that we’re not alone – and we appreciate the support.

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2011 in Thoughts

 

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