Grief: A Miscarriage
By Monica Cruce
IT’S OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY DURING A MISCARRIAGE!
When my husband and I first found out we were having a miscarriage we were instantly filled with an overwhelming amount of disappointment. It was a very lonely season for both of us, and even though “we have each other” there were so many walls that we built to protect ourselves. Having each other was even lonely. People were there for us, but how can someone know what to do in such a painful situation? No one really knows what to do, the people experiencing it don’t even know what to do or how to handle it. The reality of it is, whether this is your first miscarriage or if you have had multiple, losing a child you’ve been told you’d one day hold is a loss that has no words.
“Are you pregnant?”
The night that I found out I was pregnant we were flying out of Alabama to Michigan to spend Thanksgiving with my parents. I was pumping gas and started to have a weird cramp in my stomach (which wasn’t abnormal when I was about to start my period.) So I opened my period tracker and I was 3 days late. Now for some of you, that’s normal, but for me, that is very, very abnormal. I bolted up the hill that leads to the door of our apartment the second I got home. I did what you do on a pregnancy stick, and there was no wait time. When they tell you to wait 3 minutes for results that rule didn’t apply to me. Within seconds the word “Pregnant” showed up in bright pink writing. I waited in the bathroom for a few minutes to compose myself, then went to find Austin. He was packing up for our trip in the bedroom and I sat him down to tell him, it was like he already knew. The words, “are you pregnant?” came out of his mouth before I even had the chance to tell him. Now keep in mind, THIS WAS NOT PLANNED. We were 5 months into our marriage and learning how to be husband and wife.
Seriously GOD! A Miscarriage?
We had an ultrasound at 8 weeks and saw a faint heartbeat and another at 11 weeks. When we got to our 11 week appointment the first words we heard our nurse say were, “Have you been cramping or bleeding at all?” You can only imagine the thoughts and confusion running through our minds. Up until this point, no spotting, cramping or pain were pointing us to the sign that there was something wrong. I remember sitting in the room, wearing a paper robe, broken. I didn’t even want to look at Austin because I was scared he was disappointed in me. He helped me get dressed as we were both crying, our doctor walked in she hugged both me and Austin and told us how sorry she was and how she knows that this wasn’t going to be easy for us to walk through. Just like that we started talking medicine and how there were pills we could take to speed up the process and make it less painful. Austin and I agreed not to take the pills until I start to miscarry on my own. We both sat there with blank expressions and no words for what was happening to us and why. We were pastors, we served God with everything in us, we were decent human beings. Not perfect but we tried to uplift people and bring them joy in their struggles, and this is what we were dealt. A miscarriage.
The next morning we woke up, went to breakfast and headed back home. Austin went to the store and I stayed at home. About 15 minutes into his trip I started having some pretty intense and severe cramping. I went to the bathroom and for the next 12 hours my body was rejecting our beautiful baby. We sat there for 12 hours and watched my stomach contract and force out our baby that Austin and I prayed for and couldn’t wait to meet. My amazing in-laws came and stayed with us the night it happened and I couldn’t be more thankful that they did. Austin was doing such a great job being with me and calming me down and holding my hair back. Mentally, emotionally and physically I was not able to be there for him that night.
I couldn’t imagine that night with just Austin and myself. My in-laws were there to just clean up after dinner and take care of our dog and do all of the small things we weren’t focused on doing; but it helped.
OCTOBER IS PREGNANCY AND INFANT LOSS AWARENESS MONTH.
To Update Your Profile Image on Facebook:
Login to your Facebook account and navigate to https://www.facebook.com/profilepicframes (or open your own profile page, click on your profile image, and choose “Add Frame”)
At the top of the window, search for “NeverBeStill” or “Star Legacy”
In the description box at the bottom, write a note about why you decided to change to this frame, for example:
October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month. I’ll #NeverBeStill in honor of [baby’s name] and all babies gone too soon. If you or someone you care about has lost a baby at ANY stage of pregnancy or infancy, please join us in raising awareness by clicking the “Try It” button below!
Frame is also available for use on other platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest) through www.twibbon.com (search for “NeverBeStill”)
I’m NOT okay!
Days went on and it seemed like everyone around us who helped us go through those 1st couple days of pain and heartbreak were moving forward with their lives, they were smiling and happy and had beautiful families, and us? We were stuck.
We had our first sonogram picture, and what do you do with that? Frame it? Throw it away? I was jealous of people who were able to get pregnant and have healthy babies. At this point all of the confusion started to set in and we were both handling this miscarriage in two completely different ways. Neither one of us knew how to relate to those emotions and frustrations. God created men and women to think and handle situations differently from each other; however.
We are NOT okay!
“Hurt people… hurt people.”
Normally I am thankful that my husband and I don't think alike because he is way more rational than I, but in this season we walked through, the things I first appreciated in him became the things I resented in him. I didn't want him to have a level head and be slow to anger and slow to speak. I wanted him to tell me everything and share every emotion with me because when he told me those things it made me feel less crazy and less alone.
The arguments started and we became more and more angry with each other. Not because either one of us believed that we were the issue, or that either one of us caused this terrible situation to happen, but because we just lost our baby and we were hurting. The saying, “hurt people, hurt people” was never more true. We were mad at what was happening and neither one of us could control the outcome.
Who is behind the mask?
I remember early on in my walk with God I was in a counseling session and my counselor said to me, “Anger is always masking itself to look like someone, but when you take off the mask what do you see?” This statement is the reason I am able to say that I know that Austin wasn’t the cause of my anger. I was angry because I couldn’t control and change this situation. I could either be aggravated and mad at my husband and allow anger to mask itself with my husband’s image, or I could take away the mask of anger and see the situation for what it’s worth. I have grown so much as a wife and Austin is the world’s best husband. Am I saying that we have a perfect marriage? No, but we work on it. Am I saying that I don’t get mad at Austin and that I speak kindness and loving words to him every minute of every day? No, I still mess up and that is something I am working on and something that I am still allowing God to mold in my life.
Even while writing this, emotions and feelings came back. I thought that Austin and I were able to talk about it at this point and reflect on it, but there are still some things that we are walking through that hurt to talk about. People handle stress and trauma in their lives differently from others. One thing we have learned walking through this is, the healing process doesn’t have a time limit to it. I can speak from experience and say that I don’t think there will ever be a time in my life that talking about this and remembering her will be easy and pain free.
Ridley Ann Cruce. My daughter. Austin and I honor Ridley as if she is a child we are raising now. We named her and we will celebrate her each year on the due date and we will participate in each Father’s Day and Mother’s Day. At the end of the day you were trusted with that baby for the time you had carrying them and that makes you a parent!
You are not alone!
Lastly, you are not alone. I think people get caught up in this lie that they have to go through this alone because of how embarrassing it seems and traumatizing it is. Whether you are a mom or a dad reading this and you are currently or previously experiencing the pain of a miscarriage, know that there is hope out there. Everyone is different with how they continue their lives, some people try to get pregnant again right after, and that’s okay! Other people have to wait and process longer, and that is also okay! There is no right or wrong way with how you handle moving forward, but you have to know there is more than the pain you are experiencing now.
Monica Cruce lives in Birmingham, AL with her husband, Austin, and their 2 beautiful dogs. Austin is the Worship Pastor at Solid Rock Church in Pinson, AL and she is the Youth Pastor.
Fun Fact: She had knee surgery her sophomore year because she had 2 knee caps in her right knee.
Fun fact (from husband): She thinks she can get her way when she goes “waaahhhhhh”. And she is ABSOLUTELY right.
JOIN PATHFINDERS ON TUESDAY, OCTOBER 15 AT 7:00 PM/CT AS WE LIGHT A CANDLE IN HONOR AND PRAY OF THOSE WHO HAVE SUFFERED A MISCARRIAGE AND/OR INFANT LOSS. TOGETHER WE CAN BE STRENGTH AND ENCOURAGEMENT FOR ALL THOSE WHO NEED IT!
If you are someone you know suffers from grief, please join our Grief Facebook Small Group, Naham (Comfort). You are not alone in this time. Pathfinders members are on this path with you. Thank you for being a Pathfinder!
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