Growing Through a Miscarriage

Your mutual loss can strengthen your marriage—if you grieve it together
Growing Through a Miscarriage
Image: ANTONIO GUILLEM / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

The day began with a routine visit to my doctor's office to confirm a positive home pregnancy test. The day ended with the news that, at nine weeks gestation, I was in the process of having a miscarriage. And so began my (and my husband's) journey of grief—and growth—through miscarriage.

We spent much of the subsequent days in shock; we couldn't believe I'd had a miscarriage after wanting another baby to join our family of three. Miscarriage is something I thought happened to other couples; I never thought it would happen to us. Reeling from the news, I avoided God for the most part and stumbled through my days in a fog.

Several months later I found myself pregnant again. Six weeks into the pregnancy I suffered another miscarriage. Two miscarriages in five months produced more grief than I could bear. This time I went to God in anger. A succession of Job-inspired questions came to mind—Why did you let this happen? You could have prevented it, why didn't you? Where are you, God? Answer me!

Still reeling from the first miscarriage five months prior, the second one nearly sent me over the edge. I lashed out not only at God but at my husband too, for his (seeming) lack of compassion. That's when I found out he was so engulfed in his own grief that he didn't know how to help me.

Learning and Growing

Grief often begins with the sudden awakening that something is gone, but it doesn't end there. The experience continues to unfold, the implications slowly accumulate, and as the days and weeks go by, the questions can pile up faster than the answers.

The 1828 Webster dictionary defines sorrow as "The uneasiness or pain of mind, which is produced by the loss of any good, real or supposed, or by disappointment in the expectation of good." Interestingly, the word sorrow comes from the root sore, meaning "heavy." Truly this is so, for I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders. It was often a struggle just to get through the day.

While neither my husband nor I ever saw our miscarried children, I alone carried them. As a result, our grief was very different. And at first, we didn't know how to help one another. I have since learned that a husband and wife deal with a miscarriage very differently.

After my second miscarriage, we realized we had a choice. We could emerge from it bitter or better. Because of the miscarriages we have learned that there is such a thing as "good" grief when we allow it to draw us closer to God. In time, grief will give way to hope, and although life will never be the same, it still can be great.

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May 25

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